KELOWNA, B.C. – The long season will come to an end this weekend for the men’s basketball team, and UBC Okanagan would love to add another win or two in the win column to finish up 2012 with a bang.
The 2-14 Heat will play in Kamloops Saturday night at 7 p.m., with the game scheduled for the Tournament Capital Centre when they play their first game of the year versus the 5-11 WolfPack. The Heat will then turn around and host the same ‘Pack at home Sunday at 6 p.m., on the hardwood at UBC’s Okanagan campus.
Sunday is the final home game and as such the Heat will honour two graduating players, Simon Pelland and Steve Morrison.
Sunday the Heat will also be hosting their basketball games with KidSport BC. There are many activities planned during the games to promote KidSport, and the Heat will also be donating $50 to KidSport for every three pointer made. For the hockey fans in the crowd there will be a giveaway featuring an Alex Burrows autographed jersey. The Heat players will also be giving away autographed items, including the CIS game balls at the end of the competition.
For more info on the great work KidSport does please visit their website: http://www.kidsportcanada.ca/
If you can’t be there you can watch the games live at: www.canadawest.tv.
Saturday, February 11 – The UBC Okanagan Heat versus the Thompson Rivers WolfPack (7 p.m. at the Tournament Capital Centre, Kamloops, B.C.)
Sunday, February 12 – The UBC Okanagan Heat host the Thompson Rivers WolfPack (6 p.m. at UBC’s Okanagan campus Gymnasium, Kelowna, B.C.)
Both games will be streamed with live video: www.canadawest.tv
CIS National Ranking: N/A
CanWest Standings: 6th in the Pacific division
Last Week: 0-2; Fri 76-49 loss to UVic, Sat 68-39 loss to UVic
Streak: 8 losses
2011 CanWest Record: N/A
2011 CanWest Championship: N/A
2011 CIS Tournament: N/A
Last CanWest Title: N/A
Last CIS Title: N/A
Weekend in Review: The Heat hosted the Vikes last weekend and the team’s shooting woes continued as the team shot 31.7% on Friday in their loss (76-49). Saturday was even a tougher night on Heat shooters, hitting only on one of four shots taken in the defeat (68-39).
Canada West individual stat leaders: Guard Yassine Ghomari (3rd year, Vancouver, BC) is seventh in free throws (65-81 .802), ninth in scoring (16.9 points per game average) and 14th in assists (2.8 per game). Another third year player, Ed Dane Medi (Wing, Rome, IT) is sixth in blocked shots (0.9 per game).
Head-to-head: Despite their relative closeness between campuses (close in Canada West anyway), the squads have not faced each other this year, and just played on scrimmage last season.
Budding rivalry – not quite there yet:
While Scott Clark (TRU coach) is hopeful that this weekend will be the start of a good rivalry between the schools (similar to everything in sports involving Kamloops and Kelowna), the fact remains that his team wants to finish the season with two victories. “ Our goal remains the same: to be a better basketball team this season that we were last and to win our next basketball game,” explains Clark.
The WolfPack and Heat, due to their locations, are travel partners. UBC Okanagan coach Darren Semeniuk likes finishing up playing his travel partner: “I think it’s a good balance. If you look at the schedules across the conference, it’s usually a home and home. So to have one game at home against that rival is always good every single year. I know our guys are going to be up for it, so I’m excited.
“Generally speaking, when you play your travel partner it’s kind of a natural rivalry. A lot of times, us and TRU recruit the same kids, we’re in the same region, so there’s that underlying competition there.”
Coaches’ reflections on the season, highs and lows, accomplishments: “The highs for sure are the games that we really competed in. With a young team, an inexperienced team, you really have to put it together the right way to compete against these teams that have been around for a while. So our highs are for sure the games we were able to do that in. In terms of overall season picture, it’s been a really good group of guys,” points out Semeniuk. “It’s not an easy season, to be a program in your first year in CIS, there’s a lot of frustration here and there, and sometimes you feel the work you put in isn’t really benefiting the team all the time because you’re just up against tough competition all the time. These guys have had really good perspective all year, they’ve kept a good balance of being competitive … and staying focused on the things that got us to where we are right now.”
What it means to close out the season at home: “It’s pretty special. It’s some of the graduating players’ last year, so it’s their last chance in front of the home crowd.”
Seniors night: Two players from the men’s basketball team will be honoured for their careers at UBC Okanagan Sunday night. Both players share a bond with a similar short bio. Simon Pelland is a post player from Argyle Secondary in North Vancouver, Steve Morrison is also a post player from Argyle Secondary in North Vancouver. The other similarity is that both student-athletes only played basketball at UBC Okanagan, but their paths to Semeniuk’s team are a bit different. Simon is finishing his fifth year of eligibility playing five straight years for the school, his rookie season being in 2007 / 08. Morrison graduated with a UBC management degree last spring and has spent the last year grabbing prerequisites and taking his LSAT, but has maxed out his playing career after four years of playing – in Law school playing varsity sports is just not viable.
Simon came straight to UBC Okanagan straight out of Argyle Secondary, and in his 4 years in the BCCAA finished with every colour of Provincial medal and competed in two national championships. Simon’s career has to be highlighted by his fifth and final year. In the advanced competition of the CIS Pelland is one of the few players who can say he did better at the more difficult league, increasing his per game scoring output from an average 4.87 to 9.94.
Steve Morrison is a year older than Simon and the pair only played together in Steve’s grade twelve year in high school. Steve did not pursue basketball out of high school, instead focusing on academics when he entered the Commerce program at UVic. After two years of ‘Rec’ ball Morrison longed to suit up for a University team and decided to attend UBC Okanagan. It did not take long for Morrison’s skills to become evident to coach Semeniuk, who had Morrison in the starting lineup by Christmas in his rookie season. The team took off with Morrison in the starting role and finished the 2008 / 09 season as provincial champions, knocking off the undefeated Mariners in an exciting final. Morrison also took home several individual awards in his rookie year. He was named a provincial tournament all-star and his coaches voted him as the team’s best defensive player. He was named a CCAA National scholar for both the 2009/10 academic year and the 2010/11 season. In 2010 / 11 Steve was named by his coaches as the best defensive player as well as being named on the BCCAA Provincial Academic award of excellence.
This weekend’s Matchup:
THOMPSON RIVERS WOLFPACK (5-11)
CIS National Ranking: N/A
CanWest Standings: 5th in the Pacific Division
Last Week: 2 losses; Fri 89-77 loss to TWU, Sat 97-92 loss to TWU
Streak: 7 losses
2011 CanWest Record: 4-20 (13th, missed playoffs)
2011 playoffs: N/A
Last CanWest Title: N/A
Last CIS Title: N/A
Weekend in review: Both the Heat and TRU have failed to make the Canada West post season in 2011-12. TRU goes into the final weekend of the regular season with a record of 5 and 11 having lost both to the suddenly surging Trinity Western Spartans last weekend.
Backwards streaking: The WolfPack have lost 7 in a row, while the Heat are mired in a similarly long winless streak after dropping their last 8.
Players to watch: Fifth year Chas Kok enters his final weekend fourth in the Canada West in minutes played (34.4), seventh in scoring (18.8 points average), seventh in defensive rebounds (6.2 per game) and 13th in the league in three point field goals made (1.8).
Justin King (3rd year, forward, Las Vegas, NV) leads the league in scoring (23.7 points per game). He is first in defensive rebounds (8.6 per game), second in free throws (47-87 .885), fifth in minutes played (34.4) and 13th in both steals (1.9 average) and field goal percent (.508).
Kevin Pribilsky (4th year, guard, Victoria, BC) is second in minutes played (34.6), sixth in three point field goals made (2.2 per game), seventh in assists (3.8 per game) and 11th in three point field goal percent (.389).
Akeem Pierre (3rd year, guard, Calgary, AB) is 13th in offensive rebounds (2.1 per game).
Coach Semeniuk’s scout on the ‘Pack: “They run the ball through a couple guys,” explains Darren. “Justin King and Chas Kok are two of the highest scoring guys across our conference. They do a good job of getting these guys the ball, and getting good scoring opportunities. Our defense has to be geared around stifling their action and making sure they don’t hurt us too bad. They’ve shown that if they get loose they can put up numbers in the thirties, and even the forties, so we’ve got to be careful there.”
Graduating from the ‘Pack: Chas Kok will be honoured by TRU Saturday night in the ‘Pack’s final home game.
Preseason info from Canada West
THOMPSON RIVERS WOLFPACK
Key additions: Justin King (forward), Akeem Pierre (guard), Will Ondrik (forward)
Key returnees: Chas Kok (forward), Kevin Pribilsky (guard), Brett Rouault (guard), Brett Parker (guard)
Key departure: Greg Stewart (post)
KAMLOOPS, BC – Scott Clark enters his second year at the helm of the Thompson Rivers WolfPack with only four returnees who helped set school records for the most wins in a season since the ‘Pack entered Canada West play six years ago.
Chas Kok, Kevin Pribilsky, Brett Parker and Brett Rouault are the key members returning. All were major contributors last season. In fact, Pribilsky and Kok led the Canada West in minutes played last season.
Justin King was the MVP of the NAACC last year with Skagit Valley Community College. Clark has also recruited heavily from the BC high school ranks with an eye to establishing a long term program which has the cornerstones of hard work, good grades and developing the best student/athletes they can.
High school recruits coming in to help turn the WolfPack program around include Mike Zayas, Zac Usherwood, Will Ondrik, Derek Wolf and Richard Bos. Another player expected to be a leader is Akeem Pierre, who sat out last year after playing two seasons at UBC. He is a grad of the highly touted R.C.Palmer high school program.
- With notes from Larry Read (Sports Information Officer, WolfPack Athletics)