21 things to look out for in Wednesday's games
MIES (Switzerland) - The four teams in Group I and their counterparts in Group K join the action on Wednesday, bringing Week 2 schedule in the Basketball Champions League Round of 16 to a close.
Here are 21 things you need to know ahead of the Wednesday's four games:
Group I - 18:00 CET - Bursa, Turkiye
Veteran Tofs forward Zeljko Sakic has a great track record against SIG Strasbourg
● Tofas and Strasbourg have met four times in the BCL, with the Turkish side winning the first two encounters, in the 2021-22 Regular Season, and Strasbourg winning the following two, in the 2022-23 Regular Season. Three of those previous four games were really tight affairs, and were decided by a margin of up to five points.
● Tofas are 1-6 in their last seven home games in the BCL, when in their first 14 home games in the competition they had an 8-6 record. On the positive side though, they are 4-0 in their last four home games in the Round of 16 stage.
● Strasbourg are 0-3 in their last three road games in the BCL, which is their longest losing streak on the road in the eight seasons they have been playing in the competition. They gave up more than 80 points in each of their last five road games. By comparison, they had given up 80+ points in five of their previous 15 road games in the competition.
● Zeljko Sakic of Tofas has posted five double-doubles in his BCL career, and two of them were in his two home games against Strasbourg! The Croatian forward has faced Strasbourg four times in his BCL career - with Cibona and Lietkabelis - and is averaging 14.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game against the French team.
● If Strasbourg's Quinton Hooker scores in double digits on Wednesday it will be his fourth consecutive +10-point game, which would make it his longest span of +10-point games in the competition. Hooker has also dished 5 or more assists in each of his last five road games in the BCL.
Group I - 19:00 CET - Cholet, France
Tyson Carter pulled off last week a feat that we hadn't seen in exactly four years in the BCL
● Cholet's current 3-game winning streak is their longest ever in the BCL. They scored more than 90 points in each of those three games. By comparison, they scored 90+ points in just two of their first 13 games in the league.
● Unicaja are 0-2 in their last two BCL road games, after going 7-1 in their previous eight road games. The Spanish team's last three road games were decided by single-digit margins, when 11 of their previous 14 road games were decided by margins of 10 or more points.
● Cholet have given up 10 or more three-pointers in nine of their 10 BCL games this season, more often than any other team.
● By contrast, Unicaja are the team that best defends the three-point line in this season's BCL, as the only ones to have never given up more than 9 three-pointers in any game so far. Unicaja's defense is also leading the BCL in opponents' made field goals, allowing only 23.6 on average.
● Cholet's Emmanuel Nzekwesi put up a BCL career-high 23 points and a joint career-high 6 rebounds in his team's win over SIG Strasbourg last week. It was the first time that a Cholet player posted more than 20 points and 5 rebounds off the bench in a BCL game.
● Unicaja's Tyson Carter became last week the first player since J’Covan Brown, in January 2020, to come off the bench and post more than 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in a single BCL game (21 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists). Carter has tallied 33 points and 14 rebounds over his last two BCL games, after tallying 32 points and 8 rebounds over his first four BCL games this season.
Group K - 20:00 CET - Belgrade, Serbia
Karsiyaka are hoping to win their first BCL game away from Izmir since December 2021
● This will be the third BCL games between Jerusalem and Karsiyaka in the BCL, after a pair of meetings in the 2021-22 Regular Season, in which the road team won in both games.
● Jerusalem are on a 4-game winning streak in the BCL, having allowed 75 or fewer points in each of those games. Two of Jerusalem’s seven BCL games this season went into overtime, when the Israeli team had played two overtime games in their five previous seasons combined.
● Karsiyaka are 0-10 in their last 10 road games in the BCL, and scored fewer than 75 points in seven of those games. The Turkish team are 1-3 in their last four games in the Round of 16 (this number includes their last three Round of 16 games in the 2020-21 season, as they failed to reach this stage in the last two years) after going 5-2 in their first seven games in this stage.
● Ilias Kantzouris, Hapoel Jerusalem’s new head coach and former AEK coach, has won nine BCL games in which his team was trailing at half-time. That is four more wins in such games than any other coach since Kantzouris’s first game in the competition, at the start of the 2022-23 season.
● Karsiyaka's Vernon Carey Jr. is averaging 20.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game on the road in the BCL, compared to 17.5 points and 6.7 rebounds per game at home. Carey Jr. had 20+ points and 10+ rebounds in each of his last two BCL games on the road.
Group K - 21:00 CET - Tenerife, Spain
Giorgi Shermadini is right behind teammate Tim Abromaitis on the all-time BCL rebounders list
● This will be the fifth ever encounter between Tenerife and Peristeri, with the Spanish side winning three of the previous four games, including both that took place in Spain. Tenerife won the two most recent encounters by a difference of exactly 26 points.
● Tenerife are currently level with AS Monaco for the most consecutive homes wins in the BCL, with 17 victories in their last 17 home games. If they win on Wednesday, they will become the first team in competition history to win 18 games in a row at home. That is despite the fact they trailed by more than 10 points at some stage of the encounter in five of their last six home games in the BCL.
● Peristeri, who are coming off a 77-75 defeat to Hapoel Jerusalem last week, are yet to lose consecutive games in the BCL this season. However, the Greek team are 0-3 on their three trips to Spain since they joined the BCL.
● Tenerife's Giorgi Shermadini has 391 BCL career rebounds, so he is 9 boards away from becoming only the second player in competition history to reach 400. Interestingly, the all-time rebound leader in the BCL is his teammate, Tim Abromaitis, who has 424 boards. Shermadini had 9 rebounds in last week's win over Pinar Karsiyaka but, bizarrely, that is not a good omen for Wednesday, as he had consecutive+9-rebound games during only one span in his 69-game long BCL career (three games in a row in January 2022).
● If Peristeri's Joe Ragland posts a double-double in points and assists in Wednesday's game it will be his fourth in a row and he will become the first player in BCL history to register such double-doubles in four consecutive games. There have been four players with more consecutive double-doubles - Babacar Toure, Kyrylo Fesenko, Latavious Williams and Vladimir Stimac - but there were all in points and rebounds. Ragland has 12 double-doubles in his BCL career, with Tenerife's Marcelinho Huertas following with 10. You can read more on that rivalry here.