This season, the Timberwolves have to continue building and keep the bar moving forward.
Head coach: Todd Jordan
Record in 2014: 12-8 (Second in Explorer division of Canada West conference)
Playoffs: Conference quarterfinals
Points scored per game: 76.5
Points allowed per game: 72.8
Key players: Rhys Elliott, Marcus MacKay, Austin Chandler, Nolan Hanson
Key losses: Devin McMurtry, Franck Olivier Kouagnia, Jeff Chu
If the Timberwolves hope to best their 2014-2015 results, when they finished second in their Explorer division and fell in the first round of the playoffs, they’ll have to do better than their 0-4 record of a year ago. Head coach Todd Jordan thinks that if there’s a good thing about playing each team in your division as often as UNBC does (i.e. four times each), it’s that it breeds rivalries. “You play somebody four times,” Jordan says, “all those little adjustments from game to game become crucial.”
Key games: at Fraser Valley Cascades, January 15 and 16
at Thompson Rivers WolfPack, February 5 and 6
The Canada West conference, as currently composed, is in its last days. It’s moving on to something else, something different for the 2016-2017 season with no divisions. Todd Jordan wants the same for its team. “Last season was a big growth year for our program,” he tells NPH. “We want to keep the bar moving forward.”
But that change comes next year. Right now, the Explorer division remains, and don’t you dare tell Jordan that his Timberwolves team is part of the lesser of the two divisions. “The top three teams, (Fraser Valley, UNBC and Thompson Rivers), showed quite well at the end of the year.”
In order to be invited to the dance again this season, the Timberwolves have to continue playing their style. Jordan says that, “We like to get uptempo offensively, get high percentage shots and get looks at the three.”
UNBC, still young, must now learn to win when expectations call for wins; the preparation for this starts now.
“You get your (team) to do things the right way,” Jordan says, “and not cut corners.”