Saturday, 4 September 2010

Cincinnati 87, Carleton 70

The Ravens were able to stay with Cincinnati until late in the second quarter, leading by 2 after a 9-0 run before watching the Bearcats finish the half on 14-2 run to lead by 11 and then blasted out of the second half gate, knocking down 3's on their first four possessions within the first two minutes of the third quarter to blow the game wide open. 

Cincinnati's shooting during last night's game against McGill was inconsistent, especially early when the Redmen went underneath ball screens and Bearcats usually did not convert.  However it was much different tonight as 6'3" junior guard Dion Dixon knocked down several bombs including a transition 3 early in the second that took Cincy's lead to 17 with less than a minute gone by in the third.  6'11" senior forward Ibrahima Thomas put the icing on the cake with consecutive 3's of his own as the Cats had leads as large as 23.  Dixon and 6'0" Cashmere Wright were terrific off the dribble for Cincinnati as well and the Bearcats had simply too much size and length inside for the Ravens.

Still, Carleton was able to stay in the game early with several excellent defensive series that created turnovers and tough shots, allowing the Ravens to hold a 25-23 lead midway through the second.  Cincy then took off on a 7-0 run that came about more in transition and off turnovers then being able to get free in the quarter court.  But in the second half, the Ravens effort defensively was poor, gaving away too many open looks and Cincinnati usually capitalized.

Carleton got a solid effort from 6'6" third year wing Dan Penner who continues to display much confidence on the offensive end, both inside and out.  Penner can put the ball on the deck and create against bigger, slower guys - his penetrate and kick to 6'3" Elliott Thompson early in the second quarter ignited a nice Raven's run which allow the hosts to grab a lead.  6'6" Cole Hobin was in the middle of most solid defensive possessions for Carleton but continues to seek consistency with his offense.  6'3" freshman Phil Scrubb flashed some of his offensive potential with a couple of perimeter jumpers including a three and a couple of slick takes to the rim but did so when the result was pretty much decided.  Scrubb has offensive skills and will become very difficult to guard as he adds muscle to his frame.

All in all, with only 3 games in the books - all against superior athletic teams - the current version of the Ravens seems to lack that collective unrelenting edge on the defensive end and on the glass that characterized their best teams and does not yet have that go-to creator/scorer that consistently creates advantages off the dribble or double teams in the post to set up Carleton's perimeter game. 

Cincinnati finishes their Labour Day weekend tour of Ottawa with a match against the uOttawa Gee-Gees tomorrow afternoon at Montpetit Hall in the CIS coaching debut of James Derouin.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I thought there were many positives in the game against the Bearcats for Carleton. After playing very little his freshman year and redshirting last year, I thought Dan Penner did not look at all out of place against Cincinnati. The Scrubb Bros. look good, especially true freshman Philip. Mike Kenny had by far his best game but he can be better. The problem with Kenny is he is not a true PG, even though he has started at that position since Stu Turnbull graduated. For the most part, he is an adequate PG, but IMO would be much more effective as a 2 or shooting guard. Perimeter shooting is what he does best, but only when he is set up for a shot. He can't create his own shot like Manigat can. Far be it for me to tell Dave Smart what to do, but I would like to see Manigat and Philip Scrubb handle the PG with Kenny and Elliot Thompson at the 2 spot. Then, I think you'll see the 3pt shooting % climb.
In assessing the team's performance thus far, one has to remember that good NCAA 1 programs with their superior size, reach, speed and overall athleticism will expose all of your weaknesses. More than anything else, these games serves as a teaching tool for the coaching staff.
The true test for Carleton will come mid Oct in the House Laughton tournament when the Ravens finally face CIS competition. If Carleton loses three in a row that weekend....well, then, we have something to worry about.