The Camosun Chargers Men’s Basketball team is preparing for an exciting week as they open the 2018-19 season against Island Rivals, the VIU Mariners and the PACWEST’s newest contender, the Okanagan College Coyotes.
“It’s going to be competitive and the games are going to be fun,” says Camosun Head Coach Scot Cuachon. “We tend to focus more on ourselves as opposed to what other teams are doing but nothing is going to be easy about either of this week’s games. Both teams have talented athletes and talented coaches.”
Back in blue are Chargers returnees: fifth-year student-athlete Dylan Marsden (BSFL), fourth-year Dallas Hancox (BSFL), third-year athletes Ismail Abdulahi (AD Arts), Matthew Gray (UT), Shaquille Maharaj (BSFL – Ex Well) and Jake Wilmott (UT) and second-year Isaiah Romanow (UT).
“We’ve got a great core returning,” comments Cuachon. “At 6’8” and 240 lbs, Dallas Hancox is a top athlete and capable of doing anything on the court. Shaq Maharaj and Matt Gray are also gearing towards having a big year. Shaq has put a lot of time in. He’s a special athlete and incredibly gifted student. Matt is one of the top guys in the PACWEST. He’s a floor general and the decision maker… the ball is going to be in his hands a lot. Jake is a really smart basketball player. You can plug him into just about any situation and trust in what he’s going to do. He was coached by the great Ian Hyde-Lay and it really shows. Ishmail is 110 percent energy and it’s fantastic! He’s the jolt that can change the game both offensively and defensively. As a second-year player, Isaiah is still finding his role but he’s a hard worker and he will find his way. At the other end of the spectrum is Dylan Marsden who is playing his final year with us. Dylan has been the backbone of great moments and the fallback guy in hard times. Everybody who has been here and played here with him can say at least one thing that he’s done for them and we’re really hoping that this last year is going to be everything that he needs it to be.”
Looking to complete their first year with Camosun are University Transfer student-athletes Bright Dododza, who returns following an injury early in the 2017-18 season, and twins Calvin and Austin Somers who have each earned their way to a spot on the roster after time spent red-shirting.
Newcomers to the program include second-year forwards Noah Charles (Sport Management) who played for UVic in 2016-17 and Douglas College transfer Trey Crust (AD Arts), along with fourth-year guard Ty Cleland (Business Admin) who transferred to Camosun from Columbia Bible College.
“Ty comes from a really strong basketball background and we’re lucky to have him,” states Coach Cuachon. “He transferred from CBC but played Division I coming out of high school in Portland, Oregon where his team won the State Championship.”
“Noah is another player that fans will like to watch,” says Cuachon. “He’s deceptively quick, unassumingly athletic, incredibly mentally tough and really hard to move. He fills two really big roles left by Riley Botting and Mat Hampton from last year’s program. We thought size was going to be an issue this year, but the addition of players like Noah, Trey and Bright who are 6’5” plus, makes us bigger and deeper than we initially thought we would have been.”
“I’m really happy with this group of guys,” states Coach Cuachon. I think our depth is going to be very unique and our physicality and our hard nose style is going to be a bit more of a throwback than you usually see these days. We’ve got things we want to do and we just focus on one day at a time and when Thursday rolls around, we’ll get to it.”
Catch the Chargers in their home openers this Thursday and Friday at the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence.
Thur Nov 1 Camosun hosts VIU Mariners Women 6pm; Men 8pm
Fri Nov 2 Camosun hosts Okanagan College Coyotes Women 6pm; Men 8pm
Games will be webcast on PACWESTBC.TV