In the world of college basketball, the names you hear repeatedly are the star players of the big teams. This season, it’s guys like Jahlil Okafor of No. 4 Duke and Montrezl Harrell of No. 6 Louisville who square off this Saturday in Louisville. You’ll hear names like Marcus Paige of North Carolina…and the entire Kentucky roster. However, there are some players who seem to go undetected through their college careers and then poof! Players like Kenneth Faried make their name at small schools and then jump onto the national scene.
Keifer Sykes is a player who has the opportunity to be the next one of those small school, big name players. If I asked you what the mascot of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay was, you’d probably answer the same way I did: “There’s sports in Green Bay other than the Packers?” Yes, there are, and Sykes could be the most exciting athlete in Green Bay right now.
The six foot senior guard has been dazzling his competition for all four of his years with phenomenal jump shooting and ball handling, but especially his high flying capabilities.
Sykes is a player with NBA skills and potential, but there could be a few things in his way. Mainly, he stands at only six feet tall. Currently, NBA guards that stand only six feet are few and far between. However, height has not impeded Sykes’ ability to score the rock, as he is averaging 19 points per game so far is his senior season, just one year removed from 20 points per game as a junior.
Sykes has all the makings of a pro guard. He scores, he’s overwhelmingly athletic, and he shares the rock. As a junior, Sykes averaged five assists per game, boasting an assist to turnover ratio pushing 2.5. There’s no doubt that Sykes name will be thrown around during draft season, likely as a second round selection.
Oh, and just in case your rebuttal was that UW-Green Bay plays in the Horizon Conference, below is a video of Sykes dropping 32 points against the Final Four bound Wisconsin Badgers last season.
*Section Photo credit to Mike McGinnis, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Mary Langenfeld, USA Today Sports.