The Douglas College men’s basketball team is adding a few new faces to its roster. And bringing back a familiar face to bolster their ranks, too.
Along with a healthy core of returnees, the Royals are looking at 2019/20 as a year where they can push the envelope and make a dent on both the provincial and national stage.
Head coach Joe Enevoldson feels this year’s roster has the components that could get them back to a national final – like in 2018, when they finished second.
“I’m very genuinely excited about this group, I see we’ve addressed some key roles and gotten on paper what we needed,” he said. “You have to take care of the process, but we know the talent level here is good enough to compete at the provincial and nationals level.”
It begins with a pair of Morrises – St. Thomas More alumni Reese and Cameron, who bring a brawny ball-moving style to Douglas’ court.
Reese, who sat out last year but has re-upped after playing an integral part of the team’s 2018 national run, adds his six-foot-five frame and battle-tested resume to a team with a huge need at the forward position. In the 2017/18 season, the Burnaby native averaged eight rebounds and nearly 12 points per game.
Cameron, the youngest of the Morris brothers, transfers in from UBC to bring a strong versatile game. He posted a season-high 14 points during a 22-minute span for UBC against Saskatchewan last October, and gives Enevoldson another strong offensive touch.
“I really like our talent level, but we set out to get better on the front court and I think we did that,” said the coach.
Burnaby South Rebels grad Aidan Wilson, part of the 2018 B.C. 4-A championship and a third-place result last season, will add his six-foot-nine frame to the Royals front line, too.
The rangy teen scored 21 points in his final high school game, as Burnaby South finished third at the provincial championships in Langley.
Another Burnaby South alum, guard Jiordano Khan, stocks more talent in the Douglas back court.
Khan, a six-foot-three guard, proved to be a consistent, double-digit scorer with a strong work ethic on the boards.
The squad is also counting on the leadership of third-year guard Courtney Anderson and sophomore Dylan Kinley, standout guards at last year’s provincials. They played prominent roles as the Royals challenged for a national berth, earning B.C. All-Star honours,
And while the first league game isn’t until Nov. 1, the Royals are wasting no time in giving players opportunities to develop chemistry and see how they measure up. Douglas hosts the touring NCAA Div. 1 California State University of Bakersfield for an exhibition test on Tuesday (7 p.m.) at Douglas’ New West campus.
“Any time you can play a Div. 1 team you should jump at it,” Enevoldson said of the formidable challenge. “It’s an opportunity to see what works, what doesn’t work against a real good program. We hope to just keep getting better and see where we’re at.”
The team only lost one player from last year’s lineup -- New Westminster native Sylvester Appiah, who finished his fifth season with the Royals.