Team of the Week: Rice, Griffin, Robertson, Grant and Saiz
MIES (Basketball Champions League) - There was an amazing pass here, a spectacular dunk there. There were gritty efforts by players who never let up as their teams secured priceless wins. Everywhere you turned, someone was raising eyebrows - especially those who seemed to put teams on their backs and spirit them to victory.
Truth be told, there were so many outstanding efforts on Gameday 8, especially from the guards, that we could have had two Teams of the Week! Alas, we can only have one and here it is.
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Tyrese Rice, Guard
If you roll the dice and leave 'em open, Rice will make you pay the price - as he has done his entire career. Then again, when you guard him he still finds a way to put the ball in the basket! He took over the game in the fourth quarter for Brose Bamberg on Wednesday night at Fuenlabrada, scoring the majority of his 26 points with step-back 3-balls and floaters. Despite everyone in the house knowing he was going to put the ball up, he still did and he still scored! The native Virginian shot 69 percent from the floor, including 50 percent (3 of 6) from deep. He also had a +25 efficiency.
Malcolm Griffin, Guard
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Talk about having your best performance of the season against the team that's supposed to be the best?! The AEK playmaker poured in a season-high 25 points in the Basketball Champions League win (83-70) at Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem, making 11 of 14 shots from the floor and 3 of 4 from deep. Griffin also finished with 4 assists, 7 rebounds and a couple of steals to take his efficiency rating to a whopping +34.
Kassius Robertson, Guard
Ohhhh Canada (sing it), you might want to have medi Bayreuth's Robertson in the lineup for the sixth window of the Americas Qualifiers for the World Cup because he absolutely torched Besiktas in Istanbul. Robertson, 24, connected on 5 of 6 shots from behind the arc and scored 31 points in his team's 90-74 win, a game that was close until midway through the fourth quarter when he took matters into his own hands.
Jerai Grant, Forward
Grant continues to be one of the top players in the Basketball Champions League
Well it's about time! Grant has been so good this season for Neptunas Klaipeda that he could have made the Team of the Week on numerous occasions. A model of consistency, Grant was sensational once again this week. In the first game of the season against Segafredo Virtus Bologna, which the Italians won at home after overtime, Grant had 21 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocks. In the second meeting, Grant helped hand Virtus (7-1) their first defeat of the Basketball Champions League season with 18 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal. He is averaging 16.8ppg and 9.3rpg!
Sebas Saiz, Center
Saiz was rock solid in Iberostar Tenerife's road triumph at Bonn
Where would Iberostar Tenerife be this season without the athletic Saiz? It probably wouldn't be in first place in Group B. Saiz, whose confidence has gone through the roof while playing in all 10 of Spain's European Qualifiers for next year's World Cup in China, had 19 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks on Tuesday as Iberostar Tenerife saw off the dogged challenge of hosts Telekom Baskets Bonn, 99-92, after overtime. He finished with a +25 efficiency.