McGill opens the CIS tournament as the fifth seed. The Redmen won the RESQ for the second time in a row after beating the Bishop Gaiters last Sunday by 26 points. They will be playing their first game against a familiar foe in the Victoria Vikes. They faced the Vikes in the consolation final at last year’s tournament and won. The Redmen have challenge ahead of them as they are trying to be the first RESQ team to win the CIS champship since the Bishop Gaiters did it in 1998, Concordia also won it in 1990. An RESQ team has not won their first game since Concordia did it in 2005. This is the Redmen’s 7th appearance in the tournament.
In many people minds, The RESQ is the weak conference in the CIS as they do not play as many games and have only five teams. The other conferences in the CIS have eight teams which allows for more competition between all the teams and not easy path to be named champion of their conference.
The Redmen were not talked about winning the RESQ champship again at the beginning of the season. The reasoning was because they had ten freshmen on the squad which was the most among the other universities in the conference. The Redmen season started with two losses to NCAA schools Sacred Heart and Syracuse. The Syracuse game they lost by 40 points. The two losses did provide one thing for the Redmen which was a starting lineup that featured three freshmen, François Bourque, Dele Ogundokun and Michael Peterkin. Before conference play started in the RESQ, the Redmen played Ottawa (1 Seed in final 8) and Alberta (3 seed in final 8). The Redmen lost both games however they did force OT with the Gee-Gees. In that game vs.Ottawa, Francois Bourque had 25 points and 11 rebounds in the lost. In their lost to the Golden Bears, François Bourque was also the best player on the court except this time he only had 17 points with five rebounds. The Redmen in conference play were deadly as they rolled to 14-2 record however they did have some hiccups as they has lost back to back to Concordia and Laval. In the Laval game, they committed 21 turnovers and also bad shooting percentages. They had a FG% of 39.4%, 3FG% of 17.4 and FT of 57.1. The Concordia lost was difference as they blew the lead in the fourth quarter and had bad shooting FG% in the fourth quarter (30%).
The Redmen have won 11 straight games. They hope to change that to that 14 as they can win their quarter finals matchup and then semi-finals and final which would mean they are CIS champions. The Redmen path will be hard one as they will have to play the number one seed, Ottawa Gee-Gees in the Semi-Finals if they beat UVic on Friday. If the Redmen pull the upset over the Gee-Gees. In the finals they will have to play the likes of the Carlton Ravens who will be looking for their tenth title and third in a row or Alberta Golden Bears again.
I believe the Redmen have a chance to win their quarter-finals matchup on Friday. I believe in order for them to beat the Gee-Gees, Ravens or Golden Bears they will have to have great games from freshmen phenomenon duo of Francois Bourque and Dele Ogundokun and RESQ MVP, Vincent Dufort. Bourque who averaged 10 PPG and 7.8rebs PPG while Ogundokun averaged 10PPG and 2.5 steals PPG. Bourque finished second in the RESQ rebounding and was named to the RESQ all rookie team. Ogundokun lead the RESQ steals and 3FG% for his efforts, he was named RESQ rookie of the year and was named to CIS all rookie team. The Redmen’s best player has been third year man, Vincent Dufort who was named second time All Canadian next to be named RESQ MVP after averaging 13 PPG and 6.7RBS PPG. Their success in this year tournament will depend on how on amount of Turnovers they committed and how many rebounds they can collected. My predication is that Redmen do became the first RESQ team to win their first game since 2005, but will lose to the Gee-Gees in the Semi-finals.
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.