Two-time champion Kyle Hines of CSKA Moscow has been among the most highly respected defensive players in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague for several seasons.
Now, the competition’s head coaches have marked him as the new standard-bearer for stopping opponents by choosing Hines as the recipient of the Best Defender Trophy for the 2015-16 season.
CSKA had one of the best offenses in Euroleague history, but it was the steady defensive presence of Hines that often made the difference in the team’s 22 victories. Hines was among the Euroleague leaders in blocked shots, while forcing many more turnovers and missed shots with his athleticism and hustle, which left a lasting impression on all who saw him in action.
The little big man – a center who stands at just 1.98 meters – had nine games in which he posted either multiple steals or blocks, and 11 games in which he pulled down at least 5 rebounds. Whether as a starter or substitute, his boundless strength and energy on defense was one of the keys for CSKA to overcome tougher opponents than ever and seal a trip to its fifth consecutive Final Four. Hines becomes the third CSKA player to win the Best Defender Trophy, joining Victor Khryapa (2010) and Andrei Kirilenko (2012).
Fenerbahce Istanbul big man Jan Vesely was second to Hines in the coaches’ voting, followed by Adam Hanga of Laboral Kutxa Vitoria Gasteiz and another Fenerbahce player, Ekpe Udoh. The first of this season’s Euroleague awards was announced earlier this week when Nando De Colo, also from CSKA, earned this season’s Alphonso Ford Top Scorer Trophy. Others to be announced in the coming days include the Euroleague Rising Star Trophy and the All-Euroleague honorees. The MVP award will be revealed at the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Awards Ceremony on Thursday, May 12 in Berlin. The Alexander Gomelskiy Coach of the Year Trophy and the Euroleague Club Executive of the Year are post-season awards.