After capturing the Canada West championship this past season, Coach Barnaby Craddock‘s crew was arguably just one poor travelling call away from a spot in the U Sports Final 4 in Halifax this past March and the Golden Bears lose just one player from their rotation: 7’0″ Brett Roughead so any new impact faces are likely to augment a winning formula.
Alberta therefore is excited to bring in 6’4″ Montreal native Nolan Woodward, who played his CEGEP for Coach Craig Norman at Champlain-St. Lambert before moving on to NCAA Division 2, first with Gannon College, where he was a redshirt in his freshman year with the Golden Knights (2013-14) before transferring to American International University, another D2 school in Springfield, MA. In two seasons with the Yellow Jackets, Woodward, a combo forward, averaged about 6 points per game and made a total of 11 starts in 2014-15 and 2015-16 combined – Woodward sat out last season. Craddock expects to find time for the veteran out of Quebec on the wing and up front depending upon match-ups.
As well, levering his contacts in Europe which include those from his professional playing days overseas, Craddock has announced that the Golden Bears have signed 6’7″ French import Hugo Cluysen from the French club team JDA Dijon Bourgogne. Cluysen, described as a combo forward, is just 19 years old and has represented France in international competition as a 15 year old. Cluysen cited the desire for a strong education and learning English while playing basketball as key reasons for making the transition to U-Sports basketball at Alberta. Much like Alberta’s current All-Canadian candidate Mamadou Gueye, Cluysen will begin his first year of education in Alberta’s French-language faculty and transition to studying completely in English by his fourth year. Cluysen will enter his freshman season of eligibility and should work his way into a rotation spot as his career progresses.
The Golden Bears start practicing a week from tomorrow in Edmonton in preparation for two games in Calgary against NCAA Division 1 Montana State (Big Sky Conference) on Friday, August 11th and Sunday, August 13th at the Jack Simpson Gym.