Everything you need to know ahead of Wednesday's Gameday 9 fixtures
MIES (Switzerland) - Grab the popcorn, sit back and enjoy the final day of action in the 2019 calendar year, because it could very well provide us with the most gripping games so far in this Basketball Champions League season.
Wednesday features huge clashes at the top of groups A and B, as well as a couple of games that will shape the top half of the standings in the too-tight-for-comfort Group D as we head into the final stretch of the Regular Season.
Let's have a closer look at the very promising eight-game Wednesday slate:
Teksut Bandirma (3-5) v Telenet Giants Antwerp (2-6) - Group B, 18:00 CET
Victor Sanders will miss several months of action with a left knee injury
- Antwerp's Victor Sanders, who was averaging 7.7 points and 2 rebounds per game, tore the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the Gameday 8 loss to San Pablo Burgos. The Belgian team have penned combo guard Stephaun Branch, who had started the season at Finland's Ura Basket, to fill the void left by the unfortunate Sanders.
- Antwerp won 93-90 in the reverse fixture on Gameday 2, as Ibrahima Fall Faye posted a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds and added 4 blocks.
- Bandirma point guard Jaime Smith, who missed the last two games through injury, returned to action at the weekend in the Turkish BSL league, so he is expected to play on Tuesday.
- Antwerp are averaging a league-low 71.4 points per game. The Belgian team have lost all four of their road games so far his season and never scored more than 76 points in that span.
- Bandirma have lost their last two games at home but have never lost three consecutive home games in the competition. The Turkish side have three losses at home this season, one more than in their three previous Regular Seasons campaigns combined.
- Antwerp are averaging a league-high 15.4 offensive rebounds per game.
- Emanuel Terry of Bandirma is among the two players to have collected at least 10 rebounds in five different games this season. Kingsley Moses of Peristeri is the other one.
- Antwerp's Hans Vanwijn has either scored in double digits (three games) or had at least 10 rebounds (two games) in each of the last five games.
VEF Riga (1-7) v Peristeri winmasters (5-3) - Group C, 18:00 CET
Kingsley Moses is a force in the paint for Peristeri, averaging 10.6 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks per game
- Peristerin won 91-83 in the reverse fixture on Gameday 2, behind William Hatcher's 21 points.
- VEF have lost their last four home games and only averaged 59.5 points per game in the last two games at home in the competition.
- Peristeri, who are riding a two-game winning streak, are yet to score more than 73 points in a road game in the BCL.
- VEF give up only 5.6 fast-break points per game on average, the fewest among all teams so far this season.
- VEF’s Lester Medford is the only player to have collected at least 10 points and 5 assists in each of the eight games this season.
- Yannick Moreira and Kingsley Moses have a combined 21 blocks so far, which means that the Peristeri duo have blocked more shots than 18 teams in the league this season. Moses posted a double-double in three of his last four games.
Anwil Wloclawek (4-4) v San Pablo Burgos (5-3) - Group B, 20:00 CET
Tony Wroten's scoring has been remarkably consistent
- The Spanish team won 100-78 in the reverse fixture, as Thad McFadden poured in 20 points to lead five Burgos players in double digits.
- Anwil have already won as many games this season as in the entire 2018-19 season. The Polish side have won three of their last four home games in the competition.
- Burgos have won their last two road games, after losing the first two. All four of the Spanish team's road games in the competition were decided by a single-digit margin.
- Burgos are averaging a league-high 15.9 second-chance points per game. By contrast, Anwil give up 14.8 second-chance points per game on average, more than any other team this season.
- Tony Wroten is the only Anwil player to have scored in double digits in each of the first eight gamedays this season.
- Burgos point guard Ferran Bassas scored in double digits twice in the last three road games, as many times as in his first 26 road games in the competition, 25 of which were with Iberostar Tenerife.
Telekom Baskets Bonn (5-3) v Happy Casa Brindisi (4-4) - Group D, 20:00 CET
Adrian Banks earned the Gameday 2 MVP accolade for his performance in the reverse fixture
- Brindisi have signed 33-year-old forward Dominique Sutton, who spent part of the last season at Burgos and averaged 12.8 points in the Spanish Liga Endesa. It is however unlikely the newly-arrived Sutton will make his debut on Wednesday.
- Brindisi won 76-75 in the reverse fixture on Gameday 2 behind 31 points from Adrian Banks, who won MVP honors that week.
- Bonn have scored at least 80 points in each of their last five home games, their best such run at home in the competition. The German side won five of their last six home games in which they scored 80 or more points.
- Brindisi are averaging a league-high 21.6 points off turnovers per game.
- Brindisi have lost all four of their road games and gave up at least 95 points in each of their last three road games.
- Bonn have a league-low 8 blocks so far this season, while Brindisi have only had 8 of their shots blocked, fewer than any other team.
- Brindisi's Tyler Stone is averaging 21 points, 11 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in the last three games, after averaging 12 points, 5.2 rebounds and 0.6 blocks in the first five games.
Dinamo Sassari (6-2) v Turk Telekom (6-2) - Group A, 20:30 CET
A home game for Sassari means an almost guaranteed 10-point, 8-rebound display by Dyshawn Pierre
- Turk Telekom won 64-56 in the reverse fixture, behind RJ Hunter's 14 points. Sassari have won only one of their five games against Turkish teams in the competition.
- Turk Telekom's two losses in the came in the only two games they gave up 80 or more points. The Turkish team have the fourth-best defense in the league, giving up 73.1 points per game on average.
- Turk Telekom's opponents commit only 9.8 turnovers per game on average, making the Turkish side the team that is forcing the fewest opponents' turnovers so far this season.
- Sassari's Dyshawn Pierre has scored more than 10 points in each of his last eight home games, also averaging 8 rebounds per game in that span.
- Moustapha Fall is the only player this season to average at least 12 points, 8 rebounds and 1 block per game. The Turk Telekom center is currently averaging 12.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game.
AEK (6-2) v Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem (6-2) - Group B, 20:30 CET
J’Covan Brown, a former AEK player, is averaging 15.7 points in his games against the Athens side
- Hapoel won 85-78 in the reverse fixture on Gameday 2, behind 19 points from James Feldeine. The Israeli team won 79-75 the last time the two sides met in Athens, in last season's Regular Season.
- Hapoel are averaging a league-high 1.21 points per possession. The Jerusalem team also have an effective field goal percentage of 57.4 percent, the highest in the competition this season.
- AEK’s Keith Langford is averaging 23 points per game at home, second only to Lietkabelis's Zeljko Sakic, who is averaging 25.8 points per home game. Langford was the second-leading scorer in the league averaging 20.5 points, prior to Tuesday's games.
- Hapoel are averaging a league second-high 88 points per game on a league-high two-point field goal percentage of 59.7 percent.
- Hapoel's J’Covan Brown, who played for AEK in 2016, is averaging 15.7 points in his three BCL games against AEK. Brown is averaging 18.7 points in his last three road games, after averaging 7.4 points in his previous eight games on the road.
JDA Dijon (5-3) v Neptunas Klaipeda (4-4) - Group D, 20:30 CET
Lamonte Ulmer has had an amazing couple of games in December, averaging an efficiency rating of 35
- Dijon have signed former Lietkabelis player Saulius Kulvietis, who is replacing Michael Young on the roster. The 28-year-old Lithuanian forward averaged 10 points and 4.2 rebounds per game in the BCL last season.
- Dijon, who lost their most recent home game 78-66 to Telekom Baskets Bonn, have never scored fewer than 80 points in consecutive home games in the BCL.
- Neptunas are on a two-game losing streak but haven’t lost three consecutive games in the competition since January 2017. Neptunas gave up 96 or more points in each of their last three road games.
- Dijon are averaging a league-high 10.4 steals per game (83 in total). By stark contrast, Neptunas are averaging a league-worse 17 turnovers per game.
- Neptunas are averaging a league-high 19.3 made free-throws per game. The Lithuanian team have scored 23.1 percent of their total points from the foul line, which is also a league-high so far this season.
- Dijon's Lamonte Ulmer scored 48 points in the two most recent games, 10 more than in his first six games in the competition combined. Ulmer became last week only the third player in competition history to register an efficiency rating of at least 34 in back-to-back games.
Casademont Zaragoza (4-4) v Besiktas Sompo Sigorta (3-5) - Group D, 20:30 CET
Shaquielle McKissic had 18 points in the reverse fixture, has scored at least 20 points in five games this season
- James McAdoo of Besiktas, who had missed the previous three games through injury, returned to action at the weekend as the Istanbul side defeated Gaziantep 78-73 in the Turkish BSL.
- Zaragoza defeated Besiktas 74-73 in the reverse fixture on two free-throws at the death by D.J. Seeley, who finished on a team-high 16 points.
- Besiktas have lost their last three road games, their longest losing streak in competition history. Besiktas, who gave up 80 or more points in each of those three games, have historically won only one of the 10 BCL games in which they gave up 80 or more points.
- Besiktas have a league-high defensive rebounding rate of 74.3 percent.
- Zaragoza's Nemanja Radovic is averaging 13.3 points at home compared to 7.5 points per game on the road. The Montenegrin forward has posted two double-doubles this season, both at home.
- Shaquielle McKissic of Besiktas has scored at least 20 points in five games this season and, going into Tuesday's games, there was no player in the league with more 20+ games thus far.