Opening Tip '09-10: No. 8 Regina Cougars

  • Top 100 returnees: F Kris Heshka (29th), F Jamal Williams (37th)
  • Other key returnees: G Jeff Lukomski, G Paul Schubach, F Jordan McFarlen, F Marek Downarowicz
  • Newcomers: G Darius Mole, G Michael Smith, F-C Connor Burns
  • Coach: James Hillis (16th season)
  • Offence and defence: 93, 91 (+2)
  • Last year's results: 15-14 overall, 23rd in RPI
  • Looking ahead: The Cougars are just a solid all-around team, plain and simple. Saskatchewan is getting plenty of preseason buzz, but their provincial rivals return all five starters and 93% of their points from last season. (For what it's worth, Regina also finished ahead of Saskatchewan in the standings last season.)

    The Cougars, who have been good for a Canada West Final Four appearance about every second season, have a fairly formidable base to build from off last season. Rob notes they have no obvious strengths or weaknesses. Williams is a tough nut to crack whether he plays the 4/5 spot, while Heskha also makes up an excellent frontcourt. At guard, Lukomski is an outlier, since he's a sweet shooter who's good enough to make the difference on some nights. He's been unavailable through much of the preseason since he's a starting cornerback for the U of R football team, but he's not going to lose his shot.

    Calgary is the favourite in CW's new Prairie Division, but Regina should be capable. They also have an exciting recruiting class which might bear fruit after Christmas, when no one is a rookie (as the saying goes).
Rob's explanation of Top 100 players by Player Efficiency Ratings (see last year's PER) and Net Efficiency may be found in the women's preview.
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