By The Numbers: A Long, And Plentiful, Goodbye

18 January 2010

 Yarone ArbelTo say Yarone Arbel likes basketball would be an understatement of epic proportions.  He eats, sleeps and breathes it and gives his EuroChallenge impressions every week in By The Numbers.    

The last week of the EuroChallenge regular season displayed great offensive style even in the games that mattered the most.

Two players tied the season high for three-pointers, FMP set a new team total record in points, two U.S. guards set great streaks from the foul line and Ante Tomic said a farewell to his fans in Zagreb with his season high.

These were the top 10 figures in Week 6 of the EuroChallenge.

9 over 90: The last week of games displayed probably the most productive week as far as points. FMP set the season high by scoring 109 points and lead a list of 9 teams who scored over 90 points this week. Moreover, 18 of the 24 teams crossed the 80 points line, to show fans can expect high scores in the EuroChallenge even when the season is on the line for some teams.

7 from 3: Two players saved a great shooting performance for the last game of the regular season. Antwerp Giants' Thomas Gardner and Elan Chalon's Philippe Braud hit 7 three-pointers in 12 attempts each to tie the season high in three-pointers made, set by Alex Renfroe last month. The French shooter actually had combined for only 9 three balls in the five games so far, but excels on the arc as he connected only 5 shots inside the arc and 4 from the free throw line so far. Gardner, a big time scorer in his college days with Missouri, joined the Belgium club recently and scored his first EuroChallenge points this week with great style.

8-8-8: WBC Raiffeisen Wels lost on the road 79-68 to Artland Dragons and missed a chance to win a spot in the next round, but saw a great farewell performance by Jason Conley. The athletic guard came near a triple-double without having a single double-digit figure in any column. Conley scored 8 points, dished 8 assists and grabbed 8 rebounds - three categories in which he leads his team, to finish a great campaign in the EuroChallenge for himself and his club.

11 on too many: Krasnye Krylia managed to hold on to a 12 point win from the first leg to still finish on top of Group C despite a 92-86 road loss to Scavolini Pesaro. Yet what stood out in this game was the ratio between the points and the assists. Both teams combined for only 11 assists in a game that reached almost 180 points. A total of 58 field goals and 43 free throws were scored but only 11 came out of a good pass. Nevertheless the high percentages from the field on both sides testify just how intense were the defenses in Pesaro.

32: Khimik's Darrel Mitchell is the top scorer of the EuroChallenge so far, but also enjoys the top spot in the free throws percentages category with 95.7% by making 44 in 46 attempts. The first missed free throw by Mitchell was in the second quarter of the first week, but until entering the closing week's game he stood on a streak of 32 made free throws, and didn't miss a single free throw since November 24th. Until the last game. The US guard missed the first attempt of the game, but hit the following 9 to start a new streak, but his team finished last in Group B and Mitchell will say goodbye to the EuroChallenge with a streak of 32 and some individual awards that could highlight his resume.

17 in a row: Another US guard who had a landmark on the foul line is BC Donetsk's Marque Perry, in his team's overtime road defeat to CSU Asesoft Ploiesti 97-95. Perry himself isn't a bad free throw shooter to say the least, and finished the season on a total of 47 made shots in 52 attempts, but his performance in the last game was unique. He missed his first attempt from the line, but followed with 17 accurate hits in a row, 6 of them in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter and overtime.

Low 52: Week 5 had three wins for Cypriot teams against 3 losses for teams from Ukraine. The last week of the games featured a head-to-head battle between those two countries as Keravnos hosted BC Kyiv, and once again it showed just who's on top. The hosts demolished with a 76-52 win, and held Kyiv to one of the worst offensive performances of the season.

3 too few: Keravnos did register a great win over Kyiv but will have to check into their shooting from the arc, as the team combined no more than two hits from the arc in 6 attempts the entire game. Kyiv's Denys Lukashov bettered the entire team of Keravnos when he hit three shots from the arc in five attempts. Some may say that when you score in almost 60% inside the arc, as Keravnos did against Kyiv, there's probably no need to "bet" on a long range shot, but this is no coincidence. At the end of the regular season the Cypriot club is ranked only 20th in three-point percentage with 34.1% and one before last in three-point made with only 4.8 per game.

0 in last 7: EiffelTowers Den Bosch hosted Apoel Nicosia on a head-to-head match for Group A's top spot. The Dutch side needed a 16 point win to push Apoel down a spot, and held a 10 point lead entering the last quarter. Both teams were on a great shooting day and after 30 minutes the scoreboard displayed 73-63 in favor of the locals. No side scored less than 19 points in each of the first three quarters, but somewhere inside the final period it all disappeared, and both teams combined for no more than 20 points. EiffelTowers actually had the almost needed margin, 82-67 with 6:52 to play but until the final buzzer didn't add even a single point. Apoel cut down on the margin with seven points, but five of them came from the charity stripe. The 2,000 spectators who pushed their team for the win didn't see a single field goal scored in the closing five minutes of the game, and only three points from the charity stripe.

The last 22: KK Zagreb finished the regular season with a 94-87 win over Charale Roanne Basket and said goodbye to the great prospect Ante Tomic who signed for powerhouse Real Madrid. Tomic kept his best performance of the season to his farewell game from the club when he scored a season high of 22 points with just a single miss from the field in addition to eight rebounds and another season high in two blocks. He leaves the EuroChallenge ranked in the top 10 of six different categories and a season average of 17.5 ppg and 8.2 rpg.


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