By Rylie Dobson
(Halifax, N.S)- This week’s Flashback Friday features the 2008-09 men’s basketball team.
Back row: Chad Wadden (Assistant Coach), David Nutbrown (Assistant Coach), Robert Nortmann, Jason Wang, Joseph Schow, Tim Coote, Sandy Veit, Germain Bendegue, John Campbell (Head Coach), Maria Dinney (Trainer), Jess Nichols (Trainer).
Front Row: Josh Beattie, Nick Flynn, Simon Farine, Galen Enlow, Stephen Lopez, Yannick Walcott.
Missing: Andrew Sullivan, Jay Williams (Assistant Coach), Dr. John McCabe (Mental Skills), Monica Uhlich (Trainer), Darren Stevens (Strength and Conditioning), Drew Stratton (Strength and Conditioning)
The 2008-09 men’s basketball season looked promising; the team was mainly composed of returning players with the other handful being talented rookies. Senior players Simon Farine, Germain Bendegue, Andrew Sullivan, Sandy Veit, Yannick Walcott, Josh Beattie, Jason Wang and Robert Nortmann hoped to lead the team to the AUS championship and beyond.
Pre-season play offered the team a confidence boost, as they walked out of eight games with seven wins, only falling to Windor’s nationally ranked team. Conference play wasn’t quite as successful, they ended the first half with a 5-4 record heading into the Christmas break.
The second half was highly inconsistent, with the Tigers going 9-7 in conference play. They went on to lose by 40 points to Cape Breton in a televised game, which was ultimately a turning point for the team. More determined than ever to prove themselves, the Tigers churned out four-straight wins, ending the season in second place with a record of 13-7.
Dal faced Acadia in the quarter-final round of the AUS playoffs. In a tremendous game, Simon Farine led the Tigers with 45 points to claim the win against the Axemen, and the Tigers were off to the semi finals. The season seemed to be coming full circle, as the Tigers were matched against Cape Breton in the second round, the team that had spurred their second half turn-around. In a one-point win, the Tigers eliminated the Capers and moved on to play StFX in the final round. In the championship game, Josh Beattie provided momentum for the team scoring 17 points in less than five minutes, sending Dalhousie into the lead. The Tigers won the AUS championship, and Beattie was named the AUS Championship player of the game. Simon Farine claimed tournament MVP honours.
Dalhousie was seeded sixth at nationals. In a hard-fought battle, the Tigers fell to UBC in the quarter-finals.
They finished the season at 24-12 with an AUS Championship title and a Top 8 finish in the nation.