Regular season tips off for Brock basketball

The exhibition games are done. The pre-season workouts are complete. Now the Brock Badgers men’s and women’s basketball teams are ready to open the 2017-18 regular season Wednesday, Oct. 25 at home.

The Badgers will host a doubleheader against the Western Mustangs at Bob Davis Gymnasium with the women tipping off at 6 p.m. and the men starting at 8 p.m.

The Brock men’s team, led by fifth-year head coach Charles Kissi, is expected to be one of the top squads in the country this season.

Charles Kissi

Brock Badgers men’s basketball coach Charles Kissi.

“We have our eyes set on reaching the national championships this season,” said Kissi. “We have a very strong core of returning players with senior leadership to go along with a talented young freshman class. This is one of the most exciting teams I have had the opportunity to coach.

“It’s going to be a great season for the Badgers and our fans, the Best Fans in Canada.”

The Badgers finished the 2016-17 season with their best finish since 2008 capturing an Ontario University Athletics bronze and just missing out on a berth to the USPORTS National Championships. This season, the team has its eyes set on winning OUA and national titles.

Brock returns four of five starters from last season, highlighted by the duo of OUA all-stars Dani Elgadi (14.7 PPG, 10.3 RPG) and Johneil Simpson (13.2 PPG, 4.6 RPG). Also returning are third-year point guard Tyler Brown (7.5 PPG, 3.4 APG) and second-year forward Daniel Cayer (8.5 PPG, 5.4 RPG). Cassidy Ryan (9.0 PPG), 3.3 RPG) will replace graduate Ryan Bennett as the fifth starter for the Badgers this year.

The Badgers also have a deeper bench than last year, including returnees Michael Asemota and Mitch Saunders along with transfers Patrick Pilato and 7-foot-1 Donald Mims. Brock also had a strong recruiting class adding six true freshmen in Godsman Kwakwah, Kascius Small-Martin, Noah Lapierre, Ibrahim Ngom, Djibril Ngom and Daniel Caldwell.

The Brock women’s basketball team, under second-year head coach Ashley MacSporran, returns four players from a year ago with nine new faces on the 2017-18 roster.

Ashley MacSporran

Brock University women’s basketball coach Ashley MacSporran.

“This Brock team will be looking to figure out how to be successful together on the floor with so many new faces and with less experience,” said MacSporran. “Once the Badgers start to piece everything together, this young team has tremendous potential. With nine new faces, it takes time for a team to figure out how to play together, but the team continues to push to improve daily.”

Returning players include forward Shannon Northey (3.6 PPG, 4.2 RPG) and guards Bailie Campbell (7.0 PPG, 3.1 RPG), Ana Caldeira Rua (1.9 PPG, 2.3 RPG) and Allie Columbus (1.9 PPG, 2.3 RPG).

The Badgers have added three transfers in Stephanie Findlay, Brooke Murdoch and Courtney McPherson who are all expected to make immediate impacts. Brock also has a strong incoming freshman class including Kristan Gallant, Lauren Zonneveld, Ieva Sukeviciute, Miranda Smith and Ginny Cape.

The Badgers finished last season with an 8-11 record good for second place in the OUA Central Division, despite a number of injuries to key players.

Tickets for Wednesday’s doubleheader are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors or non-Brock students. There’s no charge for Brock students. Tickets are available at the Walker Sports Complex Welcome Desk or by calling 905-688-5550 x4060.

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