Jacob Doerksen: Shaking up TWU & Canada West basketball

VANCOUVER - Jacob Doerksen has always possessed an ability to cause major tremors on the basketball court, so maybe it's no surprise that the question confused him.
Thursday, before the start of classes at Langley's Trinity Western University, the Spartans' do-it-all 6-foot-7 third-year forward was asked how well his Spartans men's basketball team had performed on a scale of one to 10.
"We have tons of room for improvement, lots of room to grow, so I'd say maybe about a five," he offered.
So the potential is there for your team to perform twice as well by season's end?
"No," laughed Doerksen, 21, who sat out last season on a transfer after playing his first two CIS seasons with the Victoria Vikes. "That's not how the scale works. It's like the earthquake scale. So moire like a million times."
Ah, the Richter Scale, where even an increase of a few tenths of point substantially increases overall magnitude. A 5.0 is considered moderate, whereas a 10.0 has never been recorded and is classified as epic.
Truthfully, Doerksen has been shaking things up at about a 7.5 heading into tonight's opening game of a weekend set with the visiting, arch-rival Fraser Valley Cascades (6-4) at Enarson Gym (8 p.m.). It's no stretch to say that he has been the single most dominant player in the Canada West this season. Not only is he leading the conference in rebounding (10.8 rpg,) but he's sitting second in scoring (21.8 ppg), steals (3.0 spg) and blocks (1.7 bpg). And to top it all off, he's perched in the top 15 in three-point shooting percentage, hitting at a 39.4 per cent clip. "What I respect about him, and the reason I give him freedom is that he makes great decisions," says TWU head coach Scott Allen, the team's first-year head coach who won a recruiting battle with Calgary and UBC to secure Doerksen's services.
"What he is more like is a 6-foot-7 point guard who can shoot the three, play in the post and pass the ball," Allen continues of his hybrid power forward. "He is always thinking one pass ahead. You watch him before he catches it and he already knows what he is going to do."
The key challenge in what has thus far been a 4-5 start to the 23-game league campaign, has been building chemistry into the lineup. Key players Doerksen and small forward Jamie Vaughn both sat out last season as transfers while scoring guard Brian Banman did likewise because of injury. And point guard Louis Hurd joined the team this season from the B.C. college ranks.
Doerksen, a dual-sport sensation, who helped Abbotsford's Rick Hansen Hurricanes to the 2004 B.C. Triple A football title and scored 58 points in his final high school basketball game at the provincial Triple A tourney in 2005, admits he would have resumed his dual-sport career had he chosen a football school like UBC or Calgary.
Instead, he kept his hard-court game as sharp as he could by playing in three different men's leagues last season.
"There was the Guildford league, the Abbotsford league, the Douglas league," he says with a chuckle. "Playing against old men, it's hard to beat them. I am serious. They have old-men strength."
The young Doerksen, who still has two more years of CIS eligibility remaining after this season, is hopeful that over the second half of the 2008-09 campaign that his Spartans will continue to take positive steps forward. And using his scale of measure, he's expecting the strides to be ground breaking.