Our line-up this week includes a certain player who has more than one reason to celebrate after lifting the BBL Cup.
BJ Holmes (One Health Sharks Sheffield)
The Sharks have been resurgent of late and BJ Holmes has played his part in this renaissance with some excellent displays during recent weeks with his latest effort earning him a place in our starting five. The guard produced an excellent night of work against Mersey Tigers, accumulating 16 points from five of seven floor shooting inside. He also weighed in with six assists and five rebounds to help Sharks continue their steady progress towards a potential play-off spot.
Yes, it was a memorable weekend for Jay Couisnard as the Riders man not only picked up a BBL Cup winners medal after guiding his team to their first piece of silverware for 12 years, he also scooped the MVP award with an excellent performance to take down Newcastle Eagles. Now he has a BBL Team of the Week slot to celebrate too after racking up a pivotal 17 points at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham. He made four triples, grabbed four rebounds and mustered four assists and four steals.
The Rocks forward continues to be a big influence at the Emirates Arena and his latest display helped his team to shoot down Manchester Giants. Murray was in deadly form from behind the three-point line, sinking each of his attempts to finish with a perfect three from three from downtown. That helped him to accrue 17 points and he came within a whisker of completing a double-double. Only, it wasnt in points and rebounds. For the forward showed how his game has developed by coming up with a magnificent nine assists, as well as two blocked shots and a steal for good measure.
The best performance of the entire weekend could probably be pinned onto Jay Couisnard since he proved to be the match-winner in the BBL Cup Final. However statistically, it was Demetrius Jemison who came up with the most efficient and impressive performance valuation. Mersey Tigers simply couldnt contain him in the paint as he went off for eight of nine floor shooting whilst also managing to sink a perfect six of six from the free-throw line to rack up a 22 point haul. His all-action display was rounded off with four rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block.
It could always be argued that it is even more of an accomplishment for a player-coach to make our line-up with so much else to worry about on and off the floor. So, we encourage Sterling Davis to stand up and take a bow after claiming 22 points in the win against Giants. He converted with six of seven attempts at the hoop and was a constant thorn in the side of Manchester who sent him to the foul line no fewer than ten times. Davis also contributed five assists, three rebounds and two blocked shots.
Off The Bench Drew Sullivan (Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders), Pavol Losonsky (Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders), Joe Chapman (Newcastle Eagles), Tayo Ogedengbe (London Lions), Adrien Sturt (London Lions), Jerome Gumbs (Cheshire Jets), Alif Bland (Cheshire Phoenix)
Worcester Wolves, Plymouth Raiders and London Lions all overturned half-time deficits to record victories on Friday night. Worcester won the third period 14-30 on their way to beating the recent Cup champions, Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 103-112 in front of the BBC Sport cameras. There was a huge comeback win for Plymouth Raiders as they recovered from being 20 points down to beat Bristol Flyers 98-103 in overtime and snap their rivals' six-game win streak. Meanwhile, Zaire Taylor(193-G... [read more]
Worcester Wolves, Plymouth Raiders and London Lions all overturned half-time deficits to record victories on Friday night.
Worcester won the third period 14-30 on their way to beating the recent Cup champions, Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 103-112 in front of the BBC Sport cameras.
There was a huge comeback win for Plymouth Raiders as they recovered from being 20 points down to beat Bristol Flyers 98-103 in overtime and snap their rivals' six-game win streak.
Meanwhile, Zaire Taylor (193-G-86, college: Missouri) netted 28 points to lead London Lions to a 70-67 success at home to Glasgow Rocks with both teams now standing at 10-4.
BBL Championship London Lions 70 (22,33,52) (Taylor 28, Owumi 16, K Williams 14) Glasgow Rocks 67 (24,38,49) (Watson 25, Thomas 14, Achara 10)
London Lions claimed their 10th league win of the season after holding off Glasgow Rocks for a 70-67 victory.
Zaire Taylor led the way with 28 points and also dished out seven assists as the Lions improve to 10-4.
Lewis Thomas hit back-to-back triples to put the Rocks up 12-19 in the first, but the home side closed the gap to two by the end of the first.
The lead peaked in the second on a 9-0 run for the visitors to make it 24-33, but the Lions finished the quarter well once again as they began to mount a comeback.
Taylor scored six early points in the third before an 8-0 run put the Lions ahead, and they maintained a slender advantage ahead of the final 10 minutes. Glasgow levelled with the first score of the fourth period, but a trio of triples gave the hosts the upper-hand.
Taylor hit a huge three to make it 68-63 inside the final two minutes, and although Watson answered, Taylor nailed a pair of free throws which proved to be enough for the win.
The Rocks were paced by Watson's 25 points, while Kieron Achara finished with 10 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
Worcester Wolves produced an impressive display to pull off a 103-112 victory away at the recent Cup champions, Esh Group Eagles Newcastle.
Paul James' side were down five at the half, but turned things around with a huge third quarter before holding off a late fightback from the Eagles in front of the BBC Sport cameras.
Maurice Walker, Ashton Khan and Danny Huffor all netted 20+ points with three other players in double figures in the Wolves' seventh league success.
The Eagles made a strong start before being pegged back by Worcester's hot streak from downtown. Rahmon Fletcher's mid-range jumpshot edged his side ahead and they extended their lead to five by half-time.
However, there was to be a twist in the second half as the Wolves came out firing in the third and racked up 30 points to open up a 12-point advantage.
The visitors stretched their lead out to 18 in the fourth and despite a rally from the Eagles, they were left with to much to do and suffered their third league defeat despite 34 points and 13 assists from Fletcher.
BBL Championship, OT Bristol Flyers 98 (22,48,71,88) (Cosby 20, Smith 18, Boggs 17) Plymouth Raiders 103 (20,37,55,88) (Corletto 29, Dixon 20, Nicholas 17)
Plymouth Raiders came from 20 points down to beat their South-West rivals Bristol Flyers 98-103 in overtime.
The visitors were down 71-51 inside the final two minutes of the third, but rallied with a huge fourth quarter before securing the win in the extra period.
Daryl Corletto netted seven triples including two late in the fourth to force overtime on his way to an impressive 29-point haul.
Cory Dixon added 20 points, while Rhys Carter flirted with a triple-double with 14 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists as the Raiders level the head-to-head series.
The Flyers edged an even first period, but pulled clear in the second after finishing the half with a 9-0 run to lead by 11 at the half.
Bristol continued to extend their advantage and led by 20 before the Raiders put together a 19-5 spell across quarters to cut the gap and later levelled at 80.
An 8-2 run put the Flyers in control only for Corletto hit two 3-pointers in the final 20 seconds to force overtime.
Plymouth compiled another key run with 11 unanswered points late in overtime to complete the comeback victory to improve to 10-6 in the league.
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 - 1 day 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).
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