Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Carleton Update

Although the Ravens remain the strongest and most successful CIS program since 2000, Carleton's loss in the National semi-finals highlighted some areas of concern that ultra-competitive Head Coach Dave Smart is sure to try to address in the coming seasons. The Ravens play from their back court decision makers was, by Carleton standards, inconsistent at key points in games and especially when compared to the stellar leadership that Rob Smart, Osvaldo Jeanty, Aaron Doornekamp and Stuart Turnbull provided when they each ran the team. No doubt that injuries had an influence over this however last season Carleton lacked the multi-dimensional go-to guy who could make big shots, create for others and take care of the ball on the perimeter on a consistent, championship basis - the current veteran group consisting of 6'5" Cole Hobin, 5'11" Mike Kenny and 5'10" Willy Manigat compares very favorably with any group in the country but has not yet performed at the championship level of recent other Raven leaders. Kenny especially appeared to hobble through last season and being less than one-hundred percent physically likely affected his ability shoot the ball with the consistency the Ravens have come to expect from his first three seasons. This coming season's group will have only one player (Kenny) with more than one CIS championship ring (he has a pair) while about half the projected 12 player roster will be looking for their first ring. However, bringing up these small chinks in the armour is probably knit-picking because it is certainly expected that the Ravens will be a Top 3 type team, especially with the addition of another strong recruiting class, beginning with 6'3" blue chipper Phil Scrubb, who was a steady contributor for Canada's Jr. National team this summer and will likely be plugged into the Ravens rotation immediately. As has been the norm for over a decade, Smart brought in arguably the top player in the Nation's Capital area in 6'6" Devon Steadman (Ottawa Glebe) who missed last season with a knee injury. When healthy, Steadman has the size and skill set to have the ball in his hands inside and out at key points in games. Unfortunately, Steadman suffered yet another injury setback, hurting his knee again in the last week and his status for this coming season and possibly his career is again uncertain. Another two recruits from the Ottawa area should compete for roster spots in the first 12: 6'2" point guard Gavin Resch from Orleans St. Matthew's and 6'1" Mehdi Tihani from Ottawa Colonel By. Both Resch and Tihani were starters on the Ottawa Guardsmen provincial championship team from this past season. Resch is a high school teammate of Ravens Rookie-of-the-Year Tyson Hinz. With a healthy Kenny in his fifth season, arguably the top defender in the CIS in Hobin and the athletic Manigat leading the way, the Ravens should again compete for the seventh CIS championship in the Dave Smart era.

NCAA Division 1 Matchups: Carleton gets the pre-season started next Friday night August 13th at the Raven's Nest in the first of three up-coming games vs. NCAA Division 1 teams when the Ravens host New Mexico State Aggies, who were eliminated in the first round of last season's NCAA tournament after a tough 3 point loss to national power Michigan State Spartans. In that game, Aggies rising 6'8" junior forward Troy Gillenwater scored a team-high 17 points along with 11 rebounds. The Aggies lose only 2 of their top 8 rotation players coming into this season. New Mexico State also features three Canadians on their roster including starting point guard 6'1" Hernst Laroche (from Vanier College who I believe is related to Concordia's Evens Laroche), ex-Hamilton Cathedral Gael 6'5" Tyrone Watson and incoming freshman 6'4" combo guard Christian Kabongo from Toronto's Central Commerce S.S.

In late August, (Saturday 28th), the Ravens host Maine Black Bears at Raven's Nest. one of five games in six days in Canada for Maine. The Black Bears feature a pair of Canadians from Canada Basketball's now-defunct National Elite Development Academy in 6'7" Murphy Burnatowski and 6'9" Mike Allison, both entering their sophomore seasons. Burnatowski, from Waterloo, ON, started 25 of 30 games for the Bears as a freshman, averaging 21.8 mpg and 6.4 ppg while finishing third on Maine in three-pointers made. Allison, son of legendary Canadian baller Wayne Allison (circa 1970's), made one start last season and overall averaged 12.6 mpg, finishing third on the team in blocked shots. Maine returns 11 players and four starters from the 2009-10 squad that finished third in the America East Conference and had the third-most wins in school history with a record of 19-11.

Continuing a tradition developed over the past decade or so, Carleton plays another high Division 1 opponent, this time from the Big East as Mick Cronin's Cincinnati Bearcats come to Canada on September 4th, Labour Day weekend at Scotiabank Place. The Bearcats consistently feature above-the-rim athletes and play an entertaining, up-tempo style. This is Cronin's second visit to Canada for pre-season basketball, previously venturing north as Head Coach of Murray State Racers about 5 years ago.

All three teams also play several other CIS schools during their trips to Canada. Here is the complete look at all CIS vs. NCAA basketball "Border Wars".


Anonymous said...

Is Elliot Thompson not part of the Ravens team for the coming year

Anonymous said...

I heard that Smart had a big, talented kid he was hoping would come in this year as a new post.
Can't remember his first name off hand but he is the son of former Ravens' football coach Gary Shaver.
Apparently, he played in one of those showcase games that recruiters flock to and he really looked good.
As a result, he got an offer from an American prep school which he accepted, and now seems all but certainly NCAA bound.
From what I have been told, this development is a big setback for Smart.
The kid is very skilled and had lots of upside.
Smart had him pegged as the heir apparent to McCleery.
If Steadman doesn't pan out, Smart has Chapman and Hinz,
Neither is what one would call a true post.
Chapman improved a lot last year but he'll have to step it up even more to help overcome McCleery's departure.
Hinz will be fine...he just needs to fill out a little more, get stronger.
Smendziuk gives the Ravens muscle inside, though whatever scoring he can provide will be a bonus.

Mark Wacyk said...

Elliot Thompson is back; we will have a more comprehensive preview of all teams as the regular season draws nearer. Justin Shaver has committed to Carleton and is scheduled to start his career in time for the 2011-12 season.

Anonymous said...

Any further updates on Devon Steadman's injury?
I am pretty certain that Justin Shaver will spend the upcoming season at a US prep school.
That doesn't necessarily mean he won't head to Carleton next year,
but I would think he'd get some offers stateside.
Is his father employed by CU?
If so, he could go to Carleton tuition free.
Certainly, going to prep exposes him to a level of competition that he wouldn't find if he played HS ball in Ottawa.

Anonymous said...

I dont believe Gary Shaver is Justin Shaver's father therefore he wouldnt get his tuition for free.