Men’s b-ball poised for redemption

The Lancer men’s basketball team look upon last year’s enviable first place finish in regular season of the OUA West division and a trip to the Final Four in the provincial championship Wilson Cup, as a season that needs to be redeemed.

Kim Elliott

Reporter

The Lancer men’s basketball team look upon last year’s enviable first place finish in regular season of the OUA West division and a trip to the Final Four in the provincial championship Wilson Cup, as a season that needs to be redeemed.

That’s because even by their own standards the men’s basketball team had all of the veteran leadership, sophomore role players, and first rate rookie potentials to at least win the Provincial Championship if not the National Crown. In fact their season started with a decisive comeback victory of the eventual national champion Carleton Ravens and perennial CIS powerhouse.

After a very successful preseason against D1 teams from South of the border, and three consecutive wins over top ranked competition from the Canadian prairies, Coach Chris Oliver and his veterans look forward to a promising season for the blue and gold.

“We have a solid veteran foundation and we have been working to blend our newcomers in and bring them up to our standards. The [preseason] process has been positive and enjoyable. This has been a very productive group to coach,” said Oliver.

At the end of last year’s sudden exit from the final four (largely due to the injury of starting point guard Josh Collins) fifth year senior and co-captain Lien Phillip, who averages double figures in points and rebounds as the mainstay of the Lancers’ offense and defense, said “Although I was personally recognized as a member of the All Canadian team at the National Championship Tournament, it would’ve been nicer to be there with my team. I definitely felt we deserved to be there.”

Josh Collins who is also a fifth year veteran and co-captain, returning starting point guard, who was selected to the OUA West 2nd all-star team said “Although things didn’t pan out for us at the end of last year, it’s very realistic for us to compete for a championship at the provincial and national level. We have a great mix of older and younger guys. Especially younger guys who can do some things offensively and defensively that some of the exiting players could not do consistently. So we are much deeper and I believe our best is definitely yet to come. As for me personally, of course I must remain free of injury.”

Other key returnees are shooting second team all-star guard Enricho Diloreto, and sophomore forwards Evan Mathews, Rotimi Osuntola Jr. and Ismar Seferagic who must all assist the coaching staff in providing the leadership necessary to win at the next level for their role players and promising rookies.

Look for a smarter, faster Lancers team that understand that “speed beats power” and taking down the heavy weights in the league.

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