York Lions basketball team gets set to roar

The Lions men’s basketball team begins the 2005-2006 season with a pair of exhibition games against Middle Tennessee State University and Lake Superior State University, Sept. 3 & 4, at the Tait McKenzie Centre. Game time is 7:30pm both nights.

basketballThe Lions finished second in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East Division last year with a 16-6 record, before falling to Ottawa in the semifinals. The 2005-2006 squad has retained its core nucleus of players, including a trio of award winners.

Left: CIS Rookie of the Year Tut Ruach in action last year against University of North Carolina Charlotte

Key talent in this year’s York Lions men’s basketball team includes Dan Eves, Jordan Foebel and Tut Ruach. Eves, who is entering his fourth-season, was a first-team OUA All-Star last season and the OUA East Player of the Year, averaging over 19 points per game and leading the nation in three-point shooting percentage at 48.5 per cent. Foebel was also named a first-team OUA All-Star after leading Canadian Interuniversity (CIS) in both rebounding (12.05 per game) and blocks (2.41 per game). Second-year point guard Ruach had a remarkable debut at York, being named both the OUA and CIS Rookie of the Year.

Middle Tennessee State University’s basketball team the Blue Raiders finished third in the East Division of the Sun Belt Conference in the US last year, but will be hard pressed to duplicate its success this time around. The team finished the season with a 19-12 overall record, but the Blue Raiders only have two seniors returning this year, while they have nine newcomers.

Lake Superior State University’s team the Lakers finished 9-18 overall last season and 5-13 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Lakers also have a large recruitment class of 2005-2006, welcoming eight recruits plus four freshmen. Of the new recruits, two have Toronto roots. Shawn Berry is a six-foot-five-inch, 200-pound guard who played at Central Tech. Vitas Naudziunas is six-foot-nine-inch, 225-pound centre who previously played at Eastern Commerce Collegiate Institute.

York’s first OUA league game is Nov. 3, when it will host the Laurentian University Voyageurs. For more information, visit the Sport York Web site.