X adds size, CIS coaching & NCAA games


Adding to an already-large and quality recruiting class, St. FX Coach Steve Konchalski has rounded out his incoming group after confirming a commitment from 6’6″ wing Nick Russell from Hill Academy in Brantford.  Russell started his high school career at Mississauga’s Joan of Arc Catholic before joining Hill last season in the Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association where he averaged 9.9 ppg for an 8-4 club with a game-high 21 point effort.  Russell is one of four X recruits from the OSBA including teammate 6’0″ Justin Andrew also from Hill.  Two others, a pair of 6’5″ wings in Gavin Pearce and Nick McKee are alums of Bill Crothers, which plays in the same conference.  Konchalski and staff have brought in a talented group to what promises to be a more competitive environment in Antigonish as X tries to quickly erase the memory of two non-playoff seasons… UNB has also announced the addition of 6’5″ Tyrel Edwards, originally from Hamilton, ON who has experienced his own basketball odyssey after leaving Brebeuf High School in 2009 to attend Huntington Prep, former home of Andrew Wiggins.  Edwards began his post-secondary career at famed Vincennes Junior College (12.3 ppg/3.5 rpg in ’10-’11) before sitting out ’11-’12 to upgrade academically.  Edwards then transferred to Division 1 Canisius College in Buffalo where he played sparingly in ’12-’13 before transferring:  first to Campbellsville (KY) of NAIA but did not play before surfacing later in the ’13-’14 season at Dalton State, another NAIA school.  Edwards played 6 pre-season games last season at St. FX, which would have been his 4th season of eligibility, last playing on 24th October against Nipissing.  Edwards, who will turn 25 years old on 15th June, is expected to help ease V-Reds loss of leader Matt Daley…  Expect the coaching situation at Cape Breton to be made clear shortly – as early as today.  Most sources indicate a high probability that Capers will announce an ex-CCAA coach with ties to Quebec and B.C…  It was announced earlier this week that Wichita State Shockers, a perennial Top 25 team from the Missouri Valley Conference, will visit Montreal and Ottawa for at least 4 games in early August including match-ups against defending CIS National champions Carleton Ravens and RSEQ champs McGill Redmen.  Shockers come off a 26-9 season and a second round NCAA tournament loss to Miami (Fla.) but lose 4 seniors including 3 starters from their roster.  Other teams that are rumored to be visiting Montreal and/or Ottawa in late summer including Fairleigh Dickinson Knights (NCAA tournament participant after capturing Northeast Conference tournament championship; 18-15 overall), Florida A&M Rattlers (MEAC) and Arkansas Pine-Bluff Golden Lions (8-25 overall last season in the SWAC) as the summer NCAA/CIS series 2016 starts to take shape.  Carleton will also likely schedule a pair of games against a Top 3 Division II team – note that numerous top D2 teams are very competitive with Division 1 teams.  More to come on these games.

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