Vancouver, BC – The UBC Thunderbirds men’s basketball team (0-2) will be looking to bounce back this weekend as they pay a visit to Edmonton to face the University of Alberta (3-1) for a pair of games.
The Thunderbirds are coming off a pair of hard fought losses to No.8 Victoria last week on home court.
Meanwhile, the Golden Bears completed the weekend sweep of Trinity Western this past weekend after splitting the previous weekend with Saskatchewan. They are the defending Canada West Champions and earned a bronze medal at the 2014 CIS Championships.
So far this season Alberta has relied on the tandem of Joel Friesen and Mamadou Gueye offensively. Both are averaging 18.2 points per game, while guard Kenneth Otieno has chipped in with 13.5 points per game. Gone is last year’s Canada West Most Valuable Player Jordan Baker who graduated and is now playing pro in Germany.
The Thunderbirds have more of a balanced attack with six players averaging at least eight or more points per game. Tommy Nixon leads the way with18.0 points per game through the opening weekend of the season. The Thunderbirds hope to have guard Kedar Wright back in the line up as well. A member of last year’s Canada West All-Rookie team, Wright missed the opening weekend of play due to injury.
UBC head coach Kevin Hanson and Alberta head coach Barnaby Craddock are very familiar with one another. Craddock played for Hanson at Langara College before going on to a coaching career which has seen him as the head coach at Brandon University, the University of Fraser Valley, and now Alberta where he is in his third season at the helm of the program.
Last year the Thunderbirds pushed the Golden Bears to the brink of elimination, losing in game three of the best-of-three series in the Canada West quarter-final.
Tip off on Friday night is set for 7:00 pm PST and 6:00 pm PSt on Saturday night. Both games will be held at the Saville Community Sports Centre and can be watched live via webcast at canadawest.tv.