UFV’s preseason hoops tourney set for tip-off

The Cascades men's hoopsters hope to continue their hot start as they host the inaugural Honda Way Tournament.

UFV's Joel Friesen is off to a red-hot start to the season

Barnaby Craddock is quick to point out that preseason games don’t count in the standings, but at the same time, the University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball coach can’t help but be pleased with what he’s seen from his squad in exhibition play.

Last weekend, the Cascades were the only team to go a perfect 3-0 at the UBC Invitational Tournament, beating a trio of Eastern foes – Memorial University (100-80), Wilfred Laurier (80-70) and Concordia (95-86).

The wins over Laurier and Concordia, in particular, where high-quality – Craddock feels that both teams could be ranked in the top 10 nationally to start the season, and Laurier notched a weekend win over perennial Canada West powerhouse UBC.

From Craddock’s perspective, those performances are a sign his team is coming of age.

“Historically, perhaps, we might not have come out of those games with W’s because we might have played immaturely,” he pointed out. “Guys thrived in pressure situations, and I think it should give us confidence.”

The UFV men will try to build on their hot start this weekend, as they host their inaugural preseason event – the Honda Way Tournament, which runs Friday and Saturday at the Envision Athletic Centre.

The tourney will feature the Guelph Gryphons, a solid Ontario University Athletics program; the Thompson Rivers WolfPack, one of the Cascades’ Canada West rivals; and the Northwest University Eagles, an NAIA squad from Kirkland, Wash.

Friday’s action sees TRU take on Northwest (6 p.m.), and UFV against Guelph (8 p.m.). On Saturday, Guelph faces TRU (5 p.m.), followed by UFV vs. Northwest (7 p.m.).

Craddock said hosting a top-notch preseason tournament is a “fantastic” opportunity for his program.

“We’re hoping it’s the first of many,” said Craddock, whose team opens Canada West league play Nov. 4-5 in Kamloops against TRU. “We’ve got terrific sponsorship from Honda Way, and it’s going to be good basketball. We want to show the Fraser Valley that elite-level basketball is alive and well here.”

The 2011-12 edition of the Cascades boasts more size and depth than in seasons past, with incoming big men Mike James and Luke Braund joining forces with veteran post players Jasper Moedt and Kyle Grewal, who are returning after missing last season with ACL tears. Those players compliment the Cascades’ perimetre-oriented core which features Joel Friesen and Sam Freeman.

Third-year guard Friesen appears primed for a breakout season, and he was outstanding at the UBC tourney, racking up 25 points on back-to-back nights against Laurier and Concordia. Freeman’s 22-point outing against Concordia included five three-pointers, while Grewal made strides in his comeback from injury by posting a double-double (18 points, 11 rebounds) in the win over Laurier.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Swoop Airlines. (Contributed)
Daily direct flights between Abbotsford and Toronto start Wednesday

Swoop announces new operations at Toronto Pearson Airport

Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness watches the results on election night. The ex-Liberal’s tumultuous campaign and the narrow margin for victory ahead of the mail-in ballot count leaves the future of the riding’s seat in limbo for at least the next week. (Facebook/Laurie Throness)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Future for incumbent Throness uncertain as riding awaits results

Chilliwack-Kent candidate hopeful, resigned waiting on final count

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
Trick-or-treat drive-thru takes place at Tradex in Abbotsford

Treats and giveaways handed out at event on Saturday, Oct. 31

The Abbotsford Trail Running Club has transformed the Valley Vertikiller into the Valley Verticuddler for 2020. (Matt Bolam photo)
Abbotsford Trail Running Club transforms Valley Vertikiller into Verticuddler for 2020

Local club has raised close to $3,000 for Central Fraser Valley Search and Rescue with event

File Photo
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Agassiz Seniors Community

First declared outbreak in Agassiz-Harrison since pandemic began

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

Graphic on promo material for Best Buy Canada’s Tech Wonderland event.
Drive-through ‘Tech Wonderland’ coming to PNE site a few weeks before Christmas

Best Buy Canada-backed ‘holiday’ event to raise money for charity

Aaliyah Rosa. File photo
Crown says murder of seven-year-old in Langley was planned, deliberate

The trial of KerryAnn Lewis began Monday in New Westminster

B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. (B.C. government photo)
Unnamed school in Fraser Health region closed due to COVID-19

Closure announced by Dr. Bonnie Henry during daily briefing

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

Most Read