A year of transition in perspective for UNBC basketball teams

Someone not named Tyrell Laing or Vova Pluzhnikov will be the UNBC Timberwolves men’s basketball team’s leading scorer this season.

It’s a passing of the torch, so to speak, as the winds of change blow through the Center sportif du Nord.

The T-Wolves kick off their season tonight (Friday) and Saturday against the Trinity Western Spartans.

Despite the planned scoring overhaul for UNBC, head coach Todd Jordan is quite optimistic about this year’s group.

What the Timberwolves may miss around the perimeter they will more than make up for in the paint thanks to several big men on their roster, including Spencer Ledoux, sports forward Fareed Shittu, Chris Ross, Saymon Loki and freshman Evgeny Baukin.

“Spencer is going to be a huge part of what we do and it will be our priority to try and get the ball in for him. Even last year I was trying to get him to make more shot attempts and more touches than he didn’t get any and part of that required him to be a little more aggressive than he was.

“He’s definitely going to be the center of our attack and Fareed is an electric player and a guy we want to get involved with as much as possible. These guys are definitely going to play an important role.

On the outside, sophomore Darren Hunter will likely play a larger role alongside American rookie and former junior college player Micha Jessie.

Jordan is very excited about the Seattle, Washington product after a very productive show season.

“He was an accomplished goalscorer in the junior college ranks, which is not that big compared to the level we play at. He’s going to be able to rack up points at this level – in pre-season he averaged around 20 a game, so he’s going to be a big chunk.

“He should be one of our top scorers this season and then we have young players like Justin Sunga who was the 4A Provincials MVP with Burnaby South and Evgeny Baukin has been in town for just over a year to play for Duchess Park. In the long term, I think he will be a good player for us.

For a team that went 6-12 in the regular season, Ledoux led the entire conference in field goal percentage at 61.6%. Shittu and Pluzhnikov ranked 11th and 13th respectively in rebounds.

The Spartans, who finished 8-10 last season, will also miss their offensive spark in Ja’Qualyn Gilbreath who led the conference in scoring just over 27 points per game while ranking first in games started. minutes and field goals. done with 169.

UNBC will be looking to stop fifth player Mason Bourcier who has averaged more than nine rebounds per game for Trinity Western.

On the women’s side, the Timberwolves come into the season walking injured against a top-flight Spartans team that went 15-3.

UNBC clinched a playoff berth with an 8-10 mark, but will ask some young players to step in early.

Rebecca Landry could miss the entire season with an unspecified injury, while sophomore Sarah Kuklisin is also a bit tired ahead of the home opener.

The Timberwolves’ speed took another hit in the offseason as Anastasia Soltes opted to go home and wear a red shirt with the Calgary Dinos, joining former UNBC stalwart Madison Landry who uses his final year of Cowtown eligibility.

Head coach Sergey Shchepotkin said MyPGNow.com his team will have to adopt a next-player philosophy.

“It’s a bit difficult now to find new players in new positions, but we have experienced players so we will try to find him.”

Among those experienced players was Sveta Boykova who led Canada West in rebounds with just over 12 rebounds per game, followed by fifth-year Alina Shakirova who was second with 18.5 points per game.

Laura Garmendia-Garcia will also be looking to take her game to another level as she led Canada West in field goal percentage at 55.8%.

The Timberwolves will also benefit from the transfer of fifth-year Olivia Wilson who won a national championship with Macmaster University in Hamilton, Ont.

Cevanna Carlson returns to the fold after nearly three years away due to injury, the pandemic and choosing not to get vaccinated for personal reasons last year.

Guards Jenna Korolek (Kelly Road Secondary), Adiah Tupas-Singh and Hanna Busic will look to carve out a bigger role for themselves due to the departures of Soltes and Lucy Guan (graduating) and gritty forward Emma vanBruinessen.

On the other side, Trinity Western will rely heavily on fourth-year forward Nicole Fransson, second in goals scored and also in the top three in rebounds.

Fransson averaged 16 points per game, which was tied for 9th in the conference. The next highest Spartans were Kianna Wiens (graduate) and Jolene Vlieg who placed 26th and 30th respectively.

The tip-off for games is 5pm and 7pm tonight (Friday) followed by 4pm and 6pm tomorrow (Saturday). You can catch all the action at the North Sports Center.