The Carleton Ravens entered Montpetit Hall in December with a big lead over the Ottawa Gee-Gees and saw it slip away late. Struggles at the line saw the Ravens fail to put the hosts away and a late dagger sealed an Ottawa comeback. On Friday night, in front of the biggest basketball regular season crowd of the U SPORTS season, Carleton will look to redeem themselves at the 2024 Capital Hoops Classic.
The Ravens are right in the thick of a tough OUA East Division, having won five of seven games in 2024. Despite having a roster with as many as six rookies regularly shuffling through the team's rotation the Ravens are quickly starting to make an impact in the OUA.
Facing the number one ranked Gee-Gees, the Ravens' offence is up to the task. Carleton's 80.0 points per game is just 1.3 behind Ottawa. Veteran Brock Newton will be a handful for the Ravens, he leads the Gee-Gees into Friday night with 16.4 points per game while Justin Ndjock-Tadjore will pose a threat in transition.
Carleton will look to their youth to keep pace with the Gee-Gees. Xavier Spencer leads Carleton on the floor with 15.1 points per game. What's more impressive is that Spencer now holds three of the top five single-game performances by a Ravens' rookie coming off a career-high 27 points last Saturday against Waterloo. Spencer is just 56 points behind Canadian National Team player Lloyd Pandi for the all-time rookie points record of 303.
Around Spencer is an athletic mix of returning players and rookies who are poised to make their mark on the Capital Hoops legacy. Rookie Augustas Brazdeikis and veteran transfer Noah Horobetz Simpson will make their debut in the front court with Emanuelle Milon, Emanuel Ugbah and Reggie Jean-Seraphin while Wazir Latiff is the veteran among a young group of guards including Aubrey Dorey-Havens and Daniel Smith.
Smith and Brazdeikis are both in the top 10 for rebounds by a rookie while Noah Horobetz Simpson is closing in on legends like Aaron Doornekamp and Thomas Scrubb in the Ravens' top 5 single-season rebounds list with 156. Horobetz Simpson enters Friday 6th in U SPORTS in total rebounds and 2nd in the entire country on the offensive glass. At 60.7% from the field Horobetz Simpson could play a key role for Carleton if they want to retain their Cap Hoops title.