WolfPack athlete spotlight: Denys Bachurin

WolfPack men's basketball forward talks team rookies, new coach and more ahead of 2023-24 season

Denys Bachurin is different from your typical fourth-year business student. Standing 6-foot-7, the Ukrainian-born forward is one of the newest additions to the WolfPack men’s basketball team, having been traded from North Platte Community College in Nebraska last year. 

“It’s been fun so far. It’s my second year here. It’s been a lot different compared to the United States in general.  Basketball here is a lot different, I’ll say people, as well. I like my teammates a lot. It has been a great experience so far,” Bachurin told the Omega.

The 2023-24 season has thus far been one of change. Following the departure of coach Scott Clark, the men’s team started with a new head coach, Chad Jacobson.

“Coach Clark, he was a little bit more of an old-school guy. I would say things were done differently. Practices were done differently. Right now, I’ll say we practice a bit less, but maybe at a higher volume. We are bringing a lot of new things to our game. We’re running a new offence to share with a new coach,” Bachurin said. 

“We have a lot more responsibilities right now with one guy down. Especially after the season we had last year, we didn’t start quite well, but then we picked up our season. We didn’t win as many games as we obviously wanted to. Some injuries came in. We lost some close games that we felt like we should have won. We definitely have games that we can win and make the playoffs a year,” Bachurin said.

With the 6-foot-5 forward Asher Mayan out of action due to an injury, Bachurin and company have been looking to the team’s nine rookies to step up.

“We definitely have a lot of experience on this team. We have a couple of rookies coming in this year as well. They might not play a lot, but they’re still learning and gathering new information from all of us. Hopefully, with more games and more opportunities, they can catch up quicker.” 

Bachurin said with rookies on the team and injuries, it just puts more responsibility on everyone else, and he’s hoping that pressure is a boon to the team.

“Playing in front of your own crowd is a lot better because you see familiar faces every time you score, [you can hear] your crowd cheering. Especially if it’s a close game, it comes down to a possession game, and you score, and everybody cheering you up. Home games are a huge advantage and this year, we count on people who come and support us.”

Currently, TRU is sitting at 13th place in the Canada West standings. The next games will be against the University of Regina Cougars on Nov. 17 and Nov. 18 at the Tournament Capital Centre.