HYATTSVILLE, Md. -- Chris Lykes, a 5-foot-7 sophomore point guard from Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.), was out to prove he belonged with the best talent in the DMV area during the Metro Challenge 60 at DeMathal. No mere comments about his size were going to slow him or his fast rising game in this tournament. Lykes came into the gym with a large chip on his shoulder to prove to the hoops world he can play anywhere.
On average, Lykes was a foot shorter than his fellow teammates and opponents. But playing for Hibbert 71, also featuring Terps target Tyler Foster and highly-regarded recruit Melo Eggleston, Lykes took charge early and often. He decided to show the Durant 96 team, featuring Anthony Cowan and A.J. Wilson, who would dominate the headlines in this contest.
Early in the game, Lykes was feeling his way into the game. Following a pair of nifty assists, Lykes was left wide open inside the 3-point line. It seemed as if Team Durant was going to give Lykes his shot while concentrating on his other teammates.
It seemed after the first two ball went in, he wanted to test the defense and they provided the identical looks. So he shot another two from nearly the same spot on the floor. The third time down the court it was the same result; Lykes was officially feeling it and Anthony Cowan and teammates had no answer.
I was also impressed at the tough, in-your-face defense and Lykes' ability and desire to go after every loose ball on the court. My notes after the game read "big heart." Lykes has to play this way on every possession to prove he belongs.
Lykes started feeling his shot in the second half, finding open spots or creating them himself off his tight, quick handle. His smallish stature gives him the ability to dart by defenders with ease.
Of course, it has its down side as well. Lykes drives into the lane and stops his dribble too often. Or he drives into the corner and looks for help. The defenders swollow him at this point. He needs to play more to learn how to survive amongst the giants.
Lykes' overall line read 10-of-13 shooting, with 6-of-8 coming from three pointers, 2-of-2 free throws, three assists, two steals two rebounds, and only one turnover. Many of his three pointers came from NBA range, including several in the third and fourth quarters.
TT Player Evals: Chris Lykes
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