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2014 Wilson Cup OUA Final Four Preview: Carleton vs. Windsor; Gee-Gees take on McMaster

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With five OUA teams in the CIS top ten; Carleton (1), Ottawa (2), McMaster (5), Windsor (7) and Ryerson (8), we knew one of these teams wouldn’t make the OUA final four. Despite being ranked fourth or fifth in the CIS for most of the season and coming within three-points of handing Carleton their first loss of the season, Ryerson would fall short by a single point to the Gee-Gees in a game that saw nine lead changes.

The Contenders

Carleton University Ravens
CIS Ranking: #1
Record: 22-0
Last Season: OUA Gold, CIS Gold

The Carleton Ravens are sitting on a perfect record this season and easily got by Laurentian in the OUA East semi-finals with a 111-77 victory. Their only losses this season came in pre-season exhibition games against NCAA teams Syracuse, in overtime, and Cincinnati. The closest thing to a blemish on the Carleton record this season is a 3-point win over Ryerson. The Rams led through most of the game, holding Carleton to their worst shooting percentage of the season. The Ravens’ stats at both ends of the court are impressive. They have been outscoring their opponents by an average of 30 points, with a field goal percentage just under 50% while holding their opponents to 36%. They lead the CIS in field goal percentage, 3-point percentage, free throw percentage and rebounding efficiency, collecting 61% of the rebounds.

University of Ottawa Gee-Gees
CIS Ranking: #2
Record: 20-2
Last Season: OUA Silver, CIS Bronze

Ottawa’s only two losses, not surprisingly, came at the hand of the Ravens, but they’ve dominated their opponents in all but a few of their games. In the OUA East semi-finals, the Gee-Gees had one of their poorest shooting performances with 27-77 shooting against the Rams. Ryerson produced 31 bench points but gave up 14 turnovers, allowing the Gee-Gees to win it from the free throw line. The Gee-Gees have demonstrated strong shooting throughout the season with a 49% field goal percentage, 40% from the three-point line and led the league with 96.4 points per game. Defence may be their weakness, as they allow their opponent to shoot 41% for an average of 78 points per game.

McMaster Marauders
CIS Ranking: #5
Record: 18-4
Last Season: 3rd OUA West, Lost to Lakehead in OUA West semi final

After falling short of the final four last season, McMaster finished this season atop the OUA West division, having lost three games to OUA East teams (Carleton, Ottawa and Laurentian) and splitting games with Windsor. Their record advanced them to the division semi-finals against Western. While Western held the lead after the first quarter, McMaster took over in the second, only allowing Western 6 points. Rebounding and turnovers were major factors allowing McMaster to win 83-49. With a respectable 45% field goal percentage, the Marauders hold their opponent to 39% shooting allowing them to win by an average of 16 points. They are efficient on the glass, collecting 55% of the rebounds. Struggles at the free throw line, however, could be the difference in close games.

Windsor Lancers
CIS Ranking: #7
Record: 16-6
Last Season: 1st OUA West, 4th Place in OUA Wilson Cup

Lakehead denied Windsor the bronze medal and a trip to the CIS final 8 last season, so they are hungry to try again. The Lancers fell to Carleton, Ottawa and Ryerson, but split their series with Lakehead, McMaster and Waterloo. Finishing second in the OUA West division earned them an OUA semi-final appearance against Laurier. Out-rebounding Laurier 53-38, the Lancers generated 17 second chance points, and dominated the key, scoring 50 points from the inside. Windsor’s offensive numbers are the lowest of the final four, shooting 43% from the field, 35% from the three and averaging 82 points per game. They grab 53% of the rebounds, but they also struggle from the free throw line.

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Match-ups

Windsor vs. Carleton
The Windsor Lancers were the last CIS team to beat Carleton. They won 71-67 on November 9, 2012 in the season opener. Therefore, history has shown, it can be done. Fast-forward to this season’s opener between these two teams. Carleton defeated Windsor with solid rebounding, three-point shooting and free throw shooting for a 95-74 win.

Players to Watch
The Raven’s top scorer, Philip Scrubb will be a key factor in this game. He posted 24 points in each of his last two appearances against Windsor and is always a threat. Kevin Churchill posted a season-high 19 points against Windsor in the opener, and could be a factor again.

Lien Phillip will need to play a critical role if Windsor is going to win. He averages a double-double (16 points, 13 rebounds) and he will need to rebound and be a factor on the scoreboard. Enrico Diloreto leads the Lancers in scoring despite only shooting about 39%. He has come up big in tough games, shooting 56% for 29 points against Ottawa and 26 points in both appearances against McMaster.

Keys to Victory
The biggest threat for Carleton, at this stage is complacency. With the exception of one close game against Ryerson, they have dominated in every game. The players will have to stay focused, and avoid the temptation to take their foot off the gas. In order to survive in this game, Windsor will have to find a way to defend Carleton without fouling them. The Ravens basically won the season opener from the free throw line, with Windsor taking 25 fouls leading to 29 points.

Ottawa vs. McMaster
Offensively, Ottawa has an edge in every category, most notably in points per game. When these teams met back in November, Ottawa won 100-85 thanks to an inside shooting edge and a strong showing at the free-throw line.

Players to Watch
In November, Johhny Berhanemeskel scored a season-high 38 points against McMaster shooting 67%. At that point, Terry Thomas was not yet eligible to play. He has since provided two 40+ point performances for Ottawa and will surely be noticed. Look for Taylor Black to lead his team in rebounds and on the scoreboard. He is averaging 14 points and 8 rebounds per game. Joe Rocca leads his team in scoring, but struggled against Ottawa last time. Rohan Boney hit a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds against Ottawa and should be a factor again.

Keys to Victory
Ottawa will need to distribute the ball to find quality shot opportunities and avoid being forced into shots. A low shot percentage will mean more rebounds, and the Marauders are the better rebounding team.
The Marauders had 37 points from the bench in their last game with Ottawa, and they will need those again if they’re going to use their bench to keep fresh defenders on Ottawa’s shooters. They also need to hit their free-throws.

What to Expect
It’s a fairly sure bet that the Gee-Gees and Ravens will compete for the Gold medal, leaving McMaster and Windsor competing for Bronze. These teams aren’t only competing for the bronze, but also for a spot in the CIS Final 8 and Windsor will likely be left on the outside looking in again this season. As hungry as Ottawa is for the trophy, and to defeat their cross-town rival, it’s unlikely they will hoist the Wilson Cup. The Carleton Ravens will certainly be hanging another OUA Championship banner at the Ravens’ nest.

Men

Highly touted Alabama Crimson Tide Return To Canada

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Alabama Crimson Tide Avery Johnson Return To Canada

The Alabama Crimson Tide led by former NBA Head Coach Avery Johnson, a 16-year veteran and NBA champion point-guard during his playing days will bring his highly touted Alabama Crimson Tide to Canada for series of games against Canada’s top university basketball programs.

The Crimson Tide will visit both Montreal and Ottawa for a three-game exhibition schedule against McGill Redmen (Mon Aug 7), Carleton Ravens (Wed Aug 9) and the Ottawa Gee-Gees (Thu Aug 10).

The Tide competed hard last year and took a step in the right direction with a 19-15 record, 10-8 SEC record and have NCAA March Madness tournament aspirations thanks to solid recruiting class which ranks amongst the nations best.

Led by a talented crop of returning guards, Dazon Ingram (10.6 PPG, 4.5 RPG), Riley Norris (9 PPG, 3 RPG), the coaches son Avery Johnson Jr. and forwards Braxton Key the Tide will be a handful for the it’s Canadian opposition.

Key a 6’8″, 220 lbs flirted with the  2017 NBA draft after a stellar freshman season, the Charlotte, NC native led ‘Bama in scoring with 12 point per game and was second in rebounding at 5.7 per game. The Tide will also welcome incoming red-shirt sophomore 6’10”, 240lbs Daniel Giddens to a line-up that returns four starters.

Alabama anchored by current NBA player Alonzo Gee (Denver Nuggets) last visited Canada back in 2007 and finished with a record of 4-1 against the same exact teams, dropping a tight 83-72 decision against the Carleton Ravens who have won seven straight Canadian titles including 13-of the-last-15 championships.

Carleton’s signature win over Alabama was only their second ever against a NCAA division one team after 16-game losing streak from 1999 to 2006. The Ravens current record against NCAA teams in Canada stands at an impressive 26-23 (.531%) record.

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Men

Calgary Dinos Thomas Cooper Senior Highlights

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Calgary Dinos Thomas Cooper Senior Highlights

Calgary Dinos senior guard Thomas Cooper had himself and impressive CIS/Usports career to say the least. The Chattanooga, Tenn. native, a 6-5, 200 lbs guard earned himself two first team All-Canadian awards while leading Dinos back to the championship game for the first time since 1966.

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Men

No. 1 Carleton Ravens 81-40 lock-up rivals No. 2 Ottawa Gee-Gees

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Eddie Ekiyor Carleton Ravens Vs.Ottawa Gee Gees USports Basketball
Photo - Valerie Wutti

Ottawa, ON – The twelve-time defending CIS/USports National Basketball Champions and No.1 Carleton Ravens went into Monpetit Hall and completely dominated the No. 2 ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees, locking up their Bytown rivals with a blistering 81-40 win.

The Ravens, the top defensive unit in the country, allowing an incredible low of only 60 points to opponents, dominated every aspect of the much anticipated game holding Ottawa to four points in the first-quarter and thirteen in the second for a grand total of seventeen first-half points and 35-17 half-time lead.

The first-quarter ended with Ravens leading 11-4 as both teams slugged it out in front of a jam packed standing room only Monpetit Hall which hasn’t seen the Gee-Gees get dismantled like this on their home floor in 32-game OUA conference games – snapping home winning streak which dated back to 2012.

Fifth-year senior Guard Connor Wood caught fire in the second-quarter after a cold start scoring all but 14 of the teams 24 points in the quarter and finished with 16 in the half and game-high 19 points. Starting point guard Kaza Kajami-Keane added 10 points, six rebounds in just 19 minutes.

The Gee-Gees were limited to 6-of-32 (18.8%) shooting, 3-of-17 from the outside in the opening 20 minutes and managed to only connect on 12-56 (21.4%) of their field goal attempts for the entire game and only 6-of-26 from the outside.

Carleton shot 50% in the second-half and finished 31-68 from the floor and 13-of-28 from downtown while turning the ball over 9 times compared to the Gee-Gees 18.

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The 40 points allowed by the Ravens is their lowest against the Gee-Gees since a 74-34 smack-down in January 18th, 2012 at the Sixth Annual Capital Hoops Classic.

Carleton Ravens 6’10” freshman Eddie Ekiyor (Ottawa, ON) and senior forward Ryan Ejim (Toronto, ON) finished one point shy of double-doubles with 9 points and 8 rebounds respectively, and shutdown the Gee-Gees dynamic duo of Caleb Agada (12 points, 4 rebounds) and former Ravens Jean Emmanuel Pierre (7 points, 6 rebounds). Gee-Gees Guard Brandon Robinson had a team-high 15 points on 4-of-8 shooting, 3-of-4 triples.

Carleton’s record  stays unblemished at a perfect 10-0, 16-0 against Canadian competition and 22-2 overall with the only losses coming from two NCAA opponents on the road in Rhode Island – Providence Friars 87-69 and in Philadelphia against LaSalle Explorers 79-73.

Both teams will meet again in just over two weeks (Feb 3rd) at the 2017 Capital Hoops Classic at the ScotiaBank Centre.

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