Chuck up another W on the win column and yet another unbreakable Canadian Basketball milestone for Dave Smart and the Carleton University Ravens.
Led once again by the stellar all-around talent of 6-foot junior point guard Munis Tutu (Windsor, Ont.) the Ravens beat visiting Ole Miss Rebels 81-63 to improve their pre-season record to 2-0 and extend their winning streak over NCAA division one teams to eight straight.
Tutu stuffed the stat-sheet with another outstanding all-round performance with 20 points, eight rebounds and seven assists on an efficient 6-of-15 shooting, including 4-of-8 from beyond the arc and a perfect 4-for-4 from the foul line. Munis, a former division transfer from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles racked-up his second straight 20-point effort against a top-caliber team and certainly earned the praise of Ole Miss head coach Kermit Davis during post game.
“I bet most teams in NCAA college basketball would love to have him on their roster right now, he does a great job running this team and getting them organized, his ability to penetrate and find the open shooters put us in tough situations. They got great toughness and great basketball IQ” acknowledged the first-year Ole Miss bench boss.
For the second straight game the Ravens buckled down, clogged-up the paint and held their opponents to just nine points in the second-quarter, once again helping taking control of the game by half-time with 45-23 lead.
Carleton got solid paint production from Eddie Ekiyor with 16 points and five rebounds on 10-of-16 shooting from the free-throw line. Mitch Jackson started at power forward, played only 10 minutes, but was effective reaching double-figures with 12 points and two rebounds. TJ Lall (9 points, 4 rebounds), Marcus Anderson (6 points, game-high 9 rebounds), Mitch Wood (6 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists) and freshman Aiden Warnholtz (8 points, 3/5 shooting, 2/3 triples) also played well.
Ole Miss senior standout 6’5″ Guard Terence Davis Jr. (Southaven, Miss.) drilled two of his five triples on his way to scoring nine of his game-high 23 pointers in the fourth quarter. The Rebels cut a game-high 26-point deficit to a 11-point game with two minutes remaining before being held scoreless until the final whistle.
“We knew our back was against the wall, we were down 22 at the half, we didn’t want to go down like that and lose by 40 points. That team is pretty good they move ball and they play the right way.” opened up talented guard after the game.
Davis Jr. declared himself eligible for the 2018 NBA Draft before opting to return to Ole Miss and SEC play to polish his expanding arsenal. “Just becoming more consistent, “I have been working on my ball handing everyday, my jump-shot and the ability to make plays.”
For Dave Smart and the Carleton Ravens beating NCAA teams is somewhat becoming the norm. Winners of eight straight and 12 of their last 13 Carleton’s recent domination over American teams will likely never be topped. To put it in perspective, no other Canadian U Sports Men’s Basketball other than the Ravens has won more than three straight over NCAA teams, with only the Ottawa Gee-Gees (2x), McGill Redmen, Windsor Lancers accomplishing the feat.
It wasn’t too long ago, that the Ravens like many other Canadian university teams found themselves on the opposite side of the winning column. In fact, at one point, from November 1999 to September 2006 the Ravens lost 16 straight games to NCAA teams.
“I think we got a huge advantage, we start a fifth year, three four year guys and a third, they don’t have any fifth’s. A lot of the good teams they don’t have any fourth’s because they are in big time conferences and they lose guys early to the NBA Draft.” Smart was quick to acknowledge the progression but also clearly understands the factors behind their success.
“When you play the teams that are in the mid-conferences they are a lot more like us. A team like South Dakota State for example is much like us, they have four seniors and four years to develop these guys.”
“It’s a little tough for teams in the SEC and those conferences because if you look at Duke their going to have five new starters next year and yes they are incredible talents, but they are still 19-years old, they’re going to be tough to play against, but, they are going to make mistakes. They’re so many things they can do defensively where they are not going to make mistakes, they’re almost stuck at the switch thing early on the year.” Smart added.
“He’s a really good coach and so Nick Cronin (Cincinnati Bearcats) because they want to win but they get it, it’s August.
With three more games remaining, two against South Dakota State (2x) and Maryland Eastern Shore the streak could reach double-figures and stretch to eleven.
As for Ole Miss Rebels they understand that it’s early August and with one game remaining on their Canadian tour they are not only focused on improving under their new head coach but also soaking in two of Canada’s best cities.
“I love this place, it’s nice. I’m from the country there’s not really much to see – it’s all land so to come to the city is amazing. We went to the theme park (Montreal) the other day and it was the best fun in a while since I was a kid, so I’m having a good time so far.” reflected Terence Davis Jr..
Dave Smart steps down as Carleton men’s head coach after 14 national titles
It’s the end of an era at Carleton.
The school has announced that Dave Smart, who built a dynasty that dominated Canadian university sport for nearly 20 years, has stepped down.
Smart has accepted a new role as the university’s director of basketball operations, Carleton said in a news release.
He will be responsible for “developing the men’s and women’s basketball programs and continuing to build a culture of sport excellence,” the release said.
“Smart will provide operational support, mentorship and technical leadership to the coaching staff of both programs, and he will work with the Department of University Advancement in fundraising and community development.
“He’ll also provide mentorship to other U Sports coaches in Carleton Athletics.”
Taffe Charles, who coached Carleton’s women’s program for 12 years and won a national title in 2017-18 will succeed Smart as men’s team head coach.
“It’s been a great run,’’ said Smart in a statement.
“Coaching is my second love, my first being my wife and children. I am very thankful to the university and I am looking forward to my new role.
“This gives me an opportunity to stay involved in basketball while having more time to spend with my family.”
Smart’s 19-year tenure at Carleton was one of remarkable dominance, with 14 national championships.
He also won a record number of coaching awards and has been active as a coach with Canada Basketball.
“Dave’s success on the court has given Carleton great national visibility and we are sincerely grateful,” said Benoit-Antoine Bacon, president of Carleton University.
“I wish Dave all the best in his new role where he will share his ‘playbook’ with all our Ravens programs.”
Charles played on Carleton’s men’s team from 1990 to 1995 and began his coaching career as an assistant in 1995; he then served as an assistant with the men’s program from 1998 to 2007.
Since returning to the women’s program in 2007, Carleton won four U Sports Final 8 berths, four OUA East titles, and two OUA championships.
Carleton’s women’s national championship in 2018 was the first in school history.
“I am truly honoured to be entrusted as the next head coach of the Carleton University men’s basketball program,’’ said Charles in a statement.
“I look forward to the challenge of continuing the high standard of excellence that has been set by Coach Smart, his coaching staff and the players.’’
Carleton said it has launched a national search for a head coach of its women’s program.
Kadre Gray wins second consecutive U Sports MVP
Laurentian guard Kadre Gray took his game to another level this season.
That’s saying something.
A year ago, Gray was the top Canadian university male athlete in any sport, the first Laurentian student to win the honour.
He led the country in assists, narrowly missed a scoring title, and — perhaps by default — also won the Mike Moser Memorial Trophy as men’s basketball player of the year.
“Kadre’s work ethic continues to shine bright,” said Laurentian head coach Shawn Swords in a statement.
“He is always looking for ways to improve and refine all aspects of the game.”
If there was any doubt, Gray stifled it in his junior season.
He averaged 31 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game en route to his second consecutive Moser trophy.
“It’s an amazing accomplishment to do it once,” said Swords.
“And now, to be named MVP twice, is truly a testament to his willingness to learn and improve.
“The Kadre effect has spread throughout our community as well. It is great to see him support our local youth and realize the positive impact he has on everyone.”
Gray received the 2019 Moser trophy Thursday at a gala in Halifax, N.S., ahead of the U Sports Men’s Final 8 tournament.
University of Calgary guard Mambi Diawara, Concordia guard Ricardo Monge and St. Mary’s University guard Kemar Alleyne were also finalists for the award.
Gray was simply a cut above. He posted gaudy stats with notable efficiency, shooting 48.8 per cent from the floor.
He was also a First Team All-Canadian and played with Canada’s national team in FIBA World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers against Venezuela and Brazil.
Gray was the only U Sports player to participate in the qualifiers.
Other award winners:
Rookie of the Year (Dr. Peter Mullins Trophy): Alix Lochard, UQAM.
Ken Shields Award for Student-Athlete Community Service: Tanner Graham, Queen’s.
Defensive Player of the Year: Marcus Anderson, Carleton.
Stuart W. Aberdeen Memorial Trophy (Coach of the Year): Dan Vanhooren, Calgary.
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