The Mike Hansen era begins this weekend for the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns men's basketball program.
The ‘Horns will open the 2013-14 conference schedule on the road against the Fraser Valley Cascades and Trinity Western Spartans.
Tip-offs for the weekend are set at 8 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday night respectively, with both games streamed online at http://canadawest.tv.
In addition to the leadership change, the roster received a complete overhaul with only five players from last season’s roster returning. A quartet of guards and reserve post remain with the program and will be led by seniors Morgan Duce, Logan Reiter and Alex Fletcher.
Reiter and Duce both averaged double digit points per game last season and will be counted on heavily to increase their scoring totals after the departure of the top two scorers from last season in Derek Waldner and Julian Spear Chief-Morris.
Among the nine newcomers to the program, Australian Brandon Brine, as well as ACAC all-stars Rob Olsen and Jared Baker, are expected to make a significant impact in their first season with the program. Post Brent Watkins could be a wildcard contributor for the Horns after transferring from Citrus College in California. Watkins, who did not play high school basketball, comes to the Horns with raw talent and will be relied on to be a presence in the paint. In his second season with Citrus last year, Watkins averaged 9.2 points and 7 rebounds per game while hitting nearly 75% of his shots from the field.
For a full weekend preview, visit gohorns.ca.
Despite missing the playoffs for the third season in a row, there were a lot of positives to take away from the 2012-13 season.
In her first season at the helm of the Pronghorns women’s basketball program, Erin McAleenan led the Horns to their first double digit win total since the 1994-95 season, but a duplication of the 2012-13 season will be a tough task for the Pronghorns in the always tough Canada West conference.
The Horns will open the 2013-14 conference schedule this weekend on the road traveling to British Columbia to face the Fraser Valley Cascades and Trinity Western Spartans.
Gone from last season are post Erin Skippon, forward Steph Inman and utility guard Kara Henry. While Skippon was only with the program for one season, her leadership and post presence will be dearly missed.
While the voids left will be hard to fill, the Pronghorns return their top two scorers from last season in Ali Cameron and post Kim Veldman. Cameron, a pure scorer, returns for her fourth season and will look to build off her career best 15 points per game average last season.
Veldman, who averaged nearly a double-double last season, will be leaned on heavily at both ends of the floor, while senior guard Katlyn Olsen will also be counted on to help lead the young squad. With six true freshmen cracking the Pronghorns roster, there will be some growing pains along the way.
Southern Alberta product Mariah Miller has had a nice start to her collegiate career, recording a double-double in only her third preseason game.
Guards Erin James, Sara Simovic and Kendra Lee will all see significant time as freshmen and will need to make significant contributions if the Horns are going to duplicate last season’s record.
Tip-off for Friday’s game versus the Cascades is set for 6 p.m. PST, while Saturday’s game versus the Spartans will go at 5 p.m.. Both games will be streamed live on http://canadawest.tv
For more, visit gohorns.ca.