It has begun. The Canadian takeover of NCAA Division 1 Basketball. Last year it was Anthony Bennett and Kelly Olynk torching teams across the USA all season long, and this year we have some new candidates ready to continue the invasion. The most obvious Canadian balling south of the border right now is of course Andrew Wiggins, however there are many other names worth paying attention too this season - especially by the time March rolls around. Here are the leaders of Canada's next generation of basketball. You heard it here first.
- STATS: Andrew Wiggins - Kansas - G/F- Freshman 16.4 PPG, 1.2 APG, 6.1 RPG
- Player Talents: Everything. Freak athlete, great instincts, unlimited potential, likely #1 overall pick in June's NBA Draft barring any setbacks.
- Team's Tourny Hopes: Very strong. Bill Self is an experienced coach & Wiggins is surrounded by talent. Youth may be the only thing holding his team back from a Final Four appearance.
- STATS: Melvin Ejim - Iowa St. - F - Senior 18.7 PPG, 2.0 APG, 7.7 RPG
- Player Talents: Shawn Marion type player. Always hustling, crashing the boards, and making plays. Ejim is a top player for a ranked Iowa State team - if he keeps up his play and has a strong tournament showing he may sneak onto an NBA roster next Fall.
- Team's Tourny Hopes: Very Good. Fred Hoiberg has turned the Cyclones into a consistent winner in only a few years. Unless they suffer some major injuries or a big letdown during their conference schedule Iowa State will be dancing in March.
- STATS: Olivier Hanlan - Boston College - G - SO 19.9 PPG, 3.5 APG, 4.1 RPG
- Player Talents: Great handle and ability to create for others as well as himself. Good size, athleticism, and shooting form make him an intriguing NBA prospect. The reigning ACC Freshman of the Year needs to develop his PG skills in order to make the next level.
- Team's Tourny Hopes: Poor. Boston College is a weak team in a good conference. Hanlan may be talented but unfortunately he doesn't have much to work with in Boston and it's a one man show.
- STATS: Nick Stauskas - Michigan - G - SO 18.9 PPG, 3.3 APG, 3.5 RPG
- Player Talents: Excellent footwork. Great away from ball movement and utilizing screens. Deadly 3pt Shooter. Under-rated athlete and playmaker. Great College player - but sharpshooters are a dime a dozen in the NBA.
- Team's Tourny Hopes: Very strong. Following a great run in last years Tournament the Wolverines return many key pieces from last years squad. Although young, Michigan has enough experience to make the Sweet 16 this year.
- STATS: Dwight Powell - Stanford - F - JR 15.1 PPG, 3.9 APG, 7.0 RPG
- Player Talents: Efficient Scorer from both the High and Low Post. Good size and athleticism makes him a potential NBA draft pick based on his performance this season.
- Team's Tourny Hopes: Average. Playing in a super competitive conference Stanford could upset some big dogs during their season and impress the NCAA selection committee enough to earn them a high seed come March.
- STATS: Kevin Pangos - Gonzaga - G - JR 13.6 PPG, 4.3 APG, 3.1 RPG
- Player Talents: Winner. Clutch. Ball Handling. Knockdown Shooter. 90% From the foul line. Lacks size and athletic ability to make it to the next level but is a great college PG.
- Team's Tourny Hopes: Very Strong. Gonzaga is top dog in their weak conference therefore they are almost assured a spot in the NCAA tournament every March. The question is where will they be seeded as they do not play a very competitive schedule.
- STATS: Jordan Bachynski - Arizona St - C - SR 12.7 PPG, 0.7 APG, 9.67 RPG
- Player Talents: 7-2 with decent foot speed and co-ordination. Shot blocker and great interior defender. Capable scorer from low post. Could be a 2nd round pick in NBA draft based on his height alone.
- Team's Tourny Hopes: Average. The opportunity is there for the Sun Devils are they play in one of the leagues best conferences however they may lack the talent to put up many significant wins, let alone win their conference to secure a tourny bid.
- STATS: Khem Birch - UNLV - F - JR 11.1 PPG, 1.4 APG, 10.1 RPG
- Player Talents: Great leaping ability allows him to block shots and get a fair share of putbacks. Not great shooting or ball handling so he depends on his superior athleticism to make his impact.
- Team's Tourny Hopes: Below Average. Losing Anthony Bennett and a few other key components from last years Tourny squad the Runnin' Rebels are unlikely to make the tournament as they are an average team playing in a tough conference.
- STATS: Daniel Mullings - New MexicoSt - G- JR 17.7 PPG, 3.5 APG, 3.8 RPG
- Player Talents: Flashy two guard with good athleticism. Lacks discipline and consistency to make it to the next level but sure is fun to watch.
- Team's Tourny Hopes: Above Average. NMST is the most talent team in a weak conference barring upset they should win their conference and recieve an automatic bid to the NCAA Tourny.
Thanks for reading folks. Stay Tuned for more on these and other Canadian Ballers putting in work.
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