The Huskie men’s basketball team has a rich 95 years of history, beginning with their first season in 1915-16. From 1919-1944, the team won the Rigby Trophy (symbolizing Western Canadian basketball supremacy) 14 times. Their next conference championship wouldn’t come until the 2009-10 Canada West title.
The University of Saskatchewan Huskies began playing men’s basketball in the Western Canada Intercollegiate Athletic Association in 1948-49. The team went 1-49 in their first seven seasons with the win in 1952-53.
The first playoff run for the Huskies came in 1963-64. In that season, the Huskies finished on top of the standings with a 14-2 record. They lost in the total points playoff series. The best season for the team in the early years was 1971-72 when they finished 11-5 and were crowned Great Plains Division champions. They lost in the WCIAA final.
During the WCIAA years, nine different people coached the team. They included Fran Pyne, Bob Keefe, Paul Thomas, Dan Zaharko, Bernard Kaminski, John Dewar, Don Newton, Bob Mirwald and Don Fry.
In 1972-73, the Huskies became charter members of the new Canada West. The Huskies did not make the playoffs again until 1981-82. Under second year head coach Guy Vetrie, the team finished second in the Canada West with a 14-6 record. Losing in the Canada West final, they still had a berth into the CIAU championship. In their first-ever appearance on the national stage, the men finished sixth. The very next year, the men returned to the Canada West final tournament and finished with a bronze medal.
The team continued to have success under Vetrie, visiting the playoffs and the Canada West finals three more times. They also added two more trips to the CIAU championships in 1985-86 finishing 4th and 1987-88 finishing 5th.
Steve Roth took over the team from Vetrie in 1988. The Huskies hit a skid from 1988-99. In the time period the Huskies only made one playoff appearance winning their way to the Canada West final in 1992-93 but lost.
Greg Jockims took over in the summer of 1998 and immediately turned the team around. In just his second year, the Huskies returned to the playoffs losing in the quarterfinal. In his coaching tenure, the Huskies have made the playoffs nine times including three trips to the Canada West Final Four and two trips to the CIS Final Eight Championship (2005-06 & 2009-10).
The Huskies made history in 2009-10 winning their first-ever Canada West Championship and CIS Championship. Finishing the season on a 13 game winning streak, the Huskies ended the 2009-10 Canada West regular season with a 14-6 record and second in the Prairie Conference.
Defeating the University of Fraser Valley Cascades in two straight games at home – 96-85 and 99-90 – the Huskies moved on to the Canada West Final Four. The Huskies won the banner with a 96-83 victory over the Calgary Dinos and also knocked off the UBC Thunderbirds 104-87 in overtime in the semifinal.
In Ottawa, at the CIS Championship, the Huskies defeated the University of Windsor Lancers in the quarter-final 71-68, the host and reigning champion Carleton University Ravens in the semifinal 86-82 and the UBC Thunderbirds in the final 91-81. Showron Glover, Troy Gottselig and Michael Linklater were all named CIS Championship Tournament All-Stars. Gottselig was also named the tournament MVP.
In May of 2012, Barry Rawlyk was named head coach of the program after two seasons as interim head coach.
In 2010-11, Rawlyk led the Huskies to a fourth place finish at the CIS Championship and a second place finish in the Canada West after sporting a conference 20-4 record. The next season, Rawlyk continued the success leading the Huskies to the program’s first-ever hosting duties at the Canada West Final Four after finishing first in the conference with a 16-4 record. The Huskies finished with a bronze medal at the Canada West Championship. In 2013-14, the Huskies repeated as conference bronze medalists and finished 5th at the CIS Final 8. In 2014-15, the Huskies finished first in the Canada West and hosted the conference final four losing in the final. The Huskies finished fifth at the CIS Final 8
The program has three players ranked among the top 16 Canada West all-time career scoring leaders, including leader Andrew Spagrud at 2182. He’s followed by Roger Ganes (1707), Dean Wiebe (1533). Ganes is also the conference’s career leading rebounder (1164), while Spagrud is second in that category (1039).