Vancouver Island University Mariners centre Jerod Dorby

Vancouver Island University Mariners centre Jerod Dorby

VIU men re-load with new additions

NANAIMO – Mariners basketball program tips off PacWest season this Friday (Oct. 30) against Camosun Chargers.

Maybe playoffs aren’t as far away as they seem.

It’s only the start of basketball season, but the Vancouver Island University Mariners do think about championships, and where they’ve been and where they want to be.

The M’s were national finalists last year. So in one sense, they’re at that calibre, but in another sense, they’re starting over.

“A bit of both, actually,” said Jerod Dorby, M’s centre. “Because it’s a new squad, new people, but I feel like the intensity and the teamwork is still there. We still have a lot to build, because any new team has that, but I feel like we’re going to hit our stride real soon.”

VIU’s top scorer from last year, Justin King, turned pro, but the Mariners recruited two American players – forward Josh Ross and guard John Thompson – who coach Matt Kuzminski said “are contributing at a high level and who I think can be awesome players in this league.”

Jason Fortin is back providing offence, defence and leadership at the forward position, and returning guard Chris Parker, as well as Dorby in the post, will also be impact players.

Kuzminski said it’s a good passing team, as both the guards and the bigs are capable of finding open teammates.

“When we’re at our best, the ball really moves and we make a lot of team scores rather than individual,” the coach said. “At the same time, we still do have really talented individual scorers. If things kind of break down, they can give us buckets.”

It’s a group that’s capable of achieving its goals.

“We really try to focus on the process of how we’re going to get there and that’s the stuff we do day in and day out, the fundamentals we have to build,” Kuzminski said. “So while [nationals are] a goal, we’re trying to distance ourself from it and focus on what we have to do right in the moment.”

GAME ON … The Mariners tip off the Pacific Western Athletic Association season against the Camosun Chargers on Friday (Oct. 30) at 8 p.m. at the VIU gym.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

Just Posted

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement, stating that Nanaimo will see temperatures between five-10 degrees above seasonal the next two days. (News Bulletin file)
Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement, stating that Nanaimo will see temperatures between five-10 degrees above normal the next two days. (News Bulletin file)
Heat wave will see Nanaimo temperatures rise 5-10 degrees above normal

Sun with highs of 28 C forecast by Environment Canada for Harbour City on Sunday and Monday

According to a staff report, Regional District of Nanaimo has seen some $13.6 million in grant applications approved between Jan. 1 and May 15. (News Bulletin file)
Close to $14 million in money granted to RDN in first half of year

Successful grants include more than $4 million for transit service in Regional District of Nanaimo

A section of the rail corridor on Vancouver Island. (Black Press file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Put rail trail right overtop of the tracks

Removing tracks would be a horrendous expense, says letter writer

District of Lantzville Mayor Mark Swain, left, and Snaw-Naw-As Chief Gordon Edwards sign a memorandum of understanding outside Snaw-Naw-As Market on Friday, June 18. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Lantzville and Snaw-Naw-As sign memorandum of understanding

District and First Nation create joint working group

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Robin Dutton, left, and Peter Sinclair are taking their mountain bikes and travelling down trails in the Mount Benson area June 19 as part of a 24-hour fundraiser benefiting Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Full-day mountain bike fundraiser gives financial support for Nanaimo food bank

Event part of Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank’s Food 4 Summer campaign

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding partnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read