The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s basketball team will be looking to impress as they have their Canada West home opener this weekend.
The WolfPack will be on the Warner Rentals Court at the Tournament Capital Centre as they play host to the University of Victoria Vikes.
Both Friday and Saturday (Nov 9 and 10) have tip offs at 7 pm.
The WolfPack are 1 and 1 going into the weekend while Victoria is 1 and 3.
Last year the two teams met in Victoria with the WolfPack winning their first tonight 86-82 in overtime (Jan 5, 2018) and taking the second night 81-77 (Jan 6, 2018).
Thompson Rivers is coming off a bye week where they took on the Northwest University Eagles (NAIA) of Kirkland, Washington. The WolfPack lost by eight: 97-89.
Date: Fri Nov 9/ Sat Nov 10 Time: 7 PM PDT both nights
Location: Warner Rentals Court, Tournament Capital Centre, Kamloops, BC
TRU Record: 1-1 Last year 11-9 (tied 6th) at home last year 5-5
UVIC Record: 1-3 Last year 10-10 (tied 8th) on the road last year 10-1
Important Game Notes:
The Pack have the three top three point percent shooters in Canada West going into weekend play. Madhu McConnell (3rd year, Victoria, BC) is shooting 100 per cent. Yonathan Michael (3rd year, guard, Seattle, WA) and Michael Rouault (4th year, guard, Vernon, BC) are next at 66.7 per cent.
James Matthews will handle the play by play with former TRU player Vince Watson providing color commentary. Dylana Milobar will be the host on Canada West TV. It is a pay-per-view service.
Thoughts from WolfPack head coach Scott Clark :
- Can you comment on the ‘uniqueness’ surrounding a home opener? “ We played only one exhibition game at home this year. Getting to play a meaningful game in a place you know and being able to sleep in your own bed is great. It is great to play in front of your friends and family.”
- In the past, have you noticed that young players are a little more ‘amped’ going into the home opener—whether it is their first experience or not? “Everybody is anxious to play their home opener. You always have an ‘edge’ to you and should in conference play. Each and every conference game is so valuable. You want to put the best foot forward.”
- What did you get out of playing the exhibition game last weekend? “It was a good game for us. We played well in some areas and in some areas we did not. It is great that you play and have video to show the guys as you move on hoping you can get better in some areas. They were a good team. The rules were a bit different and they might have helped us. The 30 second clock allowed us to work a little more on our offense. Defensively, you have to concentrate a little bit longer and harder. Those things made the experience good for us.”
- Thoughts on Victoria: “They are very well coached. They have a big veteran class. They have four, five six fifth year guys. They are well aware of what the coach wants. They can execute what the coach is asking them to do. They have had mixed results. But they have had some injuries and played some very good opponents (Carleton—traditionally U SPORTS power house, Ryerson—last year’s U SPORTS silver medalists and UBC—who is a top five team this year nationally). They have played four games against top five competition. They have played well in those games. We will have to be full value in order to get the result we want. For us, it is just about us doing our job. We have to let go of winning and losing. We need to stay in the moment in terms of preparation and the game. If you just let go of those things and your job, the score will take care of itself. It might be a win. It might not be. If you play well but the other team is better than you that day, that happens. That is what I would like to see at this point of the season.”
Players to Watch:
Anton Bilous (4th year, guard, Cherkassy, Ukraine): leads the team in scoring averaging 14.5 points per game.
Joe Davis (4th year, forward, Kamloops, BC): the Westyde grad leads the team in scoring with a 13 point per game average. He is also averaging 4.5 rebounds per game (third on the team)
Derek Rhodes (5th year, forward, Antioch,CA): He is tied with Sam Taylor Parks (4th year middle, Kelowna, BC) for the team led with three service aces.
Michael Rouault (4th year, guard, Vernon, BC): Leads the team in rebounds averaging six per game.
Jordan Charles (5th year, guard, Victoria, BC): leads the Vikes in scoring averaging 14.8 points per game,
Mason Loewen (5th year, guard, Victoria,BC): is second on the Vikes in scoring averaging 14.8 points per game. He also leads the team in rebounds averaging eight per game.