17 October, 2023
05 May, 2024
Power Rankings: Season 8, Volume 8
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Power Rankings: Season 8, Volume 8

MIES (Switzerland) - Season 8 of the Basketball Champions League is at the halfway point of the Round of 16, so  we are headed towards the most crucial stage of the season. It's time for a Power Rankings update!

We are trying to rank all 16 teams based on their overall performance, not just their BCL record. That means that their domestic league results are also taken into account, because you'll feel better about a team that won 10 straight games overall, than about a team that won two BCL games, but lost eight games in their domestic championship.

You can revisit the previous editions of the Power Rankings here: Volume 1 Volume 2 | Volume 3 | Volume 4 | Volume 5 | Volume 6 | Volume 7.


BCL record: 5-4
Domestic championship record: 8-11

You've heard of Dry January. Now get introduced to Dry February, also known as the month when AEK BETSSON BC went 0-4 in all competitions, plus another defeat in late January to make it a five-game losing streak. Thank the Lord up above, March is not dry, AEK snapped that slump with a 94-85 win over PAOK mateco on the road in Thessaloniki. But still, too big of a hole not to be stuck in 16th spot here.

#15 SIG Strasbourg (-1)

BCL record: 4-5
Domestic championship record: 12-12

So, this song came up 14 years ago already. I have no idea what they are singing about, I don't think I ever bothered to listen to it start to finish, but I always use it for teams who are at .500 for their season, because the term breakeven means "the production level at which total revenues equal total expenses." Meaning, wins (revenues) and defeats (expenses) are the same. Well, SIG Strasbourg are breakeven-ing through.
(Just checked the lyrics, and the song starts "I'm still alive but I'm barely breathing" and that kinda sums up Strasbourg's Round of 16 campaign better than I ever could.)


#14 Peristeri bwin (-2)

BCL record: 5-6
Domestic championship record: 12-7

It has been a slow start to 2024 for Peristeri bwin, especially in the BCL, but then again, they won all the games they were supposed to win, and lost to Panathinaikos, Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem, Lenovo Tenerife, Pinar Karsiyaka and Olympiacos, twice. So, in theory, they aren't losing to lesser opponents. But at this point of the season, honorable defeats don't count, that's why they are in 14th spot this week.

#13 Galatasaray EKMAS (=)

BCL record: 5-6
Domestic championship record: 10-11

Klemen Prepelic is crazy, that's all. Sublime national team outings in February and an even better return to the club over the weekend. Just give the ball to Klemen and move out of his way, that's the plan for Galatasaray to get their first Round of 16 win and stay in the hunt for the Quarter-Finals. Seriously, 30 and 9 in a Qualifiers game!? You know how crazy that is!? Like, Belgium defeated Spain 58-53. Basically, Prepelic produced near the same amount of points for Slovenia all by himself.


#12 JDA Bourgogne Dijon (-5)

BCL record: 6-3
Domestic championship record: 11-13

Dijon are at 1-2 in the Round of 16, so still very much in contention. However, their two defeats came at home, meaning they have to overcome this deficit while having their suitcases packed because they will be on the road a lot in March. Their nack-to-back visits to Germany will definitely determine their fate and it's hard to imagine how they can stay alive if they don't sweep the Ludwigsburg-to-Bonn tourney.

#11 Hapoel Holon (-3)

BCL record: 6-6
Domestic championship record: 8-6

For such a short month, it was a busy one. Hapoel Holon played a total of seven games in February, winning just three. They lost to Promitheas Patras in the BCL, which puts their Quarter-Finals bid in danger. The margins of error are so slim around here, that one defeat puts them out of the Top 10 in the Power Rankings. One positive for them - they have a chance to sweep AEK this week, which could potentially eliminate the Queen from the battle for the top two spots in the group.

#10 Cholet Basket (-4)

BCL record: 6-6
Domestic championship record: 12-12

Everybody loves Tidjane Salaun and Cholet, it seems. Tofas Bursa are coming to town, and if Cholet can erase that 13-point deficit from the first matchup, they would climb the Power Rankings ladder for sure. All three French clubs are right next to each other in the French League standings, too, but somehow, just by gut feeling, Cholet seem to be the most dangerous of them.

#9 Pinar Karsiyaka (+6)

BCL record: 6-6
Domestic championship record: 14-7

Here's one for you. Sure, Vernon Carey Jr is exciting. Sure, Kenan Sipahi is the brain of the operation. Sure, Errick McCollum can get to 20+ any day. Sure, Darrun Hilliard is among the best all-round players in the BCL. Sure. Sure! SURE! However, I will die on this hill:
Vitto Brown is Pinar Karsiyaka's most important player. Scroll on if you disagree.


#8 Tofas Bursa (+2)

BCL record: 6-6
Domestic championship record: 9-12

Hey now. How tough is Austin Wiley? The man is a double-double machine, he's a treasure when it comes to your BCL Fantasy ambitions, and he's a legit MVP contender. Like, Top 3 in the MVP Race kind of contender. His 16-point, 15-rebound performance against Fenerbahce Beko over the weekend proves he's in a fine shape after the break, too.

#7 Promitheas Patras (+2)

BCL record: 6-4
Domestic championship record: 9-8

Four wins in their last five games in all competitions, with a big game coming up against UCAM Murcia. Anthony Cowan and friends have set two goals: (1) beat Murcia, and if (1) is achievable, (2) try to make it a 10-point win to win the tiebreaker, too. Simple math, really.

#6 MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg (+5)

BCL record: 6-5
Domestic championship record: 12-7

Josh King talked to us. Read about MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg's identity here.

#5 Lenovo Tenerife (-2)

BCL record: 6-3
Domestic championship record: 14-9

Okay, they lost two spots here because of their blowout defeat to Jerusalem just before the break. But somehow, they got better during the break, reaching yet another Semi-Final in the Copa del Rey with a 91-83 win over Unicaja in Malaga, and their five-game winning streak in the Liga Endesa puts them in contention for home court advantage in the Play-Offs - out of nowhere, really. To make matters worse for all opponents, you no longer have to worry about only Kyle Guy, Marcelinho Huertas, Giorgi Shermadini or Aaron Doornekamp. You now have to add Bruno Fitipaldo to the list, because he went crazy in Uruguay and is now carrying that momentum to club basketball.


#4 UCAM Murcia (=)

BCL record: 8-1
Domestic championship record: 14-9

You know how there's a couple of Inters in soccer? Well, UCAM Murcia should be called Inter Murcia. They had a fine window with their respective national teams, Howard Sant-Roos defeated the United States with Cuba, while Rodions Kurucs drove Sergio Scariolo and Spain crazy on Ricky Rubio's return to competitive basketball. That's Inter Murcia for you. So many international weapons on that team.

#3 Telekom Baskets Bonn (+2)

BCL record: 6-3
Domestic championship record: 14-9

You know what's amazing? They won the Basketball Champions League last season. They changed their entire lineup. They changed the coaching staff. And yet, they are on cruise control at 3-0 in the Round of 16, and they get to be analyzed by our own Diccon Lloyd-Smeath, who dared to say they are flying under the radar. I disagree, Diccon. I'm putting them on the radar here. Top 3 this week in the Power Rankings, that's my radar!

#2 Unicaja (=)

BCL record: 7-2
Domestic championship record: 19-4

All you need to know - more than half of the GMs and sports directors of the Round of 16 teams think Season 8 of the BCL will be painted in green and purple. More than half of them think Unicaja will win the BCL this season. More than a third say Unicaja are the most fun team to watch. Anyway, the GM survey was just more proof that Unicaja belong to the top of this competition.

#1 Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem (=)

BCL record: 8-1
Domestic championship record: 9-7

Do you really need an explanation? Until something sensational happens, Levi Randolph remains the leader of the MVP Race, Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem remain the leaders of the Power Rankings, and all the others are just objects in the rear-view mirror. Jerusalem should just go full Mac Miller and say "let's leave it all in the rear-view" the rest of the way, Max Verstappen style. 

*The power rankings are entirely subjective and is in no way a true, accurate ranking systems. All comments are purely those of the author.

Igor Curkovic

Igor Curkovic

Igor Curkovic is a Basketball Champions League writer and editor since day one of the competition, specializing in Power Rankings and his Takeaways on Gamedays. When he's not covering basketball, he's probably watching a Hajduk Split game somewhere.