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Kelly Olynyk Next Canadian to Exit Gonzaga Bulldogs Basketball Program early?

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Kelly Olynyk is currently exploring options on how to proceed with his collegiate NCAA basketball career.

Few Canadian Basketball supporters tout Kelly Olynyk, a BC Basketball product, to be a potential NBA Draft pick someday. The decision should have a direct impact on his future.

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A disappointing sophomore season is a contributing factor, many expected the versatile big men to improve his averages, after strong performances with the Canadian Senior Men’s National team at the 2010 World Championships in Turkey.

Olynyk struggled to get into the rotation, averaging only 13.5 minutes per game while registering career highs in both rebounding (3.8) and scoring (5.3).

With his NBA future potentially hanging in the balance, maybe we should be asking why Canadians are going to Gonzaga in the first place? The Bulldogs at one point boasted a heavy Canadian basketball contingent with four players and may be down to only one Canadian Basketball prospect, with incoming and highly praised freshmen Kevin Pangos.

With recent departures from players like Bol Kong and Mangisto Arop will future Canadians consider the Bulldogs program when deciding their NCAA futures?

Mark Few has struggled with his 2008, 2009 recruiting classes with 5 players transferring from the program. Andy Poling, Grant Gibbs, GJ Vilarino, Bol Kong, Manny Arop. Will Kelly Olynyk become the sixth to bounce out of Spokane?

Robert Sacre, also a Canadian West Coast representative has the opportunity to be the most decorated Canadian to rock a Bulldogs jersey, he’s currently displaying his skills to NBA Scouts and could prove a worthy addition to the right NBA team.

Must Read:  RJ Barrett first Canadian NCAA Triple-Double in 35 Years

The Gonzaga Bulldogs history with Canadian basketball prospects trace back to P-Mac as in Pierre-Marie Altidor-Cespedes a Montreal native.

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NCAA

Alexander-Walker propels Hokies’ to 2nd-round first time in 12 years

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Nickeil Alexander-Walker propels Hokies’ to 2nd-round first time in 12 years

For the first-time in twelve-years, the Virginia Tech Hokies’ are marching on to the second round of the NCAA March Madness Tournament.

Canadian guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker, a sophomore guard from Toronto, Ontario was impressive in his second NCAA tournament game — finishing with a game-high 20 points to lead Hokies to a 66-52 win over the No. 13 Saint Louis Billikens.

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Saint Louis had no answer for Alexander-Walker who continues to deliver for Buzz Williams, pulling down 6 rebounds and adding three steals on 8-of-13 shooting.

Virginia Tech last reached the second round of the tournament as a fifth seed in 2007 when it beat No. 12 Illinois Fighting Illini before being taken down by No. 4 Southern Illinois.

Since Alexander-Walker’s arrival, the Hokies have improved tremendously — reaching the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament for the third straight year — a first in the program’s history.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker no look pass propels Hokies’ to 2nd-round first time in 12 years
Nickeil Alexander-Walker drops a tasty no-look pass against Saint Louis Billikens

Like many freshmen during their first dance, Alexander-Walker’s 15-point, 3-assist, 2 rebound effort wasn’t quite good enough to earn an invite to a second date as the Hokies couldn’t quite get over the hump — falling 86-83 to a talented Alabama Crimson Tide squad in the first round of the classic eight-nine match-up.

No. 4 Virginia Tech (ACC) will look to cool off the Flames of No. 12 seed Liberty — the Atlantic Sun Conference champions, in the round of 32.

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NCAA

Luguentz Dort leads Arizona State to first March Madness win in 10 years

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Montreals Luguentz Dort Leads Arizona State To First March Madness Win 10 Years

Canadian freshman guard Luguentz Dort team-high 21 points led No. 11 Arizona State Sun Devils 74-65 past No. 11 St. John’s Red Storm to earn school’s first NCAA March Madness tournament win in 10 years in the First Four.

Dort completely dominated the game with strong takes to the basket, scoring through contact, shooting an efficient 6-of-11 from the floor and a near perfect 8-of-10 from the foul line.

The Montreal, Quebec guard continued to build his NBA draft stock showcasing his all-around game — adding 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in front of a national audience.

No. 11 Sun Devils (23-10, Pac-12) advance and will play the Mid-American Conference champion No. 6 Buffalo Bulls. Sun Devils head coach Bobby Hurley coached the Bulls for two seasons (2013-2015) prior to taking the job with Arizona State.

Dort took a nasty spill early in the second half, after rising above the clouds for rebound — he briefly left the court, returning a few moments later to stop a Red Storm run and earn himself and his coach their first NCAA tournament win.

Bobby Hurley led the Duke Blue Devils to back-to-back NCAA national titles in 1991-92 and was a primary factor in landing Dort’s commitment over a bevvy of high major NCAA programs.

Bobby Hurley Arizona State Sun Devils Head Coach March Madness

Bobby Hurley – Arizona State Sun Devils Head Coach – March Madness Press Conference – Photo: Arizona State

In what is sure to be his only NCAA basketball season, the Canadian guard and former Biosteel All-Canadian Game MVP has scored in double digits in all but four of the Sun Devils 33 games. Standing 6’4″ tall and weighing a running-back like 215-pounds, Dort is averaging 16.1 points per game, 4.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.

Must Read:  Creighton BlueJays on 2013 March Madness business trip

Montreals Luguentz Dort Leads Arizona State To First March Madness Win 10 Years 2

Montreal’s Luguentz Dort Leads Arizona State To First March Madness Win 10 Years

Other notable Canadians to play major roles at Arizona State include guard Antwi Atuahene (Mississauga, ON) from 2005-2008 and big men Jordan Bachynski (Calgary, Alberta) a shot blocking machine (2010-2014) — leading college basketball in blocks (133) and blocks per game (4.03) in his senior season.

The Sun Devils last won NCAA Tournament game on March 19, 2009 —  66-57 win over Temple Owls in Miami.

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