The 2012 Canada West CIS Men’s Basketball “Road to the Final 8” kicks off tonight with the opening of a highly anticipated best-of-three quarter-finals series between the #3 Lethbridge Pronghorns and #2 Fraser Valley Cascades.
#3 Lethbridge Pronghorns (CW Prairie 11-9, Playoffs 0-0, Overall 12-16)
#2 Fraser Valley Cascades – (CW Pacific 13-5, Playoffs 0-0, Overall 21-11)
2011-12 Head-to-Head: Lethbridge Pronghorns 1-0, W 82-71
How They Stack-Up
The Lethbridge Pronghorns basketball program recorded its best season in the last 10 years and returns to the post-season after a one-year hiatus. They entered the BasketballBuzz Top 25 Weekly Power Rankings in the second week of the season and cemented themselves as a legit Top 25 squad. A strong defensive effort gave the Pronghorns the victory in their only meeting of the year, a game in which they controlled the tempo and led throughout. Lethbridge were amongst the worst road teams in the conference going only 2-8.
The Fraser Valley Cascades have lived up, if not exceed the preseason hype. In just six short years they have gone from an average team to finally joining the elite teams in the competitive Canada West Men’s Basketball conference. Fraser Valley comes in riding high and boosting an impressive six-game winning streak that helped them secure the rights to host their first-ever playoff series. They feature four starters who average double figures and have a solid back-court.
BasketballBuzz Top 25 Weekly Power Rankings
NR, NR, 21, 24, 21, 21, 20, 24, 22, 16, 23, 19, 19, 19
Fraser Valley Cascades
9, 10, 10, 7, 12, 12, 12, 10, 8, 5, 3, 3, 3, 3
Fraser Valley Cascades, Calgary Dinos x 2
Fraser Valley Cascades
Laurier Golden Hawks, Concordia Stingers, UBC Thunderbirds x 2, Trinity Western Spartans, Victoria Vikes
Keys To Victory
Lethbridge Pronghorns: Turnovers will have to be limited. The Pronghorns cough-up the ball an average of 17.8 times per game, ranking in the bottom half of the league.
Fraser Valley Cascades: The Cascades two talent bigs in Kyle Grewal and Jasper Moedt will have to win the battle in the trenches against a physical team that out-rebounded them 46-36 in their early January meeting.
Lethbridge Pronghorns: Dominyc Coward has been as good as anybody across the country. He ranks second in the conference with 10 registered double-doubles and is an All-Canadian candidate that averages 15 points, 9.8 rebounds while shooting 50% from the field.
Fraser Valley Cascades Joel Friesen and Samuel Freeman together they form a dangerous exciting back-court that can hang with anybody in the nation. Friesen leads the team in scoring with 16.8 points a night while Freeman is not far behind with 15.3 per game.