PacWest Week 5 Power Rankings – A new #1 emerges

angara’s win over VIU on Saturday lifts them up in this week’s rankings. - Brian Jones Photo

angara’s win over VIU on Saturday lifts them up in this week’s rankings. – Brian Jones Photo

Only one change in this week’s Power Rankings, but it’s a major one.

VIU, who held the number-one spot in the rankings for the first four weeks of the season, has dropped to the number-two spot, trading places with Langara after the Falcons beat the Mariners 102-85 at home in Vancouver on Saturday.

VIU didn’t look as strong as usual against Douglas the night before, escaping with an 83-79 win, and then had a lot of trouble trying to keep up with the surging Falcons the following afternoon.

Langara has been on a terror since shedding their only loss to Quest in week two. The Falcons have eclipsed the 100-point mark in each of their last five bouts, and in six of eight total games so far this season.

“I would say we’re right on track. We’re just now figuring out how to use our bench effectively,” said Langara’s head coach Paul Eberhardt. “We had a much better idea how to use our bench last year than this year, but we’re starting to get good rotations and guys are figuring out how to play with each other. I’m happy where we’re at, but we still have a long way to go.”

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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.

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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.

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PacWest Week 1 Recap and Power Rankings

Pacwest

The college basketball season is upon us!

The PacWest kicked off regular season play this weekend with each team playing one game apiece, and while there were no thrilling victories or buzzer-beater finishes, it gave everyone a chance to crank it up a notch from the preseason.

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Ram leads Kwantlen past CBC in home opener

Kwantlen guard Aaron Ram lays in two of his game-high 38 points on Friday night versus Columbia Bible College. - Matt Bossons Photo

Kwantlen guard Aaron Ram lays in two of his game-high 38 points on Friday night versus Columbia Bible College. – Matt Bossons Photo

It’s always hard to gain a quality perspective on a team after just their first game of the season – especially when it’s against a perennial bottom-feeder – so I’m going to try not to jump to any quick conclusions.

But on Friday night, the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Eagles impressed a packed house with a 100-89 win over the Columbia Bible College Bearcats.

Aaron Ram led all scorers with 38 points on 14 for 27 shooting, including three from long range and 7-8 from the charity stripe.

“I know he had a really good game, but in my mind, I expected that,” said Kwantlen head coach Stefon Wilson. “It’s his third year, he’s a good player, so I expected him to play well. He won’t statistically play like that every night, but he hit some shots, and I expected him to have the game he did.”

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PacWest Preview: Kwantlen Polytechnic University Eagles

Ali Bosir leads a revamped Kwantlen Eagles squad in 2013-14. - Brian Jones Photo

Ali Bosir leads a revamped Kwantlen Eagles squad in 2013-14. – Brian Jones Photo

Regular-season record: 7-14

Provincial tournament: Did not qualify

Key returning players:

  • Ali Bosir (5th year)
  • Aaron Ram (3rd year)
  • Nii-Nortey Engmann (4th year)
  • Gurpal Mann (3rd year)
  • Spencer Machin (2nd year)
  • Ruiz Rivera (2nd year)

Transfers:

  • Devan Haynes (4th year)
  • Dustin Egelstad (3rd year)

Key losses:

  • Chris Arcangel
  • Jag Takhar
  • Tristan Gruenthaler

Rookies:

  • Devonté Pierce
  • Obiajulu Henry Udevi-Aruevoru
  • George Mija
  • Marlon Gallimore

One man does not win a basketball game.

Maybe he can explode one night and lift his team to a W, but to sustain a one-man show for the entirety of a four-month season is foolhardy. One man does not win a game, and often, neither does five.

Last year, the Kwantlen Eagles’ fourth-year centre Ali Bosir had to shoulder the load largely on his own. Bosir finished atop the PacWest leaderboards in both scoring and rebounding, while often putting in a full 40 minutes of work despite nagging injuries.

But this year, Kwantlen has added a wealth of support, easing the breadth of responsibilities and expectations that Bosir had to endure last season.

The Eagles have gained two veteran transfers from Douglas – third year forward Dustin Egelstad and fourth-year big man Devan Haynes.

“When you look at those guys, you know what to expect,” said head coach Stefon Wilson about the ex-Royals. “In my opinion, the holes we had were in our rebounding and in our depth. I think those were two issues that we had to fix from a recruiting standpoint.”

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Eagles down Kermodes – move on to PacWest semifinals

Kwantlen forward Christina Brown drives past Quest guard Shayna Cameron during Thursday's quarterfinal game on Thursday, Feb. 28. - Matt Bossons Photo.

Kwantlen forward Christina Brown drives past Quest guard Shayna Cameron during Thursday’s quarterfinal game on Thursday, Feb. 28. – Matt Bossons Photo.

One down, two to go.

With a 64-48 win over the Quest University Kermodes, the Kwantlen Eagles women have punched a ticket to tonight’s semifinal bout against the top-ranked Capilano University Blues.

But despite getting that first W, no weight or pressure has been lifted off of the Eagles. If anything, the monkey on their back has become a gorilla.

“It’s one game at a time. It’s been our theme this year of not filling in the blank with either we’re gonna win or we’re gonna lose,” said Kwantlen’s head coach Dan Nayebzadeh. “Just go out and play as hard as we can and let the chips fall as they may.”

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