Week 3 Review: Turkish Delight

24.11.2011

EUROCHALLENGE

Jeff Taylor

The third week of the EuroChallenge Regular Season is one that basketball fans will be talking about for a very long time.

Deron Williams poured in 50 points to fire Besiktas Milangaz to a 105-94 win over BG Göttingen.

There was, however, a distinct lack of Turkish delight in the press conference after the contest.

Besiktas coach Ergin Ataman appreciated the effort of Williams, calling him "an extraordinary player" and admitting that he had "put on a superior performance of a different level".

Yet Ataman is a coach, not a fan.

Besiktas gave up 94 points to a Göttingen side that had averaged 73.5 in their first two games.

"The 94 points we gave up due to simple mistakes on defense were a disaster," Ataman said.

"We allowed them to convert too many baskets under the rim.

"We need to toughen up there."

There was Turkish delight in Ankara.

13. Mehmet Okur (Türk Telekom)
Mehmet Okur was in-form for Türk Telekom as he went for a double-double of 18 points and 14 rebounds against Minsk

Turk Telekom finally got some bang from their buck in a 93-74 win at BC "Minsk-2006" with Darius Washington scoring 28 points and NBA big man Mehmet Okur contributing 18, along with a game-high 14 rebounds.

In Izmir, there were smiles all around, too.

Karsiyaka launched a spirited, fourth-quarter fightback and edged a 66-65 thriller against the Telekom Baskets Bonn.

The Turks had trailed by nine in the last period.

Big Crowd In Tbilisi

ZZ Leiden, who are the next opponents of Williams and Besiktas, travelled to Tbilisi, Georgia, this week and only lost 74-71 to Armia.

The most impressive aspect of that game was the atmosphere generated by the 8,000 fans in attendance.

German Sharpshooters

Artland Dragons, BG Göttingen, EWE Baskets and Telekom Baskets Bonn all have something in common.

They are German clubs in the EuroChallenge.

What Bonn do not have in common with their fellow BEKO BBL clubs, however, is shooting three-pointers.

The first three are ranked in the top seven three-point shooting percentage in the EuroChallenge, while Telekom Baskets are 25th out of the 32 teams at 29.9%.

Artland are hitting a scintillating 43% from behind the arc, Göttingen 42.4% and EWE Baskets 42%.

Good three-point shooting does not always guarantee success.

While EWE Baskets and Artland have won all three of their games and lead Groups A and H, respectively, Göttingen are 0-3 in Group B.

To further illustrate that point, Olin Edirne have made 30 of their 68 shots from long range for a scalding 44.1%, to rank first overall in three-point shooting percentage yet they are 0-3 in Group F.

Belgian Scoring Machine

Those wondering how many points Williams will score next week when Besiktas host ZZ Leiden should also keep tabs on Michael Roll of the Antwerp Giants.

The 24-year-old Roll has been a model of consistency this season with 27, 24 and 25 points Antwerp's three games - two of them wins.

In the Giants' 90-65 demolition of Elan Chalon on Tuesday, Roll had 25 points.

He is averaging 25.3 points per game, better than Williams' 24.6 average, although the latter's efforts in the two Eurocup Qualifying Round games against Dexia are included when he scored a combined 22 points.

Roll does not own the top three-point shooting percentage in the EuroChallenge.

That player would be Viktor Herasymchuk of BC Goverla (0-3), who has made 10 of his 13 shots (76.9%).

Roll is tied for third, however, after making nine of 13 (69.2%) from behind the arc.

Roanne's Ups And Downs

5. Uchenna Nsonwu (Roanne Basket)
Uchenna Nsonwu and Roanne Basket seemingly have turned things around after a rocky start in the season

Roanne Basket are taking their fans on a wild ride this season.

Following the shake-up on the bench, which has seen Luka Pavicevic installed as the new coach following the removal of Jean Denys Choulet, Roannne have won three straight games - including an French Pro A victory over Dijon.

And Pavicevic didn't coach in any of those games, but rather Choulet's assistant, Frederic Brouillaud.

On the court, Roanne didn't let their fans rest easy until the final buzzer of their game at BK Prostejov, despite leading 84-66 With 2:36 to play.

Pavel Slezak had a four-point play to cap a stunning comeback for the Czech team, but they lost 87-85.

"It was unbelievable how many mistakes we made in the last two minutes," Brouillaud said.

"However, we're happy for closing out the game successfully."

Pavicevic is expected to be on the bench this weekend.

Heartbreak City

BC Goverla have lost three games by a combined eight points.

Their first setback came when Jamar Smith hit a three-pointer at the buzzer for a 77-75 Prostejov win, and Roanne and Pardubice have beaten the Ukrainians 81-78 and 72-69 since.

Double-Double Man

Three games into the season and Jovo Stanojevic is flat out getting the job done for Pinar Karsiyaka.

The 34-year-old center had his third straight double-double for Karsiyaka on Tuesday with 16 points and 11 rebounds in the victory over Telekom Baskets.


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