Canada West coaches apparently don’t expect the Brandon University Bobcats basketball teams to be in the playoff mix this season.
In the first coaches poll of the season, the Bobcats men’s team is ranked 11th out of the 16 teams, with 95 vote points. The UBC men’s team is ranked first with 250 points, including eight of the 16 first-place votes, just ahead of Alberta at 248 points and seven first-place votes.
BU men’s coach Gil Cheung doesn’t put much stock in the pre-season rankings, nor in his team’s 2-6 pre-season record against Canadian and American schools.
"If we’re 11 at the end of the year, I think we’d be disappointed," said Cheung, who’s team finished sixth in the Prairie Division at 7-13 last season and missed the playoffs. "It’s pre-season and it’s great if we’re ranked higher, but what does it really matter? As long as our 14 guys compete and get better and build on the season we had last year, then that’s all we need."
Meanwhile, new head coach Novell Thomas’ Bobcats women’s team has been ranked last out of 16 teams by Canada West coaches. Regina is ranked first in the conference, garnering 13 of the 16 first-place votes. The Bobcats, who missed the playoffs after going winless in the regular season last year at 0-20, have posted a 5-4 pre-season record against university and college competition on both sides of the border this fall.
Both Bobcats teams will tip off the regular season this Friday night in Edmonton versus the Alberta Golden Bears.
» Brandon Sun