The biggest rivalry in U SPORTS basketball returns to The Arena at TD Place on Friday night with a pair of Top 10 matchups between the Carleton Ravens and uOttawa Gee-Gees.
The entire rivalry series could be on the line in the second game of Friday's doubleheader. Entering competition Friday, uOttawa leads 2-1 at TD Place this season, a record the Ravens basketball teams hope to flip to 3-2 by night's end. After the women's game, the court will flip over for one of the most heated rivalries in Canada when the Ravens and Gee-Gees meet in the 16th Capital Hoops Classic.
Led by a small contingent of veterans, a younger than average Carleton Ravens team has shown versatility and depth this season battling through injuries in a talented OUA East to remain ranked #2 in Canada. Led by reigning Athlete of the Week Aiden Warnholtz (Kanata, Ont.) the Ravens trifecta of guards - which also includes Connor Vreeken (Kingston, Ont.) and Wazir Latiff (Vaughan, Ont.) - is as deep as any backcourt in U SPORTS. Add to that the impressive play of fifth-year forward Grant Shephard and the Ravens are tough to stop.
With Shephard's third-rated rebounds per game (10.2) to go along with his 15.1 points per game, Shephard is a double-double threat who has proven challenging to stop inside. When teams attempt to shut down the Ravens' power forward the Ravens go deep. Powered by two of the most accurate three-point shooters in Vreeken and Marjok Okado (Calgary, Alta.) and top-ten three-point scorers Warnholtz and Latiff the Ravens have the weapons to face the Gee-Gees hot shooters.
With veteran Guillaume Pepin and second-year guard Cole Newton, the Gee-Gees will offer a shooting challenge that is first in the league in made threes. Shooting 34.5% from beyond the arc, the Gee-Gees have made 189 threes this year and aren't afraid to shoot out the lights.
Whether the game comes down to the wire inside or is a shootout on the outside, fans at TD Place are guaranteed another classic battle between these two crosstown rivals when the two teams collide Friday at the Capital Hoops Classic.