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U Sports

Javon Masters: Sky’s Not The Limit

Photo: UNB Varsity Reds

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They’re Biggie’s words, edited for accuracy. Not stolen, exactly, but adapted and adopted and filtered through the prism of another man’s experience. They express the truth as Javon Masters sees it, and at the moment they’re part of his message for the world.

“Stay far from timid,” Biggie said. “Only make moves when your heart’s in it.

“And live the phrase ‘Sky’s the limit. ’ ”

But Masters, the all-time leading scorer in Canadian university basketball, sees it differently, in light of everything that has happened in his five seasons at the University of New Brunswick.

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“The sky ain’t the limit,” Masters tells his Twitter followers. “But remember to make moves only when your heart’s in it.”

Put another way: we’re capable of more than we realize. What seems possible only hints at our potential. And there’s an entire universe beyond the sky.

Masters knows this because he’s lived it. He knows it because he’s gone from small-city kid to one of the best players in the history of the Canadian game.

“As human beings, we’re able to do a lot of stuff that not many people think we are able to do,” he said in the hushed, raspy monotone that marks his interviews.

“But once you put your mind to it, anything’s possible.”

***

Javon Masters Skys Not Limit Flying High Usports All Time Basketball Scoring Leader
Javon Masters Skys Not Limit Flying High Usports All Time Basketball Scoring Leader

Masters does not remember the basket that started it all, but he’s heard the story so many times he can tell it in vivid detail.

He’s around two years old, living in Kitchener, Ontario, and his father Rooyan, a millwright who grew up playing cricket and soccer, brings home a plastic Fisher Price basketball net.

Masters runs and grabs the ball immediately, takes a shot, and it goes in—his first bucket.

“That’s pretty much how the journey started—me playing basketball here at UNB and just growing up in Kitchener, playing it as well, was that moment.”

Kitchener is a city of 233,000 people about an hour west of Toronto, best known in basketball circles as the hometown of Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray.

Masters is three years older than Murray and they rarely played together, but he recognized Murray’s potential at an early age.

“Just coming from Kitchener, it’s really a small city,” said Masters. “So I mean, you’ve got to be able to prove yourself on the big stage, and he was certainly doing that from Grade 9 until he went to university at Kentucky.

“I always knew that he had the potential to do it. He just needed to just keep working and just block out all the noise and whatnot, and just keep focused on what matters.”

Murray played at Grand River Collegiate and Orangeville Prep on his way to a starring role at Kentucky and landing in Denver as the seventh overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.

Masters played at Forest Heights Collegiate, winning a city championship in his fourth season and attracting interest from NCAA schools, but no scholarship offers.

He decided to play in Canada rather than burn two years of eligibility at a junior college in the United States, and settled on UNB in part because it wasn’t known as a basketball school.

“I just wanted to go somewhere that I could develop as a basketball player and help build a program from the ground up,” he said. “And that’s what we’ve done here at UNB.”

Masters was an elite high school player, usually scoring around 18 or 19 points a game, he said. But as he transitioned to UNB he made an effort to get bigger, faster and stronger, and to minimize the weaknesses in his game.

“I had that chip on my shoulder to show everyone exactly who I am,” he said, with a hint of swagger.

“And now everyone knows who I am.”

***

Javon Masters Skys Not Limit Tough Inside Basket Usports All Time Basketball Scoring Leader
Javon Masters Skys Not Limit Tough Inside Basket Usports All Time Basketball Scoring Leader

UNB had its eyes on Masters in his senior year of high school, due in part to his remarkable quickness and a highlight tape that showed him diving for loose balls.

But it wasn’t until four games into his freshman season that it was obvious he’d be a star. The turning point was UNB’s home opener against the University of Prince Edward Island, where Masters had 44 points off the bench in a 93-81 win.

“Just being able to play through that … especially putting up that many points in our home opener, really said to me that I could be able to score a lot of baskets,” said Masters.

He became a starter after that, winning the national scoring title with an average of 27.4 points per game, as well as the national rookie of the year award and a second team all-Canadian selection.

Head coach Brent Baker allowed him to be himself on the court, and Masters continued to put up gaudy stats: 25.1 ppg as a sophomore and 28 ppg as a junior, winning the national scoring title both years.

“If you don’t allow your players to have confidence and play with some swagger and play with some toughness, then you’re cutting off your nose to spite your face,” said Baker, who was an Atlantic University Sport (AUS) all-star at St. Francis Xavier in the 1980s.

“As far as me letting him loose and doing what he does, Javon’s a pretty intelligent basketball player. As much as he scores, he doesn’t dominate the ball like you would think.

“He doesn’t have to pound the you-know-what out of the ball to be a good player. He spaces well without the ball, he gets his teammates involved. He’s not a ball-dominant scorer, and he’s not a volume shooter.

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“I mean, he shoots 50 percent [from the field] and he shoots 90 percent from the free throw line. So he’s very, very economical in what he does.”

Baker and Masters have become extremely close.

“We talk about everything, just basketball-wise and life and stuff like that,” said Masters. “It’s really good to have a coach who’s like, super-chill off the floor.

“But when he’s on the floor he’s totally business, because he wants to win.”

More than any other lesson Baker has imparted, this one sticks: “Just be determined. Nothing will ever stop you, really, if you put your mind to it.

“He just has that type of attitude,” said Masters. “He always wants to win.”

***

Javon Masters Skys Not Limit Inside Layup Usports All Time Basketball Scoring Leader
Javon Masters Skys Not Limit Inside Layup Usports All Time Basketball Scoring Leader

Along with the gaudy stats came the knowledge Masters could eventually make history.

After his second season, it was obvious an all-time AUS scoring record was within reach. The national record was possible too, but nothing was certain.

Masters moved from shooting guard to point guard in his fourth season, filling a role Matt Daley vacated when he graduated in 2016.

His scoring average dipped to 19.6 ppg for the season, but his assist numbers jumped.

The National Basketball League (NBL) of Canada’s Cape Breton Highlanders also drafted Masters with the eighth pick of its All-Canadian Draft in 2016, giving him the opportunity to go pro.

“You can go play in the NBL,” Baker remembers telling his star player. “If that’s your goal, fine.

“But I think if you come back and you come back for your fifth year, your goal should be: ‘Hey, let’s get the scoring record. Let’s get an AUS championship. And all that’s going to do is further enhance your resume and make it better for you when you do get an agent and do get a contract, that you’ll be better off.’ ”

Masters agreed to come back and immediately started getting buckets.

He grabbed the AUS career scoring record on Nov. 17, 2017, breaking the existing record of 2,069 points set by UPEI Panthers standout Curtis Robinson in 1996.

In the months that followed, it became clear Masters would break the national scoring record, too. It was only a matter of time.

Boris Bakovic, who set the record with 2,282 points over five seasons at Ryerson and the University of Calgary, would be edged out.

“[Masters’] ability to be that consistent over that range of time is—for me, it’s the most astounding thing of the whole shooting match,” said Baker.

“They’re coming with box-and-ones, they’re coming with, ‘How we’re going to shut Javon down,’ and ‘How we’re going to do this and that.’

“And every night, he finds a way.

“Maybe it’s all about ignorance is bliss, and he just blocks it all out and just goes forward and has that drive about him and he goes and does it.

“But for whatever reason, he gets it done, and it’s all due to his drive.”

Javon Masters Skys Not Limit Driving Hard To The Basket Usports All Time Basketball Scoring Leader
Javon Masters Skys Not Limit Driving Hard To The Basket Usports All Time Basketball Scoring Leader

The national record fell with a free throw on Jan. 26, 2018, with 46 seconds left in the third quarter of a high-scoring home game against St. Mary’s University.

Masters remembers working through his usual routine: spin the ball, dribble it twice, spin it back, shoot.

“The game didn’t really stop,” he said. “We still had some possession to go, so I didn’t know I’d broken the record until the PA announcer said I did.
“It was pretty chill. I got a standing ovation, but I was still in game mode.”

UNB went on to win 104-96. Masters finished with 39 points, shooting 50 percent from the field and 13-of-14 from the free throw line.

“I’m not really thinking about it,” he said, referring to the record a few days later.

“All the hard work is really paying off for everything I’ve worked on—when I’m in the gym and whatnot, on the pavement back home.

“It means a lot of hard work and stuff like that that’s really helping me get to where I want to be.”

***

The season is winding down, and Masters is focused on winning that AUS championship.

UNB finished second in the conference during the regular season, eight points behind Dalhousie, the three-time defending champions.

Anything is possible, but UNB enters the playoffs as an underdog. If they win it all, the legend of Javon Masters will grow beyond anything he could have predicted five seasons ago.

“Just being able to be on top in my final year would be something,” he said. Anything is possible, but no one is holding their breath.

After the season is over, Masters hopes to go pro, either in Europe or in a North American league like the NBL.

“I’ll sit down after [the] season with my parents and discuss that,” he said.

But his love for the game is still here. He wants to keep doing this as long as he can.

“I mean, why would I stop now, after I’ve put so much hard work and effort in,” he said. “I’ll only stop when my body tells me to stop.”

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U Sports

Kadre Gray career-high 51 points keep Laurentian Voyageurs unbeaten

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Two Time U Sports Mvp Kadre Gray Declares For Nba Draft
Kadre Gray erupts for career-high 51-points.

Kadre Gray scored a career-high 51 points as the Laurentian Voyageurs (4-0) stayed unbeaten with 107-77 win over the Algoma Thunderbirds. The reigning two-time U Sports Most Valuable Player (MVP) torched Algoma — shooting 17-for-24 (70.8%) from the floor and burying 9-of-15 (60%) triples including 8-of-12 (66%) from the foul line — adding 9 assists and 2 steals in 32 minutes.

Gray scored 14 points in the opening quarter and added 11 more in the second-quarter to finish the half with 25 points as Laurentian trailed the Thunderbirds 51-46. The former Rookie of the Year (2016-17) added to his count with 10 more in the middle frame helping Laurentian rally to take a 74-69 lead.

Kadre Gray wins second consecutive U Sports MVP
Laurentian’s Kadre Gray U Sports Basketball MVP

The Toronto, Ontario native doubled-up the Thunderbirds in the fourth quarter — scoring 16 points in 10 minutes as Laurentian outscored Algoma 33-8 to run away with the game.

Gray has been on a tear to start the 2019-2020 U Sports men’s basketball season pouring 40 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists in a win over the Bishop Gaiters just four days ago. The two-time first-team All-Canadian also racked-up 25 points against the Western Mustangs and 19 points in the preseason opener over the Waterloo Warriors.

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Gray is currently averaging 33.7 points per game, slightly higher than the league-leading 31 points per game a year ago. Gray’s previous career-high was a 48-point game in 101-81 win over the Lakehead Thunderwolves on November 3rd 2018.

Kadre Gray on pace to become U Sports All-Time Scorer

With two years of eligibility remaining and currently sitting at 1549 career points the Laurentian guard is on pace to surpass UNB Reds standout Javon Masters to become the all-time greatest scorer in U Sports basketball men’s history.

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Masters had 1608 entering his junior year and scored 799 in his final two campaigns to finish with 2407 career points — surpassing Ryerson’s Boris Bakovic’s 2319 total points. Kadre Gray scored 620 points in 20 regular season games last year alone and should he come anywhere near that pace this year and opt to return for a final fifth-year he could shatter the mark.

The four-year stand-out guard is coming off a stellar season and opted to declare for the 2019 NBA Draft and will once again look to make his mark on Canadian University basketball.

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U Sports

Former Carleton All-Canadian Eddie Ekiyor charged sexual assault, kidnapping

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Former Ravens Eddie Ekiyor Charged Sexual Assault And Kidnapping
Former Carleton Ravens Eddie Ekiyor vs. Cincinnati Bearcats - Photo Edilson J. Silva

Surely not the headline you and I were expecting, and the news couldn’t get any worse for former Carleton Ravens forward and two-time All-Canadian Eddie Ekiyor.

According to a report from the Ottawa Police , the 22 year-old Ekiyor is facing serious charges of sexual assault and kidnapping of a 23-year old women following an April 7th, 2019 incident that occurred in Ottawa’s west end.

“The charges come after police received a complaint from a woman regarding an incident in the Market-area and the west end of Ottawa on April 7, 2019. A male suspect met a 23 year old female victim at a downtown bar where he plied her with alcohol and drugs. He then took her to a west end address where he sexually assaulted her. Throughout the incident, the female was in and out of consciousness. Following the sex assault, the victim was put in a taxi cab which drove her home.”

Source – Ottawa Police Services

Ottawa Police have charged Ekiyor with the following three charges: sexual assault, kidnapping and rare, and extremely serious occurrence of overcome resistance to commit an offence.

The news comes on the heels of the start of new season and new head coach Taffe Charles confirming Ekiyor’s departure that the former U Sports All-Canadian was leaving the national championship program to join the pro basketball ranks.

Why didn’t Ekiyor declare for the 2019 NBA Draft?

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Interestingly enough, and perhaps not so coincidental is the fact that Ekiyor didn’t test the NBA draft waters by declaring himself eligible for the 2019 draft — taking advantage of the recent changes in NCAA draft rules that permits players, including U Sports athletes to go through the draft process and return to their respective school if no serious interest is garnered.

A record two U sports players (Kadre Gray – Laurentian Voyageurs, Tanor Ngom – Ryerson Rams) plus a Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (CCAA) player declared — in American born Jalen Sykes (Reford, Michigan) who played for the St. Clair Saints in Windsor, Ontario.

However, there was no mention or sign of Ekiyor who had just finished dominating the 2019 U Sports Final 8 Championship which ran from March 7 to 10 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

At this point, questions and commentary started circulating about Ekiyor’s NBA aspirations — given that he joined the Ravens program with the intention of doing just that — and clearly had more upside than all of the three-players that declared and actually went through some stages of the NBA draft process.

Must Read:  Former Carleton All-Canadian Eddie Ekiyor charged sexual assault, kidnapping
Former Ravens All Canadian Eddie Ekiyor Charged Sexual Assault And Kidnapping
Former Ravens All Canadian Eddie Ekiyor Charged Sexual Assault And Kidnapping – Photo Edilson J. Silva

Most early-entry NCAA basketball athletes make their NBA draft declarations around mid-to-late April, as were both the cases with Gray and Ngom.

If Ekiyor and his camp had serious intentions of going pro, why not follow the Canadian NBA hype train and throw his name in the record number of Canadians who did so? After-all the “all gain, nothing to lose” scenario would’ve only benefited Ekiyor’s game, exposure and further bring attention and recognition to the heralded Ravens program.

Timeline of events

Dave Smart shocked the Canadian basketball world by announcing his retirement on March 19, 2019, nine days after winning his record 14th national championship.

The incident in question as per the Ottawa Police occurred less than a month after the National Championship on April 7th and around early May 2019 rumors started surfacing that Ekiyor was looking to leave Carleton to a chase a pro contract.

Those ramblings continued throughout the summer and recently picked-up steam when Ekiyor’s name didn’t appearing on the box-score of the Raven’s first exhibition preseason game against the University of South Florida in Laval, Quebec.

Intrigued by the mystery and lack of details by the both the university and professional teams overseas I reached out to new head coach Taffe Charles via e-mail on August 9th 2019 who provided a very brief statement regarding Ekiyor’s status.

“It is my understanding that Eddie wanted to go pro and is in the midst of doing that.”

Taffe Charles – Head Coach Carleton Ravens Men’s basketball program

Based on the timeline of events, it will be interesting to know if and when did the Ravens program found-out about the incident and, if it tried to distance itself from Ekiyor with the rumor that he was going pro or weather Ekiyor himself and his camp misled the university.

Ekiyor also pled guilty and was conditionally discharged of a hit and run incident of an off-duty Ottawa police officer in 2016, curtailing his NCAA basketball aspirations.

The Ottawa native averaged 12.7 points and 6.7 rebounds in three seasons with the Carleton Ravens — winning two national championships, including being named second-team All-Canadian in 2018 and improving on that mark to claim first-team status and the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the Final 8 championships in his last year (2019) with the Ravens program.

Out on bail, passport surrendered

According to Mike Arsalides, Ekiyor has been released on bail to a surety and has surrendered his Canadian passport. Further to that, Arsalides reports that “Ekiyor is no longer a member of Ravens team and “he informed the team a couple of weeks ago of his intentions of wanting to purse a professional basketball career — according to an official statement from Carleton University.

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U Sports

Valparaiso’s OT buzzer-beater ends Carleton Ravens 12-game NCAA winning streak

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Canadian Daniel Sackey Buzzer Beater Helps Valparaiso Sink Carleton Ravens In Ot
Valparaiso's Daniel Sackey sinks Carleton Ravens with OT Buzzer Beater - Photo: Edilson J. Silva

Ottawa, Ont. — It was one for the ages at the Ravens’ Nest as Canadian Daniel Sackey drilled a running one-footer at the buzzer — helping the visiting Valparaiso Crusaders sink the 14-time defending Canadian university champions Carleton Ravens 83-80 in overtime — ending their unprecedented 12-game winning streak over NCAA division one schools.

Sackey, a 6’1″ sophomore point guard from Winnipeg, Manitoba found himself with the basketball in his hands at the top of the three-point line after a wild sequence of events which included missed foul shots and two forced turnovers in the final 7 seconds of an entertaining and hard-fought August basketball battle.

Sackey finished with 13 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a ESPN SportsCenter Top 10 game-winner in his home country.

Canadian Point Guard Daniel Sackey Game Winner Over Carleton Ravens
Canadian point guard Daniel Sackey celebrates after game-winner over Carleton Ravens – Photo: Edilson J. Silva

“This feeling is ecstatic! Not one of my best games, but it feels good to come home and get a win” – an excited Sackey opened-up post-game and further expanded on how the Crusaders are soaking-up the experience and building their team chemistry on their second Canadian tour.

ESPN SportsCentre Top 10 Play of the Day

Valparaiso’s “Brotherhood” Approach

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“Brotherhood.” That’s what we are trying to build here, last year that’s what we lacked, but this year we are trying to do it as unit, as team. No individuals, we do everything as a team.”

Valparaiso Crusaders fourth-year Head Coach Matt Lottich echoed those same sentiments about his team after the win.

Valparaiso Basketball Head Coach Matt Lottich In The Huddle Against Canadian Basketball Powerhouse Carleton Ravens
Valparaiso Basketball Head Coach Matt Lottich in the huddle against Canadian basketball powerhouse Carleton Ravens – Photo: Edilson J. Silva/BasketballBuzz

“Honestly, we were here four years ago and got our butts-kicked by 20 points (77-59) with what I thought was a better team at the time — so we knew what kind of challenge Carleton presented. We have been taking this trip one day at the time and working on getting better as team each day and it obviously feels good to beat a team of Carleton’s status.

Javon Freeman-Liberty at home with Valpo

Talented sophomore guard Javon Freeman-Liberty led a full-team effort with four Crusaders in double-figures with a game-high 23 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals to beat a Carleton Ravens squad that hadn’t lost to a NCAA team on their home floor since dropping a 76-64 decision to the Towson Tigers on August 7, 2017.

Javon Freeman Liberty Valparaiso Basketball Star Player Against Canadian Basketball Powerhouse Carleton Ravens
Valparaiso’s Javon Freeman-Liberty takes on Carleton Ravens – Photo: Edilson J. Silva/BasketballBuzz

The former Chicago high-school all-state standout and NCAA Missouri-Valley all-defensive and freshman team from a year-ago contemplated leaving the program during the off-season but decided to return to a team that went 15-18 overall in 2018-2019 and is expected to drastically improve in 2019-2020.

“Javon is a great guy and we are extremely excited to have him back and are working hard in developing his game and making sure that he feels apart of the team and community.” added a energized Matt Lottich.

Nick Robinson shot 5-of-6 from the floor on his way to a 14 point, 8 rebound, 2 steals, 2 blocks and Eron Gordon chipped-in with 13 points and 6 rebounds for the Crusaders who improve to 3-0 on their 2019 Canadian tour.

Valparaiso jumped to a 18-14 first-quarter lead by limiting the Ravens to just 4-of-15 shooting in the opening 10 minutes, and further extending the lead to 37-28 at half-time as they outplayed Carleton in every significant aspect of the game.

Taffe Charles – New Ravens Head Coach

Taffe Charles Head Coach Of Carleton Ravens Mens Basketball Team
Taffe Charles new head coach of Carleton Ravens Men’s basketball team – Photo: Edilson J. Silva/BasketballBuzz

Carleton Ravens new head coach Taffe Charles and his relatively new coaching staff regrouped after the break by outscoring Valparaiso 29-24 in the third-quarter — knocking down five of the Ravens eight three-pointers and putting on a better defensive rebounding effort to cut the lead to 61-57 through three-quarters.

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The fast-pace action came to a halt in a low-scoring fourth-quarter with both teams combining for just 24 points. Carleton continued to battle and knotted the game at 64-64 but trailed 71-66 with 2:00 minutes remaining and managed to send the game into overtime on a late inside basket by Lloyd Pandi.

Elie Karojo Carleton Ravens Basketball Freshman Against Ncaas Valparaiso Crusaders
#15 Carleton Ravens freshman Elie Karojo in action against Valparaiso Crusaders – Photo: Edilson J. Silva/BasketballBuzz

The Ravens took control of the game in overtime holding a 78-75 lead with 2:29 left to play but uncharacteristically fell-apart down the stretch, letting Valparaiso steal a winnable home outcome. Ravens sophomore guard Aiden Warnholtz stepped-up to the free-throw line and missed two crucial foul shots with the game tied at 80-80 with just under 20 seconds remaining — Carleton managed to grab the offensive rebound but were called for a push-off offensive foul — sending the Crusaders to the opposite end of the court for their own two missed foul shots.

Carleton grabbed the defensive rebound and called a timeout with 7.9 secs remaining in hopes of attempting a game-winning shot. Facing full-court pressure and attempting to inbound under their own basket Valparaiso’s Freeman-Liberty forced Carleton to turn the basketball over twice setting — up the wild and fittingly game winner from the kid from Winnipeg, Manitoba.

“It’s August, we have a new coaching staff and a new group of players. We are trying to find new roles for players as well as coaches – discussed Ravens Head coach Taffe Charles after the disappointing loss.

Valparaiso out-rebounds Carleton

Mileek Mcmillan Helps Valparaiso Crusaders Basketball Out Rebound Marcus Anderson Carleton Ravens
Valparaiso Crusaders basketball Mileek McMillan snatches a rebound from Carleton’s Marcus Anderson – Photo: Edilson J. Silva/BasketballBuzz

Valparaiso’s 54-48 out-rebounding of the Ravens was a point of emphasis post game for the Ravens head coach.

“I think they came-out and they knew who we were and we didn’t fully respect the fact that they knew who we were, and they weren’t in a panic and they obviously wanted to play harder and we didn’t match their energy and intensity. I mean when was the last time you saw a team come into our own gym and beat us up on both sides of the backboards.” – added Taffe Charles.

Carleton was paced by Munis Tutu with 18 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds and got a solid performance from freshman duo Lloyd Pandi (Ottawa, Ont.) 10 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals and Elie Karojo (Montreal, Que.) with game-high 10 rebounds and 7 rebounds. Marcus Anderson nearly missed out on a double-double with 9 points and 9 rebounds.

The Ravens were without the services TJ Lall, a 6’6″all-conference senior forward who averaged 12.5 points per game, 5.8 rebounds in his junior campaign. Starting point guard Yasiin Joseph only played 10 minutes, scoring 8 points and grabbing two rebounds as the coaching staff got a look at various new faces including last minute NCAA transfer in Ivan Cucak a third-year 6’11” junior center from Austin Peay State University.

Canadian big men on campus

Valparaiso Ben Krikke Battles Carleton Ravens Ivan Cucak
Valparaiso’s Ben Krikke battles Carleton Ravens Ivan Cucak – Photo: Edilson J. Silva/BasketballBuzz

Cucak (Kitchener, Ont.) played well in limited action, adding 8 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists in 14 minutes and forced Valparariso to go big and match-up with their own Canadian 7-footer in Ben Krikke (Edmonton, AB) who finished with 4 points, 3 blocks and 2 rebounds in 14 minutes.

Valparaiso shot the ball well going 14-of-40 (35%) from downtown and harassed Carleton into a 8-of-29 (27.6%) shooting from deep — including 2-of-10 in the first-half. The Crusaders managed to win the game despite going to the free-throw line just four times and shooting 1-of-4 (25%). Carleton didn’t fair much better, connecting on 14-of-24 (58.3%) foul-shots.

Dave Smart sitting on the Ravens bench

Former Head Coach Dave Smart Sitting At End Of Carleton Ravens Bench Basketballbuzz
Former Head Coach Dave Smart sitting at end of Carleton Ravens bench – Photo: Edilson J. Silva/BasketballBuzz

It felt just like the good ol’days with former head coach Dave Smart opting for a seat at the back of the Ravens’ bench rather than the front. Smart called it a career after winning his untouchable 14th Canadian university basketball championship in 17 years and has take a role of basketball operations with both the men’s and women’s basketball programs.

The Ravens (1-1) beat the University of South Florida 78-69 in their preseason opener in Laval, Quebec and will look to start new winning streak against NCAA opposition when they take on the University of Albany Great Danes on Sunday August 18 at the Ravens Nest.

Valparaiso who went (2-1) in their 2015 Canadian tour will wrap-up a successful 2019 edition with another tough match-up against UQAM in Montreal.

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