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Team Europe vs Team World in the 2024 BCL All-Star Game: Who wins?

MIES (Switzerland) - Let's get one thing straight right off the bat: we aren't really going to have a Team Europe vs Team World All-Star Game in the Basketball Champions League (or any sort of All-Star Game, for that matter). 

Of course we are not., can you imagine the logistics?. But since this is ASG weekend in the NBA, we might as well have some fun with the idea!

TEAM EUROPE - Starting Lineup

Harald Frey (Telekom Baskets Bonn), Klemen Prepelic (Galatasaray EKMAS), Mindaugas Kuzminskas (AEK BETSSON BC), Sadik Emir Kabaca (Galatasaray EKMAS), Giorgi Shermadini (Lenovo Tenerife).

For a league like the BCL that is so focused on homegrown players, it's especially satisfying to see such an exciting spread of talent on this team.

Norwegian point guard Harald Frey is averaging nearly 6 assists (5.8) this season and if you want to check on his All-Star credentials just go back and watch his 26-point,  10-assist double-double against Hapoel Holon on November 1.

This lineup has all the experience you could ever hope for with former FIBA EuroBasket champion and sharp-shooter Klemen Prepelic, former NBAer and matchup nightmare Mindaugas Kuzminskas, and the best big man in the 8-year history of the BCL, Giorgi Shermadini. 

 

When we talk about homegrown players and the BCL, the conversation doesn't go far without mentioning the now defunct Bandirma (also known as Banvit).

The Turkish club was perhaps the definition of an academy club and the reigning Best Young Player award winner, Sadik Kabaca, is one of their finest products.

We are picking him as our headliner and All-Star Game MVP candidate for that reason. He's also averaging 9.5 points on 52.5/45.5 percent shooting splits as well, so that helps. 

 

TEAM WORLD - Starting Lineup

Marcelinho Huertas (Lenovo Tenerife), Craig Randall II (Cholet Basket), Levi Randolph (Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem), Justin Smith (Hapoel Holon), Vernon Carey Jr (Pinar Karsiyaka).

This starting lineup also reads a bit like a Top-5 in Igor Curkovic's MVP Race.

To be more specific, Levi Randolph and Marcelinho Huertas are currently first and second in this edition of the MVP race.

Deservedly so as well. Huertas is not only the best point guard we have ever seen in the BCL, but at 41 he's somehow getting better and putting together his best scoring season ever (how?).

Randolph is the total package when it comes to scoring, with an average of 17.4 points that can equally come from a fadeaway in the post or an outside shot.


He is shooting 47 percent on 3.8 attempts from three-point range. Let's not even mention his 3.6 assists per game.

Up front, this team has Justin Smith and Vernon Carey Jr...pfffft good luck with stopping that!

Smith averages 15 points on 74 percent shooting and pulls 6.6 rebounds per game, whilst Carey Jr is putting together the most impressive (pro) rookie season ever in the BCL.


The former Duke star and current #9 in the race for MVP is leading Pinar Karsiyaka for scoring at 18.3 points, rebounds at 7.7, and quite frankly Karsiyaka could not hope to stay in the race for the Quarter-Finals without him. 

We all know that All-Star Games are all about entertainment so on this roster we have gone with Craig - too hot to handle - Randall as the standout candidate to take the ASG MVP.

It's not just about the numbers with Cholet's talisman - not that they are not impressive, at 19 points and 3.6 assists per game. It's about the way he's putting up those numbers. 

 

Randall will hit deep threes off the dribble, or he'll drive to the rim then make an impossible twisting layup, and he'll also get above the rim to throw it down with great vengeance and furious anger.

If it's entertainment we want, we will find it here.

So, who wins?

On paper, we'd probably have to say Team World would be favorites.

They have three players in the current top 10 of the MVP race, a former Final Four MVP conducting the orchestra in Marcelinho Huertas, possibly the most complete, all-round player in the competition in Levi Randolph and a starting-five stacked with star power.

But it doesn't always work that way.

Team Europe has the shooters to light it up and the experience to click together and find that winning chemistry quicker.

We have already seen what happens when the bigs collide with Shermadini and Carey Jr going head to head, and we'd h