August is a very slow time in college basketball. Future recruits have finished playing after the July live evaluation period. Football is becoming America’s main focus.
But if you are a diehard college hoops fan, you’ve probably heard of Canadian college basketball powerhouse Carleton University. The Ravens have won 13 national titles over the last 16 years in Canada as they feature a number of former Division I transfers.
More importantly, the Ravens continue to destroy talented American college teams during summer exhibition tours. It’s becoming an annual tradition at this point.
So far this month, Carleton has scored impressive double-digit wins over Cincinnati, Ole Miss and South Dakota State as the Ravens made easy work out of two NCAA tournament teams from last season. Not many teams can slow down an All-American candidate like Mike Daum. The Ravens held the Jackrabbits star big man to eight points on 3-for-10 shooting.
Beating American college teams has become somewhat of a norm for Carleton. Last summer, the Ravens picked off five of six Division I opponents who visited them — including Alabama, Providence and Vanderbilt. Carleton also knocked off Wisconsin during a season in which the Badgers eventually made it to the Final Four.
For these summer exhibition games, Carleton obviously has the homecourt advantage. They play a pressing style that can be tough on a team just starting out its season. Carleton also has the edge of playing more games than its American counterparts — the Ravens played 17 exhibition games before going 23-0 in the regular season last year.
Regardless of circumstances, it is always jarring to see NCAA tournament-caliber teams getting blown out, regularly, by a team from Canada.
At what point do we start talking about adding Carleton into the NCAA equation to make things a bit more interesting? It’ll never happen. But it’s fun to think about.