01 October, 2019
29 April, 2020
FIBA Europe Cup Power Rankings: Volume 1
Long Read
to read

FIBA Europe Cup Power Rankings: Volume 1

MUNICH (Germany) - FIBA Europe Cup is back, which also means that our Power Rankings are here to stay, too. We will be checking up on our 32 teams every two weeks, starting on the eve of the first games.


It's been a tough start to the season for Legia Warszawa as they are stuck at the bottom of the Polish League, losing all four of their games so far. But, hey, you know what they say. There's only one way left to go from the bottom - up.


Ouch. Spirou Basket are also stuck at 0-4 in their domestic league. With established names like Axel Hervelle, Alexandre Libert, Yoeri Schoepen on board, they will get into the win column in no time. But the schedule is not looking good, because they've got the number one ranked team coming to Belgium this week.


Another team with a slow start to the domestic campaign, Tsmoki-Minsk are winless in three tries in the VTB League. But it's Tsmoki we are talking about here. We all know they will figure a way out of this mess. They will. Right. Right?


Should we read more into the fact that Apoel Nicosia lost a game to Paralimni in their domestic championship? Probably not, but trips to Prishtina, Ventspils and Bayreuth in the Group Phase, Apoel cannot afford slip ups - and that's an understatement.


Fun part about FIBA Europe Cup and the luck of the draw? We will have the rematch of the Romanian League Finals right in front of us, featuring CSU Sibiu and CSM CSU Oradea on Wednesday! Good chance for CSU Sibiu to get a valuable win and climb up the Power Rankings.


Fun part about FIBA Europe Cup and the luck of the draw? We will have the rematch of the Romanian League Finals right in front of us, featuring CSU Sibiu and CSM CSU Oradea on Wednesday! Good chance for CSM CSU Oradea to get a valuable win and climb up the Power Rankings.


If they don't improve on their 1-3 season record, Phoenix Brussels will not challenge Phoenix Suns, Wellington Phoenix FC, nor phoenix from Greek mythology for the honors of being the second best Phoenix out there. Joaquin Phoenix still the best Phoenix.


Good news for Kapfenberg Bulls? They haven't lost a game at home since the start of their season, all the way back in the Basketball Champions League Qualifiers.
Bad news for Kapfenberg Bulls? They haven't won a game away from home since the start of the season...


Sodertalje are bound to have a classic .500 season, with their rhythm set so far in 2019-20. A win followed by a defeat, followed by a defeat and a win. Then a defeat by one, followed by a win by one, followed by a win by double digits, followed by a defeat by double digits. Win-loss record at 3-3 could see them through here, they just need to pay attention to the points difference.


Keravnos are unbeaten in their two games played so far this season. But they will have a tough test in Group B here, as Zwolle and Ironi Ness Ziona seem to be hitting the right notes from the start, while Kapfenberg already can say they won a trophy (the Austrian Supercup). Tough crew to be around.


Three wins for Balkan in the Bulgarian League, two of them with 100+ points. Oh, and they get to face Sodertalje again, right here in Group G, to try and get some revenge for their previous matchup in the Basketball Champions League Qualifiers.


Levski - Lukoil needed a 3-0 start to their domestic season to gain some confidence. And confidence will be much needed here, because only three of their players are older than 30, meaning they will not rely on experience against teams like Tsmoki-Minsk, Kyiv Basket and Dnipro.


Daequan Cook and Jeff Withey on the same team. Ironi Ness Ziona started the season with three defeats in seven games, but two of those three were against Hapoel Jerusalem, and the last one was to Maccabi Tel Aviv. Basically, Ironi Ness Ziona just need to stay their course and they will be a top 10 team in two weeks time, because they won't face the two Israeli juggernauts any time soon.


One thing is for sure when Donar Groningen are playing. There will be points. Plenty of them. Like 100+ they put up versus Amsterdam and Den Helder. Or the 100+ they allowed away at Rotterdam and the 95 they allowed away at Benfica. Run and gun, people. Run and gun.


Maksym Pustozvonov is 32. All the other Kyiv Basket guys are under 30, but they showed no lack of experience when they went toe to toe with San Pablo Burgos in the Basketball Champions League Qualifiers. And a team that can go toe to toe with a 4-1 Spanish League team - that's a warning sign for all the others in Group F.


Two words for you: Dardan Berisha. With him capable of going for 30 against any opponent, we could see another deep run by Sigal Prishtina. Similar to the one they had last season, when whole Europe found out about the positive madness of Kosovo basketball.


Landstede Hammers Reggio Zwolle are in the upper half just because of the awesomeness of their name. Oh, and because they are 4-1 in the Dutch League, while also winning the domestic Super Cup.


Unbeaten in five games in the Slovak League, Inter Bratislava are looking ready to make the next step internationally. Like the time they had defeated Fribourg Olympic by 15 in the Basketball Champions League Qualifiers last month. Not to be confused with the time they lost by 39 to the same outfit.


Babacar Toure is still with Fribourg Olympic, which means that some of the FIBA Europe Cup stat records could be put to a test here. Toure is a double-double machine, showing no signs of slowing down even with his 34th birthday around the corner.


PVSK-Veolia can't wait to get started with Group A competition, because they've shown how tough they are with three high-scoring wins in three games in Hungary to start the season. Fun fact for you - based in Pecs, Hungary, they are the oldest team in the rest of the country, not based in Budapest. The more you know.


Three time Hungarian champions went 4-0 to start their season, sending a message that the second place they won last season was not enough for them. Egis Kormend have a number of well known national team players like Akos Keller, Csaba Ferencz and the youngster Akos Nemeth, with Erjon Kastrati also on hand to give them some length at both guard positions.


Ventspils will provide a good mixture of experience and youth this season, and we are all curious to see the U18 star Kristaps Kilps make the transition to professional level. A guard that's 6ft 4in (1.94m) tall and capable of delivering 6.0 assists per game in the FIBA U18 European Championship usually makes you curious...


It did not look all that promising for Kataja as they lost three of their first four games of the new season, but they are doing the usual Kataja stuff now - winning, scoring a lot of points, getting ready to be the feel good story of the event after their come-from-behind win over University of Tartu in the FIBA Europe Cup Qualifiers. Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson is set to lead the Cup in both points and assists.


U-BT Cluj Napoca aren't messing around. Two wins over Rahoveci by 69 points were there to prove that the Romanian side is dead serious, and two wins away from home got them going in the Romanian League as well. A lot of experience and buzz around this team, but they aren't the number one favorite to win the group right now. You'll see.


SL Benfica went +30 against Donar Groningen, +11 against Mornar Bar and 3-0 in the Portuguese League, so yeah, they will be a tough nut to crack this season. Leiden and PVSK will be hoping that the Derby against Porto next weekend takes all of their attention away from the FIBA Europe Cup...but it's not going to happen. No way.


Nate Linhart is back with medi Bayreuth, which is horrible news for everybody else, because Nate is basically a 6ft 6in (2.01m) long point guard with all the brains in the world. Especially because he knows Coach Raoul Korner's system perfectly. Bayreuth could do some damage this season.


Worthy De Jong for MVP of the Season? Why not. The explosive guard had 16.0 points, 6.0 assists, 5.0 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 2.5 blocks per game during the FIBA Europe Cup Qualifiers, and although it's hard to see him maintaining the same kind of efficiency the rest of the way, De Jong will get a lot of help from Reigarvius Williams, Braxton Huggins and Tayler Persons. And ZZ Leiden will profit.


JaJuan Johnson, Sean Armand, Cam Clark, Trae Golden, Dwight Hardy...on paper, Bahcesehir College have done an outstanding job with attracting foreign talent, and stopping all of them doesn't seem like the most pleasent job of all. Game on Wednesday, to be played against Fribourg in Switzerland, will be a huge part of history for Bahcesehir, as they are making their international debut!


Having Power Rankings about the FIBA Europe Cup and not having Bakken Bears in the top four just seems wrong.


Contrary to Bahcesehir's international recruiting, BC Dnipro have done a sublime job in getting the Ukrainian players together. From the big boys Kyryl Natyazhko and Kyrylo Fesenko, through the experience of Maksym Korniienko, all the way to the Washington Wizards draftee Issuf Sanon, who is only about to turn 20 in a week. Dnipro are big and you should be afraid.


We're just here to tell you that Enisey Krasnoyarsk defeated CSKA Moscow this season. Good luck, Sodertalje, Balkan and Cluj...


A perfect 6-0 to start the season, a league leading 4-0 in the Turkish Basketball Super Ligi - there was never a doubt in the world that Pinar Karsiyaka would be top of the Power Rankings. David Kennedy will go for the MVP award in each competition he plays, Jordan Morgan is just an alternate way of spelling 20 points and 10 rebounds, Tony Taylor and Amath M'Baye are Basketball Champions League winners, and they have two eye-pleasing Turkish talents in Onuralp Bitim and Adem Bona. KSK are the team to beat here. 

*The power rankings are entirely subjective and is in no way a true, accurate ranking systems. All comments are purely those of the author.

Igor Curkovic

Igor Curkovic

Igor Curkovic is a Croatian freelance writer, Live Blog aficionado and meme expert who watches a lot of basketball and brings both the power and the rankings to the FIBA Europe Cup.