The double-double kings
MIES (Switzerland) - While the game underwent a number of changes in recent years that seem to have favored guards, double-doubles are still a mark of success that remains the domain of big men.
It is a relatively infrequent feat - especially in European basketball, where players rarely get to stay on the floor for much more than 30 minutes per game - and it certainly remains more common in the form of points and rebounds than in points and assists.
Therefore the list of players with the most (at least seven) double-doubles in Basketball Champions League history comprises exclusively centers and power forwards. That said, the all-time leader is not a typical big man, but rather an undersized '5'.
Jordan Morgan, a center who stands at 2.03m (6ft 8in), is the only player to have registered 8 double-doubles in the BCL. The 28-year-old center registered his first 4 double-doubles with Petrol Olimpija in the 2017-18 season and the remaining 4 the following season, while playing for Banvit (now Teksut Bandirma).
|Player Name||Double-Doubles||Games Played|
Five of the players on the list didn't compete in the BCL in the 2019-20 season and two of those - Babacar Toure and Vladimir Stimac - recorded all 7 of their double-doubles in a single season, as the only two players in BCL history to have that feat.
Stimac and Toure also belong in another select club as, alongside Kyrylo Fesenko and Latavious Williams, they are the only players to have registered a double-double in four consecutive BCL games, the longest streak in competition history.
Meanwhile the two players on the list that did compete in the BCL in the 2019-20 season, power forwards Dyshawn Pierre and Jerai Grant, progressed in opposite directions this year.
Pierre, who had registered only 2 double-doubles in 2018-19, recorded 5 double-doubles in 16 games with Dinamo Sassari this season. Interestingly, Sassari won all seven games in which the Canadian forward came up with a double-double. Grant on the other hand had 5 double-doubles last season while at Neptunas Klaipeda, but he recorded just one in the 2019-20 campaign, which he spent first at SIG Strasbourg and then at AEK.
Two players were on pace to enter the list of double-double kings this season, but circumstances didn't allow them to play enough games to make it . Filou Oostende's Shevon Thompson made a splash in his maiden season in the BCL, leading the league in double-doubles as he registered 6 in his 13 games and averaging a double-double of 13.5 points and 10.1 rebounds for the Belgian champions.
Thompson however suffered an injury that kept him out of the final game of the Regular Season as well as the Round of 16 series against Iberostar Tenerife, and therefore he missed out on the chance to make the list with 7 double-doubles.
The other such player is Latavious Williams, who featured in just six games with UNET Hapoel Holon before parting ways with the Israeli club, but managed to post 4 double-doubles in that short stretch. The 31-year-old American can boast therefore of a 4-to-6 (67 percent) double-double ratio, the highest in BCL history.
The Triple-Double Twist
A quadruple double might be a boxscore occurrence slightly less rare than a unicorn sighting, but the BCL has already seen two players posting a triple-double in its relatively short history.
The first, in the inaugural season of the competition, was long-serving EWE Baskets Oldenburg player Chris Kramer. The American combo guard, who played for Khimki Moscow Region in the Euroleague this year, collected 16 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists in an Oldenburg win against Muratbey Usak in January 2017. Kramer also posted three double-doubles during his BCL career.
The only player so far to replicate Kramer's triple-double feat is Arnas Butkevicius. The Lithuanian winger played for Neptunas in their first two seasons in the BCL and while he never registered a double-double, he erupted for 19 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in a game against PAOK in November 2017.
One Hit Wonders
You will be surprised to learn that the BCL's... Draymond Green is not a forward, but the 1.93m (6ft 4in) Thomas Walkup. The 27-year-old guard, who played for Lithuanian champions Zalgiris Kaunas in the EuroLeague this season, is the only player in BCL history to have posted a double-double without scoring in double digits. Walkup had 10 rebounds and 10 assists for MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in their win against fellow German side EWE Baskets Oldenburg in March 2018.
Another former Ludwigsburg player, center Jack Cooley, is the only one to have managed registering a double-double in less than 15 minutes on the court. The American big man collected 12 points and 11 rebounds in just 13 minutes and 56 seconds of play in a game against Proximus Spirou in January 2017.
Meanwhile Dave Dudzinski has registered the most monstrous double-double in competition history, as the only player ever to collect more than 20 points and rebounds off the bench. The Telenet Giants Antwerp power forwards had 21 points and an eye-popping 22 rebounds against Anwil Wloclawek, last November.
Dudzinski was not the only one player this season to make a splash on the back of a double-double display: Chris Wright, who led BCL debutants Polski Cukier Torun in scoring, became the only player to post a double-double in points and assists in three consecutive games. Wright enjoyed this three-game stretch in October and ended the season with 4 double-doubles.
There in nonetheless only one player who can boast of posting a double-double on the biggest stage, and that would be Gediminas Orelik. The Lithuanian forward remains the only player to register a double-double performance in a BCL Final, albeit it came in a loss. Orelik had 13 points and 13 rebounds for Bandirma in the 2017 title game, which the Turkish team lost to Iberostar Tenerife.
🤯 Chris @SELF_MADEest89 Wright has become the FIRST PLAYER in the @BasketballCL history to make a double-double in each of his first 3⃣ games in the competition!#TwardePierniki #MadeInToruń #BasketballCL pic.twitter.com/YXf1NhyDM3— Polski Cukier Toruń (@TwardePierniki) October 30, 2019
Double (Double) Team
Is there something about a team's style of play or roster construction that can make its game more conducive to players registering a double-double than if they were playing for another team?
There must be some reasons at least, because Teksut Bandirma lead the way by a huge difference in this aspect, while other clubs which have competed in every single BCL season and had deep runs every time (such as Iberostar Tenerife or AEK) don't even feature in the list below:
|Besiktas Sompo Sigorta||18|
On the flip side, Fraport Skyliners, Ironi Nahariya and Opava are the only teams to have never seen any of their players register a double-double in the BCL.
Meanwhile UNET Holon has certainly had the most permissive attitude to double-double performances, or else its defense has traditionally been the one you want to go up against if you are chasing a double-double. Holon have allowed 23 opposing players to post a double-double display, more than any other team in BCL history.