Monday, 22 January 2007

Capital Hoops Classic Preview + Weekend Articles

NATIONAL PRESS FOR CAPITAL HOOPS CLASSIC An article by James Mirtle from the Globe and Mail in this morning's edition Gee-Gees Relish Raven Rivalry

Before we get into some Carleton Ottawa preview chat, here are a couple of solid articles by Howard Tsumura about Canada West with a view of their Final Four plus some quick stories from selected weekend games Howard Tsumura's January 20th/07 Canada West Notebook Also, an article by Tsumura about the high proportion of B.C. players playing for Don Horwood and a clue as to why Coach Horwood recruits so well in B.C. B.C. Fertile Ground for Alberta's Horwood

Larry Moko from Hamilton Spectator on the unbelievable comeback win by Mac at home on Saturday Mac's Miraculous Comeback

Halifax Chronicle-Herald reports on both women's and men's games between Dalhousie and UPEI yesterday Dal UPEI stories

Kingston Whig-Standard reports on Gaels and Paladins weekend including more on Mitch Leger Gaels & Paladins weekend review

CARLETON RAVENS (14-0) vs. OTTAWA GEE-GEES (11-3) The long-awaited Capital Hoops Classic goes tomorrow evening at Scotiabank Place and with the largest crowd in OUA regular season history expected, the hype for this game is tremendous. The #1 ranked Ravens remain undefeated at 14-0 while Ottawa has lost 2 of its last 3 to fall out of the Top 10 but remains in second place in the OUA East. As of last count, over 8,700 tickets had been sold and the upper bowl at Scotiabank Place was being opened. For information on tickets, click here The game is also available on Rogers Television in the Ottawa market only on Cable 22 beginning at 8 PM.

Here is a preview of Tuesday's game:

#1 Carleton Ravens (14-0): As has been the case during their four season reign as CIS champions, Carleton gets it done with defence and rebounding above all else. Defensively, the Ravens pick up full court but rarely trap out of the pressure. In the half court, Carleton packs it in, rarely letting anyone get to the rim and almost always doubles down in the post with the double man coming from a non-shooter. Scoring in the 70's is a tough objective against the Ravens. Offensively, this season, the Ravens are trying to take advantage of more depth and their usual edge on the defensive glass, by looking for wing push transition opportunities much more than in the past. Against Ottawa especially, Carleton usually is good for at least one Jean-Emmanuel Jean-Marie "first big" layup. When forced into half court sets, Carleton, which historically has primarily been a wing ball screen team that then looked to exploit the resulting mismatches off the two man game, now runs much more of a variation of UCLA shuffle cut action off the high post screens, with the weak-side wing (usually Osvaldo Jeanty) using the elbow screen. Aaron Doornekamp usually orchestrates from the high post with the subsequent screening action for Jeanty the high-post cut resulting in easy layups for Carleton's bigs off slips as defenders hedge toward Jeanty coming up off screens – Kevin McCleary had 7 consecutive points late in the first half against Queen’s after crafty looks from Doornekamp off this action. Carleton will get a lift if third-year guard Stu Turnbull continues to connect from the perimeter like he did on Saturday when he had 5 3’s among his career-high 28 points. The “wing ball screen to finding the mismatch” game into the draw and kick works best when guys are hitting shots which hadn’t been the case for Carleton until recently. As well, Carleton has made a living off the wing ball screen when opponents have a bigger, slower center on the floor, pulling that defender out to defend and usually getting a mismatch or an easy pick and pop from there. Look for Carleton to bring 6’10” Dax Dessureault out onto the perimeter to defend the two man game and utilize Doornekamp, who presents Ottawa with their toughest matchup challenge, and Jean-Marie, who is very quick around the rim, against Dessureault. As well, unlike last season's game at the Raven's Nest when graduated 5'9" Teti Kabetu basically blanketed Jeanty, Ottawa does not have that type of defensive stopper to deny the ball consistently.

Ottawa Gee-Gees (11-3): The Gee-Gees meanhile are a set oriented-team that this season until recently have worked best from inside out. Earlier in the year, Ottawa was one of Canada's top field goal percentage teams offensively and, despite lowering the number of shots taken from beyond the arc, were near the top in team 3 point FG% as well. Part of the reason for the Gee-Gees recent woes stems from not getting things started from inside or in recent cases, the offence ending early inside without sharing the ball. Ottawa also uses a lot of ball screens and hand-offs to get guards free on the perimeter. The Gee-Gees will look to exploit their size advantage with Dessureault, who has improved his finishing even since the beginning of the season, in the high/low game much like St.FX did with success at the Nationals with Neil McDonald - this can work when wings and guard make shots negating the ability of perimeter defenders to pinch down and leaving Dessureault one-on-one inside. However, veteran post Jermaine Campbell has been in a slump in the new year as teams take away his low post offence and his outside shooting woes continue - after owning one of the top 3 point field goal percentages in Canada last season, Campbell was only 3 for 18 from downtown prior to Saturday's game and, before making his only 3 against RMC on Saturday, had not made a shot from beyond the arc since November, an 0-12 skid from 3. Campbell needs to get back to his game of sharing the ball quickly out of the low post. Ottawa's best offensive lineup up front at this point against the smaller Ravens could be Dessureault with 6'5" Curtis Shakespeare, who has been consistently knocking down the 17 footer when left alone - which could be the case in the high/low game if Dessureault gets going. Fifth-year guard Alex McLeod had a tremendous effort in Ottawa's win last season at the Raven's Nest and one of only two Gee-Gees, with 6'4" Josh Gibson-Bascombe, who consistently can knock shots down. Defensively, the Gee-Gees look to create turnovers off pressure, usually trapping all ball screens and with long and quick point Gibson-Bascombe, have a defender capable of picking a ball handler in space and going the other way. This will be sophomore Gibson-Bascombe's first career game against Carleton as he missed both of last season's contests with a broken wrist and he presents the Ravens with a challenging matchup given his open court skills, ability to break down defenders and find people and post up in the low blocks. Look for Coach Dave Smart to start Ryan Bell, a tall, lanky defender on Gibson-Bascombe but not hesitate to switch on the stronger Stu Turnbull onto him if McLeod gets going, as he did when Turnbull guarded him last season at the Raven's Nest.

MORE HYPE ON THE GAME from the Charlatan, Carleton's student newspaper Clash of the Titans: Jeanty vs. Gibson-Bascombe Good work on the article but look for Jeanty to guard Alex McLeod and Ryan Bell to guard Gibson-Bascombe.

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