OTTAWA, Ont. — The Carleton Ravens have their sights set on a 15th men’s basketball national championship in 2019-20.
Two years ago, the Ravens had their seven-year title reign halted by the Ryerson Rams in the national semi-finals, but they still brought home a bronze medal. Last season, the Ravens got back into the winner’s circle with a convincing win over the previously unbeaten Calgary Dinos, 83-49.
Now, the Ravens have their sights set on a 15th title, but the team will look considerably different. Behind the bench will be Taffe Charles, who takes over for the legendary Dave Smart as he moved into the Director of Basketball Operations role. Charles previously coached the Ravens’ women’s basketball team, helping guide them to a national title of their own in 2017-18.
In terms of player personnel, Mitchell Wood, Emmanuel Owootoah, Mitch Jackson, and Troy Reid-Knight graduated from the program at the end of last season. Both Reid-Knight and Owootoah had experience playing in the NCAA, but their time with the Ravens led to a title.
Despite graduating four players from their championship team, the Ravens return their share of talent in 2019-20, and on Tuesday afternoon, they picked up yet another talented player who returns to Canada after a stint in the NCAA.
After two seasons in the NCAA with the Florida International Panthers in the Conference USA, Charles and the Ravens landed a commitment from 6’4” guard Cordell Veira on Tuesday afternoon, adding even more talent to what is already a loaded roster.
Veira took to his Twitter account on Tuesday to announce his commitment to the Ravens Nest.
Veira comes to the Ravens after two seasons in the NCAA with the Panthers, and the Etobicoke, Ontario native will have three years of eligibility remaining at Carleton. He should be immediately eligible in 2019-20, giving the Ravens another boost as they aim for another crown.
Last season with the Panthers, Veira saw the floor in 22 games, averaging 7.7 minutes of floor time. In his limited minutes, the 6’4” guard averaged 1.5 points and 1.0 rebounds per contest while shooting 41.4% (12-of-29) from the floor.
In 16 minutes of action on November 9th against the Johnson & Wales (FL) Wildcats, the Panthers’ second game of the season, Veira went for a season-high five points while matching his season best with four rebounds in the 117-47 win.
Against the Green Bay Phoenix in the Second Round of the 2019 CIT on March 26th, Veira played a season-high 17 minutes, recording four points as the Panthers’ season came to a close with a 98-68 defeat.
Veira played his high school basketball at the Toronto Basketball Academy, and he was coached by Adeel Sahibzada, who is now an Assistant Coach with the Daytona State Falcons.
The addition of Veira for the Ravens gives Charles and his staff another talented player who will give the team even more depth than it already had. Veira joins a roster that features the likes of Munis Tutu and Isiah Osborne, both of whom played in the NCAA, and Eddie Ekiyor, who was once a four-star forward and committed to the Xavier Musketeers.
Add in other potential returnees like Marcus Anderson, TJ Lall, Stanley Mayambo, and Yasiin Joseph, among others, and it’s easy to see why the Ravens will be early favourites to win their 15th title in 2019-20.
Veira and the Ravens get their season rolling on November 1st when they host the Waterloo Warriors.
– T. Bennett