Brandon Jones - PACWEST Athlete of the Week

March 5th, 2013

Men’s Basketball Winner – Brandon Jones (Vancouver Island University)

PACWEST Week 22 – March 3rd, 2013

 

The 2nd seeded Mariners began their tournament against 3rd ranked Quest in the first men’s semi-final. VIU looked rusty out of the gates beginning by turning the ball over on their first three possessions. However, star Mariners import Brandon Jones quickly took over, scoring VIU’s first 9 points, and pushing them out to a 24-13 lead after one. 

“We had lots of time to prepare,” said VIU Head Coach Matt Kuzminski post-game, “we did a great job on a lot of their sets.” The Mariners were able to shut down Quest’s dynamic offense forcing the Kermodes to only 26.9% from the field including an abysmal 3 for 24 from beyond the arc. “Defense has always been something we stress” stated Kuzminski.

Brandon Jones finished his massive evening with 32 points on 12 for 18 shooting with 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. However, he was not one to take the credit for the win and focused more on the team as the reason for VIU’s success. “We knew we had to come together and play as a team,” Jones said after the win, “and it all came down to we really wanted it.” When asked about going forward, Jones simply stated, “The sky’s the limit if we stay together.”

Saturday’s Gold Medal match-up between Langara and VIU delivered early in front of a raucous, sold-out crowd in Victoria. The Falcons came out strong starting the contest on a 9-2 run. The Mariners were struggling offensively.

The 2nd began relatively slow with both teams missing some open shots. Then, 1st team all-star point guard Brandon Jones took the game over for the Mariners. Whether it was from outside, mid-range, or lay-ins, everything seemed to be falling for the Portland product. Jones amassed 29 1st half points on 12 for 19 shooting.

The 3rd quarter had Langara starting off in a zone on defense which seemed to give VIU trouble evidenced by the Mariners’ field goal percentage dropping from 47% to 32% in the 2nd half. “We changed our defense up,” is how Falcons Head Coach adjusted to Jones’ stellar 1st half.

Both teams seemed to feel the pressure of the moment in the final quarter as only three points total were scored in the first four minutes. There was no quit in the Mariners though, and they battled back to within one with just over a minute to go. Langara held on to take the PACWEST Provincial Championship, 78-74.

Jones finished the night with 42 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 3 steals for VIU.  For the first in in recorded BCCAA / PACWEST history, the Provincial tournament MVP has been awarded to a member of the Silver Medal team.