We're about to learn if some good-natured speculation will be borne out. You will hear about it rather soon that Matteke Hutzler, who helped Simon Fraser win back-to-back Bronze Babys before joining the NCAA, is officially joining the national title contender Western Mustangs.
As a refresher:
"The rumour that's been going around for a while is that 6-foot-2 centre Matteke Hutzler, the Ontario native among [SFU's] Fourth-Year Four, is looking at a particular Ontario school. Based on a few conversations I had this weekend, including one with someone close to that team, there's a very good chance that Hutzler will be a Western Mustang in 2010-11."Hutzler is one of the unaccounted-for among the former Clan contributors who have transferred to other CIS schools in order to play a full five years. (Guard Katie Miyazaki, entering her fourth season, is joining the Saskatchewan Huskies.) Off-season CIS news can come out in a trickle, so you have to figure word will come soon.
—Rob Pettapiece, March 14, 2010
The Napanee, Ont., native would give coach Steph Barrie's Mustangs a trio of strong additions who can help it challenge reigning CIS silver medallist Windsor in the OUA West. The Mustangs are augmenting a strong returning core by adding two guards with junior national team experience, Jenny Vaughan (a NCAA D-1 transfer who practised but could not play last winter) and Laura Dally (a frosh from Sarnia Northern).
Hutzler, who averaged 8.2 points and 4.8 rebounds on a balanced, deep Simon Fraser team, can also fill a need in the post created by 6-foot-1 Lauren Parkes' graduation.
Suffice it to say, this is sowing the seeds for a pretty good battle for the OUA West title, which Final 8 host Windsor would love to retain so it enters the tournament through the front door.
(By the way, people are aware the two-weekend tournament, with regionals the weekend before, is apparently in place; it hasn't been announced yet. The OUA has scheduled third- and fifth-place place games for March 5, 2011 and Windsor lists "CIS regionals" from March 11-13.)
Simon Fraser being out of the picture has perhaps opened the door a bit for someone to keep the OUA's title drought from turning 20 next March. Barrie and Windsor's Chantal Vallée would no doubt love to make a little CIS hoops history, especially with the nationals in southwestern Ontario this year.
(Laurentian, with its seven titles, and Toronto, which won in 1986, are the only OUA teams to win a women's basketball banner since what we'll call the modern era began in 1971-72. Thanks for the fix!)