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Rivalry Intensifies Ryerson Rams End Carleton Ravens Perfect Season Rivalry Intensifies Ryerson Rams End Carleton Ravens Perfect Season

U Sports

Rivalry intensifies Ryerson Rams end Carleton Ravens perfect season

Ryerson Rams JV Mukama



Regardless of sport, class, gender, league, gym size or any other nouns, adjectives, verbs you can come-up with it’s always a big deal when number one versus number two get together for any sporting event. It’s even better when the billing lives up to the buzz and over delivers on the hype.

Recently, for Canadian University basketball enthusiasts #1 vs. #2 has quickly become synonymous with one of the fiercest and most exciting Canadian sporting rivalries. Pitting the undisputed kings of Canadian Basketball, the Carleton Ravens against the emerging two time reigning national finalist Ryerson Rams.

Bill it up as Rana versus Smart or call it the 613 versus the 416, or for political heads, Queen’s Park not getting along with Parliament Hill.

Ottawa, Toronto have a long standing history of rivalries from the NHL’s Leafs/Sens to the CFL’s Redblacks/Argonauts and now we can safely add the Ravens and the Rams at the U Sports Basketball level.


Like it or not, the Ryerson Rams have emerged as the unlikely Toronto university to dethrone Carleton’s long standing basketball dynasty.

Mixed in the shuffle of Canada’s largest sports and entertainment market are three, soon to be four, Greater Toronto Area (GTA) universities, responsible for providing Canada’s long standing code of academics over athletics. The York Lions, The Toronto Blues alongside Ryerson and newcomer, University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) Ridgebacks make-up the GTA’s U Sports landscape that is eager to carve out their own niche and grow their respective brands.

Similar to the transformation of the Carleton Ravens with the 1996 hiring of Dave Smart, the Ryerson executive brass formulated their own blueprint for success, beginning with the 2009 hiring of Rana with visions of “starting from the bottom and now we here”, like Toronto’s own Drizzy Drake did to the music game.

Roy Rana Rivalry Intensifies Ryerson Rams End Carleton Ravens Perfect Season

Roy Rana guides his Ryerson Rams to a key 78-74 win over Carleton University Ravens – Photo: Edilson J. Silva/BasketballBuzz

At the helm now for his ninth season, it’s fair to say that the foundation of becoming a national powerhouse and regularly competing for national championships is nearly complete and clearly resonating with current players. As evident when speaking with point guard Myles Charvis who transferred from Waterloo to Ryerson two years ago and is now being touted “as an extension of his coach” on the floor.

Myles Charvis Drives To Hoop Ryerson Rams Beat Carleton Ravens

Ryerson Rams Starting Guard Myles Charvis drives to the basket against Carleton Ravens – Photo: Edilson J. Silva/BasketballBuzz

“It just starts from the top down, administration up to athletic directors, down to the coaching the staff all the way down to the fans, we all demand excellence and you can see it throughout, not just the basketball team, but the volleyball team is doing well, the women’s hockey team, basketball, everyone is doing well, so it’s really just from the top down.”

Charvis alongside senior forward JV Mukama and the rest of Rana’s troops were responsible for orchestrating and putting an end to yet another long standing Ravens streak — beating Carleton 78-74 to end their perfect (28-0, 17-0 conference) start to the season. Ryerson also beat Carleton 84-76 in a thrilling 2018 national semi-final, snapping the Ravens 27 game winning streak, while also ending their seven year grip on the National title.

“If it wasn’t for Myles Charvis we are not in this position. He has been everything we hoped for in a point guard — extension of a coach, I’m happy to call him that for me. He’s the engine of the team and arguably our most valuable player, when he’s going he controls things and he was great again today and he was great when we played them at home.” Alluded Rana about his starting point guard.

Mukama buried his 25 point of night on a deep go ahead three-pointer with 33 seconds left to put Ryerson ahead 75-74, completing Ryerson’s comeback in front of standing room only Raven’s nest in Ottawa. Charvis added 21 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals in the victory.

JV Mukama Dominating Carleton Ravens Inside

JV Mukama Dominating Carleton Ravens Inside – Photo: Edilson J. Silva/BasketballBuzz

For Mukama, a senior that has been apart of several thrilling battles between the two teams it was just another regular season victory on their way to their ultimate goal.

“We are the top two teams in the country, we knew it was going to be an exciting game, especially on their home-court. They came and beat us at home, it was only fair that we returned the favor. We are going to see them again, this was a statement game, but this is not the goal, it’s just another game, just the top two teams playing hard and it was big game.”

As for Rana, a win over Carleton is always a big win, specially in their building, but ultimately he’s also glad his star player is getting some well deserved credit.

“He’s arguably the best player in the country now, with what he can do on the glass and his length, he can make three’s, he can play point at 6’8″, he is a unique talent in our league and I’m just really glad that he is finally expressing that at highest levels.” spoke Rana on defining his star players growth under his watch.

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Rounding out Ryerson’s win were key plays from Yusuf Ali (12 points, 5 rebounds) and Tanor Ngom with 8 points, 8 rebounds and a disruptive 6 blocks.

Carleton was led by double-doubles from standouts Eddie Ekiyor (21 point, 10 rebound, 3 blocks) and TJ Lall 16 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists. Isiah Osborne hit some big shots and finished with 17 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists.

The Rams limited Carleton to just 6-of-27 shooting (22.2%) from downtown including just two second-half three-pointers after hitting four-of-five in the opening quarter.

The two teams split the season regular season conference series at 1-1, however, despite the Ryerson win, Carleton managed to cling on to the points tie-breaker advantage thanks to their seven point, 76-69 win in Toronto.

With just five conference games remaining and barring any upsets, and should both teams finish with similar conference records, the tiebreaker could be the determining home-court factor.

With a 2-0 weekend sweep of both Ottawa teams, the Rams will leap the Ravens in the rankings polls taking over the number one spot in the country for the first-time since Feb 1 2016.

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U Sports

Omar Shiddo: Soft-spoken assassin



Omar Shiddo: Soft-spoken assassin
Omar Shiddo is Western University's leading scorer this season with 19.4 points per game. Photo: Western Mustangs

It’s around 8:30 p.m. on a frigid Wednesday in the dead of winter, and Omar Shiddo is having one of his worst games of the season. 

The fourth-year Western Mustangs guard, who has drawn comparisons to Damian Lillard for his clutch shooting, has just five points in the first half of a tight game against the Guelph Gryphons. 

In the second half his game marginally improves, but there are a series of missteps — layups that don’t go down, jump shots that rim out and an occasional lack of motion without the ball. 

Shiddo also gets hit with a technical foul after a physical bucket he felt should have resulted in an and-one, clapping back at two Guelph players who allegedly chirped at him during the play.


This is a far cry from the kinds of performance Shiddo is known for, and light years away from the 35-point outburst he had four days earlier in an 84-79 win over rival McMaster.

It doesn’t matter — not even remotely. 

Western clamps down on defence in the second half and several teammates make big shots. Shiddo helps neutralize Guelph guard Malcolm Glanville, who had 11 first-half points and showed signs of catching fire. 

Shiddo finishes with 12 points on 4-15 shooting, his second-lowest total of the year. Five other Mustang players players score in double-digits, including 27 points from sharp-shooting guard Eriq Jenkins. 

Western pulls away and cruises to a 94-73 victory that’s as ugly as it is decisive. 

Omar Shiddo: Soft-spoken assassin
Omar Shiddo knocks down a jumpshot

“That’s a win, boys!” someone shouts emphatically as the team gathers for a post-game huddle in the cavernous, mostly-empty Alumni Hall in London, Ont. — Western’s home court. 

“Guys on my team stepped up,” said Shiddo minutes later in an interview, his soft-spoken analysis tumbling out as quickly as he jukes opponents, like water over Niagara Falls.

“The second half was more of other guys doing their thing and me not having to do as much scoring, which I love to do. It’s all about team … we got a big win.” 

Shiddo is unquestionably a leader — and on most nights, the most effective offensive weapon — on a Western team loaded with potential. 

In his tenure, the Mustangs have been as good as they have been in a decade, with a legitimate chance to challenge for a berth in the U Sports Final 8 — Canada’s version of March Madness — in Ottawa.

“That’s our goal from the beginning of the year — trying to get to nationals,” said Shiddo, who grew up in Brampton, Ont., a hotbed that has produced several NBA players, including Cleveland Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson and former No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett.

“We think we’re a top-five team in the country,” said Shiddo. “We’ve just need to continue to play like it.” 

Western is ranked outside the Top 10 nationally, but has the second-best record in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA), four points behind the Carleton Ravens.

Omar Shiddo: Soft-spoken assassin

They’re also first in the OUA West division, with a roster that skews relatively young: Seven of the 12 players are freshmen or sophomores.

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Nikola Farkic, a 6-foot point guard from Waterloo, is team captain and Jenkins (Windsor, Ont.) is arguably its most reliable three-point threat. Veteran forward Julian Walker (Barrie, Ont.) anchors a front court with considerable promise, thanks in large part to lean, athletic second-year players Aaron Tennant (London, Ont.) and Ukasha Khan (Brampton, Ont.).

“A lot of stuff goes unnoticed on the stat sheet,” said Shiddo. “But we’ve got a full team and we’re 10 deep. Everybody plays their role. We’re not a team where it’s one guy.”

He’s right. This win over Guelph is proof enough of that. And yet in crunch time, Shiddo has a penchant for taking over games, Lillard-style, and making big shots.

It has become part of Western lore. 

When Lillard puts a team on his back and wills it to victory in the fourth quarter, fans and media call it Dame Time. When Shiddo does this, it’s #Omellytime. 

Shiddo showed hints of his #Omelly mentality early against Guelph. After Western fell behind 10-2 in the first quarter, his demeanor shifted from deferential to aggressive, pushing the ball up the floor and calmly making a mid-range jumper to cut the lead to six. 

Minutes later, he drilled a three-pointer to make it 12-7, and attacked the basket for a layup that lingered on the rim but didn’t fall. His teammates took their cue and soon Western had its first lead of the game.

At the end of the first quarter the score was 28-28. At halftime Western led 47-46, and they never looked back. 

“I’m not the rah rah type of — football type of leader,” said Shiddo. “I try to lead by example.

Omar Shiddo: Soft-spoken assassin
Omar Shiddo – Western Mustangs Soft-spoken assassin

“Say what has to be said, and other than that just lead by example. It’s not how much you say, it’s about what you say.”

In U Sports, most teams are at the mercy of a Carleton dynasty that has won 14 of the last 17 national championships.

Western is a long shot to come anywhere near the title game this season, and Carleton is favoured to win it. When the teams meet for a regular-season tilt at Alumni Hall on Jan.  31, it will likely be for the last time. 

Shiddo is nobody’s fool. He knows the odds are stacked against his team, even if he’s at his best and #Omellytime is in full effect. 

His confidence is tempered with realism, but it’s still there.

“Against a team like that we’re not going to be up by one at half — we’ll probably be down by 20,” he said. “We have to play our perfect game.” 

They will almost certainly not be perfect. They will almost certainly lose. And yet Omar Shiddo, the soft-spoken assassin, has a question for you.

“Why not shock the country,” he said, “and beat the No. 1 team?”

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U Sports

Carleton Ravens set records in 129-44, 85-point beat-down of York Lions



Carleton Ravens set records in 129-44, 85-point beat-down of York Lions
Photo: Valerie Wutti/Blitzen Photography

The No. 1 ranked Carleton Ravens improved to 16-2 overall and 8-0 in Ontario University Athletics (OUA) conference action with a 129-44 — 85 point beat-down of the York Lions to set a modern-day U Sports men’s basketball record, for most points scored and the largest margin of victory in a OUA conference game.

The Ravens’ 129 points is the most points scored in a (OUA) game and the third highest scoring output in historic programs’ 58-year history. Carleton routed the Fleming Knights (CCAA/OCAA) 130-78 in non-conference win on October 3, 2009. The 85-point win is the second largest margin of victory in team’s history — including CIAU, CIS, OUA conference, non-conference and games against NCAA teams.

carleton ravens set u sports basketball records in 129 44 85 point beat down of york lions
Carleton Ravens set U Sports Basketball Records in 129 44 85 point beat down of York Lions

According to historic records, and stats guru Martin Timmerman, the Ravens’ also hold the bragging rights for the most points scored and largest margin of victory in Canadian university basketball history. The all-time mark dates back to the 1964-1965 season with the Ravens’ beating the Ottawa Gee-Gees 144-52 — a whooping 92 point victory in the old Ottawa-St. Lawrence Intercollegiate Association (IAA) conference which was part of the Canadian Interuniversity Athletics Union (CIAU).

The OUA was formed on July 1st of 1997 in a amalgamation of the both the Ontario Universities Athletic Association (OUAA) and the Ontario Women’s Interuniversity Athletic Association (OWIAA).


The previous largest OUA margin of victory stood firmly at 81, 77 points respectively, dating back to two occasions involving the same two teams. January 15, 2011 — the Ravens pounded the now defunct Royal Military College (RMC) men’s basketball program with a 121-40 win in Kingston, Ontario. Two weeks later, on January 28, in Ottawa, the Ravens’ won by a easy 77 points, in a 101-24 cake walk victory.

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The York Lions (7-15, 1-10 OUA) never had a chance — trailing 32-7 after the first 10 minutes and down 64-21 at half-time. The Lions allowed the Ravens’ to outscored them 35-15 in the third-quarter and were limited to just 9 points in the final 10 minutes — while giving-up an another 35-point-quarter.

Stanley Mayambo 17 points, 4 rebounds paced seven Ravens’ players in double-figures. Lloyd Pandi added 14 points, 2 rebounds. Aiden Warnholtz played a game-high 28 minutes off the bench and contributed with 13 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. All of Carleton’s players scored at least five points and attempted at least five shots with only one bench player logging less then 10 minutes of playing time. None of the Carleton’s starting five logged more than 19 minutes of action.

Carleton knocked down 45-of-77 (58.4%) field-goals, made 15-of-32 (46.5%) three-pointers and connected on a healthy 24-30 (80%) from free-throws — while limiting the Lions to just 14-of-62 (22.6%), 4-of-20% (20%) from downtown and 12-of-23 (52%) free-throws.

Carleton, currently on a four-game home stretch will take on the Nipissing Lakers before closing out the first semester with a highly anticipated showdown against nationally ranked and cross-town rival Ottawa Gee-Gees.


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