Psyched on Sykes: The Dunking Point Guard Who Could Get Cheeseheads to Watch Basketball

On a blustery November night in Green Bay, about 10 miles east of Wisconsin’s football sanctuary, I watched Keifer Sykes levitate. It happened during a simple drill early in practice, one that University of Wisconsin–Green Bay head coach Brian Wardle runs just to get his guys loosened up. Each player receives a pass at the top of the key and takes a dribble or two toward the lane, muscles past a doughy student manager wielding a foam pad, jump-stops near the rim, and finishes off two feet. Nothing fancy — just a layup line in disguise.

In the school’s media guide, Sykes, the reigning Horizon League Player of the Year, is listed at 6 feet. His 1990s-era fade adds at least an inch. As the P.A. system beams in a staticky audio recording dubiously labeled as “crowd noise,” Sykes corrals his first entry feed. “GET UP, SYKES,” an assistant screams in anticipation. On cue, the point guard bends his knees and launches off the ground. From there, like a stage actor yanked from the catwalk by invisible chords, he just floats. At his peak, Sykes throws down a demonstrative two-handed slam before drifting back to earth. It’s both exhilarating and disorienting; nobody that size should be able to move quite like that. I’m left mainly with the thought that Keifer Sykes’s fast-twitch muscles, wherever they are buried in his slim frame, twitch way faster than yours and mine.

Skara wasting little time making presence felt at VU

Saying there was a lot of hype surrounding Valparaiso’s four newcomers this season would be a bit of an overstatement. That said, there was still excitement about some of the new players and the impact they’d be able to make this year.

Tevonn Walker and Max Joseph came from Canada with good credentials and high praise from coaches who had seen them play in person. Darien Walker was once a Valparaiso recruit before spending two years in junior college and the Chicago native was bringing in a strong high school background.

The one player that seemed to be a true mystery was freshman forward David Skara.

Oakland's McCune overcoming the loss of his mother

Oakland junior Tommie McCune used to borrow a gold necklace from his mother from time to time when he was younger. He would wear it with pride, but would have to give it back because it was his mother’s favorite piece of jewelry.

Sadly the necklace is all his these days. McCune’s mother lost her battle with cancer in June and McCune wears it in her honor.

Michigan game a homecoming of sorts for Detroit's Juwan Howard Jr., Carlton Brundidge

Carlton Brundidge and Juwan Howard Jr. will both hear their names called at Crisler Center on Thursday night.

Both will step onto the floor in uniform. Both will feel a bit at home.

Neither will play basketball for Michigan.

Justin Jordan jumps out as player who can help UWM

There were plenty of positives that came out of UW-Milwaukee's 75-54 victory over Division II Minnesota-Crookston on Monday night at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.

Among them was the continued solid play of backup point guard Justin Jordan, who earlier in the day was named the Horizon League's freshman of the week.

Valparaiso sophomore Peters ready to take control

Alec Peters had to do a double-take when he looked at the measuring tape this summer. The Valparaiso sophomore had grown an inch since last season and not in the way that a player grows when the sports information director decides to get cute with the numbers.

Dont' forget about Green Bay's Keifer Sykes

They know all about Sykes in the Horizon League. He has been first-team all-conference the past two seasons and was voted Player of the Year last season. He was even recognized by the Associated Press nationally as an honorable-mention All-America.

But Sykes’ talent should be celebrated more throughout college basketball. The only reason he isn’t? is probably because Green Bay has yet to play in the NCAA tournament during his tenure.

College basketball countdown: No. 52 Green Bay

USA TODAY Sports' Scott Gleeson counts down to the start of the season, breaking down the projected NCAA tournament field of 68.

Kerem Kanter becomes a late commitment to Green Bay's incoming class

On Tuesday afternoon, Green Bay announced that forward Kerem Kanter had joined the program for this upcoming season. Kanter is the younger brother of Utah Jazz center, Enes Kanter.

Keifer Sykes shines at CP3 Elite Guard Camp

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay senior point guard Keifer Sykes had never been invited to a basketball camp until this summer.

He made his first one count.

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