By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
The crown jewel of the postseason awards is the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague MVP Trophy. With so much left to play for, there are many players to be considered candidates for this season’s MVP award. Here is a list of the leading ones, in alphabetical order.
Derrick Brown, Anadolu Efes Istanbul
Versatile forward Derrick Brown has come into his own in his third year in the competition and second with Anadolu Efes. Brown earned a pair of weekly MVP honors this season in crucial road wins at Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv and Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade and he currently ranks sixth in the EuroLeague in performance index rating (17.1) and ninth in rebounds (6 rpg.). Both of those averages are career-highs. Brown is also posting career-best numbers in assists (2.4 apg.), three-point shooting (35.5%) and blocks (0.7 bpg.) and is the only player to have started every game for Efes this season.
Nando De Colo, CSKA Moscow
The reigning Turkish Airlines EuroLeague MVP and Alphonso Ford Top Scorer Trophy winner, Nando De Colo is second in both scoring (19.5 ppg.) and performance index rating (21.5) this season, but on per-minute basis he actually ranks first in both categories. Although he has played in only 15 of 22 games due to injury, De Colo still earned three MVP of the round honors so far this season, two before and one after the injury. De Colo has scored in double figures in all but one game this season, but traditionally contributes in many ways and is second on his team with 3.7 assists per game, while his 3.2 defensive rebounds are tied for the team lead.
Luka Doncic, Real Madrid
On a Real Madrid team with so much balance and so many weapons, teenage sensation Luka Doncic has become perhaps the most dangerous weapons of them all. It is no surprise that at the age of 17 he has set career-highs in all statistical categories this season, but it is versatility, flirtations with triple-doubles, display of poise in clutch moments and cool and fearlessness when sinking game-deciding shots that are staggering. Doncic, who has collected two weekly MVP honors this season, is averaging 8.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4 assists per game and ranks third in per-minute performance index rating (29.0 prorated over 40 minutes) in the EuroLeague this season, showing over and over again that no matter his age, Doncic’s time has already come.
Ognjen Kuzmic, Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade
Center Ognjen Kuzmic has been just what the doctor ordered for Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade. The Serbian champs have made it a tradition to have a standout center in the paint in recent years and the 26-year old Kuzmic responded to the challenge by helping the team put together a seven-game winning streak that propelled it up the standings and into playoff contention, after which he earned January MVP honors. His 19 games with at least 5 rebounds is the most in the EuroLeague this season; he ranks second in rebounding (7.7 rpg.), is tied for first in offensive boards (2.9) and fourth in per-minute index rating (28.1 prorated over 40 minutes) in the competition.
Keith Langford, Unics Kazan
Unics Kazan has been plagued by injuries from the start of the season, but Keith Langford has carried a huge load to keep the team competitive. Langford leads the EuroLeague in scoring (22.3 ppg.), performance index rating (22.9) and minutes played (34:12) this season. He has scored in double figures in each of 21 games he appeared and is one of only two players who has earned MVP of the Round honors three times. A former Alphonso Ford Top Scorer Trophy winner and seven-season EuroLeague veteran, Langford set his career-highs this season in points (36 against CSKA), and matched career-bests in rebounds (10 against Bamberg and Fenerbahce) and assists (9 against Efes).
Sergio Llull, Real Madrid
Real Madrid superstar Sergio Llull is in prime of his career and showcasing his vast skills on a weekly basis on EuroLeague floors all around the continent. The undisputed leader of league-leading Los Blancos, Llull’s 3.08-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio is second in the competition, and he ranks third in assists (6.0 apg.), fifth in scoring (16.6 ppg.) and ninth in index rating (16.2) in the EuroLeague this season. Llull was named EuroLeague MVP for November after he scored a career-high 30 points against Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens to earn MVP honors for Round 7 and over the last four months has turned Madrid back into a force to be reckoned with.
Nicolo Melli, Brose Bamberg
Nicolo Melli has continued his steady rise, building on a breakout season in 2015-16 to blossom into a real force for Brose Bamberg in this campaign. His MVP for December award and his Round 11 MVP honors come as a proof of excellence, as do the facts that Melli currently serves as the EuroLeague’s leading rebounder (7.8 rpg.), ranks fourth in performance index rating (18.2), and second on his team in scoring (12 ppg.). He boasts a EuroLeague-high seven games with 10 or more rebounds and his five double-doubles are tied with Milos Teodosic for the most this season.
Georgios Printezis, Olympiacos Piraeus
Two-time champion and Olympiacos Piraeus team captain Georgios Printezis is enjoying one of the finest seasons of his career even though he is about to turn 32. The second-placed Reds have won 11 of their last 13 games, and Printezis is the team-leader in scoring (13 ppg.) and index rating (14.6) and second in rebounds (4.6 rpg.). Only once in his career has Printezis posted better averages in scoring, three-point shooting (41.5%), assists (1.2 spg.) or steals (0.8 spg.), and there were only two seasons in which Printezis averaged more rebounds than this current campaign.
Anthony Randolph, Real Madrid
One of the most athletic big men on the continent, lean and tough Anthony Randolph needed very little time to fit into the Real Madrid schemes. With a knack to block big shots, rise high to pull down boards, lead the fast break or knock down a timely three-pointer, Randolph has delivered for Madrid this season. Despite coming off the bench in all but three games, he is leading the team in rebounding (5.3 rpg.) and blocks (1.1 bpg.), third on the team in scoring (9.5 ppg.) and shooting a respectable 36.8% from behind the arc. Randolph’s contributions have in a big way helped Madrid rise to the top of the standings.
Chris Singleton, Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens
Chris Singleton went to the EuroLeague Final Four in his first season in the competition and now is showing what kind of force on both ends of the floor he really is. As Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens battles for home-court advantage in the playoffs, Singleton leads the Greens in rebounds (5.8 rpg.), shots blocked (1.0 rpg.), performance index rating (14.8) and three-point accuracy (44.9%). He is also the team’s joint second-best scorer (11.4 ppg.). And Singleton’s 31 three-pointers not only rank third on the team, but place him in the top 30 in triples made in all of EuroLeague, making him the runaway leader among centers in that category, too.
Vassilis Spanoulis, Olympiacos Piraeus
A three-time EuroLeague champion and former MVP, Vassilis Spanoulis never stops showing his ability to change the momentum of any game in one or two possessions, while serving as the true leader of second-placed Olympiacos Piraeus. He ranks second in the EuroLeague in assists (6.2 apg.), while scoring the second-most points (12.8 ppg.) and playing the most minutes (26:34) on his team. His averages in points, assists, rebounds, three-point, two-point and free throw shooting are all up from last season. In Round 2 he earned weekly MVP honors and in Round 4 he shattered his previous career-high with 15 assists. And Spanoulis generally only gets better in the later stages of every season.
Milos Teodosic, CSKA Moscow
Former EuroLeague MVP and current All-EuroLeague guard Milos Teodosic has been all over the highlight reels with his magical assists this season and he leads the competition in that category with 7.4 dishes per contest. Teodosic is also fourth in scoring (16.8 ppg.) and fifth in performance index rating (17.7) in the EuroLeague this season. In the process, Teodosic earned the MVP of October trophy and earned a the honor as MVP for Round 9 when he set his career-highs in points (34) and index rating (43), while dishing 10 assists in less than 30 minutes on the floor against Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz.
Ekpe Udoh, Fenerbahce Istanbul
In his second year in the competition, Fenerbahce Istanbul’s All-EuroLeague center Ekpe Udoh has become an on-floor and off-floor leader for his team. Udoh serves as the EuroLeague leader in blocks (2.1 bpg.), ranks third in average performance index rating (19.95) and is fourth in the EuroLeague in rebounds (7.6 rpg.) and minutes played (30:36). In addition to being Fenerbahce’s top scorer with 12.5 per game, Udoh has displayed tremendous consistency in scoring as well as paint protection. He has collected at last 5 rebounds in all but two games and is currently riding a streak of blocking at least 1 shot in 13 straight EuroLeague games.
Johannes Voigtmann, Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz
First-year player Johannes Voigtmann has taken the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague by storm since the opening week, and has never looked back. The 23-year old Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz center is not only fifth in the EuroLeague in rebounds (7.5 rpg), but also eighth in average performance index rating (16.2) and sixth in two-point accuracy (63.1%) among players with at least 5 attempts per game. He naturally leads his team in all those categories, while ranking fourth on Baskonia in points (10.7 ppg.), but also in total three-point shots made (18) and is making opponents’ lives miserable not only through his toughness and bruising inside, but also by shooting 35% from long range.
Brad Wanamaker, Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul
Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul has taken down EuroLeague giants this season – Real Madrid, CSKA Moscow and Fenerbahce Istanbul twice – and Brad Wanamaker has usually been in the middle of it all. His 18 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds, 4 steals against CSKA, or a career-best 27-point performance against Madrid, or 12-point and 11-assist output last week against Fenerbahce speak a ton. Wanamaker ranks second in minutes played (32:27), fourth in steals (1.5 apg.), sixth in scoring (15.1 ppg.) and seventh in index rating (16.8) in the EuroLeague this season. He also leads the team with 4.9 assists and is one of the main reasons Darussafaka is making such a strong playoff push.EuroLeague Rising Star candidates revealed