Who did it best in the Regular Season?
MUNICH (FIBA Europe Cup) – The six weeks of the Regular Season came and went in a blur, with the 32-team field in the FIBA Europe Cup cut right down the middle. As the competition goes into a two-week hiatus, let's look back at the brightest shining stars of the Group Phase one last time.
Efficiency: Perrin Buford
There's good, there's very good and then there's Perrin Buford good. The 24-year-old forward has taken FIBA Europe Cup by storm, putting up across-the-board numbers the league has never seen.
Averaging 22.6 points, 9.4 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.0 steal and 1.8 blocks, the Avtodor Saratov man is at the top of the efficiency leaderboard with an impressive average mark of 31.6 in five Regular Season contests.
The explosive play of Buford has translated into wins for Avtodor, who claimed the top spot in Group D with a 5-1 record. Their only defeat against Ironi Ness Ziona came with the star player sidelined.
|1.||Perrin Buford||Avtodor Saratov||5||31.6|
|2.||Tobin Carberry||Bakken Bears||6||23.8|
|3.||Skylar Rodrigo Spencer||Steaua Bucuresti||6||23.7|
|4.||Deyan Ivanov||Lukoil Levski||6||22.5|
|5.-6.||Keshun Sherrill||New Heroes Den Bosch||6||21.7|
|Darius Thompson||ZZ Leiden||6||21.7|
Points: Darius Thompson
Having reached the 20-point mark in five of the six Regular Season games, Darius Thompson of ZZ Leiden is the clear front-runner for the FIBA Europe Cup scoring crown.
The versatile guard has punished opponents from all over the court with three-pointers, a good mid-range game and an ability to get to the rim and the free-throw line for a scoring average of 24.3 points on 54.7% from the floor and 79.4% from the stripe.
Thompson also holds the FIBA Europe Cup season-high with 36 points in a 99-97 overtime thriller against Sakarya BSB.
While his peripheral numbers did drop somewhat from the Qualifiers, he has been no slouch in other categories either, putting up 3.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.2 steals per game to help Leiden advance to the Second Round.
|1.||Darius Thompson||ZZ Leiden||6||24.3|
|2.||Perrin Buford||Avtodor Saratov||5||22.6|
|3.||DeAndre Burnett||Leicester Riders||4||20.8|
|4.||Evan Bruinsma||Falco Vulcano||4||19.8|
|5.||Kyle Vinales||Petrolina AEK||6||19.7|
Rebounds: Skylar Spencer
There hasn't been much to celebrate for Steaua Bucuresti in the FIBA Europe Cup this season, but the play of center Skylar Center has certainly been a bright spot for the Romanian side.
The 24-year-old big man has quietly been putting up big numbers throughout the Regular Season and a 14-rebound performance in a winning farewell contest against Cherkaski Mavpy moved him to the top of the rebounding leaderboard.
Spencer finished the Regular Season averaging close to a double-double with 16.0 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.5 steals and a league-best 2.5 blocks, which also ranked him third overall in efficiency behind Perrin Buford and Tobin Carberry.
|1.||Skylar Rodrigo Spencer||Steaua Bucuresti||6||9.8|
|2.||Perrin Buford||Avtodor Saratov||5||9.4|
|3.-4.||Tyler Cain||Pallacanestro Varese||6||9.2|
|Landry Nnoko||Sakarya BSB||6||9.2|
|5.-6.||Assem Marei||Pinar Karsiyaka||6||8.8|
|Tre McLean||Avtodor Saratov||6||8.8|
Assists: Brandon Brown, Kyan Anderson and Skyler Bowlin
No one dished out more dimes in the Regular Season than Brandon Brown of Balkan, but Z Mobile Prishtina point guard Kyan Anderson and s.Oliver Wurzburg playmaker Skyler Bowlin both kept pace with the league-best average.
Having appeared in all six fixtures for the Botevgrad club, Brown averaged 16.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 1.6 steals; Anderson collected averages of 9.4 points, 2.4 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 1.0 steal in five appearances for Prishtina; Bowlin played in just three Regular Season games for Wurzburg, averaging 7.0 points, 2.3 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 1.7 steals.
All three of the guards and their teams progressed to the Second Round of the competition, so the three-way tie will be settled once and for all when action resumes in December.
|1.-3.||Brandon Brown||Balkan BC||6||7.0|
|Kyan Anderson||Z Mobile Prishtina||5||7.0|
|Skyler Bowlin||s.Oliver Wurzburg||3||7.0|
|4.||Maurice Watson Jr.||ZZ Leiden||6||6.5|
|5.||Toney Douglas||Sakarya BSB||6||6.2|
Steals: Worthy De Jong
There was no better thieve in the Regular Season than ZZ Leiden guard Worthy De Jong. Although his contributions were visible on both ends of the floor, it is his play on defense that proved to be the game-changer for the Dutch side.
Having averaged 15.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 3.3 steals and 1.7 blocks per game in Group A, De Jong proved to be a perfect running mate with Maurice Watson Jr. and Darius Thompson on the perimeter.
The Dutch international registered at least a single steal in all of his FIBA Europe Cup contests, coming up with 5 steals on two different occasions.
|1.||Worthy De Jong||ZZ Leiden||6||3.3|
|2.-3.||Daniel Mullings||Kataja Basket||6||2.7|
|Steven Cook||New Heroes Den Bosch||3||2.7|
|4.||Toney Douglas||Sakarya BSB||6||2.3|
|5.-6.||Chris Jones||Belfius Mons-Hainaut||6||2.2|
|Darius Thompson||ZZ Leiden||6||2.2|
Blocks: Artem Zabelin and Skylar Spencer
The honors in the block category were split between the top FIBA Europe Cup rebounder Skylar Spencer of Steaua Bucuresti and Avtodor Saratov big man Artem Zabelin, who put up identical numbers in the Regular Season.
While Spencer couldn't get the Bucharest club over the hump in Group E despite averages of 16.0 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 2.5 blocks, Zabelin and Avtodor fared better in Group D, earning a ticket to the Second Round with the 7ft1in (2.15m) Russian center putting up 12.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game.
|1.-2.||Artem Zabelin||Avtodor Saratov||6||2.5|
|Skylar Spencer||Steaua Bucuresti||6||2.5|
|3.||Mickell Gladness||Ironi Ness Ziona||4||2.0|
|4.||Perrin Buford||Avtodor Saratov||5||1.8|