There was plenty of buzz about the St. John’s Edge and their performance in their first two National Basketball League Canada games.
Much of it was generated by Newfoundland guard Carl English, and why not? He sank the winning three-pointer in a 97-96 win over the Island Storm in Charlottetown, P.E.I., Saturday night and followed up with a game-high 36 points, much of the production on more long-distance shooting, in a 124-121 loss, albeit a thrilling one ,to the Halifax Hurricanes Sunday afternoon in the Nova Scotia capital.
But there were plenty of other contributors, including Charles Hinkle, who led the Edge with 24 points in their inaugural game and registered 20 more on Sunday, and Grandy Glaze, who was a powerful presence in the post in both outings.
But the Edge will have to do without Glaze for the remaining three games of their season-opening road trip.
On Monday, as the Edge bussed to Sydney, N.S., where they will take on the Cape Breton Highlanders tonight, the 25-year-old Glaze remained in Halifax, where Canada’s national men’s team is preparing for a couple of exhibition games. The 6-7 centre/power forward from Toronto was recently named to the Canadian entry that will be looking to qualify for the next FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Team Canada has an exhibition game against the Bahamas in Halifax before travelling to the Dominican Republic on the weekend to take on that country’s national squad.
Glaze had 19 points and 20 rebounds against the Storm., and followed up with 18 points and 17 more boards versus the Hurricanes.
Just as notable was his floor time. Glaze played all but two minutes of the game against the Storm, and 37 of 48 minutes versus the Hurricanes.
St. John’s head coach Jeff Dunlap agrees Glaze will be greatly missed during what will be a busy week — the Edge also play in Moncton Wednesday and Saint John, N.B., on Friday — but added they understood it was important to let the big man fulfil his national team commitment.
“Obviously. we are not going to stand in the way of a young person with the chance to put ‘Canada’ on their chest,” said Dunlap, who added St. John’s was fortunate just to have Glaze for the games against the Storm and Hurricanes, because Basketball Canada actually wanted him to join the Team Canada last weekend.
“Initially, he wasn’t going to be with us at all (on the road trip). But there was a little bit of a compromise and we got him for those first two games.”
The Edge certainly got their money’s worth from Glaze in the Charlottetown and Halifax.
“He can really go, can’t he?” said Dunlap. “Boy, he gets on the glass and he’s got one speed … high motor guy.
“We’re going to miss him in Games 3, 4 and 5. And he’s committed to us. He hated to leave and he’s excited by what we’re doing, but this is a chance to represent his country, too.
“We just have to roll with it.”
St. John’s does have centre Rudolpe Joly on the roster and will be looking for contributions from rookie power forward Zach Gordon, the Edge’s second-round pick in the fall NBL Canada draft.
The 6-8, 240-pound Gordon, a Seattle native who spent the last five years with Cal Poly’s NCAA Division 1 team, wasn’t on the season-opening roster for St. John’s, but given the situation surrounding Glaze, the Edge worked out a way to keep him in sort of a reserve role.
“We asked for a waiver from the league that would allow Zach travel with us and then to be activated when Grandy left,” said Dunlap, who said the arrangement only applies during Glaze’s absence.
Tonight’s game (7:30 p,.m,.) against the Highlanders marks the third straight time the Edge will be playing in a team’s 2017-18 home opener. Online live-streaming of the contest is accessible through sjedge.ca or nblcanada.ca.