Men's Basketball 2013 Outlook: Carleton Ravens

The Carleton Ravens finish off the OUA portion of this series, which will continue with RSEQ, AUS, and Canada West teams into next week.

Record: 7-1 conference (t-2nd, OUA East), 13-1 overall, +22.4 SRS (1st in CIS)

Offensive/Defensive Efficiency (CIS Rank): 127.9 ORtg (1st), 85.6 DRtg (3rd)

First half highlights:
  • Reigning Player of the Year/Basketball Robot Phil Scrubb continuing to break calculators everywhere.
  • Six wins by 28 points or more.
  • Shooting 19/34 from three in a 40-point win at Western.
First half recap: After an opening night dud against Windsor, where the Ravens lost their first game since 2011, Carleton has put up staggering offensive numbers against OUA West teams. Their mark of 127.9 points per 100 possessions is nearly 16 points better (!!!) than no. 2 Saskatchewan, and the fact that they've scored over 100 points three times while playing by far the country's slowest pace (69.6 possessions per game) tells you this is a scoring juggernaut. Seven straight wins to close the semester have the Ravens looking like they'll be back on track in 2013. Oh, and Phil Scrubb has a PER of 38.4 and a true shooting percentage of 73. Yikes.

What makes them good: A short list: (1) they shoot a LOT of threes (while making 43% as a team) and get to the line better than anyone except UBC, making their scoring output brutally efficient; (2) they don't turn it over (tied for a CIS low 16% turnover rate with Alberta and Lakehead) and are the best defensive rebounding team in the country (80%!), giving opponents few chances to score easy buckets; and (3) Phil Scrubb has once again separated himself from the field in the Player of the Year race.

Guarding the Ravens is a classic pick your poison. Phil Scrubb and Tyson Hinz both attract a lot of double teams and help, but they're so good at moving the ball they'll almost always make teams pay with open shots. Seriously, these offensive numbers are insane.

What they need to improve on: It's hard to look at this team and find something to improve on, but as Windsor showed, there's a reason why they play the games. Perhaps shooting 36.4% like they did in that loss is an anomaly for this team, but it's always possible. One thing to consider, and I'm reaching here: with Carleton playing the country's slowest pace, an opponent that likes to push the tempo and rebounds well could, with a little luck, be a problem. If everything comes together — Carleton shoots 45% instead of 50%, the other team makes its free throws and gets some offensive rebounds — we could be in for an upset.

Goals/Outlooks/Scenarios: Anything less than a national title is once again a disappointment for Dave Smart's team. With Ottawa and Ryerson both looking strong, there's more competition for Carleton in the OUA East than in recent years, but it would take a massive upset for either of those (very good) teams to knock off the Ravens.
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1 comment:

  1. Brian: Thanks for all the mid-season reviews. Interesting stats--particularly the Ravens pace of play (lowest) coupled with their points per 100 possessions (highest). Where can I find those stats for other teams?