Awesome NCAA Tournament so far! Can't wait for the final six days of coverage on TSN. Enjoy! I know I'm loving it. Tyler Ennis and Andrew Wiggins are out yet other Canadian players are having a big impact on their respective teams' appearance in the Sweet Sixteen. Let's take a quick look at these impact guys.
1. NIK STAUSKAS (Michigan): Has made seven three-pointers so far and is averaging 16 points with a really sweet eight assists vs. Texas in the Round of 32. Love how he's playing. Wonderful shooter who can get his game off the bounce going as well. Nifty passer with a real keen sense of how to play. Much improved from 12 months ago. Plays with great enthusiasm and energy.
2. DYSHAWN PIERRE (Dayton): Averaging 13 ppg and 7 rpg with major plays in both the Ohio State and Syracuse upsets. He's explosive off the bounce, can shoot the three, gets after it on the glass and guards. Plays with terrific poise. Huge FT's in both games. Love his presence on the floor and plays within himself making the right plays. Really impressed me.
3. DWIGHT POWELL and STEFAN NASTIC (Stanford): Have averaged between them 19 ppg and 10 rpg. Both play with lots of bounce in their step and love the energy. Their size and athleticism really frustrated Kansas on Sunday. Hard-nosed defenders who battle for you every possession. Physical on the glass and set hard screens. Both are seniors and play a smart/polished game.
4. KENNY CHERRY & BRADY HESLIP (Baylor): The Canadian backcourt combined for 31 points and six assists in their upset win over Creighton. They also made nine three-point shots! Heslip was 10-for-10 on FT's in their opening round game as well. Both upperclassmen play at a nice pace and can hurt you in the transition game as well as in the half-court game. They play off of each other quite well and completely understand their roles and set up teammates beautifully. Nothing like having veteran players at your guard spots.
5. MELVIN EJIM and NAZ LONG (Iowa State): Ejim has been a significant guy for the Cyclones all year and he hasn't disappointed one bit in the NCAA's. Averaging 18ppg and 6 rpg and just refuses to lose. Major competitor with great athleticism and toughness. Makes whatever plays you need. Long was clutch against North Carolina making four threes and has deep range. With George Niang (16.2 ppg and 4.3 rpg) out for the remainder of the Tournament they've needed everyone to play really well and these two haven't let their team down one bit.