|Emanuela Salopek and Kayseri Kaski spor arrived in the big league with a bang|
POWER RANKINGS AND SEEDINGS
I was asked before the season started to consider doing some power rankings. Yes, that recent fad which leads to the author being pilloried from all angles and something which can keep a man up at night. What is interesting is to compare power rankings against the actual seeding system and the way things eventually panned out - albeit that power rankings are there to accompany us through a passage of time. Anyway, I think an old school report is just as effective, without the need to put everyone into a master-list. And yes, I await the social media abuse and e-mails with a complete lack of relish - I feel just like that nasty maths teacher you all had. I am off to get my tin hat.....
UMMC Ekaterinburg (B) - they were on a hiding to nothing because of sky-high expectation. Will have been slightly disappointed to have lost successive road games with that roster.
Tango Bourges Basket (B+) - Endured a rotten start, but recovered very well and look like a robust unit who could again threaten the podium.
Kayseri Kaski spor (A-) - To finish 6-4 and in third spot in a so-called ‘Group of Death', by beating all of your opponents is quite an effort for any rookie team.
Good Angels Kosice (C+) - Suffered from high expectation from last year, injuries, downtown misery and failure to win three times at Steel Arena. Big chance to improve end of year report if they reach F8.
Beretta Famila Schio (C+) - Started like an express train, but 2-5 in their last seven games wasn't great. Big chance to improve their end of year report if they reach F8.
HAT-Agro Uni Gyor (C) - No wins to their name, but not surprising taking into account the tragic circumstances.
Fenerbahce (A) - Yes, they have a superb roster and coach, but they won 12 from 12 and that is perfection. Didn't quite give them the A+ because they only just scraped by in some games.
Nadezhda Orenburg (A-) To turn around a season when you start 0-4 and then go 7-1 is impressive by any standards.
|Alexandria Quigley and Wisla Can-Pack finished second in their group, but do they have the depth to make it to Ekaterinburg?|
Rivas Ecopolis (B-) - Last group game changed the report rating, although losing two Spanish national team players was strong mitigation.
Basket Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration (C+) - If they can challenge for the French title and also win on day one at Nadezhda, just two further wins in the following four months was a bit disappointing.
BK Imos Brno (B-) - Maybe bottom and only three wins, but not sure how many they truly expected to get. Maybe just one or possibly two short of best anticipated outcome.
Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje (A) - Considering age, opening up 0-2, losing Asjha Jones, and the fact that Prague and Galatasaray have bigger stars on paper, Coach Vasin probably had a near-perfect season against expectation.
Galatasaray odeabank (B) - A fair effort from the Turkish giants, but probably lost at least one more game than they really should have. For example, not showing up in Salamanca.
Perfumerias Avenida (B) - Couldn't get it together on the road which hurt, but superb at home. Another par score, since 6-6 was probably what I expected from Coah Lapena and his players.
CCC Polkowice (C+) - It's been a rough ride for Jacek Winnicki after F8 glory last year and whilst always sound defensively, the lack of firepower in his team was cruelly exposed.
Kibirkstis Vici Vilnius (B-) - With their roster, some said they would barely get a win. Two early successes gave a false expectation and overall, three victories surely wasn't far away from a realistic target.
WBC Novi Zagreb (C+) - I still think the Croatian team had players capable of winning at least three and probably four games, but it just didn't happen and only got two as well as finishing on a flat note.
REGULAR SEASON ALL-STAR DOZEN
|Angel McCoughtry: An at times unstoppable force|
I have selected 12 players from the regular season. It is of course an impossible task to choose only 12 and there are arguments for probably 25-30 players, so apologies to those who didn't make my final cut! I probably should have drawn up on an All Star USA v Rest of the World Select. Anyway, here you go. Discuss.
Laia Palau (ZVVZ USK Prague)
Diana Taurasi (UMMC Ekaterinburg)
Eshaya Murphy (Perfumerias Avenida)
Alba Torrens (Galatasaray odeabank)
Angel McCoughtry (Fenerbahce)
Sonja Petrovic (Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje)
De Wanna Bonner (Nadezhda Orenburg)
Candace Parker (UMMC Ekaterinburg)
Jelena Dubljevic (ZVVZ USK Prague)
Jantel Lavender (Wisla Can-Pack)
Marianna Tolo (Tango Bourges)
Luca Ivankovic (WBC Novi Zagreb)