08 October, 2019
04 October, 2020
Long Read
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Basketball Champions League Power Rankings: Volume 9

MIES (Switzerland) - Basketball Champions League is back, which also means that our Power Rankings are here to stay, too. The format remains the same as last season, domestic results are taken into account, because you can't view this as an isolated competition, but as part of what a basketball team is going through all season long, in all competitions, all the time.


Well, VEF Riga are in charge of one category this season. Lester Medford played the most minutes of all players in the Basketball Champions League, 315 of them, 35.0 minutes per game, and there are only two more guys with 300+ minutes this season, so yeah, Medford is a marathon runner for Riga.


Six game losing streak in all competitions since December 11. And no, the fact that made it to OT in two of those games will not make Gaziantep feel any better.


If Mornar Bar want to stay afloat, then Jacob Pullen needs to pay more attention to the ball handling. We all know he's capable of 10-three-pointer, 30+ point outbursts, but he's averaging 3.9 turnovers per game, the highest number of all the Basketball Champions League players this season.


Hey, signs of life for Polski Cukier Torun! The huge losing streak was snapped in France last time around, taking them to 2-7, just two wins behind the fourth spot in Group A. If they manage to turn their season around, it will be because of MVP-like performances from Chris Wright, who's leading the efficiency per game stats with 22.1 in that department.


You really should read this piece on Vrenz Bleijenbergh. The youngster explained why he chose Telenet Antwerp Giants over Barcelona or NCAA, and has high hopes for 2020, saying stuff like "2020 will be a nightmare for those who doubt me." Gotta love the confidence, something to follow even in a 2-7 Antwerp team. 


Speaking of stat leaders, we have a new points-per-game leader! EB Pau-Lacq-Orthez's Justin Dentmon came in late and is posting 22.6 points per game, while knocking down 45.5 percent from deep on more than 8 attempts per game! Good signing, EBPLO. Good signing.
(Let's not talk about your season's record, okay? Okay.)


PAOK finally won a game in Greece. And it could be an all important win, because they handed their arch-rivals Aris, leaving them in the bottom spot of the Greek League, staying one spot above them in the relegation battle. Of course, relegation battle sounds horrible, so that's why they can't be higher than 26 here.


No shot blocking? Well, find it. UNET Holon block a league worst 2.6 percent of all the shots they are facing, so they brought back Joe Alexander, a former 8th pick of the NBA Draft, to help them out under the rim. Good luck with that, Holon. Good luck.


Jordan Theodore is no longer with the club. Dusko Ivanovic is no longer with the club. Besiktas Sompo Sigorta are down to 3-6, so it seems that they could be stuck in the group, missing the Play-Offs here for the first time ever.


Okay, what's going on with SIG Strasbourg? Winless since December 13, when they had blown out Gravelines by 18 away from home... And now they also lost Jerai Grant, who signed with AEK. Troubled times for the French juggernauts.


Just imagine how much better Neptunas Klaipeda could be if they kept their possessions under control a bit more often. Because when every fifth possession you have is a turnover, you can't expect sublime results and success in this kind of a league. No way.
(Every fifth possession a turnover means they are on pace to have the highest turnover percentage in the history of BCL, set by Helios Suns in season one.)


Since the start of the season, Happy Casa Brindisi have been involved in only FIVE games which saw the away team pick up a win. So basically, Brindisi are winning at home, losing away from home, that's the best way to sum it up, yes. Fitting for a team named Happy Casa.


I'm fairly certain that Emanuel Terry is the most athletic guy of the Basketball Champions League this season. He was featured in our Coast to Coast podcast not that long ago, so feel free to meet the guy. Teksut Bandirma are a fun team, but at 4-5 they are in danger of missing the Play-Offs.


These two Belgian teams have a lot in common. They are both below 100 points per 100 possessions in the BCL, meaning they are struggling offensively, but they both have a lot of interesting prospects on board, including the longest name of the season in Keye van der Vuurst de Vries, Filou Oostende's point guard. He's the youngest guy to ever play for the Netherlands, and he wants to be their own version of Facundo Campazzo. Read all about it.


I'm just here to tell you that Lietkabelis have six wins in their last seven outings, including one over Zalgiris a couple of days ago. Best form we've ever seen them in? Could be.




You know how coaches always say, "we got to keep our turnovers to the minimum if we want to be successful" and similar stuff? Well, Brose Bamberg are turning the ball over on just 12.6 percent of their possessions, the best in the Basketball Champions League by some distance. And yet, they are down at 4-5, two wins behind Peristeri in the hunt for Play-Offs. Weird. Also, they lost three of their last four games in all competitions.


Diccon Lloyd-Smeath wrote about RASTA Vechta so I don't have to. Click here, you won't regret it.


Here's the best advanced stat of the season. San Pablo Burgos are the best and the worst rebounding team of the competition, at the same time! They collect 36.1 percent of all available offensive rebounds - a ridiculous number, when you compare it to NBA leading 25.1 percent by the Denver Nuggets. But at the same time, San Pablo Burgos pick up just 66.9 percent of all available defensive rebounds, the worst mark of the Basketball Champions League. Stats are crazy.


Don't look now, but Anwil Wloclawek are heating up. Polish champs are on a six game winning streak in all competitions, scoring 100+ points in FOUR of those six games!!! Madness in Poland. Oh, and they won the derby against Torun over the weekend, away from home, so yeah, they'll feel confident when they hit the road to face EB Pau-Lacq-Orthez this week.


Casademont Zaragoza own a 5-4 record, but they also have Nico Brussino on board, which means they'll make the Final. For sure.


When is it time to take the Hungarian champs for real? Because Falco Szombathely are 10-1 since late November, with their only defeat being to the hands of Egis Kormend. So they are riding a three-game winning streak in the Basketball Champions League, too, with their loud and colorful fans to thank, for sure.


Turk Telekom are up at 6-3, with Moustapha Fall's numbers looking so good that he could be the MVP of the whole thing - he's in there, in the MVP Race, for sure. January could determine the direction in which the Turkish guys are going - they've got the red-hot Lietkabelis in town this week, then play host to Manresa and travel to Oostende. Three wins in those three could take them to the Top 5 here.


The drop to 9th spot is just a bit of a precaution with Peristeri winmasters because they had back-to-back defeats in the Greek League, which is not something you'd expect from a team that had defeated Panathinaikos just prior to that.


Best Nizhny Novgorod we've ever seen? Brandon Brown behind the steering wheel means that Nizhny are capable of defeating Tenerife and Bamberg in this league, and even stopping Enisey Krasnoyarsk in the VTB United League - not a lot of people did that this season. Brown cracked Top 10 in the MVP Race in the process.


Four wins in a row in the Spanish League for BAXI Manresa! In fact, instead of writing up anything here, I'll just let you enjoy this wild video of the Clutch Kings.


The fact that JDA Dijon are on another five-game winning run is just not newsworthy anymore - we're so used to David Holston and the rest of the crew winning all the time. To add more weight to that, Dijon's ONLY defeat since the start of December was that overtime thriller in Hungary, when Falco pulled off an upset late in the game. Oh, of course Holston is looking good in the MVP Race, yep.


Seven in a row, 16-1 over the last 17 games in all competitions... ERA Nymburk are doing ERA Nymburk stuff. Just like Holston in Dijon's box up there, Zach Hankins is also in the MVP Race.


This thing with Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem dropping a place has nothing to do with them being bad or something. They are 11-1 over the last 12 games in all competitions, but the three teams ahead of them are on another level when it comes to right here and right now.


Dinamo Sassari this season, Italian SuperCup, Italian League, Basketball Champions League: 22-5.
Dinamo Sassari's defeats by margin all season long: -1 (Manresa), -1 (Venezia), -6 (Trieste), -8 (Turk Telekom), -12 (Milano). Yes. Only one +10 defeat all season long. 
Also, Sassari are on an eight game winning streak as we speak. Also, Dyshawn Pierre. MVP Race.


Iberostar Tenerife won four of their last five games, jumped up to 10-6 to take sole possession of the fourth spot in the Spanish League, booked a ticket to the 2020 Copa del Rey and have TWO guys in the Top 10 of the MVP Race. Tenerife = amazing.


AEK won 10 games in a row, defeated Panathinaikos 100-97 in one of the best games of all the domestic leagues this season, and they've done it with Keith Langford sitting out most of the first half because of an injury. He came back to win the game with his clutch magic, sending the crowded OAKA stands into a frenzy once again, just like he's been doing in the BCL, too. With a lot of help from Howard Sant-Roos, of course. AEK = out of this world.

*The power rankings are entirely subjective and is in no way a true, accurate ranking systems. All comments are purely those of the author.

Igor Curkovic

Igor Curkovic

Igor Curkovic is Basketball Champions League's writer and editor since day one of the competition, specializing in Live Blog coverage of the games and sorting out the teams on Mondays, in the Power Rankings. When he's not watching basketball, he's commentating Croatian Second Division soccer games for TV.