Lakehead rolls into OUA season at Kingston
After the breakout freshman campaigns of post Yoosrie Salhia and point guard Greg Carter, Lakehead Thunderwolves head coach Scott Morrison and his staff brought in a second consecutive elite recruiting class for the 2009-10 season. This young roster will look to continue their development into an OUA contender as they open their regular season this Friday at Kingston, Ontario when they take on the Queen’s Gaels, followed by a Saturday contest against the RMC Paladins. Both games tipoff at 8:00pm.
Lakehead enjoyed a successful preseason during which they went 6-1 against both Canadian and American competition and won the Brandon Super 8 Tournament at Brandon University in October. With a mix of interior strength, perimeter finesse, and all-around athleticism, the Wolves are poised to improve on their 6-16 2008-09 OUA regular season mark.
"Like every team this weekend our goals are to do everything we can to get two wins,” says coach Morrison. "We are focused on one game at a time and it starts with having focused and energetic practices this week. We are looking to make our offence more efficient and to concentrate on preparing to defend to different styles of offense this weekend."
Lakehead’s all-time leading scorer Kiraan Posey is the team’s biggest departing athlete from 2008-09, and the Thunderwolves will need a balanced team offense to replace his points.
Senior guard Jamie Searle has had the hot hand in the preseason while forward Andrew Hackner and post Andrew Quirion will provide leadership for a team looking to gel into a cohesive unit.
OUA West all-rookie team members in 2008-09, post Yoosrie Salhia, and point guard Greg Carter will be counted on to perform like seasoned veterans and improve on their excellent debuts. Carter, a stingy defender, led the OUA with 2.85 steals in 2008-09, adding four assists, 6.6 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. Down low, Salhia led the nation in rebounds per game, pulling down 11.15 per contest, and was the only OUA player to average a double-double with 10.8 points per game. He was seventh in the CIS with 1.65 blocks per game.
Also competing for front court minutes after demanding offseasons will be sophomores Brendan King and Matthew Schmidt. King, an athletic post is expected to cause matchup problems while Schmidt is developing into one of Lakehead’s top outside shooters.
Guelph transfer Sebastian Kasiuk joins the Thunderwolves for his fifth and final year of CIS eligibility. He will add strength and toughness in the paint.
Shooting guard Cameron Hornby enters his third year of eligibility after splitting his last two seasons between South Dakota State in the NCAA and the Winnipeg Wesmen of the Canada West conference. He is expected to provide strong outside shooting and backcourt play.
Joe Jones, a combo guard, transfers from Howard College in Baltimore, MD for his second year of eligibility, bringing a strong defensive and transitional game to the Wolves’ roster.
The freshmen group includes three players with impressive high school resumes. Matthew Nagy, a big guard out of Arkansas by way of Blair Academy in New Jersey helped his school win the New Jersey State Prep title. Ryan Thomson controlled the paint for St. Thomas Aquinas in Oakville, Ontario as they won the AA OFSAA Championships in March 2009 while athletic forward Anthony McIntosh of Ottawa was a member of the St. Patrick’s AAA OFSAA-winning team in 2008 when he played with new Lakehead teammate Carter.
The Thunderwolves men’s basketball program is hungry to take a big step towards the top of the OUA. A strong group of leaders bolstered by a young, versatile roster will provide the Lakehead faithful with an exciting brand of basketball to watch for years to come.
The Gaels, coached by Rob Smart are led by the combined talents of forward Mitch Leger and point guard Baris Ondul. Queen’s strong ball movement and perimeter shooting is their biggest strength and the Wolves must play quick and organized team defence to come out on top.
Leger, a senior, stands 6’6” and is an all-star caliber player who gives Queen’s a solid inside/outside threat.
Senior Ondul, from Istanbul, Turkey is a dangerous player who hurts the opposition with his three-point shooting and his dribble penetration. Lakehead’s point guard Carter will be counted on to contain his Gaels counterpart.
Head coach Scott James fields a big, strong roster that will look to create an interior advantage over the Thunderwolves.
The Paladins are led by the frontcourt duo of 6'9" Nick Cooke, and 6'7" Simon Dakin. Both players are double-double threats who will try to create scoring opportunities for their guards.
Last Edited: November 3rd, 2009
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