Road Back to the national ChampionshipOnce a month Nick Wiebe, a senior on the men’s basketball team, will be writing a first-person account of the Cougars’ season and the team’s experience trying to win its second straight national title.
Program: Arts & Science
The first half of the season is well underway and the team is progressing nicely.
I will start with what we have gone through so far: Coach (Marc) Dobell has brought in some new faces which included transfers and recruits.
|Veteran forward, Nick Wiebe will be writing a missive once a month as the 2008 national champion Cougar's basketball team work to earn back-to-back titles.|
The transfers include Brennen Fule from the U of C, and NAIT transfer Jerome Makasiar. Both programs are nationally recognized and their experience and talent have already proven a bonus.
They are also joined by new recruits Chase Rickaby from BC, Olawafemi Ogun from Nigeria, Calgary’s David Thygesen, Abrar Lateef, and James Igbokoyi.
Returnees include Brett Kobe, Chris Armstrong, Nick Loewen, Cam Dodd, Steve Trinidad, Ian Tomaszewski, Trent Offereins, and me, Nick Wiebe; it is altogether a good blend of new and old.
The team has so far faced a steep learning curve and we have encountered some hiccups and bumps along the way. This was evident in the pre-season when we were 6-4, dropping games to NAIT (currently ranked 2nd in Canada), SAIT (ranked 10th in Canada), Grant MacEwan (ranked 15th in Canada), and lastly Vancouver Island (7th in Canada).
With the exception of VIU, all these games were very close. We were presented with many opportunities to come out on top but just didn’t take them when we had the chance.
Despite our losses, the pre-season taught us some very valuable lessons and showed us where improvements are needed, not only individually but also as a team.
The way I see it, it is better to get some things out of the way early on (such as losing and finding where our weak spots are) rather than trying to figure them out later in the season.
The new guys are fitting into their roles nicely and the returning players are picking up the slack that resulted from the departure of last year’s players and injuries (namely, me).
We have really pulled it together recently though and are looking poised to be a dominant force in the ACAC this year.
Our league record so far is 4-0 with some big games coming up in the next few weeks including versus Red Deer next week, SAIT and Medicine Hat to close out the first half.
Until next time
— Nick Wiebe, Nov. 12, 2009