Ottawa, ON – Exhibiting a preview of what should translate into a CIS record seventh straight national championship, the twelve-time men’s basketball champions Carleton Ravens defeated the Wichita State Shockers 100-75 in front of loud and energetic home crowd at the Ravens Nest.
Four Ravens players reached double-figures led by the early inside play of senior forward Ryan Ejim (Toronto, ON) 18 points, three rebounds, a much needed third-quarter, three-point shooting barrage from Connor Wood (17 points, 4-of-7 from three) and Joe Rocca (11 points, 3-of-4 from deep) helped Carleton turn an intense playoff-like 47-47 half-time tie into their fourth largest margin of victory over NCAA Division I basketball opponent with their 25-point victory.
Starting point guard Kaza Kajami-Keane (Ajax, ON) added 13 points, 5 assists and four rebounds before fouling out with five fouls.
In only his second home game, newly transferred point guard Emmanuel Owootoah (Toronto, ON) who spent his first two collegiate basketball years at Division I Fresno State in California and most recently at Division II Lynn University (Boca Raton, Florida) was instrumental in the win over the Shockers who were a 2014 NCAA Final Four team.
“I didn’t expect to be this loud, it was a good game, they punched us and we punched back.
Owootoah created havoc for the visiting Shockers by dazzling and “wooing” the fans with his quickness and dribbling ability, finishing with 8 points, a game-high seven assists and team-high 29 minutes.
Carleton trailed 3-0 and immediately responded with six straight points by Ejim to ignite a 20-6 run and a 26-20 first-quarter lead. Wichita State, the current two-time Missori Valley Conference (MVC) champions turned to their full-court pressure and a late four-point play and buzzer-beating tipin evened the game at half-time.
Behind a stellar defensive second-half and improved shooting Carleton limited WSU to just 28 second-half points, buried 8-of-16 triples in the second-half after shooting just 2-for-12 in the first. Despite Carleton’s shooting struggles Head Coach Dave Smart who is back at the helm after a sabbatical year thought his team was already a better three-point shooting team than last year.
“It’s tougher for some of our guys to get clean looks against a quality opponent like Wichita State but I believe our team is a better shooting team than last year.” Asked to describe what the addition of Owootoah means to the program Smart pointed out to sheer speed and quickness and overall personality as perfect fit for his Ravens.
“He just so fast, having him out there is a big plus for us, his experience showed in a game like this and allowed to break down their pressure and get in the lane for open looks – his personality is great, I’ve always had a great relationship with him and it’s hard for me to get upset at him.
Shockers Head Coach Greg Marshall the 2014 NCAA National Coach of the Year wasn’t particular thrilled by how is team played and was visibly upset after the game, but also took credit for his inability to prepare his squad for the 25-point onslaught.
“They were a lot better than what I thought, Dave Smart is such a good coach and their guys played with a tremendous amount energy, intensity and desire to win, our guys did not, we need to improve on that. We are 10 practices in with this group and I need about 30.”
“We did zero scouting and they carved us up with their sets,” Marshall said. “Put some of this on me. I didn’t scout the team and I didn’t do anything with the 24-second clock.””
Carleton shot 35-0f-64 (54.7%) from the floor, 10-of-28 (35.7%) from three, 20-of-27 from the charity stripe and out-worked the more physical and taller Shockers on the glass, earning a 38-27 advantage. Wichita State struggled to find openings in the Ravens defense, resulting in 24-0f-59 (40.7%) shooting and only 5-of-21 from the outside mustering up a sticky 10 assists compared to Carleton’s 21.
Much like Carleton’s 32-point dismantling of the Memphis Tigers back on August 19, 2014, the 25-point win over the Shockers got the attention of media state side.
I remember they did this to Memphis https://t.co/Yn0gI3SW8a
The Ravens improve to 2-0 in NCAA preseason action after taking down the Stetson Hatters in their preseason opener. Carleton will get a few days off before returning to action against Arkansas Pine Bluff @ 7:00 PM.
Montreal’s Luguentz Dort commits to Arizona State Sun Devils
Five star Canadian Guard Luguentz Dort has committed to Bobby Hurley and the Arizona State Sun Devils.
Dort a 6-5, 220lbs, product of Montreal, Quebec has been one of the most exciting Canadian Basketball prospects in recent years, combining raw speed, with gifted athletic ability, the the 2018 elite top prospect is expected to boast the Sun Devils credibility in a tough PAC 12 conference.
Dort narrowed down his list of top schools from Baylor, eventually settling with the upstart Sun Devils program that will help him transition from a two-guard to a more accomplished point-guard. After all, Coach Hurley knows a thing or two about playing the point, having played the position for the Duke Blue Devils in the early 90’s and over 269 games in the NBA.
Highly touted Alabama Crimson Tide 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.