Returning to lead the way are the All-Star combo of All-Canadian Terry Thomas, a 6’4” junior, and All-Conference performer Jeremy Dunn, a 6’5” senior. Thomas led the X-Men in both scoring (19 ppg) and rebounding (8 rpg) while Dunn stepped up his game in crunch time, averaging 25 ppg over the AUS and CIS tournaments.
Running the team from the point guard position will be fifth-year senior Tyrell Vernon, a McMaster transfer who was one of the keys to the team’s success last year as he averaged 8 points and 5 assists while leading the conference in assist to turnover ratio. Teaming with Vernon in the backcourt will be 6’1” senior Will Donkoh (10 ppg and a team-leading 83% FT) along with 6’2” senior Jordan Clarke (5 ppg and 2 apg).
Up front, 6’5” junior Shane Coupland (8 ppg and 4.7 rpg. - 49% beyond the arc) and 6’10” junior Rod Madera (4.1 ppg and 3.6 rpg) will be counted on to compliment the inside/outside skills of Dunn. Kohlin Rasenberg, a 6’3” soph, also returns to bring his gritty play to the frontcourt.
Providing depth in the backcourt will be 5’10’ senior Omar Kadray, while three point specialist Ellis Ffrench ( a 5’10” senior) recovers from Achilles surgery.
Rounding out the squad are 6’2” guard Kristian Rasenberg (younger brother to Kohlin), a hard-nosed combo-guard from Cornwall, ON, and 6’4” utility man Mat MacDonald, who has a year of experience in the CIS with Royal Military College.
Coach K’s recruiting class produced 6’1” CEGEP All-Star Jordan Tyrrell from John Abbott College in Montreal, 6’1” former Nova Scotia U-17 player David Benoit from North Nova Education Centre in New Glasgow, NS, along with 6’4” redshirt Alex Arthur, a transfer from Dalhousie.
The renowned Xavier Basketball Camp is now accepting applications for the 2012 camp season. Don't miss the opportunity to learn and train with one of the top programs in the country!
It wasn't the best night for either team in this match. The game started with the Huskies taking an 8-0 lead while the X-Men struggled to get a basket. After 5 minutes Coach K called a time out to make adjustments. Whatever he said to his team worked, as Terry Thomas quickly collected a couple of free throws and a jumper, followed by Coupland and Dunn 3 pointers and another Thomas jumper. With 4 of 19 shooting, the X-Men finished the 1st quarter behind 16-12. In the second quarter X recovered, with some good defense and better shooting. The Huskies, on the other hand, began to fall apart, making only 3 of 14 attempted shots. The score at the half was 30-26 in favor of the X-Men. Early in the second half the X-Men went a 14 and 0 run and took control of the game. The Final score was 84-54. Terry Thomas turned out to play with 23 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Bol Kong put in a strong performance with 14 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists. The remaining X-Men all contributed with 33 of the 84 point total coming from the bench. It was a notable game for rookie Kohlin Rasenberg, who scored 8 points, on 3 for 3 shooting, in the last 4 minutes of the game. His first trey got a huge rise from the bench and the bleachers. He clearly wants Coach K to know he's ready to play. Top scorers for the Huskies were Tory Fassett (15,7), Brian Rouse (10,5), and Miguel Pink (9,5). In a classy move, StFX athletics presented Huskies coach Ross Quackenbush with a gift at the beginning of the game to mark his retirement after 23 years as the Huskies coach. And, to show their appreciation for all the great games provided by the long rivalry between these two teams, the StFX fans gave coach Quackenbush a standing ovation. The box score is available here. X travels to Halifax at the end of the week to the AUS Championship, where they will have a bye to the semi-final round. At 6:00pm on Saturday they will play the winner of Friday Night's game between Cape Breton (4) and Dalhousie (5). Acadia has the 2nd place bye and, at 8:15pm on Saturday, will play the winner of Friday night's UPEI (3), Saint Mary's (6) matchup.
The X-Men have clinched first place in the regular season with a 75-64 win over the Memorial SeaHawks today. With the win they have 42 points with a 4-point game to play against Saint Mary's (24 points) next Saturday, Feb 25. UPEI, CBU and Acadia are all tied for second place with 32 points. With CBU and UPEI playing each other in their only remaining game of the season, and Acadia having 3 2-point games remaining, it is impossible for them to catch the X-Men. The SeaHawks raised the bar defensively today, after giving up 103 points last night. They focused on shutting down Terry Thomas (8-8-3) and Bol Kong (2-7-4), forcing the scoring to be spread around. And, although they worked hard on Jeremy Dunn, tough physical play inside netted him 15 points and 4 rebounds. The first quarter saw the X-Men slow to adapt to the more intense defense. With 1 minute left in the quarter the SeaHawks were leading 23-10. Through the second quarter, Coach K adjusted the offense and the scoring belonged to Dunn, Donkoh and Vernon. By the half the X-Men were 1 point back at 37-36. In the 3rd, Clayton and Clarke came through and the X-Men took an 8 point lead. The fourth was more balanced, but as the frame wound down X stretched the lead to 13 capped by a break away dunk by Terry Thomas. Helsby made a final jumper, ending all scoring with 1:37 remaining. All in all, the Blue & White look well-oiled and primed for the AUS Championship Tournament, which takes place at the Metro Centre March 2-4. In scoring, Jeremy Dunn had 15 points, 4 boards and 2 assists. Jordan Clarke had 12 points and 6 assists. Tyrell Vernon has 11 points and 4 assists. Marquis Clayton has 10 points and 5 assists. Will Donkoh had 9 points and 4 assists. Terry Thomas had 8 points, 8 boards and 3 assists. Shane Coupland had 8 points. Bol Kong had 2 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. The Box score is located here. The Streaming Sports Network will carry the webcast of Saturday's game when the Saint Mary's Huskies come to the Oland Centre for X's final regular season game. Watch the webcast here.
The X-Men held a large lead for most of the game, going to the bench early. The SeaHawks tied the game in the second at 28 with solid 3-point shooting and then went cold for 5 minutes, allowing the X-Men to lead by 19 at the half. The SeaHawks displayed streaky 3-point shooting thoughout the game game, but in the end shooting less than 40% from the field. Terry Thomas had an outstanding game with 29 points on 11 of 12 shooting, including 3 of 3 from outside the arc. Combine that with 7 boards and 4 assists in just 26 minutes on the floor. Bol Kong had 16 points, shooting 7 for 12. Dunn had 11 points and 5 rebounds. Clayton had 10, Donkoh had 9, Vernon had 8, Clarke and Madera had 4 each. Ffrench, Coupland, Kadray, and Rasenberg each chipped in 3. Will Donkoh played just 11 minutes in his first game back from an unspecified injury. Jason Shepherd and Mike Helsby were the big scorers for MUN, with 19 and 17 respectively. The final score was 103-64 for the X-Men. You can find the box score here. These teams play again tomorrow. The webcast should be here at 12:30pm Atlantic Time.
In a highly anticipated match-up, the X-Men rolled over CBU at the Sullivan Fieldhouse in Sydney tonight. Excellent ball movement and an outstanding performance by Bol Kong defined the X win. Jimmy Dorsey struggled to score or distribute the ball against a smothering defensive effort, particularly by Jordan Clarke. On the offensive end, X quickly penetrated the man-to-man defense causing CBU to go to a zone. The switch reduced the scoring pace somewhat but the blue and white still finished the first half up 55-28. Through the second half, StFX continued to control the flow of the game until, with 7 minutes left, Caper Meshack Lufile delivered back-to-back blocks to bring some life to the Caper offense (and the fans). But without a big night from Dorsey, it just wasn't in the cards. Dorsey had 12, Lufile had 12, and Julian Smith had 15 for the Capers. Bol Kong scored 32 points, had 8 rebounds, and forced 2 turnovers. He looked smooth, working inside to score easily or kicking it out to open shooters when blocked. Jeremy Dunn owned the paint, making the Caper big men work for every opportunity and attracting defenders like a magnet. He had 10 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals. Terry Thomas had a effective outing with 17 points and 7 rebounds, getting open for easy jumpers and keeping the Caper defense scrambling. Jordan Clarke added 12 points, including 3 of 4 from 3 point land, to a very good defensive game. Scoring opportunities were more difficult for the smaller guards: Marquis Clayton had 7, Ellis Ffrench had 5, and Tyrell Vernon had 4 points. Rod Madera played 14 minutes without scoring, but contributed 6 rebounds. In a final note, Shane Coupland is playing with a broken bone in his hand, but getting on the floor to provide relief for his teammates. The final score was 87-68. The X-Men travel to Memorial on the weekend for a double-header with 8 points on the line. The webcast should be here for both games.
The X-Men moved into a tie for first place in the AUS with a win over UPEI. It was a tense afternoon at the OC, with a somewhat weather reduced crowd treated to an edge-of-your-seat stand-off. Both the X-Men and Panthers played their second game of the weekend, and the result was a physical and defensive outing. With Coach Kendrick coming off a loss to CBU last night, the tension was palpable as he tried every trick in the book to take a lead, but neither team could maintain a lead for long as each quarter ended either tied or 1-up. The Panthers showed a strong inside game, and the tough defense that brought them to first place in the AUS. They played the bench sparingly, with starters Manock Lual and Jonathan Cooper playing the entire game. Cooper led the team with 22 points and Lual racked 16. The X-Men had plenty of attempts but shot only 27% from the floor. Bol Kong was awarded "Player of the Game", and continued to show proof that he is back from surgery. Although, probably not the production he is used to, he kicked in 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 steals, including a couple of fast break dunks. Jeremy Dunn played 39 minutes, accumulating 14 points and 9 boards. As always, he gave a strong performance, taking on the difficult job of matching up against big men on defense and double-teams on offense. Terry Thomas may not have scored as many points as he normally does, with 14, but he gave the fans a thrill with several dunks, steals and fast break points. Shane Coupland played for the second night with a cast on his left hand, providing valuable minutes to rest his teammates but adding only 2 points to the team total. His offensive contribution is missed for sure. The bench chipped in 27 points from Clayton, Ffrench, Kong and Madera. Madera used his size well, standing his ground on defense and taking the low post position where he grabbed 6 rebounds (total) to go with 6 points and a block. Clayton displayed explosive speed and agility, getting around much bigger players for a couple of acrobatic layups. What he lacks in size, he more than makes up for with court smarts: he pulled down 9 boards by reading the play. The X-Men travel to Cape Breton on Wednesday for their final meeting of the regular season. It stands to be an exciting affair as the X-Men have won both home games again the Capers and lost their previous outing in the Sullivan Fieldhouse. The Capers will be trying to make sure that balance in maintained. The game will be webcast here at 8pm.
In a game that favored the Axemen early in the first frame, the X-Men battled back from a 5 point deficit to down the Axemen 87-82 in front of an appreciative home crowd. X maintained a lead for much of the game, led by Player of the Game Tyrell Vernon with 24 points and 5 boards, on 8 of 17 shooting, including 6 of 7 from the freethrow line. Axeman Owen Klassen played the entire game but had a cold night scoring only 10 points against a tough defense. Jordan Clarke had a big game, forcing turnovers and scoring 14 points. Terry Thomas had 13 points, and 11 boards. Jeremy Dunn had 10 points and 5 boards. Bol Kong showed some moves and a quicker step, contributing 9 points and 6 assists. Anthony Sears and Anthony Ashe kept Acadia in the game with a combined 9 of 18 three pointers. X plays UPEI at home at 4pm on Sunday. The game will be webcast here.
5th year post Robert Nortmann's 21 points and 14 rebounds led the Dal Tigers to a 79-68 win over a listless X-Men squad tonight at Dalplex. Since starting the season 17-0, the X-Men have posted a 2-3 record. Dal built a 5 point lead at the half (40-35), which they extended to double digits in the 3rd. X made a run in the 4th, taking a brief lead, but Dal pulled away down the stretch for the win. Terry Thomas led X with 17 points. X next plays Feb 3 and 4 at UNB.
The X-Men continued their winning ways with a lopsided 90-71 victory over the visiting Caper in front of a huge 'white out' crowd. The Capers were playing without the services of MVP candidate James Dorsey who is sidelined with a leg injury. X had their way with the Capers, leading by as many as 30 points. Terry Thomas led the blue and white with 21 points and 7 boards. He got help from POG Shane Coupland (14 points and 7 rebounds), 13 points from both Marquis Clayton (in only 10 minutes of PT) and Will Donkoh. Al Alilovic paced CBU with 19. X plays next @ Dal next Sunday, Jan 29.
The X-Men downed the Dal Tigers 79-66 at the OC to improve their record to 8-2 on the season. The win also puts X in a tie for first place with the CBU Capers (7-3, 20 points). This sets up a big game with CBU on Saturday which will determine first place in the AUS. X came out firing and built an early 14-6 lead behind the offence of Jeremy Dunn and Will Donkoh. Donkoh has emerged as one of the biggest surprises for the X-Men this year. Coach K knew he could rely on hard work and great D from Donkoh, but he has also provided a lot of unexpected and welcome offence (14 points tonight, 22 vs. UPEI last Sunday). Dal fought back with some excellent outside shooting from Stephen Lopez (14 points) and took a 23-22 lead after a quarter. The Blue and White caused some turnovers and got running in the second quarter, resulting in a 43-35 half time lead. In the second half, the teams traded baskets for the most part. Dal was able to get within 4 points early in the third and within 6 in the fourth, but no closer. Jemery Dunn led X with 22 points, while 3 other X-Men scored in double figures (Donkoh, Thomas (13) and Coupland (12). Terry Thomas was in foul trouble for most of the game, so Bol Kong saw a good deal of action (25 minutes). Kong is still figuring things out offensively (6 points), but made his presence felt on the glass (team leading 7 boards) and contributed 3 assists and 2 blocks. Dal was led by Lopez and Casey Fox (14 points).
The X-Men dropped their second road game in a row, falling 100-76 to the UPEI Panthers in Charlottetown yesterday. Playing without rotation players Kong, Thomas, Clarke, Coupland and Clayton, the short staffed X-Men fell behind early and never threatened. Jeremy Dunn and Will Donkoh led X (24 and 22 points) while Manock Lual led PEI with 22. X plays next vs Dal Wednesday at the Oland Centre.
It was not as easy as the final score would indicate, but the X-Men rode a 3rd quarter surge and a strong 4th quarter to a 87-68 victory over the Varsity Reds. The X-Men held a margin of 8-12 points for much of the game, but a 3 point barrage from V Red's guard Matthew Daley in the 3rd quarter got the visitors within 5 points late in the third. The blue and white cranked up the intensity at both ends of the court and pushed the lead to 64-53 after three. The short handed Reds (playing without leading scorer Daniel Quirion) showed tired legs in the 4th and X put them away. Terry Thomas led the way with 21 points (7-12 FG; 2-4 3PT) 9 rebounds 3 assists 3 steals and 2 blocks. Jeremy Dunn added 16, Tyrell Vernon 13 and 7 assists Will Donkoh 10. First year point Marquis Clayton continued his strong weekend play with 14 points. Shane Coupland, perhaps one of the smartest rebounders X has seen in some time, contributed 10 boards and 7 points. Alex Desroches paced the Reds with 21 and 14 boards.
On behalf of the Blue and White X-Press booster club, I'd like to congratulate Coach Konchalski on his 800th win.
X cruised to an easy 92-59 victory over the UNB Varsity Reds last night at the Oland Centre. The blue and white jumped out a big lead early and the game was never in question. Coach K was able to give all 12 of his players significant minutes. Marquis Clayton impressed the home crowd with 18 points in 18 minutes. The first year point guard was able to consistently penetrate and get to the rim. Three other X-Men scored in double figures (Terry Thomas 14 points, 6 boards and 5 assists), Jeremy Dunn (13 points) and Tyrell Vernon (10 points). Alex DesRoches led the Reds with 16 points.
Yesterday's game was Antigonish' first opportunity to see highly touted transfer Bol Kong play this season. Coach K inserted Kong into the starting line at the 5 position (the other starters: Vernon, Dunn, Thomas and Donkoh). The 6' 7" Kong gives the X-Men an incredibly athletic group that can shoot the three, get to the rim and defend. The depth of the X-Men is incredible. The next 5 players on the depth chart could likely start for most of the teams in the AUS. Based on last night's action, its clear that Kong is still getting back to game shape and adjusting to the speed of the CIS game. However, he showed glimpses of what he's capable of - great 3 point shooter, excellent rebounder, superb court vision. When he rounds into shape, X is going to be even more formidable than they've been to date.... and they are 17-0.
Please note that a victory in this afternoon's game (4PM vs. the V Reds) will give coach Steve Konchalski 800 for his career.
X downed the UPEI Panthers to win a berth in the final of the rod Shoveller tournament behind 25 points from Jeremy Dunn. The final score is not indicative of how close this game was. PEI actually led mid way through the the 4th quarter. Dunn got help from Terry Thomas (10 points and 9 boards) and Rod Medara who had one of his stronger games as an X Man contributing 10 points and 8 boards. Perhaps the difference in this game was Will Donkoh who had 10 points, 6 boards and 5 steals. After scoring 20 points in the first half, Jonathan Cooper was held to a single point in the second half due to Donkoh's tough D. With the win, X will face the Concordia Stingers (ranked 10th in the CIS) in tomorrow's final game.
The X-Men overcame a 13 point 3rd quarter deficit to down the Ottawa Gee Gees by a score of 74-71 in the opening round of the Rod Shoveller Classic. X built a 7 point lead in the first quarter (22-15) but trailed Ottawa by 5 at the half (33-28). The Gees Scored the first 8 points of the third and led 41-28 before X began to chip away at the lead. In the final minute of the game Bol Kong, making his much-anticipated debut for the X-Men hit a 3 pointer to tie it up. X briefly held the lead before the Gee Gees forced OT. X led most of the way in the final period. Terry Thomas was player of the game for X. Bol Kong showed flashes of what he is capable of in the second half, but the rust was clearly evident.
A huge night from veteran Jeremy Dunn resulted in a 93-90 victory over the SMU Huskies. In a very close contest, Dunn had 35 points (10-18, 5-10 from 3 point range, 10-10 FTs) and 7 rebounds to will a short staffed X squad to a W. X played without the services of Rod Madera and Jordan Clark, both sidelined by leg injuries. Terry Thomas added 22 points and 8 rebounds. SMU was led by Harry Ezenibe's 23 points and 11 rebounds. Miguel Pink added 18.
The X-Men and Dal Tigers engaged in what would generously be called an ugly contest and the blue and white came away with a 81-78 victory. In a game characterized by lots of turnovers (22 for Dal and 20 for X) and stoppages in play, neither team got into an offensive flow and neither was able to build and sustain a significant lead. X led by 3 after 1, 1 at half and 2 after 3. The game was as close as these stats would suggest. To give credit to both teams, the defense was pretty good.
In what is becoming a recurring theme for the X-Men, the team again struggled from 3 point range (4-21, 19%). For the season, X is dead last in the conference shooting 26% from three point range. For the game, Dal shot 38% and the X-Men 37%. With Riiny Ngot and Bol Kong hurt, X again played a very small lineup for much of the game was outrebounded 34-31.
Terry Thomas led X with 24 points, 6 steals, 2 blocks and 11 rebounds. Jeremy Dunn carried much of the offensive load, a hit a number of big free throws, in the fourth quarter and had 19 points. Ellis Ffrench had a nice game off the bench with 12 points (2-2 from 3 point range). Will Donkoh added 10 points.
Casey Fox led Dal with 18 points (3-12 FG, 11-11 FT). X plays next on Nov 29 as they tangle with SMU at 8PM at the Tower.
Shane Coupland hit 3 deep threes in OT to lead X to a 90-89 victory over the Acadia Axemen in Wolfeville. X and Acadia appear to be the class of the AUS and they demonstrated why tonight. In a classic battle, X and Acadia traded leads all night. Acadia lead by three 20-17 after one and by one at half time. The second half was much the same. Jeremy Dunn missed the second of two free throws with a few ticks left in the fourth which left X up by 2. Justin Boutlier scored on a broken play to tie the game at 72 and send it to OT.
It was was the Shane Coupland show in OT as he scored 9 points to seal the win for X. After Jeremy Dunn scored to put X up by 2 with 50 seconds to play, Coupland hit a three to put the blue and white up 90-85 with 35 seconds to play. Acadia scored the last 4 points, hitting a 2 at the buzzer to reduce the margin to 1.
Terry Thomas led X with 26 points and 10 rebounds. Thomas is making a case right now to be the league MVP. Jeremy Dunn added 20 points while Shane Coupland contributed 18 points (5-6 from three point range). Will Donkoh added 14 points and Tyrell Vernon had 10 assists. Owen Klassen led Acadia with 26 points and 19 rebounds. Anthony Sears added 14 points.
The X-Men blew open a relatively tight contest in the third quarter and coasted to a 85-71 win over the defending AUS champion Dalhousie Tigers. X' transition game was the difference in this game as Dal was unable to consistently shut down the X-Men fast break.
Dal has an entirely new look this season, having lost All Canadian Simon Farine (now playing in the top professional league in Isreal) as well as big men Joe Schow and Sandy Viet. The Tigers were led in this game by 5th year post Robert Nortmann, who had his way inside and scored 30 points.
The first quarter saw multiple lead changes and X led by 3 after 1. X extended their lead to 7 at the half 47-40. X was able to take control in the second half and was able to maintain a 10 point + separation. Terry Thomas led X with 18 points, and was named player of the game. Jeremy Dunn and Rod Madera had strong games with 15 points apiece. X faces their toughest test of the season this coming Friday (Nov 18) as they tackle the Acadia Axemen in Wolfville.
Tournament MVP Terry Thomas had 30 points, 10 rebounds and at least four dunks that brought the home crowd to their feet as the X-Men thumped the visiting CBU Capers 107-78 in the final of the X invitational. X led wire to wire in this one and the outcome was never in doubt as the home team built a 34-13 edge after 1 quarter. Five X-Men were in double figures (Thomas, Jeremy Dunn 16, Ellis Ffrench 13, Marquis Clayton 11 and Shane Coupland 10). Tyrell Vernon dished out 10 assists. Al Alilovic had 23 for the Capers while Julian Smith chipped in 18. It is important to note that CBU played without their best player - James Dorsey - who is nursing an injury.
X dominated every aspect of this contest. They held a 34-26 rebounding edge and forced 16 TOs (vs. 11). X held the Capers to 39% shooting while shooting 53% (59% from 3 point range). Tournament All Stars were Tory Fassett (SMU), Manock Lual (PEI), Julian Smith (CBU) and Jeremy Dunn and Shane Coupland from X.
X opens the regular season at home vs. CBU on Nov 9.
Strong performances by sophomores Terry Thomas and Shane Coupland led X to a wire to wire victory over the UPEI Panthers 101-81 in the first round of the Nike X Invitational. In what was by far his most impressive outings in his X career, Shane Coupland had 10 first quarter points and 17 overall to propel the X-Men to lead they would hold for the entire game. X held a 7 point lead after 1. X played some very strong pressure D in the second and held a 51-37 halftime edge. X ran away with things in the second half, opening leads of 25+ points. PEI was able to get within 14 in the 4th quarter, but no closer.
Terry Thomas led all X scorers with 21 points. He also kicked in 6 boards and 4 steals. Thomas is turning into perhaps the most dynamic player in the AUS - he is a lot of fun to see in person. Tyrell Vernon turned in an another steady performance with 13 points, 6 assists and 5 steals. Will Donkoh added 17 points off the bench, and was a perfect 3-3 from three point range. Jeremy Dunn added 11 points in limited action - he picked up 2 quick fouls in the first and sat for the last 15 minutes of the half. 5th year post Manock Lual led the Panthers with 24 points and 9 boards.
In the other first round contest, CBU held off a late charge by the SMU Huskies to take a 91-82 victory. This sets up a terrific final between to X and CBU. CBU sports a large number of new faces, but are led by the dangerous James Dorsey. The final goes at 8PM tonight and will be webcast live. Click HERE to view.
Those of us who have some gray hair will remember the folks in the photo below. While in town for the Redbird classic, X coaches had the opportunity to dine with a number of X basketball standouts from the late 1970s. Pictured from left to right are: former assistant coach Owen Cameron, Henry Blumenfeld, Coach K, Eddie Pomykala, Varouj Gurunlian, Wayne Smith, Doc Ryan and Pat (Superfly) Adrien. Who could forget former X announcer Ed McHugh's call after a Varouj bucket (Vaaaarrrrrrrrooooojjjj Gurunlian!), Pat Adrien's gravity defying dunks, Doc's post moves and those packed houses for SMU and Acadia games? It was a great time to be a blue and white fan (as it continues to be).
Tournament MVP Jeremy Dunn led the X-Men to a big 98-79 victory over the McMaster Marauders in the final round of the McGill Redbird Classic. The 4th year forward led the blue and white with 28 points. With the win, X went 3-0 in the tourney and claimed their second title of the young season.
This game with Mac was much closer than the final score would indicate. X led by four (21-17) after one period but the Marauders were able to slow the X-Men's transition game in the second and took a 44-40 lead at half. X got things going again early on the third, ripping off a 10-0 run to start the second half and led 72-62 after 3. After Tyrell Vernon picked up his third foul early in the fourth, rookie Marquis Clayton entered the game and put a dagger in Mac's hopes for a W with back to back 3s that put X up by 81-64 with 6 and a half minutes to play.
X faced a zone D in all of the games at McGill. A key to X' success vs. Mac was their 3 point shooting. X went 13-27 from downtown, led by Dunn (6-10), Vernon (2-5), Clayton (2-5) and Jordan Clark (2-2). for the game, X shot 50% and outrebounded Mac 38-24. Numerous X-Men made big contributions in this game. Tyrell Vernon was superb in running the offence, scored 10 points as was awarded a tournament All Star. Terry Thomas had another outstanding performance with 17 points and 7 rebounds. Thomas could easily been on the All Star team based on his overall performance. Rookie Marquis Clayton is quickly adjusting to CIS competition as he came off the bench and had 16 points and 4 rebounds. Australian Shane Coupland had another strong outing with an 11 point, 10 rebound double double.
- Coach Konchalski thinks X will face a lot of zone this season. In the second half against Mac he started both Tyrell Vernon and Marquis Clayton - two players who can pass, penetrate and shoot the three. This strategy paid off as X outscored Mac by 14 in the 3rd.
- X is playing great D right now.
- Thanks to alumnus Leo Doyle for 'tweeting' updates from the Mac game.
X plays next in their own invitational tournament. Invitees are SMU, PEI and CBU. Games are at 6 and 8 Friday and Saturday at the Oland Centre.
Tyrell Vernon (21 points) led the X-Men to a 90-71 victory over the McGill Redmen in the second round of the Redbird classic. X led wire to wire in this contest and held a 42-33 edge at half time. Terry Thomas chipped in with a 16 point 10 rebound double double while Jeremy Dunn contributed 13 points. Rookie Marquis Clayton impressed with 14 points in 14 minutes of play. Rod Madera added 10 points.
Ellis Ffrench drainer a 24 foot 3 pointer at the buzzer to give the X-Men a 79-77 victory over the University of Toronto Varsity Blues in the first round of the McGill Redbird Classic in Montreal. The X-Men were a dismal 2-19 from three point land in this contest - both makes were by Ffrench. Neither team played particularly well in the first half and X took a 38-34 lead to the locker room. X played an excellent 3rd quarter and opened up a 51-37 lead with about three minutes to go. After X went to its bench late the 3rd, the Blues crept back into the contest and tied the game early in the 4th. The 4th quarter was tense and featured at least 10 lead changes. It was apparent the team with the last possession would win it. Toronto took the lead 77-76 with 17 seconds to go, giving the blue and white the last possession. The ball went out of bounds under the basket with 2.9 seconds to go. Ffrench found himself open at the top of the key and drained a jumper that gave X the win.
Jeremy Dunn led the way for X with 19 while Terry Thomas added 17. Shane Coupland added 11 points and 4 boards and Will Donkoh, in his first action in 18 months, added 10 points and 7 boards.
Some readers may have seen an online box score indicating Bol Kong and Riiny Ngot played vs. Toronto. Unfortunately this is not true. X plays the host McGill Redmen tonight at 7PM eastern.
Newcomer Tyrell Vernon was almost flawless in leading the X-Men to a 61-52 win vs. Mount St. Vincent in the opening round of the Mickey Place tournament in Charlottetown on Friday. The fourth year player, a three-year starter at McMaster prior to joining the blue and white, led a depleted X squad with 22 points in 38 minutes of action. Vernon, the starting point guard, had 0 turnovers in the contest. In a game Coach K described as ugly, veteran forward Jeremy Dunn chipped in with 16 points.
Game two on Saturday pitted the X-Men against the host Panther squad and the blue and white came away with a 97-88 win. The Panthers are a talented, veteran team returning the majority of their rotation players from last season and are led by first-year coach Tim Kendrick, formerly of Horton High in the Annapolis valley, and high school coach of two X-Men - Jeremy Dunn and Ellis French. Terry Thomas (player of the game) returned for this contest and put on a terrific offensive display. Thomas scored 32 points (on 13-15 shooting), had 7 boards, 6 steals and 5 thunderous dunks. Jeremy Dunn added 15 points and Tyrell Vernon was steady at the helm with 10 points and 7 assists.
X plays Laval today at noon for the championship.
The 2011-12 edition of the X-Men got off to a terrific start by capturing the Mickey Place tournament at UPEI. Led by super-soph Terry Thomas, X defeated the Laval Rouge et Or in the third round of the tourney 69-52. Thomas completed an excellent tournament by scoring 21 points and corralling 13 boards. 6' 10" Rod Madera had his most productive game as an X-Man as he dropped in 17 points.
- Transfer Tyrell Vernon had an outstanding tournament. He possesses classic point-guard skills and mind-set and will be a steadying influence for the young X-Men this season.
- Coach K started different lineups in each of the tournament games as he looks to set his rotation for the season.
- This could prove to be a breakout season for sophomore Terry Thomas - he was outstanding this weekend.
- International sophomores Shane Coupland (Australia) and Rod Madera (Dominican Republic) should see lots of action this season.
- X was not at full strength for the tournament. Explosive transfer Bol Kong is still recovering from foot surgery, veteran Will Donkoh has a minor knee issue and 7' 2" Riiny Ngot is battling a head injury. It will be interesting to see this version of the X-Men when at full strength.
There will be a changing of the guard this season as the 2011-12 X-Men are challenged with replacing six graduating seniors off a team that won 27 games and captured four tournament titles. Those seniors included six of the team’s top eight scorers and four of the top six rebounders.
Leading the way for the X-Men will be fourth year senior Jeremy Dunn (6’5”, 245), a versatile forward who averaged 12.7 ppg and 4.9 rebounds. AUS All-Rookie team member Terry Thomas (6’4”) returns for his sophomore year and is an explosive athlete who averaged 10.9 ppg and 5.6 rpg. Thomas can play positions two through four.
Returnees at the guard position include juniors Jordan Clarke ((6’2”), who scored at a 4.7 ppg clip last season, 5’10” Ellis Ffrench (2.7 ppg), as well as 6’1” Will Donkoh, an athletic swingman returning after a year’s absence. Donkoh gives the squad a tough physical presence in the backcourt.
Patrolling the paint will be twin towers Riiny Ngot (7’2”) and Rod Madera (6’10”, 255). Ngot is a senior who averaged 3.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game last year, while Madera , a soph, averaged 4.6 and 2.3 boards. Six-five sophomore Shane Coupland, injured most of last year, will add depth to the frontcourt.
The new additions to the Blue and White are highlighted by two outstanding transfer students, 6’1” senior guard Tyrell Vernon, a three year starter at McMaster, and 6’7” Bol Kong, a CCAA All-Canadian at NAIT in Edmonton last season. Bol also played a year at D-1 Gonzaga University. Vernon will lead the X-Men from the point guard position.
Freshman Marquis Clayton, a 5’10” point from Citadel HS in Halifax and Next Level Prep in Ontario, along with 6’6” forward Jacob Simmons from Charlottetown Rural HS and the PEI Provincial Team, will add depth and ensure the future of the program.
Two more additions that have impressed in training camp are 6’3” Kohlin Rasenberg from St. Joseph’s HS in Cornwall, ON, and 5’10” speedy guard Omar Kadray, who has two years CIS experience at Brock University.
Veteran coach Steve Konchalski, the dean of CIS coaches in his 37th year with the X-Men, feels that this team will be a work in progress considering all the new additions as well as some early season injuries to key players Bol Kong (foot surgery) and Riiny Ngot (concussion). However, he feels that as things progress fans can expect a team that will compete for an AUS title in March.
The StFX X-Men basketball program, in conjunction with the Blue & White X-Press booster club, are excited to announce the 10 year reunion of the back to back national championships won by the X-Men in 2000 and 2001. Click HERE to learn how you can attend this great event which takes place September 24th!