|18 November 2013|
|Tai Wesley is averaging 27.5 points-a-night for SPM Shoeters Den Bosch, who will be hoping this number will not drop|
We break down the Game Day 3 clashes in EuroChallenge Regular Season groups A through D, where five teams aim to maintain their perfect record and another five to get off the mark in the competition.
*Recent form takes into account all domestic and continental league action.
JDA Dijon (1-1) vs. SPM Shoeters Den Bosch (2-0)
Recent Form: Dijon LLWWW - Den Bosch WWLWL
Key Match-Up: Andre Harris vs. Tai Wesley
The two mobile power forwards are the main offensive options of their respective teams. Harris, who averages 17.5 points-per-encounter can shoot the ball from anywhere on the court while Wesley, who is the second-leading scorer in the EuroChallenge with 27.5 points-per-night, shoots at 62.2% from two-point range.
Key Stat: Dijon struggled offensively in their first two games, as they commited 16.5 turnovers on average (4th in the entire competition) and converted only 29.5% of their three-point shots. Den Bosch take almost 10 triples less per game and hit 44% of them.
Game Notes: Den Bosch sharp-shooter David Gonzalvez, who averages 13.5 points-per-game and leads his team in assists, is doubtful for the game as he is nursing an injury and sat out last Saturday's encounter with Gronigen in the Dutch League.
Rakvere Tarvas (0-2) vs. Port Of Antwerp Giants (1-1)
Recent Form: Tarvas LWLWW - Antwerp WWLLW
Key Match-Up: Gregory Jenkins vs. Maxime De Zeeuw
The Tarvas center leads the competition in rebounds with 12 boards-per-game, and half of them come on the offensive end. Antwerp only average 33 rebounds-per-game and De Zeeuw, who is their top rebounder with nine-per-contest, will have to excel on the glass against Jenkins.
Key Stat: The two teams are in the bottom 10 of the competition in terms of field goal percentage. Antwerp only convert 42.4% of their shots from the floor while Rakvere Tarvas are the second least-precise team, making only 39.7 of their shots-per-game.
Game Notes: This is the second time that Tarvas take part in the EuroChallenge and are still looking for their maiden win after four games in total; Antwerp on the other hand have a 22-25 record in the competition.
Atomerömü Paks (1-1) vs. Krasnye Krylia Samara (1-1)
Recent Form: Atomerömü WWWLW - Krasnye Krylia WLWWL
Key Match-Up: Jarrod Jones vs. Julian Wright
Jones leads Atomeromu in scoring, with 17 points-per-game, and rebounds, with eight boards-per-game. Wright averages a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds-per-night and is in great form lately for Krasnye Krylia.
Key Stat: Krasnye Krylia have the second-best offence in the competition so far, thanks in great part to the fact they shoot the ball better than any other team, at 51.8% from the field. Atomerömü however are bound to decrease the number of the Russian side's possessions, as they steal a EuroChallenge-high 10.5 balls-per-game.
Game Notes: Krasnye Krylia's unbeaten 16-game run in the Eurochallenge snapped in the opening game of the current season, but they still have not lost an away game in this competition since 4 October 2011, and that defeat had come on Russian soil, as they fell to Triumph Lyubertsy.
Royal Hali Gaziantep (2-0) vs. CSM Oradea (0-2)
Recent Form: Gaziantep LWLWL - Oradea WLWLL
Key Match-Up: Dejan Borovnjak vs. Sean Denison
Gaziantep's Croatian power forward is an all-round player that leads the team in assists (six assists-per-game) and contributes 10.5 points and 7.5 rebounds-per-game but on Tuesday his primary mission will be to limit Denison, who is Oradea's most reliable offensive weapon and scores 16 points-per-game.
Key Stat: No team in the EuroChallenge shares the ball better than Gaziantep, who average 26 assists as a team and no other side shoots the ball better from three-point range, as they convert 48.9% of their attempts from beyond the arc.
Game Notes: The 23-year-old winger Terrico White, who played for KK Radnički Kragujevac last season, has joined Gaziantep and could make his EuroChallenge debut on Tuesday. White had a brilliant NCAA career (with Mississippi) and won the gold medal with the US national team at the U19 World Championship in 2009.
|Veteran Toni Bizaca has been showing a hot hand for Södertälje BK in the early stages of the season|
Tartu University Rock (0-2) vs. Södertälje BK (1-1)
Recent Form: Tartu WLLLW - Södertälje WWWLW
Key Match-Up: Janar Talts vs. Toni Bizaca
The veteran Estonian international has the tendency to get into foul trouble early on but Tartu need him to stay on the floor for the entire game and contain the Croatian forward, who can shoot from any range and averages 19.5 points on 52% from the floor.
Key Stat: Tartu are not the world's best team on the glass but they still bring down nine more boards than Södertälje, who are second from bottom in the Eurochallenge with just 26.5 rebounds-per-game.
Game Notes: Tartu will have to make do from now on without 2.12 center Uros Lukovic, who averaged 13.5 points and six rebounds in the first two games of the EuroChallenge. The Estonian side and the Serbian player agreed mutually to terminate their contract and Tartu are in search of a replacement.
BC Zepter Vienna (1-1) vs. BK Ventspils (2-0)
Recent Form: Vienna WWWLW - Ventspils LWWWW
Key Match-Up: Nenad Sulovic vs. Ronalds Zakis
The two battle-hardened frontcourt players will go up against each other and the winner of their individual duel will give an enormous boost to his team. Sulovic averages 19 points and a team-high nine rebounds-per-game while Zakis leads Ventspils in scoring with 20 points and brings down 6.5 boards-per-night.
Key Stat: Ventspils grab 8.5 rebounds more than Vienna on average, but this stat line is distorted by the fact that the Austrians allow their opponents to only attempt 47 shots from the floor per game, hence there are less battles on the glass to contest.
Game Notes: Ventspils forward Janis Timma is the third-leading player in rebounds (with 11 rebounds-per-game) and steals (three steals-per-game) in the EuroChallenge, which makes the Latvian international the youngest player in the top-five in any of the main four statistical categories in the competition.
Gaz Metan Medias (2-0) vs. Triumph Lyubertsy (2-0)
Recent Form: Medias LWLWL - Triumph WLWWW
Key Match-Up: Willie Kemp vs. Jeremy Chappell
The two guards are very important in the creation of the game for their respective teams and both average 5.5 assists-per-game, with Kemp adding 11.5 points and three rebounds-per-contest and Chappell contributing 12.5 points and five rebounds on average.
Key Stat: Triumph have the best offence in the EuroChallenge so far, as they score 92 points on average, behind their outstanding free-throw percentage (90.5%) and the fact that their top scorer Milovan Rakovic is yet to miss a shot from the floor.
Game Notes: Medias made their first appearance in the EuroChallenge last season and have already turned their home court into a fort, winning their last six games at home.
Inkognito Fashion Körmend (0-2) vs. BC Kyiv (0-2)
Recent Form: Körmend LLLLW - Kyiv WLLWL
Key Match-Up: Jeremy Fears vs. Dominique Coleman
Fears does a bit of everything in Körmend's backcourt and leads his team in scoring, assists and steals, but is prone to turnovers, as he has committed five-per-game so far. His opposite number at the shooting guard spot only averages three points-per-game but is an athletic defender who could limit Kormend's main weapon.
Key Stat: The two teams are in the bottom-five in the entire EuroChallenge in total rebounds, with Kyiv having the slight edge over Körmend as they collect 30 boards-per-game to the Hungarian side's 28.
Game Notes: Kyiv have competed in the EuroChallenge a record eight times and took third place in 2009, but have lost their last seven games in the competition.