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.
Brandon Jones looks to lead VIU back to the national stage in 2014. – Brian Jones Photo
Regular-season record: 16-5
Provincial tournament: Silver medallists
National tournament: Gold medallists
Key returning players:
Brandon Jones (4th year)
Clayton Billett (5th year)
Evan Verdel (5th year)
Jason McKee (3rd year)
Harrison Stupich (4th year)
Jon Bethell (injury)
Last March, after the Vancouver Island University Mariners conquered the CCAA’s best and took home gold in Montreal, they were awarded a plethora of hardware: a banner, individual medals and trophies, and customary championship rings.
But if you search for distinguishing jewelery on head coach Matt Kuzminski’s hands, you’re only going to be able to tell that he’s married, and not a national champion.
He doesn’t want to flaunt it. He doesn’t want to show it off. In fact, he doesn’t even want to think about it.
“We got our ring and everything, but I put all of that stuff away,” said Kuzminski. “I don’t really look at it and I don’t really think too much about the championship. I’m conscious of taking the approach where you have stay hungry and keep trying to get better. Any time you get content, I think that’s where you have a chance to slip up and people are going to pass you by.”