Thursday, August 23, 2007


A Carleton-style little play helped keep Canada afloat early in the second half of a stirring 80-73 win over Venezuela at the FIBA Americas tourney tonight.

(It's Leo Rautins' first international win as coach -- a modest start on a long road.)

Dave Smart's Ravens always seem adept at going after a long offensive rebound and swatting the ball out to the perimeter to reset their offence. It's got them more than a few second-chance three-pointers that have broken an opponent's will, even though it's not even noted in the boxscore. Tonight, Canada and Venezuela were tied 37-37 just after the half when Jesse Young got his hand on the ball after and tapped it out to Carl English, who swished one of his four threes. On the next trip, English paid Young back with a nice bounce pass for a fast-break layup to give Leo Rautins' team a five-point edge.

That wasn't the whole game, obviously, but it was neat seeing one of Carleton's hustle plays make its way into the national team's reportoire. (Of course, even a dunce like me can notice that they're running some of Smart's system.) That five-point swing set up Canada to take Venezuela's best shots for the rest of the quarter and early part of the fourth without falling out of contention. It wasn't an A-plus effort.

They scored 12 of the last 15 points over the last 2:25 after Samuel Dalembert made a game-saving play when he used one of his Inspector Gadget arms to block what looked to be a sure layup by Venezuela's Luis Bethelmy. Dalembert (18 points) finished inside on the next two possessions. Jermaine Anderson, who had a tough miss on a driving layup that would have put Canada up by 7 late in the third quarter (Venezuela drew a third foul on Dalembert seconds later and started to take over the game), closed it out by scoring the final six points on his way to 17 for the game.

Canada had five guys score at least eight points (including English with 14 and Young with 10). Each one heated up for short stretches, which is another Carleton hallmark. Ravens guard Ryan Bell's seven-minute shift in the first half also coincided with an 8-0 Canadian run. So far he's played 20 minutes in the tournament without turning the ball over once. Best of luck, meantime, to Osvaldo Jeanty as he embarks on playing in Germany.

(UPDATE: The Syracuse Post-Standard's Mike Waters reports that Andy Rautins will miss the entire season.)

Jeanty signs deal to play in Germany (Martin Cleary, Ottawa Citizen; via

That's all for now. Send your thoughts to

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