For the first time ever, the University of the Fraser Valley men's and women's basketball teams are both ranked in the Top 5 in Canada.
The men, defending Canada West silver medalists and CIS 'Final 4' finalists, are ranked fourth to start the season.
The women's team start the 2012 campaign ranked third in Canada; last year the Cascades finished eighth in the CIS Top-10 poll.
They start their regular season this weekend in Calgary against the Mount Royal Cougars.
On Saturday the Cascades men wrapped up a perfect Honda Way Classic, beating McMaster University 81-48 to go unbeaten in the three-day tournament at the Envision Athletic Centre.
Sam Freeman led all scorers with 31 points to be named the Cascades player of the game Saturday.
"Sam was excellent tonight, his shots were accurate and his scoring touch was on," said head coach Adam Friesen. Kevon Parchment hit for 12 points and Kyle Grewal added 11 points and eight total rebounds.
On Friday, the Cascades defeated Lakehead University 88-70 in day two of the classic, with Grewal leading the way with 31 points; Parchment added 18 and Jordan Blackman picked up 15.
Women's basketball preview
The Cascades will be led by Aieisha Luyken of Mission who averaged 12.4 points per game last season.
Sarah Wierks of Chilliwack, who was named to the 2010-11 All-Canadian rookie team, averaged 9.3 points and 9.8 rebounds per game and has become a steady force in the middle of the Cascades lineup.
Nicole Wierks is one of five players in her fourth year and will be looked to for veteran leadership on the floor; she averaged 30 minutes per game while contributing 10 points and six boards per night.
She was named the Canada West recipient of CIS Tracey MacLeod Award for her determination, perseverance and unwavering spirit battling career threatening injuries.
"The team is excited and is looking forward to the challenges of the CW season," said head coach Al Tuchscherer.
"This is the most veteran our team has been in several seasons and we are hoping the experiences of the past two seasons will serve us well.
"We are a team that needs to work hard every night to compete with the best teams and I think our group embraces that mentality."
Men's basketball preview
The Cascades men are looking forward to defending their second place finish last season in Canada West.
The team went through several changes over the summer and emerged with a new head coach Adam Friesen, former star player at Trinity Western University.
"We have an exciting blend of veterans and very talented first year players," said Friesen.
The Cascades are led by their 2011-12 Male Athlete of the Year Kyle Grewal of Surrey who averaged 14.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game.
Grewal had a monster CIS championship tournament, breaking UFV's single game scoring mark with 35 points in the 89-86 bronze medal game loss.
He was named to the CIS 'Final 8' all-tournament team.
Friesen is also looking to Sam Freeman and James York for oncourt leadership.
Top recruits include Kevon Parchment and Hudson Simon, both of Toronto, Ont. and local high school all stars Manjodth Dulay and Luke Morris.
- The Cascades first regular season home games will be Nov. 9 - 10 when they host the University of Victoria at the Envision Athletic Centre.