December 8th, 2016
It's been a long time since I wrote my last Blog entry, but it's definitely been an extremely busy Summer and Fall. Since we're now in December and we have a break from games though, I figure this is a good time to do a recap of the first half of the season and spend some time reflecting on 2016.
The first half of the season was really unique this year because we started so early and faced some extremely tough competition! Our first game was on August 6th vs Wichita State who are a perennial Top 25 NCAA D1 program and a program that I have tremendous respect for under Coach Gregg Marshall. We have 10 new players on our team this season and it's been really interesting incorporating so many new guys, especially with a schedule as tough as ours. There have been some great moments, especially winning UQAM's 1st ever game vs an NCAA D1 opponent (Arkansas-Pine Bluff 66-64 on Aug 8th), beating a Pre-Season Top 5 NCAA D2 team (St. Thomas Aquinas 74-72 on Aug 31st), and UQAM's first ever win vs the University of Ottawa (Ranked #4 in Canada, 75-72 on Sept 30th).
We currently have a record of 14-9 overall (7-6 vs U Sports teams) going into the Christmas break. While we have had some great wins and have shown some very exciting flashes, we have also had some very frustrating losses. Our team is nowhere near as consistent as I would like and there is a ton of work to do.
There have been a lot of trying moments where our team and myself have been tested. The biggest one that many people have discussed was Kewyn Blain (RSEQ MVP & First-Team All-Canadian) deciding to step away from basketball in early September. He was following his heart and decided that University and basketball were not for him, and I wish him nothing but the best for his future. There are no hard feelings, and it was a pleasure and honor to coach him. Our team responded very well to his decision and supported him 100%. We actually won 10 straight games after he stepped away, and our team thrived in the Underdog role with all the people that were writing us off.
Now the challenge for us is consistency, and being ready for the battles that we face every game in the extremely competitive and tough RSEQ Conference! I am very excited about our team's potential, and if we keep working hard there is no limit to what we can accomplish this season!
On a personal note, my son Isaac is turning 7 this Sunday which is unbelievable to me! It's crazy how fast time flies. I can remember like it was yesterday the days of holding him as a newborn. I'm so proud of my baby boy, and also my daughter who will be 3 in March!
Our next game action will be in the inaugural Olga Hrycak Classic which we named in recognition of my predessesor here at UQAM who was a pioneer and Canadian basketball legend. Olga coached in Canada for 48 years and was the first woman in North America to coach a post-secondary men's basketball program (along with countless other accomplishments and distinctions). Below is the information on our Tournament from the 29th to 31st of December. Happy Holidays and much love everybody...GO UQAM!!