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2024 Vancouver Bandits Team Preview

Welcome back to part six of my ten part series previewing every single team for the 2024 CEBL season. This is a daily series where I will choose to preview one of the 10 teams in the league, which will lead up to my complete overview and predictions piece! These articles will go over who is on each of the rosters, followed by some main headlines to lookout for, and ending off with a little sneak peak at my prediction for that teams finish.


In the sixth edition of this series, we will be taking a look at a team that's trying to more so bounce back this summer, the Vancouver Bandits. The Bandits hosted the 2023 Championship Weekend and received a bye to the semi-finals. They were a team that I thought would have finished better than 8-12 and last place in the west. With a couple new additions around the few returnees, I can see some improvement in 2024.


Legend

-Sorted by “Guards” and “Forwards”

-Canadians will be identified by “(C)”

-American imports will be identified by “(A)”

-If applicable, International imports will be identified by “(I)”

-U Sports draftees will be identified by “(U)”

-If applicable, Development players will be identified by “(D)”


Guards

Kobe McEwen (C)

Duane Notice (C)

Zach Copeland (A)

Diego Maffia (D)

Taze Moore (A)

Glen Yang (C)

Jerric Palma (U)


Forwards

Nick Ward (A)

James Karnik (C)

Kur Jongkuch (I)

Josip Vrankic (C)

Adam Olsen (U)

Connor Platz (U)


Bounce Back

After what can be described as a disappointing season for the Bandits in 2023, they are looking to come back and do better at competing in a talented Western Conference. Their roster last season was super talented, but they just could not put it together. This summer, they have a similarly talented roster, or maybe even slightly better. Keeping that level of quality was much simpler to do when the best big man in the CEBL Nick Ward returned. I feel very confident in also saying that they've hit on the other two American import slots, by bringing in Taze Moore and Zach Copeland. There is only one question that I do have about this roster, but I will save that for the final section when I make my prediction for their season finish.


Player To Watch: Nick Ward

As I mentioned above, Ward is the best big in the entire league. His back to the basket ability is second to none at this level, being at a high volume and percentage. He rebounds the ball really well, and is due for a double-double almost every single night. That goes along with also being a pretty decent rim protector. The only downside to his game is that he isn't much of a switchable defender and his foot speed at this point in his career is a little slow. Otherwise, he should be one of the leagues leading scorers, shooting at a high percentage, while also not being too much of a defensive liability. Ward is truly one of the CEBL's star players.


Mid-Table Fight

The Bandits are a team that I think have the quality to compete in the Western Conference and make it into a playoff spot. But you are all probably wonder, "What was that question mark he had about the roster?" Well, here it is: I'm not sure that Vancouver's Canadian talent is good enough to keep them up to pace with everyone else in the conference. While I have been intrigued by their moves, the quality may just not be there. Both Kobe McEwan and Diego Maffia will make their mark, (I think Maffia does even more than that, he's on professional breakout watch) I'm not sure there will be anyone else to go with those two to bring that depth they'll need to keep up with other teams. I feel like I can comfortably say that this is a playoff team, whether that be a third or fourth place finish, I'm just not sure if they make a run to the final.

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