ST. CATHARINES, Ont. — Fresh off their appearance in the 2017 Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Final Four, the Brock Badgers are looking for even more during the 2017-18 season.
The Badgers took home a bronze medal last season in the OUA Playoffs, and were a top-five team in the country for the latter part of the season. They saw first-hand what it takes to win a gold medal, and with a strong core back for another go-round, this year could be the Badgers’ year on the hardwood.
Before the season gets going, the Badgers will play six exhibition games against Division I institutions from across the NCAA. Starting August 9th, the Badgers will play a pair of games on their home court, before heading to the Virgin Islands to play four more games against various NCAA opponents.
After a successful first two years, Pretty River Sports and Entertainment, Canada Basketball, and BioSteel are hoping that the third annual BioSteel All-Canadian Basketball Game is their best one yet.
With the talent that will be on display on the hardwood over the two days this year, two things are for certain.
The first is that this year’s event will be one that fans won’t want to miss. Several players in Monday’s showcase are top recruits in the NCAA, and have committed to play for some of the biggest programs across the country.
The second is that the talent level for Canada Basketball continues to rise. Fans in attendance will get a great look at the future of Canada Basketball, before they take the next steps in their respective careers.
Every year, teams see their dreams of making the NCAA Tournament come true, while others accept bids into other post-season tournaments.
Last season, 68 teams made the NCAA Tournament, 32 made the NIT, 16 made the College Basketball Invitational, 32 made the CollegeInsider.Com Tournament, and 8 teams took part in the inaugural Vegas 16 tournament. If the math is correct, that leaves 195 teams without a spot in post-season play.
Some teams aren’t even eligible for post-season play due to off-court issues, whether it’s due to low APR scorers or self-imposed bans.
That’s where we come in. We don’t discriminate, and even teams who aren’t eligible in the real world are welcome in our eyes. Living up to the Canadian stereotype of always being nice, we have included all 351 teams into one hypothetical post-season tournament.
The game was to feature two of the top prep teams in North America, one each from Canada and the United States. The national powerhouse program known as Prolific Prep (Napa, CA) was set to make the trip north of the border to take on the Orangeville Prep Bears (Orangeville, Ont.) inside the historic UBC War Memorial Gymnasium.
However, with the recent travel ban issued by President Donald Trump, concerns grew surrounding the international players on the roster at Prolific Prep.
The 2013-14 edition of the Wichita State Shockers were one of the best teams in recent memory in college basketball, by far.
While the Shockers ultimately fell to the Kentucky Wildcats in the Round of 32, that was their only blemish of the year. They finished the season with a record of 35-1, running the table in the regular season before falling in the NCAA Tournament.
Gregg Marshall’s squad had the likes of seniors Cleanthony Early, Nick Wiggins, Chadrack Lufile, and Kadeem Coleby, and a slew of young stars who were household names later in their careers. Ron Baker and Fred VanVleetwere both sophomores at the time, while Tekele Cotton was a junior, and Shaquille Morris was only a freshman.
After graduation, the senior class went separate ways. Early was drafted by the New York Knicks, and Lufile was drafted by the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the third round of the NBA D-League Draft. The Canadian big man played just nine games for the Skyforce due to a torn ACL.
Now, his basketball journey has brought him back to where it all started.