Freshman R.J. Barrett (@rjbarrett6) (Mississauga, Ont) became the first Canadian basketball player to record a triple-double in an NCAA men’s division one basketball game in 35 years.
The No. 2 Duke Blue Devils continued their March towards the Madness with a 94-78 win over the visiting the North Carolina State Wolfpack.
Barrett took full advantage of his 37 minutes on his way to his first collegiate triple-double with 23 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists and an impressive zero turnovers.
Barrett’s efforts put him in elite company as only the fourth Duke player to reach the feat and the first Blue Devils’ triple-double since 2006. And if that wasn’t jaw-dropping enough, he is also the first Duke Freshman to do it since Gene Banks did it way back in 1987.
Even more impressive, is that fact that well over 2000 plus Canadians in the past 35 seasons have registered their names on official NCAA basketball scoresheets, but only one other was capable of accomplishing the elusive feat.
One would have to bypass some elite Canadian basketball names including Steve Nash, Andrew Wiggins, Jamal Murray, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kevin Pangos, Cory Joseph, Tyler Ennis, Jamal Magloire, Tristan Thompson, Khem Birch and many others.
One would’ve to dig up and dust off the cobwebs off the Syracuse Orangemen record books to find Leo Rautins’ name.
Rautins’ a Canadian basketball prodigy of his own, is responsible for the last Canadian triple-double BasketballBuzz could find against NCAA division one teams, with 13 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds against Boston College on February 19, 1983. A talented Rautins notched three career triple-doubles in two seasons, including two in less than 40 days apart.
Recently, several Canadian players including Barrett himself have come close to adding their names to the conversation. R.J. nearly missed out with the most dominant game of his career, a 23 points, 16 rebounds, 9 assists outburst in Duke’s only second loss of the season as they fell in overtime 95-91 to same Head Coach that coached and recruited Rautins, as the Syracuse Orange pulled off the upset on January 14, 2019.
Current freshman Dalano Banton (Western Kentucky) came up two points shy with an 8 point, 13 rebounds and 10 assist outing against the Wisconsin Badgers on December 29, 2018. Former Kentucky Wildcats’ Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and current Clippers’ point guard came close with a 17 point, 10 assists and 7 rebound effort against Ole Miss on Feb 24. 2018.
Montreal’s Khem Birch (Orlando Magic) nearly took down the record on three occasions during his second season with the UNLV Rebels, including an 11-point, 12-rebound and 9 block outing versus New Mexico on February 15, 2014. Birch, a shot-blocking phenom also had two other games with 8 blocks and finished his career with 211 swats in just 53 NCAA career games, translating to an unheard of 4 blocks per game.
With so much talent surrounding R.J. Barrett, it wouldn’t be surprising if he notched at least one more triple-double before his collegiate career is enshrined as the best ever by a Canadian.
Note: For clarification purposes, Godwin Boahen (Toronto, Ont.) a Junior point guard from the University of Illinois-Chicago Flames officially recorded a triple-double during his freshman season (2016-2017) against National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Roosevelt Lakers’ putting up 13 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in only his 13th game on December 22nd, 2016. However, given that this game wasn’t against official NCAA competition it was therefore excluded.
Carleton Ravens and Syracuse Orange set to tangle once again
Defending champions Carleton University Ravens will once again tangle with the Syracuse Orange in a marquee match-up between U Sports and NCAA powerhouses.
The Ravens will make their second trip to the Carrier Dome on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 to wrap-up another jammed-packed 2019-2020 exhibition schedule.
The two schools first played back on August 23rd 2013 in Ottawa with Syracuse winning a thrilling 69-65 overtime victory as part of Syracuse’s Canada tour and the debut of Canadian point guard Tyler Ennis
The Orange also got the best of the Ravens, pulling-off a 88-76 win on November 2nd 2014.
The 2019-2020 will mark the debut season for new Ravens head coach Taffe Charles who takes over for Dave Smart who surprised the entire college basketball landscape by announcing his sudden retirement.
Montreal’s freshman Quincy Guerrier alongside junior point guard Howard Washington (Buffalo/NY) are the latest Canadian’s to suite-up for legendary player, turned hall-of-hame coach Jim Boeheim, who has been at the helm since 1976.
Boeheim is the king of getting Canadians in the NBA — having single-handily responsible for overseeing the growth of Leo Rautins, Kris Joseph, Tyler Ennis, Andy Rautins, and now Oshae Brissett and if it all pans out — potentially Guerrier as well.
Under the guidance of their own legendary hall-of-fame coach Dave Smart the Ravens played a Canadian record 59 games against NCAA teams – earning a more than respectable 41-51 record from 1999-2018.
The Ravens boasted an unreal and never to be broken 37-24 winning record against NCAA teams on Canadian soil but mustered-up only one victory in the USA — beating Providence 77-67 in October 28, 2017.
James Naismith Classic NCAA triple-header to feature big names
For the past 20 years NCAA basketball teams have been making the trip north of the border to take on Canadian U Sports teams in early August as part of the NCAA vs. U Sports exhibition series.
Now it looks like we are ready for the next step — regular season, non-conference games between NCAA schools on fertile Canadian basketball
According to multiple reports, and now
Sponsored by the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame — the St. Bonaventure Bonnies (A-10) will take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (Big 10). The Buffalo Bulls (MAC) will face the Harvard Crimson (Ivy) and the Tennessee Volunteers (SEC) will square off against the Pac 12 champions Washington Huskies.
A total of six Canadian’s could be featured in the marque homecoming event including, Rutgers’ Eugene Omoruyi (Rexdale, Ont.), Harvard’s Danilo Djuricic Brampton, Ont.), and Luka Sakota (Oakville, Ont.). The Crimson also features Ottawa, Ont. duo
Omoruyi a 6’7″, 234-pound bruising senior forward is coming off of his best season — leading the Scarlet Knights in scoring and rebounds at a respective 13.8 and 7.2 per game.
Noah Kirkwood (6’7, 215 lbs) guard had a productive freshman season with 11.1 rebounds, 4.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists as the Crimson (18-11, 10-4 Conf) just missed out on the 2019 NCAA March Madness tournament with a close loss to Yale in the conference title game.
The Buffalo Bulls’ are coming off their most successful season in the program’s history with an outstanding 32-4, 16-2 record and a six-seed in the West region.
The marquee match-up pits the Tennessee Volunteers against the Washington Huskies. Tennessee finished second in the SEC with a strong 31-6, 15-3 campaign for head coach Rick Barnes – bowing out to Purdue in the Sweet 16.
The Huskies, although not a traditional Canadian destination, will become the first NCAA men’s basketball team to make back-to-back trips to Canada.
In 2018 the Vancouver Showcase tipped off — bringing four NCAA men’s (Washington, Santa Clara, Minnesota, Texas A&M) and eight women’s basketball team’s to the west coast of Canada — marking the first time NCAA division one games played in Canada counted as non-conference records.
With Toronto continuously out-churning the mecca (New York City) and other traditional American powerhouses for quality NCAA and NBA basketball prospects — it makes more than dollars and cents — much like the Empire Classic — to ensure that the northern city that never sleeps has it’s annual NCAA regular season dosage.
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