The past two seasons, the Columbia Bible College Bearcats men’s basketball team won a combined six games.
This year, in the club’s exhibition run, they’ve already won seven.
It may only be exhibition but there’s a new vibe with the team, and much of that energy could be attributed to new head coach Matthew Boulton.
It’s the first year as Bearcats head coach for Boulton but he brings a wealth of experience. He’s spent over 20 years coaching regional and provincial teams, including a combined eight years with UBC, UVic and TWU. Boulton also played at the CIS level with the Carleton Ravens.
“I’ve been able to see a lot of the top programs in the country and how they run things and I’m going to try and take bits and pieces of that and apply it to how we run things here,” he said.
CBC compiled a record of seven wins and five losses during its exhibition schedule and Boulton said he sees a lot of promise in this year’steam.
“I think we should have one of the better squads they’ve had in the past decade,” he said. “They won a provincial bronze medal here in 2007 and we’re hoping to compete at the same level or better than they did.”
A playoff berth is the club’s goal and Boulton said an infusion of new talent will help make that possible. Only three players are back from the 2014-15 team and top scorer Elijah Calhoun is one of them. Calhoun, who hails from Brooklyn, was sixth in the Pacwest in scoring and averaged 16.5 points per game.
New recruits Umbori Watson and Kevin David come to CBC from Baltimore and Boulton said they should bring a lot of talent. The pair were on a junior college team last year that won its regionals and finished 10th at US Nationals.
“They have a good championship culture about them,” he said. “We want to set a high bar because otherwise our culture won’t be where we need it to be. We’ve been focusing on us and understanding our systems, and we’re extremely optimistic for the season to get started.”
The Bearcats men’s and women’s teams open the season on the road in Surrey against the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Eagles on Friday. The first home games for each club occur on Nov. 13, when the Camosun College Chargers come to town.
For more information on the teams, visit blog.columbiabc.edu/bearcats.