By Eurohoops Team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Kyle Allman, D’Angelo Harrison, Sam Dekker, Evan Bruinsma, and David Kravish were named on the Basketball Champions League Team of the month for December. One of the five players will go on to earn the MVP of the month award.
Per BCL: “The last month of Basketball Champions League action for 2020 ended with the race to the Play-Offs wide open in almost every group as only one team, Brose Bamberg, has secured their spot in the next stage.
The team of the month for December reflects that relative parity across the Regular Season group standings as all five of its members contributed to their respective teams clinching important – in one case, pivotal – victories this month in their bid to reach the Play-Offs.
Kyle Allman of VEF Riga, D’Angelo Harrison of Happy Casa Brindisi, Sam Dekker of Turk Telekom, Evan Bruinsma of Falco Szombathely and David Kravish of Brose Bamberg are the five players who got the nod in December.
Here’s a closer look at the performances of the five members of Team of the Month for December 2020 in the BCL:
KYLE ALLMAN (December efficiency rating: 22)
— Basketball Champions League (@BasketballCL) December 24, 2020
The fact that just four games into the 2020-21 Regular Season VEF Riga have won three times as many games as they had won in the entire 2019-21 season, and are on the cusp of securing a spot in the Play-Offs of the BCL for the first time, would be a great accomplishment by itself, even before taking into account that last year they played 14 games in this stage.
There are various factors behind this reversal of fortunes for the Riga club, but anyone can see that the player who makes all the pieces work together in harmony on the floor is Kyle Allman, who is having a breakout season at the age of 23.
In December, the VEF guard instigated his team’s back-to-back victories over neighbors Rytas Vilnius as he first posted a near double-double of 17 points and 9 assists in the road game in Lithuania and then followed up with a similar display of 23 points, 9 assists and 5 rebounds in the home game on December 23, which ended in VEF’s biggest BCL win to date, 84-60.
D’ANGELO HARRISON (December efficiency rating: 25)
— Basketball Champions League (@BasketballCL) December 26, 2020
There is an old adage that the only surefire tactic to stop a compulsive scorer is to lock them up in the dressing room prior to the game, and opponents of Happy Casa Brindisi might have to start considering that course of action when going up against D’Angelo Harrison.
The Brindisi guard who is finally showcasing his scoring prowess on the big stage of the BCL has already established himself as the league’s leading scorer this season averaging 21.8 points per contest.
If he continues at the pace he set in December though, he might also end up with the highest scoring average in a single season in the history of the competition.
Harrison averaged 28 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3 assists over Brindisi’s two games this month (both against Filou Oostende) and has yet to miss from the foul line in the BCL, averaging an outstanding 7.2 made free-throws per game on 100 percent accuracy.
SAM DEKKER (December efficiency rating: 16)
— Basketball Champions League (@BasketballCL) December 9, 2020
Turk Telekom turned heads in the summer when they announced they had signed Sam Dekker and although their campaign has gone through trials and tribulations that could not be foreseen – as has been the case with many clubs in this very particular season – the former Houston Rocket has managed to show off glimpses of the impact he can have on the Ankara team’s success.
Dekker’s importance to Turk Telekom’s season was most evident in the December 9 home game against Limoges CSP, when he came up with two huge plays on either side of the floor in the final 11 seconds to help his team snatch a 76-73 victory from the jaws of defeat.
The 26-year-old small forward averaged 16 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game in December and he has made a big contribution on the defensive end. Perhaps more impressively, he has put in an early candidature for….Iron Man of the season as he stayed on the floor for 39 minutes in each of the two games Turk Telekom played this month and is averaging 36.1 minutes of action for the season.
EVAN BRUINSMA (December efficiency rating: 19)
Falco Szombathely played three games in December and although the first two ended in defeat, the third brought about a first ever win over Casademont Zaragoza – in the fourth meeting between the two sides since last year – and revitalized the Hungarian team’s chances of punching a ticket to the Play-Offs.
Bruinsma has been the one constant for Falco throughout this period, as his performances had metronome-like consistency whether the team ended up on the winning or the losing end, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that his reliable play has enabled them to maintain their confidence even after two straight losses.
The 28-year-old power forward with the soft touch averaged in December 18 points on an outstanding 82 percent three-point field goal percentage (9 of 11 from three-point range in three games) and 4.3 rebounds per game. Bruinsma is his team’s leading scorer and the league’s 10th leading scorer so far this season.
DAVID KRAVISH (December efficiency rating: 18.5)
— Basketball Champions League (@BasketballCL) December 25, 2020
Brose Bamberg will enter 2021 as the only team to have secured a berth in the BCL Play-Offs, after starting off their campaign on a perfect 4-0, and it’s not a secret that their style of play is not star-oriented but it’s rather based on the collective strengths of their ensemble cast.
But for an ensemble cast to perform so admirably everyone needs to know their role and be a good fit for that role, and perhaps David Kravish is the perfect embodiment of Bamberg’s success in that respect.
The 28-year-old center is effectively the same player he was last season at BAXI Manresa – he is even shooting an identical 59 percent from the floor – but his effectiveness is maximized and his scoring and rebounding averages have gone up, in fewer minutes on the floor.
In Bamberg’s two games in December – two wins against Pinar Karsiyaka, at home and on the road – Kravish averaged 14 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2 blocks per contest. He is in fact the joint third-leading blocker in the league this season, when last year he averaged 1.3 blocked shots per game.”