Dinos Henry Bekkering Flies In Vs. U of A

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 6:58 pm


Tyler Fidler Named Canada West Rookie of the Year

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 6:57 pm

CALGARY – University of Calgary freshman guard Tyler Fidler was named the Canada West rookie of the year as the conference announced its 2007-08 men’s basketball all-stars and award winners.

A 6’9”, 200-pound two-man from Calgary’s Western Canada High School, Fidler was the sixth man for the Dinos most of the season and started four games at the end of the year. He averaged 9.9 points off the bench for the Dinos, who completed their best season since 1976 with a record of 18-4.

Calgary hosts the Canada West Final Four this weekend in the Jack Simpson Gym after sweeping the Alberta Golden Bears in the division final last week.

“Tyler was the top high school recruit to stay in Canada last year, and he’s done nothing but meet our expectations,” said Dinos coach Dan Vanhooren. “He has some national team experience, and we’re thrilled that he’s gotten this recognition. We hope he can continue to play well and gain further recognition at the national level.”

Fidler selected to join the Dinos after entertaining several offers from other Canada West schools and the NCAA.

In addition to his scoring, he was a force defensively for Calgary, finishing second on the team in both blocked shots (21) and steals (41) despite averaging just 21.7 minutes per game. Those stats placed him ninth in the conference in blocks and 11th in steals.

A communications student, Fidler will become the conference’s nominee for the CIS rookie of the year award, which will be handed out at the national championship in Ottawa Mar. 14-16.

He is the first Dinos player to be named the conference rookie of the year since Chris Harris in 1998.

Forward Henry Bekkering was also recognized by the Canada West coaches as a second-team conference all-star.

Bekkering, who transferred to Calgary from Eastern Washington of the NCAA this season, averaged just over 20 points per game to lead the team in scoring. He led Canada West in points scored with 463 on the season, connecting on 51.5 per cent of his field goal attempts. The highest scoring player on the highest scoring team in Canada, Bekkering also finished third in the conference in offensive rebounds (67) and routinely brought crowds to their feet with remarkable athletic plays and highlight-reel dunks.

“Henry certainly deserves the recognition and has significantly justified it,” said Vanhooren. “He’s also a team guy playing with a very talented group of players, and he has handled the recognition very graciously. He is entirely team-oriented and not selfish at all, and we’re glad to have him.”

Alberta guard Alex Steele was named the conference player of the year, while David Yul Michel of the Brandon Bobcats earned defensive player of the year honours. Matt Opalko of the Winnipeg Wesmen is the conference’s nominee for the Ken Shields award (student-athlete community service), and 25-year Alberta veteran Don Horwood was named the Canada West coach of the year.


2007-08 Canada West Men’s Basketball All-Stars & Awards

Award Winners

Player of the year – Alex Steele, Alberta
Rookie of the year – Tyler Fidler, Calgary
Defensive player of the year – David Yul Michel, Brandon
Ken Shields Award nominee – Matt Opalko, Winnipeg
Coach of the year – Don Horwood, Alberta

First All-Star Team
Alex Steele, Alberta
Erfan Nasajpour, Winnipeg
Andrew Spagrud, Saskatchewan
Greg Wallis, Simon Fraser
Dany Charlery, Brandon

Second All-Star Team

Henry Bekkering, Calgary
Chris Dyck, UBC
Adam Hartman, Brandon
Isaac Ansah, Manitoba
Tyler Haas, Victoria

Dinos Capture Central Division Title

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 6:55 pm

CALGARY – The fourth-ranked Calgary Dinos certainly picked the right moment to play their best game of the season as they took a convincing 90-66 decision over the Alberta Golden Bears Saturday night.

The Dinos clinched the Central Division title with the victory following an 87-78 win in Friday’s series opener.

“’Wow’ is probably a good explanation of it,” said Calgary coach Dan Vanhooren following the contest. “That was the best basketball game we’ve played all year. It shows we’re peaking at the right time.”

After a sloppy first-half effort on Friday, the Dinos broke open a tight game late in the opening quarter with a 7-0 run and never looked back, taking a 23-16 lead into the first break. The run was highlighted by a block from Ross Bekkering (3rd year, Taber, Alta.), turning the ball over to Calgary. Cody Darrah (5th, Edmonton) then found Henry Bekkering (4th, Taber) with a spectacular alley-oop dunk that brought the near-capacity crowd of 2804 to its feet in the Jack Simpson Gym. Ross Bekkering then sealed the run with a long three at the buzzer.

Alberta began to press in the second and kept it close, thanks in large part to Richard Bates (5th, Sherwood Park, Alta.), who made several tough shots in traffic in the quarter. Calgary was totally dominant on the glass, however, out-rebounding the Bears 26-12 in the first 20 minutes and taking a 45-34 lead into the half.

Foul trouble loomed for the Dinos early in the third, with six team fouls called in the first 3:45 of the period. Alberta was able to close the gap to seven points, but the Dinos bench performed very well in limiting the Bears’ success – and even built on the lead.

“I think the difference in the game was in the third quarter when we got in a little foul trouble, and our bench comes on, and they play well,” said Vanhooren. “Not only did they maintain our lead, but they increased it. I’m really proud of our team right now.”

The fourth quarter was all Henry Bekkering, who scored 13 including two more brilliant dunks as the Dinos ran away with it. Bekkering led all players with 31 points on the night on 12-of-21 shooting.

Ross Bekkering went a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line to score 17 points to go with 12 rebounds. Robbie Sihota (3rd, Calgary) had another stellar game for the Dinos with 17 points in just 21 minutes on the floor.

The Golden Bears were led by CG Morrison’s (3rd, Victoria) 21-point effort as Calgary held the entire Alberta starting lineup to just 27 points on the night. Alex Steele (5th, Edmonton) added 12 points while Bates poured in 11.

On the night, the Dinos out-rebounded their archrivals 46-31 and shot 48.3 per cent from the floor.

Calgary earns the right to host the Canada West Final Four tournament, which will take place Feb. 29-Mar. 1 in the Jack Simpson Gym. Teams and seeding are to be determined, but the Dinos will play at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 29 in the second semi-final game. The bronze and gold medal games will go at 5 and 7 p.m. on Saturday night, respectively.

“It’s been our goal to host the Final Four next weekend, and now that we have that we have to make sure we’re focused,” Vanhooren said. “This fan base and this group of people that came out to the games this weekend helps our team, and to have them here at home supporting us next weekend is only going to be that much better.”

Fans are strongly encouraged to purchase tickets in advance to avoid long line-ups at the door on game night. Full ticket information will be available at goDINOS.com on Monday, Feb. 25.

The top two teams from the Final Four will advance to the CIS Final 8 in Ottawa Mar. 14-16.



Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 2:20 pm

CALGARY – Another chapter in the storied rivalry between the No. 4 Calgary Dinos and Alberta Golden Bears will be written this weekend as the teams clash in the Central Division Final, with the hosting spot for next week’s Canada West Final Four on the line. And there are stories aplenty this weekend. Here’s a look:

TEACHER VS. STUDENT – 25-year veteran Alberta coach Don Horwood brings his Golden Bears down the QEII, where he will face off against eight-year coach Dan Vanhooren of the Dinos. Vanhooren played for Horwood at Alberta for three seasons, graduating with his physical education degree in 1993. Horwood and Vanhooren have coached head-to-head in four playoff series, with Horwood’s Bears claiming victory in three of the four. All four series have gone the maximum three games, and the host team has won three of the series – including both division finals (2003 and 2004)

DON’T YOU DARRAH – Dinos fifth year senior Cody Darrah has been on both sides of the Battle of Alberta. The Edmonton native started his career with the Golden Bears out of Strathcona High School but was not awarded significant court time in the U of A Main Gym. Following the 2003-04 season he elected to make the trip south and has been a three-year starter for the Dinos. For perhaps the final time in his career, the clutch shooter will face his old team from his starting two guard position – and you can bet he wants this one.

– There will be all kinds of intriguing match-ups on the court this weekend, and one of the best will be the battle between Calgary point guard Jeff Price and Alberta leading scorer Alex Steele. Steele, a fifth-year player who finished only one point back of Calgary’s Henry Bekkering as the top scorer in the conference this season, is a game changer and Price will have his hands full defending him all weekend. Price, meanwhile, is the quarterback of Calgary’s offence and led the conference in assists with 114. The two guards finished 1-2 in free throw percentage over the season, with Price’s 87.8 per cent beating out Steele’s 84.1.

– Henry Bekkering and Andrew Parker are two of the conference’s most exciting players to watch, and they will go head-to-head once more in this series. Bekkering got the best of the match-up in the regular season, holding Parker to just 23 points in the four games played between the teams (he averaged better than 10 per game on the year). Bekkering, meanwhile, scored 66 in the same four games. Much as Price needs to keep Steele in check to ensure Calgary’s success, Alberta’s will ride on Parker’s ability to keep Bekkering from racking up big numbers.

DOG TIRED – The Golden Bears advanced to the division final after defeating the Saskatchewan Huskies in a three-game series last weekend at the Main Gym. After taking a tight six-point win in the series opener, the Bears fell 66-64 on a late turnaround jumper by Andrew Spagrud that forced the series to a third game. In the rubber match, a strong third quarter effort lifted Alberta to the series win, propelling the bears to a 76-61 victory. While the Bears and Huskies were battling it out, however, Calgary enjoyed its bye week at home with an intra-squad game last Friday night. Conventional wisdom would say that a longer series would be to Calgary’s advantage because of the bye but it’s worth noting that the last time the Dinos and Bears clashed in the division final in 2004, Alberta came into the Jack and took a 10-point decision in Game 1 before ultimately succumbing to the Dinos in three.

ROSS’ REBOUNDING RETURNS – After sitting out the last five games of the regular season to nurse a nagging ankle injury, Ross Bekkering is back to game shape and will return to the Calgary lineup this weekend. The conference’s leading rebounder with 11.5 per game will give a considerable boost to the Dinos’ defensive effort and was a key reason Calgary out-boarded their opponents by nearly nine per game this season.

Calgary (18-4) won the season series with Alberta (16-6, 2-1 playoffs) 3-1, winning both games in the Jack back in November and splitting the series in
Edmonton in early January. The Dinos bring their 12-0 home record into the weekend with the hopes of adding additional dates in the Jack. The winner of this series will host the Canada West Final Four next weekend, from which the top two teams will advance to the CIS Final 8 in Ottawa next month.
However, with a wild card berth available to the conference championship as well, don’t be surprised to see both these teams in action again next week.

2008 Canada West Central Division Final

All games in the Jack Simpson Gym, University of Calgary

Game 1: Friday, Feb. 22, 7 p.m. MT

Game 2: Saturday, Feb. 23, 7 p.m. MT

Game 3 (if necessary): Sunday, Feb. 24, 2 p.m. MT

All games will be broadcast LIVE by NUTV at www.nutv.ca/streaming

Bekkering Featured in SI Article

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 2:12 pm

CALGARY – The Dunking Dutch returned to Canada this season to play basketball for the Calgary Dinos – and now he’s making his second appearance
in North America’s leading sports publication.

Henry Bekkering, the Dinos basketball star, will appear in Sports – Illustrated this week.

Bekkering, who was on the cover of SI On Campus during his playing days at Eastern Washington University of the NCAA Division I, is featured in one
section of Chris Ballard’s extensive look at the history, art, and allure of dunking in the Feb. 25 edition of Sports Illustrated, which appears on
newsstands across the continent Thursday. The cover of this week’s edition features Johan Santana of the New York Mets.

The feature will also have an extensive web component, which will be available through SI.com later this week.

Bekkering has become known across Canada and the United States for his dunking ability, with some clips of his exploits obtaining more than a million hits on YouTube. In 2004 he appeared on FSN’s Best Damn Sports Show Period to give a dunk demonstration, and he has been featured in the Globe
and Mail and by The Canadian Press since joining the Dinos this season.

When his clip reached 1,000,000 YouTube viewers, Bekkering was featured on CTV’s Canada AM on Wednesday, Feb. 6.

Bekkering led Canada West with 463 points this season, averaging 21 points per game as the Dinos won the Central Division pennant with a record of
18-4. Ranked No. 4 in the nation, Calgary hosts archrival Alberta this weekend in the division final, with the winner earning the right to host the
Canada West Final Four next weekend.

The elder Bekkering becomes the ninth Dinos athlete to appear in SI since 1983 and the first to be featured outside Faces in the Crowd. Reigning BLG
Award winner Jessica Zelinka was the last UC athlete to record the feat, appearing in the May 28, 2007 issue after being named the CIS female athlete
of the year.


A piece from ESPN.com…

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 4:28 pm

It is ok to be good. But what does it take to be a champion?


Bekkering 39 Point Night

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 3:47 pm

A few new dunks, plus a video of Henry Bekkering’s 39 point night. Henry is also registered on www.thescore.ca for the Mitsubishi Pure Performer Greatest Amateur Athlete. Login to vote for Henry and to get him on National TV!


Junior Dinos Boys Basketball 2008

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 6:07 pm

The Spring/Summer Club Basketball Season is about to get started!

Following the High School Basketball Season, the Jr. Dinos Boys Basketball Club will once again run this summer based out of the U of C. This year we are changing up the program in a few ways to once again offer the best club basketball experience in Alberta!

This year, the Club will be featuring 3 teams: an Under-13 team, an Under-15 team, and an Under-17 team to compete from April-July in spring leagues and tournaments within Western Canada. Each of the three teams will boast competition within a Spring League in Calgary or the surrounding areas (the U-17 team will once again compete in the Airdrie Elite East Spring League featuring competition against University and College Competition), as well as several tournaments in Alberta, Saskatchewan, as well as as possibilities in the U.S. and Full Organized practices at the University of Calgary.

The Junior Dinos program has been featured in the Calgary Herald as well on Global News Locally for its success in recent years. The Under 17 Jr. Dinos boasts a 82-2 record over the past 3 seasons against Under 17 competition including wins over the Alberta and Saskatchewan Juvenile Provincial teams.

A new feature to the program this year is an agreement with Strive Fitness in Calgary. Strive is the city leader in Fitness and Personal training and has trained numerous professional and amateur athletes, as well as the University of Calgary Dinos Men’s Basketball Team which is currently ranked in the top 5 in the Country, and boast one of if not the most powerful, strong and athletic line-ups in Canada due in large part to off-season conditioning with Strive. Not only will Strive provide guidance with training, the staff will also attend some practices, take each athlete through a basketball specific training program, as well as help each athlete with logging their workouts, guidance with nutrition while providing current and leading edge techniques to get the most out of each athlete. This is an exciting new development that has had enormous success with the U of C team, and should carry on with the Jr. Dinos Club!

Along with membership to the Jr. Dinos Basketball Club, each athlete will get official Jr. Dinos Gear, and be subject to the best coaching in the city, as well as discount opportunities to specific Dinos Camps and Clinics. The Jr. Dinos club features coaching assistance from the University of Calgary Men’s Basketball Staff, as well as former Dinos players.

Tentatively, the Jr. Dinos will begin Tryouts on the March 28th Weekend through the first week of April at the U of C with Official Try-out times to be announced ASAP.

To register for the Jr. Dinos Tryouts, send your son’s name, age, grade, date of birth, high school/junior high school name, height, email and telephone number to U of C Dinos Head Assistant Coach and Jr. Dinos GM and Head Coach Matt Skinn at mjskinn@ucalgary.ca, or phone the University of Calgary Men’s Basketball Office at 403 220 3453 with any questions or registration information.

Good Luck to everyone during the rest of your high school seasons, and see you on the court!

Dinos Split Series in Saskatoon

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 5:51 pm

Feb. 9
By Wayne Thomas

Huskies Rebound As Spagrud Breaks Record

The Saskatchewan Huskies roared back on Senior Night in Saskatoon behind behind 28 points and 11 rebounds from their 5th year forward Andrew Spagrud, who became the CIS’ all-time leading scorer, as the hosts prevailed 86-73. The Huskies lit it up from the floor with 59% shooting, and fellow 5th year star Kyle Grant also turned things around from Friday as he registered 20 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists.

Saskatchewan started their 5 graduating seniors, and they all responded with fine games; Rob Lovelace with 12 and Mark Lynch, Sir Winston Churchill, Calgary with 10, joined Grant and Spagrud in double figures, while Jordan Harbidge scored 9. Calgary got 20 points from Henry Bekkering, 17 from Jeff Price, and 12 from Robbie Sihota, but the Dinos could never catch fire to threaten the red-hot Huskies. Calgary shot 43% from the floor, and 18/21 (86%) from the line, but turnovers and a 33-28 Saskatchewan edge on the boards also contributed to the 4th loss of the season for Calgary.

The Dinos finish at 18-4, in first in the Central Division, with Alberta 2nd at 16-6, and Saskatchewan 3rd at 12-10. Lethbridge could manage only 3-19 and their season is now over. The Huskies will travel to Edmonton next weekend to play a best of three series against the Golden Bears for the right to challenge the Dinos in the best of three Central Division Final to be played at the Jack Simpson Gym in Calgary
Feb. 22-24.

Feb. 8
By Wayne Thomas

Dinos Leash Lead ‘Dogs

Henry Bekkering and Tyler Fidler combined to shut down the two top offensive threats for the Saskatchewan Huskies for a total of 9 points in propelling the visiting Calgary Dinos to a 72 – 67 win in Saskatoon Friday night. Andrew Spagrud, averaging 22 on the season, and primed to set a CIS scoring record, was stifled by Bekkering and held to only 7 points, while Kyle Grant, another 5th year star for U of S, who had been scoring over 15 a game, could manage a paltry 2 pts. against the rookie Fidler.

In contrast, Fidler had one of his best games of the season, with 14 pts. on 6/7 shooting, 5 rebounds, 3 steals, and 3 assists, while Henry led all scorers with 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Jeff Price had 15 pts. including 10 from the foul line, and Robbie Sihota had 13 pts. and 8 boards for the Dinos, who moved to 18-3 on the season, while Saskatchewan dropped to 11-10 going into Saturday’s final league game.

The Huskies took a 10 pt. lead at the half as Troy Gottselig and Rob Lovelace led their scoring, finishing the night with 18 and 17 respectively. Price had to sit early in the half with a pair of fouls, and 1st year point Brennen Fule, Strathmore, AB. came in to play a solid 6 minutes to limit the damage. Calgary outshot Saskatchewan 20/26 to 16/23 at the foul line and 44 % to 42% from the floor.


Henry Bekkering on Canada AM

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 11:42 am

The exploits of U of C Star Forward Henry Bekkering are now official. Henry was featured on Canada AM this morning, coast to coast speaking of his abilities on the basketball court, and his internet following.

The Video is available online at www.ctv.ca/canadaam under the title SLAM DUNK CHAMP GETS 1M YouTUBE HITS.

The Dinos travel to Saskatchewan this weekend to take on the Huskies in their final pair of regular season games before their home playoff series February 22-24 at the University of Calgary as the Dinos have clinched Home Court advantage for the Mountain Division Playoff.


Henry Bekkering Feature by the Canadian Press

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 1:46 pm

By Lori Ewing

TORONTO – Dan Vanhooren says there’s at least one moment in every practice when Henry Bekkering does something so athletically outrageous, the coach can only shake his head in amazement.

“Any take to the rim that he has, he has so much power,” says Vanhooren, head coach of the University of Calgary Dinos.

Bekkering became a hoops folk hero in 2002 when footage of a high-school dunk contest was posted on the Internet. The high-flying basketball player
from Taber, Alta., hangs from the rim by the crook of his elbow, borrowing from Vince Carter’s winning performance in the 2000 NBA dunk contest. He
soars to the hoop from the top of the key. He leaps over his point guard.

Vanhooren recalls a dunk at a recent Dinos practice: “I threw an alley-oop to him from centre court. Henry goes up from the weak side of the floor and
I throw it . . . it’s a horrible pass, like it’s horrible. Nobody on this planet should have got it. But he catches it and reverses it over top of some of our six-foot-eight posts.

“That’s an NBA thing.”

To look at the video footage – which now numbers over a million views – the future looked bright for Bekkering. His eye-popping athleticism would make
any NCAA coach salivate. His ticket, it seemed, was his for the writing.

But it didn’t turn out that way. A wrong turn took Bekkering to Eastern Washington University, where he wilted at the end of the bench for two seasons. His confidence disappeared.

But Bekkering’s found a fresh start. He’s back in Alberta, playing alongside his younger brother Ross, and leading the University of Calgary Dinos to
what could be their best season in decades.

“I just wasn’t enjoying it down in the States,” Bekkering says. “It was a chore to an extent. Now I’m playing how I want to play, how I envisioned
myself playing. I’m happy where I am in Calgary.”

The six-foot-six forward is averaging 21 points and 6.5 rebounds a night for the third-ranked Dinos, who capped their perfect 12-0 home record with a
pair of wins last weekend against Manitoba and Winnipeg.

The Dinos (17-3) wrap up the regular season with a pair of games at Saskatchewan this weekend. They have a bye through the first round of the
playoffs before hosting the winner of the Alberta-Saskatchewan semifinal in a best-of-three Central Division final.

Bekkering’s three highlight-reel dunks Saturday against Winnipeg brought the crowd to its feet at the U of C’s Jack Simpson Gym.

But the Dino player was hesitant to leave his feet when he first arrived home from Cheney, Wash. His web fame painted him as a one-dimensional
player; he was keen to show off the other facets of his game.

One online video shows Bekkering leaping over a group of children en route to the rim. He was even featured on the Best Damn Sports Show Period in
2004. The show counted down the Top 50 dunks of all-time – Bekkering was No. 39.

“When he started playing for us this year, he wouldn’t even dunk in warmup because he didn’t want people to think of him only as a dunker,” Vanhooren
says. “He’s a great athlete and he provides a heck of a lot more than just that, and that’s the part that I think he’d like people to notice sometimes
but doesn’t get noticed.

“I’ve had to have chats with him about just being who he is and embracing that. I think he’s going to have to grow into that a little bit.”

Bekkering scored 39 points in a game last month against Lethbridge, the best single-game performance by a Dino in nearly 11 years. His scoring that night came on a wide array of shots, as he poured in points on layups, three-pointers and free throws.

But when the Dinos need a big play to boost momentum, he’ll respond with a rim-rattling dunk.

“It helps get our team pumped up,” he said. “But it’s not the be-all and end-all, it’s not like I score 20 points off 10 dunks. But it definitely
helps our team with a momentum boost, or heps turn our game around.

“It’s a bit of an intimidation factor too.”

So impressive is Bekkering’s athletic ability that the Calgary Stampeders took him in the fifth round (35th overall) in the 2007 CFL draft.

“Henry Bekkering is as talented an athlete as has probably ever played in this league,” Stamps GM Jim Barker said at the time. “He’s a guy we
believe is better athletically than anyone in the CFL.”

“He’s already one of the fastest, biggest slotbacks – if he’s going to play – in the CFL, and he hasn’t even played,” Vanhooren says.

But basketball is in Bekkering’s blood. Growing up in the hoops hotbed of southern Alberta, his W.R. Meyers high school – with 350 students – dispatched Calgary’s Lester B. Pearson (1,500 students) in the 4A provincial championships when he was in Grade 11.

Bekkering is the fourth in his family to play for the Dinos. His older sisters Anna and Cory both played for the U of C. His younger sister Janelle
plays for NCAA Division 1 basketball at Gonzaga.

His father Simon could still dunk when he was 50.

“I think that was the last time he did,” Bekkering said, laughing.

While he’s not sure of his plans for the future, he has Dutch citizenship so playing pro in Europe could be in the cards. He’d also like a shot at playing for the national team.

As for the Dinos, Vanhooren is optimistic the team could go all the way to the CIS final this year. In 2004, the team went 15-5 in conference play and
won the Canada West conference. They lost to Carleton by two points in the national semifinals, and Carleton went on to win the CIS title.

“It definitely is one of the best teams ever here by far,” Vanhooren says.


Weekend Wrap-Up: Dinos 12-0 at Home this Season

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 10:52 am


CALGARY – The third ranked Calgary Dinos took full advantage of a Winnipeg Wesmen team sans all-Canadian point guard Erfan Nasajpour, cruising to a
98-62 win Saturday night to finish the season a perfect 12-0 in the friendly confines of the Jack Simpson Gym.

Nasajpour (5th year, Winnipeg), the leading scorer in Canada West, left Winnipeg’s Friday night contest in the third quarter and did not dress for Saturday night’s game, one which Calgary dominated from start to finish. The Dinos opened up a nine-point first quarter lead and never looked back, taking the easy 36-point decision.

“We’re really happy about going undefeated at home,” said Dinos coach Dan Vanhooren. “That’s a big thing going into the playoffs and gives us
confidence going into a best-of-three series against the Alberta-Saskatchewan winner.”

The Dinos (17-3) will host the Central Division Final Feb. 22-24 against the winner of the Alberta-Saskatchewan semi-final a week earlier.

Calgary recognized its fifth-year seniors in a traditional pre-game ceremony, and both Cody Darrah (5th, Edmonton) and Jeremy Odland (5th,
Calgary) cracked the starting lineup in their final regular season home game. Odland, a 6’4″ guard, played 24 minutes, pouring in six points and bringing down four rebounds, while Darrah – also a 6’4″ guard – had 13 points in 27 minutes on the floor.

“I can’t say enough about those guys,” Vanhooren said. “Cody and Jeremy are both ‘glue’ guys, and they both play like fifth year guys. They make good
decisions, and without them right now I don’t think we’d be where we are. It’s great to have that kind of depth in our roster, and two guys committed
to playing roles that we need them to play for us to be successful.”

While Henry Bekkering (4th, Taber, Alta.) brought the crowd to its feet with three highlight-reel dunks during the game, Darrah was not to be outdone on Seniors’ Night. After Winnipeg’s Mike James (2nd, Winnipeg) hit a jumper with less than five seconds left in the third quarter to make it 67-37
Calgary, Darrah grabbed the inbound pass and heaved a shot from his own three-point line that found nothing but net with the buzzer blaring, putting
an exclamation mark on a quarter that saw the Dinos outscore the Wesmen 26-11.

With the Calgary bench playing most of the fourth quarter, the Wesmen found their offensive groove and posted 25 points in the frame – led by four big
treys from Cameron Hornby (2nd, Winnipeg). Hornby finished the night with 17 points off the bench to lead the Wesmen offensively, and 12 of those points came in the fourth quarter.

Mike James (2nd, Winnipeg) added 13 points and seven rebounds for Winnipeg, while Jeff Shynkaryk (2nd, Winnipeg) poured in 10.

The Dinos, playing for the third straight game without Canada West’s leading rebounder Ross Bekkering (3rd, Taber), were led by a 25-point effort from
older brother Henry. Robbie Sihota (3rd, Calgary) contributed 15 points and a game-high eight rebounds, followed by Darrah’s 13 and an even dozen from Tyler Fidler (1st, Calgary).

Calgary will close out the regular season next weekend with a two-game weekend series against Andrew Spagrud and the Saskatchewan Huskies in
Saskatoon before enjoying a playoff bye week. The loss moves Winnipeg to 9-11 on the year, and the Wesmen continue to be embroiled in a second-place tie with the Regina Cougars in the Great Plains Division. Winnipeg closes the season next weekend with a home-and-home series against the No. 2 Brandon Bobcats, followed by a first-round playoff date with the Cougars.

Feb. 1 Dino Hoop News
By Wayne Thomas

If you have not had the chance to witness a virtuoso performance by the University of Winnipeg’s Erfan Nasajpour, you really must take in the Saturday night match-up of the homestanding UC Dinos and the Wesmen. For all of his 5 years of trying to perform miracles for Coach Dave Crook and the Wesmen, Nasajpour has been the gold standard for point guards in the CIS.

His is an outstanding court presence with clutch shots to beat you in the last minute, the cunning of a slick thief gaining possession at the defensive end, and the ability to deliver the ball to set up teammates like no guard before him. 2nd in the league in scorinng (22.1 ppg) Erfan is also near the top in assists, and is the clear leader in steals.

In his 5th season one might hope for him to spur his team on to playoff success, but he has never enjoyed the supporting casts of court QBs in Victoria, UBC, Alberta, Calgary, and the G-PAC’s dominant Brandon Bobcats. It is more likely that Nasajpour and his mates will again bow out in either Regina or Brandon with no chance to have his talents showcased at Nationals.

In Jeff Price, the up and coming Dinos’ point man, Nasajpour faces a more fortunate court director who can lean on scorers like Henry Bekkering, who has gone over 30 ppg with regularity recently, and rebounders like Ross Bekkering, who leads Canada West at 11.7 per game. The depth of talent surrounding Price is certainly not staring back at Erfan in the Wesmen huddle, and Calgary (15-3) have dreams of championships, while Winnipeg (9-9) dreads an early ouster as playoffs begin in a couple of weeks.

Game time is 8:00 pm Saturday

Seniors Want More Home Games

Cody Darrrah and Jeremy Odland, the Dinos’ two 5th year seniors will be feted in a Senior Night Ceremony on Saturday, but both players are looking for more home dates as Calgary is poised to host the Central Division Final, and, with a win in that best of three against the winner of Alberta and Saskatchewan, the Canada West Final Four. Darrrah, who got a second life in CIS basketball by transferring to Calgary after two years at U of A, is a sharp 3 point shooter who has also been a timely sub at the point when he’s been called upon. This season his defensive game has picked up, and he has been a big factor in the Dinos drive to a #3 national ranking.

Odland, after graduating from Lord Beaverbrook HS, played at Prairie Bible, at U of C, at Mount Royal, and finally back to Calgary and Canada West. His determination, leadership, and willingness to take a back-up role in his final year, have been great motivators to his teammates, and when he enters the games, Jeremy always seems to pick up the team intensity.

Two seniors who deserve congratulations for their efforts in a Dinos’ jersey, and two competitors who will try and help take the Dinos farther than they’ve ever been in CIS playoffs.


CALGARY – The Manitoba Bisons (4-15) have pulled off some major upsets this season – the Alberta Golden Bears and the then-No. 2 Acadia Axemen come to mind – but don’t add the No. 3 Calgary Dinos to that list.

The Dinos (16-3) extended their home court dominance to a perfect 11-0 on the year, clinching the Central Division pennant and a first round playoff
bye with a 101-77 victory over the Bisons Friday night in the Jack Simpson Gym.

For Calgary coach Dan Vanhooren, the division title is the realization of a pre-season objective set out by the team.

“It’s always good to achieve the goals you set at the beginning of the year, and with Ross (Bekkering) out of the lineup we were able to show some of our depth,” he said. “Today was a much better effort than we had last weekend. Going into the playoffs and going through the roster now we have three games to work on some things and tune up.”

The younger Bekkering (3rd year, Taber, Alta.) sat out his second consecutive game as he tries to heal a nagging ankle injury. Though the leading rebounder in Canada West was missed on the floor, Robbie Sihota (3rd, Calgary) picked up the slack for the Dinos.

Sihota bounced back from a couple of sub-par performances to earn the night’s only double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds, despite shooting
only 3-for-11 from the field.

“He’s a capable offensive player, and he didn’t get in foul trouble early, which makes a big difference,” Vanhooren said. “He played smarter defensively tonight so he could stay in the game and find his rhythm on offence. In other games, he was getting two fouls early and sitting down, so that made the difference tonight.”

The Bisons kept it tight for much of the opening quarter, and Calgary’s first nine points came from beyond the arc as the Dinos struggled to pound
the ball inside. As the quarter wore on, the Dinos slowly began to work their inside game and pulled away from the Bisons, and a late deuce from Henry Bekkering (4th, Taber, Alta.) made the margin 22-17 after 10 minutes.

The Dinos quietly began to extend the lead in the second quarter, making it a 15-point cushion at halftime. Manitoba simply couldn’t match Calgary’s
inside game, leading to the 24-point victory for the Dinos.

Isaac Ansah (4th, Winnipeg) paced the visitors offensively with 23 points on the night, while Brian Crowe (5th, Victoria) chipped in 13 and Joel Pankewich (2nd, Thunder Bay, Ont.) added 10. Junior forward Sean Landry, a Calgary native, led the Bisons with 10 rebounds.

Henry Bekkering led the way for Calgary with 22 points, while point guard Jeff Price (3rd, Calgary) posted a quiet 18 points to go with nine assists
and six rebounds, earning player of the game honours. The starting five accounted for 83 of Calgary’s points, with Tyler Fidler (1st, Calgary)
posting 14 and Cody Darrah (5th, Edmonton) 11 in addition to Sihota’s 18.

With the division title sewn up, Vanhooren and the Dinos still have much to play for – including a perfect 12-0 home record.

“I’d like to see us power through the next three games and do what we’re capable of,” he said. “Tomorrow night is seniors’ night and it’s going to be
important for us to come out and win it for those two guys. And to go undefeated at home would really be something special.”

Fifth-year seniors Cody Darrah and Jeremy Odland (Calgary) will be recognized prior to Saturday night’s game against the Winnipeg Wesmen, who
lost a tough 83-79 decision at Lethbridge Friday. The Bisons, meanwhile, head to Lethbridge for a battle between two teams destined to miss the

Calgary will host the best-of-three Central Division Final Feb. 22-24, where they will play the winner of the Alberta/Saskatchewan semi-final. Game times and ticket information to be announced.

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