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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Five players who have raised their stock at the U-19 World Championships

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Aaron Gordon (via Fiba)

Even though group play at the U-19 World Championships isn't over yet, some standouts have begun to emerge. Here's a look at some college players or future college players who have raised their stock so far in Prague:

Tyler Ennis, G, Syracuse (Canada)

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Tyler Ennis (via Fiba)

If any doubt remained whether Ennis was capable of taking over as Syracuse's starting point guard next season, the freshman has put an end to it with a brilliant performance for Canada in Prague. Ennis is averaging a tournament-best 24.8 points per game and has tallied 20 or more in all four of Canada's games thus far. Even better, he is doing it in an efficient manner, shooting over 50 percent from the field overall and 36 percent from behind the arc. The lone flaw in Ennis' game thus far has been a modest 13 assists to go with 13 turnovers. Still, he has clearly been a bright spot for a Canadian team that is 1-3 thus far and in danger of not advancing out of group play.

Aaron Gordon, F, Arizona (USA)

Even though Gordon has come off the bench in the undefeated U.S. team's first four games, he has been the squad's most productive player. The 6-foot-7 Arizona signee has thrived in the pressing, up-tempo system favored by Billy Donovan, averaging team highs of 13.8 points and 7.0 rebounds despite playing only 20 minutes per game. Gordon has showcased an especially effective all-around game, delivering seven offensive boards against China, four assists against Ivory Coast and four steals against Brazil. The longer Gordon plays at this level in Prague, the more excited Arizona fans will be to see the McDonald's All-American don a Wildcats jersey this winter.

Mislav Brzoja, G, Villanova (Croatia)

Maybe Brzoja is better suited for the international game. Maybe he just needed a year to get acclimated at Villanova. Whatever the reason, the 6-foot-5 sharpshooter is doing far more for Croatia at the U-19 World Championships than he ever did for the Wildcats during a freshman season in which he averaged just 2.4 minutes per game. Brzoja has averaged 16.8 points and 8.2 rebounds in Croatia's four games, tallying double figures in points in all four of them. In his team's lone loss against Spain, Brzoja buried six of the nine threes he attempted, increasing his shooting percentage from behind the arc to 42.9 percent.

Trey Lyles, F, Arsenal Technical High (Canada)

It's easy to see why Lyles holds the No. 5 spot in Rivals.com's Class 0f 2014 rankings. The 6-foot-10 former Indiana commit has emerged as the primary interior scoring threat for Canada during the tournament, averaging 19.8 points and 9.5 rebounds in his team's first four games of group play. He also had this memorable dunk against South Korea off a behind-the-back dribble in the open floor. Lyles is being courted by the likes of Kentucky, Louisville, UCLA, Duke and Florida, among others. He has said he is unlikely to make a decision until after his senior season ends next spring.

Dante Exum, G, AIS Canberra (Australia)

The son of former North Carolina player Cecil Exum continues to flash enough ability to suggest he may even surpass his father's basketball accomplishments. He is viewed as a potential first-round pick in the 2014 NBA draft, but he has insisted that he intends to play a year or two of U.S. college basketball first. Exum has done nothing to hurt his stock with his play for Australia's U-19 team thus far. The 6-foot-5 combo guard has averaged 13.8 points per game, knocked down nearly 40 percent of his threes and posted a 2.5-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. No wonder he is being pursued by the likes of Indiana, Georgetown and Saint Mary's.


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