Last weekend was not a happy one for any Manitoba man who traveled to Calgary to take on the Dinos men's basketball team. Both the University of Winnipeg Wesmen and the University of Manitoba Bisons were brutally beaten by the second and third strings of a team riddled with ill health and injury.
Fri., Nov. 28 saw every Dinos player score at least one point, as they defeated the Wesmen 79-59. Both Whit Hornsberger and John Riad were under the weather with the flu, yet both played hard and scored 15 and nine points, respectively. Aman Heran added 11 points to the tally, with Chris Wright contributing 10 and Surinder Grewal another nine.
"During the game, it ended up not even being the coach who decided who played," commented Grewal, who played through a cold. "We asked for subs."
"Friday was a slow start," said Head Coach Dan Vanhooren about the effects of the team's poor health. "[Our] depth is an advantage over other teams. If players are injured, others are ready to play."
"Our depth made the difference," said Grewal. "The outcome wasn't in doubt."
Indeed, depth was the secret of the team's success as all players contributed in a strong group effort. Notable was rookie Brendan Groat, who played 48 minutes over the weekend contributing 11 points.
"Physically, he's ready," commented Vanhooren. "Because of his size he provides versatility, playing post and perimeter, and he adds presence."
Sat., Nov. 29 was a similar story. Hornsberger, Riad, Heran, Wright and Grewal all scored in double-digits, toppling the Bisons 89-68. All this in spite of colds and lingering effects of the flu, as well as the loss of Riad in the second half with a dislocated shoulder.
"The timing is almost perfect, if it's going to happen," said Vanhooren.
If all goes well, Riad will be back for after a much needed Christmas break. So will Sean Newland who has been out the last two weeks with a muscle injury.
"That's the hope," said Vanhooren of Newland. "We'll wait and see."
The Dinos are back at home Jan. 16-17 against the universities of Victoria and British Columbia.