No relative merits or penalties were assessed for the league in which BiE’s all-stars compete, and domination in one league was a top criteria for making the team. Currently, just four players lead a major European domestic or regional league in two of the big three statistical categories (i.e. points, rebounds and assists) and all are represented with the below-listed magnificent seven.
These guys may not yet exactly be household names, but BiE’d go into battle with this quintet any day – especially right now when they’re hot.
Keith Langford, BC Khimki Moscow region. Langford’s EL-topping index rating and Euroleague-high 18.7 points per game wasn’t even to carry his side into the Top 16 round, but 2010-11 ain’t over for the former Kansas Jayhawk: He’s currently topping the Russian Superleague at 19.3 ppg.
Think this is easy? Check out the conflict at point guard: Do you go with …
…Marko Popovic of Unics Kazan, one of few Continental players averaging over 20 points per game at 20.8 in the VTB United League to go with 6.0 assists per and a 22.3 efficiency rating; or…
…Cedevita Zagreb’s Dontaye Draper, boasting perhaps the highest index in Europe at 24.17 with his 18.5 ppg/5.83 apg in Croatia in over 34 minutes per game, plus none-too-shabby numbers of 16.4 points, 5.7 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game in seven Eurocup matches?
Bambale Osby of TTU/Kalev had a rough time of it last weekend, despite putting on what has become his customary one-man shows in the Baltic League (and to some extent in Estonian domestic ball as well). Osby’s team-leading 15 points and eight rebounds in Sunday’s immolation at the hands of Siauliai were enough to drop his BBL averages enough to reduce his former Europe-high index rating to 22.82.
In Estonia, Osby ranks 11th in player rating, but how would anyone guess with his nice-enough line of 14.3 points and 8.9 boards per game? Also of note is that fact that Osby is one of just two players currently averaging a double-double for the year in any major European league. (See below for the other.) The following YouTube was shot after one of 2010-11’s most dominant individual performance, a 24-point, 13-rebound display against Baltic beatdogs Valmiera in October.
Here’s to hoping that Osby’s recent success parlays into a tad more fame. Imagine having your entry bumped from Wikipedia, for Naismith’s sake. Total disrespect, man.
At 28 years old, Aurimas Kieza of Juventus is not only going for 18.7 points, 11.6 rebounds and 35.1 minutes in LKL ball, but he’s also managed a line of 14.2 ppg/10.1 rpg/32.4 mpg in nine Baltic League Challenge Cup games thus far along in 2010-11. Hey, BiE noticed.
Over in France, Limoges’ Christophe Massie has proven to be one of his side’s sole bright spots in a disastrous 5-10 season that has left the team just two points out of last place (albeit knotted up with Paris-Levallois and Poitiers in the relegation twilight zone. He’ll surely be starting in the LNB’s all-star game with his league-high 17.8 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, so he earns a spot here.
Verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry difficult it was to leave big man KK Zagreb’s Luka Žorić off the first team with his 18.9 ppg and 8.4 rpg comprising a 22.67 efficiency rating in the Adriatic League, but hey: This 26-year-old still hasn’t peaked yet and he’ll surely be around to plunder European ball for a while yet. Be afraid. Be very afraid. And if you’re still not scared, check out the dude’s profile pic.