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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Tuesday / June 25.
  • Team Canada Must Step Up Without Wiggins

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    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    TORONTO — Team Canada hosted the second annual Red & White game this past Tuesday at Ryerson University, where Junior National team hopefuls collided in what was essentially an open tryout for the U19 team.

    It was far from an all-star event.

    Among those in attendance were uncommitted 2014 forward Trey Lyles (seen in the above highlight), Syracuse-bound point guard Tyler Ennis and Florida State-bound shooting guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes – three pieces who combined for half of Canada’s offensive production at last summer’s U18 FIBA Americas.

    As Canada prepares for the U19 World Championship June 27-July 7 in Prague, they will be without Andrew Wiggins, the No. 1 prospect in the world, who is preparing for his freshman season at Kansas, as announced by Canada Basketball last week.

    “Me, Tyler and X, we have to step up and fill in the hole that is left with Andrew out,” said Lyles, who averaged 13.6 points and 13.8 rebounds last summer.

    Ennis : Lyles“I was a little bit sad, being the fact that he is one of my best friends,” Rathan-Mayes said of Wiggins. “But I understand where he’s coming from with preparing for college and the [2014 NBA] Draft coming up.”

    That being said, Canada will have no shortage of talent to select from, as Ennis explained.

    “I think we have a good group,” he said. “We’re really deep at every position.”

    South Carolina commit Duane Notice is another name that will be counted on to step up internationally, which he did at Red & White by being the biggest standout among the crop.

    Notice registered a game-high 16 points, to go along with eight rebounds, three assists, two steals in the victory over Team White, 73-55.

    Last summer, Notice was the fifth-leading scorer after Wiggins, Lyles, Rathan-Mayes and Ennis, averaging six points in limited minutes. His individual development over the past year has been an eye opener with improvements coming in his shooting game.

    But the future Gamecock, along with the rest of the crew, understand that international success will come with collective efforts.

    “This year, I truly believe that we have a great chance to do something special,” Notice said. “We’re not tough alone, we’re tough together.”

    **For more stories on Andrew Wiggins, click here.

    Photo: Ronnie Mexx

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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