The ACC’s Top Returning Players: #23 Chris Lykes

By Mychal Hunter

Let’s just get it out of the way. If this guy was 6’2 instead of 5’7 we would be talking about his NBA future.

Chris Lykes is now “The Man” in the Miami back court after graduation and early departures have decimated the guard/wing spots on the Hurricanes roster.

Lykes rolled into Coral Gables as a top 70 player in the 2017 class and did not disappoint. As a true freshman he averaged 9.2 points, 2.3 assists and 1.2 rebounds in 21.6 minutes player per game.

Known more for his scoring than distribution, Lykes lived up to his reputation last year, especially late in the season. Over his last 12 games he averaged 14.9 points, 2.9 assists and shot 27 for 57 from deep (47%).

Lykes’s per 100 possession scoring numbers were better than Virginia Tech’s Justin Robinson last season. His true shooting % was better than Joel Berry and in ACC play he scored only 8 fewer points than 2018 All-ACC First Team member Kyle Guy…in 162 fewer minutes played.

Given the aforementioned departures of Bruce Brown, Lonnie Walker IV and Ja’Quan Newton, who combined to score over 30 points per games last season, Lykes is the most likely candidate to absorb a ton of that scoring responsibility.

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