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NCAA

The evolution of Canadian basketball has really been something to behold.

It wasn't so long ago that, in any given year, there might be a dozen Canadians participating in March Madness and most of them would be reserves.

This season, there are 25 players that were active during the regular season among the 68 teams that qualified for the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

What stands out, though, is that these aren't fringe players, they are top-tier stars and starters on highly-rated teams. It's one thing to be getting regular minutes at a small school that qualified as a low seed and quite another to be the star on a Top 25 team that is a perennial contender.

Among the 25 players on the list below, 14 of them averaged at least 10 points per game during the season. Three Canadians -- Kansas' Andrew Wiggins, Syracuse's Tyler Ennis and Michigan's Nik Stauskas -- are widely projected as first-round picks in the upcoming NBA Draft, with Wiggins a candidate to be the top pick overall.

Iowa State's Melvin Ejim was the Big 12 Player of the Year and Stauskas took home those honours for the Big 10. These guys are difference-makers. Stanford power forward Dwight Powell, Oregon sharpshooter Jason Calliste and Gonzaga point guard Kevin Pangos are among the more accomplished Canuck ballers. 7-foot-2 Jordan Bachynsky of Arizona State has steadily improved throughout his career, while 7-foot-5 New Mexico State centre Sim Bhullar strikes an imposing figure.

Baylor finished the season winning 10 of the last 12 games, led by the Canadian backcourt of Kenny Chery and Brady Heslip.

Once again, New Mexico State leads the way with three Canadians (as well as three more that didn't play this season) while Baylor, Harvard, Iowa State, Oregon, Stanford and Wichita State all have a couple of Canadians in their respective rotations.

Canadians in the Tournament

Player School Pos. Class HT WT Hometown PPG RPG APG SPG BPG
Richard Amardi Oregon PF Sr. 6'8 224 Toronto, ON 6.6 3.9 0.4 0.8 0.5
Jordan Bachynski Arizona St. C Sr. 7'2 250 Calgary, AB 11.1 8.3 0.5 0.4 4.1
Sim Bhullar New Mexico St. C So. 7'5 355 Toronto, ON 10.3 7.9 1.4 0.1 3.4
Jason Calliste Oregon SG Sr. 6'2 171 Scarborough, ON 12.4 2.0 1.7 1.1 0.1
Kenny Chery Baylor PG Fr. 5'11 180 Montreal, QC 11.6 2.5 5.0 1.0 0.1
Renaldo Dixon New Mexico St. PF Sr. 6'9 215 Toronto, ON 8.4 5.6 0.9 0.4 0.9
Melvin Ejim Iowa St. PF Sr. 6'6 220 Toronto, ON 18.1 8.5 1.8 1.2 0.7
Dylan Ennis Villanova PG So. 6'2 182 Brampton, ON 5.4 1.8 1.7 0.3 0.2
Tyler Ennis Syracuse PG Fr. 6'2 180 Brampton, ON 12.7 3.4 5.6 2.1 0.2
Grandy Glaze Saint Louis PF Jr. 6'6 235 Toronto, ON 4.0 4.8 0.3 0.4 0.3
Brady Heslip Baylor SG Sr. 6'2 180 Burlington, ON 11.8 1.3 0.8 0.5 0.0
James Johnson San Diego St. PF Jr. 6'10 235 Lethbridge, AB 2.1 1.7 0.1 0.3 0.3
Naz Long Iowa St. SG So. 6'4 205 Mississauga, ON 7.0 1.5 1.2 0.2 0.1
Chadrack Lufile Wichita St. PF Sr. 6'9 266 Burlington, ON 5.8 5.1 0.2 0.3 0.8
Jahenns Manigat Creighton PG Sr. 6'1 180 Ottawa, ON 7.2 2.9 2.9 1.1 0.0
Daniel Mullings New Mexico St. SG Jr. 6'2 172 Toronto, ON 16.8 4.9 3.5 1.9 0.5
Stefan Nastic Stanford C Jr. 6'11 245 Thornhill, ON 7.0 2.8 1.2 0.2 0.9
Agunwa Okolie Harvard SF So. 6'8 205 Ajax, ON 2.8 1.6 0.3 0.3 0.1
Kevin Pangos Gonzaga PG Jr. 6'2 180 Holland Landing, ON 14.1 3.3 3.7 1.0 0.0
Dyshawn Pierre Dayton F So. 6'6 210 Whitby, ON 11.1 5.6 1.5 0.6 0.3
Dwight Powell Stanford PF Sr. 6'10 240 Toronto, ON 14.2 6.9 3.2 1.3 0.8
Laurent Rivard Harvard SG Sr. 6'5 205 Saint Bruno, QC 10.0 3.0 0.8 0.9 0.1
Nik Stauskas Michigan SG So. 6'6 205 Mississauga, ON 17.5 3.1 3.3 0.6 0.3
Andrew Wiggins Kansas SG Fr. 6'8 200 Vaughn, ON 17.4 6.0 1.6 1.2 0.9
Nick Wiggins Wichita St. SG Sr. 6'6 192 Toronto, ON 5.1 2.3 0.6 0.2 0.3

* - This list attempts to identify all Canadian players that played this season for teams that qualified for the 2014 NCAA Basketball Tournament. If there are any omissions, please contact Scott Cullen at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca or on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen.

 



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