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Basketballsaurs warm up in California

Golden Coast tournament helps Dinos prepare for second half of the season

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Over the break, many students went home for the holidays to visit family and friends. The men's basketball team, however, headed south to Los Angeles, California to participate in an American basketball tournament. There are a number of different tournaments in Canada over the break, but the Dinos choose California to get great competition and play against some tough teams.

"We get great competition, usually teams that are a little bit better than we are," said Dinos head coach Dan Vanhooren. "It's good for our guys to go down there and play at a higher level. It helps us prepare for our second half."

The teams consisted of NCia schools looking to play more basketball because many NCAA teams don't want to risk injury or a drop in ranking caused by a loss to NCIA schools.

"They are basically made up of guys who just couldn't go to those bigger schools, for whatever reason," said Vanhooren. "They're great athletes but not necessarily the best students. They have great teams on the floor and we played the top three teams down there. The purpose of this tournament is to develop and get better."

The Dinos played three games while in California, losing the first on Dec. 28 67-90 to Azuza Pacific. The Dinos then suffered a 70-91 loss in their second game against Concordia Irvine and lost 50-80 to Biola University on New Year's Eve.

The Dinos have been plagued by injuries this year as point guard Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson suffered an ankle injury in pre-season, forcing him to miss the entire first half of the season.

"We just got him back," said Vanhooren. "That was his first run, so we haven't had a point guard all year. We are not going to be at full strength yet, but we are very close."

Backup point guard Andy Rochon is currently out because of a shoulder injury.

The Dinos now have 12 games left in the season after breaking even with the Fraser Valley Cascades in a two game home stand. The remaining 12 games are split 50/50 between home and away.

The Dinos are second place in CW in blocked shots, Tyler Fidler leads the Dinos in scoring with 187 points, Fidler leads CW rebounding with an average of 12.3 per game and is second in CW for defensive rebounds.

The Dinos (5-7) now head off to play a two game series against the second place University of British Columbia Thunderbirds (12-2) on Jan. 14 and 15.

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