Ottawa, Ont. – (BasketballBuzz) – Taking the floor at the newly minted Canadian Tire Centre for the first time since winning a record ninth CIS Men’s Basketball National Championship, the Carleton Ravens came up just short against one of the giants of NCAA College Basketball.
Trailing for the entire game the Syracuse Orange (ACC) fought back from a 15-point second half deficit to tie the game, force overtime and eventually walk away with a 69-65 March Madness like, overtime victory over the Carleton Ravens.
Sophomore Jerami Grant (Hyattsville, Md). shook off a slow opening half to score six of the Orange’s 10 overtime points and finished with 18 points and nine rebounds. Canadian freshmen sensation Tyler Ennis (Brampton, Ont.) in only his third game in a Orange uniform put up 15 points, dished out four assists and added a game-high five steals.
Clinton Springer-Williams (12 points, 4/8 shooting, 2/5 threes) set the tone for the Ravens as they jumped out to a 7-0 run and pushed ahead 15-6 only to see Syracuse settle down and respond with 12-5 run to pull within 20-18.
Tyson Hinz found himself free in the middle of the paint and score six straights points for Carleton to restore a 10 point cushion and forced head coach Jim Boehiem to call a timeout to refocus his troops.
The Ravens assaulted the more athletic Syracuse team on the boards by holding 28-15 rebounding advantage at the break and moved the ball extremely well against the 2-3 zone, specially in the first 10 minutes to take a 32-22 half-time lead against last years NCAA finalists.
Both teams had a hard time putting the ball in the net in the opening 20 minutes with Carleton shooting 9-for-32, 28% and 4-of-19 from three’s, while Syracuse also shot 28% on 7-of-25 shots.
The Ravens came out of the locker room fired up to take 38-29 in the opening minutes of the second half and found themselves holding their largest lead (15) of the game at 44-29 when Thomas Scrubb (7 points, 9 rebounds, 6 turnovers) and Connor Wood connected on back-back three-pointers.
Syracuse responded with a game changing 14-0 by limiting the Ravens second chances forcing turnovers and rushed shots to pull within one point at 44-43. The Orange later tied the game at 54-54 and took their first lead with 3:54 left in the game.
“They are physical, tough defensive team, as tough as anybody, defensively and there ball movement is a as good against our defense is as good as anybody.” added Syracuse Orange Head Coach.
“When you are down 15 against a good team on their home court, I think at that point of the game you’re almost thinking are you going to get beat by 20? I though we really dug it down and did a great job defensively and pulled off a pretty good damn comeback.”
Carleton Ravens 6’7, 220 lbs, senior forward Tyson Hinz (Ottawa, Ont.) racked-up his third straight double-double against a NCAA team with 16 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, six of them on the offensive glass. Philip Scrubb coming off a career-night against the Wisconsin Badgers struggled from the outside, going 2-13 but hit some much needed shots late to keep Carleton in the game.
The highly anticipated match-up featured two of Canada’s brightest point guard as Syracuse Freshmen Tyler Ennis went head to head with the Ravens Philip Scrubb, a last minute cut by Jay Triano and the Senior Men’s National Team.
“He’s good, he’s always under control, he makes big shots, hes one of the best players on that team” said Ennis after the game.
Ennis is highly expected to join Canada’s Senior Men’s National Team next year and Scrubb should also be in the mix given he was the only Canadian University player invited to be training camp.
Syracuse will look to close its Canadian tour with a perfect 4-0 record when it meets the Ottawa Gee-Gees at Montpetit Hall. The Gee-Gees (1-1) are coming off a tough 101-92 lose to the Wisconsin Badgers.
Syracuse Head Coach Jim Boeheim became the third head coach to pick-up a technical foul during the Ravens four game NCAA exhibition schedule. TCU Horned Frogs head coach Trent Johnson was tossed after picking two T’s and Wisconsin Badgers coach Bo Ryan also showcased his displeasure with Carleton’s physicality and perhaps a little home cooking by the refs.
The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina Ionescu
There’s no business, like unfinished business.
Most great basketball stars take their smartphone penmanship to ‘The Players Tribune’ to announce a change of game and mind move to greener pastures, which seems to be the new trend like Kung Fu Kenny headbands. But not the green duck of Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu. In a pen drop moment she dropped the mic as she made a declaration like Leonardo DiCaprio staring at all that love in the boardroom in ‘The Wolf Of Wall Street’.
“I’m not f##### leaving!”
O.K. she didn’t say it quite like that. Rather more eloquently in the form of a love letter to her state and basketball mind. She may have that Eurostep stop on a dime from downtown that puts in that change and pops the button like James Harden. She may have film broke down by the mamba mentality of the one and only Kobe Bryant. Or articles wrote about her by this writers’ writing inspiration Shea Serrano of The Ringer. She may have even gone number one if she put in her draft card this year.
But the WNBA can wait.
Green with envy and legendary shades she may be the next great of this game like the Storm of Sue Bird to Breanna Stewart. She’s the type of player that’s so good to watch she could even get away with taking more steps than ladders like most of those NBA folks. But no! An inspired Ionescu is doing things the right way. After being made by Baylor, the ducks will quack again. And they will do so with their top billing. Sabrina will return for one last run. She’s got the rest of her playing career to be a WNBA legend for whatever team from the Sparks to Mercury picks her. But the Pac-12 Wade trophy winner has only got one last chance at a Final Four dance after the madness that is March.
Just look at the above picture. She’s only got so long for this. To be a kid. She may be far from ‘Sabrina The Teenage Witch’, but this maturing talent is still young. To be that again, we should just be happy she still has that chance. One chance to make the Ducks mighty again. To have those best years of your life with the best friends you’ll ever meet. These are her memories. Her signed sneakers and scissored nets. Who are any of us to take that away. We can wait. As her parquet paths next year to the big leagues will be like this season’s road to Zion.
The two time Nancy Lieberman award winner will take her L ready 19.9 points, 8.2 assists and 7.4 rebounds averages to one last ride and stand in Oregon. Flying with the 18 record of the most career triple doubles in NCAA history. She won’t be in New York next month, but she’ll be writing in more history books next year as other teams bet it all on some bouncing balls. And if you think this game is all about the big league and the big payday, then this outstanding Oregon statement doesn’t give a duck.
“I won’t predict exactly how far we’re going to go….. but I’ll just say this. We have unfinished business. And I mean that from the bottom of my heart.”
Time to get back to work and take everyone back to school.
R.J. Barrett, Zion Williamson make All-America First Team
Canada’s most-hyped recruit makes history.
Canada’s R.J. Barrett has been named a first-team Associated Press All-American, and finished second in AP Player of the Year voting to teammate Zion Williamson.
Barrett and Williamson, who led Duke to the NCAA men’s basketball Elite Eight this season, are only the second set of freshmen teammates to make the AP First Team.
Kentucky’s John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins were the first to manage the feat in 2010.
Barrett (Mississauga, Ont.) was one of Duke’s most effective players, averaging 22.9 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game.
He received two votes for AP Player of the Year, but Williamson — who electrified fans with his other-worldly athleticism — was the runaway winner.
Williamson, the projected No. 1 pick in this summer’s NBA Draft, received 59 of 64 votes for the award.
Murray State’s Ja Morant, Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter and Michigan State’s Cassius Winston were the only others players to receive votes, with one apiece.
Barrett is also a projected NBA lottery pick, and is the most-hyped Canadian recruit since Andrew Wiggins, who went No. 1 overall in 2014.
Wiggins has struggled to live up to the hype that surrounded him in high school, and Barrett has faced similarly colossal expectations.
Barrett entered Duke as the nation’s top recruit after winning a national U.S. high school championship with Florida’s Montverde Academy in 2018.
And there have been gripes about his perceived effectiveness in comparison to the media coverage he has received.
An anonymous survey of 110 U.S. college players by The Athletic this year named Barrett college basketball’s most overrated player.
But in the same poll Barrett also receive votes for “best player in the game,” and he was routinely praised for his performances Duke.
USA Today also named Barrett its 2019 national college player of the year.
“While Zion Williamson might beat Barrett for the No. 1 pick in June’s NBA draft, Barrett proved to be the more impressive college player,” USA Today wrote.
“The freshman carried the load when Williamson was hurt for six games, spearheading the Blue Devils to three wins in March that helped them become the NCAA tournament’s top overall seed.
“When Duke was at full strength, he gave the team a scorer who wanted the ball at the end of the game.”
Some have speculated Barrett’s ceiling as a pro will be similar to that of mid-level stars like DeMar DeRozan and Jimmy Butler.
He is still projected as a top-three pick in the NBA Draft, scheduled for June 20 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Barrett is the son of Canada Basketball general manager and former Olympian Rowan Barrett, and R.J. has been a fixture in Canada’s national program.
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