Carleton Ravens

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Second SEC team falls to Canadian powerhouse Carleton

Leave a comment

For the second time in a five-day span, an SEC program has fallen to the dominant Canadian powerhouse, Carleton University.

On Monday evening, the Ravens defeated Vanderbilt, 61-56, in the Paradise Jam Tournament held at the U.V.I. Sports & Fitness Center in St. Thomas.

Eddie Ekiyor, originally a Xavier forward, led the Ravens with 17 points to go along with his five rebounds. Matthew Fisher-Davis matched Ekiyor’s point total with 17 of his own to lead the Commodores.

The Ravens have won 13 of the last 15 national titles, including seven in a row.

Last week, Carleton took down Alabama, a team pegged in the top-25 for next season, 84-71, in the 2017 Can-Am Shootout. The victories over the two SEC teams mark the 29th and 30th victory Carleton has landed over NCAA Division I programs.

This is the second loss in as many days for Vanderbilt, falling to the U.S. Virgin Island national team, 81-78, in the first exhibition game of the team’s summer foreign tour.

The Commodores are back in action on Wednesday against Brock University (Canada). They take on Carleton again the following day.

Carleton has two more opportunities to upset NCAA Division I opponents, bookending the rematch with Vandy with exhibition contests against Northern Colorado and James Madison.

Alabama loses exhibition game to Canadian powerhouse Carleton

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
1 Comment

Carleton University has done it again.

The Ravens, winners of seven straight Canadian titles, defeated Alabama, 84-71, on Wednesday night in the 2017 Can-Am Shootout.

Yasin Joseph led all scorers with 19 points off the bench for Carleton. Eddie Ekiyor, a former Xavier forward, posted a double-double of 16 points and 11 boards.

Alabama was led by the freshman backcourt of John Petty and Collin Sexton, who scored 16 and 15 points, respectively.

“This was one of the games that we, as a coaching staff, had circled on the schedule because this team has historically done really well against some of the most high-level American universities that have come over here to play,” Alabama head coach Avery Johnson said in a statement released by the school following the loss.

“We knew they were going to play physical, rebound the basketball and shoot threes, and they did all of those things. This is strictly an evaluation trip. We had the chance to play six or seven different lineups, play a lot of different guys and look at a lot of different matchups. We didn’t do as good of a job on both ends of the floor that we are capable of, but this was a great learning experience for our team.”

The Crimson Tide are projected as a top-25 entering this season. But this shouldn’t worry those in Tuscaloosa. Aside from dominating the Canadian college scene, winning 13 of the last 15 national titles, the Ravens have made a habit of defeating some of college basketball’s best programs. It’s also worth noting that the game is played on Canadian soil, meaning the game was played under international rules such as 10-minute quarters and a shortened shot clock.

Wednesday night was Carleton’s 28th victory over an NCAA Division I program.

Last summer, Wichita State fell to Carleton. The Shockers went on to finish the 2016-17 season ranked in the top-10, according to kenpom.com In 2013, Wisconsin was upended by the Ravens. Seven months later, the Badgers appeared in the first of two straight Final Four. If you’re the Crimson Tide, a loss to Carleton is hardly an omen for how this season will unfold.

Alabama concludes its tour of Canada on Thursday against the University of Ottawa. Carleton, which previously lost to Towson, has another chance at a Division I upset, taking on Vanderbilt on August 14 in the Bahamas.

Memphis loses to Canadian team for the second time in four days

Leave a comment

Carleton erased any thoughts that Saturday night’s win over Memphis was a fluke after defeating the Tigers for the second time in four days. On Tuesday night, the Ravens ran away with a 92-60 victory over Memphis in Ottawa, Ontraio.

On Saturday night, the Ravens jumped out to an enormous first half lead. They would eventually hold on to an 86-76 win after Memphis outscored them by 16 in the second half, and limited them to only 36 percent shooting. But on Tuesday, Carleton turned a 13-point halftime lead into a 32-point victory. And if you were following L. Jason Smith, of the Commercial-Appeal, who was inside the Ravens’ Nest, live tweeting the blowout loss, you know Carleton guard Philip Scrubb was the star once again.

After scoring 35 points in the first game, the 6-foot-3 guard dropped a game-high 30 in the second meeting. He torched the Tigers in both games, shooting a combined 21 of 36 from the field and 10 of 19 from beyond the arc. Pookie Powell had a team-high 13 for Memphis followed by Chris Hawkins off the bench with 10. Austin Nichols did not play again.

For Carleton, this ends an impressive ends an impressive nine-day stretch. Carleton, the Canadian powerhouse that defeated Final Four-bound Wisconsin last summer, beat Vermont and UIC as well. The only loss Carleton suffered was a 10-point loss to Indiana to start the annual showcase. Scrubb did not play, as he was with the Canadian national team.

Memphis finished the trip 2-2.

Canadian powerhouse defeats Memphis

Leave a comment

Memphis was added to the list of Division I programs to take a summer trip to Canada, only to return to the States with a loss. On Saturday night, the Tigers took on Canadian powerhouse Carleton. The Ravens built a sizable first half lead, and eventually held on to an 86-76 victory over the Tigers in the Can-Am Shootout.

Carleton defeated Vermont and UIC last week while dropping a its first game to Indiana. Last summer, the Ravens defeated Wisconsin, a team that later reached the Final Four. Carleton has won the last four Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) titles and 10 of the last 12.

Philip Scrubb scored a game-high 35 points for Carleton, followed by his brother, Thomas, who added 21. The duo shot a combined 19 of 35 (10 of 16) from the field and outscored Memphis in the first half. Nick King led Memphis with a team-high 19 points. Newcomers Chris Hawkins and Dominic Magee added 14 and 11, respectively, off the bench. Returning starter Austin Nichols missed Saturday night’s game with an ankle injury.

Carleton shot 55 percent in the first half, and 57 percent from beyond the arc to build a 55-29 halftime lead. Memphis held the Ravens to 36 percent shooting in the final two quarters while outscoring them 47-31.

“The Carleton coach told me before the game that they blitzed Wisconsin, Syracuse and Louisville early in past exhibitions,” Memphis head coach Pastner said in a recap published by the school. “They jump on teams early, and we were another victim.”

This current Memphis team was more than susceptible to falling behind early, especially against a talented and experienced back court. The Tigers lost all four seniors from last year’s perimeter attack. On Saturday, the four guards to log the most minutes in the back court included redshirt freshmen Markel Crawford and Pookie Powell along with incoming freshman Dominic Magee and junior college transfer Chris Hawkins. None of whom have played a Division I game yet. That quartet was matched up against the high-scoring Scrubb brothers, both of whom were named to the Canadian national team this summer.

Memphis has another game on Sunday night, taking on the University of Ottawa, a team that made headlines earlier this month when it defeated Indiana.

Indiana defeated Canadian powerhouse Carleton

Leave a comment

Indiana is in Canada this month, playing five games around the country. On Sunday, the Hoosiers dropped a 109-101 contest to Gee-Gees from the University of Ottawa to go 1-1 on its exhibition tour.

The Hoosiers bounced back to earn their second win of the trip on Monday night, with a 95-85 victory over Carleton, which has won four-straight Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) titles and 10 of the last 12.

Here’s a portion of the game recap from Zach Osterman of the Indianapolis Star:

“I thought our guys responded from (watching) film,” [Tom] Crean said after Monday’s win. “We left some opportunities on the table when it was time to win the game (against Ottawa), and I think the response our guys made, of learning from one day to the next, this time of year, is truly invaluable.”

Defensive mistakes weren’t repeated. Offensive possessions were treated with more care. When Carleton was forced to foul late, IU shot 7-of-8 from the free-throw line. The Hoosiers had missed five free throws during the same critical stretch Sunday.

Indiana continued to score the ball with five players in double figures, led by Yogi Ferrell’s 21 points and James Blackmon Jr.’s 19. The Hoosiers shot 61 percent from the floor and connected on 9-of-16 from beyond the arc. More importantly, the defense improved after giving up 109 points the previous evening, as it held the Ravens to 8-of-28 shooting from three.

As mentioned above, Carleton is the class of Canadian basketball, but has shown it can take on the best in the NCAA. Last summer, the Ravens held a 15-point second half lead over Syracuse before losing in overtime and knocked off Wisconsin, a team which would go on to reach the Final Four. While Carleton was playing without its best player, Philip Scrubb, the Ravens are likely more seasoned than the Hoosiers at this point, as Osterman noted there are no practice restrictions for Canadian teams during the summer.

Indiana wraps up its tour with its last two games in Quebec.

Four-time defending Canadian champion Carleton will play Indiana and Memphis this August

Leave a comment

The Carleton Ravens play north of College Basketball Talk‘s normal coverage area, but the Canadian basketball powerhouse is worth talking about. Simply put, Carleton is making a John Wooden-at-UCLA type of run right now in the CIS.

The Ravens have won four consecutive CIS titles and have been champions for 10 of the last 12 seasons. They’re an astounding 292-14 since the year 2000.

Carleton might be beating up on overmatched competition in the CIS, but they’re better than a lot of Division I basketball programs. Want proof? Last summer, Carleton beat eventual Final Four team Wisconsin and led former 2013-14 No. 1 team Syracuse by 15 in the second half before losing in overtime.

Carleton also had a respectable road loss to NCAA Tournament team Cincinnati in exhibition play last fall and the Ravens also beat TCU and Towson at home last summer. Going 3-2 against that kind of Division I schedule as a Canadian team is no joke. These guys can really play.

So that brings us to this summer. Carleton is once again hosting four Division I schools for exhibition matchups in August. Every four years, the NCAA allows Division I basketball programs to take a foreign trip for exhibition games and using that trip to play a team as good as Carleton will only help gauge how a team might look for the 2014-15 season.

The Ravens will begin their home exhibition schedule with a game against Indiana on August 11th. Carleton then hosts Vermont on August 12th and UIC on August 14th.

Memphis comes in for two games against Carleton on August 16th and August 19th and it seems like Tigers head coach Josh Pastner has a lot of respect for the Ravens and their basketball program.

In a release from Memphis about their Canadian exhibition tour Pastner commented on the strong competition the Tigers will face. Memphis will also face McGill University and the University of Ottawa on the trip.

“The most important thing about putting this trip together was finding great competition, and this tour has it,” Pastner said in the release. “The teams we’ll see on the tour took Louisville, Syracuse and Wisconsin down to the wire last summer, and the Cardinals, Orange and Badgers were three of the best teams in college basketball this past season. We’ll face teams that run really good stuff, and if we don’t play well, we can get beat. But, it will be good for us to face that level of competition this summer.”

As you can see, Pastner really respects Carleton and I’m sure the coaching staffs at Indiana, UIC and Vermont feel the same way about going to Canada to face the four-time defending champs.

Of all of the foreign exhibition games that happen this summer, these contests at Carleton will probably be some of the best games played. Don’t be surprised if the Ravens come out with a winning record in the five games against Division I compeition.