Oct
8

Euroleague Power Rankings: First of the Season edition

Right, then. With the last teams advancing into the Euroleague two dozen for the regular season and a break in the Kobe-to-Bologna soap opera today, BallinEurope breaks out an old favorite: power rankings!

Once again, the BallinEurope Euroleague Power Rankings are based on current trends, i.e. who’s hot, who’s not. For this edition of the list, also taken into consideration are offseason acquisitions and a dash of expectations vis-à-vis how these squads will look when the games really start to matter. Let the arguments begin!

1. FC Barcelona – Heard it before? Well, you’ve probably heard about the core of the Barca roster before, too: Juan Carlos Navarro, Pete Mickael, Erazem Lorbek, Victor Sada, Boniface N’dong, Kosta Perovic and Fran Vazquez; getting to add Chuck Eidson and Marcelinho Huertas doesn’t seem fair. In going 8-0 thus far this preseason, the Blaugrana have added to their trophy case with Lliga Catalana and Supercopa Endesa titles and Navarro in particular is still in EuroBasket form. Right now, BiE says this is the team to beat.

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Jan
0

ACB race tightens: Madrid, Baskonia escape; Unicaja slips further on table

With 19 of its 34 weeks nearly complete, the ACB race is tightening quickly, as evidenced by three games of last night which were decided by a combined four points. (This just in: Real Madrid 62, Assignia Manresa 61, so surely BiE’ll have clips from that soon as well.) You want highlights? BallinEurope’s got your highlights right here. Under the break.

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May
2

Statistically dominant Tiago Splitter wins ACB MVP award

Congratulations to Tiago Splitter, who, to the surprise of extremely few, took home the ACB MVP title for 2009-10. Statistically, Splitter dominated the Spanish League while leading the ACB “playing ranking value” over 27 of the league’s 34 weeks. He ended up ranking first in ranking points per game (at 21.2, he blew away second-place finisher Gerald Fitch’s 17.9); sixth in scoring at 15.7 ppg; eighth in boards at 6.72 rpg; third in defensive rebounds with 4.9 per game; 14th in blocks at 0.76 per; fourth in total free-throw attempts (despite missing five games); and first in fouls drawn (with a crazy 5.72 per game).

However, it wasn’t totally about the stats, as Splitter proved himself a leader in Caja Laboral Baskonia’s second-half surge that saw his team catch up and pass Real Madrid from a four-game deficit in December to take the league’s no. 2 seed for the playoffs.

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Oct
0

The Spanish League explained: Part two

Ball in Europe contributor Francesco Cappelletti contributes the second part of his look at the ACB with briefs on a dozen teams who won’t exactly compete for the Spanish league title, but certainly compare with most European competition. Part one can be read by clicking here.

One step behind. These ACB teams aren’t worthy of a title drive; despite this, their value is surely greater than other European mid-level teams. With at least seven or eight really good players apiece, they’re readier to exploit every possibility than richer and more ambitious clubs can. For example, Gran Canaria 2014 is coming off a monster season in which it finished the regular season in sixth place (ahead of Valencia) and was eliminated by Unicaja Malaga in the quarterfinals. Gran Canaria is now without Carl English, Mario Fernandez and Joel Freeland, who are testing themselves in top teams; however, the newly arrived Jaycee Carroll from Teramo and Will McDonald are noticeable names for a non-Euroleague team, and they fit perfectly into this team’s scheme thanks to men very similar to them. The skeleton is nearly the same as last year: Joshua Fisher and Marcus Norris comprise a duo that provides veteran attitude and intangibles, while Melvin Sanders, Sitapha Savane and James Augustine carry a strong presence on both ends of the floor.

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May
2

Pete Mickeal to be known as Petko Mihailov?

According to Spain’s leading internet basketball mag Solobasket, Tau Vitoria got Pete Mickeal a Bulgarian passport in order to sign another U.S. citizen, Gerald Fitch, as an import player to the team, as only two are allowed to play per team in Spain’s ACB (The other player would be John Lucas III.)

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