By Eurohoops team / email@example.com
The Basketball Champions League is getting ready for the Final Eight Tournament and one of the arguably biggest surprises that has made it to the final stage is Nizhny Novgorod.
A big reason for that has been Kasey Shepherd who’s been having a great season but also erupted in the playoffs to push his team to the top spot in the group. The American guard has been named the Playoffs MVP for his successful effort.
“I am grateful for winning the award and I am happy to know that I am playing well enough to be recognized, it’s a great feeling. This is a way bigger deal than other awards I’ve had in my career because there were so many great players in the BCL Top-16,” Shepherd told the competition’s official website.
He was also well aware that Nizhny has had an underdog status the whole time.
“Coming into this season nobody really had high expectations of us, so the fact that we were able to make it to the Final 8 coming in first place in our group is pretty big. I am happy that I could be a part of this success and I am glad that I am able to play my role.”
Shepherd averaged 20.5 points and 22.2 PIR in the playoffs, a considerable improvement from the 15.6 and 12.8 he logged throughout the regular season. And he’s been doing it all off the bench. Unique but he welcomes it asan advantage.
“Coming off the bench gives me the chance to see what the other team is doing, watch how they are guarding our point guard on the pick and roll, if they are pressing him, if they are backing off, if they let him shoot,” the 26-year-old said and added. “So I am little bit more prepared to attack and I think it also gives me another advantage, because the defenders that are already in the game are a little bit tired when I am checking in.”
Photo Credit: Basketball Champions League