In case you haven't been keeping up with current events, Canada is undefeated in Brazil for the FIBA Americas U18 Championships and they have already punched their ticket to the FIBA World U19 Championships next summer. And a big reason for that is Trey Lyles.
In pool play, Lyles is averaging 16.7 points, 15.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.3 blocks in 27.3 minutes over three games. Wow! He currently leads the team in both points and boards and is tied for second in assists and steals. He also leads the tournament in rebounds and is third in scoring by the way.
Not bad for the 16 year old kid from Saskatchewan, huh.
I think it's safe to say that Lyles is the breakout player of the tournament for Canada at this point. He's shown some really great talent so far against what is the best talent for his age level in the Americas. I know that he'll likely not drop the same numbers against the US but I don't think that matters at this point.
He's showing us that he is one hell of a talented player and having him on the team allows for any pressure to perform that may have been put solely on one or two players on a given game to be distributed more. I think that is his biggest contribution to the team in my opinion.
Now folks, remember that he's only 16 and he has plenty of room to grow and get better, but his performances, plus the fact that other players are playing well also but not killing themselves to do so, has me very high on this group of players for the coming summers on the Senior Men's National Team.
Heading into this tournament, I would have never thought to say that Trey Lyles was going to be the biggest news for our Junior Men with the consensus number one player in the class of 2014 (Trey's class might I add) playing with him. But I'll be the first to say that I'm quite happy to have eaten my words on this one.
I'm incredibly happy that he chose to rep the Red and White.
Canada will take on the host country Brazil tomorrow at 7:00pm EDT (or 8:00pm local time) to see who plays in the Gold Medal game. Stay tuned for our look at Brazil in a little bit right here.