UNB Saint John Athletics
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Men’s basketball squad hoping to realize potential after Christmas break

Author: Scott Briggs

Posted on Nov 27, 2019

Category: Uncategorized

SAINT JOHN -- It will soon be three years since Jacob Vickers helped Miramichi Valley to a provincial boys AAA high school championship. While the victory over Leo Hayes will always be the most vivid memory, so is what happened after.  After being recruited by UNB Saint John head coach Peter Vincent, Vickers decided to continue his hoops career in the Port City. His choice was based on several factors.  “I visited the campus and I could tell it was somewhere I wanted to play,” said the 6-foot-5 forward from Lower Derby. “They had a lot of guys they were bringing back, so there were some veterans I could learn from. It was a great fit.”

Vickers is returning the favour. The third-year veteran is committed to helping seven new players find their way in the ACAA.  “You go from being a big guy in the high school league, and then all of a sudden, you’re just an average-size guy with average skills,” Vickers said. “It’s a big adjustment for guys to go from scoring 25 points a game to scoring 10 in their first year. It kind of messes with guys’ minds a bit when they jump in and they’re not the best guy on their team. For the guys coming right out of high school, it takes time getting used to the physicality and pace of the game.”
But not all newcomers are fresh from the high school ranks. Former Saint John High standout Adam Lambert played for the UNB Reds in Fredericton last year before opting to bring his game back home.  The early returns are encouraging. Lambert scored 13 points in the Seawolves’ 78-71 road win at Mount Allison on Nov. 3. Two weeks later, however, the Mounties gained redemption by beating UNB Saint John at the G. Forbes Elliot Athletics Centre.

“The league is so much more balanced than it’s been in the past,” Vincent said. “Top to bottom, anybody can beat anybody. We’ve got some depth, talent and size on this team. The last few years, shooting has been something that we’ve been pretty well known for. We need guys to get on a roll.  “I think we’ve got one of the best shooters in the league in Tanner Hoyt (Grand Bay-Westfield). He just hasn’t quite hit his stride yet, but when he does, we’ll lean on him quite a bit. When he knocks down that first one, it’s hard to stop him.”

Meanwhile, the rest of the roster includes Keshaun Skeir (Halifax, N.S.); Jason Morse (Amherst, N.S.); Hunter Gray (Woodstock); Austin Buchanan (Lockeport, N.S.); Austin Brun (Fredericton); Zac Miersch (Miramichi); Costa Kolyvas (Rothesay); Jack Fury-Miller (Saint John); Jaleel Smith (Saint John); Enoch Eshetu (Winnipeg, Man.), and Mike Armstrong (Saint John). Keegan Gray will miss the current campaign due to academic commitments, but he’s expected to return next season.  

Leading by example

After dropping five of their first six games, the Seawolves hope to rebound when their ACAA schedule resumes on Jan. 11. They’ll face non-conference competition from Maine early in the month.
“It all starts in practice,” Vickers said. “We have to put the effort in (during) practice, and then bring that same intensity to the games. We really need to bring intensity to the defensive end, and that will drive our offence… A lot of it is going to be the guys who were here before bringing that same knowledge and wisdom to the younger guys.”