Brandon Tull has been nothing short of phenomenal so far./Haley Klassen

Brandon Tull has been nothing short of phenomenal so far./Haley Klassen

Five things to look forward to this U of R basketball season

Basketball season is finally here at the University of Regina, and I could not be happier. Basketball has been my sport since I was a little kid, and I’ve been attending Cougars basketball games since I was in elementary school. So, after the first set of home conference games, both Cougars team are off to a good start, so I thought I’d give you guys five things to watch and look forward to this basketball season.

  1. New Beginnings for both Teams

The Cougars basketball teams have experienced quite a bit of upheaval in terms of their roster, and it’s going to let the fans see some new things from both sides. The men’s team added the likes of Brandon Tull, Alex Igual and Zach Mihalicz, and while the women’s team didn’t added too many new players, they did see important players like Nicole Clarke and Megan Chamberlin move on.

  1. New Faces, New Leaders

When I covered men’s Cougars game last season, some of the players would tell me of how they didn’t feel as united as they should be. That’s not the case at all this season. Especially among the men’s team, they seem to be having a lot more fun. This was something that forward Travis Sylvestre stressed to me, and I definitely believe him now. Team chemistry is incredibly important to a team, and it’s already benefitting the Cougars in this young season.

  1. Charlotte Kot Destined for Bigger Things

The women’s team might have lost some important players, but as far as I’m concerned, this is a huge chance for a new star to emerge, and that person is forward Charlotte Kot. Despite not being one of the first couple of options, Kot averaged a solid 11 points and eight rebounds per game, and has already greatly improved on those numbers early this season at 15 points and nine rebounds. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kot end up with a Canada West all-star selection at the end of the year.

  1. Run and Gun Excitement

After going to my first men’s game in a while, I couldn’t have come out of that game more excited. This team is now full of flash and excitement, and they are making every effort to impress. Led by new recruits Brandon Tull and Alex Igual, the Cougars have added some spice to their game with ankle breaking crossovers and underhanded passes. Announcer Mick Panko about summed things up after Igual finished a beautiful three-point play to pretty much seal things in the Cougars win on Saturday, with this quote: “Si, Si, Senor!” Let’s have some fun!

  1. A Chance for Redemption

The women’s basketball team didn’t have an ideal end to their season last year when they fell to the Alberta Pandas in the Canada West Final Four, 55-50. However, they have a chance at redemption this season, despite some roster changes. They may be a little short handed, but this women’s team is still very talented, and their sights are still set on a Canada West championship. A solid 10-5 start to their season is good, but they’re looking to improve on their 2-2 conference record in the next couple of weeks. I have no doubt that they will.

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