Everything you need to know ahead of Wednesday's Quarter-Finals
ATHENS (Greece) - After many twists and turns, the time has finally arrived for the big event that will conclude the 2019-20 Basketball Champions League season, the Final 8 in Athens.
The opening day slate includes the first two of the four Quarter-Finals, which will see some (not so) old foes cross paths again and features three clubs that reach this stage of the competition for the first time. Let's have a closer look at some facts and figures on the Wednesday games:
Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem vs. Hereda San Pablo Burgos - 17:30 CEST (18:30 local time)
זלי, בלאט ובלול עם הטיפים שלהם לצום - צום מועיל וגמר חתימה טובה 🖋 pic.twitter.com/W9cOrStp4w— Hapoel Jerusalem B.C (@JerusalemBasket) September 27, 2020
- Hapoel captain J'Covan Brown will be sidelined through injury for at least two months, so he will not play at the Final 8 although he is in Athens with his teammates.
- Burgos have already played three official games in September, in the Spanish Liga Endesa. In their latest outing on Sunday they beat Acunsa GBC 90-77 on the road, behind 22 points from Thad McFadden and 17 from Ken Horton. On the other hand, this Quarter-Final will be Hapoel's first official game since the conclusion of the 2019-20 Israeli league season in August.
- This is the only Quarter-Finals pairing that features two teams which were in the same Regular Season group. Each team won its home game, albeit Burgos scored exactly 91 points in both games. The Spanish team won the Gameday 6 clash 91-84 and Hapoel prevailed 96-91 on Gameday 12.
- This is the second time Hapoel reach the Quarter-Finals and the second time they face a Spanish team at this stage. The Israeli team lost to Iberostar Tenerife in 2018-19 and the Spanish went on to reach the Final.
- Hapoel led the league this season in scoring, two-point field goal percentage and free-throw percentage. The Jerusalem team averaged 89 points per game, shot at 60.6 percent from within the arc and 81.4 percent from the free-throw line. Hapoel were also joint-leaders in blocked shots, averaging 3.9 blocks per game
- Burgos led the league in made three-pointers in their maiden BCL campaign, averaging 11.4 made triples per game. The Spanish team also led the league in scoring off the bench, as their second unit players averaged 41.8 points per game.
- Hapoel forward TaShawn Thomas leads the league in field goal percentage, as he shot 72.1 percent from the floor on average. Thomas scored a BCL career-high 27 points in Hapoel's win over Burgos in January.
- Vitor Benite of Burgos scored at least 20 points in five of his last nine BCL games before the hiatus, his best stretch in the competition. The Brazilian international had only two 20-point games in his first 20 appearances in the league. In his last four BCL games, Benite made 100 percent of his free-throws (16 of 16) and 57 percent of his attempted three-pointers (16 of 28) averaging 21.5 points per game in that span.
Turk Telekom vs. JDA Dijon - 20:30 CEST (21:30 local time)
- Dijon have been back in official action since mid-September, when they defeated Nizhny Novgorod in Game 3 of their Round of 16 series to punch their ticket to the Final 8. On Friday, they won their French Jeep Elite league opener against ASVEL 81-74 as David Holston and Axel Julien combined for 41 points and 10 assists. Turk Telekom meanwhile are yet to start their 2020-21 Turkish league campaign.
- Turk Telekom, who made their BCL debut this season, had put together a seven-game winning streak prior to the hiatus, the third-longest by any team this season.
- Dijon’s two biggest wins in the BCL came against a Turkish team, both this season against Besiktas Sompo Sigorta. The French team defeated the Istanbul side 98-65 on the road last December and 88-47 at home in February.
- Dijon had a half-time lead in 13 of their 17 BCL games this season, more than any other team; they went on to win 11 of those 13 games, and interestingly both the losses were at the hands of Telekom Baskets Bonn.
- Turk Telekom had the lowest scoring contribution from their bench among the eight teams in the Quarter-Finals, as their second unit averaged 21.5 points per game.
- Turk Telekom and Dijon lead the league in three-point shooting percentage. The Turkish side converted 40.4 percent of their shots from beyond the arc, while the French team shot 39.2 percent from dowtown. Turk Telekom also lead the league in field goal percentage with 50.4, the only team to shoot above 50 percent from the floor.
- Dijon are the only team to average more than 10 steals per game this season (10.5) and the only team to score more than 20 points off turnovers (20.2).
- Kyle Wiltjer leads the league in made field goals, with 107. The Canadian forward averaged 17.9 points per game as the second-leading scorer among the players that are at the Final 8, behind AEK's Keith Langford.
- Turk Telekom new arrival Keifer Sykes holds the record for most points scored in a single BCL game. Back when he was playing for Sidigas Avellino in January 2019, Sykes scored 43 points against Teksut Bandirma.
- Axel Julien had five BCL games with 10+ assists this season, second only to Marcelinho Huertas (who had six such games); Dijon won their last six BCL games with Axel Julien in the starting five and lost their last three in which he came off the bench.
- David Holston is averaging 6.1 assists per game, the second highest among all players with at least 20 BCL games in the competition (behind Jordan Theodore, who has a BCL career average of 6.3 assists per game).