NPH CIS Team Previews: Trinity Western Spartans
A new season for the Spartans brings a new head coach. Will it also bring new success?
Trinity Western Spartans
Head coach: Aaron Muhic
Record in 2014: 2-18 (Last in Pioneer division of Canada West conference)
Playoffs: No playoffs
Points scored per game: 75.7
Points allowed per game: 92.6
Key players: Jesse Jeffers, Kelvin Smith
Key losses: Every starter from last season’s team
The Trinity Western Spartans start anew for the 2015-2016 season, having brought in head coach Aaron Muhic, in this final year of the Canada West as currently constituted.
Before the league moves to a 17-team and 20-game schedule, the Spartans will run again through a gauntlet of games that produced a 2-18 record a year ago; they’ll know soon enough whether to brace for a repeat, as they open against UBC and Victoria, two perennially great teams.
Key games: VS Brandon Bobcats, January 29 and 30
at Lethbridge Pronghorns, February 19 and 20
Someone has to be last in every season and last year in the CIS, no one did worse than the Spartans defensively. Trinity Western would have been alright if basketball were played only on offense but with 92.6 points allowed per game, it was doomed to a 2-18 record and last place in the Pioneer division in Canada West.
“We have to find our way, Aaron Muhic tells NPH, “and figure out who we are pretty fast.”
This season, he has one simple goal for the Spartans: to challenge and compete. Muhic says that he wants “toughness and (to be) able to compete at a championship level consistently.”
Sure, it’s a way for the team’s head coach to temper expectations for his team but it’s not just that. The Spartans were too often blown out a year ago, only playing in four games that ended in 10 points or fewer; competing this season would be a good first step.