Mariners look for fast start against unfamiliar opponents

NANAIMO – M's take on Christian Bible College, Kwantlen this weekend in basketball action at VIU gym

The Vancouver Island University Mariners men’s basketball team is off to a strong start this season, and it will look to continue its success against two teams it hasn’t seen yet.

The M’s are currently 5-1 after defeating Camosum College on its home court 90-76 last Friday. The team is on a three-game win streak that will be tested this weekend.

The only loss came against the Langara Falcons on Nov. 10.

VIU hosts the Christian Bible College Bearcats Friday (Nov. 30) at 8 p.m., followed by a tilt against the Kwantlen Eagles Saturday (Dec. 1) at 3 p.m.

M’s coach Matt Kuzminski said after watching tape of both CBC and Kwantlen he will have to ask his team to adjust to two very different styles this weekend.

“CBC has some really good guards so there will be some strong guard play from them, and Kwantlen plays a pressing style where they like to ramp it up and plan a fast-paced game that sometimes is close to being out of control,” said Kuzminski. “I expect a tough and unpredictable game from both teams.”

Kuzminski has credited the M’s success with early leads his team has taken in all of its wins, which has allowed it to pace games according to VIU’s strengths. Coupled with a balanced attack from his starting five and players off the bench, Kuzminski said individual players have been working hard since the off-season to earn success.

“Our guys have been in really good shape since the summer, they’ve worked really hard, both in conditioning and in strength so that helps make us one of the stronger teams,” he said.

The M’s have been strong starters out of the gate in all of its games so far this season, helping build an early lead that allows them to dictate the pace of the action.

Kizminski said that tactic will continue if it brings success.

“Our fast starts have been bigger than their responses, so we’ll keep doing it,” he said.

The Lady M’s basketball team hosts CBC Friday (Nov. 30) at 6 p.m. and Kwantlen Saturday (Dec. 1) at 1 p.m.

The weekend games are the final league matches before all teams break for the Christmas season.

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