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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.

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.

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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

Lance Stephenson Makin’ ‘Em Dance In China

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lance stephenson makes em dance in china
Play On Player...

Remade in China.

From playing with LeBron and the Lakers last season. To getting an early start in the Far East for this one. Getting in opponents faces like he used to do when he went up against the King. Blow in his face all you want…but its just hot air.

Lance Stephenson is back baby!

Like you’ve never seen him before. Running his town in China for the Liaoning Flying Leopards.

To quote Charlie Murphy talking about Prince in an infamous Hollywood stories episode of Dave’s ‘Chappelle Show’, “this cat can (still) ball man”!

GOOD!

To those who think a couple of strings have popped off Stephenson’s guitar then just watch him play and strum along. Lance is still makin’ ’em dance with the NBA’s most famous celebration…except the league just lost it and one of their premier performers and fondly favourite, cult celebrities in the amazing association of epic entertainment.

Turns out the Lakers should have held on to their veteran big name meme team a little longer. Although they did re-up with pure point Rondo running the show and the centre who should start in JaVale McGee. But in not keeping one of their biggest bench presence spark plugs of camaraderie and chemistry since the days of Rony Turiaf or even Mad Dog, Mark Madsen, this is almost as heart-breaking as losing all the kids in the Hollywood divorce for Anthony Davis. But we love reunions almost as much as we love redemption in this league and with BIG3 MVP Joe Johnson inking a deal with Detroit that is going to see the Motor City Pistons assembly line cut former Laker Michael Beasley. We may just see this fellow wild card, big contributing star head back to the Chinese league he finished out the season with like he hasn’t just flown home already. We know one Leopard who would welcome him with back open paws and any other player with a name beyond a meme, not caring if he never changes his spots.

Just when you thought Ice Cube’s inspired BIG3 was the only prescribed route for former NBA players to EA get back in the game like museum exits via the gift shop then check out this exhibit. You only have to check a FIBA feed and see how France French kissed the United States out said tournament a year before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan to see that this game is truly global. It’s far more than just the United States. It’s the whole wide, watching and welcoming world. And one of the biggest hubs like everything in this world from business, to commerce and innovation is in China. Now that’s some development even the G-League can’t give you old man.

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Coney Island’s own legend Stephon Marbury became an icon here, remaining after he retired…and this guy was a superstar under the Times Square, World’s Most Famous Arena lights of being a New York Knick in the Madison Square Garden of hallowed hoops Eden.

Are you listening Carmelo?

You too Dwight…give it a couple of months.

With 35 and 10, double decadence in the playoffs, Lance just put an end to San Miguel like last orders at the bar and now next rounds on him as he mime guitars until the fat lady falsettos in her stilettos to everyone raising a glass in toast.

Cheers!

The all dunking and big shot scoring player looks like he’s stepped into a rejuvenation machine…until you see just how much he afforded with his spare chance minutes last year on the biggest stage in Hollywood. He looks like he’s having a Swayze. And Chinese Basketball in turn the time of its life.

All Stephenson needed was another chance. And boy is he taking it right now. At this point Lance will be back in the league before you can say “it’s opening night at the STAPLES Center.” But at this point would he even want back, causing big trouble in a not so little China?

(As a matter of fact after press Lance Stephenson lead his Leopards over Seoul to win both the Terrific 12 and the tournament MVP…like Jay what more can we say?)

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FIBA

España FIBA Campeon Del Mundo

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España FIBA Campeon Del Mundo
Scream if you want to go for Gold in Tokyo...

When Spain won the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa almost a decade ago this writer was in London seeing a friend from Seoul, South Korea. From Oxford Circus to the fountain tops of Piccadilly Circus there looked like a million Spanish people lining the streets that all lived here in the Big Smoke (F### Brexit! Multicultural is beautiful). And despite the honking horns and raised glasses it was the most peaceful, beautiful sports celebration I have ever seen. No hostility, just community. A Spanish man fell to his knees in front of me like he’d just scored and grabbed my hand with both of his in prayer. The most beautiful Spanish woman I’ve ever seen in her nations strip and scarf walked past me whilst trailing her fingertips across my arm and asked me flirtatiously whilst giggling, “who won the World Cup!”

YOU!

Just an old memory to reminisce as we begin.

No Muleta could ever stop this raging red Spanish bull.

Ever since way before Kobe and Pau went from teammates to rivals every Summer, Spain have been one of the biggest nations in Basketball and certainly the most complete team. And now even without the older Spanish G.O.A.T. Gasol watching at home in his uniform and with Team USA given freedom by the bronze placed France, Spain proved once again that they aren’t only the most consistent and best team in Europe…but the greatest in the whole wide world.

Right now and forever more on the way to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

This FIBA tournament has been something else in its self. And if this writer wasn’t about to start his own road to Japan he would have been able to enjoy it even more. But shout out to editor Edilson Silva’s wrists for keeping us in touch with the tournament on Twitter.

Even without the power of Pau, or many big names in the legendary legacy of the last decade of the Spanish side (no Sergio Rodríguez, Juan Carlos Navarro, Nikola Mirotic, or Serge Ibaka), the Spanish team still ruled like soccer or their basketball brother team Barcelona. As legends like Rudy Fernandez, Ricky Rubio and of course Marc Gasol cut South America’s Argentina down to 20 point blowout, 95-75 size like Luis Scola’s trademark hair (but what a run of play for a member of the team of the tournament).

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Spain 2019 Fiba World Cup Champions
Spain Basketball 2019 FIBA World Cup Champions – Photo: FIBA

Marc made his mark as the second player in history to be an NBA Champion and a FIBA World Cup one in the same year, although unfortunately fellow Toronto Raptor Ibaka couldn’t join him. But what a Summer for the first player to do this since the Lakers Lamar Odom almost a decade back in 2010. Only a year after Marc Gasol’s draft rights were traded by the purple and gold for brother Pau.

“The rest of the world have been caught up for quite some time”, like Kobe Bryant said. “The days of the ’92 Barcelona Dream Team are gone”.

Now that’s as true as the U.S. coming in fourth place like half the States had a dance recital.

Congratulations to the real Dream Team…yeah I said it.

Ricky Rubio had 20 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists and no one deserves it more.

Marc Gasol had 14 and 7 in both rebounds and assists.

Sergio Llull had 15.

Rudy Fernandez 11, 10 and 3.

And both Juancho and Willy Hernangomez both had 11 too.

Now what more can you possibly say like reacting to that practice pregame half court heave underarm…from behind the back like a Globetrotter?

What the?

Gabriel Deck led the way for Argentina with 24 whilst the likes of old rivals and friends Kobe Bryant and Tony Parker watched from courtside in a sold out arena in Beijing. Whilst Scola scored 8. Argentina were valiant in the final like they were the whole terrific tourney until they were slain by Spain.

Now expect Spain to control the Japanese Olympics in Tokyo next year like a matador.

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FIBA

France Say Au Revoir To United States In FIBA World Cup

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France Say Au Revoir To United States In Fiba World Cup

Bonjour.

From ‘Dream’ to ‘Redeem’, call it what you will but last night in Dongguan, China was a nightmare for Team USA as the United States were sent packing from the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

And it was France who gave Greg Popovich team it’s last kiss last night…and Tony Parker was nowhere in sight, apart from some applause emojis on Twitter in celebration.

A year before the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and many teams (including the U.S. and Canada baby!) clinching their berths for the Japan games in this tournament, this tourney was more than just a precursor or appetizer for the main event to come in a calendars time. It was a competitive game of brackets for all or nothing in its own right. Not to mention a showcase of just how talented the world’s game is, their teams and the individual talents of players themselves. If you haven’t been tuning in like the media networks with no coverage you’re really missing out and the point like TP9. From Giannis Antetokounmpo showing just how much he gives his body up for club and country. And the Hustle of Memphis Grizzlies Japanese G-League regular Yuta Watanabe showing that when it comes to the Olympics next year it’s not just a Washington Wizards top pick who will be big for Japan. Call him up!

And then of course there’s former Parker backup and Spurs man Patty Mills clicking and lowing the boom with his ruling Aussies as his New Zealand neighbours do the Haka that could even put The Rock’s ‘Hobbs and Shaw’ fast and furious movie Samoan war dance in a hard place. But when it came to Popovich’s countrymen they just couldn’t pop against France as red white and blue beat the stars and stripes 89-79. Ending a 58 non exhibition game winning streak that Dream Teams have kept awake for longer than the wonderful women’s U.S. soccer team.

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If you ignorantly thought that Basketball had no borders outside America (and really? It’s 2019! Who does apart from Trump? Besides this is a Canadian site), then you really won’t now. France made a statement and those (Laker fans) who social media say that the Walker, Tatum, Brown and Smart Celtics couldn’t even beat France and Kyle Kuzma wouldn’t let this happen shouldn’t take this away from the nation who beat them, fair and block to dunk square.

And besides young to veteran superstars with exuberance and (Rio 2016) experience like Donovan Mitchell and Harrison Barnes respectively and respectfully couldn’t get it done either.

The U.S. played well and will be back to their best next year (but need to bring more big guns and names to the Olympic Games), but France just played better. Much better. From the stifling Eiffel Tower of Rudy Gobert with 21 points, 16 rebounds and 3 beautiful looking blocks from the view up there. Beautiful but brutal as Mitchell and Kemba Walker in the clutch can attest.

“We came here to win Gold,” Gobert told press postgame for a team who wants to lift more World Cups than their soccer counterpart. Between four point plays from Nicolas Batum and a team leading 22 from Evan Fournier on a 50 percent 4 for 8 from three from way back in Paris, this side didn’t even need Spurs like Parker or Boris Diaw. Especially when they had MVP and Knick, Frank Ntilikina. All that side needed was heart and they had it in abundance as France looked better than those Jumpman Paris St Germain black hoodies with Jordan in the A.

And anyone who wants to make this more about the U.S. needs to listen to Brooklyn Net and three point contest winner from downtown China Joe Harris, “We certainly didn’t deserve to win that game.”

Amen.

Let that or Au Revoir be the last word.

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