2014/15 LKL Season in Review: ROlander, TOlander and Oriakhi

The 2014/15 LKL season has come to a close for the Twin Towers of Olander and former UConn National Champion Alex Oriakhi. Here is a look back on the season in review including final statistics, best performance, and top play for each player:

Gintaras Siuparys

Gintaras Siuparys

Ryan Olander and BC Siauliai entered the LKL playoffs with the #7 seed, in a best-of-five matchup with #2 Lietuvos Rytas. The Lithuanian powerhouse proved too strong for Siauliai, knocking them out of the playoffs with three straight victories behind the play of Americans Billy Baron (UVA/URI), Mike Moser (UCLA/Oregon) and Travis Leslie (Georgia/LA Clippers).

Though a strong season overall, which included a Baltic Basketball League Championship, Olander put forth his strongest numbers when it mattered most- during EuroChallenge play. The EuroChallenge is the third-tier professional league in Europe and Olander ranked in the top three converting on 73% of his field goal attempts- drawing interest from competitors in the process.

BC Siauliai Final Record: 18-22

R. Olander G MIN FG% FT% RPG PPG RANK
Siauliai 41 17.4 54% 62% 4.0 7.6 7.7
Euro-Chal. 6 21 73% 55% 3.7 11 9.8

Best Game: November 12th, 2014: Siauliai 94 – Tsmoki-Minsk (Belarus) 91. Olander had 23 points on 11-14 shooting to go along with 4 rebounds and 1 assist in a road win over Tsmoki-Minsk.

Top Play: The chuckle from the announcer is by far the best part.


Gintaras Siuparys

Gintaras Siuparys

Tyler Olander played the first half of the season with BC Siauliai before he was loaned to Mazeikiai for the remainder of the year for more playing time. Since joining the 1-24 Mazeikiai in February, Olander led the club to a 5-8 record in his 13 games averaging 7 points and nearly 5 rebounds in the process.

Mazeikiai Final Record: 6-32

T. Olander G MIN FG% FT% RPG PPG RANK
Siauliai 23 11.7 55% 84% 3.0 5.0 5.5
Mazeikiai 13 17.2 44% 73% 4.8 7.2 7.7

Best Game: February 28th, 2015: Lietuvos Rytas 76 – Mazeikiai 70. Tyler exploded for 14 points and 9 rebounds in just 20 minutes of action in a near upset of #2 Lietuvos Rytas.

Top Play: Olander appeared at #2 in the BEKO LKL Top Ten plays for Round 22 with this mid-air adjustment.


eurobasket.com

eurobasket.com

Alex Oriakhi led the Pieno Zvaigzdes “Milk Stars” to the #4 seed in the LKL playoffs, straight into a matchup with #3 Juventus. After splitting the first four games of the series, the Milk Stars fell short in Game 5 by a 69-61 margin, ending their season. Although it was a tough end to the year, Oriakhi put together a strong year numbers-wise and was elected a starter in the LKL All-Star game. With his rights still owned by the Sacramento Kings of the NBA, Oriakhi has returned stateside to compete with the Kings summer league team.

P. Zvaigzdes Final Record: 24-16

2014/15 G MIN FG% FT% RPG PPG RANK
A. Oriakhi 41 18 55% 61% 6.8 8.8 10.6

Best Game: January 31st, 2015: P. Zvaigzdes 99 – Siauliai 97. In an impressive month of January where he was named Player of the Month, Oriakhi led the Milk Stars over the Twin Towers with 17 points and 14 rebounds (8 offensive) in 20 minutes.

Top Play: Oriakhi extends for the dramatic finish off an oop from teammate Michael Dixon for #2 on the BEKO LKL Top Ten regular season plays.


Stay tuned for season reviews for all of UConn Country in Europe!

Alex Oriakhi named All-Star starter in Lithuania

Alex Oriakhi All Star

This Milk Star is officially an All-Star. A big congratulations to former UConn forward Alex Oriakhi who was named an All-Star starter in the 2015 BEKO-LKL All-Star game. Oriakhi, averaging 10 points/7 rebounds for #4 Pieno Zvaigzdes (Milk Stars), was recently named BEKO-LKL player of the month for January. If you missed it, here is a feature video done on his accomplishment.

Before participating in the festivities, Oriakhi will face off with former UConn teammate Tyler Olander this Saturday. Recap to follow…

Twin Towers continue to win in Lithuania

Gintaras Siuparys

Gintaras Siuparys

The Baltic Region was ripe with victory last week as both Olanders picked up big wins for their respective clubs. Ryan Olander dropped 13 points/4 rebounds in a win for #7 Siauliai over #8 Lietkabelis while Tyler Olander just missed a double-double contributing 9 points/9 rebounds for #11 Mazeikiai in their upset of #9 Tonybet.

If you missed my previous post, Tyler Olander has been loaned from Siauliai to Mazeikiai, where he will finish the season. Catch up here.

Siauliai – Lietkabelis

Highlights:

Full Game:

Mazeikiai – Tonybet

Highlights:

Full Game:

Ryan and Siauliai return to action tomorrow with a Lithuanian Cup bronze medal rematch against #5 Juventus. Meanwhile, Tyler and Mazeikiai battle Alex Oriakhi and #4 Zvaigzdes in a primetime matchup on Saturday.

Air Olander strikes again…

bcsiauliai.lt

bcsiauliai.lt

Tyler Olander had 13 points and a team leading 6 rebounds as #7 Siauliai rolled over #11 Mazeikiai, 86-61. Ryan Olander finished with just 4 points but once again provided the play of the game, on this lob the announcer clearly did not expect him to finish:

Air Olander makes an additional appearance, in this week’s LKL Top 10 plays (#7).

Siauliai returns to action January 31st, against Alex Oriakhi and #6 Zvaigzdes. Oriakhi is averaging 10 points/7 rebounds on the year but his club has fallen to Siauliai in both meetings this season.

 

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:

Olanders lead #7 Siauliai to Victory (Video)

Gintaras Siuparys

Gintaras Siuparys

Ryan Olander had 12 points/4 rebounds and Tyler Olander played possibly his best game of the season adding 9 points (on a perfect 3/3 from downtown) and a team-leading 7 rebounds in #7 Siauliai’s 92-61 victory over #9 Prienai. The win snaps a four game losing streak for Siauliai and puts them two games ahead of #8 Lietkabelis, who clings to the last playoff berth. Ryan Olander’s dunk in the first half was voted the “Moment of the Game” and has led some in Lithuania to call him “Air Olander”.

Game highlights can be found below with TOlander appearing around the 1:05 mark and ROlander at 2:15:

The full game can be viewed here:

Siauliai returns to action January 18th when they take on Lithuanian powerhouse Lietuvos Rytas. Rytas, featuring Travis Leslie (Georgia/LA Clippers) and Billy Baron (UVA/URI), compete in both the LKL and EuroCup (think Jerome Dyson). Leslie led Siauliai to the Baltic Basketball League (BBL) championship last year before signing with Rytas.

Twin Towers lose another heartbreaker (video)

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Gintaras Siuparys

We last checked in with the Twin Towers in mid-December after Siauliai had been eliminated from EuroChallenge contention on a half-court buzzer-beater. Not to worry, there is still much basketball to be played. This season, Siauliai competes in both the top national league, Lithuanian Basketball League (LKL), as well as the competition-based EuroChallenge (invite only).  Remember, European clubs play in multiple leagues. Some are national, others regional and select are competition-based off the previous season’s performance. Siauliai earned an invite to the EuroChallenge after a 2013-14 campaign that saw the club win its first Baltic Basketball League (regional) title. Siauliai failed to advance in EuroChallenge play but will still compete for the LKL championship in April.

The holiday’s proved a rough stretch for Siauliai as they have gone 1-3 in their past 4 games. The club dropped to #6 in the standings (9-9), after another tough home loss, this time at the hands of #4 Juventus. Siauliai jumped out to a 48-37 lead at halftime before watching Juventus pull to within 1 with :20 seconds remaining. On the inbound, Juventus’ Rashaun Broadus (BYU) shook free from his defender for the game winning lay-in. Watch below:

Ryan Olander had 9 points/5 rebounds while Tyler Olander added 5/3 in a losing effort. Broadus led Juventus with 17 points/3 assists. Here are the complete stats for the Twin Towers through 18 games:

LKL G MIN FG-FGA FG% 3PM-A 3P% REB AS PTS EFF
R. Olander 18 19.1 56-109 51% 4-12 33% 4.1 1.0 8.4 7.9
 T. Olander 18 12.6 31-51 61% 7-25 28% 2.8 1.0 5.3 5.9

With 20 games remaining, #6 Siauliai must remain #8 or higher to advance to the LKL playoffs. Siauliai is off for a few days before returning to action January 17th against #9 Tonybet.

Here is a video compilation of the Top 10 plays of 2014, posted to the club’s Facebook fan page. Ryan Olander makes two appearances in the Top 10 at 19 seconds and 1:52.

BC Siauliai eliminated on half court buzzer beater (video)

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BC Siauliai was eliminated from Last 16 consideration in heartbreaking fashion yesterday, losing to Usak (Turkey) 78-75 on a half court buzzer beater at the end of regulation. Siauliai and Usak were competing for the last spot in the Final 16 out of Group H, with the ultimate goal a trip to the championship. The first three quarters were typical for a game with such high stakes, featuring 18 lead changes and 12 ties leading up to the dramatic finish. Siauliai held the lead 75-73 before a VERY questionable foul (see second video) called on Ryan Olander allowed Usak to tie the game on free throws. Following a Siauliai miss in the waning seconds, Courtney Fells (NC State) collected the rebound, took two dribbles and launched the game winner from behind the half court line. See shot below:

Here is the full game, see 1:43:00 for the INCREDIBLY QUESTIONABLE foul call to keep Usak in the game:

It’s hard to tell what’s more heartbreaking, the half court heave or the foul called on a clean block…at home!

Though the EuroChallenge season is over for Siauliai they will still compete in the LKL (Lithuanian National League) through April. The club currently sits at 8-6 (#5) with 25 games remaining.

BC Siauliai falls to Usak Sportif in Turkey

Siauliai Usak

bcsiauliai.lt

Usak Sportif overcame an early deficit to defeat visiting BC Siauliai 79-69 in Group H play yesterday in Turkey. Americans Justin Carter (Creighton) and Courtney Fells (NC State) led the way for Sportif with 19 points each. Siauliai’s 12 point first half lead was erased  quickly on a strong shooting night from Sportif, finishing 31-62 (50%) from the field. The two clubs were back and forth throughout the third quarter before an 11-2 run by Sportif sealed the deal. Rokas Giedraitis led the way for Siauliai with 25 points/4 rebounds and Ryan/Tyler Olander combined for 10 points/14 rebounds in a losing effort. With the loss, Siauliai drops to 2-1 in Group H play. They return to EuroChallenge action December 3rd when they host Enisey in Lithuania. The club returns to LKL action tomorrow at home against #4 Juventus.