Canada West Basketball – Week Seven Takeaways
- Cascades Undefeated Streak Threatened by Grant McEwan
When the Cascades boarded their flight to Edmonton on Thursday they were anticipating an easy two win weekend against the 2-6 MacEwan Griffins. The Cascades were at least partially right. The first game was anything but challenging for the Cascades – they registered a CIS regular season high for points among all teams with 123 points on Friday night. Defeating the Griffins by 56 points – easily their largest margin of the season.
Overnight it seemed to the Cascades that the Griffins had become a different team. The two teams were engaged in a much closer contest. With less than a minute remaining the Cascades led by only five points, at that point, the unthinkable happened. The Cascades Nate Brown was charged with a foul on an and-one play. On top of the and-one, Brown was subsequently charged with not one, but two technical fouls resulting in a five point play for the Griffins. However, it wasn’t over as the Griffins would receive the ball after the ensuing free throws and proceed to knock down a three–registering what could be deemed an eight point play. Everything changed for the Cascades who required a late game-tying three from Kevon Parchment to force overtime where they dominated to win the game, extending their streak to 26 games.
- Josh Wolfram Making Case for Explorers Division All-star Team
In the OUA, there are two divisions just like the Canada West, but where the two differ is that the OUA has two different all-star teams in order to maximize recognition for the best talent.
Although this is the first year that the Canada West conference has been in these two new divisions, it is still a mystery whether or not there will only be one Canada West all-star team for all 17 schools.
Players like Thompson Rivers Universities Josh Wolfram make cases with their outstanding play that there should be an all-star for the entirely separate Explorers division.
Wolfram registered 29 points and 16 rebounds on Saturday night against the UNBC Timberwolves. He is currently second in the CIS in total rebounds with 128 – 10.7 per game.
- Does Anybody Want to Win Pioneers Division?
Every week I am trying to pick a team that is the best in the massive pioneers division but it gets harder and harder as the season progresses and today I am finally throwing in the towel. It is impossible to pick a team that really actually wants to win this division.
Good teams lose to the bad. The underrated teams pull out long win streaks, while contenders underwhelm even in their wins. For example, Calgary is at the top of the division but they just dropped a game to the Lethbridge Proghorns by twelve points. Lethbridge is 6-8, a sub .500 record. The UBC thunderbirds who started the season 1-6 have now won six straight games and will most likely extend that streak to eight this weekend when they play the woeful Trinity Western University Spartans.
- Is Alberta on the Decline?
The Bears lead by Joel Friesen and Barnaby Craddock have been one of the more stable programs in the top of the Canada West standings, but this year has been different, with the loss of CIS star Jordan Baker. They haven’t been able to gain the same traction over the season that they have had in previous years. Their national’s appearance last season seems at this point a distant memory and something that they may not be able to achieve again before the departure of Friesen.
They are currently 7-6 with seven games left on their schedule. My prediction is that over their next seven games they will win four and finish with a record of 11-9, limping into the playoffs as the last seed in the pioneers division. The former powerhouse looks to be on the decline.
- Is Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson the Frontrunner for Player of the Year?
Up to this point in the season Chris McLaughlin was the name that circled around the Canada West player of the year contest. Except one player had something to say about that and then dominated en route to a star performance.
The University of Calgary Dinos Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson registered a triple-double–26 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists. He is the first player this year to register a triple double and it seems he has officially thrown his name in for the player of the year debate.
Canada West Standings