Aug
0

EuroBasket 2015: Romania the odd team out on the final night

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The final night of the second round of qualification (QR2) for EuroBasket 2015 is in the books and we now know which 13 teams will progress from this stage to join the 11 teams who have already qualified for next year’s tournament. Emmet Ryan rounds up the action for the final time.

Remember, the seven group winners and six best group runners-up progress to next year’s competition to join the 11 teams already qualified.

We’re going to go group by group to tell you who progressed and who is out (thanks Oprah). First, a reminder of the teams already through before we even got to QR2: Croatia, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Lithuania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Ukraine, and Turkey. Estonia won the first qualifying round while the other 10 are in because they are in the 2014 FIBA World Cup of Basketball. And now, the teams that will join them.
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Aug
2

The Dream Team’s children

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The now elder statesmen of international hoops often speak about the influence the Dream Team had on them but what about the players who were born in the wake of that defining event in international basketball? Emmet Ryan looks at the most interesting young players at the 2014 FIBA World Cup of Basketball.

This seems like as good a time as any to talk about youth at the World Cup given Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk has been named in Ukraine’s squad. For the purposes of this we’re defining these players as any born from 1992 onwards. That means one or two were born before the 1992 Olympics but we’re going to allow them those couple of months when it’s safe to say they didn’t develop all that much as ballers.

What was stunning in our look across the squads was how few young players feature on teams from the Americas. Outside of Team USA, it’s a string of veteran heavy outfits. Europe, by and large, is sending more balanced squads but there are plenty of younger players knocking around.
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Aug
0

EuroBasket 2015: Bosnia, Belgium, Israel, and Latvia lock up spots

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The field for EuroBasket 2015 took a step closer to being set but the somewhat confusing tie-breakers means there are still places up for grabs. Here’s what happened on Sunday.

Bosnia and Herzegovina saw off a spirited Great Britain charge 74-68 to move to 3-0 and formally book their place out of Group A. Mirza Teletovic had another big night for the hosts as he led all scorers with 25 while Ben Mockford nailed five from deep for the visitors.

Group B saw Israel secure their spot with an 83-60 win over the Netherlands. Montenegro beat Bulgaria 85-73 on the road. Montenegro will play the Dutch to decide second spot although, and we’ll explain in a bit, victory alone may not be enough for either side.

No-one is securely in the finals after today’s games in Group C. Poland trounced Luxembourg 100-64 to move to 4-1 but they still need to beat Austria in their final game to be safe. Germany stayed alive with an 88-69 win over Austria. Germany need to win against Luxembourg to have a shot at second spot but a win for Austria in Poland would make things really messy.
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Aug
0

Rudy Fernandez signs on for four more years with Real Madrid


Real Madrid announced Thursday that Rudy Fernandez will stay with the Euroleague powerhouse for the next four seasons. The deal will see Fernandez stay with Real through to the end of the 2017/18 season, at which stage the former Portland Trail Blazer and Denver Nugget will be 33.

Fernandez has made the All-Euroleague first team in each of the past two seasons, winning the ACB title and Copa del Rey along with two trips to the Euroleague championship game. Fernandez averaged 13.2 points last seasons, shooting 89.1 per cent from the line, 4.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals in 31 Euroleague games for Los Blancos last season.

Aug
0

Highlights: Kentucky down Chalon-Reims

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Big Blue got off to a big start in pre-season beating French Pro B team Chalon-Reims 81-58 in the Bahamas. Aaron Harrison stole the show with this big dunk
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Aug
0

What the Rockets can expect from Papanikolaou

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The Houston Rockets finally secured the services of Kostas Papanikolaou on Friday night but what will the two-time Euroleague champion bring to the table?

The Rockets locked down Papanikolaou on a two-year $9.4 million contract, a big step up from the $4m dollar deal over the same period he was initially offered. With a $1.5 million buyout to pay to Barcelona, $900,000 of which would come out of his own pocket, Pap was always going to need a bigger offer to cross the Atlantic. Not that he is so-so about going to the NBA. The Greek forward has previously said he’d sacrifice money for playing time to get to the association. The need for a new deal was pretty much about value.

What Rockets fans should see in Pap is potential. The past three seasons have seen great development in the maturity of his game. The Greek announced his presence to Europe with an outstanding display in the Euroleague final in 2012. A year later he was named the league’s rising star, before leaving Olympiacos to join Barcelona.
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Aug
0

Jamont Gordon continuing his road to recovery

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Last month we caught up with former Galatasaray and Mississippi State guard Jamont Gordon as he looks to get back on the court following a season ending injury. Gordon is charting his recovery through a video series and part two dropped on Wednesday night. Check out the video below to see how Gordon is trying to prove he can get back into Europe and make an impact.
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Aug
0

A happy separation for the VTB United League?

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The withdrawal of the Lithuanian clubs from the VTB United League, following on from the departure of Ukrainian clubs, has left the pan-national league looking essentially like Russia and fodder but this may not be all that bad, writes Emmet Ryan.

From day one money was the main motivation behind the VTB United League and money, or at least one source, has played a key role in its dilution. While the political instability in Ukraine made clubs from their a non-runner for 2014/15, local politics of a far more mundane manner influenced the withdrawal of Lithuania clubs. Vilnius city council threatened to withdraw funding from Lietuvos Rytas if they participated in the league this season, giving the club are rather direct and simple choice. The move effectively left the VTB League with none of the appealing clubs from the LKL on the table, with Zalgiris Kaunas already non-runners and Neptunas following swiftly in the wake of Rytas’ decision. With only lesser lights left, the VTB League opted to contract to a 16 team league, of which 10 sides are Russian.
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Jul
0

Sarunas Jasikevičius retires, joins Zalgiris in coaching role

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Sarunas Jasikevičius, one of the most decorated players in European basketball history has formally announced his retirement.

It feels like Saras has been a veteran for ages and that’s probably because he has been. At 38 he’s finally hanging up his kicks to work as an assistant coach with Zalgiris Kaunas, with whom he won the Lithuanian title this past season, in the LKL and Euroleague.
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Jul
0

Mykhailiuk operating almost under cover

Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk

It’s an accident of birth to some degree, actually several, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk will be all over our screens when he suits up for Kansas but with no live feed from the FIBA U18 European championships B Division the Ukrainian is taking care of business in Sofia this week.

Niall McDermott of The Courtside Collective has been charting the Irish team’s progress at the tournament and they ran into Mykhailiuk and Ukraine on Sunday. In this guest post, McDermott explains why the guard is something of a mystery…
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