Heat men will open season at home in the UBC Okanagan gymnasium with first games against Spartans since the 2013/14 season. Tip-off on Friday at 8 p.m., second game Saturday at 7 p.m.

KELOWNA, B.C – The UBC Okanagan men’s basketball team will begin their season this coming weekend at home and will be looking to start off with a win when they start their 2016-17 season by hosting Trinity Western University this weekend. The two B.C. squads will open the weekend on Friday (Nov. 4) with a game that will tip-off at 8 p.m. The second game between the two teams will be played Saturday (Nov. 5) with a start time of 7 p.m. Both the games will take place at the UBC Okanagan gymnasium.

2015-16 Season – The Heat finished their previous season with their best record to date since entering Canada West in 2011. The eight wins was good enough for the Heat to claim the fifth place in the Explorer Division.

No longer exploring — With the two year experiment of split divisions in Canada West now over and a new format in place the Heat will look forward to competing against traditional rivals every year and then play half of the other 12 teams every other year. Those 12 teams will each visit UBC Okanagan once every four years, and UBCO will conversely visit every one of their non-traditional schools every four seasons.

The four rival schools that UBC Okangan will play every year are: TRU, UBC, Faser Valley and Victoria.

Pre-Season – The men’s basketball team has played six tough games in their pre-season, winning only one game and losing five of those games. The Heat are looking to improve their play as the enter the first week of regular season games.

Key performer:  Mitch Goodwin (G/5) – Goodwin is entering his 5th year of eligibility and finished the last season with a 41.4 field goal percentage and 92 rebounds. With his final season with the Heat beginning, this Kelowna Secondary product will be looking to provide offense and leadership once again for his team. Coming into the 2016/17 season, Mitch Goodwin is 12 points away from becoming the Heat men’s all-time leading scorer. He has accumulated 1012 points over his four seasons with the program, and with just 17 points needed he will likely pass Matt Gowing (1028 points) early in the season for the school record.

Key Stat – The Heat had an impressive 74.7 free throw percentage in their previous season, putting them fifth in Canada West. Averaging 67.2 points per game last season, the Heat will be eager to improve upon their scoring from the field as they finished last season at the end of the pack in that category.

Head Coach – Pete Guarasci ( 5th season)

Head to Head : With their last regular season head to head in the Heat’s 2013-14 season, the Spartans currently lead (5-1). Last outing: UBCO 70 TWU 92 / Sat. Jan. 18, 2014.

2015/16 regular season ranks:
Offence: 67.2 ppg, 17th
Defence: 71.3 papg, T2nd

2015-16 CW regular season leaders:
Points per game: 14.4 – Aldrich Berrios, G
Assists per game: 2.5 – Aldrich Berrios, G
Rebounds per game: 4.8 – Dean Johnston, P
Blocks per game: 0.4 – Cam Servatius, G

Key additions (name / position / eligibility / hometown / last team):
Matt LaFontaine / G / 1 / Kelowna, BC / Kelowna Secondary
Triston Matthews / G / 1 / West Vancouver, BC / Sentinel
Justin Melnychuk / G / 1 / Kamloops, BC / St. Ann’s
Nav Sandhu / G/G / 1 / Kelowna, BC / Kelowna Secondary
Key losses (name / position / hometown / years with program):
Randall Mosca / G / Calgary, AB / 1
Cameron Servatius / G / Chilliwack, BC / 2
Dean Johnston / F / Port Coquitlam / 2

Trinity Western University – The Spartans begin their season on the road as they will travel to Kelowna this weekend (November 4 and 5). The Spartans finished a tough 2015-16 campaign and will be looking to rebound when they visit UBC Okanagan this weekend.

2015-16 Season – The previous conference saw the Spartans  finish with only one win and 19 losses, placing them last in the Pioneers division last season.

Preseason – The preseason has seen the Spartans win three games and  five losses from the eight games they have played before their season begins. The exhibition schedule saw them beat the VIU Mariners twice, the Heat’s only win the preseason was also against the Mariners.

Key performer  Vartan Tanielian (G / 3 / White Rock, BC) – Tanielian will be one of the key leaders for a new-look Spartans side. With 10 incoming players on this year’s roster, Tanielian is one of a small group on this year’s team that has Canada West experience. Last year, Tanielian averaged 8.2 points per game, but this year, the Lebanese-born guard will have an expanded role and much will be expected from the former White Rock Christian Academy star.

preseason preview courtesy of Canadawest.org

2015/16 regular season ranks:
Offence: 72.3 ppg, 11th
Defence: 91.5 papg, 17th

2015-16 CW regular season leaders:
Points per game: 18.3 – Lucas Mannes, G
Assists per game: 3.5 – Lucas Mannes, G
Rebounds per game: 6.0 – Lucas Mannes, G
Blocks per game: 1.2 – Patrick Vandervelden, F

Key additions (name / position / eligibility / hometown / last team):
Pogos Trunyan / G / 4 / Sacramento, Calif. / Bellevue University
Max Viitala / F / 3 / Melbourne, Australia / Ambrose University
Tee Mayberry / F / 3 / Pasadena, Calif. / Los Angeles Valley College
Key losses (name / position / hometown / years with program):
Kelvin Smith / F / Los Angeles / 3
Lucas Mannes / G / Chilliwack, B.C. / 2
CIS National Ranking: N/A
CanWest Standings: N/A
Last week: N/A
Streak: N/A
2015-16 CW Regular Season Record: 1-19, 10th in Pioneer Division
2015-16 CW Playoff Record: N/A
2015-16 Overall Record: 1-19
Last CW Title/Total CW Titles: none
Last CIS Title/Total CIS Titles: none