'09-10 opening tip: No. 1 Carleton Ravens

  • Top 100 returnees: C-F Kevin McCleery (5th), G Mike Kenny (22nd)
  • Other key returnees: G Elliot Thompson, F-G Cole Hobin, G Luke Chapman, F Kyle Smendziuk
  • Newcomers: F Tyson Hinz, G Willy Manigat (last played at Ottawa in 2006-07), G Greg Faulkner
  • Coach: Dave Smart (10th season)
  • Offence and defence: 118, 85 (+33)
  • Last year's results: 36-1 overall, won national championship, 1st in RPI
  • Looking ahead: Smart has said from the outset this is a "talented dangerous team, the kind which scares both coaches." In a testament to their share-the-ball ways, the Ravens return 57% of scoring, a high figure for a team which graduated two all-Canadians who were capable of scoring 30 points when needed.

    The big X factors could be how quickly Hobin and Thompson adjust to expanded roles and how well Carleton executes offensively and defensively without the Kingston Trio. Although it can only be answered internally, leadership comes into question with Messrs. Doornekamp, Saunders and Turnbull's chemistry having graduated.

    One possible trouble spot for Carleton is that their opponents tended to get a lot of free-throw shots, a product of playing the percentages on defence and making teams earn their points. It's forgotten now, but when Stu Turnbull hit The Shot to beat Western in the national semifinal, Aaron Doornekamp had fouled out; foul trouble also contributed to the double-OT loss to Acadia in the '08 semi.

    That being said, this is still a very good team which has an entire season to build up to hosting the CIS Final 8 in March. They have the luxury of learning from mistakes and should be ready when the bell tolls. Six national titles buys some benefit of the doubt!
Rob's explanation of Top 100 players by Player Efficiency Ratings (PER) and Net Efficiency may be found in the women's preview.
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