By Nikos Varlas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Εurohoops decided to present for the first time this season the first ever European Top100 from the players who are competing in the 24 clubs of Euroleague, having as a base five criteria, which were strictly defined and hierarchized. It was not an easy project, by its own nature it was a cause of debate and objections, however in the end everything is decided on the court.
In most cases our ranking was pretty much correct, but we want to focus on the players we misjudged given what they did during the regular season. In total there are 21 players which we feel deserved more than they got from us and that’s why we have to give credit where it’s due.
Those who didn’t make the cut
In total 13 players who were cut from the Top100 proved that they deserved to be there and some of them in a respectable spot. All of them were among the 30 final cuts of our list, but their performances needs more than just a mention.
Τaylor Rochestie (Νizhny Novgorod)
He averaged 20 points and 5.6 assists, being more than efficient. What the numbers can’t portray is his leadership ability in Nizhny. Simply put, he is having his best career yet in Europe and that’s why we picked him as a basketball artist.
Τrey Thompkins (Nizhny Novgorod)
He had 13 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, he was there when needed and he was one of the stand outs in the big wins against Anadolu Efes and Unics Kazan. If he continues like that, he can do much more, considering the fact that he is just 25 years old.
Artsiom Parakhouski (Nizhny Novgorod)
One more surprise from the same team. He finished the regular season as the leading blocker, averaging 10.4 points and 7 rebounds. The numbers aren’t so flashy, but he put heart and soul on the court without backing down to any opponent.
We just shouldn’t have missed him. The 22 year old Serb had 11.7 points and 5.9 rebounds per game, proving that he is a top European prospect. The most impressive think about him is his stability, despite not having experience in the top level of competition. This season can be his passport for a bright future not only in Euroleague, but also in the Serbian national team.
Jamel McLean (Alba Berlin)
He is one of the players who exploded in the big stage and we had to get an interview with him. The American forward does an amazing job, have a great basketball IQ, motive, offensive efficiency and stability. He finished the regular season averaging 14.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 21 ranking. European basketball is waiting much from him after what he has done so far and that may also mean moving to a top powerhouse.
Alex Renfroe (Alba Berlin)
He proved that he had a place in the Top100. He was the “glue” of Alba, providing 9.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game. He always had good shooting percentages, he scored in double digits in half of the games of his team and in six games he dished more than 5 assists.
Boy, did we misjudge him. He is the second most valuable player of the champs behind Devin Smith, having 13.8 points, 5 rebounds per game and also being a charismatic blocker. He does everything on the court and he is evolving into a jack of all trades.
He has a solid season so far and he has turned into a key-player for Malaga, the top team of Liga Endesa. He is averaging 13 points, 2 rebounds and 3.1 assists, while shooting 47,6% in threes.
Μiro Bilan (Cedevita)
The Croatian center had a great presence with 12.5 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, shooting 55,6% in two pointers. He has a polished skill set, he is much improved and considering the fact that he is a 7footers and centers can be late bloomers, he can evolve much better.
Damian Kulig (Τurow)
The Polish forward/center was a surprise which wasn’t expected by many. He averaged 15.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.5 asists and 1.5 blocks. And did it with great efficiency, shooting 62% in two points shots and 17/36 three pointers (47.2%). More than well done!
Deivydas Gailius (Neptunas)
One more unexpected star! What was even more impressive in his case, was that when the pressure was bigger than ever for his team and Neptunas was fighting for Top16, he accepted the challenge and he was always present. His numbers (14.7 p., 4.8 r., 2.5 as. 40,7% 3p.) are just great for a “rookie” in Euroleague.
Jamar Smith (Limoges)
We knew that he was a scorer, but we didn’t expect this level of efficiency. He was the leader of the French champions with 14 points per game, while adding 3.1 assists and 1.2 steals. He was a constant threat shooting 46% in threes.
Shane Lawal (Dinamo Sassari)
He is the last name who could just make it to the Top100. Despite modest numbers (9 p., 7.3 r., 1.5 bl.) his game is there and in a team with better ball distribution and guards who can feed him better in the paint, he may do much more damage.
The should have been higher
There are also some player in the Top100 who should have been higher than in our rankings. Here are the eight cases in which a re-evaluation is more than needed.
The unexpected explosion of the Serbian giant was one of the biggest regular season highlights. He had 7 double doubles, averaging 16.8 points and 10.7 rebounds, getting the revenge of the “dinosaurs”. He was kind enough to let us interview him and after this kind of performance a case for including him even in the Top10 of Euroleague players can be made.
Τarence Kinsey (93) Nizhny Novgorod
We were aware of his quality, but we didn’t expected such a run by Nizhny, which is getting ready for the Top16. He is reliable, he is an all around trouble (14.4 p., 5.4 r., 1.6 as., 2.3 st.) and he was there when Rochestie was injured. He is climbed the ladder enough to be a Top50 player.
Reggie Redding (97) Alba Berlin
He made a name for himself the last two seasons and he is one of the players who can have a break out season. He confirmed it with his regular season, having 12.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. What the numbers can’t illustrate are his leadership ability.
He is by far the most impressive example of an American player from the NBA – and NBADL – who adapts in no time in Euroleague. This guy can do it all (16.8 p., 5.6 r., 2.4 as., 1 st.) and he is also a true leader. He is by far the biggest surprise of the league and he can be the next Sonny Weems. Ranking him today, his place in the Top20.
He is having an amazing season and he is creating interest even from the NBA. He averages 17.7 points, gets 4.9 rebounds per game and shoots with a mind-boggling 50,8% in threes. He had a storybook game against Crvena Zvezda and his stock is constantly rising, getting hm in the Top50 at least.
D’Or Fischer (58) Unics Kazan
He exploded against Real Madrid and Sassari, he completed the regular season with 13.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.8 block per game. He is flirting with Top50, despite his great disadvantage of not diving constantly in the paint after setting a pick.
December’s MVP is slowly turning into the “Diamantidis” of Maccabi. There’s nothing that he can’t do. He is 31 years old, but he still has it, averaging 16.8 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.2 steals, while being a true leader. We should rank him even higher and we just love his game.
Sofoklis Shortsanitis (91) Maccabi Tel Aviv
When the ranking was made, the official announcement by Maccabi wanted him to miss even three months, practically the whole regular season. As it turned out, Sofo was ready to go much earlier. He still not himself, playing just 13 minutes and averaging 5.3 points. However, he is the center who can make a difference for the Euroleague champions when things really count.