Simple Answer, It’s the Coach !

 

Ravens' Coach Dave Smart, in a typical pose.  A sense of urgency, and a drive for perfection.

Ravens’ Coach Dave Smart, in a typical pose. A sense of urgency, and a drive for perfection.

Why Does Carleton Keep on Winning ?

They have a Coach who is unlike any other in the CIS.  That’s the simple, and maybe the best explanation.  Dave Smart is driven, very well informed in coaching theory and practice, organized to the nth degree, and, most significantly, exacting in his quest for mistake-free play from his Ravens team.

Carleton's 'other Scrubb brother' was announced as the Ravens' Athlete of the Year!

Carleton’s ‘other Scrubb brother’, Thomas,  was announced as the Ravens’ Athlete of the Year!            photo- Ravens Athletics

Coach Smart develops players;  Thomas Scrubb, notably, was not a finished product when he arrived at the CU campus in Ottawa. The Vancouver-trained Scrubb was not, in contrast to his younger brother Phil, a starter and an all-star right out of the wrapper as a freshman. He played 10 mins/game, and averaged 3 pts/ 2 rebs.  But, like so many players Smart and his staff have ‘coached-up’ , Thomas became one the CIS’ very best.  Thomas was just awarded the Athlete of the Year at Carleton for 2014-15.

 

That’s the secret.  Carleton works year-round at getting their players developing the skills, both mental and physical.  There are no excuses, no let-up, and no time when your performance can be less than properly executed.  They are, indeed, losing some exceptional performers in the two Scrubbs, as well as shooting guard Victor Raso, but to expect the Ravens to slide too far down in the OUA or CIS power grid would be a mistake. They still have the Chief and Commander!

That may seem simple, but, obviously, Dave Smart does it differently and better than any of his coaching counter-parts.  And now, he also has the luxury of being able to choose the top talent from across the country.  Already this Spring, the Ravens have signed Ryan Ejim, a 6-6 transfer from York, who averaged 23 mins/ 14 ppg/ and 8 rebounds , Stanley Mayambo, a 6-2 point man from Fredericton, NB, William Kohler, a 6-9 forward from Winnipeg.  Our guess would be , that if Coach Smart is still at the helm, these guys may play for one of the future Carleton teams to lift the CIS Championship trophy.

For an interesting discussion of the state of affairs in the CIS read more  in this Ottawa Citizen article by Gord Holder.

 

More CIS Recruiting News –

In Canada West –

Alberta –  Cole Knudsen 6-7  Fwd from Barrhead, AB

Calgary – Torrez McKoy 6 -0 guard,  Grande Pointe, MB/MBCI

Mt. Royal – Nate Wall, 6-6 wing, Okotoks, AB,  Holy Trinity ;  Tyis Yellowhorn, 6-4 guard, Plikani Nation, Chestermere, AB

MacEwan – Chris Mooney, 6-3 point, Ottawa, transfer from NAIT

Winnipeg – Will Sesay, 6-3 guard, Winnipeg, Oak Park HS; Kieran McGrath, 6-4 fwd, Winnipeg, Glenlawn

Regina – Stephen Shields, 6-7 fwd, Brandon, tsf (volleyball) Keyano College

Saskatchewan – Devin Wittow, 6-6 fwd, Leduc HS, AB

UNBC – Anthony Hokanson,  6-4 wing, Vancouver, Kitsilano Sr.

Thompson R. – Jeff Tubbs, 6-2 point, Kelowna, Mt. Boucherie

UBC – Roger Milne, 6-8 fwd, Winnipeg, Oak Park HS; Taylor Browne, 6-3 guard, Surrey, B.C., Holy Cross; also, our ‘correspondent on the W. Coast’, Ice Man, reminds us tha 6-7 will Ondrik will suit up for the ‘Birds, afe

Victoria – Jason Scully, 6-5 fwd, Victoria, St. Michael’s;  Josh Charles, 6-5 fwd, Duncan, B.C., Cowichan Sr.

Elsewhere –

We note …   Zach Usherwood, 5-11 guard, Coquitlam, B.C. , who played at Thompson Rivers, is transferring to UPEI … that 6-6, Stefan Grujic, Regina, Leboldus (#1 ranked HS team in Saskatchewan) signed at York U.  … the brothers Cam and Ben Redl, both 6-7, from Yorkton, SK, transfer to New Brunswick

 

Overtime –

  •   The latest signing for the Winnipeg Wesmen lives just down the way from the UW campus, but Will Sesay, recently voted as Manitoba’s 2015 HS Player of the year,  went to high school at Oak Park, a 1 hour bus ride away.  More on Sesay, who is the younger brother of Junior Sesay, who plays at UVic, in this Winnipeg Sun article by Kirk Penton.
  •   UVic Coach Craig Beaucamp,  noting the power in Ontario basketball, and the  difficulties in matching that for Canada West schools, “We have a challenge in Canada West by the number of teams we have now [17] and getting the quality [players] needed to field [strong teams],” noted Beaucamp. –   “The OUA [Ontario conference] is deep and athletic,” said Beaucamp.  “It definitely had most of the strength in the country this year. But never mind the CIS, most of the Canadians going south [to the U.S. collegiate NCAA] are also from Ontario.”  From a Victoria Times-Colonist article by Cleve Dheenshaw.
  • Editors note –  Recruiting is even more critical than fans can imagine.  Carleton’s top 2 players, Phil and Tommy Scrubb, played for their Dad, Lloyd Scrubb, at Vancouver College, B.C.  Lloyd played for Ken Shields at U. Victoria , and won 3 CIS titles with the Vikes.  Losing the top players in their own home area is gut-wrenching for coaches, there in B.C., or anywhere else across the country.  It is literally the life-blood of their program leaking away … a bit of a dramatic image there, but oh so true.
  • A close observer of OUA basketball, our correspondent ‘Maravich’ suggests, ” 
    Ravens as bullies ….

    Ravens as bullies ….

    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. ”   (Editor’s note – Yeah Ravens, for the sake of all the rest of the poor wretches in the CIS, knock it off, would you!)

  • In Europe –  We get a disappointing report that former Dinos star, Ross Bekkering,
    Janelle Bekkering, playing for Alberta U-17s before Gonzaga, before Europe.

    Janelle Bekkering, playing for Alberta U-17s before Gonzaga, before Europe.

    who is in his 5th year in The Netherlands, has sustained a hand injury which may keep him out of the imminent NBL playoffs.  Meanwhile, his younger sister  Janelle is preparing for play-offs with Cavigal team in Nice, France.  Not surprisingly, ‘Super-Dad’, Simon Bekkering , will be traveling to Nice this Spring ! More CIS athletes every year are going overseas to play pro basketball.  In the semi-pro ranks, Coach Eddie Richardson tells us that the Calgary Crush of the ABA are in Seattle this weekend, in the opening round of League playoffs.  The Crush have a line-up full of CIS grads, including UC’s Tyler Fidler, Ottawa’s Jermaine Campbell,  Christian Upshaw, St. FX, John Riad, Calgary, and Dom Coward, Lethbridge.