Saturday night in the BBL Championship saw two unbeaten runs, for the Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders and the Worcester Wolves, extended to two months as both of the night's games went to form.
The league-leading Riders made it three straight wins, and seven straight home wins, with a dominant second half performance to beat the Durham Wildcats 91-68. Anthony Rowe (203-F-85, college: N.Georgia) led the hosts with a massive double-double of 27 points and 12 rebounds, while Pavol Losonsky added 25 points.
The game had been close early on, tied at 23 after the first quarter. But the Riders finished the second quarter with an 8-2 run, including 7 for Losonsky, for a 40-32 lead to hint as to what would come.
They asserted their dominance in the third quarter, despite the Wildcats getting back to within 5 points. The hosts responded with a game-winning 17-4 surge, including triples from Connor Washington and Yorick Williams and an 'and-one' play from Losonsky as the Riders took a commanding 68-50 lead into the final quarter. The visitors attempted a fightback with an 8-2 run to open the fourth, but it was short-lived as Jay Couisnard scored 5 in an 8-0 response, and his three-pointer inside the final two minutes saw the lead peak at 23 - the margin at which it finished.
Elsewhere, the Worcester Wolves made it back-to-back wins after edging past the One Health Sharks Sheffield by 71-68, using a key second quarter run in a tight game. The Wolves remain unbeaten at home in the last two months, while for the Sharks it was their third defeat in a row.
Stanley Ocitti led the Wolves with a double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds, supported by 19 from Arnas Kazlauskas, who hit four three-pointers.
The visiting Sharks dominated the early exchanges and took a 2-10 lead as Olu Babalola scored the first 4 points of the game. The Sharks still led well into the second quarter, until a startling 20-2 surge over the final five minutes of the half put the Wolves in the ascendancy at 42-34.
The Sharks reversed the momentum with a 9-4 run to open the third period and it was still a one possession game going into the decisive fourth quarter. Daniel Belgrave settled Worcester's nerves with a triple to open the fourth, but the Sharks fought back to 62-60 to force the Wolves into a timeout. The scoring dried up in the final three and a half minutes, although Micah Williams hit a three-pointer to make it a one-point game at 69-68 inside the final minute. Kazlauskas settled the game by holding his nerve to sink a pair of free-throws, as the Wolves beat the Sharks for the second time in a month.
Texas Legends agreed terms with experienced 34-year old American guard Ben Gordon (190-91kg-83, college: Connecticut). He is a dual citizen owning also British passport. Gordon played last season at Golden State Warriors in the NBA. The previous (14-15) season he played at the Magic where in 56 NBA games he had 6.2ppg and 1.1rpg. In 2004 Gordon was drafted by Chicago Bulls (NBA) as #3 pick overall. The former University of Connecticut staris in his 13th (hopefully lucky) season in pro bas... [read more]
Texas Legends agreed terms with experienced 34-year old American guard Ben Gordon (190-91kg-83, college: Connecticut). He is a dual citizen owning also British passport. Gordon played last season at Golden State Warriors in the NBA. The previous (14-15) season he played at the Magic where in 56 NBA games he had 6.2ppg and 1.1rpg. In 2004 Gordon was drafted by Chicago Bulls (NBA) as #3 pick overall. The former University of Connecticut staris in his 13th (hopefully lucky) season in pro basketball. Gordon was also a member of USA international program for some years. He played for USA Senior National Team back in 2003 and previously for U18 National Team in 2000. Gordon represented USA at the Qualifications to European Championships 2017 last year. His stats at that event were 6 games: 9.2ppg, 4.2rpg, 3.3apg, FGP: 26.3%, 3PT: 34.6%, FT: 72.7%. Gordon has spent his entire career in NBA playing for two other teams: Detroit Pistons and Charlotte Hornets. Gordon could be described:
Athletic combination guard with high basketball I.Q. .Superb leaper with excellent shooting range.
Outlook (by NBADraft.TK):
Positives: Ben Gordon is a great combo guard. A great scorer with a versatile offensive game. He is a deadly three-point shooter. Not just a long-range bomber, he has a good midrange game and is a good free throw shooter. Has the ability to take it strong to the hoop with exceptional strength and quickness for his size. Has a great handle as and is also good passer. Gordon is also a great athlete. Very quick and has great leaping ability. Has a near 40-inch vertical, which allows him to throw down impressive dunks despite his size. A solid defender, he uses his strength and lateral quickness well. A good rebounder for the guard position.
Negatives: Not a natural point guard. Gordon's ability to run the point os questionable. He played shooting guard at UConn with Taliek Brown as the point. Might be better at the shooting guard, but will have to play point guard in the NBA. (Jason Terry, Steve Francis). Can be a streaky shooter.
Devon Van Oostrum (ex Koroivos) signs at MZT Skopje - 8 hours ago
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Defending champion KK MZT Skopje Aerodrom (Prva Liga) landed 24-year old British guard Devon Van Oostrum (190-93, agency: Octagon Europe). He has a double citizenship as he also holds Dutch passport. Van Oostrum played recently at ASA Koroivos Amaliadas in Greek A1 league, but left the team earlier this month. In 11 games he averaged 11.0ppg, 3.0rpg and 2.7apg this season. The last season Van Oostrum played at Arkadikos (also in A1) where in 26 games he had 9.4ppg, 3.2rpg, 3.5apg and 1.2s... [read more]
Defending champion KK MZT Skopje Aerodrom (Prva Liga) landed 24-year old British guard Devon Van Oostrum (190-93, agency: Octagon Europe). He has a double citizenship as he also holds Dutch passport. Van Oostrum played recently at ASA Koroivos Amaliadas in Greek A1 league, but left the team earlier this month. In 11 games he averaged 11.0ppg, 3.0rpg and 2.7apg this season. The last season Van Oostrum played at Arkadikos (also in A1) where in 26 games he had 9.4ppg, 3.2rpg, 3.5apg and 1.2spg. Among other achievements Van Oostrum's team made it to the Spanish ACB Supercup Final Four in 2014. He received also Eurobasket.com All-European Championships U20 Division B 1st Team award back in 2012 and 2013. Van Oostrum was also a member of British international program for some years. He played for British Senior National Team between 2011 and 2014 and previously for U20 National Team between 2011 and 2013. Van Oostrum also represented United Kingdom at the Qualifications to European Championships 2015 three years ago. His stats at that event were 3 games: 7.0ppg, 6.0rpg, 4.0apg, FGP: 31.8%, 3PT: 10.0%, FT: 50.0%. Van Oostrum is a very experienced player. He has played also professionally in Croatia (Cibona), Finland (Kouvot), Spain (Baskonia, Magia Huesca, Caceres Basket, CB Tarragona 2017 and Baskonia) and United Kingdom (Sheffield Sharks).
Ryan Richards selected the top British players playing abroad in last week's games - 2 days ago
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We bring you last week's top performances from British players who are playing abroad and who all have had prior experience of national team duties at youth or senior level. Kofi Josephs (198-G-91) led Hertener Loewen to a victory over the ninth-ranked Bonn II in the German Regionalliga (fourth division) in Friday night's game.
We bring you last week's top performances from British players who are playing abroad and who all have had prior experience of national team duties at youth or senior level.
#1. This week's number one is former international power forward Ryan Richards (212-91, currently plays in Iran). Richards led Naft Abadan to a victory over one of league's weakest teams Shahrdari Gorgan (2-11) crushing them 84-49 in the Iranian Superleague last Thursday.
He was MVP of the game. Richards scored 14 points, grabbed 5 rebounds and dished 3 assists.
Naft Abadan (10-3) is placed second in the Superleague.
It was his team's fourth consecutive victory in a row.
There are only four games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game will be critical.
It's Richards' first season with the team.
He has relatively good stats this year: 10.5ppg, 2.8rpg, 2FGP: 40.9%, 3FGP: 31.8% and FT: 75.0%.
Richards played for the British senior national team six years ago.
#2. Second place goes to former international forward Luol Deng (206-85, agency: Interperformances, college: Duke, currently plays in NBA). He could not help the Los Angeles Lakers (15-31) in their last game. Despite Deng's good performance the Los Angeles Lakers (15-31) were crushed 108-87 on the road by the Portland Trail Blazers.
He was the top scorer with 14 points. Deng also added 6 rebounds in 30 minutes.
It was Lakers' fifth consecutive loss in a row.
This year Deng has relatively solid stats: 8.1ppg, 5.7rpg, 1.6apg, 2FGP: 43.0%, 3FGP: 33.1% and FT: 68.5% in 43 games he played so far.
He has a dual citizenship: British and South Sudanese.
Deng played for the British national team in 2014.
#3. The British player who performed third best last week abroad was former international power forward Joel Freeland (209-87, currently plays in Euroleague). He managed to help CSKA Moscow to win against the bottom-ranked Armani Milano (4-13) crushing them 101-64 in the Euroleague in Friday night's game.
Freeland scored only 4 points.
CSKA Moscow (13-4) is placed first in group A.
They ended the series of three consecutive loses.
This season Freeland averages: 2.4ppg, 2FGP: 71.4% and FT: 33.3%.
He played for the British national team three years ago.
#4. Forward Myles Hesson (198-90, currently plays in FIBA Europe Cup) contributed to Gravelines-Dunkerque's victory against the closely-ranked Prievidza (1-3) 79-68 in the FIBA Europe Cup last Wednesday.
Hesson recorded 10 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists in 27 minutes.
BCM Gravelines Dunkerque Grand Littoral (1-3) is placed third in group L.
It was his team's first victory after five consecutive loses.
There are only two games left until the end of the FIBA Europe Cup Second Stage. So now every game is very crucial.
Hesson has reliable stats this year: 13.3ppg, 5.8rpg and 1.7apg in 10 games.
He used to play for the British national team
back in 2015.
#5. U18 international forward Carl Wheatle (196-98, currently plays in Italy) contributed to an easy victory against the 14th-ranked Viola RC (6-11) crushing them 96-61 in the Italian Serie A2 (second division) in Sunday night's game.
He scored 8 points and grabbed 4 rebounds in 23 minutes.
Angelico Biella (12-5) is placed second in West group.
It was his team's first victory after three consecutive loses.
Wheatle has been at the team for four years.
This season Wheatle's overall stats are: 6.0ppg and 3.0rpg in 16 games.
He plays currently for the British U18 national team.
#6. Forward Rowell Graham (197-94, currently plays in Spain) was not able to help Blancos de Rueda (10-7) in their last game on Friday. Despite Graham's good performance Blancos de Rueda was edged 56-54 in Avila by the higher-ranked Fontedoso Carrefour (#3).
He was the top scorer with 12 points. Graham also added 9 rebounds and made 3 blocks.
Graham's stats this season are: 11.8ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.2bpg and 1.6spg.
He is a former U20 international player as he played for the British team three years ago.
#7. International power forward Daniel Clark (210-88, currently plays in ABA League) contributed to an easy victory against the ninth-ranked KK Zadar (6-12) crushing them 92-65 in the ABA League on Saturday night.
Clark scored 5 points, had 6 rebounds and dished 4 assists in 20 minutes.
KK MZT Skopje Aerodrom (5-13) is located at the very bottom in the ABA League.
But the situation may improve as they ended a series of five consecutive loses.
Clark's stats this year are: 10.7ppg, 4.9rpg and 2.2apg in nine games.
He is also British national team player.
#8. Forward Elliott Sentance (193-94, college: Mineral Area CC, currently plays in Canada) was not able to secure a victory for the Lethbridge University (8-6) in their last game on Friday. Despite Sentance's very good performance the Lethbridge University (#6) was defeated 89-83 in Saskatoon, SK by the Huskies.
He was the top scorer with 29 points. Sentance also added 8 rebounds and dished 5 assists.
Sentance has individually a very good season with high stats. He averages: 19.7ppg, 7.3rpg, 2.2apg and 1.8spg.
Sentance used to play for the British U20 national team
back in 2014.
#9. International swingman Chris Caird (198-89, also represented by Interperformances, college: Drake, currently plays in Iceland) couldn't help Tindastoll (9-4) in their last game. Despite his very good performance Tindastoll lost 85-100 in Akureyri to the lower-ranked (#4) Thor AK.
Caird was the second best scorer with 18 points. He also added 5 rebounds in 22 minutes.
Caird has very impressive stats this year: 18.5ppg, 4.1rpg and 1.8apg in 13 games.
He is also in the roster of the British national team.
#10. Point guard Andrew Lawrence (185-90, agency: Two Points, college: Charleston, currently plays in France) contributed to Chalons-Reims' surprising victory against the second-ranked Chalon/Saor (12-4) 74-69 in the French ProA on Saturday night.
Lawrence recorded 8 points and added 3 passes.
Champagne Chalons-Reims Basket (7-9) is placed 13th in the ProA.
Lawrence's total stats this season are: 3.3ppg, 2.8apg and 2.0spg.
He is an international player who is currently on the senior British National Team roster.
#11. Former international guard Luke Nelson (190-95, currently plays college basketball in the States) contributed to an easy victory against the California State University, Fullerton crushing them 87-67 in the NCAA in Saturday night's game.
Nelson scored 20 points in 24 minutes.
Nelson averaged so far 14.8ppg, 2.8rpg, 2.5apg and 2.3spg in four games.
He used to play for the British national team
three years ago.
#12. Former U18 international center Kingsley Okoroh (216-95, currently studies in the States) contributed to California's victory against the The University of Washington 69-59 in the NCAA last Thursday.
Okoroh recorded 7 points, 9 rebounds and 4 blocks.
Okoroh's total stats this season are: 5.4ppg, 6.9rpg, 1.2apg and 2.6bpg.
He used to play for the British U18 national team
back in 2013.
#13. Former international power forward Laurence Ekperigin (200-88, college: Le Moyne, currently plays in France) couldn't help Nantes (8-6) in their last game. Despite Ekperigin's good performance Nantes lost 56-68 on the opponent's court to the much lower-ranked (#12) Poitiers.
He had a double-double by scoring 11 points and getting 12 rebounds in 27 minutes.
Ekperigin averaged so far 11.3ppg, 8.7rpg and 1.4apg in 12 games.
He is a naturalized American.
Ekperigin used to play for the British national team
six years ago.
Strangely he has never played in United Kingdom.
#14. Former U18 international swingman Akwasi Yeboah (198-97, is currently at the American university) contributed to an Stony Brook's shocking victory against the University of Maine crushing them 74-54 in the NCAA on Saturday night.
He scored 13 points, had 6 rebounds and made 2 blocks.
Yeboah's total stats this season are: 9.3ppg and 3.9rpg.
He used to play for the British U18 national team
back in 2014.
#15. Former U20 international guard Jordan Spencer (188-94, currently plays in NCAA2) contributed to an Augustana College, SD's victory against the Northern St. University 80-66 in the NCAA2 last Saturday.
He recorded 14 points and added 9 passes.
Spencer averaged so far 14.9ppg, 3.2rpg, 7.3apg and 1.6spg.
He used to play for the British U20 national team
three years ago.
The list of other players, who all have British passport but never been selected to any of British national teams:
#1.Kofi Josephs (198-G-91, college: Fort Lewis, currently plays in Germany) led Hertener Loewen to a victory over the ninth-ranked Bonn II (7-9) 107-98 in the German Regionalliga (fourth division) in Friday night's game.
He was MVP of the game. Josephs recorded 49 points (!!!), 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals in 34 minutes; quite an impressive performance considering it's only his third season in pro basketball. Hertener Loewen Basketball (6-10) is placed tenth in West group.
It's Josephs' first year with the team.
Josephs has individually a very good season with high stats. He averages: 17.7ppg, 3.9rpg, 1.3apg and 1.7spg in 12 games he played so far.
#2.Akeem Williams (178-PG-91, college: Mass.-Lowell, currently plays in France) was the main contributor in Hyeres-Toulon's victory against the closely-ranked Cholet Basket (6-10) crushing them 86-66 in the French ProA on Saturday night.
Williams was the best player in that game. He recorded 16 points and added 3 passes; not bad, considering it's only Williams' third season in pro basketball. Hyeres-Toulon Var Basket (7-9) is placed 12th in the ProA.
Williams' overall stats this season are: 6.6ppg, 2.0rpg and 1.6apg.
He is a naturalized American.
Strangely Williams has never played in United Kingdom.
#3.Joshua Palmer (201-F, college: Drury, currently plays in NCAA2) contributed to a Drury University's victory against the Saint Joseph's College (IN) (2-5) 90-77 in the NCAA2 in Thursday night's game.
Palmer scored 19 points and grabbed 6 rebounds.
The Drury University has a solid 4-2 record this season.
Palmer averaged so far 10.3ppg and 4.1rpg.
#4.Solomon Rolls-Tyson (203-F, agency: Mansfield and Associates, college: E.Utah JC, currently plays in Norway) helped Kongsberg win their game against the seventh-ranked Centrum (9-10) 100-97 in the Norwegian BLNO last Thursday.
He recorded 15 points and blocked 2 shots in only a mere 11 minutes.
Kongsberg Miners (15-2) is placed first in the BLNO.
It was his team's seventh consecutive victory in a row.
Rolls-Tyson has very impressive stats this year: 19.0ppg, 5.5rpg, 2.5apg and 2.0bpg in two games.
#5.Elliott DeFreitas (208-F, currently plays in NCAA2) helped Hawaii-Pacific University win their game against the Notre Dame de Namur University (1-8) 68-50 in the NCAA2 in Monday night's game.
DeFreitas scored 15 points, had 6 rebounds and made 3 blocks in 25 minutes.
The Hawaii-Pacific University has quite an impressive 9-1 record this season.
It was his team's fifth consecutive victory in a row.
This year DeFreitas' total stats are: 9.9ppg, 5.8rpg and 1.4bpg in 11 games.
#6.Michael Ojo (195-G-89, college: Lehigh, currently plays in Austria). Ojo could not help Gmunden Swans to beat Arkadia Lions.
He recorded 6 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in 22 minutes. It was his first game for Gmunden Swans this season.
His team lost 60-72.
Ojo is a naturalized American.
He used to play for Airwaves Plymouth Raiders in British league.
#7.Edward Alade (206-C, currently plays college basketball in the States) helped Navy win their game against the Lafayette College crushing them 88-51 in the NCAA in Saturday night's game.
Alade scored 12 points and grabbed 7 rebounds.
Alade's total stats this season are: 3.6ppg and 2.7rpg.
He is a naturalized American.
Apparently Alade has never played in United Kingdom.
#8.Nicholas Spires (210-C-94, currently plays in FIBA Europe Cup) was not able to help Sodertalje Kings in their game against Gaziantep in the FIBA Europe Cup.
He recorded 6 points and grabbed 4 rebounds.
His team was crushed by 42 points 93-51.
Spires' total stats this season are: 8.4ppg, 4.6rpg and 1.1bpg.
He has a dual citizenship: British and Swedish.
#9.Deane Williams (203-F-96, currently plays in NCAA2) helped Augusta University win their game against the Young Harris College crushing them 90-58 in the NCAA2 last Monday.
Williams scored 8 points and grabbed 8 rebounds in 23 minutes.
This year Williams' total stats are: 8.8ppg and 6.2rpg in 12 games.
#10.Rishi Kakad (188-G-87, college: Hawaii-Pacific, currently plays in Germany) helped Ibbenbueren win their game against the third-ranked Muenster 94-87 in the German Regionalliga (fourth division) last Saturday.
He was the best player in that game. Kakad recorded 43 points (!!!).
This season Kakad has very high stats. He averages: 37.0ppg, 2.5rpg and 3.0apg.
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