Lethbridge Pronghorns, Coach Mike Hansen, 3rd year
It was a game changer for the ‘Horns when their 5th year import post, Brent Watkins, suffered what likely will be a career-ending set of injuries as a result of a summer car accident. Watkins’ recovery has been heartening, and the extended U of L community has extended great support to the family back in California. Now, without the defense, rebounding, and 61% FG shooting of Watkins, and with Tyson McIntyre struggling with another knee injury, Coach Mike Hansen suggests, “We are a small team, and we’ll have to find new ways of getting the ball to the basket.”
The U of L roster has more returning players than almost any team in Canada West, and 5 of those are 5th years, including their superb guard combo of Jared Baker and Rob Olsen.
Forward Brandon Brine is a potential all-star at forward, and Coach Hansen is happy with the progress of 2nd year players Zac Overwater and Josh Sparkes, “They made a big jump over the summer, and are now stronger and more skilled.” Also, the addition of (former UL star) Alex Fletcher as a full-time Assistant will be big for player development. Hansen cites a new push at Lethbridge to provide resources for Athletics, and Fletcher’s post is one example.
The late summer signing of import point guard Dejon Burdeaux will spark the guard corps, and ACAC College transfers Chris Maughan and Brian Preneslo give some help up front. Lethbridge may fly under the radar as they integrate the new talent, but they have enough experience and capable leadership in their veterans to contend.
Brandon Brine F 6-6, 5th year, S.Australia
Lynden Nummi G 5-9, 5th, Lethbridge
Spencer Lambert G 6-1, 3rd, Lethbridge
Mike Pierzchala F 6-4, 2nd, Lethbridge
Zac Overwater W 6-7, 2nd, Didsbury, AB
Josh Sparkes G 6-0, 2nd, Medicine Hat
Jason Nysten W 6-3 , 4th, Carstairs, AB
Jared Baker G 6-2, 5th, Raymond, AB
Rob Olsen G 6-2, 5th, Cardston, AB
*Brent Watkins F 6-10, 5th – injured in a car accident
*Tyson McIntyre – F 6-7, 3rd – knee injury
New ‘Horns –
Dejon Burdeaux G 6-0 3rd, San Leandro, CA (tsf-Fresno City Coll.)
Will Hickey G 6-0, Golden, BC, (tsf-Lethbridge Coll )
Brian Prenoslo F 6-4, 4th Sherwood Park, (tsf-Red Deer College)
Chris Maughan F 6-9, 3rd, Calgary, (tsf Lethbridge Coll.)
Alberta Golden Bears – Coach Barnaby Craddock, 5th year
The Golden Bears will be in a re-building mode after losing mainstays Joel Friesen, Ken Otieno, and Youssef Ouahrig. Coach Barnaby Craddock, who has had success at Brandon, Fraser Valley, and Alberta as the head man, can see an effective forward line developing, especially with the often-spectacular play of 3rd year Canada West All-Star, Mamadou Gueye, and the physical ’14-’15 rookie star, Sebastian Denault. Add in the experienced Rav Dhaliwal, ‘BIG’ Brett Roughead, and red-shirt rookie, Brody Clark, and this should be a formidable group.
Guard play will be ‘a work in progress’, according to Craddock. “Losing a lead guard as good as Ouahrig will have us scrambling for the first part of the season”, he says. Both import Colby Jackson and Ontario star, D’Wan Williams come with impressive credentials, and veteran Ethan Dixon may get a chance to shine. Andriy Halushko and Lyndon Annetts are both capable outside shooters, and they may help U of A’s back-court step up as the season progresses.
Losing 4 of their 5 first pre-season games has to be concerning for Coach Craddock, but there is too much talent there to count out the perennial contenders this early in the ‘re-construction phase’. The GBs are home for their own Invitational on Oct. 23-24 vs UNBC and Queen’s.
Ethan Dixon G 6-0, 3rd year, Edmonton
Andriy Halushko G 6-4, 2nd, Edmonton
Sheldon Pittman G 6-5, 2nd, Calgary
Lyndon Annetts G 6-6, 3rd, Beaumont, AB
Mamadou Gueye F 6-6, 3rd, Quebec City
Rav Dhaliwal F 6-7, 4th, Surrey, BC
Brett Roughead P 7-1, 4th, Coleman, AB
Sebastien Denault P 6-9, 2nd, La Prairie, QC
New Bears –
Jonah Weyessa G 6-0 1st, Calgary -Fr. Lacombe
Colby Jackson G 5-8, 1st, Las Vegas, NV- Clark HS
Joel Lutz F 6-7, 1st, Cardston, AB
Cole Knudsen F 6-7, 1st, Barrhead, AB
Brody Clarke F 6-8, 1st Toronto – Oakwood
Ivan Ikomey G 6-1, 1st, Calgary – McNally
D’Wan Williams G 6-2, 1st, Toronto- Oakwood
Game Scores –
Thurs. Oct. 15 – Windsor 94 vs Regina 80, Concordia 80 at Saskatchewan 67
at McMaster 90 Cape Breton 68
- Josh Mayorga (TRU) was on the Canada West All-Rookie team last March, but the young man informed Wolf Pack Coach Scott Clark that he did not want to continue with school and basketball this year.
- In a similar vein, Adonis Monfort-Palomino, after a rookie year as back-up to Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson at Calgary, has recently chosen to leave the team, but UC still has 2nd year Cory Hauck, rookie Torrez McCoy, and transfer David Kapinga up to the challenge at that spot .