2/26/2008

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.

-UC-

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

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