UConn Abroad Recap: Marcus Williams beats Niels Giffey; Dyson leads Sassari

EuroLeague

Marcus Williams had 7 points and a game-high 10 assists leading #7 Crvena Zvezda to a 86-69 Top 16 victory over Niels Giffey and #5 ALBA Berlin. Giffey, battling foul trouble, added 3 points and 3 rebounds for the German club. In typical fashion, many of Williams dimes were of the highlight variety, including a pair of nifty no-looks:

With the win, #7 Crvena moves out of last place and ALBA falls into a tie for #5. Both clubs qualified for the Top 16 with impressive EuroLeague regular seasons but have struggled thus far. The Top 16 divides qualifying clubs from the regular season into two Groups -E and F- for a 14 game round-robin season. In order to advance to the next round of play, ALBA and Crvena must finish among the top four seeds in Group E. The two will rematch at the end of March, in a game that could decide postseason fate.

It was a big week for Williams across the board as his 19 point/6 assist effort led #1 Crvena to a thrilling 1 point victory over #2 Buducnost (Montenegro) in the Adriatic League. The game featured two former elite Big East point guards as Williams faced off against Omar Cook of St. John’s. See highlights below:

EuroCup

One tier down, in EuroCup play, it was Jerome Dyson’s turn to beat up on Cook, as his 11 points/7 assists helped Sassari move into #2 in Group H with a win over Buducnost. Remember, clubs play in multiple leagues so there is much crossover, especially during the postseason.

In Italian Series A play, Dyson’s 17 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists kept Sassari at #4 with just over 10 games remaining.

In Group M play, Hilton Armstrong and Besiktas (Turkey) moved to #2 with a victory over Neptunas (Lithuania). Through three quarters, Armstrong had 8 points/5 rebounds/3 blocks before leaving the game with an ankle injury. He is expected to miss only a week. Besiktas also announced the signing of former Villanova guard Scottie Reynolds.

Both clubs return to action next week needing a win to advance to the next stage, the EuroCup Final Eight.

 

UConn Basketball’s Week on Twitter Review

Here is a recap of UConn Basketball’s week on Twitter for Huskies past, present and future.

NBA

Kemba Walker may need surgery on meniscus (would miss 6 weeks)…

Jeremy Lamb to Brooklyn? Or maybe Charlotte?

LeBron James recruits Ray Allen to Cavs by staring until he agrees…

Shabazz Napier plays with Reggie Evans (peek-a-boo)…

Roscoe Smith records NBA D-League leading 20th double-double…

International

The German BBL begs the question of Khalid El-Amin for MVP (update to come) and other stuff I don’t understand…

Niels Giffey plays in the German BBL All-Star Game…

Jerome Dyson keeps it simple…

Marcus Williams shows play-making is not the only play he’s making…

UCONN

Ryan Boatright moves into 18th on the all-time scoring list…

…on a career-high 28 points.

Daniel Hamilton does a little bit of everything (turning the ball over included)…

…while Omar Calhoun does something (forgot he could dunk).

High School

UConn ESPN Top 25 commit Jalen Adams puts on at the Hoop Hall Classic…

…and future teammate Steve Enoch does the same.

Siauliai loses to Rytas; adds American Jeff Allen (VT)

Gintaras Siuparys

Gintaras Siuparys

#7 Siauliai hung tough for the duration of the game but took home the loss yesterday against #4 Lietuvos Rytas, 88-72. Down 46-32 at half, the club rallied during a 28 point third quarter to within two, but ultimately could not overcome Rytas’ hot shooting (42% from three). Ryan Olander had 2 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists in the loss.

Highlights:

Full Game:

In other news, Siauliai has added former Virginia Tech forward Jeff Allen. Allen finished fourth place all-time at Virginia Tech with 1,111 career rebounds and also became the first player in ACC (not to be confused with AAC of course-big difference) history with 1,500 career points, 1,000 rebounds, 200 steals and 150 blocked shots. Allen comes to Lithuania from Maccabi Haifa of the Israeli Premier League -the top national league in Israel- where he was averaging 11 points/4 rebounds.

Here are some highlights from Allen’s VT days:

Andre Drummond’s first career game-winner for Pistons (video)

Andre Drummond made two huge plays in the waning seconds of Friday night’s game against the Indiana Pacers. First, deadlocked at 96-96 with :24 seconds remaining, Drummond coaxed Pacers All-Star big man Roy Hibbert into an offensive foul. Then, on the ensuing possession, Drummond followed a Brandon Jennings’ miss for his 16 point on his 16 rebound, giving the Pistons 10 wins in their last 12 games.

I have not been shy in proclaiming Drummond a Hall of Famer, barring injury. His athleticism is so freakish, he could completely redefine the center position in the NBA, similarly to how LeBron James redefined the small forward. In just his third season, at a mere 21 years old, Drummond is averaging roughly 12 points, 13 rebounds and 2 blocks per game. To average these numbers, with a game so raw he barely has a viable post move or sense of defensive positioning, is a scary thought for Eastern Conference opponents.

Though impossible to imagine at this point in time, Drummond’s athleticism will eventually fade. His ultimate reputation will be decided by technique, development and execution. As SI.com’s Rob Mahoney puts it in his article linked below: “He will always appear capable of more, because in some sense he’s capable of almost anything.”

Ladies and gentlemen, watch out for Andre Drummond.

http://www.si.com/nba/2015/01/13/andre-drummond-pistons-the-craft

 

Jerome Dyson absolutely POSTERIZES defender (video)

This is what happens when 6’10 Italian center Tomas Ress tries to jump with Jerome Dyson:

euroleague.net

euroleague.net

Dyson has been on absolute fire the last 5 games in Italian Series A League play averaging a ridiculous 26.2 points, 6.6 assists, 6 rebounds and 2.5 steals for #2 Banco Di Sardegna. Sassari competes in both the Italian Series A League (national) as well as the EuroCup (regional). The club also competed in the Euroleague (Euro NBA, think Niels Giffey/Marcus Williams) earlier in the season but failed to reach the Top 16. They were booted into the Top 32 of the EuroCup (one level down) to play for a chance at the EuroCup crown and an automatic bid back to the Euroleague for next season. Essentially, the EuroCup (and lesser regional leagues) is a chance for clubs without the necessary accolades to qualify for Euroleague play automatically, similar to how conference tournament’s work with March Madness. European clubs rely heavily on sponsors who rely heavily on exposure, better leagues = more exposure = more money = better players.

To gauge the scope of the EuroCup, here is a map of all participating clubs (minus late additions):

Wikipedia

Wikipedia

Dyson is having a career year for Sassari with his 18.5 points per game, 4.8 assists per game and 2.3 steals per game good for 4th, 4th and 1st respectively in Series A play. On January 11th, Dyson dropped 30 points (6-10, 3P), dished out 8 assists and added 4 steals. In fact, his DEEP 3’s in the last two minutes led Sassari to the come-from-behind victory. Follow the link below for highlights (shots come at 2 minute mark):

http://video.gazzetta.it/video-embed/61232c74-9915-11e4-a044-3f0f5e5c1c1c

Sassari returns to action January 20th when they battle Buducnost (Montenegro) in EuroCup play. The matchup pits Dyson against former Big East standout Omar Cook (St. John’s). Dyson and his squad will need to finish in the top two of Group H to advance to the Final Eight – they currently sit at 3rd with a record of 1-1. Other Group H members include Buducnost, Canaria (Spain), and Banvit (Turkey).

We always knew Dyson could make plays like this…

…now he is making winning plays.

 

Vote Kemba Walker to the 2015 All Star Game

 Kemba All Star 2015

It’s impossible to repay Kemba Walker for what he gave UConn fans in the Spring of 2011. However, voting him into his first All Star game (a NYC homecoming at that) is a great way to start. Walker is averaging 30+ points in the midst of a 5 game win streak, including 28 points in just 28 minutes during last night’s blowout of the New York Knicks. In addition, Cardiac Kemba ALREADY has three game-winning buzzer-beaters on the young season. Kemba Walker deserves to be an All Star, here are the many ways to vote him in:

Twitter

Tweet “Kemba Walker” with the hashtag #NBABallot, or, simply RT my tweet below. Might as well RT for Andre Drummond too while you are at it…

Facebook

Post “Kemba Walker” with the hashtag #NBABallot:

Kemba 2015 ASG

 Instagram

Post an original photo with “Kemba Walker” and the hashtag #NBABallot.

Online

Create an account and vote online here.

Texting

Vote by texting “Walker” to 69622 (MYNBA). Message and data rates apply.


 

Fans can cast up to 10 votes per day on each voting medium, but only one per player. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts must include the player’s first/last name AND the hashtag #NBABallot. Voting ends January 19, 2015 so let’s get to it…

Kemba Walker does it again for Hornets…

If you thought Kemba’s game couldn’t translate to the NBA you are a fool. As I have said all along with Kemba- winners win. Regardless of the level, winners will find a way to win (ie Shabazz). This is Kemba’s third buzzer-beater on the season and third straight game with 30+ points. Most importantly? Charlotte is 3-0 in those three games. Here is Kemba’s circus finish over 2013 NBA All Star Jrue Holiday. For those of you familiar with the Walker-Holiday rivalry- this isn’t close to Kemba’s most impressive finish over Jrue (see second video)…

2008 McDonald’s All American Game: BOO-YAH

Enosch Wolf 2014/15 Highlight Tape

teckbote.de

teckbote.de

Well, here it is folks. The highly anticipated, highly requested Enosch Wolf highlight tape is finally here, enjoy:

On a more serious note Wolf is averaging a near double-double (12 points/9 rebounds) for the 7-9 Kirchheim Knights of the German Pro A League. The Pro A League is the second most competitive league in Germany, behind the BBL (think Niels). Wolf has spent the majority of his post-UConn career bouncing around the Pro A League but seems to have found a home in Kirchheim.