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2013 Canadian Junior Men’s National Team roster finalized + players analysis & more

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Toronto, ON – (BasketballBuzz) – Head Coach Roy Rana and his staff have announced the names of the final twelve young Canadians that will be tasked with the responsibility of bringing home a medal at the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championships in Prague, Czech Republic.

Led by 2014 Top prospect Trey Lyles and Syracuse Orange Freshmen Tyler Ennis, the 2013 Canadian Junior Men’s National team has the potential to come out of a tough Group A, where it will play Spain, Korea, Croatia and potentially challenge for a medal.

The finalized roster is well rounded with talent at the point guard position, multiple options on the wing, that can attack, shoot it, and get at it defensively. The forwards offer up an interchangeable group that features enough finesse, athleticism and raw talent to clean up the boards and compete with world’s more experienced teams.

You would be hard pressed to find a better staff to lead this group of players. Head Coach <b>Roy Rana</b> is amongst, if not, the hottest coach in Canada right now, and with his Ryerson Rams (CIS) program on the rise and his growing international experience, there’s little doubt that he is the right man for the job.

Assisting Rana will be Jamie McNeilly, Student-Athlete Development Specialist at Marquette University and Scott Morrison of the 2013 CIS Men’s Basketball finalist, Lakehead Thunderwolves. Mentoring this extremely talented group of young coaches is Steve Kolchalski, Canada’s Coach “K” and former Head Coach of the Senior Men’s National Team.

Below is an individual look at each member of the roster, broken down by their respective positions including some additional insights regarding the exemption of a CIS based players.

2013 Canadian Junior Men’s National Team Final Roster

Point Guards

Tyler Ennis – (Guard/6-2, 180lbs, Brampton, ON – Freshman, Syracuse Orange)
Pure point guard with natural instincts, Ennis has played at the highest level of American High School basketball and has been throwing lobs to Andrew Wiggins for the past two years on the AAU circuit.  Solid rebounder with the necessary vision to find the open man on the break or take it to the tin for tough baskets.

Kaza Keane – (Guard/6-2, 185lbs, Ajax, ON – Sophomore, Illinois State Redbirds)
Keane will be the first logical choice off the bench to replace Ennis at the point guard spot. Keane comes from basketball family and his natural flair for the game and a pass first mentality is evident. Look for Keane to run the offense when Ennis is out or in foul trouble. Solid PG who will play more minutes this upcoming season with the Redbirds.

Guards

Duane Notice – (Guard/6-3, 195lbs, Woodbridge, ON – Freshman, South Carolina Gamecocks)
Proven player at all levels of play. Tremendous energy with the ability to impact the game on the defensive side of the ball. Notice was the MVP of the Red &amp; White game with 16 points and eight rebounds and should challenge for most minutes played each night.

Xavier Rathan-Mayes – (Wing/6-4, 180lbs, Scarborough, ON – Freshman, Florida State Seminoles)
Rathan-Mayes is a volume shooter that can change the outcome of a game with his shooting, leave him open and he will knock it down, eventually. Like Tyler Ennis, Rathan-Mayes has gone against the best in the AAU circuit and played alongside Wiggins at Huntington Prep in West Virginia.

Manroop Clair – (Guard/6-2,170lbs, Vancouver, BC – Sophomore, Seattle RedHawks)
The best pure shooter on the roster, Clair is the only west coast selection and will be called upon to shoot the ball, where his unlimited range could be a key asset in the international game. Needs to improve physically and show more commitment on the defensive end, but overall, a guy like Clair is a must have for this type of competition.

Wings

Joe De Ciman – (Wing/6-5, 190lbs, Regina, SK – Sophomore, Colorado State Rams)
A physical specimen of the Wing, De Ciman should challenge for a starting spot, and should be in the mix and play a significant role for Canada, specially when Coach Rona decides to go to a smaller defensive oriented united unit. De Ciman was amongst the standouts in the Red &amp; White Game12 points and five rebounds.

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Mikyle McIntosh – (Wing/6-6, 230lbs, Pickering, ON – Freshman – Illinois State Redbirds)
Talented wing player who loves to get to the rim and is not afraid of contact. McIntosh will most likely have to show his improved shooting touch against FIBA rules and could be a solid contributor for the Canadians specially against less athletic teams in the preliminary rounds.

Forwards

Trey Lyles – (Forward/6-10, 210lbs, Saskatoon, SK –  Senior, Arsenal Technical HS)
Mr. Indiana basketball player of the year in 2012 will anchor the Canadians both inside and out. Lyles is currently one of the most highly recruited players in the Class of 2014, and for good reason. At 6-10 he has the finesse to hit the mid-range jumper and has the athleticism to get to the rack from the elbow as well. He put up 13 points and 9 rebounds in intra-squad scrimmage and was right up there with the best players in the world at the U18 championships where he and Wiggins help Canada qualify for the event.

Denzell Taylor – (Forward/6-9, 215lbs, Brampton, ON – Freshman, Old Dominion Monarchs)<
Hardworking forward who quietly goes about his business. Taylor fits in nicely with this group and will be counted upon to be active on both ends of the floor.

Agunwa Okolie – (Foward/6-8, 205lbs, Ajax, ON – Sophomore, Harvard Crimison Tide)
Okolie played sparingly for Harvard during his freshmen season and will look to take his NCAA March Madness experience and high basketball IQ to Prague in hopes that it will pay dividends for Canada. Great shot blocking ability for his size.

Marko Pirovic – (Forward/6-7, 215 lbs, Bolton, ON – Freshman, Maine Blackbears)
Pirovic has the ability to knock down the outside shot which will be key for a Canada as they space the floor and allow Lyles to operate inside. The Maine BlackBears freshmen can also contribute on the glass thanks to his wide frame but will be in a tough battle for minutes at the forward position.

Chris Egi – (Foward/6-8, 205lbs, Markham, ON – Junior, St. Andrews College, HS)
The youngest selection, at only 15-years of age Chris Egi won’t just be going to these games to watch. Egi is raw, as expected, but plays with hunger and intensity which will earn him the opportunity to further develop his skills and cash in on a few more NCAA scholarship offers.

Potential Starters
PG – Tyler Ennis
SG – Xavier Rathan Mayes
SF – Duane Notice
PF – Mikyle MacIntosh
C – Trey Lyles

2013 FIBA U19 World Championship Schedule
Canada opens up the championships against Spain on June 27th, Croatia on the 28th &amp; Korea on the 29th.

Surprises
No CIS representation?

Does this clearly state that Canadian University Basketball (CIS) players aren’t good enough to play at this level? Specially, when you have two of the countries top Canadian University coaches making the calls?

With all the NCAA Canadian talent in the pipeline, will we ever see a CIS player on the Canadian Junior National Team?

A closer look at 2013 CIS Men’s Basketball Freshmen Awards list reveals only two names which perhaps would at the very least warrant an invite, <b>Shaquille Keith</b> (13.3 points 3.3 assists/Cape Breton Capers); 2013 Freshmen of the Year, <b>Deontay Smith</b> who averaged 17.7 rebounds, 7 rebounds and 4.4 assists for the UPEI Panthers.

Regardless, if they we were both invited to training camp they wouldn’t have made the team. Specially when you have <b>Andrew Wiggins</b>opting not to play and the 2012-13 ACC Freshmen of the Year <b>Olivier Hanlan</b> also not in the mix as he decided to focus on school.

Overall Thoughts
Canada will need a top three finish in Group A in order to advance to quarter-finals. In order to accomplish this it will most likely need to beat Spain and/or Croatia. The game against Korea won’t be easy but should go Canada’s way.

The keys for the Canadians will be how well they control the defensive boards and their limitation off turnovers. Outside shooting will definitely be a deciding factor as well.

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FIBA

Canada sweeps two-game series against New Zealand

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Canada Sweeps Two Game Series Against New Zealand
Kevin Pangos and Philip Scrubb

Team Canada fought off a strong effort from the New Zealand Tall Blacks to sweep a two-game pre-FIBA World Cup Series with a 103-100 overtime victory.

Philip Scrubb scored a team-high 24 points, dished out 6 assists and pulled down 5 rebounds to once again lead six Canadians in double-figures. Kevin Pangos added 17 points and 9 assists. Oshae Brissett continued to produce with 12 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists double-double before fouling out. Kyle Witjer 18 points, 5 rebounds. Thomas Scrubb 12 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and Owen Klassen 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The Tall Blacks came out strong after being embarrassed by a 34-point loss to the Canadians in game one of the series leading 23-13 after the first-quarter. Canada was able to execute in the second-quarter ripping off a 12-2 run to get back in the game and trailed New Zealand 36-33 at half-time.

The Canadians broke-open a 48-48 tie mid-way through the third-quarter with an 8-0 run taking a 56-48 lead on two made free-trows by Thomas Scrubb and finished the quarter ahead 60-59.

Kevin Pangos drilled two three-pointers early in the fourh-quarter to push the Canadian lead to 71-61 with 7:24 to play in regulation. The Tall Blacks continued to play hard on the strength of Cory Webster who poured in a game-high 33 points, added 5 rebounds and 5 assists to force overtime at 81-81.

Kyle Wiltjer caught fire in the extra session scoring 11 of Canada’s 22 overtime points, knocking down two triples as the Team Canada hang-on for the the win a series sweep.

Must Read:  Canadian Daniel Mullings goes Lebron James on Chinese defender with massive throwdown (VIDEO)

“We are just glad we got win, I thank all the fans who came out made the game fun, that’s what its all about.” thanked Witjer after the game.

“We have a very beautiful team, very unselfish so any given guy can step-up every night so it makes us tough to defend.” – continued Wiltjer about his performance after the game.

With Canada missing majority of their current NBA stars, Wiltjer a former second-round pick of the Houston Rockets is extremely proud to represent Canada once again “its a huge honor every time I play for Canada so I’m really honored to be on this team and Australia is beautiful country so thank you for having us”

Canada connected on 14-of-50 triples (28%) and struggled at the free-throw line shooting 17-of-26 (65%). Canada yanked-down 20 offensive rebounds on their way to a slim 58-55 advantage.

Andrew Nembhard Injury Vs New Zealand Tall Blacks
Andrew Nembhard picks-up a right knee injury against New Zealand Tall Blacks

A night after losing Kaza Kajami-Keane to an ankle injury Team Canada lost yet another point guard as Andrew Nembhard picked-up a right knee injury early in the first-quarter and didn’t return.

Despite various incorrect reports, Canadian head coach Nick Nurse confirmed that point guard Cory Joseph will indeed be available for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Canada improves to 4-2, with victories over Nigeria, Australia and New Zealand (2x). Team Canada will take on the United States of America in their final exhibition game before the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Boxscore: Canada vs. New Zealand

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FIBA

Canada simply too much New Zealand

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Aaron Best Dunk Canada Simply Too Much For New Zealand Tall Blacks

Canada opened-up a two-game exhibition series against New Zealand firing on all-cylinders — blowing-out the Tall Blacks 122-88 in Sydney, Australia.

Aaron Best game-high 20 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals led a complete team effort that saw all Canadian players hit the scoresheet with six players in double-figures.

Andrew Nembhard continued his stellar exhibition play with 17 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals including a game-high 27 minutes. Oshae Brissett added 16 points, 7 rebounds. Owen Klassen just missed out on a double-double with 12 points, 9 rebounds. Kevin Pangos returned to the starting line-up and registered 10 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists. Duane Notice got his first taste of action and rounded-out the top scorers with 10 points in just 13 minutes.

Philip Scrubb (8 points, 2 rebounds) drilled back-to-back-three-pointers as Canada scored the first 10 points of the game. New Zealand reeled-off 11-straight to take their only lead of the game at 13-12 — Canada wasted no time responding with a game-changing 20-0 run on barrage of three-pointers to run away with the game and 35-16 first-quarter lead on 7-of-14 triples in the first 10 minutes.

Aaron Best Canada Simply Too Much For New Zealand Tall Blacks
Team Canada Aaron Best registers a game-high 20 points against New Zealand

“It was a great team effort, guys were sharing the ball, we were getting up-and down and getting it after on defense, we stuck to the game plan and were able to come-out with the win.” discussed player of the game Aaron Best after shooting 4-for-8 from the three-point line.

The hot shooting continued in the second-quarter with Canada ringing-up another 26 points to take a 61-47 half-time lead. The Canadians shot 23-for-41 (56%) from the floor, drilling 9-of-20 three-pointers and out-rebounded the Tall Blacks 27-18 in the opening 20 minutes.

Must Read:  Canadian Daniel Mullings goes Lebron James on Chinese defender with massive throwdown (VIDEO)

Team Canada outscored the Tall Blacks 31-26 in the third-quarter and closed out the game by hitting the century for the first-time in the exhibition series in 34 point win of New Zealand.

Canada splashed 43-of-78 (55%) field-goals, knocked down 16-of-36 (44%) three-pointers and pounded the Kiwis 53-33 on the glass.

Kaza Kajami Keane Ankle Injury Against New Zealand
Kaza Kajami Keane Ankle Injury Against New Zealand

Unfortunately the win came at a cost as Canadian guard Kaza Kajami-Keane (8 points, 2-of-2 three-pointers in 5 minutes) was helped to the locker room with what looked like a pretty bad ankle injury. Kajami Keane had been playing well — fighting for 12-men roster spot on a loaded Canadian back-court.

Tai Webster led the Tall Blacks with 19 points, 7 rebounds. Rob Loe and Isaac Fotu added 17 points each. Cory Webster chipped in with 13 points and 6 rebounds.

Tall Blacks split a pair of games (99-89 loss, 104-87) against Japan and will play France and Serbia in China to wrap-up their preparation schedule. New Zealand is in a extremely tough group F that features Greece, Brazil and Montenegro.

The two teams will go at it again tomorrow night as Canada (3-2) continues to prepare for the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China.

Nick Nurse opted to rest Kyle Witjer and was still without the services of starting point guard Cory Joseph and sharp-shooter Brady Heslip. Joseph is expected to join the team for Canada in China in time for the 2019 World Cup.

Boxscore: Canada vs. New Zealand.

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