Lyles looks to lead Kentucky to perfect season

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Lyles looks to lead Kentucky to perfect season

Kentucky Wildcats forward Trey Lyles is the only Canadian still left in March Madness.

When the tournament kicked off on April 17, there were over 25 Canadians taking part in the tournament. However, following the elimination of Gonzaga in the elite eight – a team that featured three Canadians – that number now stands at just one.


Trey Lyles, right, stretches during practice. (Photo: Canadian Press)

Kentucky Wildcat forward Trey Lyles, right, stretches during practice. (Photo: Canadian Press)

Kentucky needs two more wins to complete their perfect season (they are currently 38-0), and Lyles is a big reason why they are still playing. In their sweet sixteen matchup against the West Virginia Mountaineers, Lyles led the Wildcats in scoring with 14 points and he also grabbed seven rebounds.

Lyles didn’t fair as well in the elite eight matchup with Notre Dame, dropping only nine points on 4-of-10 shooting from the floor. While he may not have had his scoring touch, Lyles still managed to contribute, leading the Wildcats with five rebounds.

Trey Lyles, Farad Cobb

In addition to his offensive talent, Lyles is also a solid defender. (Photo: Canadian Press)

Kentucky will face the Wisconsin Badgers in the final four on Saturday. If they win, then they will look to complete the perfect season in the national championship game against the winner of Michigan State versus Duke.

Lyles’ strong performance thus far has likely helped his stock for the upcoming NBA Draft. Heading into March Madness, the 6’10” freshman (first year player) was predicted by many to have his name called sometime during the first 10 picks.

Andrew Wiggins (right) with NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being drafter first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Wiggins was later traded to Minnesota.

Andrew Wiggins (right) with NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being drafter first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Wiggins was later traded to Minnesota. (Photo: Canadian Press)

While he is expected to be a high draft pick this year, it is highly improbable that Lyles can continue the streak of Canadians being drafted first overall. Last year Andrew Wiggins was selected with the top pick and in 2013, Anthony Bennett became the first Canadian to go at number one.

Read also: Men’s Olympic basketball qualification path revealed

All three can expect to contribute to a much improved men’s national team over the years to come. Team Canada’s men will be looking to qualify for their first Olympic tournament since Steve Nash led them to berth in Sydney 2000.

NASH, DIOUMASSI

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