CIS preview – UBC Thunderbirds

Tommy Nixon leads a talented mix of players for UBC in 2013-14. - Photo courtesy: UBC Athletics

Tommy Nixon leads a talented mix of players for UBC in 2013-14. – Photo courtesy: UBC Athletics

Canada West Playoffs: Gold medallists

CIS Final 8: 7th place

Key returning players: Tommy Nixon, Brylle Kamen, Jordan Jensen-Whyte, David Wagner, Isaiah Solomon, Conor Morgan, Michael Steele, Andrew McGuiness

Additions:

  • Tonner Jackson (5th year – Trinity Western University)
  • Harpreet Randhawa (4th year – Douglas College)
  • Kedar Wright (St. Edmund Campion – Brampton, ON)
  • Luka Zaharijevic (Kitsilano)

Departures: Doug Plumb, O’Brien Wallace, Jared Casey

Two years ago, UBC’s starting lineup looked like a B.C. all-star team. It consisted of four fifth-year players – Nathan Yu, Balraj Bains, Graham Bath and Kamar Burke, while fourth-year sharpshooter Doug Plumb rounded out the rotation.

But that squad went 13-4 in the regular season and drew a supremely talented Alberta Golden Bears team in the first round of the Canada West playoffs (Alberta went on to lose in the CIS championship game against Carleton), ultimately underperforming, given the talent they had on paper.

Last year, guided by an inspired Plumb and a slew of younger players chomping at the bit to prove their worth, the Birds turned in an impressive 18-4 regular season record, but fell short in the CIS Final 8 – succumbing to Acadia in the opening round, and then to their provincial rival UVic Vikes in consolation.

Plumb exhausted his five years and is currently making a splash on the European pro-circuit in Hungary, and now once again a talented young cast of T-Birds eagerly plans to prove what head coach Kevin Hanson had in mind while crafting his recruits over the past few years.

Continue reading at North Pole Hoops.

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