So Impressive, So Overwhelming !

 

The Scrubb brothers (Phil, L, Thomas, R)  and their Carleton teammates celebrate their 2015 CIS Championship

The Scrubb brothers (Phil, L, Thomas, R) and their Carleton teammates celebrate their 2015 CIS Championship

 

Carleton Reign Supreme – 5th Straight Championship

 Carleton  93   Ottawa  46 –  As we all watch the Carleton Ravens systematically and emphatically dismantle the Ottawa Gee-Gees, we realize just how thoroughly this Ravens team dominates Canadian University basketball.  As a fan of the Gee-Gees, or any other team hoping to compete with and defeat Carleton, you are both dismayed and maybe even disgusted with ‘your boys’.

Your hopes are dashed, your team flailing away ineffectively, with that look in their eyes telling us they know they are not going to escape the avalanche. If you were the Nipissing Lakers, then maybe you’re happy just to be there in the OUA, and rub shoulders with the perennial champions in your League . But, on Sunday, in the National Final, we have the ambitious, ascendant Ottawa team, with the 2015 CIS Player of the Year, Johnny Berhanemeskel, and guided by James Derouin, the Coach of the Year.  Ottawa had one of the 2 wins by a CIS team over the Ravens this year, and, in a pre-tournament poll, were favoured by about 60% of respondents to win this Championship, and stop the Carleton string of 4 straight wins.

Phil Scrubb's 28 points led the Ravens  past a stunned Ottawa team.

Phil Scrubb’s 28 points led the Ravens past a stunned Ottawa team.

Well, not so fast, Ottawa !  The Ravens laid waste to Saskatchewan in round 1 –  then dispatched Victoria, who were actually within just 9 points in the Semi-final.  It was suggested by the announcing crew, among others, that Carleton may not have appreciated the ‘early coronation of the Pretenders’, with the laying – on of hardware to the rival coach and star at Wednesday’s CIS Awards.  5th year Ravens’ guard, Phil Scrubb, who was the POY in the 3 previous seasons, and Dave Smart, the many -time National Coach of the Year had, in concert with the rest of the Carleton team, prepared themselves for this much anticipated all-Ottawa match-up as only they can.

From the outset, it was Carleton on the front foot, first to the ball, making the right pass, hitting the shots, and making life generally unpleasant for Ottawa with their swarming, suffocating defense.  Berhanemeskel, who had played so well in similar circumstances last season and this, had no room to operate, and he was 1/7 from the floor late in the opening 20 minutes (1/10 at the end … 8 points). Meanwhile, Phil Scrubb were scoring inside and out, with 16 at the half. It looked bleak for the Ponies and their hopeful but relatively subdued fans.

The seminal moments of this deciding game came in the first 3-4 minutes of the 3rd quarter, with the analysts reaffirming the necessity for Ottawa to stand fast, to mount a come-back, and ‘chip away’ at the Ravens margin. Instead, it was Connor Wood, Victor Raso, and Guillaume Boucard, and then Thomas Scrubb who all poured in shot after shot as the lead swelled to 30 points (57-27) so swiftly that we were stunned by the onslaught.  The frustration for a crestfallen Ottawa team boils over as Coach Derouin makes an ignominious exit after a regrettable 2nd technical foul.  With his team shooting 25% from the floor, Moe Ismail, in 13 minutes off the bench, is the Gee-Gees high man with 10 points.  Box Score

Phil Scrubb scores 28/ 10 assists, Connor Wood, 21, and Thomas Scrubb,  20 pts/ 12 rebs/ 7 assists, with the team at 56% from the floor and 52% from 3 point range!  The Ravens celebration looks most familiar, as they raise the W.P. McGee Trophy for the 5th straight March, and the 12th time in the past 15 seasons.  They graduate star players again this year, as the Scrubb brothers join former Ravens pillars including Phil Larmand, Osvaldo Jeanty, and Tyson Hinz.  The constant, of course, is Dave Smart, surely now the widely acknowledged ‘Greatest Coach Ever’ in the history of Canadian University Basketball. Nobody matches his intensity, fervour, the depth of preparation, and the unabashed conviction of the way he wants his team to play the game.

For now, the Ravens rule the game like no team ever has.  Perhaps the question is not why can’t someone else build a program to compete, but maybe, when might Coach Smart be content with this dynasty, and move on to other challenges. (Not that we’re suggesting he should, or certainly that we might even prefer that he do that … the man is a beacon for excellence, and we are fortunate to have seen his genius in our generation.)

It’s not like James Derouin, Craig Beaucamp (UVic), Barry Rawlyk (Saskatchewan),  and all the other CIS coaches aren’t trying their utmost.  It’s just that Mount Carleton seems so high, and looks, at this point, so unassailable. Hail to the Ravens ! Champions that they are.

 

Rams Win 3rd Place Over Victoria 

Ryerson 82  Victoria 68 – Although the Ryerson Rams fell short in their quest to play for a National title on their home floor, they got some consolation from a solid win over the Victoria Vikes in the 3rd place game on Sunday.  Sparking a withering 2nd half assault by the home team,  Jahmal Jones comes back to hit the shots he was missing in the semi-final loss, as he scores 25 points/ 6 rebs/ 8 assists, and Adika Peter-McNeilly adds 21 points for the Rams.  In his last game for the Vikes, Chris McLaughlin, who is playing this tournament in his native S. Ontario, scores a 22 pt/ 14 rebound double.  Box Score.

 

Overtime – 

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  • We note that UBC is already pumping up the interest for their hosting of next year’s Final 8 Tournament at the new Mitchell Centre on their campus in Vancouver.  The T-Birds will get a host’s berth in that tournament, and, you can be sure that Coach Kevin Hanson will be busy ‘reassembling’ his roster for the 2015-16 season, after he loses Tommy Nixon, Brylle Kamen, and Andrew McGuinness to graduation.
  • Calgary Dinos recruit, Torrez McKoy of MBCI in Winnipeg.

    Calgary Dinos recruit, Torrez McKoy of MBCI in Winnipeg.

  • The Calgary Dinos have signed Winnipeg high school player,  Torrez McKoy, a 6-0, ‘lead guard’ , from the Mennonite Bretheren Collegiate Institute.  McKoy was a 1st team all-star as his Manitoba Provincial Team won the Canadian Juvenile Championship  (U17) last summer.  Dinos fans will only hope he has nearly the impact on the program than did outgoing All-Canadian, Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson, another Winnipeg product.

 

4 thoughts on “So Impressive, So Overwhelming !

  1. Carleton blew out Ottawa in a very surprisingly noncompetitive game after the first ten minutes but why did the Scubb Brothers play almost the entire game (39 & 37 minutes)- what was the point? The game was well in hand but it is what it is. Carleton was on another level once again this season but with the departure of the Scrubb Brothers- will it continue? The OUA captured all 3 CIS Final 8 medals (Ottawa Silver, Ryerson Bronze).

    UVic came up 1 quarter short of a Bronze medal againnst Ryerson. Chris McLaughlin will be missed next season at UVic after a very productive CIS career. Pro ball next? Grant Sitton looked really good at the Final 8- starter next season?

    Can UBC build a CIS championship contending roster over the off-season? It’ll be real interesting to follow who UBC adds to their roster for their Final 8 CIS championship hosting season. Two names rumored to be headed to UBC for 2015/16 are 6’10 Tristan Etienne (WJ Mouat/Washington Huskies), 6’5 Justin King (Thompson Rivers/Vancouver Island). Also, the versatile 6’8 Harpreet Randhawa (Columneetza HS/Douglas College) will be in the mix. Will 6’7 big man Luka Zaharijevic (Kitsilano HS) make an impact in his 3rd season at UBC?

  2. Also, UBC will have the services of 6’7 Will Ondrik a Canada West veteran who transferred from TRU but redshirted in 2014-15.

  3. As to why the Scrubbs were left in so long after it was obviously over?
    Well, the prevailing thinking is since Derouin didn’t pull Johnny B and other starters off either Smart just let them stay in.
    Still, I was disappointed he didn’t do it much sooner.
    It was, after all, 71-38 after 3 quarters.
    Also I was extremely disappointed with the uber beatdown…I was expecting and hoping for a competitive game.
    Hard to believe after watching this debacle that Ottawa actually beat Carleton just two months ago.
    The subsequent rematch at CTC went to Carleton but ‘only’ by 13 points.
    Truthfully, as great as the Scrubbs have been (and they’ve been magnificent) they really have taken the fun out of CIS basketball.
    Carleton’s average winning margin the last five championship’s is 28.7 points.
    During the Oz Jeanty 5 year run it was 7 points.
    Hopefully with their graduation the Ravens will become somewhat vulnerable.
    Because winning lots of championships is great for Carleton, it has been killing interest in the CIS for years.

  4. BTW, it is actually 11 titles the past 13 years for Carleton.
    Smart has been at the helm for 16 years.
    He is very close to 500 CIS wins standing currently at 493.
    But it is the fact he has lost just 45 CIS games in all that time that is truly mind boggling.
    24 of those losses occurred in his first three seasons.
    The Ravens have lost just 21 times since 2002-2003, less than two games per season.
    The 11 titles the Ravens have won is more than the entire total for the AUS conference combined.

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