Thursday, December 30, 2010

Saskatchewan Edges L.U. by 3 in Classic CIS Action

In what could be described as an excellent all-around game (especially for a Christmas Tournament), the #3 Saskatchewan Huskies defeated the unranked Lakehead Thunderwolves 82-79 in the Wesmen Classic semi-final.
Saskatchewan, the defending CIS champs, gave a patented 40 minute effort of slashing guards and strong rebounding bigs while Lakehead answered with excellent 3pt shooting and extra efforts on the glass to stay in the game until the final seconds.
Lakehead recovered from a late 3rd quarter Sask run that saw the lead stretched to 12 points to bring the game down to its final possession with an 80-79 score and Lakehead ball with just over 24 seconds to go. Lakehead had possibly its two best looks of the game from outside as both Joe Jones and Jamie Searle rimmed out on potential game-winning shots with 15 and 9 seconds remaining in the game. Sask added two free throws to ice things at 82-79.
Rejan Chabot was the toughest check on the floor going for 33 points on 10-20 shooting and 12-12 from the free throw line. Jamelle Barrett added 20 on 6-15 shooting. Lakehead shot a combined 14-37 from 3pt range led by Ven Russell with 17, Jamie Searle with 19 (5-8 3pt range), Ryan Thomson with 15 in only 19 minutes (fouled out) and Joseph Jones with 14. Lakehead out rebounded a bigger and stronger Saskatchewan team 39-36 (16-10 offensive) but it was not enough as Sask slashed its way to 30 FT attempts to Lakehead's 16. (13-16 FT).
Lakehead finishes the Wesmen Classic vs University of Manitoba which lost to host Winnipeg in the other semi-final tonight.

"Overall we had plenty of positives to draw from tonight. However the biggest learning experience to take from this game is that we can play with anyone in the country when we set our minds to sticking to our defensive gameplane and putting forth a team effort on the glass. This is a tough game that we hope will come back to help us come OUA West play starting next week."
-Coach Scott Morrison

Shout out to former Nor'Westor Dr. Grant Pierce who took in the last two games in his hometown, supporting the Lakehead squad.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lakehead Beats Brandon in Wesmen Opener

In a "team" effort that saw 12 Lakehead players hit the scoreboard, the Thunderwolves rode a hot start and consistent defense to a 93-49 win over the Brandon Bobcats in the quarter-final of the Wesmen Classic. Lakehead won all four quarters including a 22-7 1st that set the tone for the remaining 30 minutes.
Brendan King led all scorers with 21 including a 7-0 personal run late in the game which put the contest out of reach. Yoosrie Salhia had his best rebounding game of the season hauling down 16 boards in 21 minutes while Ben Johnson was the only other wolf in double-figures with 11. Ven Russell added 6 assists and 4 steals to lead both categories.
For Brandon, Kyrie Coleman had 14 points on 6-14 shooting and Nathan Grant had 8 on 3-4 shooting. After Coleman and Grant, the Bobcats struggled going a combined 10-40 from the field.
The Thunderwolves next play defending CIS champion Saskatchewan in the semi-finals at 8pm wednesday night (central time). The games are online accessible via the wesmen streaming network. (check the report at for exact link).

"We were really happy with the execution and effort for a first game back after the break. We improved some aspects of our game that we had talked about in film sessions during December and must continue to focus on improving those weaknesses over the next two games in preperation for the tough OUA West schedule. We are excited to get a chance to play a top calibre team like Saskatchewan and see if we can play a consistent game over 40 minutes."

Friday, December 17, 2010


Yoosrie Salhia and the Thunderwolves Featured in Lakehead's ANNUAL REPORT

Each year the teams works hard to have a presence in the local community and do our best to 'give back' the city that supports us so strongly. Our efforts have drawn the attention of the general university community leading to Yoosrie Salhia (3rd Yr, Toronto) to be featured in this year's Annual Report from Lakehead University. The printed report is sent to all Lakehead Alumni via traditional mail. For the online view please copy the link below.

Stay tuned for announcements on this year's "Shelterhouse" campaign as well as other team projects in Thunder Bay.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Highlights from Friday night's Ottawa U game

The Lakehead Basketball Blog will be attempting to upload post-game highlights after some games for the remainder of the season for those unable to watch the games live online. It is a work in progress but hopefully a value added new option as the season progresses.
Please copy and past the below link for highlights of Lakehead's win at Ottawa U on Friday night.
(You can also click the Video Link on the right hand side of the main blog page)

Stay Tuned for more highlights from the first semester.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

'Wolves Fall to Top Ranked Carleton

The #1 ranked Carleton Ravens finished the first half a perfect 8-0 with a 75-49 victory over a cold shooting Thunderwolves team. Carleton jumped out to a 15-11 1st quarter and 35-21 half-time lead and pulled away in the 4th quarter to send the 'Wolves home with a 6-2 first semester record. Sophomore post Tyson Hinz lead the way with 18 points and 8 rebounds with 5 assists. Lakehead's bigs were in early foul trouble as a result of 3 offensive foul calls in the first 5 minutes. Freshman Philip Scrub continued his strong play going for 15 points. Lakehead's only double digit scorer was Ben Johnson who hit on 3 of 5 for 11 points.
The most obvious weakness in the Lakehead performance was their lack of ability to knock down open looks. The team went 15-52 (28%) for the game and a miserable 14-27 from the FT line.

"In order to compete with a team like Carleton, one has to knock down open looks and stick to a defensive gameplan. We had tough luck finishing inside and rushed shots from 3. We also did a terrible job with our defensive gameplan as our execution floundered throughout the game. We worked hard at times but did not 'work smart' enough to win this game. Carleton outplayed us and showed us how far we have to go to be a contender in March."
- Coach Morrison on the game tonight.

"A 6-2 interlock record is nothing to sneeze at. However only 1 or 2 games separates 2nd from 8th in our league. December will be a big month for us to re-group, work on our execution and get set for a tough 7 week OUA West schedule were every night is up for grabs."
-Coach Morrison on the 1st semester.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Lakehead Escapes Ottawa U 68-65

The Thunderwolves used a 21-11 4th quarter run to escape with a close 68-65 victory over a tough Ottawa Gee Gees squad who have lost the last three games by 3 points or less (Western in OT and Windsor by 2 last week).
Ottawa exploded for a 22-8 3rd quarter to take 5 point 3rd quarter lead before extending that lead to 9 with five minutes to go in the game. In the stretch run Lakehead found the range from 3pt land hitting 4 threes in the final 4 minutes including 3 from Jamie Searle (5th yr Belleville, ON) who led all scorers with 20 on 5-11 3pt shooting. Searle also had a season high 6 rebounds and career high 5 steals. Brendan King had 17 points and 7 rebounds (3 offensive) and went 2-3 from downtown in 33 minutes of play.
Warren Ward fended off the Lakehead ball pressure to hit for 18 on 8-20 shooting adding 6 rebounds. Louis Gauthier was a tough match-up all night for L.U. and finished with 16 points and 9 rebounds to lead all players on the glass.
Neither team lit it up from the FT line as Lakehead went 8-14 to Ottawa's 4-11.

"We were extremely fortunate to escape with a win tonight. We had trouble matching up with Ottawa all game long and were lucky to get hot in the 4th quarter and come out on top. I thought we were sloppy on the offensive end for much of the game and we got beat down the court in transition for much of the second half which put our defense on its heels for many possessions. At the end of the day we'll take a hard fought W and move forward to our final game of the semester tomorrow night at #1 Carleton."

The coaching staff would like to invite all former players, alumni, friends and family of "Thunderwolves Nation" to the Royal Oak on Kent and Slater after the game tomorrow night for a Back Court Club Social (Ottawa Version!).

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thunderwolves Return to Capital Hill

Media Release


Movember 24, 2010

Basketball Teams Head to Capital for Showdowns


Lakehead's basketball programs will touch down in our nation's capital this weekend for games against Ottawa (Friday) and Carleton (Saturday).

The last time Lakehead played the Gee Gees was in the OUA playoff third place game, in which the Thunderwolves shocked Ottawa in their home gym to win and move on to the big dance at the CIS Final 8. Ottawa no doubt has not forgotten and will be gunning to reclaim their home court. Although the Gee Gees have lost All Star Josh Gibson-Bascombe to graduation, they have re-loaded with newcomers Johnny Berhanemeskel and Luc Minani who have been putting up good numbers so far this season. Returning studs Warren Ward and Jacob Gibson-Bascombe are significant threats, as Gibson-Bascombe shoots well from the perimeter, and Ward can score in bunches (29 points against LU in their last match up). One notable performance in the last Ottawa-LU game was that of LU's Anthony MacIntosh, an Ottawa native, but who is out for the season this year due to injury. Fellow Ottawa native and LU's starting point guard, Greg Carter (OUA west defensive player of the year), will be looking to have another successful homecoming on the court.

For Saturday's matchup against Carleton, Lakehead is looking to take the battle to the Ravens' home court. LU was victorious over Carleton last year in the Thunderdome, and hopes to knock off the OUA East's top team, as the Ravens presently sit at 6-0 this season. The Ravens' Elliot Thompson and Mike Kenny provide veteran leadership and consistent scoring. Cole Hobin and Tyson Hinz anchor the 3-4 spot and can defend and score in a number of ways. Newcomer Philip Scrubb is one of the top freshmen in the country and has led Carleton in scoring a number of games. It will be essential for LU to play great team defense, as Carleton possesses many scoring threats and presents a balanced scoring attack. Both LU and Carleton are currently among the leaders in protecting the ball this season, as the two teams have committed among the fewest turnovers in the country.

Coach Scott Morrison welcomes the challenge in this weekend trip that will be the biggest so far this season:

"We hope to have a first semester 'peak' heading into our toughest back-to-back yet this season. Ottawa is a well-rounded team that has suffered much in terms of injuries and tough luck. They look to be 100% and thus capable of beating any team in the country. Carleton is already the best team in the CIS and come more prepared to play than any team in history. It should be obvious to all involved how important our four days of practice will be this week."

Fans not able to make it to Ottawa for the games can catch the action on the SSN Network,

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Lakehead Beats Queen's to Finish Home Stand 4-0

The Thunderwolves finished off a successful 4 game home stand with a 78-47 win over Queen's.
Lakehead's defense has made positive strides since the pre-season and again was a factor tonight holding Queen's to single digit scoring in the first and third quarters. Lakehead's offense sputtered tonight at times in the form of 23 turnovers and some poor decision making off the dribble.
A balanced scoring attack was led by Ryan Thomson (Sophomore Oakville, ON) who led the team with 14 points on 5-11 shooting. Ben Johnson (Junior Pictou, NS) added 13 on the strength of 3-3 from long range. Yoosrie Salhia (Junior Toronto, ON) led the way in the paint with 14 points and 6 rebounds while Joseph Jones (Junior Washington DC) again led all players in rebounding with 7.
Dan Bannister of Queen's has shown in the last three weeks he is a potential all-star in the OUA East and led Queen's with 15 points and 6 rebounds. Tim Boyle had 13.

"We were pleased that we took care of business the last 2 weeks and are heading to Ottawa on a winning note. That being said we were not satisfied with our all around play; had Queen's shot the ball better our mistakes tonight would have been more costly. We have to put together 4 straight good practices this week to try and be at our best against the two of the toughest teams we will play all season in Carleton and Ottawa U"
- Coach Morrison

Friday, November 19, 2010

Lakehead Beats RMC

The Thunderwolves rode a 37-12 half-time lead to a 75-41 victory tonight in chilly Thunder Bay.
Lakehead's shooting was also a little below temperature with 10-30 from behind the arc (Ryan Thomson 3-5) and only 3-6 from the free throw line. The team did, however, do a good job on the glass earning 17 offensive rebounds (Brendan King / Joe Jones 5 each). RMC's 5 O boards came all in the first half.
Joe Jones (Jr. Washington, D.C) was Lakehead's top player tonight working his way to 10 points 12 rebounds 6 assists and 3 steals with 0 turn overs in 17 minutes of play. Matt Schmidt and Jamie Searle also had 10 points in a balanced scoring attack.
Gavin Viray-Cox did a good job handling Lakehead's ball pressure all night finishing with 10 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists to lead RMC. Jordan Wilson hit two 3's in the 4th which saw RMC finish 21-14 in the final frame.

"We were generally pleased with the overall defensive effort for the first 30 minutes but at the same time were looking for a more consistent effort 1 thur 12 in the lineup for the complete game. Tonight JJ (Jones) showed us why he comes through in big games late in the season - because he comes to play 100% for every game. We need everyone feeding off his energy tomorrow night."

Lakehead welcomes Queen's to the Thunderdome for an 8pm matchup.
Visit for more info.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

RMC and Queens Travel to Thunder Bay This Weekend

Movember 16, 2010

Lakehead Basketball to Host RMC, Queen's This Weekend


The Thunderdome at C.J. Sanders Fieldhouse will be host to another weekend of basketball action November 19 and 20th, as RMC and Queen's will challenge the Thunderwolves. Game times, as usual, will be 6 pm for the women, and 8 pm for the men both Friday (vs RMC) and Saturday (vs Queen's).

Women's Side

Jon Kreiner's team is coming off two convincing home victories vs York and Laurentian last weekend. The RMC Lady Paladins will look to challenge the Thunderwolves with their leading scorer and guard Carolyn Pumphrey, who averages 10.2 PPG, 8.2 Rebounds per game and shoots 38% from beyond the arc. There are a total of 6 players are averaging over 6 PPG, and 3 players over 6 rebounds per game. The Paladins program, which is frequently towards the lower ranks in the league, is showing signs of life, as they scored a convincing win against Waterloo November 5th, 67-47.
Queen's are led by 4th year 1st team OUA Allstar point guard Brittany Moore (14.5 PPG, 17-18 from the foul line this year). First year wing Gemma Bullard is having a solid start to the 2011 campaign averaging 12.5 PPG including 46% from the field, 44% from 3, and 100% (7-7) from the Free Throw line. As a team, Queen's is 2nd the OUA in FT percentage shooting 79.1%.

Jon Kreiner on the competition:

"RMC is a tough team because so many players will shoot the ball well enough from 3 and they are strong and in tremendous shape. Queens is led by one of the best shooters in the country in Brittany Moore. She is struggling right now and we need to make sure she doesn't find her rhythm against us. We will need to control the tempo and not allow shooters to find their rhythm this weekend".
NOTE: Heading into this game, LU's Tasia McKenna is currently 18th on the all time OUA scoring list (1,133 pts), and 3rd for all time scoring at Lakehead (1,715 pts). (OUA scoring list counts points scored in OUA season and playoff games, whereas Lakehead's scoring list counts all season and exhibition games played).

Men's Side

Similar to the women's team, Scott Morrison's men's team secured 2 blowout victories last weekend against visiting teams. This weekend he hopes that his players can stick to the game plan as they did against York and Laurentian. RMC and Queen's will bring different looks to the court, however, and the Thunderwolves will have to execute and put forth another strong effort in order to continue their recent success.

RMC is led by their point guard, Gavin Viray-Cox, who can shoot the 3 and create his own shot. RMC could also present some problems for LU down low, as they have two large forwards in Nicholas Cooke (6'9") and Simon Dakin (6'7"). Cooke who have proven himself to be a good shot blocker and can also step out on the perimeter. Dakin is another 4th year player that has gotten progressively better every year and can score effectively from the high post.
Queen's will be looking to avenge a 75-74 loss to Lakehead in Kingston last season, a game which came down to a buzzer beating 3 point shot by Thunderwolf Andrew Hackner, whose footwork on the play was noticeably suspect upon review - Hackner had 16 points in that game. Fourth-year Dan Bannister is an all-round scorer for Queen's, and will get help from his point guard Chris Barrett, a 4th year accounting student who is quick and can create shots for his teammates. Timothy Boyle fills the 'hustler' role for Queen's, in that he is active on the offensive glass, in the passing lanes and a good scorer in transition.

Scott Morrison on the upcoming weekend:

"We have two disciplined and intelligent teams coming into the Thunderdome this weekend. Both RMC and Queen's run their offensive sets well and get after it on the boards. We are going to have to match each school's execution as well as extra effort for us to protect home court this weekend."

Game times are 6 pm (women) and 8 pm (men) on Friday and Saturday, November 19 and 20th. All times Eastern.

Those not able to make it to the Thunderdome can catch all the action on SSN Canada (, and on LU Radio, 102.7 FM and - Links to the game will be listed on

Courtesy of Hugh Mullally - Lakehead SID

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Lakehead Finishes Weekend Beating Laurentian @ The Thunderdome

The Lakehead Men's Basketball Thunderwolves capped a solid weekend sweep at home beating a tired Laurentian Voyageurs squad 87-50. Lakehead head Laurentian to 24 first half points and then stymied Laurentian to 6 points in the 3rd quarter to pull away.
Venzal Russell and Joseph Jones again led the scoring load with 15 points each while Yoosrie Salhia added his first double-double of the OUA season with 11 points and 13 rebounds in 20 minutes played. Mike Hull finished off a good weekend leading Laurentian with 11 points.
Lakehead shot well from the 3pt line going 15-39 from beyond the arc and helped their cause by grabbing 14 offensive boards (6 from Salhia) to Laurentian's 10 second chance points.
The 'Wolves were no doubt aided by a weary opponent that spent half of the day dealing with airport delays.

"After preaching defensive improvement all week, we are happy with the effort our guys put out on that end of the floor. We have lots of work to do but obviously anytime you get a convincing victory against a good team like Laurentian we will count our blessings and look toward our next opponents - RMC and Queen's next week."
-Scott Morrison on Saturday's Win.

Lakehead - Laurentian Game Delayed 1 Hour

As of 2:30Pm Saturday, the Lakehead-Laurentian twinbill will be delayed 1 hour and now played at 9:00PM (with Women's game at 7:00PM).
The change is a result of Laurentian's flight being delayed from Toronto after their win vs. McMaster friday night in Hamilton.
The reason for the delay is rumored to be an inability to land in a foggy Thunder Bay. There is no confirmation to the rumor that the fog is a result of the Thunderdome's pre-game "Smoke Machine".

Best wishes to both Laurentian teams for a safe arrival in TBay.
The games will still be broadcast online at ssncanada.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Lakehead Wins Thunderdome Opener

The Lakehead Thunderwolves jumped out to a 28-9 first quarter lead and maintained the advantage throughout most of the game, finishing with the win 89-58. Back to back threes from junior point guard Greg Carter led to an 8-0 run to start the game. Carter soon picked up his second foul five minutes into the game, when fellow junior Ben Johnson (Pictou NS) picked up where Carter left off hitting a pair of threes of his own en route to 8 points in 20 points for the game. Venzal Russell started the game off with 1 of several slashing buckets on his way to leading the game in scoring with 18 and 4 boards.
Carter and Johnson combined to hold York all-star guard David Tyndale to 11 points on 3-13 shooting with 6 turnovers. Carter and Johnson had 3 and 2 steals respectively.
In the paint York's 6'10 (11?) Dejan Kravic displayed his usual all-around game leading the way for all bigs with 14 points 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. For Lakehead Ryan Thomson with 11 and Jamie Searle with 10 were also in double figures. Brendan King had a game high 10 rebounds.

"We were happy with an improved defensive effort tonight, but more importantly have to shift focus immediately to a dangerous Laurentian team. They have a number of weapons and an increased athleticism to go with an always consistent work ethic. We were able to spread minutes around and save some legs tonight so we have no excuses heading into Saturday"
- Coach Morrison on the weekend half-time

Thursday, November 11, 2010

'Wolves Finish 1-1 in Toronto, Get Ready for Home Opener

After a 1-1 split vs the Toronto reps of the OUA East (Loss 88-73 to Toronto, Win over Ryerson 102-74), the team has been re-grouping this week in prep for a big home opening weekend coming up. This Friday night the 'Wolves welcome York Lions to the Thunderdome followed by the Laurentian Voyageurs on Saturday night.
Both games are at 8pm on ssncanada (see link under the links section of this blog).

The Toronto and Ryerson games saw the victor on both occassions use some hot shooting in combination with a 2-3 zone defense. Lakehead was a victim on Friday but used the zone and hot shooting (especially by Jamie Searle who hit 11 threes in 2 games) to salvage a split in the big city.

This weekend will be tough for Lakehead as York has some of the best talent in the OUA in their lineup and Laurentian is an improving squad who now feature some elite athletes to match their general hustle and tough play. Lakehead will have to match the effort of both teams while looking to improve on their defensive execution from last weekend. Please see for an official weekend preview.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thunderwolves Partner with Local Club

Lakehead Mens Basketball Team up With Blaze Basketball


Lakehead Athletics is pleased to announce a new partnership between the Lakehead Men’s basketball
team and the Thunder Bay Blaze basketball club. The Thunderwolves and the Blaze have teamed up in order to provide local boys an opportunity to play basketball on a year round basis while receiving strong coaching and organization at all age levels.

The new partnership will see the Thunderwolves providing assistance in coaching and facilities to the
current Blaze youth programs that operate from September into the following spring. Lakehead Basketball and the Blaze have also worked together to introduce new programming for high school aged players that have progressed through the Blaze minor basketball system. Lakehead Head Coach Scott Morrison will also join the Blaze organizing committee and take a more active role in the general group planning and administration.

Coach Morrison believes the partnership is the first step in a joint effort to improve the opportunities for
players and general level of basketball in Thunder Bay.

“Over the past 3-4 years we have worked hard at Lakehead to improve the quality of our teaching and
programming in terms of youth basketball camps. Our interests have historically focused more on the
older age groups which is a result of our need to recruit and develop future players. The Blaze have a
great infrastructure in place for the younger ages and together we believe we can get more young kids
playing ball, learning the fundamentals and developing a love for the game at an early age. Not only will
this add value to basketball in the community but it will give local kids a chance to grow into potential
CIS players.”

Blaze coach and committee member, Pat Charlebois, is also thrilled about the prospects arising from the Lakehead partnership: “Teaming up with LU is a natural fit for us. The LU coaching staff and players bring a very high level of basketball expertise to our program. Our boys really enjoy inter-acting with and getting to know the varsity players. It gives each of them an opportunity to imagine themselves as an elite caliber player in a few years. It also gives the varsity players an opportunity to be involved in the community and to give something back to the sport they love. In order to insure the sustainability of Blaze, we need the involvement Coach Morrison and his players. Volunteer parent/coaches come and go along with their kids, but the LU varsity team will be around for years to come as the back-bone of this program. ”

The Thunder Bay Blaze have been in operation for 6 years and have had over 800 members since
inception. The club has developmental programs running during the majority of the school year and rep
teams for age groups competing in the spring and summer. The Lakehead men’s basketball team
competes in the OUA and CIS. They are coming off their best season in over 30 years, finishing the
2009-10 season as the #6 team in the Canada. The Thunderwolves open their 2010-11 Conference season on November 5th in Toronto.

For more information on the Thunder Bay Blaze, Lakehead Men’s Basketball or the new partnership, please contact Coach Scott Morrison at 346-7820 or

Online, please visit and

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Lakehead Travels to Toronto to Open OUA Play

The Lakehead Thunderwolves will take their show on the road again this weekend as they will be delivered to downtown Toronto by Porter Airlines to take on the University of Toronto Blues and Ryerson Rams on Friday and Saturday nights respectively.
Lakehead finished 4-4 in the pre-season which included 6 road games against tough competition.

Statistical leaders for the preseason schedule were as follows:
PPG: Ven Russell 14.0
RPG: Yoosrie Salhie 7.0
APG: Greg Carter 3.0
Steals: Carter 16
FG% : Brendan King 59% (19-32)
FT%: Jamie Searle 80% (8-10)
3pt%: Greg Carter 50% (8-16)

Coach Morrison on the beginning of the season:
"We have been pleased with our progress since the completion of the Maritime tour in early October. That being said it is hard to measure the true results without matching up against a conference opponent. We have to wait no longer for this opportunity as we will be challenged by two very strong opponents in Toronto and Ryerson. At the end of the day, OUA play is the reason we put in the hours of training camp, challenge ourselves in the pre-season and watch that film and lift those weights. We are excited to get going and working at focusing on one opponent and one quarter at a time."

Both weekend games will be webcast online at

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

'Wolves Get Ready for OUA Season

Here is a Link to a season preview in "The Source"

(Copy and Paste Above Link)

Monday, November 1, 2010

"Wolves Get Final Tune-up in Minnesota

Sunday Oct 31 marked the final tune-up for the team as they prepare to open OUA interlock play against Ryerson and Toronto this coming weekend in the T-dot.
Yesterday's action saw the Thunderwolves travel to Ely, Minnesota to play 6 X 10 minute quarters against Vermillion Community College and legendary coach Paul MacDonald (Kevin McHale's high school rival!). VCC is also the alma mater of Venzal Russell who returned to his former stomping grounds to help L.U. win all 6 games against a young VCC team. The team travelled without starters Yoosrie Salhia and Ryan Thomson who are finishing up a 2 week rehab stint as well as Cam Hornby who is the team's second leading scorer in the pre-season. Brendan King and Matthew Schmidt led the way for Lakehead in the scrimmage holding a size advantage in the paint. All 12 of the 'Wolves on the travel roster enjoyoed significant minutes with everyone touching the score sheet.
This weekend the team opens play @ the University of Toronto on Friday night. Stay tuned for a weekend preview coming out later in the week.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

'Wolves FInish 4-4 in CIS Non Conference Pre-Season

After playing 8 CIS non-conference games in 15 days, the Lakehead Thunderwolves men's basketball team will get a weekend off from competition and look to re-engergize and re-focus on the upcoming OUA interlock schedule beginning November 5th. The team sits at 4-4 with a very tough road schedule behind them as they faced 5 potential top ten teams, in their own gyms, during the course of their 10 day east coast swing.
The players were given an extra day off this week and some of the 'Wolves have been on the sidelines "licking their wounds" in order to be at full strength for the key month of the first semester. The team will open conference play in the GTA with road games against an always tough Varsity Blues squad from U of Toronto and a very strong and athletic Ryerson Rams team - both out to start their seasons on a high note.
The team stays in game shape with a scrimmage against Vermillion C.C. in Ely, Minnesota on October 31. Vermillion is the alma mater of current Thunderwolf, Venzal Russell.

Coach Morrison on the completion of the CIS Non-Conference portion of the schedule:
"While we would obviously prefer to have had a stronger record out east, the final results of that trip will not be known until we find out just how much we learned from that trip.... If the mistakes we made in losses to Acadia, SMU, or Dalhousie can help us learn how to better have a chance to beat teams in our conference later this month, then it will have been a succesful venture."

Coach Morrison on the next two weeks for the team:
"Like every team the next two weeks represent a chance to get our houses in order before the big games start in November. For us, that entails getting our team defense and rebounding up to the standard we expect this season. We need to be sure we get something out of every drill in practice, maximizing our opportunity for improvement to start the OUA schedule."

Friday, October 15, 2010

Acadia Tops 'Wolves At Buzzer 72-70

3rd year forward Justin Boutilier hit a baseline runner with 2 seconds left to break a 70-70 tie and ice the homecoming win for the Axemen.
Lakehead held a 4 point lead entering the 4th but went cold on the offensive end including three point blank lay-ups missed against the Acadia 2-3 zone.
Acadia earned themselves 3 second chance scorees on offensive rebounds from the perimeter in the final quarter that proved to be crucial in Acadia pulling ahead.
Acadia's front court dominated the game as Boutilier had 16 and 12 rebounds while 6'10 Owen Klassen had 14 and 10 boards.
Venzal Russell had 20 points but also 5 turnovers while Matt Schmidt put forth the team's best individual effort with 13 points and 6 rebounds.
Free throws were even tonight but Acadia won the rebounding battle 13-9 which proved to be a deciding factor late in the game along with Lakehead's missed "bunnies".

"We are obviously not playing our best basketball right now. We had chances to win tonight's game and could not capitalize to finish it off. Last year we would have converted late chances and not given up key 4th quarter O boards and that was why we were able to win so many games late."

"We have to work some things out but in general we need our veteran players to start executing simple plays and get back to the grinding effort that made us successful last season."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

'Wolves Ripped Apart by Tigers

The Dalhousie Tigers took advantage of some soft first half defense from the Lakehead Thunderwolves to jump out to a 24-16 1st quarter and 47-30 half-time lead. Joe Schow led the Tigers in the first half shooting 9-9 from the field for 20 first half points.
Lakehead came out strong in the 3rd quarter for their only good defensive quarter of the game and brought the score to 60-52 at the beginning of the final frame. In crunch time transfer guard Juleous Grant turned it on and hit 3 tough baskets from different areas on the court to keep the Tigers comfortably ahead.
Schow was the game's high scorer with 24 points 11 rebounds while Grant added 20 points on 7-14 shooting from the field. William Yengue had 14 points and 4 rebounds in 16 minutes of play for the Tigers.
Venzal Russell had 18, Ryan Thomson 12 and Matthew Schmidt 10. The Thunderwolves shot 11-30 from three point range to Dalhousie's 4-9. However the story for the second straight game was Lakehead's inability to cut down on deep penetration leading to opponent's free throws. Dalhousie was 18-40 from the FT line to Lakehead's 4-11. In two losses on this trip L.U. has been out shot 58-90 to 15-31 from the FT line.

"Credit to a strong Dalhousie team that came out firing on all cylinders and caught us flat footed in the first quarter. We are getting fouls too far away from the basket that is resulting in early bonus situations for the opponent. We have to do a better job keeping our hands off and moving our feet to make the opponent's shots a little tougher than free throws."

"Dalhousie offers a very tough back-court matchup. With Farine and Grant, a top player is always drawing a team's 2nd or 3rd best defender making them tough to match up with. With such a great back court it will be very tough to beat Dal when they have their bigs playing well as they did tonight."

"We have to re-group for another tough one at Acadia tomorrow. Acadia has one of the best young teams in the country and we have to be at our all around best to try and compete for a W down in Wolfville."

- Coach Scott Morrison

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

'Wolves Take in Historic Halifax

Lakehead Thunderwolves Overlook Downtown Halifax

The Thunderwolves took a break from study halls and practices this morning to take in some areas of significance around scenic downtown Halifax. First up on the list was a behind-the-scenes tour of the Halifax Metro Centre, home of the 2011 CIS Final 8. Metro Centre manager Darren Watt took time out of his day to show us the arena itself, the 'under belly' and also broke down the process of switching from a hockey to a basketball venue.
Following the Metro Centre tour the team made the trek up Citadel Hill to check out old "Fort George" and take in the view of the city from its highest natural point. Nova Scotia product Ben Johnson gave an impromptu history lesson on the construction of the fort on Citadel Hill and some of the background. Coach Morrison outlined the story of the great "Halifax Explosion" which took place in the Halifax Harbour in 1917. Some of the players wondered if Coach witnessed it first hand and were curious as to how he survived such as blast.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

X Beats Lakehead in Garland Tournament Final

The St. F.X. X Men topped the Thunderwolves 107-89 in the championship game of the UNB tournament this morning in Fredericton.
The X-Men, who have five 5th year seniors were led by two of them - Christian Upshaw and Dwayne Johnson. Upshaw penetrated into the paint seemingly at will and was a force in transition. He finished with 34 points on 10-24 shooting. Johnson was a beast on the boards earning many more than the 8 rebounds he was credited with and torched the 'Wolves for (potential career high?) 28 points. Lakehead was led by Venzal Russell with 22 points and 3 steals. Greg Carter had 15 and 4 steals while Yoosrie Salhia had 15 points 8 rebounds.
The real story of the game was the fouls and free throw shooting. St. F.X were granted an astounding 50 free throws connecting on 40. Lakehead shot 11-20 from the line.

"St FX outplayed us today in transition and in the half court where they continually beat us middle on penetration and earned extra chances on the O glass. X is a difficult match-up because they are experienced, talented and can present a bigger and/or faster lineup depending on the opponent and situation. "
- Coach Scott Morrison

Lakehead continues its east coast swing this week in Halifax. The team will travel to NS on Monday and set up mini-camp for 3 days. The pre-season portion of their schedule will conclude with games against Dalhousie (Thurs 7pm), Acadia (Fri 7pm), Saint Mary's (Sat 4pm).

"The goal for this road trip remains the same - to improve each night and get ourselves to a positon to be ready to compete when the OUA schedule begins in November. We showed some great flashes this weekend but need to focus on taking better care of the ball and putting forth a better effort to stick to the gameplan on the defensive end."
- Coach Scott Morrison

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Lakehead Escapes with 98-86 Victory over Cape Breton

Strong outside shooting and some timely defensive rebounding helped the Thunderwolves hold onto an early lead and defeat the University of Cape Breton 98-86 in a shoot-out at the Aitken Centre in round two of the Eric Garland tournament.
The Thunderwolves were hot early and jumped out to a 32-18 1st quarter advantage. Cape Breton stepped up their denial defense and attacked the hoop well on the offensive end to get back into the game and trail by only 3 points to begin the 4th quarter. Lakehead's shooting remained consistent and were able to knock down some 4th quarter 3pt shots and produced their best defensive quarter of the game keeping CBU to 15 points.
Cam Hornby again led the Thunderwolves in scoring with 22 points off the bench on 5-10 3pt shooting. Ryan Thomson had 15 and 9 rebounds to earn Lakehead's player of the game honors. Yoosrie Salhia continues to get back into form after off-season knee surgery and had his best game of this campaign with 10 points and 9 boards against a tough Cape Breton front line.
Phil Nkruma led CBU with 22 points and 10 rebounds while Paris Carter added 20 and 6 but shot 4-18. Lakehead was able to hold Cape Breton's back court to 9-32 FG shooting which proved to be a factor down the stretch.
Lakehead will battle St. F.X in the final game of the tournament tomorrow at 11am.

"We were very excited to get a win against a top calibre program like Cape Breton. I was happy with the composure shown by our players during some of the Capers scoring runs and with how we recovered from our own mistakes by focusing on the next play rather than the last. We need another all-around team effort to give the X-Men a run tomorrow."
-Coach Morrison

Friday, October 8, 2010

'Wolves Beat Hometown Varsity Reds 80-62

The Lakehead Thunderwolves started off their east coast swing with a convincing 80-62 win over the host squad UNB Varsity Reds. Lakehead won the first three quarters before splitting the final frame to close-out an at-times sloppy contest.
The Thunderwolves bench carried the scoring load with Brendan King and Cam Hornby each notching 15 points off the bench on 8-13 combined shooting performance from 3pt land. Hornby was named "Player of the Game" and joined King as the only Thunderwolves in double figures.
Yoosrie Salhia chipped in with 9 points, 8 rebounds. Venzal Russell led the team with 10 rebounds and added 7 points including a 3pt shot to open the 2nd half when UNB went to a possession of 2-3 Zone defence.
Key team stats included Lakehead holding a 42-28 advantage on the boards (11-8 O boards) and shooting 16-39 from 3pt land to UNB's 2-9.
Tomorrow Lakehead tips-off against University of Cape Breton Capers in a rematch of last March's CIS consolation game in Ottawa. Cape Breton lost by 3 points in today's other men's match-up at the hands of St. F.X.

Eric Garland Tournament Opens Today

The Eric Garland Memorial Tournament opens tonight in Fredericton, NB. Lakehead opens up against the host UNB Varsity Reds at 8pm (Atlantic Time). Link for the webcast can be found at the top of this blog via the Varsity Reds website.

Here are links to the Fredericton (UNB) and Sydney (UCB) Eric Garland Tournament previews.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

'Wolves Depart for 10 Day East Coast Swing

The team will depart Thursday PM marking the start of one of the longest road trips in recent history. The Thunderwolves will arrive in the maritimes Thursday night and open up the competitive portion of the trip immedeately with a match-up against the University of New Brunswick at the Aitken Centre in Fredericton, N.B. Friday night October 8th. The game marks the first of 3 tough contests fin the tournament, as Saturday brings a CIS consolation rematch with powerful University of Cape Breton and Sunday St. Francis Xavier featuring the tallest front court in the CIS. It will mark the first time
Following the completion of the Eric Garland tournament at UNB, the Thunderwolves will travel to Halifax where they will set up home base for 6 days. The week will feature practices held at Dalhousie, study halls and some educational sight-seeing. Thursday Oct 14 the team returns to action with the home opening game at Dalhousie vs. the Tigers at 7pm. Friday the 15th Lakehead will battle Acadia and cap off the trip at Saint Mary's at 4pm on Saturday the 16th.
In all the team will play 6 games in 10 days against the best competition the AUS conference has to offer. 4 of those games are against teams who were in the top ten during the 2009-10 season and all opponents are expected to be strong this season. Please see the official Lakehead Preview at

Some Facts Pertaining to the Trip.
-Lakehead features 3 with Eastern Canadian ties -
Coach Morrison (Morell, PE), Ast. Coach White (Belfast, PE) and Guard Ben Johnson (Pictou, NS)
- Since 2003 Lakehead is 1-5 vs the scheduled opponents on the trip
- Coach Morrison will be taking part in the Basketball New Brunswick coaches clinic on Saturday the 9th. He will be speaking on penetration principles and motion offence.
- This 10 day trip marks the longest journey for Lakehead under Coach Morrison.
Previously the team was hotel bound for 8 days in February 2005 for the end of the OUA regular season and start of play-offs.
- The team's previous appearance to the maritimes was in December 2008 when they spent 8 days in PEI and NS going 4-1 on the trip including a loss at the hands of St. F.X.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Thunderwolves Finish 2-0 Vs Cougars with 88-64 Win

The Thunderwolves used a 16-8 2nd quarter to regain the lead for good tonight in front of a capacity crowd, including a packed student's section. Regina led 21-20 after the first stanza on the strength of early 3pt shots by freshman Brendan Herbert and some erratic Lakehead ball control. In the second quarter LU point guard Greg Carter answered with a pair of his own three-balls and the team played it's best defense of the weekend holding Regina to 8 points.
In the second half, Lakehead's big men did a more respectable job on the glass, and the team was able to get some second chance points to build a 3rd quarter lead before a 28 point outburst in the 4th to put the game away.
The team again went 15 deep with Ryan Thomson being the only Wolf held off the score sheet but he led the team with 8 rebounds. Venzal Russell had what the coaching staff hopes will become a typical well-rounded game with 20 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists in 22 minutes. Greg Carter added 13 and 4 steals and Cameron Hornby finished a solid weekend with 12 points, his second straight game in double figures.
Regina's Paul Gareau capped a strong weekend with 15 and 5 rebounds while Darius Mole had 9 on 4-8 shooting.
As a team Lakehead shot 11-31 from 3pt land and out rebounded Regina 49-35 (19-17 Offensive). Lakehead shot better from the line tonight (13-17) but committed 24 turnovers.
*Coach Morrison's note - 24 was at more like 30 with generous stat-keeping

"We are feeling encouraged by our weekend performance but realize we have a long way to go before we are at our best over an extended period of time in a game. We showed good flashes on D this weekend but need overall improvement in rebounding, ball control and many other aspects. Regina played tough and rebounded the ball well all-weekend, I was happy with our second half effort today to out-rebound them in crunch time." -Scott Morrison

Wolves Open Season with 110-89 WIn

The 2010-11 season tipped off on a strong note this evening in the Thunderdome with a 110-89 win over Regina. The coaching staff went 15 deep with 6 'wolves players reaching double figures.
A 15-2 start propelled by back to back threes by Venzal Russell and Jamie Searle helped the team get a small cushion off the tip.
Matthew Schmidt led the team with a career high 19 points off the bench in 16 minutes of play. Five other 'Wolves were in double figures including Joe Jones with 13, Russell, Searle and Cam Hornby with 11 and Ryan Thomson with 10.
Lakehead shot 18-27 from three point land but only 14-32 from the free throw line.
Paul Gareau and Matt Campbell led the Cougars with 22 and 18 respectively in a game that saw some unquestionable lapses in transition defence:

Coach Morrison Quote:
"We did some good things in transition in creating some steals and easy buckets off turnovers. At the same time Regina often made us pay for overplay in the backcourt which led to easy hoops on the other end. Tomorrow we have to try to use our ball pressure without gambling and taking chances. I thought Regina did a better job on the boards than we did and we were bailed out with some good outside shooting."

Tip off in game 2 of the series is Saturday night a 7pm with the Thunderwolves-Nor'Westors alumni game taking place at 530pm.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

'Wolves Welcome Regina

The Zanatta games get underway Friday evening as the Lakehead Thunderwolves welcome the University of Regina to Thunder Bay for the first time since 2003 for a pair of CIS non-conference games.
Both games take place at the Thunderdome at 7pm on Friday and Saturday evening as highlights of the Lakehead Athletics Zanatta Games weekend which will also feature the men's hockey team in action.
The Zanatta Games are named in memory of John Zanatta who died in a car accident in 1990 on his way to coach at the Lakehead summer basketball camp. A product of Sault Ste Marie, Zanatta and his brother David are most definetly members of the "Mount Rushmore" of Lakehead Basketball. Having both been stand-outs on the court and the topic of several legendary basketball stories that still live on. John Zanatta also coached the team from 1982-1985 after a stand-out career that lasted from '76-81 and placed him 5th on the current all-time scoring list.
Each year a scholarship in the name of John Zanatta is given out to a men's and women's basketball player. This year's recipient on the men's team will be Brendan King. King will be presented the award by Mirella Zanatta on Saturday at the Lakehead Athletic Director's reception to take place at 'The Hangar' at 11am.
Please see the website for information on other events and those in town for the weekend, hope to see you Friday at 7pm.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Homecoming 1 Week Away

This time next week the Lakehead Thunderwolves first CIS game will be in the books as the countdown to the season opener vs. Regina during Homecoming weekend is only a few days away.
The team is close to full strength in practice and looking forward to facing some unfamiliar faces in an official match-up
This weekend also marks the Zanatta alumni game and athletic director's reception taking place at the Lakehead Fieldhouse and Hangar.
Wrapping up the weekend on Sunday October 3rd will be the 2nd annual Back Court Club Lobster Dinner in support of the men's basketball program. There are still a few tickets available to this enjoyable event which will feature a silent auction and cash bar. For more information or tickets please contact Coach Morrison at .
Stay tuned for a more detailed preview of the opening weekend and alumni game to follow this week.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

2nd Annual Midnight Madness a Success

The 2nd annual Lakehead Athletics Midnight Madness was a big success on Friday night/Saturday morning. As part of the Lakehead First Year Orientation program the men's and women's basketball team held intra-squad scrimmages in front of over 1000 students, staff and supporters in the Thunderdome.

Senior student 'ambassadors were on hand to instruct the new students in the various traditions of the Thunderdome including the "white out" and some introductory heckling. The event marks the end of the team's training camp and the beginning of pre-season practice. The team tips off against the University of Regina during homecoming weekend October 1 and 2 (only three weeks away!).

Friday, September 3, 2010

McCrae and Isaac Finalize 2010 Recruiting Class

The Lakehead coaching staff is pleased to announce to final additions to the 2010 recruiting class.
Kemp McCrae is a 6'7" post from Baltimore, Maryland who joins the team with 5 years of eligibility as a graduate of Frederick Douglass High School in Baltimore.
Akeem Isaac is a 6'1" combo guard from Toronto, Ontario who has played with Mother Theresa in Toronto before making a stop at US prep schools in Florida and Dallas.

"Kemp and Akeem will inject some athleticism in both our frontcourt and perimeter core this season. We expect both guys to develop quickly and have excellent CIS careers with our program." Head Coach Scott Morrison.

For official media release please visit

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The annual Lakehead Athletics Homecoming weekend will take place this year on the weekend of October 1st-3rd, 2010. This year there will be some slight format changes as we look to increase the participation of our former players and strengthen the relationships between the current players and the many great role models that have come before them.

This year the team will host the University of Regina in two big non-conference games on Friday Oct 1 and Saturday Oct 2 @ 7:30pm. The basketball alumni will be divided up into former Thunderwolves and former Nor'Westors and tip off in a true 'alumni game' in the undercard to Saturday's Regina-Lakehead game.

The Back Court Club will also be hosting the 2nd annual Lobster Dinner on Sunday, October 3rd at the Masonic Hall in Thunder Bay. Last year's event was a great success as the players served over 80 guests as much PEI lobster as they could handle. There will be a silent auction during the evening and we are currently solicting, receiving offers for prizes to donate. No prize is too big or too small, please contact Coach Morrison or Franco Veneruzzo if you have an item.

Please see the enclosed link above for full Homecoming 2010 festivites at the Thunderdome.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

White and Charlebois Join Coaching Staff for 2010-11 Season

Thunderwolves Coach Scott Morrison is pleased to announce two additions to the coaching staff for the upcoming season.
Zach White and Pat Charlebois will be welcomed to the coaching staff during training camp in late August. Both are former players with Charlebois suiting up in the 80's for the then Lakehead "Nor'Westers" and White recently graduating from Lakehead after three seasons with the team.
The two will help to strengthen the staff and replace the departing Evan Woodland who has finished school and moved on to other opportunities after three seasons on the bench.
Coach Morrison would like to thank Coach Woodland for his excellent work over the years and welcome Coach White and Coach Charlebois to the 'Wolves basketball family.

Full Media Release Available on

Monday, July 19, 2010


Venzal Russell has recently committed to Lakehead University and the Men's basketball program. Russell is a 6'2" guard who is expected to make an immediate impact with the 'Wolves in the form of an added defensive presence and a boost to the transition game.

Russell was a division 3 junior college All-American at Vermillion CC in Ely, Minnesota. His highlights at Vermillion CC include the school's first and only quadruple-double and a national player of the week honor.

Russell was a two-sport star while growing up in Detroit, MI. At Robichaud High School he broke former Michigan Wolverines running back Tyrone Wheatley's rushing and touchdown records from the quarterback position.

Venzal has three years of eligibility remaining and is expected to be a great fit with the team both on and off the court. For the media release including quotes from Coach Morrison and Russell's former coach, please see the link below.

Tough Non-Conference Lineup Highlights LU's 2010-11 Schedule

The team has recently announced its conference and non-conference schedule for next season.

As per usual the tough OUA conference will account for 22 games; 8 West-East Interlock games in November followed by the OUA West dogfight taking place in January and February.

The Thunderwolves will play one of their more challenging non-conference schedules in recent history which will include 10 games versus CIS team in different conferences.

Highlights include Oct 1-2 homecoming weekend when L.U. will host Regina as well as a 10 day/6 game swing to the east coast that will see the 'Wolves tip-off against six of the eight teams in the AUS conference - including Dalhousie, Saint Mary's, Acadia, St FX and CBU - who were ranked in the top ten last season.

The team will also return to defend their title at the Winnipeg Wesmen Classic Dec 28-30, 2010.

Please see the attached link below or check out the 2010-11 schedule on the right hand menu of this blog.

Monday, July 12, 2010


After a successful inagural campaign the Back Court Club is looking to expand its membership base and provide an even greater level of support to the men's basketball program in 2010-11.
The Club has expanded its membership options to provide a variety of ways to support the team.
This season the club has expanded its membership options to include both a corporate membership for small businesses and local professionals as well as a combo package where local supporters can receive a discounted season pass to all Lakehead varsity events in the Sanders' Field House.
The Back Court Club is the official off-campus support group for the men's basketball team. Funds raised by the club go directly to the team to help off-set the extra fund-raising required to keep the team competing with the best programs in the country. Please see the below for an invitation to join the club from Coach Morrison as well as the club's 2010-11 brochure.

Invitation from Coach Morrison:
2010-11 Back Court Brochure:
The team would like to extend its gratitude to those who joined the club last season especially committee members Franco Veneruzzo, Bill Keeler, Kurt Dahl, Madge Chan, Lucia Verardo, Gloria Laliberte, Hugh Mullally and Ryan Sinninghe for their extra work and support.
Keep an eye out for these important dates:
October 1-2 Homecoming Weekend
October 3 Back Court Lobster Dinner
November 20 Back Court Club Game Night #1 (vs. Queen's)
January 29 Back Court Club Game Night #2 (vs. Windsor)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Morrison, Searle Travel to PEI in August for Basketball 101

Lakehead Head Coach Scott Morrison will make the annual trek to P.E.I. again this summer for the 10th annual Basketball 101 Development School to take place in Charlottetown August 9-13.
Coach Morrison started the camp with his father, George, in the summer of 2001. George Morrison is currently the head coach at Holland College Hurricanes who compete in the ACAA after an 18 year stint as the head coach of the UPEI Panthers from 1983-2000.

Lakehead co-captain Jamie Searle will be joining the camp staff for the second consecutive summer after competing in the Charity All-Star Shootout in mid-July at York University. In addition to Searle the Basketball 101 camp will feature a stacked lineup of in-house and guest coaches including (In addition to Searle and the Morrisons):

Dale Farrish - former UPEI assistant and legendary PEI HS boys coach
Doug McKinney - former all-canadian and junior national team member from Charlottetown
Chris Annett - Winningest active HS girls coach in Canada (Colonel Gray HS)
Joe Mantegna - Blair Prep Boys (New Jersey) Has coached 3 active NBA players
Brian Cameron - St. Paul's HS in Ottawa, former LU assistant coach
Kirsten Walker - Current UPEI Women's player, former standout with Colonel Gray HS)

The camp will run 9am-4pm at Charlottetown Rural High School. For registration information please see the link below or at the top of the blog.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lakehead Summer Boys Basketball Camps

Coach Scott Morrison is pleased to announce the dates and staff for the 2010 edition of the Lakehead Thunderwolves Boys Basketball Camps.

There are three sessions this August pending age and skill level. Session 1 is for beginners ages 6-9 and will run during mornings only August 16-20. Ages 10-14 will have the option of attending the full day camp August 16-20 with a more advanced curriculum and longer sessions. High School aged players can attend session 3 August 30-September 3 in the evenings from 6-9PM. The high school program will include both varsity high school level players as well as university level players including the Thunderwolves themselves.

This season will mark appearances from several guest coaches in addition to the L.U. players and staff. Former Thunderwolves Scott Seeley, Matt Koeslag and Jeff Rosar have all committed to return and share their acquired knowledge with the group during the 2010 summer programs.

Please follow the link on the main blog page for a copy of the 2010 Brochure. Registration information can be found on the brochure as well as a more detailed explanation of each camp session. As per usual please contact for questions or feedback.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Searle Selected for All-Star Charity Game

Thunderwolves men’s basketball player Jamie Searle has been chosen to participate in the 5th Annual All-Star Charity Shootout at York University on July 17, 2010. It is the only event in Canada that brings together Canadian basketball stars from all competitive levels for the sole purpose of raising funds and awareness for charity. Twenty players from the CIS, NCAA, CCAA and European pro leagues have been selected for the shootout.

Proceeds from this year’s event will go to two different charities; the Michael Pinball Clemons Foundation and War Child Canada. Each team in the game will represent a charity with 60% of the total proceeds going to the charity represented by the winning side.

Searle, a native of Belleville, Ontario, had an excellent season for the ‘Wolves in 2009-10 leading the team in scoring and earning an OUA West 1st Team all-star selection. He has been a team co-captain for two seasons and was named team MVP last year. The concurrent education student will return to the court in October for his 5th and final campaign with Lakehead University.

For more information on the All-Star Charity Shootout, please go to

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thunderwolves Remain Hungry

Spring and Summer 2010 has become one of the most important off-seasons in recent Thunderwolves history. The team enjoyed a break-out season in 2009-10 that saw Lakehead recognized in the CIS top ten for the majority of the season cumulating with a Final 8 appearance in March. Despite the strong showing last season, all those associated with the team understand that nothing can be taken for granted for the future. A big reason for the improvement with the team has been the hard work put towards off-season development by players and coaches within the program. This off-season has presented a great opportunity to the Thunderwolves as most of the roster has stayed on campus for the off-season in order to remain committed to getting stronger, more skilled and closer as a team heading into September.

The team is in the middle of a 12 week off-season development program which includes work on basketball skills, footwork and agility as well as strength and conditioning. Coach Morrison and Assistant Coach Erdman have been leading on court workouts focusing on developing all around skills for each player while the team has been spending more time in the weight room than previous seasons recognizing a team need to improve physical strength for next year. Coach Morrison has incorporated an off-season program designed by top basketball specific trainer Alan Stein to help turn last season's weakness into this season's advantage.

With the CIS Final 8 moving back to Halifax for the next two years, there will be one less bid for OUA teams. The Thunderwolves are greatful for the opportunity had this past March to represent the OUA in the Final 8 and will make excellent use of the experience and exposure gained that week to help push the team to greater heights in 2011. Stay tuned for the 2010-11 schedule as well as final recruiting committments to be announced within the next 2-3 weeks.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Thunderwolves Announce 1st Addition for 2010-11

Ben Johnson of Pictou County, NS has committed to the Lakehead University Thunderwolves Men's Basketball Program.

Johnson is a 6'1" combo guard who will transfer to Lakehead after playing two seasons with NCAA D2 Saint Rose College in Albany, New York. Johnson started 36 games during his freshmen and sophomore seasons before sitting out this past year in order to be eligible to play OUA basketball starting Fall 2010.

Ben is an honor roll student, gym rat and comes from a basketball family. His mother Peggy (Dalhousie) and older brother Nathan (UPEI/STFX) have both played CIS basketball while his youngest brother Bryson currently suits up for Bucknell (NCAA D1).

Follow the link for a sneak peak at the Lakehead media release on Ben Johnson including quotes from Ben and Coach Morrison.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lakehead Legend Karl Subban's Off-spring Showing Well

Thunderwolves Andrew Hackner and Lou Pero have some extra interest in watching their beloved Habs this NHL play-off season. Jet7Basket, a french language basketball site has picked up on Lakehead Thunderwolves Legend Karl Subban's son P.K. getting some run (skate?) with the Montreal Canadians. See the link below:

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Pizza Hut Spring League Underway

The 2010 version of the Lakehead-Pizza Hut boys spring league is in full force.
The league has three full age divisions with four teams competing for the league championship in each. In all their are 102 boys participating in the program with 8 different Lakehead Thunderwolves' players acting as coaches (more as officials).

Stay tuned for upcoming events in the summer such as our August Day Basketball Camp and our end of summer "Elite/High School Camp" running the last week before school starts. Thanks to all those for participating in the spring league and helping it get off to another excellent start.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Boys Spring League Registration Underway

Registration for the 2010 Pizza Hut Spring League is underway.
The annual youth program features three age groups broken into teams for a league schedule and play-offs.

The league runs on Tuesday and Thursday evenings (one hour per age group) and extends for seven weeks. Coaches in the league are Thunderwolves senior players such as Jamie Searle, Greg Carter, and Yoosrie Salhia. Younger age groups will include some basic instruction on fundamentals before each night's game.

For more information please click on the link at the top of this blog page. To register online, please go to and click on "sport camps" to sign up.

The league start is Tuesday May 4th and offers groups for ages 7-18.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

LU Athletics holds Season Ending Awards Banquet

Use this link for full story and list of award Winners.

Congrats to Men's Basketball winners:

Jamie Searle - Team MVP
Ryan Thomson - Team Freshman of the Year
Greg Carter - Team Top Defensive Player
Nate Wainwright- Team Most Improved

Yoosrie Salhie - Hank Akervall Award

Post Season Interview w. Coach Morrison

Lyle Morrisette of The Argus goes 1 v 1 with Coach Morrison

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Big Thank You

From Coach Morrison and the staff with Lakehead Men's Basketball, a large thank-you to all the loyal supporters, alumni, Back Court Club members and family for the impressive showing of support and dedication to the team this past weekend in Ottawa and of course, for the entire season.

While we fell short of competing with the top 4-5 teams in the country, without question this past season has been highlighted by many big wins and milestones that will only serve as motivation for the team to make the next step in 2010-2011 and get into that group of 4-5 national contenders.

We have some work to do, and are proud of this progress thus far. It is because of the vast support group that we do have known as "Thunderwolves Nation" that will lead us to believe that anything is possible and to set our off-season goals as high as possible.

Stay tuned to the blog over the next couple of months for recruiting news, spring league information (coming in May) and general team news.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Lakehead vs. Cape Breton - Fourth Quarter

Capers open with two to push the lead to 20. Nagy gets a strong offensive board, is fouled, and hits both FTs. Cape Breton has a guy on their bench who looks like former Michigan State PG Mateen Cleaves, just an observation. James Dorsey is fouled by Hornby and heads to the line for two. The PA announcer is calling him “J-Smoove” – pretty sure that’s Josh Smith. It’s confusing. Yoos with a big block on Jasper and JJ makes another aggressive drive in transition to draw the foul and hits some FTs. Yoos makes a nice post up basket and Carter forces a quick turnover on the subsequent inbounds. Nagy makes a strong baseline drive but his layup gets pined against the glass. Another stop for Lakehead as Hornby tosses a nice outlet pass up to Jones. The Capers’ McGarrigle follows JJ in pursuit as he bobbles the ball out of bounds. Next LU possession goes to JJ for a sweet 3-ball but Burrows answers with a nice hook shot. Capers 77 Wolves 55. A lot of people came dressed as chairs this weekend and I’m intrigued by the lore of the Halifax championships. Nagy misses a 3-pointer, but CB’s Jaspers-Fayer misses worse. He does not keep his hand in the air about that shot. Nagy hits a three and is knocked into the LU bench – no call, must have been a fadeaway. Yoos grabs another towering defensive rebound, followed by an offensive board and the foul but misses the FTs. Fraser makes a nice move at halfcourt and streaks in for the layup. “Keep playing,” says Scott from the sidelines. Yoos is still hitting the glass hard. He gets a nice ovation as Scott brings Seb on in relief. JJ is down a badly hurt on the defensive but the refs keep the play going as Capers get a layup. JJ heads to the bench as Scott rushes onto the floor to check on him. It’s a 23-point lead, you’ve got to draw the line at some point, call a timeout, anything – JJ doesn’t fake injuries. Hornby hits an NBA 3-ball with no shot clock on. Game over, Capers win 87-65. JJ is the player of the game and deserves it after dropping 14 points and sacrificing his body for the team. He’s hurt, probably broke his ribs, yet gets off the bench to congratulate Cape Breton in the post game handshake. What a competitor, what a sportsman. The tournament is over for Lakehead, a learning experience absolutely, but this team has made all of Thunder Bay proud and has brought excitement back to the University. Lakehead often has a defeatist attitude, but not anymore. This team is for real and they will without any doubt be back on this stage soon.

Lakehead vs. Cape Breton - Third Quarter

Yoos grabs an offensive board and finishes strong to draw the foul. 13-point deficit for Lakehead. Great drive through the lane by JJ against to two defenders as he gets hacked. The man is fearless but looks a bit sore and misses his two FTs. Lakehead gets the ball back and King is fed over the top for a dunk that bring the fans to their feet. Cape Breton gets two at the other end. 46-33. No box out by LU as Fraser grabs a board and is fouled by King. Refs issue another technical as Roger screams from the opposite end: “Wah! Wah! Wah! Call an ambulance!” The impartial tournament organizers have a laugh. Capers go on a run with two threes and a Paris Carter dunk to push the lead to 56-33. Scott calls a timeout as a Chocolate Milk ad pops up on the scoreboard. In my experience drinking chocolate milk before a basketball game is trouble, but hey, maybe that’s why I’m writing and not playing. Back in the court Yoos is being a beast on the boards but LU’s shots don’t fall. Burrows comes back with a baseline floater for Cape Breton. Carter feeds Yoos down low and he draws the foul. It’s about time as Yoos attempted on one field goal in the first half. Yoos hits one FT then takes a seat on the bench as McIntosh comes in for more burn. Carter with an uncharacteristically sloppy entry pass for the turnover. Nice board for McIntosh – he’s really working hard out there. JJ hits a three but Cape Breton gets two back. Great fake spin by McIntosh but his low hook shot is blocked from the weak side. On the next possession, McIntosh finds space in the lane and gets it to a wide-open Thomson for a nice mid-range jumper. The teams are trading baskets right now. Hornby is fouled on the fastbreak but misses both free throw. Yoos grabs huge one-handed rebound and follows. Back on D, McIntosh then Yoos get blocks but Hornby is called for the foul as he hustles after the loose ball. After some FTs it’s 64-41 Capers. Bonus situation now for both teams as Cam is fouled and hits both from the line. Turnover for Lakehead but Carter responds with a huge block from the behind followed by a pull-up three from Hornby. Capers throw up an air ball and the LU fans let them hear it. Back the other way the buzzer goes off for no reason as Carter responds with a running hook in reaction to the noise. An understandable miss but Lakehead gets it back with 1.6 seconds for the baseline inbounds. Yoos gets a clear look from 12 feet but it rattles off the rim as time expires. Capers 66 Thunderwolves 47 at the end of three.

Lakehead vs. Cape Breton - Second Quarter

Nice stop for LU and then a 3-ball on the other end by Hornby. 16-11 Capers. Scott continues to use a variety of players as JJ, Yoos, Hornby, Nagy and Schmidt are on the floor. I haven’t seen that unit play together all year. Capers continue to build a lead, going up 25-15 after a corner 3-pointer. Seb is in and gets tripped up after making a nice backdoor cut to the hoop; hits 1-2 FTs. Things are getting chippy in the Lakehead end and the mood on the sidelines is getting intense. Nagy makes a strong drive to the net to two but the Capers’ Roper responds with a three and walks the length of the floor with his hand in the air; the celebration seems like a bit of overkill considering it’s the second quarter of a consolation game. Jones makes great drive to the basket and is fouled but his layup somehow rattles out after looking like it would fall. He hits both FTs. Scott gets a technical after pointing out the Capers alleged utilization of three-in-the-key. On the baseline, Roger Quirion and Ryan Sinninghe are making this feel like home with their vocal support of Scott. Greg makes a great steal with some full court pressure and feeds JJ for a quick layup – great play from two guys who have another three years to play together. Both are already so good, it’s going to be exciting to see where they end up as CIS players. Capers lead 36-21. Nagy with another take inside for two. On D, LU gets a stop and McIntosh crashes the boards hard to draw the foul. Bonus situation. Anthony goes 1-2 from the line. Nice 3-ball John-Proctor for Cape Breton despite some tight D from Seb. 39-24 Capers. Greg responds with a beautiful baseline spin and layup to beat the shot clock. In the LU zone, Nagy plays some great post D, not biting on Carter’s pump fakes. He draws Carter into a travel violation which sparks some “ref encouragement” from the Lakehead bench. The refs T-up the entire team, something I’ve actually never seen before. Are we having fun now? The Capers fans are starting to heckle a bit, but then again, they should be playing in the afternoon according to the rankings. This simmer down a bit and the halftime score is 44-29 for the Capers, just where Lakehead is comfortable.

Lakehead vs. Cape Breton - First Intermission

Dance off between the Capers’ mascot and one of their fans to Spirit of the West’s “Home for a Rest.” Seems a bit too early in the day to hear this song. Looking at the stats, Scott’s earlier comments about getting inside looks are obviously warranted as LU attempted eight of their 13 field goal attempts from beyond the arc. They’re shooting 23.1% from the field. The ‘Wolves aren’t typically going to shoot in the 50% range, but they need to sharpen up.

Lakehead vs. Cape Breton - First Quarter

The boys are hustling off the get go and are playing with determination. The 11:00 a.m. start is a bit of a challenge, especially with Cape Breton have the extra time to sleep relative to the Atlantic time zone. Off the bat, Thomson hits a three to open scoring. Cape Breton gets back with seven straight points including two consecutive open layups. Thomson striped on the other end and back the other way the Capers’ PG Dorsey and F Jaspers-Fayer run a nice pick-and-roll but J-F blows the layup. McIntosh checks in for Thomson. McIntosh didn’t see much time yesterday, but the ‘Wolves might need some athleticism. Searle air balls and 3-point attempt; that’s two major misses from outside for LU after Carter missed one earlier. Timeout Lakehead and Scott makes it clear that he wants the ball going inside. Yoos shot 5-7 yesterday but seven shots isn’t enough for him. Capers 11 LU 3. Clear travel by Fraser missed by the crew in front of the LU bench – the fans saw it. Another CB layup and Lakehead looks flat. Searle responds with a big 3-ball – he needed that after missing his first few shots. Schmidt is getting ready to check in with Hornby and King as Scott goes deep into his bench early. Nine guys have already seen playing time in the opening eight minutes and Nagy follows suit a few possessions later. Lakehead goes zone and forces and turnover then King goes the other way for two. Deep two from Hornby rattles off the rim. Good ball denial and then on-the-ball D by Nagy as he forces a tough baseline drive by the Capers guard. At the end of one it’s Cape Breton 16 Lakehead 8.

Game 2: Lakehead vs. Cape Breton - Pregame

After a tough loss yesterday to UBC, the ‘Wolves have a great opportunity against Cape Breton to earn a win in a CIS Championship game and to play Sunday in the fifth place game. Should be interesting to see how the first half works out for LU after they went up on the Thunderbird through 20 minutes yesterday. For the Capers, I’m not sure if they’ll be hungry for a win or deflated after an upset yesterday against Calgary. In an interesting subplot, this game pits our Joe Jones against Cape Breton’s Paris Carter, two guys who were guided to their respective schools by Benny Edison who also helped Scott and his program land Kiraan Posey and Warren Thomas with former Capers stars Eric Breland heading east.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fourth Quarter

Big throwdown from UBC’s Burke to open final Q. Lakehead went on a 15-0 run last week against Ottawa and will need a similar effort now. Bath hits another two from inside as UBC leads 62-43. The Thunderbirds are a big team, but then again, Lakehead is consistently the smaller team on the floor in their games. JJ air balls a three but is encourage by Searle from the sidelines: “Get your rhythm JJ, get your rhythm.” Searle is without a doubt the heart of Lakehead basketball – a great teammate and one of the hardest workers in the country. Nagy hits two FTs and the lead is down to 17. Big stop for Lakehead as Yoos gets the board but the Wolves turn it over. Another basket from Bath who is easily the biggest guy on the floor. Yoos responds with an and-1 finish in close as Malish is undercut trying to go for the block. One of those rare moments where the guy called for the foul gets the worst of it. Another stop for LU, and they need a hoop. Searle cranks it in from long range – HUGE bucket. And another stop on great D from Carter who gets a piece of Whyte’s shot. Back the other way, Jones takes it to the rack and finishes. 64-52 with 4:59 and Lakehead is not going away. The last few possessions typify what the Wolves’ season has been like. This is a team that embraces the underdog role and will never stop playing. Tough play tough as Carter came inches from picking up a huge steal but Yu hit the pocket 3-ball for UBC. 67-52 for the Thunderbirds. Whyte extends the lead to 18 points with a hoop and the harm. Double technical as Carter forces the jump ball on Whyte who responds with a forearm to Greg’s throat. The CIS Player of the Year Whyte is leaving his requisite sportsmanship at the door. Great line coming from hecklers row: “Are you a wildcard ref?” These fans are fantastic and have burst into a chant of “Overrated! Overrated!” as Whyte steps to the charity stripe for two. Amazing pull up 3-ball from Hornby who just came off the bench. McIntosh is also in and gets a quick two inside. 72-57 UBC. JJ is draped all over Whyte defensively – he’s going to be contributing to this program for years to come. LaBranche is back on the line shooting FTs – Lakehead’s fans are heckling louder than UBC’s fans are cheering. Nice take to the hoop by McIntosh as he’s fouled. Good to see him getting some burn as he continues to develop. One minute left with LU down by 18. Final three-pointer from UBC to close the game. UBC 79 Lakehead 58. Tough game for Lakehead as they were on the wrong end of a second half comeback. Yoosrie Salhia is the Lakehead Player of the Game; Whyte for UBC. Rautins and Black are silenced – clearly Lakehead fans.

Third Quarter

Lakehead looks tight as UBC opens the half on an 8-0 run to take the lead 2:30 in to the third. Morrison calls a much-needed timeout as UBC’s scarf-adorned fans start getting back into it. Honestly though, who wears a team scarf at a basketball game? Out of the timeout, LU goes with Searle, Carter, Jones, King and Salhia, they need a stop but don’t get one as LaBrache extends the UBC lead to four. Jones is called for the charge on offence, then King is whistled down on D. Bath hits a jumper to make it 38-32 UBC. King had a good look from outside but it didn’t fall; Lakehead has now gone over four minutes without a point to open the half. UBC looks confident for the first time since very early in the game. Deflating breakaway dunk for Watson off the steal. JJ is demolished in mid air on an aggressive drive to the hoop – no call. LaBranche picks up a steal on Jones from behind and goes in the layup. Another UBC steal and fastbreak basket. 46-32 UBC as the Thunderbirds continue to control play in the third. Morrison calls a timeout and assistant coach Evan Woodland has dropped the suit jacket – it’s gut check time. Looking at the two lineups, UBC has the size advantage at every position. Lakehead needs to be faster than them. On cue, Greg Carter blows through the lane for a layup and LU’s first two points of the half. UBC responds with four quick points. It’s now 51-34 UBC. Great drive by Hackner for a left-handed layup. Carter harasses Whyte into a tough shot and a big shot. LaBranche responds with a steal and layup. 53-36 as Hackner is fouled and heads to the line. Misses both but LU gets it back. Yoos get the hoop and the harm as UBC holds a team meeting around him in the paint – great play and the FT added for the traditional 3-point play. LU gets the stop and JJ is fouled on the rebound attempt. JJ hits both and is having a great game with 12 points. 53-41. Salhia called for the foul as Nathan Yu hits both from the line. Thomson is in for Yoos who’s been working as hard as anyone. Great play by Carter as he draws the offensive foul on Whyte who now has 3 PF. One minute left in the quarter. Lakehead is hitting the offensive boards hard – they want this one badly. Fresh 24 as Lakehead gets it back and Nagy makes a nice drive for two. UBC answers with a 3-ball courtesy of LaBranche to make it 57-43 through three quarters. Time to cue the Heart-Attack Pack for a fourth quarter comeback.


Watched the first half highlights in the media centre here at Scotiabank Place – Lakehead has hit some impressive shots. You can hear after each one of them a loud applause from the audience. Again, Lakehead has some great fans who made the long trip to be here. Plenty of former Wolves players in the crowd as well including second all-time leading scorer and all-Canadian Dan Zapior who now lives in Ottawa and Ryan Sinninghe who has upheld a high standard of heckling at the Thunderdome in recent years since finishing his LU career. Back to the game.

Second Quarter continued

Out of a timeout, JJ just misses an NBA 3-pointer. I think he knows Leo Rautins is scouting; JJ needs his Canadian citizenship first. Now a seven-point lead as Thomson hits a cool 3-ball. Big Seb nearly extended the lead as his 3-ball rattles out but picks up a great steal on the other end. JJ just misses a 25-foot shot by the slightest of margins. The Wolves’ fans are irate as JJ is called for a block on the other end; “he’s was standing there for hours,” shouted on fan. Great atmosphere as a few hundred Lakehead fans are making the 18,000-seat arena feel like home. 1:53 as Scott calls a timeout. WOW, Greg got what looked to be a clean block on Denny Dumas but is whistled down; 1-2 on the FTs as LU leads 29-23. Greg just his 1-2 FTs to get the lead back to seven. UBC turnover on another huge stand as LU could get this lead to double digits if they keep up their strong play. Two more LU FTs make it 32-23 but Seb is called for a foul back on D; Watson goes 1-2 as LU leads 32-24. UBC gets a basket back. At halftime Lakehead 32 UBC 26.

Second Quarter

Good start as JJ hits a bucket to give LU a one-point lead. UBC comes back with the next four points but that eggs on the fans. LaBranche just clunked a FT for UBC as the LU hecklers chant “Wildcard! Wildcard!” This is a pro-Lakheead crowd without a doubt. Big bucket for Greg; UBC now leads 19-18. Awesome perimeter defence as UBC needs 15 plus seconds to set their offence followed by a forced turnover by Thomson. Huge 3-pointer by JJ to put Lakehead, then another as Lakehead leads 24-19. LaBranche answers with a 3-ball of this own by Greg scores another two on a nice drive. 26-22 Lakehead as the Wolves aren’t waiting until the fourth quarter to make their move. Huge defensive stands as Whyte missed a contested layup with Greg Carter in his face. UBC grabs the O-rebound but Hackner makes great play taking the charge. This in Lakehead basketball! 26-22 for the Pack with 4:55 left in the first half.

First Intermission

Greg Boyle just schooled a UBC fan in a danceoff on the floor, hopefully the Wolves’ dominance continues into the game. Through one quarter, Yoos has five points to lead LU; Malish has 7 for UBC. The Wolves are controlling the boards against a big ‘Birds team 6-3 with the only two offensive boards of the game. Back to the game...

First Quarter continued

Great hustle from the good guys as King and Searle both hit the deck hard going for the steal at halfcourt. Searle just made a pair of FTs to pull within two points. Another great defensive stand as Yoos forced the jump ball. Salhia just added a FT; 10-9. 12-9 UBC now as King picked up a foul leading to two FTs. Teams just traded 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to make it 15-12. Strong move by Yoosrie to score despite a double team; followed immediately by a UBC offensive foul. Searle with a long 3-point miss as the first quarter ends. 15-14 UBC through 10 minutes.

First Quarter

A strong start as Lakehead opened with baskets from Hackner and Salhia. 4-4 right now as we approach the midway point of the quarter. This is definitely the pace that Lakehead wants as the high-powered offence of UBC has been slowed down. Missed assignment as Brent Malish gave UBC their first lead of the game 6-4 on an easy layup. The LU coaching staff is hot, the fans are fired up. Only Leo Rautins and Rod Black sitting five feet beside me seemed to be relaxed at this point. 4:56 now as Lakehead tries to settle down with a timeout. Quick basket out the pause from UBC’s Josh Whyte, followed by an open-court layup on their next possession. 10-4 UBC, and the Wolves need to control things again. Tough shot for Greg to try to beat shot clock; UBC are showing some aggressive perimeter D to disrupt Lakehead’s offensive flow. Jones is getting his first minutes, out there with Salhia, Searle, King and Nagy. JJ gets fouled and hits two FTs to make it 10-6 – he’s looking focused out there. Big steal by Nagy but LU turns it over right away. UBC is having trouble scoring in the halfcourt. If Lakehead can slow things down it’s they’ve got a great chance to pull off the second upset in two games today.

Pregame: #3 UBC vs. #6 Lakehead

A strong contingent of Lakehead fans gathered hour prior to tipoff for a pregame party here at the Scotiabank place. The anticipation extraordinary as friends, family and Wolves alum have watched this team progress from last place in 2008-09 to the top ranks of the CIS. Courtside, I just talked with Greg Boyle, a Lakehead grad who dove right into the heart of the Ottawa Gee-Gees fan zone last weekend as LU won OUA bronze. He’s jacked about this nationals experience and is courtside with a giant Scott Morrison head cutout. The spirit of the Thunderdome is definitely alive and well here in Ottawa. Franco Veneruzzo, former assistant coach with the team has about 100 Wolves fans in custom team t-shirts, while dozens of LU faithful made the long drive to see this historic moments. We just saw #7 Calgary knock off #2 Cape Breton. I’m ready for another upset.

The Final 8: Lakehead’s CIS Experience

It begins:
Hello Thunderwolves fans and thanks for reading. My name is Mike Bennett and I’m the Lakehead Thunderwolves Sports Information Director. Throughout the 2009-10 season I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing perhaps the greatest season in Lakehead men’s basketball history. Now, as they return to the national championships for the first time since 1977 I will follow the team from courtside, here at the Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Ontario. A reminder that you can watch the ‘Wolves live throughout the weekend on SSN Canada. Let’s tip things off....

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Carter, Searle and Morrison earn OUA recognition.

Thunderwolves players and coach nominated for CIS national awards.

Released today by the OUA.

'Wolves - UBC Game Preview

Please note: Lakehead SID Mike Bennett will be blogging from the CIS Final 8 tournament and be keeping this site updated throughout the weekend.

Here is the link to the L.U. athletics preview of the game and opening round.

"Wolves Head to Ottawa

'Wolves head east to CIS Final 8

With a short week of prep in the books; the team boards Porter Air for the trek to Ottawa and the final stage of the 2009-10 season. Check out the link below for game time, webcast information and a team preview by the Chronicle Journal.

Monday, March 15, 2010

CIS Hotel and Ticket Info

* An update from Roger Quirion of the Back Court Club

To everyone,
Last minute news for everyone:
The room rate at the Marriot hotel is $129 per night and there is room availability. This hotel is the team’s hotel and is in downtown Ottawa. I am still working on determining if there is a shuttle service; it seems that there will be one but I have not been given a firm response yet. From my point of view I will be booking a room at the hotel. As room will be getting booked please contact Erin Seguin asap. Her email is and her toll free number is 1-800-668-5596x236.

Tickets- We have a great opportunity to book the VIP 100 level section either on a package or session basis. The only issue here is that everyone needs to contact me by early Tuesday morning (before 9:00am). I will charge the tickets to my credit card and will need cash or cheque when you get the tickets from me. Keep in mind that “package holders are entitled to show up at Finnigan’s bar (in Scotia place) one hour before the lakehead games . At that ime, upon proof of our package tickets, we are entitled to floor seating for the Lakehead game. After the Lakehead game is complete we have to return to the purchased seats in our section. Please send me an email with your ticket orders.

Looking forward to seeing you at the game.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Lakehead Seeded 6th for Final 8

L.U. Tips off vs. Can West power UBC at 2:30PM Friday.
Carleton University
March 19 to 21, 2010


1. Carleton University
2. Cape Breton University
3. University of British Columbia
4. University of Windsor
5. University of Saskatchewan
6. Lakehead University
7. University of Calgary
8. Université de Québec à Montréal

Friday March 19th
12:30 pm Cape Breton (2) vs. Calgary (7)
2:30 pm UBC (3) vs. Lakehead (6)
6:00 pm Windsor (4) vs. Saskatchewan (5)
8:00 pm Carleton (1) vs. UQAM (8)

Lakehead Beats Ottawa for CIS Final 8 Ticket

Big win for the program last night to upset Ottawa and punch our first ticket to the dance in over 3 decades. The game was a good representation of the team's best efforts throughout the season as it was a balanced offensive effort, consistent team defense and a fourth quarter comeback that got the job done for L.U.

We had great supporters at the game who were both vocal during the game and excited with the results. Stay tuned for information regarding the final 8 and see the previous post on this blog for some travel information for fans and supporters.

Here is the link to the game story, hope to see a big group of 'Wolves in Ottawa supporting the team. 3 more wins would mean a national title.

Thunderwolves Fans Head to Ottawa for CIS Championship

Please see below a note from Back Court Club member Roger Quirion who is spearheading some efforts to get a good group of supporters out to Ottawa for the 'Wolves first trip to the big dance since 1977.

Stay tuned to this site for updates, and schedule for the tournament as soon as it becomes known.

For all of you Thunderwolves fans who want to join them at the CIS championship in Ottawa on March 19th , 20th and 21st please read the following announcements:

1. pprox two weeks ago I contacted Porter Airlines about the possibility of our TEAM making the CIS”s and asked them what they could do for us. They gratiously offered to provide 10% off all fares listed online. In order to do this Porter created a promo code which can be used when booking online. Bookings can be done immediately until March 20th provided the travel is done between and including March 18th – 22nd . The Code is LLBALL10. When you access the Porter website just below the search flight option on their webpage there is a place to insert the promo code. It must be entered and submitted prior to searching for flights. A successful application of the Promo Code will show the discounted price when selecting your flight options.

2. I sent an email to Scott Morrison at about 9:30 pm on Sat. night to find out when the team is leaving for Ottawa, when they are playing their first game and where they are staying. The reason for this is first not to conflict with their flight and to also see if we can book a flight on Friday morning which will allow us to make their Friday game. Finally it would be nice to be able to book rooms at the same hotel as the team. (assuming there is space and the hotel is close to Scotia Bank Place) Since we will not have transportation it probably would be much better to be within walking distance of Scotia Bank place. It is my intention to find a hotel /motel at a decent price and have everyone flying down to look at staying at the same place. Also once we know how many people are coming to Ottawa I want to contact the bus company taking care of the teams to see if they can provide us with transportation. I’m sure this would be much more economical than all of us trying to arrange our own transportation.
3. Without knowing when the Thunderwolves play their first game here is some info on flight times which will meet our needs. First to the most economic flights will be to depart on Friday March 19th and return on Monday March 22nd . the cost without the discount would be $ 140 & $ 175 respectively. With the discount the fare would be $ 283.5. The Sunday flight alone is $ 349 making the trip quite costly. Also if the Team plays in the first game on Friday we will need to be on the flight departing Thunder Bay at 6:55am on Friday morning.

4. As I have sent this email to Coach Morrison I am hoping he will post it on the Back Court blog. For anyone wanting join the team in Ottawa please be aware that I am trying to arrange for group transportation and economic lodging in Ottawa. As well I would like to contact the company selling tickets at Scotia Bank Place about getting a block of tickets so we can sit together as a group. Now if you want to find out about the ticket prices you can go to and get the price for the individual game tickets as well as the packages. Therefore for the purposes of transportation, hotel accommodation and tickets please send me an email or call my office and leave a message as soon as possible. I will be making phone calls on Monday morning in an attempt to get the necessary information.

What a great season our boys have had this year. Regardless of the outcome of this coming weekend they certainly have come a long way since the beginning of the season. For myself I am looking to be pleasantly surprised by a team which continues to grow and mature at every game they play.
Looking forward to your response,