PacWest Week 4 Power Rankings

Elliot Mason, the 6-6 Langara sharpshooter, earned PacWest Player of The Week honours for his 16-point, 11-rebound performance versus Douglas on November 22. - Brian Jones Photo

Elliot Mason, the 6-6 Langara sharpshooter, earned PacWest Player of The Week honours for his 16-point, 11-rebound performance versus Douglas on November 22. – Brian Jones Photo

With only a single game of basketball for each team this past weekend and no resulting upsets, the rankings haven’t budged since Week 3.

VIU hammered Camosun 93-51, urging me to completely disband the term ‘island rivalry’ from my vocabulary for the rest of the season. I’m upset to have even mentioned it in that last sentence.

Brandon Jones, third in PacWest scoring at 19.3 points per game, had a rather quiet offensive outing but still managed to put up an impressive stat line, tallying nine points, seven rebounds and 13 assists. The frontcourt duo of Jason Fortin and Seth Goodman led the Mariners in scoring at 19 and 14 respectively. Goodman and Fortin are currently the top-two rebounders in the league, with the former slightly edging out the latter 9.2 to 8.5.

VIU is torching the rest of the Lower Mainland, scoring 25.4 more points on average than their opponents so far.

But the lull in movement throughout the rankings may be short lived.

Continue reading at North Pole Hoops.

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Langara beats Douglas, but draws ire of coach

    Langara Falcons point guard, and PacWest player of the week, Brody Greig. - Brian Jones Photo

Langara Falcons point guard, and PacWest player of the week, Brody Greig. – Brian Jones Photo

Two questions have hung over the Langara College Falcons like a cumulus Vancouver cloud for over a month:

Are they as good as they were last year?

And, can they beat VIU?

The answer to the first question is subjective. They’ve lost big pieces from last year’s historical provincial championship run, but their best players have gotten better and the supporting cast is still one of the best second units in the PacWest.

They addressed the doubts that any skeptic (including myself) had about their depth last night, as the Falcons bench contributed 43 points in a 101-80 win over the Douglas College Royals at Langara’s campus.

Four of the starting fourth-years posted double-digit scoring numbers, and Maple Ridge’s Max Neumann had his best game of the adolescent season, adding 10 points, eight rebounds, three emphatic blocks and went a perfect two of two from distance in 17 minutes off the pine.

Continue reading at North Pole Hoops.

PacWest Week 3 Power Rankings

Kwanlten’s rookie guard Obi Udevi was one of the lone bright spots for Kwantlen on Saturday against Douglas. - Brian Jones Photo

Kwanlten’s rookie guard Obi Udevi was one of the lone bright spots for Kwantlen on Saturday against Douglas. – Brian Jones Photo

This past weekend was devoid of upsets and surprises around the PacWest, as the giants still stand tall, but the race for fifth place is heating up.

The top half of this week’s rankings remains unchanged, as Vancouver Island University Mariners and Langara College Falcons both swept their respective doubleheaders, while the Quest University Kermodes and Capilano University Blues each split their island road trip.

VIU is still the only undefeated team in the PacWest after picking up a 76-65 win over Quest on Friday then drumming Cap 80-58 on Saturday.

Langara easily handled the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Eagles and Columbia Bible College Bearcats, breaking the triple-digit mark in both bouts and averaging a 47-point margin of victory over the weekend. The Falcons’ loss in Week 2 to Quest may have been exactly what they needed, because adding a tally to Langara’s loss column is like trying to put out a house fire with gasoline.

Continue reading at North Pole Hoops.

Andrew Baron: Relishing the opportunity

Kristian Hlldebrandt picking up teammate Andrew Baron. - Brian Jones Photo

Kristian Hlldebrandt picking up teammate Andrew Baron. – Brian Jones Photo

Around this time two years ago, Andrew Baron was averaging less than 10 minutes per game for the Douglas College Royals. He was a rookie on a team with an abundance of third and fourth-year players, and he was nervous.

After graduating from Elphinstone Secondary in 2008, Baron spent three years unsure of what direction he wanted to steer his life into. He knew that he wanted to play basketball at the collegiate level. He also knew that he was very capable of doing so after a stellar career at Elphinstone.

But life has a way of, well, getting in the way.

Then, in the summer of 2010, Baron contacted Denis Beausoleil – the newly-hired basketball coach at Douglas. That correspondence turned into informal summer league games. Those runs in August translated into tryouts, and those tryouts manifested into a spot on the roster.

But it was quickly realized that wearing a jersey and having his name inked on the pregame programs didn’t guarantee any sort of smooth sailing.

Continue reading at North Pole Hoops.

PacWest Week 2 Power Rankings

Falcons forward Elliot Mason looks to break ankles out on the wing. - Brian Jones Photo

Falcons forward Elliot Mason looks to break ankles out on the wing. – Brian Jones Photo

Capilano head coach Dwayne Selby summed up the crazy finishes and surprising blowouts around the PacWest this past weekend:

“There’s a lot of parity in the league right now. Our league is up for grabs, and I told my guys that if you don’t show up to play every single night, anyone can beat you.”

Selby’s words have been identical to what almost every other coach in the league has been preaching since preseason.

VIU is the only squad still standing with an unblemished record, but they’ve been lobbed softballs thus far, beating Camosun, Kwantlen and CBC (the bottom three teams in the league) by an average of 25.7 points. The Mariners will face their biggest challenge when they host Quest and Capilano next weekend.

Continue reading at North Pole Hoops.

Capilano holds off late charge to squeeze by Douglas

Blues point guard Tony Rowe adjusts under the outstretched arm of Douglas forward Ryan Hopson. - Brian Jones Photo

Blues point guard Tony Rowe adjusts under the outstretched arm of Douglas forward Ryan Hopson. – Brian Jones Photo

The mood was subdued, a few heads were hanging, and customary post-game handshakes were scaled back to a minimum.

Based on the player reactions, if you hadn’t watched the previous 40 minutes of gameplay, you would have never guessed who just suppressed a massive comeback to grind out a four-point victory.

Although a win is a win, some taste a little less sweet than others.

The Capilano University Blues clung to the last remnants of 17-point halftime lead to hold off the Douglas College Royals 76-72 on Saturday, November 9 at Capilano’s Sportsplex in North Vancouver.

The coach echoed his players’ temperament.

“I was really disappointed. I thought we had taken some good steps last night, in terms of learning how to play with a more consistent effort, but I think we regressed tonight,” said Blues bench boss Dwayne Selby.

Continue reading at North Pole Hoops.

Langara beats Capilano at home to remain undefeated early

Langara centre Jitinder Lohcham attacks inside. Lohcham finished the night with 25 points, eight rebounds and six blocks. - Brian Jones Photo

Langara centre Jitinder Lohcham attacks inside. Lohcham finished the night with 25 points, eight rebounds and six blocks. – Brian Jones Photo

During the halftime break of last night’s game between Langara and Capilano, I walked out of the gym and down the corridor of Capilano’s Sportsplex to the washroom. As I made my way past Langara’s team room, I noticed the entire roster of players sitting on chairs in a semi-circle facing a wall, as if attentively listening to a lecture.

At first, I assumed that head coach Paul Eberhardt was going over what needed work as they headed into the second half with a marginal 43-39 lead over Capilano, but when I turned back to look in the gym, I saw Eberhardt and his assistants gathered back at the team’s bench, going over the stat sheet and relevant clipboards.

It wasn’t a coach that had the player’s attention in the team room – it was an orange jersey-ed Falcon. I couldn’t quite see who was talking, as my view was obstructed by the poster-plastered windows, but Eberhardt had a pretty good clue.

“I would expect [Glenn] Ruby to be the voice in the room, I would expect him to stand up at that time,” said Eberhardt. “But it’s been really interesting this year, as I’ve noticed that all of the veterans are doing of teaching with our younger guys. Last year it was irritating because I didn’t think they talked enough. But they’ve definitely embraced that this year.”

Whether it was the third-year utility player from Clayton Heights leading the halftime pep-talk or not, whatever was said certainly carried over into the second half.

Continue reading at North Pole Hoops.