EDMONTON – As a young team begins to mature, individual breakout performances start showing up on the scoresheet.
Such is the case for the MacEwan Griffins men's basketball team, which has had different players record career-best games on back-to-back weekends.
Second-year wing Colton Halbersma scored 15 points in just 17 minutes against Lethbridge on Dec. 4 right before the semester break. Then, first-year forward Damilola Osuma broke out with his best game – an 18-point effort against Alberta in MacEwan's last game Jan. 15.
Who will it be this weekend?
The Griffins (0-8) head to Calgary (5-3) for a pair of games on Friday (8 p.m.) and Saturday (7 p.m., both Canada West TV presented by Co-op) against the Dinos.
"I have no idea who's going to break out," said MacEwan head coach Mike Connolly. "They're all so young. Any of them could. They all have the potential to do anything. It's just a matter of the guys seizing the opportunities they get and playing within the system.
"Right now, kids are learning how to play and do what we want to do, and not take bad shots, become smarter players. That's a lot of learning because you make mistakes when you're trying to make the right decisions.
"We've got a young group. Someone's going to step up. Someone different will perform. That just shows our depth and our young talent that we just have to keep growing. We'll see who steps up. It could be anybody."
Just like it did against Alberta earlier this month, injuries are limiting the Griffins to just 10 healthy bodies this weekend. That's tough, given some of the guys on the shelf were regular starters in the first semester.
But the flip side of the coin is it gives the team's young talent more minutes to develop. Connolly certainly saw some signs of that group taking a step forward in their last outing against U SPORTS No. 2 Alberta and would like to see the progression continue this weekend against No. 11 Calgary.
"(We're looking for) an extension hopefully from the second game against the Bears," he said. "We've learned that we can get out and actually play, defend and run. We're more worried about what we're going to do this week – keep our pressure defence going, see if we can get out and run and get some secondary shots and let's see what happens.
"We're still learning. We can't be worried about what the other team's doing right now. We have to keep improving, which we are."