Kevon Parchment (with ball) and the UFV Cascades men's basketball team host the NCAA's Rice University Owls on Aug. 1.

Kevon Parchment (with ball) and the UFV Cascades men's basketball team host the NCAA's Rice University Owls on Aug. 1.

Cascades hoopsters to host NCAA’s Rice Owls next week

The University of the Fraser Valley men's basketball team will showcase its new-look roster next week against an NCAA Division 1 opponent.

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team will showcase its new-look roster next week against an NCAA Division 1 opponent.

The Rice University Owls, who hail from Houston, Tex., will be in Abbotsford on Thursday, Aug. 1 to take on the Cascades (7 p.m., Envision Athletic Centre).

The Owls, members of Conference USA, are coming off a rough 2012-13 campaign – they went 5-26 overall and finished in last place during Conference USA regular season play with a 1-15 record. But they boast some continuity this season with seven returnees.

The Cascades, coming off a trip to the Canada West Final Four last season, graduated a trio of key fifth-year seniors in Kyle Grewal, Sam Freeman and James York. But they return six players, led by guard Kevon Parchment, who was second in team scoring at 16.9 points per game.

The Cascades also welcome back 6’8″ centre Jasper Moedt, who transferred to the University of Alberta last fall but returned to UFV in the second semester.

Incoming recruits include Amrit Gill, a 6’8″ small forward out of Port Hardy, B.C.; Kadeem Willis, a Toronto native who transferred to UFV from Lakeland College in Lloydminster, Alta.; and Kevin Ford, a Kent, Wash. native who put up huge numbers the past two seasons with Abbotsford’s Columbia Bible College Bearcats.

“I am excited about our team,” UFV head coach Adam Friesen said. “While we lost three veterans to graduation, we seem to have attracted the right mix of student-athletes to contend for the Pacific Division title.”

The Cascades are hosting a barbecue at Baker House, the student residence located across from the Envision Athletic Centre, at 5 p.m. prior to the Rice game on Aug. 1. A burger, chips and soft drink are $2, and general admission for the game is also $2. UFV students will receive free game admission with a valid ID card.