Following the Huskies men’s basketball first-ever national title in the spring, there was concern that the team’s large turnover of all-star players and the temporary absence of head coach Greg Jockims heading into the 2010 CIS season may hinder the team from repeating such a monumental feat.
Â Â Some of this concern has been alleviated by the arrival of the new recruit and point guard Jamelle Barrett.
Â Â Barrett is poised to fill the shoes of Showron Glover, a player largely responsible for helping bring home a trophy to the halls of the U of S in 2010. Glover opted to play the 2010-11 season overseas in Europe.
In addition, two other important components to the Huskies roster last season, CIS championship tournament all-star Michael Linklater and veteran head coach Greg Jockims, will not be returning this season. Jockims is only exercising a professional leave of absence and will hand the reins over to assistant coach Barry Rawlyk. Linklater completed his fifth and final year of eligibility in 2009-10.
Â Â Similar to how the Huskies acquired Glover, the Dogs dipped into the California market to bring Barrett to Saskatchewan.
Â Â The Sacramento-born point guard recently arrived in Saskatoon and since his first visit to the city of bridges, has been ecstatic to come play for the national champs.
Â Â “On my visit to Saskatchewan I felt really comfortable and I really like the situation,” Barrett told Huskies Athletics recently.
Â Â “I felt really comfortable with the team and city. I like Coach Rawlyk and the teammates I met,” added the 21-year-old.
Â Â Barrett is no stranger to championships either. As a senior, Barrett led his Sacramento high school basketball team to a 30-3 record in his senior year. He also clinched two league championships and a regional championship during the early phase of his athletic career in California. Following high school, Barrett played for a prep school in North Carolina and later with the College of Southern Idaho and the Consumnes River College in California. Â Â
Barrett’s time with the Consumnes River Hawks was his most successful stint following high school graduation. Playing with the California organization, Barrett aided the team to 23-6 regular season record, collected 246 assists, 59 steals, averaged 18.69 points in 26 games and scored more than 30 points in a single game, four times throughout the season. Moreover, the 5’11, 189 pound point guard was named to the all-star team and was dubbed conference player of the year while playing for the River Hawks.
Â Â Barrett and the Huskies will get the ball rolling this fall when they travel to the University of Alberta’s Non-Conference Tournament for pre-season action Oct. 7 to 9.
image: Gord Waldner / The StarPhoenix