26 September, 2017
22 April, 2018
22 Courtney Vandersloot | Photo: Ahmet Tokyay
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Final Four Profile: Yakin Dogu Universitesi

SOPRON (EuroLeague Women) - Next up are the only first-timers at this week's Final Four, a new powerhouse entrant in the shape of newly established Turkish juggernauts, Yakin Dogu Universitesi.

History: A new powerhouse of both the European scene and especially in their homeland of Turkey, it has been a rapid rise to prominence for Yakin Dogu Universitesi. They won their first European silverware last season when they took the EuroCup Women title and are now chasing a maiden EuroLeague Women title during what is their rookie campaign in the competition. They are also the reigning Turkish Champions and have already landed domestic silverware this season. 

Regular Season Record: It proved to be a fruitful Regular Season for Yakin Dogu, as they finished top of Group B with an eye-catching 12-2 record. They only lost to one club and that was UMMC Ekaterinburg, who did the double over them. 

Quarter-Final Results: It was plain sailing for Yakin Dogu as the Istanbul-based side came alive late in their opener against Bourges Basket to register an 83-67 triumph. On French soil, they started in blistering fashion and blasted passed Bourges 66-85, to seal the series 2-0.

Key Player: Courtney Vandersloot has had an incredible season and continues to play the best basketball of her career. She leads the competition with a jaw-dropping 9.3 assists per game and occupies the top four positions in the assists game-high chart with 16, 14, 13 and 13. She can score as well as create, while she will be looking to do something special on Hungarian soil, having represented her adopted country at FIBA EuroBasket Women 2017.

Why they can win it: This team has so much momentum and chemistry right now. With Vandersloot so often the architect of success, she has also created an incredible combination with Kayla McBride, who was the leading scorer in the competition during the Regular Season. That firepower and creative talent as a duo is immense, while the hard-nosed Swedish guard, Elin Eldebrink, is so often an unsung hero in the backcourt. Turkish forward Bahar Caglar has been rejuvenated at Yakin Dogu, while they arguably have the best frontcourt combination in the tournament. The class and experience of Ann Wauters, Sandrine Gruda, Quanitra Hollingsworth and Jantel Lavender is simply immense. 

Trivia: Yakin Dogu Universitesi are looking to become only the second team to have ever won the EuroLeague Women title in the year after finishing as EuroCup Women winners – following in the footsteps of Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje in 2006 and 2007.

Fast Facts:

  • Yakin Dogu Universitesi have scored 49.5 percent of their field goals attempted in EuroLeague Women this season, the best of any team.
  • Sandrine Gruda has grabbed more than 7 rebounds in all her EuroLeague Women games this season. She leads the competition with 8.7 per game.