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BiE’s official Irish awards ballot +++ Joakim Noah wins NBA Defensive Player of the Year +++ Swee’ Pea makes the cut – Reaches Funding Target +++ The Dish – Too Rude for Masai Uijiri +++ The BBL experience – Rowdy in Frankfurt +++ Fearless predictions: Euroleague playoffs +++ A Dario triple-double? Now that’s good timing +++ Swee’ Pea needs your help +++ Final Four: What the bookies say when the bookies talk +++ The greatest Eurodance tribute to Goran Dragic ever +++
Sep
12

Eurobasket 2013 Power Rankings – Enter Stage 2

We started with 24 but now we’re down to 12. Who is styling and profiling their way into the quarter finals and who needs some help? We rank the 12 remaing sides in Eurobasket 2013 and the 12 who are now dearly departed, or not so dearly in the case of a few.
Before getting to the rankings, we need to say a big thanks to everyone who responded on Twitter yesterday to the news of me taking over as editor. It’s much appreciated guys. Now on to the rankings…
1. Italy (5-0). Entering the second phase with a 2-0 record to start, it’s been hard to find a fault with Simone Piangiani’s team in the early going. It only gets harder from here but so far the only question is Danilo Who?
2. Spain (4-1). I narrowly pushed the back-to-back defending champions in front of the hosts based on the manner of their four victories. When they are good, they are very, very, good. That defeat to Slovenia has, if anything, served as a wake-up call.
3. Slovenia (3-2). The advantage of hosting the tournament was at its most obvious in Slovenia’s 78-69 win over favourites Spain. The raucous crowd (is there any other kind?) in Celje played its part and the only blemish to date is that narros defeat at the hands of Croatia.
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Dec
1

Podcast: Interviews Chuck Davis, Frank Robinson; also, how the Nazi Party influenced ESPN

Episode lucky number 13 in the “Taking the Charge” podcast series is now available online over at heinnews.

For this week, Mr. Hein and BallinEurope were graced with the presence of a pair of American ballers set to play in the 2012-13 Eurocup Last 16 round after wins for their respective teams last night: Chuck Davis of Banvit and Frank Robinson of Budivelnik Kiev (also this year’s home of those awesome Red Foxes).

Some truly candid and excellent insight into playing hoops through Europe – the two have played in a dozen countries combined – run throughout both talks. Davis may be most well-known among international basketball fans for his two tours with the unheralded, Cinderellaesque Team Azerbaijan. Check what Chuck has to say on the controversial subject of naturalized players in international play…

Robinson began his professional career after finishing with Cal State Fullerton in 2008 with Union Olimpija and has since moved around The Continent a bit with eyes always on the Euroleague prize. Robinson also contributes to the “Taking the Charge” cause with a couple of musical tracks that Jerel Blassingame and he freestyled together during their mutual time at Asseco Prokom.

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Mar
2

Déjà vu in Ukraine? Proposed role models for Fratello’s new team

When Mike Fratello arrives to head up his national team coaching gig in Ukraine, he won’t see too many familiar faces beyond Sasha Volkov. Volkov played for the Czar’s Atlanta Hawks for a couple seasons way back when; unfortunately, Volkov hasn’t actually played ball at any level since year 2000. Coupled with the fact that Fratello hasn’t coached at any level since washing out of Memphis in 2006 and, wow, the television guy is facing lots of unknowns.

Here’s to thinking Fratello will rely on past experience to guide his new team. His historical preference for grind-it-out defense is sure to mesh well with a big, physical Team Ukraine; the side is also blessed with lots of shot blocking at its disposal. Will the Czar be imagining past glories as he trains in Europe? To when in the past will he look while watching his players in the present? BallinEurope looks at some potential role models for Eurobasket 2011.

• Serhiy Gladyr

Current team: Basquet Manresa

Scouting report: “Gladyr is a 6’5” shooting guard with nice athletic ability … What makes Gladyr intriguing is his shooting: He’s one of the better pure shooters in the draft. His shooting numbers are not overwhelming (36% on three-pointers), but he clearly has a sweet-shooting stroke … [at 19 years old, he] already shows the ability to drill shots coming off screens. … He’s not strictly a shooter thanks to his athleticism and good ball-handling. Pretty nice handle where he loves to use his left hand, and has an effective crossover dribble. Did have some issues when trapped on pick-and-rolls … had some issues in general when a second defender approached him … Solid rebounder for a 2-guard … Sergiy is a pretty good athlete by Ukrainian League standards, but how he rates as a NBA athlete is hard to gauge. If he was a Top 10 scorer in Spain or Italy then I’d feel more assured of his potential.” (The Painted Area, June 2009)

What he’s doing in 2010-11: So now Sergiy is 21 and, while averaging 9.1 points per ACB game – second-highest on his team to Uros Slokar – doesn’t put him onto Spain’s top 10 scorers list, BiE thinks The Painted Area must be pleased with Gladyr’s progress. It seems Gladyr’s three-point shooting still underwhelms, as he averages 1.6-for-4.7 shooting beyond the arc per ACB game, good for right around – you guessed it – 35%. Nevertheless, the future looks bright for this Ukrainian; could an NBA draft selection be in his future…?

Role model: Dan Majerle, who Fratello himself may barely remember, as Deadly Dan played just a single season with the Cavaliers and started only 15 times. Like Majerle, Gladyr is noted for his ball-handling skills and is particularly difficult to stop (or to stop from shooting) anywhere on the floor if single-covered. As Majerle is today one of the relatively unsung heroes of those Charles Barkley-led Phoenix Suns teams of the 1990s, so would a sharpshooting Gladyr should Team Ukraine surprise.

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Feb
1

Fratello named Team Ukraine coach for Eurobasket 2011

Former Atlanta Hawks coach/Marv Albert’s right-hand man Mike “The Czar” Fratello has been named coach of Team Ukraine in advance of Eurobasket 2011. According to press releases and Associated Press reportage, Ukrainian Basketball Federation president Olexandr Volkov stated that “We have a verbal agreement and will sign an official contract any day now. This will be a short-term deal to prepare the team for EuroBasket 2011.”

In 16 seasons with the Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Memphis Grizzlies, Albert compiled a 666-542 record in the regular season plus a 20-42 mark in 11 playoff appearances.

Though his two-plus years with the Grizzlies ran from 2004 to 2007, Fratello has been more well-known for his television work since at least 2000, typically teaching up with Marvelous Marv on American TV.

Volkov played for Fratello’s Hawks in two seasons, averaging 6.8 points and 2.6 rebounds in 16.5 minutes played per game

Team Ukraine will be playing in its first-ever Eurobasket tournament this summer in Lithuania, qualifying for the round of 24 by dint of FIBA Europe’s decision to expand the former tournament of 16 by invite.

Press release follows.

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Jan
0

Club president dissolves BC Donetsk

Something of a shocker from Ukraine today, as BC Donetsk president Sergei Diadechko announced on the team’s official website that he would be releasing all players and staff in addition to stepping down himself as of tomorrow, January 14.

Citing health reasons and poor performance by the team in this year’s FIBA EuroChallenge competition, team co-founder Diadechko posted a statement announcing his course of action last night following the final EuroChallenge game involving Donetsk.

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Jan
0

CSKA, Zalgiris, Khimki, Kazan in VTB United League final four

The final four teams in the inaugural season of the Eastern European basketball association known as the VTB United League are set, with playoffs scheduled for January 21 and 22 at the Kaunas Sports Arena.

The quartet is comprised of group winners UNICS Kazan and CSKA Moscow plus runners-up Khimki Moscow region and Zalgiris Kaunas. Though Kaunas and Moscow both posted 5-1 records in the pool play portion of the season, CSKA took the group based on point differential earned in the October opener with a 90-74 win over the Lithuanian squad.

Teams eliminated as of the final games this weekend were Kalev Tallinn, VEF Riga, Azovmash and Mariupol Donetsk.

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Jun
2

Euroleague qualification system to be set

Euroleague season 2008-2009 has been over for more than a month already, but who will qualify for next year’s edition of the major competition in European basketball remains unclear. The A/B/C Licensing system has been extensively discussed here at BallinEurope.com, and it looks as though Euroleague Basketball will soon come to a final decision.

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May
0

Pole vault legend’s basketball fairytale

Former Pole Vault champion and world record holder Sergey Bubka, currently president of the Ukrainian Olympic Committee, is probably very proud about one of his recent projects. Together with the support of the local bank Rodovid and basketball coach Valery Plehanov, Bubka founded a basketball team in his hometown of Donetsk three years ago. This team has now reached the Ukrainian finals just three years after its foundation.

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Sep
1

Italy back on track; Great Britain close to Poland

The Eurobasket 2009 qualifiers have started really poorly for coach Recalcati’s Team Italy. After four losses in the first five games, the situation was pretty bad but without going for incredible results, Italy is back in the race for Poland.

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Jul
2

Will Azovmash be the next Prokom Trefl?

If you’ve been reading about the signings by Ukrainian team Azovmash Mariupol these days, it looks as though the owners at Azov Sea just discovered oil under their gym: Dijon Thompson, Uche Nsonwu, Marc Salyers, Khalid El-Amin, Alexandr Capin or Simonas Serapinas have all signed contracts in recent weeks.

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