Ottawa, ON – It took five tries and nearly ten years but the Carleton Ravens can finally say they have defeated the Cincinnati Bearcats and Head Coach Mick Cronin.
Paced by three third-year players including the lethal penetration of guard Munis Tutu (Windsor, Ont.) and the stellar inside play of 6’9″ forward Eddie Ekiyor (Ottawa, Ont.) the Ravens knocked-off the Bearcats 86-67 clinching their first win of the 2018-18 season and their first over Cincinnati since both teams started exchanging pleasantries back in 2008.
Taking the floor since earning a Bronze Medal at the 2018 U Sports Final 8 and snapping their seven-year strangle hold of the WP. McGee trophy, as Canada’s best university team, the Ravens looked sharp and active early on as they fought-off a rebounding onslaught in the first quarter (11-4) to break open a 20-20 first-quarter tie by limiting the visiting Bearcats to just nine second-quarter points.
Eddie Ekiyor a former four-star recruit with the Xavier Musketeers continued to dominate NCAA division I opposition posting 26 points, in 26 minutes including a near-perfect 13-of-15 stat-line from the floor. The 6’9″ Ekiyor dominated the much bigger Bearcats scoring 12 points in the fourth-quarter on his way to game-high honors.
“It’s our first game, we just wanted to come-out and play hard and do everything we can to get the season started the right way, and it went well. I think our guards did a lot to get in the paint and played really well, defensively we got to keep getting better.” discussed Ekiyor.
Munis Tutu’s 21-point, 5 assist, 1 turnover effort on 7-of-13 shooting and 5-of-7 triples against an experienced trio of Bearcats guards (Cane Broome, Keith Williams, Trevon Scott) was an eye opener. Munis Tutu did a fantastic job handling the Bearcats pressure and continuously made Cincinnati pay inside and outside regardless of who they put on him. His monstrous mid-second quarter dunk attempt over several Bearcats defenders surprised everybody in attendance and energized his team, helping Carleton rip-off a 16-5 run and take a 41-29 half-time lead.
“We knew they were going to be switching a lot so we were either going to go high-low or 1-4 and if I got a big on me, I just had to penetrate, try to get dish-offs and make good plays and good shots and we did a good job executing, and it shows on the scoreboard.” kindly spoke Munis during post game.
As for his dunk attempt, and as if dealing with his speed wasn’t already enough, apparently opponents will also have to watch-out below or end-up on a poster – “We been working in the weight room and all of those leg workouts – it shows on that dunk attempt. I wish I could’ve got it, but we got that win, that’s all I’m happy about.” added Munis
Ravens 6’6″ forward T.J Lall (Cambridge, Ont.) looked active on both ends kicking off his junior campaign in fine fashion, notching a 16-point and game-high 11 rebound double-double.
Bearcats Jarron Cumberland (12 points, 3 steals) was largely held in check for most of the game as Carleton rotated multiple players against the Bearcats highly touted guard. Keith Williams added 10 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and Cane Broome finished with 10 points.
The Bearcats are a year removed from a No. 2 seed at the 2018 March Madness tournament and now drop to 1-1 in their 2018 Canadian tour with one game remaining against the McGill Redmen in Montreal.
Like many previous American teams playing under FIBA rules (24-second shot clock and 10 minute quarters), rather than the traditional slower pace 35-second shot clock, the Bearcats had a difficult time handling the pace of the game and failed to show any consistency with their outside shooting, going only 3-for-10. Carleton connected on 10-of-21 from three-pointers led by Munis five and Lall’s additional 2-of-4 shooting.
Prior to tonight’s win, the Ravens had lost four times to theBearcats with three of those losses coming on the road in Ohio.
Familiar foe #Cincinnati Bearcats (4-0 vs. #Carleton Ravens 64-54 W, 2008, 87-70 W, 2010, 89-57 W, 2010 & 77-63 W, 2013) make their first trip back to Nations Capital Since September 4 2010. #NCAA #USPORTS
The Carleton Ravens are currently on seven-game winning streak over NCAA division one teams, their longest in the program’s history and have dropped only one game against NCAA teams in their last twelve outings – earnings big wins over Alabama, Vanderbilt, Providence, Cincinnati and more. The 19-point margin of victory ranks amongst the best against major DI teams. Carleton beat Wichita State by 25 points in 2016 and torched the Memphis Tigers by 32 back in 2014. Their largest beat-down was a 51-point drumming of Morgan State Bears and Arkansas Pine-Bluff catching a 43 points also coming in 2016.
The Ravens played without the services of Isiah Osborne, a late season impact recruit which comes back to Canada after a stint with the Utep Miners. Osborne a native of Windsor, Ontario played one season of USPORTS basketball before being snagged away the Miners in a controversial recruiting that saw the 6’5 guard sit out a year and average 9.4 points per game and 3.7 assists appearing in 29 of 31 games while earning 19 starts. Osborne should be available for the 2018 House Laughton tournament in October 2018.
Other noticeable absences included guard OUA conference first-team Guard Yasiin Joseph (14 PPG) who was seen on the bench wearing medical walking boot. Also absent was guard Emmanuel Owootoah who didn’t dress for game. Troy Reid Knight, yet another division one transfer didn’t dress as well.
With key additional pieces still missing and the mindset of “trusting their coach” and “coming out hungry every game” Carleton looks poised return to the top of the podium with a well balanced veteran roster that could very well once again run the table against both USA and Canadian teams.
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.
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.