Marcus Williams featured in EuroLeague Top 10 Plays

Marcus Williams’ court vision mixed with a 7’4 center is almost unfair. At #9, Williams’ dime to Boban Marjanovic pulls Crvena Zvezda within 2 in the last minute of a EuroLeague Top 16 Group E match against Zalgiris (Lithuania).

Another beautiful assist by Williams:

Even behind 9 points, 7 assists and 4 steals from Williams, Crvena could not complete the comeback and fell to the Lithuanians 70-68 as Williams deep three at the buzzer was too strong (1:45).

 

 

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.

UConn in Europe: Jerome Dyson and Marcus Williams

euroleague.net

euroleague.net

Marcus Williams

Club: Crvena Zvezda Telekom

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Leagues: Adriactic League, EuroLeague

Marcus Williams is enjoying a great year taking over for DeMarcus Nelson (Duke) as point guard for Crvena Zvezda, a Serbian team competing in both the Adriatic League (ABA) and Euroleague (top level in Europe). The ABA is a regional professional league that features clubs from the former Yugoslavia including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia as well as Israel and Hungary. The league was founded in the years after the Yugoslav Wars and has featured American players such as Adam Morrison (Gonzaga), Jordan Farmar (UCLA) and Scoonie Penn (Ohio State). Williams has partnered this season with 2011 Golden State Warrior’s draft pick Charles Jenkins to lead Zvezda to a perfect 8-0 record, good for first in the ABA. Always a pass first point guard, Williams’ 6.8 APG are good for fourth in the league. Here’s a look at his complete stat line:

ADRIATIC G MIN FG-FGA FG% 3PM-A 3P% REB AS PTS EFF
M. Williams 8 22.5 13-39 33% 16-36 44% 2.4 6.8 10.5 10.8

As one of the premier clubs in European basketball, Zvezda also competes in Group D of the Euroleague, which, as I mentioned earlier, is the equivalent to the European NBA. The Euroleague regular season runs from October 16th to December 19th, with 24 teams divided into 4 groups (A, B, C, D). Each team plays 10 games within the group, in a round robin format, with the top four teams from each group advancing to the Top 16. The Top 16 divides clubs into two additional 8 club groups (E, F), where teams play a 14 game round robin season spanning December 30th, 2014 to April 10th, 2015. The top 4 teams from Groups E and F then advance to a best-of-five series with the series winners advancing to the Final Four. The 2015 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four will be held in Madrid, Spain from May 15th to 17th on a single elimination basis. Also competing in the Euroleague for UConn this season is Jerome Dyson (Banco di Sardegna, Italy, Group A) and Niels Giffey (ALBA Berlin, Germany, Group B).

Currently, Zvezda sits at #2 in Group D with a record of 3-3. Williams has put together an impressive season thus far, setting a Euroleague record with 17 assists in his last outing. Overall, his 8.0 APG lead the league through six games. Here is a complete statline below:

EURO G MIN FG-FGA FG% 3PM-A 3P% REB AS PTS EFF
M. Williams 6 30 13-38 34% 13-43 30% 4.2 8.0 13.5 14.7

Euroleague Assist of the Night:

Marcus Williams Zvezda Highlights:

 

Jerome Dyson

Club: Dinamo Banco Di Sardegna Sassari

Location: Sardinia, Italy

Leagues: Lega Basket A, EuroLeague

euroleague.net

euroleague.net

 

Jerome Dyson comes to Sassari after one year with Enel Brindisi of the Italian National League (Lega Basket A) and has made an immediate impact. Dyson was named MVP of the Italian SuperCup, a yearly preseason competition that takes place between winners of the Italian Championship and Italian Cup from the previous year. It comes as no surprise Sassari is a great fit for Dyson- the team’s offensive philosophy is similar to Coach Calhoun’s at UConn, a run and gun that emphasizes getting out in transition and pushing the tempo. Dyson, along with Edgar Sosa (Louisville), Rakim Sanders (BC/Fairfield) and Jeff Brooks (Penn State) have led Sassari to a 5-1 record, good for second in a league widely considered one of the best in Europe. A quick search through the rosters seems to support this claim as former Big East stars Austin Freeman (Georgetown), Allan Ray (Villanova), Samardo Samuels (Louisville), Sam Young (Pittsburgh), MarShon Brooks (Providence) and Darius Johnson-Odom (Marquette) all participate. True to his UConn days, Dyson is first in the league with 2.7 steals per game. Here is a complete stat line below:

ITALY A G MIN FG-FGA FG% 3PM-A 3P% REB AS ST PTS EFF
J. Dyson 6 28.7 14-32 44% 11-33 33% 3.2 4.8 2.7 14.7 16.8

Following a 2013-14 campaign that saw Sassari win the coveted Italian Cup, the club earned a chance to compete in the Euroleague. The adjustment has been difficult as Sassari currently sits in last place in Group A with a record of 1-5, a group that includes European powerhouse Real Madrid. The team struggles have not  stopped Dyson’s individual performance however, as he continues to fill up the box score on a nightly basis. Here is a complete Euroleague statline:

EURO G MIN FG-FGA FG% 3PM-A 3P% REB AS ST PTS EFF
J. Dyson 5 29 15-37 41% 12-29 41% 3.0 3.8 2.0 14.4 9.0

Dyson interview on Euroleague Media Day:

Highlights from 2013/14 season (low quality):

CHECK BACK NEXT WEEK FOR AN UPDATE ON NIELS GIFFEY / ENOSCH WOLF…

 

 

 

El-Amin to Wolf: UConn in Europe 2014-2015

Here is an alphabetical list of former UConn players currently abroad. Most leagues are already underway and the remainder tip off this week. Check back for weekly updates on your favorite former Huskies. The list will be updated as more information becomes available.

Khalid El-Amin

Team: Goettingen, Germany

Top League: BBL (German National League)

Notable American teammates: Jason Clark (Georgetown), Raymar Morgan (Michigan State)

Hilton Armstrong

Team: Besiktas, Turkey

Top League: TBL (Turkish National League)

Notable American teammates: JaJuan Johnson (Purdue/Boston Celtics), Chris Lofton (Tennessee) 

Josh Boone

Team: Al Manama, Bahrain

Top League: Bahrain Premier League

Notable American teammates: none

Deandre Daniels

Team: Perth Wildcats, Australia

Top League: National Basketball League

Notable American teammates: Jermaine Beal (Vanderbilt)

Jerome Dyson

Team: Banco Di Sardegna

Top League: Italian Series A

Notable American teammates: Rakim Sanders (BC/Fairfield)

Niels Giffey

Team: ALBA Berlin, Germany

Top League: Euroleague

Notable American teammates: Reggie Redding (Villanova), Clifford Hammonds (Clemson)

Lasan Kromah

Team: ALBA Fehervar, Hungary

Top League: Hungary A Division

Notable American teammates: Cleveland Melvin (Depaul)

Tyler Olander

Team: Siauliai, Lithuania

Top League: EuroChallenge

Notable American teammates: Ryan Olander (Fairfield)

Alex Oriakhi

Team: Pieno Zvaigzdes, Lithuania

Top League: Baltic Basketball League

Notable American teammates: none

Marcus Williams

Team: Crvena Zvezda, Serbia

Top League: KLS (Serbian National League)

Notable American teammates: Charles Jenkins (Hofstra)

Enosch Wolf

Team: VFL Kirchheim Knights, Germany

Top League: Germany Pro A Division

Notable American teammates: none

Unavailable:

Rashad Anderson, Denham Brown, Taliek Brown, Ater Majok, Stanley Robinson

Notes:

Roscoe Smith signed to the Los Angeles Lakers practice squad on September 24th. With three veteran forwards and newcomer Julius Randle, Smith will have a hard time making the final NBA roster but could be kept with the teams D-League affiliate.

Where Are They Now: UCONN Edition

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Marcus Williams joined Russian club Lokomotiv-Kuban to replace point guard Nick Calathes whose performance last season earned him an invite to the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies. Lokomotiv participates in both the VTB United League and the EuroLeague. Through 12 VTB games for the 7-5 defending EuroCup champs, Williams is averaging 8.7 points and 4.2 assists running the point. In 13 Euroleague games, Williams contributes 9.2 points and 4.6 assists for the 7-6 club. Williams’ best game of the season saw him rack up 23 points/7 rebounds in Lokomotiv’s first ever Euroleague win against Crvena Zvezda of Serbia- featuring American guards DeMarcus Nelson (Duke) and Charles Jenkins (Hofstra) .

Although it’s not Rudy Gay or Josh Boone on the receiving end, catch Williams thread the needle below…

VTB Top 5, Week 12: Play #5

VTB Top 5, Week 3: Play #2

Roscoe+Smith+Illinois+v+UNLV+vH1BylIyZ6Bl

As a freshman at UCONN Smith was a major contributor to the 2011 National Championship team averaging 5.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks including 4 in the NCAA Final against Butler. Following a transfer to UNLV, Smith was forced to redshirt the 2012-13 season where he competed on the scout team against eventual #1 overall pick Anthony Bennett. The competition evidently paid huge dividends for Smith who is averaging a double-double (12.1 points/12.5 rebounds) for 13-7 Runnin’ Rebels. In fact, Smith’s 12.5 mark leads all NCAA Division 1 players in rebounds per game. Smith has 12 double-doubles on the season including an 18 point/ 21 rebound effort against Arizona State back in November. UNLV currently sits in 6th place (4-3) in the Mountain West with 11 games remaining until the conference tournament. It is worth mentioning nbadraft.net slots Smith as the 29th pick in the 1st round to the OKC Thunder, a pick behind former teammate Shabazz Napier.

Where Are They Now: UCONN edition

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Jerome Dyson went undrafted in the 2010 NBA Draft and played briefly with the OKC Thunder before his eventual release. Dyson then signed with the Tulsa 66ers of the D-League where he was the team’s leading scorer at 15.5 points per game. On April 10, 2012 he signed a ten-day contract with the New Orleans Hornets averaging 7 points and 1 steal in nine games including a 24 point effort against the Memphis Grizzlies. Dyson ultimately ended up with Hapoel Holon of the Israeli Winner League where he averaged 20 points and 2 steals during the 2012-13 season. Currently, Dyson plays for 11-5 Enel Brindisi of the Italian Serie A  League where he is 9th in the league in scoring at 16 points per game. UCONN fans will remember his signature dunk (Link 1, #8) and baseline-to-baseline speed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iRej3BOh_o&list=PLY-s_C0dtivG2Zfi9tLa0DgSZaNyD4YHy&feature=c4-overview-vl

Dyson end-to-end fancy finish

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After senior season averages of 11.2 points per game and 8.4 rebounds, Alex Oriakhi was taken by the Phoenix Suns with the 57th pick in the 2nd round of the 2013 NBA Draft. Limited playing time with the Suns D-League affiliate pushed Oriakhi to sign with Limoges CSP of the French League for this season. This however does not suggest the end of Oriakhi’s NBA career as the Suns retained his rights and have monitored his overseas progress. According to GM Ryan McDonough, Oriakhi will attend training camp with the Suns next season. As mentioned, Oriakhi spent the first month of the 2013-14 season with Limoges in France before heading to Hapoel Holon (Israel) in November to play with former Missouri teammate Laurence Bowers and ex Nova guard Scottie Reynolds. On December 19th Oriakhi signed with the Erie Bayhawks of the D-League where he has averaged 8 points and 7 rebounds as the team’s starting center.

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After a one year hiatus from the game of basketball, Stanley Robinson has resurfaced north of the border with the Moncton Miracles of NBL Canada. Selected by the Orlando Magic with the 59th overall pick in 2010, Robinson was cut following training camp. Robinson then signed with the Iowa Energy of the NBDL and averaged 8 points/6 rebounds during the team’s championship run. Robinson resigned for the 2011-12 season but suffered a serious staph infection in December that kept him sidelined for much of the season. Currently, Robinson is averaging 15 points to go along with a team leading 8 rebounds through the first 27 games of the season for the 9-18 Miracles. Robinson was named NBL Canada player of the week for the week ending November 10, 2013 due to his performance which included two 20+ point games.

Check out Sticks at #5 of the NBL Top Ten from Week 3 (not quite the bounce we are used to but hey, it works in Canada):

 STICKS OOP

Stay tuned for updates on Marcus Williams, Taliek Brown and more former Huskies…