First full week of pre-season action begins Thursday

With 30 of the 47 U-Sports men’s basketball programs in action this coming weekend, it is safe to say that the exhibition season is now in full swing, headlined by two traditional early season tournaments:  Guy Vetrie Memorial tournament at UVic and the Eric Garland Tournament at UNB, both of which are three-day, four-team events in round robin format.  Several teams are taking to the road, primarily to destinations in and around the GTA as inter-conference play begins in earnest.  We will follow up with specifics on game days (games begin Thursday) however here is a quick conference-by-conference overview of this weekend’s games.

Canada West… Eight of the 17 teams in the conference are in action, highlighted by Victoria hosting the Vetrie tournament with Carleton, Guelph and Concordia visiting.  Winnipeg plays their now-traditional pair of games at Lakehead to kick-off their season at Lakehead’s homecoming.  Saskatchewan opens against CCAA program Briercrest at home while UNBC embarks on a quick tour of Southern Alberta at Mount Royal for a pair and then on to Lethbridge for a Sunday afternoon start.  Trinity Western hosts a Seattle club team.  UBC-Okanagan has a three-games in three days trip to Southern Ontario, playing at McMaster, then at Toronto and at Western.

OUA… All but 4 teams are in action as Hamilton fans will get their first look at the new-look McMaster Marauders beginning on Thursday night as Mac hosts UBC-O with two other home games against Laval and Memorial this weekend also on the slate.  Lakehead hosts their homecoming games against Winnipeg (twice) while U of T Varsity Blues also host UBC-O on Friday.  Nipissing Lakers host a pair of CCAA teams in Seneca Sting and Humber Hawks while Windsor opens their home season against Centennial Colts.  Queen’s Gaels and uOttawa Gee-Gees kick off their pre-seasons with trips to Lennoxville to face Bishop’s.  Laurier hosts Laval as part of Rouge et Or tour of Ontario while Brock and Western also host Memorial as part of the Seahawks tour of Ontario.  Carleton and Guelph are out west in Victoria with Concordia and the host Vikes.  Finally the undefeated York Lions host Memorial on Sunday afternoon.

RSEQ… 4 of the five conference teams are in action with Concordia travelling to the Guy Vetrie tournament in Victoria with Guelph and Carleton also in the bracket.  UQAM Citadins open their U-Sports schedule under new coach Mario Joseph at the Eric Garland tournament at UNB with Cape Breton, Saint Mary’s and the host Varsity Reds.  Laval has a two-game trip to Southern Ontario for games at Laurier and at McMaster while Bishop’s hosts Queen’s and Ottawa over the weekend.  McGill is idle.

AUS… 5 of the eight conference teams are in action with Cape Breton, Saint Mary’s and UNB participating in the Eric Garland tournament while both Memorial travels to Southern Ontario for games at Brock, at McMaster and at York.  Dalhousie Tigers host one of the better CCAA teams in the country in Holland College on Sunday afternoon in Halifax to kick off their pre-season.  UPEI, Acadia and St. FX are idle.

We will have more comprehensive previews and results in the coming days.  Almost time for a pre-season Top 10 also.


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