The week's big numbers: Watt is the answer; Curry continues to drop dimes
MUNICH (FIBA Europe Cup) - Umana Reyer Venezia big man Mitchell Watt symbolized efficiency during the first leg of the Semi-Finals, leading all players in positive contributions during his time on the court.
Meanwhile, Donar Groningen playmaker Brandyn Curry has not slowed down his dime-dishing rate and continues to lead the field with the highest total of assists during the length of the Play-Offs.
Like every week, we take a deep dive into the most interesting events of the game day, through the lens of numbers and look to get you up to speed with what took place.
Kyrylo Fesenko of Sidigas Scandone Avellino became the eighth player in the FIBA Europe Cup to join the four-block club this season. The Ukrainian center swatted away four opponents' attempts in 22 minutes of action in a 75-72 win against Bakken Bears.
Donar Groningen forward Bradford Burgess was the only player to get a double-double in the first leg of the Semi-Finals, going for 14 points and 11 rebounds in an 82-72 defeat against Reyer Venezia.
He grabbed 10 of his rebounds on the defensive end, which puts him alongside 20 other players who have accomplished this feat throughout the course of the season. Demir Insaat center Diamon Simpson has done it three times.
Good things happened for Reyer Venezia when big man Mitchell Watt was on the floor. In the first leg against Donar, the Italian side outscored their Dutch visitors by 14 points during the 25 minutes the center played.
Seven other players were in double-digit territory. His teammates Andrea De Nicolao, Michael Jenkins and Hrvoje Peric, as well as Avellino center Kyrylo Fesenko had a plus/minus of +10, while Brandyn Curry, Jason Dourisseau (both Donar) and Darko Jukic (Bakken Bears) were in double figures below zero.
DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell could not get out his shooting slump on Wednesday, missing 15 shots as he went 4-of-19 from the field for a season-low 8 points. This is the first time the Bakken Bears star finished a game with single figures in the scoring category.
It still was enough to get him to third place in the all-time single-season scoring leaderboard with 322 points. Only two ex-Elan Chalon players have scored more in a single season – Cameron Clark (399) and John Roberson (341).
"Next Wednesday, DeVaughn will be there."Bakken Bears head coach Steffen Wich
"The defenses are so concerned about DeVaughn, he's opening up the game for other players," Bakken Bears head coach Steffen Wich said after the game. "I talked to him and he really took it upon himself that he's struggling. I told him: it's sports – the shot comes and goes. You've got to relax. You had 7 rebounds, some assists. Next Wednesday, DeVaughn will be there."
For most of the season, the spotlight had mostly been on DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell and Jeffrey Crockett on the exciting Bakken Bears team. But it was all about Senegalese center Michel Diouf in Avellino, with the big man setting a new season-best with 26 points.
In the post-game press conference, his direct opponent Kyrylo Fesenko, a former NBA player, had this to say: "I was not playing very good defense today, I'm not happy about how I defended against Michel Diouf. He had a crazy game."
Avellino guard Jason Rich registered the fourth-best scoring mark in this year's Play-Offs with a 28-point output in the first game against Bakken Bears. The only players with more points in a single game are Stevan Jelovac of Nizhny Novgorod, Franklin Hassell of ESSM Le Portel and Nemanja Vranjes of Mornar Bar.
Having scored 38 points against Reyer Venezia in the Quarter-Finals, Jelovac holds the FIBA Europe Cup season high. Meanwhile, Hassell scored 33 points against Dinamo Sassari and Vranjes had 29 against Oostende, both in the Round of 16.
With 35 assists in the Play-Offs, Donar Groningen playmaker Brandyn Curry leads the field in the dime-dishing category. He is averaging 7.0 assists per game during the five-game stretch in the Round of 16, the Quarter-Finals and the first leg of the Semi-Finals.
Brandyn Curry added 5 more assists to his tally in Venice
Somewhat surprisingly, second on that list is a name of a big man. Avellino power forward Maarten Leunen is the top assist-man on his team with 6.0 dimes per game and has dished out a total of 30 assists during the Play-Offs.