27 things to look out for in Wednesday's games
MIES (Switzerland) - Wednesday's five-game slate features games across four different groups and offers a clash between teams that arrived here on an unblemished record, and an encounter between teams looking for their first win this season.
Here are 27 things you need to know ahead of the five Wednesday games:
Group G - 18:30 CET - Thessaloniki, Greece
Zach Hankins is 7 rebounds away from overtaking a former Jerusalem player for most rebounds in a calendar year
● PAOK will play their first home game in the BCL this season. They've won their home debut in only one of their previous six campaigns, in the inaugural BCL season (2016-17).
● This will be Hapoel Jerusalem's fifth BCL game in Greece and they have been alternating between wins and losses in that country. Their most recent game there ended in a loss (94-78 at AEK in April 2023).
● PAOK are averaging 68.6 possessions per game, fewer than any other team in the BCL this season. By contrast, Hapoel Jerusalem have the second-fastest pace in the league, with 79.9 possessions per game.
● Elvar Fridriksson had 15+ points and 5+ assists in each of his two BCL games with PAOK, while he had posted this statline in only one of his 15 BCL games with Rytas Vilnius. If the Iceland international dishes 5 or more assists on Wednesday, it will be the first time he achieves this in three consecutive BCL games.
● Jerusalem's Zach Hankins brought down at least 5 rebounds in each of his 13 BCL games since the start of the 2023 calendar year, averaging 8.8 rebounds per game in that span. The big man has tallied 114 rebounds since January and is 7 rebounds shy of becoming the player with the most boards in the BCL within a single calendar year (a former Jerusalem player, TaShawn Thomas, had 120 in 2019).
Group E - 20:00 CET - Strasbourg, France
Hugo Invernizzi has peeled back the years in his first two BCL games this season
● If Strasbourg win on Wednesday, they will match their best ever start to a BCL season, in 2018-19, when they won their first three games. They would also become the third team ever to reach 60 wins in BCL history, after Lenovo Tenerife and AEK Betsson BC.
● By contrast, if Karsiyaka win on Wednesday and improve to 3-0 it would be their first ever 3-0 start to a BCL season, as they've never won their first three games.
● This will be Karsiyaka's first road game in this BCL season - the Turkish team have an excellent tradition in that respect, having won their debut road game in four of their previous five BCL campaigns.
● Strasbourg, who had only 9 turnovers in their most recent BCL game (against Filou Oostende), have never had two consecutive BCL games of fewer than 10 turnovers. However, Karsiyaka have forced their opponents to turn the ball over at least 12 times in each of their nine games (two in BCL, seven in Turkish BSL) since the start of the 2022-23 season.
● Hugo Invernizzi has scored more than 10 points in each of his two BCL games with Strasbourg in the BCL and is looking to match his best double-digit scoring run, in October 2017, when he scored 10+ points in his first three games in the competition with Nanterre 92.
● Karsiyaka's Jaylon Brown, who had 16 points against Oldenburg, is looking to score 15+ points in consecutive BCL games for the first time in his BCL career. Brown came off the bench in his two BCL games this season, and scored 12 or more points in each one.
Group E - 20:30 CET - Oostende, Belgium
Dario Gjergja is one win shy of overcoming John Patrick for second spot on the list of coaches with most wins in the BCL
● Oostende's four-game losing streak (including their last two games in 2022-23) is their longest slide in BCL history. This will be Oostende's home opener this BCL season, and they have won their first game at home only twice in their previous seven seasons in the league.
● Oldenburg are on a seven-game losing streak in the BCL (counting their last five games in the 2021-22 season, when they had previously played in the BCL) and haven’t won a road game since March 2018, when they prevailed 86-74 at MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg.
● Historically, Oldenburg have a 1-7 record on the road in the BCL games in which they gave up 80 or more points.
● Oostende head coach Dario Gjergja is one win shy of overcoming John Patrick for second spot on the list of coaches with most wins in the BCL. The two are currently tied with 40 wins each, trailing league leader Txus Vidorreta.
● Oostende’s Pierre-Antoine Gillet, who scored 17 points in the previous game, against Strasbourg, is looking to score 15+ points in consecutive BCL games for the first time in his career (70 BCL appearances so far). The Belgian international has made at least one three-pointer in each of his last 13 games in the competition.
● If Oldenburg's DeWayne Russell posts 15+ points and 5+ assists on Wednesday it will be the first time he registers such a statline in three consecutive BCL games. However, Russell was on the losing side in the last three BCL games in which he scored more than 15 points.
Group F - 20:30 CET - Riga, Latvia
CJ Harris has an enviable track record when it comes to scoring in Regular Season games
● Holon have a 2-6 record against Spanish teams in the BCL, with each of their two wins coming against BAXI Manresa in the 2019-20 season, and both by a margin of exactly two points.
● Both of Breogan’s first two games in the BCL were decided by a margin of 15 or more points. The Spanish side only took 42 shots from the field in their previous game, against Telekom Baskets Bonn, the fewest ever by any team in a BCL game.
● Breogan have the highest defensive rebounding rate in the BCL this season, pulling down 75.4% of available rebounds on their own end. They are also the only team this season to give up fewer than 30 rebounds, as Breogan's opponents average 28 rebounds per game.
● Holon's C.J. Harris has scored 15+ points in 11 of the 14 BCL games in which he played 30+ minutes, including his four most recent such games. Harris has averaged 18.8 points per game in his last six appearances in the BCL Regular Season.
● Matas Jogela is the only player to have scored 10+ points in each of Breogan’s first two games in the BCL. He is yet to score 10+ points in three consecutive games in the competition.
Group H - 20:30 CET - Tortona, Italy
TaShawn Thomas is 2 blocks away from making BCL history
● Tortona won their first two games in the BCL despite trailing at halftime in both games. If they win on Wednesday, they will become the fourth Italian team to have won their first three BCL games.
● Igokea are on a five-game losing streak (including the last three games of the 2022-23 season), their longest slide since joining the BCL in 2020-21. They lost their two most recent BCL road games by margins higher than 20 points, something that had happened in only one of their previous 13 road games in the BCL.
● Tortona are leading the league in percentage of points scored from within the arc, as 62.7 percent of their total points have been scored on two-point shots. By contrast, 61.4 percent of the points that Igokea have given up so far this season were scored on two-pointers, more than any other team's defense so far this season.
● Tortona's TaShawn Thomas is 2 blocks shy of becoming the first player in BCL history to tally 70+ blocks. He also has 323 BCL career rebounds, as one of only seven players to have 320+ rebounds in league history.
● Nikola Tanasković, who had 15 points against Murcia as the only Igokea player to score in double digits in that game, has scored more than 12 points in each of his last four road games in the BCL, while also averaging 7 rebounds per game in the process.