CALGARY, Alta. — The three-time defending ACAC Champions have their sights set on a fourth consecutive title in 2019-20.
Last season, the SAIT Trojans rolled to their third consecutive ACAC Championship after posting a 20-1 record in the regular season. The Trojans were the only team to score more than 2,000 points in the regular season in the South Division, and they finished the regular season with a 14-point advantage in the standings on the Red Deer College Kings and Medicine Hat Rattlers (13-8; 26 points).
After rolling through the conference postseason tournament, the Trojans found themselves once again in the eight-team field at the CCAA National Championships. Despite their strong season, the Trojans fell short of a medal for the third consecutive year. SAIT dropped their first two contests before closing out the event with a win over the host Langara Falcons.
Fast forward to the upcoming 2019-20 season and the Trojans will have a different look to them. While the full roster has yet to be confirmed, the back court will be without three familiar faces. The trio of Ian Tevis (Kent, Wash.), Nicholas Molina (Calgary, Alta.), and Amitoj Rehill (Calgary, Alta.) all graduated at the end of last season. Losing both Tevis and Molina means that Head Coach Marty Birky will be looking for others to step up in the starting five this season.
Some help is on the way for Birky and the Trojans by way of a veteran transfer guard from the Okanagan College Coyotes of the PACWEST BC Conference.
The Trojans have added point guard Davide Ciancio (Parma, Italy) to the mix for the new season, and he brings with him a wealth of experience and talent to SAIT. The Italian guard will add some stability to the point guard position, while the experience he has from playing against some top-tier talent in the PACWEST will have him well-equipped for the weekly grind of ACAC play.
Last season with the Coyotes, Ciancio saw the court in all 18 games, making eight starts along the way. Ciancio averaged 13.9 points per game, a number that led all regulars throughout the regular season. He also averaged 4.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists per contest while recording an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.3.
Over his 18 regular season appearances, Ciancio recorded double-digit points on 13 occasions. He closed out the season with seven straight games in double figures, two of which saw him go for more than 20 points. Ciancio recorded a season-best 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting back on February 8th, 2019 in a 108-94 home win for the Coyotes over the Camosun Chargers.
Ciancio topped the 20-point mark four times last season.
When asked about his newest commit, Birky had this to say about Ciancio.
“Davide brings with him experience in the CCAA, and the ability to spread the floor with his shooting ability. We are excited about his level of toughness and feel he will fit in well with our style of play.”
When looking at last year’s production, Ciancio’s stat line at Okanagan College resembles the production that Tevis had with the Trojans. While Tevis recorded higher per-game averages in terms of scoring (18.9 ppg) and rebounding (6.5 rpg), Ciancio could fill a similar role with the team this season given his toughness and shooting ability with an increase in minutes. With his range, Ciancio has the ability to score at all three levels on offense, while his toughness allows him to be a presence on the glass on both ends of the floor.
While at SAIT, Ciancio will be studying Architectural Technologies.
Ciancio and the Trojans will begin their quest for a fourth-straight league championship on Friday, October 18th on their home floor when they take on the visiting St. Mary’s University Lightning.