By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
November 28, 2013, VICTORIA (ISN) – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball team is the only school from B.C. currently nationally ranked at No. 3. This weekend Victoria will look to maintain their current 8-0 record and Pacific Division crown with a pair of road games against Trinity Western, Nov. 29-30. The Spartans are currently 4-4, while the Vikes have remained in the top-5 for all five opening CIS top 10 polls.
It may seem as though the Vikes have cruised to their perfect record of eight wins but it has been an up-and-down season for the Victoria squad that has battled injury, illness and the as-always competitive Canada West conference. This past weekend the Vikes showed how their conference-topping scoring defence could be lethal, currently averaging 55.9 points-per-game. The Vikes also top the Canada West in rebounding defence, averaging 47.5 per-game.
Fifth-year forward Terrell Evans is sixth in the conference for scoring with an average of 18 points-per-game. The Yakima College-transfer is also third in steals (2.1), third in three-point percentage (.548) and seventh in defensive rebounds (5.5). Fourth-year post Chris McLaughlin is also a consistent performer and is currently listed as eighth for conference scoring (15.9), sixth in rebounding (7.5) and third in free throw percentage (.889).
The Vikes have relied heavily on their defence, which is without question captained by third year Reiner Theil. The West Vancouver native has been tasked to guard every opponent’s top player to date and has averaged 5.9 rebounds-per-game, while logging 31.8 minutes-per-game.
With the temporary point guard absence of third year but first-year Vike Marcus Tibbs, two-time defending Canada West Coach of the Year, Craig Beaucamp, has leaned heavily on performances of Kyle Peterson and Mack Roth to fill the gaps. Peterson led the Vikes in last weekend’s 62-51 win over Manitoba impressing the home crowd with a game-high 20 points and going three-for-six from beyond the arc. Roth has also been a dominating outside force currently 12-for-40 from three-point land in eight games, while averaging 10.3 points-per-game.
This weekend the Vikes will face the forces of the Trinity Western Spartans who are split 4-4 in their opening Canada West campaign. Following the road series, the Vikes will head to California over the December break, facing Biola and Concordia for exhibition match ups on Dec. 30 and 31, respectively. Upon their return the Vikes will host the No. 7 Saskatchewan Huskies and No. 4 Alberta Golden Bears on Jan. 10-11 at McKinnon Gymnasium.
SCOUTING THE TRINITY WESTERN SPARTANS
2013-14 Current Record: 4-4
2012-13 conference record: 12-10 (3rd Pacific)
2013 playoffs: 1-2
Key additions: Anthony Ottley, Robert Rodriguez, Kelvin Smith, Tyus Allen, Jesse Jeffers
Key returnees: Mark Perrin, Denny McDonald, Taylor Heinrichs
Key departures: Tristan Smith, Tonner Jackson
Last Meeting: Nov. 17, 2012 (W 77-63)
This season, Trinity Western have lost some leadership on the court as veteran guards Tristan Smith and Tonner Jackson have departed but they have several new additions to make up the lost talent. Transferring from Durham College, Anthony Ottley leads the Spartans in scoring followed by veteran forward Denny McDonald with 10.9 and 10.6 points per game, respectively. Last weekend, after a loss to No. 4 Alberta, Trinity Western came back from a 16-point deficit to edge the previously unbeaten and No. 5 ranked Saskatchewan Huskies 75-73.
The Vikes will play the Spartans on Nov. 29 at 8 p.m. and on Nov. 30 at 5:30 p.m. Both games will be broadcast live at http://canadawest.tv.