The Brandon University Bobcats’ return to the hardcourt tonight will be big for the team and for first-year guard Turell Scott.
While the Bobcats try to improve on their 2-8 record and get back in the Canada West men’s basketball playoff picture, the 19-year-old guard from Coquitlam, B.C., will get his first start. Despite cracking the starting five for a conference game for the first time, the 6-foot-5, 185-pound guard isn’t treating this weekend’s games any differently than the Bobcats’ other contests.
"I’ve started some pre-season games and every game’s kind of the same thing," said Scott, who’s averaging 15 minutes of court time, 2.2 points and 1.6 rebounds this season. "You have to bring the same mentality to work hard and do what you can to help the team. It’s not that big of a difference for me."
Scott was forced into the lineup after Kenonte Ramsey rolled his ankle last week. The Bobcats treated the injury, but it swelled up this week, forcing him to miss today’s game (8 p.m.) against the Mount Royal Cougars (2-8) at the Healthy Living Centre and Saturday’s contest at 7 p.m., against the University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves (5-5). Brandon is also without guard Emerick Ravier, who will be medically redshirted for the remainder of the season, according to head coach Gil Cheung.
Losing Ramsey is big for Brandon. While he is in his first year with the team, Ramsey has stepped up and is the second leading scorer with 12.5 points per game, he’s second on the team with 20 assists and leads the squad with 21 steals.
Cheung, however, has a lot of faith in Scott’s abilities, and believes his size will help the Bobcats on defence.
"I think with his length and his athleticism, he can guard two, three positions," Cheung said. "He shoots the ball well. The best thing with him is the energy he brings. He plays almost 20 minutes a game and he’s a 19-year-old redshirt freshman. He definitely has a bright future."
The Bobcats believe they have two very winnable games this weekend. The Cougars are second last in the Pacific Division and the Bobcats beat the Timberwolves at the Wesmen Classic two weeks ago.
While Scott and his teammates feel confident, they won’t take either game lightly.
"I think it’s just to treat every team like they’re number one and do everything we can to get the W," he said. "We need to rebound and move the ball on offence. We can’t play as individuals, we have to play as a team out there. If we do those things, then we should be fine."
Meanwhile, the BU women’s basketball team (0-10) will also resume their Canada West schedule today when they host the Mount Royal Cougars (2-8) at 6 p.m., and the Northern B.C. Timberwolves (3-7) on Saturday (5 p.m.).
BU head coach Novell Thomas said his players enjoyed the Christmas break and needed the opportunity to re-energize, but that they’re ready to get back to playing games.
"I just want us to play well and do things the way they’re supposed to be done and see how things net out," he said.
CAT SCRAPS: There was a new face at Bobcats women’s basketball team’s practice on Thursday. Aleah Bridges, a guard who played two years at Contra Costa College in San Pablo, Calif., will redshirt with the squad for the rest of the semester. The 5-foot-5 guard is registered to take classes at BU this semester and Thomas hopes she’ll stick around to play next year.
"She has some experience that we’re looking for and we need," Thomas said. "We’ll see how things work out and how she trains with us for the next couple months and hopefully have her back in September."