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.”
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.
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.
Brody Greig – perhaps the most entertaining player to watch in the PacWest – puts up his patented floater over Harp Randhawa during last season’s provincial tournament. – Brian Jones Photo
Regular-season record: 20-1
Provincial tournament: Gold medallists
National tournament: Bronze medallists
Key returning players:
Brody Greig (4th year)
Jitt Lohcham (4th year)
Elliot Mason (4th year)
Glen Ruby (4rd year)
Garrett Ling-Lee (4th year)
Daniel Hobden (4th year)
Matt Madewan (4th year)
Martin Appiah (2nd year)
Manpreet Parmar (2nd year)
Max Neumann (1st year –University of Alberta red shirt in ’12-’13)
Daniel Kim (2nd year – Douglas College)
Jesse Jeffers (Trinity Western University)
Devin McMurtry (University of Northern British Columbia)
Jeff Chu (University of Northern British Columbia)
Jamie Madewan (R.C. Palmer Secondary)
Jesse Mushiana (Winston Churchill Secondary)
Devante Williams (Northview Heights – Toronto)
Nick Jhauj (Red shirt – Enver Creek Secondary)
There’s been an emerging theme so far in the PacWest; forget the past, and this is a whole new season.
No such words of wisdom are more true for the Langara Falcons – who look to put their nearly-flawless season in the rearview as they gear up for another run at the provincial and national titles.
In 2012-13, the Falcons lost just one regular season matchup – a 102-100 loss to CBC that ended with Bearcats guard Kevin Ford banking in a three with just 1.8 seconds left in regulation. Before that CBC game, Langara began the season with 12-straight wins, and rattled off another 11 victories thereafter – a streak that stretched from January 25 to March 14, included a PacWest provincial title, as well as an opening-round win at nationals.
But then the wheels fell off an almost-perfect crafted vehicle, as PEI’s Holland College upset the surging Falcons in the national semifinals. Not quite ready to throw away everything they had worked towards, Langara battled back the next day, beating Red Deer and Sheridan to claim bronze.