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Who has made my EuroLeague Women Regular Season All-Star roster?
NEWCASTLE (Paul Nilsen's Women's Basketball Worldwide) – It has been another terrific EuroLeague Women campaign so far and as we pause for breath ahead of the Quarter-Finals, here is my All-Star Regular Season roster.
My 12 has been chosen not on who are necessarily the best players in the competition, but who have produced the goods during the Regular Season. So, no Maya Moore for example!
Courtney Vandersloot - Yakin Dogu Universitesi
The tournament's leading playmaker with 9.2 assists per game, she oozes class and is now one of my absolute favorite players. With her pulling the strings, Yakin Dogu can win the title in their rookie season and if they do, she could well be the MVP.
Kayla McBride - Yakin Dogu Universitesi
McBride led the Regular Season in scoring with 18.9 points per game and can go off in any contest for massive scores - as well as delivering in the clutch when needed. Yet she also does dirty work and has a great connection with Vandersloot. Also MVP material.
Jolene Anderson - Famila Schio
Probably one of the most improved players in the last few years, Anderson remains a massive 'X-Factor' and consistently delivers across multiple facets of the game. She is so strong and does everything well. You want her in your side and not against you! Love her game.
Valeriane Ayayi - Bourges Basket
She threatened to plateau and at the beginning of this season, I asked if she could and would show her true talents. She has delivered massively and is flourishing under Olivier Lafargue, alongside other bright Bourges talents like Marine Johannes and Alexia Chartereau. A great season for her.
Alysha Clark - CCC Polkowice
While her team might have had an under-par season at 3-11, Clark has been sensational and was in the Top 5 in the Regular Season MVP race. That speaks volumes and she has been a colossus for Polkowice as 15.3 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3 assists per game testify. Now she is shining with Israel.
Alba Torrens - UMMC Ekaterinburg
Torrens did not always look happy under Coach Olaf Lange. But, she picked up the slack from the loss of Diana Taurasi and under new head coach Miguel Mendez, I think she can be a twin turbo next to Maya Moore. Unstoppable in the open floor, she also came up with the Play of the Season. She's oozed world class quality.
Aleksandra Crvendakic - Sopron Basket
Still only 21-years-old, selecting Crvendakic was the most satisfying for me. I have watched her for Serbia's youth teams for 5-6 years now and to see her bloom into a genuine elite level star is a thrill. I also love the fact she carried Sopron when they struggled last year and is now the centerpiece of their best season in almost a decade!
Sonja Petrovic - Dynamo Kursk
It's hard to say something that has not been said before about Petrovic. But this one is easy. She has never quite been this good before. I say that because being named Regular Season MVP in your first season at the champs who have a stacked roster is just remarkable. My number one - again!
Aerial Powers - Fenerbahce
The forward plays with a lot of gusto and that is a great fit for a team like Fenerbahce who love it when their players breathe fire. She had a belated debut, but having had to wait a bit longer than she hoped, Powers has made up for lost time and had a terrific rookie season.
Brittney Griner - UMMC Ekaterinburg
For much of the season, Griner was the leading scorer and on course for Regular Season MVP. Her imposing physical presence intimidates the defense and she has an ability to win any game as she is such a hard assignment for opponents. A towering presence as usual!
Amanda Zahui - ZVVZ USK Praha
She had an eye-catching rookie campaign at Nadezhda and this season, has continued in the same vein, if not doing even better at Prague. She was in the Regular Season MVP mix and finished with a brilliant 17.6 points and 8.5 boards per game for the Czech champs.
Jantel Lavender - Yakin Dogu Universitesi
The frontcourt star is a well-oiled machine of complete efficiency - either under the basket, or when operating at the high-post. She has a great finish around the bucket and a sweet jump shot. She never gets knocked off her stride and was only just beaten in the Regular Season MVP race, which tells the story. A class act!
There were so many other worthy contenders who were on my long-list and congratulations to them too. If I missed anyone, let me know @Basketmedia365 - only don't forget to tell me who you would cut from the choice above. Not easy!
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