Just No Stopping Carleton Basketball

By ChrisLethbridge
Feb. 03, 2017

The Carleton University Men's Basketball team lost 3 regular season games last season, and 2 in 2014-15.  Both years they were playing their best basketball when it mattered most, and went on to win the National Championship.  This season, the Ravens are already in full stride, with a record of 14-0, and an average victory margin of 39.3 points since the Christmas break.  The Ravens are not only heavy favorites to capture their 13th Championship, I don't think many people expect them to lose a single game.

Fans have been making NCAA comparisons for quite some time now.  It is hard to measure where the Ravens would rank if they played a full NCAA season.  The summer games are misleading as the United States teams are not practicing all throughout the off season.  The best result in August was the 100-75 win over Wichita State (20-4, 2nd in the Missouri Valley Conference).  October games south of the border proved to be much tougher for Carleton, losing 87-69 to Providence (14-10, 8th in the Big East) and 79-73 to Lasalle (12-10, 4th in the Atlantic 10).  Unfortunately, we have not been able to see Canada's best program play NCAA competition in March, when Coach Smart always has them at their best.  

The Ravens are definitely respected by NCAA players though.  The players coming to the Nation's Capital are as good or better than ever.  Three of the 12 players seeing floor time are NCAA transfers (Kaza Kajami-Keane - Cleveland State, Emmanuel Owootoah - Fresno State, Eddie Ekiyor - Xavier).   There does not seem to be a ceiling on the level of talent Dave Smart is able to recruit.

The Capital Hoops Classic will be played tomorrow night.  The annual game with the Gee-Gees at the Canadian Tire Centre is a rematch of the January 17th meeting at Montpetit Hall.  Before their first match up, the two clubs were ranked 1st and 2nd in the country.  The Gee-Gees had a poor night from the field, shooting just 21.4%, resulting in a 41 point loss and a drop to 3rd in the rankings.  It will be tough for Carleton to win by 41 points again, but unless we see a close game tomorrow night, it is looking like it will be the same old story in March.

What is making this season unique for Ravens fans is the emergence of the Women's team as a National Title contender.  They are 13-1 and ranked 5th in the country, with their only loss coming in a stunning 68-57 upset by Algoma (1-13).  The Ravens leading scorers are 4th year players Heather Lindsay (16 ppg)  and Catherine Traer (15.4).  

Head Coach Taffe Charles is in his 10th season as the Women's Head Coach.  He is looking to lead his team to the first Championship in school history.  His team took their first meeting with the Gee-Gees 57-50.  They tip off the Capital Hoops Classic at 6pm Friday night, with the Men's game to follow at 8pm.  Both games can be streamed live on oua.tv.