YEAR END REPORT
SEASON RECORD - 24-8 ..... CANADA WEST CHAMPIONS
PLAYOFF RECORD - 5-1..... U SPORTS BRONZE MEDALISTS
Canada West quarter-final - UBC 88 vs SASKATCHEWAN 77 (played at U of Calgary)
Canada West semi-final - UBC 81 vs CALGARY 72 (played at U of Calgary)
Canada West Championship game - UBC 72 vs ALBERTA 70 (played at U of Alberta)
NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS SCORES
Quarter-final - UBC 103 vs BISHOP'S 66 (played in Ottawa)
Semi-final - UBC 55 vs DALHOUSIE 84 (played in Ottawa)
Bronze medal game - UBC 99 vs WESTERN ONTARIO 82 (played in Ottawa)
Before I begin the season review I wanted to say that I hope all of you are doing well and taking care of yourselves and your families. We are living in a crazy time so cherish the time you have with your loved ones.
What a run we had to end the year! I am very proud of this group of players and our staff that came together as a team and made a great run. As I look back over the season and some of the stats, it really is impressive what we accomplished. Sometimes teams label themselves as Road Warriors; this year this name truly fits what our team represented. This year we only played 10 games at home, and played 22 on the road. The bizarre thing is that out of our 8 losses on the year, three of these were at home. This meant our road record was an impressive 17-5 and that includes playoffs and nationals.
Our conference record was 16-4 and with the RPI calculations we still ended up being seeded 3rd for playoffs. Alberta finished 1st with a record of 19-1 and Calgary 2nd with a record of 18-2 with their only two losses occurring against Alberta. By finishing 3rd we received a bye in the first round of playoffs but this meant that we had to go play the quarter finals and semi finals at the U of Calgary. In the 'play-in' round Saskatchewan won and they became our opponent for the quarter final game.
During the final few weeks of league our team really established a strong sense of confidence and real buy-in to the team. This may have been in part to the amount of traveling we had to do and the time we spent together as a team. Including playoffs we traveled 5 out of 8 weekends, and including the National Championships it was 6 out of 9 weeks. And this included 7 flights. The team seemed to be really focused when we played and the crowds were awesome for the playoffs when we were on the road and this added to our collective togetherness.
UBC vs SASK (CW quarter-final)
Calgary was hosting women's basketball that weekend so their men's basketball team decided to take the the early game time of 6:30pm and we got the 8:30 but by the time we started it was after 9pm. This made for a quick turnaround for the Saturday game. We started out playing well in the first few minutes of the game and we figured that we might have a slow start due to the bye the weekend before. We found ourselves up 21-18 at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter their American guard began to put on a shooting clinic and hit a bunch of threes and they outscored us 22-19. At the half the score was tied 40-40. In the second half we were the aggressors at both ends and ended up outscoring them 48-37 and won the game by 11 (88-77). Their 5th year American had a game high 29 points including shooting 7-10 from the 3 point line. It was a great win for us.
Manroop Clair - 19 pts, 4 rebs, 2 assists
Grant Audu - 17 pts, 7 rebs, 1 assist
Jadon Cohee - 16 pts, 5 assists
UBC vs Calgary (CW semi-final)
Over the past few years Calgary has had our number, but we had played so many games in their gym including playoffs that it felt like a home gym...other than the obnoxious crowd behind our bench. Once again we started the game strong and we played with confidence. At the end of the first quarter we were up by a score of 22-20 and in the second quarter they outscored us by 2 to tie the game at 38-38 at the half. At the end of the 3rd quarter Calgary went on a bit of a run and outscored us by 4 to take a slim lead. During the quarter break we talked about being the aggressors and to keep attacking. Our veterans hit some key shots for us and we got the stops when we needed them. It also helped that they went cold from the free throw line and we used a little 'hack a Shaq' to make sure we were putting their right guys on the line. Manroop hit a couple of big threes and Jadon hit a bunch of free throws down the stretch. The fourth quarter ended up to be 25-12 and with the win we earned our way to the National Championships for the second consecutive year. However, we still had to fly to Edmonton the next weekend to play the Canada West final against Alberta.
Manroop Clair - 26 pts, 5 rebs
Jadon Cohee - 23 pts, 3 rebs, 3 assists
Grant Audu - 10 pts, 2 rebs
UBC VS ALBERTA (Canada West Final)
Despite the fact that both teams were heading to the Nationals the final is very important to get a good seed heading into the tournament. We had figured that the winner would get the 3rd seed and the loser would probably get the 5th seed and in fact this is exactly what happened. Last year, we had gone in to play the Canada West Semi-Finals best of 3 series at Alberta and we knocked them out in game 3 to advance to the Canada West Final. We did not play each other in conference play this year.
We jumped out of the gates and played some of our best basketball of the season. We had been on the road so much and had our travel routine down and the guys came out with a real desire to win the game. We had a great first quarter and took a 24-10 lead after the first 10 minutes. So often in basketball when everything seems to be going right you get slapped in the face and the tide turns. In the second quarter they outscored us 23-15 but we still held a 39-33 half time lead. It was the best crowd of the year and the atmosphere was electric. The third quarter saw the teams battle back and forth and equaled each other's score at 20 points but we still had a 6 point lead heading into the fourth quarter. The fourth quarter saw both teams tighten up defensively. With less than 2 minutes remaining they scored a layup off of our turnover to go up one. The player who scored the layup ran the full length of the court celebrating and ran right in front of our bench as the crowd was going crazy! We called a time out and advanced the ball and hit a three and then they came down and hit a 3. It was amazing basketball and the place was rocking. These are the moments that you play for....on the road, tied game, wild atmosphere in the Conference Championship game. It came down to free throws in the end and with seconds remaining and us up 2 points they called a timeout and advanced the ball. They ran a set play and missed the final shot. Manroop and Jadon once again stepped up huge for us hitting big shots and making big time plays. In the end we won by 2 points 72-70. A huge win for us and we were so proud of the boys! The Canada West Championship was ours.
Jadon Cohee - 24 points, 5 assits, 2 rebs
Manroop Clair - 19 points
Grant Shephard - 11 points, 10 rebs
UBC 103 - BISHOP'S 66 (U SPORTS quarter-final)
As predicted we received the third seed for the tournament and this matched us up against Quebec number #1 Bishop's. We had a good few days of prep and the boys were ready to play. We jumped out of the gates and got up 31-13. The second quarter was quite sloppy and both teams were having difficulty adjusting to how the game was being officiated. The flow stopped and there was a whistle on every possession. The quarter dragged on and at half time the score was 41-28 for us. In the third we found our legs and played some great defence which led to several fast break points and open 3's and we outscored them 34-21 in the quarter. Our play continued in the fourth and we outscored them 28-17 in that quarter which meant we outscored them 62-38 in the second half. Grant Audu had a terrific game but early in the fourth he sprained his ankle and was carried off the floor. A great win for us and we advanced to the semi-finals.
Grant Audu - 25 pts, 7 rebs, 2 assists
Taylor Browne - 16 pts, 4 Rebs, 2 assists
Jadon Cohee - 15 pts, 5 rebs, 4 assists
UBC 55 - DALHOUSIE 84 (U SPORTS semi-final)
It was our worst offensive game of the year but give some credit to Dalhousie as they were the number 2 defensive team in the country and had a record of 35-1 heading into this game. We faced them last year in the quarter finals at Nationals and they ended winning the bronze last year. They only lost one starter from last year's team. The game started off back and forth and both teams played well defensively but we missed open shots and did not play well as a team. They changed their defence up every couple of possessions, and although we were prepared for it we just didn't execute well against them. We missed several easy layups which hurt us. The score was 17-15 after the first and 41-29 at the half for them. The third quarter was 20-19 for them and then in the fourth quarter we couldn't get anything going on offence and then we struggled to defend. They had the killer instinct and we just couldn't match it and they outscored us 23-7 in the fourth. It was a huge let down because we didn't play well but I do give Dalhousie a lot of respect because they were a very good that was ranked #2 in Canada the entire season. Grant Audu played but his sprained ankle really limited what he could do.
Jadon Cohee - 19 pts, 2 rebs, 3 assists
Manroop Clair - 16 pts, 6 rebs, 1 assist
UBC 99 - WESTERN ONTARIO 82 (U SPORTS Bronze Medal game)
It is always tough to play a game at a Championship after losing the night before. From the end of our semi-final game we had 15 hours before tip off for the Bronze medal. I give our guys full credit for coming out and preparing and having the desire to win a medal. We all know its not the medal that we wanted, but I am very proud of this group of young men for showing up to the gym with the desire to win the Bronze. Many players would have just folded and not cared but our guys stepped up and wanted to compete. Manroop and Jadon had great performances in their final University games. We had a good first quarter and got up 24-17 and in the second quarter western outscored us 28-17 to give them a 45-41 lead at the half. Our guys regrouped at half time and Manroop started to put on a shooting clinic and we had a great quarter. We outscored them 34-18 in the quarter and started to run away with the physical game. We won the fourth quarter 24-19 to outscore them 58-37 in the second half. Manroop shot 6-12 from the 3 point line and ended the game with 39 points which is the 4th highest all time for a single game at the National Championships. A bronze medal for a resilient and talented team!
Manroop Clair - 39 pts, 10 rebs, 5 assists
Jadon Cohee - 20 pts, 6 rebs, 3 assists
Grant Audu - 12 pts, 7 rebs
We enter a strange ending to the year with COVID-19. The guys are still currently trying to be student-athletes. There are still two weeks of school left and all of the courses have moved to online learning. It is yet another challenge for our student-athletes and all University and College students. It will also be more challenging for students and student-athletes next year if they have limited work options over the summer months. Once the world is able to control or defeat this Virus, please remember our student-athletes. If you are hiring in the summer or know of someone that might be please let us know. In the meantime please be safe and do your part in helping to flatten the curve.
A special thanks to everyone that contributed to the Awards Fundraising breakfast that was held earlier in March. Your continued support is very much appreciated.
If we get back to playing basketball sometime this summer, please watch out for some exciting news about some NCAA Division I exhibition basketball games at UBC in August.
Here are our two newest Thunderbirds.