05 October, 2021
15 May, 2022
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Group I preview: MVP candidates going head to head

MIES (Switzerland) - The Round of 16 starts on Tuesday, and Group I seems to be the group of death with all four teams expecting to be in the Quarter-Finals draw after all is said and done in this phase of Basketball Champions League's Season Six.

MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg and Galatasaray Nef won their respective Regular Season groups to book Round of 16 tickets.

JDA Dijon eliminated VEF Riga; Hapoel U-NET Holon outlasted Besiktas Icrypex in the Play-In series to reach the next stage of the competition.

Group I

0/12 games played

# Team P W L % Last 5 For Agt +/- FA AA  
1 MHP MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg MHP 0 0 0 0   0 0 0 0 0 0
2 GALA Galatasaray Nef GALA 0 0 0 0   0 0 0 0 0 0
3 JDA JDA Dijon JDA 0 0 0 0   0 0 0 0 0 0
4 HOLO Hapoel U-NET Holon HOLO 0 0 0 0   0 0 0 0 0 0
MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg

Points per game: Justin Simon 15.8
Rebounds per game: Justin Simon 6.8
Assists per game: Jordan Hulls 4.2
Steals per game: Justin Simon 1.7
Blocks per game: Justin Simon 1.8

Although Jonah Radebaugh picked up the MVP of October award, it's clear to see who dominated MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg's season afterwards. Justin Simon has been on another level, leading the team in four of the top five stat categories.

In this group, Simon will have another matchup to solidify his MVP case. Once the Giants take the court against Galatasaray Nef on Gameday 2, we will probably (and hopefully) see a direct battle between Simon and DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell, two of the biggest candidates for the MVP of the Season award.

Ludwigsburg have a favorable schedule and need to take full advantage of it. They are at home against JDA Dijon and Galatasaray Nef, they could be up to 2-0 after January, which could be a big step towards the Quarter-Finals.


Galatasaray Nef

Points per game: DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell 21.5
Rebounds per game: DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell 5.3
Assists per game: Dee Bost 5.7
Steals per game: DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell 1.8
Blocks per game: Ege Arar 0.7

It's a good time to be a Galatasaray Nef fan! Dee Bost has been the floor general, Melo Trimble proved he can climb over 30 points in this competition, Sadik Kabaca is turning into a fine player right before our eyes, and DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell's name is topping three of the five main stat categories for the Lions.

DAP has found home in Istanbul. We met him back in Season One, when he was a Bakken Bear, he made it back to the BCL with Tofas Bursa, but it was under coach Ekrem Memnun that he found a new gear to his game. No wonder Galatasaray have the best offense in BCL, getting 120.7 points per 100 possessions.

Galatasaray are hungry for more trophies, and 16-time Turkish champions need to start strong in the Round of 16, because two of their first three games before the national team break will be in the Sinan Erdem Arena, against Hapoel U-NET Holon and JDA Dijon.


JDA Dijon

Points per game: David Holston, Rashard Kelly 13.0
Rebounds per game: Rashard Kelly 7.5
Assists per game: David Holston 5.3
Steals per game: David Holston 1.9
Blocks per game: Jacques Alingue 0.8

The MVP discussion in this group has another member in David Holston, the man who should become JDA Dijon's club logo with the amount of happiness he brought to the club and the city. Arguably the best point guard in the League is having another solid season.

The number aren't exactly reflecting the level of his game. Holston had a slow start to the BCL season, but then averaged 18.5 points when Dijon's backs were up against the wall. Khadeen Carrington was a great pickup for coach Nenad Markovic, the Semi-Finalists from 2020 are looking better with each passing week.

Dijon will fight Ludwigsburg's and Galatasaray's offensive power with their stellar defense. Holston and his teammates are stealing the ball in 13.4 percent of their defensive possessions, and blocking shots 9.6 percent of time, ranking them in Top 5 of both those categories. To get to QFs, they need to improve their game on the road, they are only 1-3 so far in the competition.


Hapoel U-NET Holon

Points per game: Chris Johnson 14.9
Rebounds per game: Chris Johnson 5.6
Assists per game: Joe Ragland 7.3
Steals per game: Chris Johnson 1.2
Blocks per game: Michale Kyser 1.1

While Galatasaray v Ludwigsburg will provide Simon and Akoon-Purcell going after each other, that same Gameday could offer another chapter in the debate about the best point guard in the BCL. As Holon face JDA Dijon, it will also be a matchup between Holston and Joe Ragland.

Ragland is 32, still moving forward with his game, currently leading the assists per game stat in the entire BCL. He also has 10.9 points per game, so having him as a Top 10 candidate for the MVP award doesn't seem like a long shot. Ragland is good, he's the main reason why Holon are among the best passing teams in BCL, assisting on nearly 70 percent of their field goals.

Holon barely survived the Play-In series with Besiktas Icrypex, three close games over there filled them with confidence heading into the next part of the season. Among the four teams in this group, Holon are the only ones who changed coaches, as Israeli national team coach Guy Goodes took over once Maurizio Buscaglia left town.