Scoring title in any top European league is an incredible accomplishment by itself. But winning two in one year is a feature of a whole other level. Today we are looking at the most prominent European scorers, who will keep their eyes both on domestic and continental prizes.
Alexey Shved, Khimki
Euroleague: 19.2 PPG (2nd)
VTB League: 20.0 PPG (2nd)
Shved is one of the easiest picks in any conversation about top European player right now. Since his NBA journey was cut short he has been anywhere, from domestic VTB League and Euroleague scenes to Eurobasket, where he once again showed up with robotic ability to score against any defense. He was last season Eurocup top scorer and then got another scoring title with Russian NT in Turkey. So, basically there is nothing new about his stats.
Khimki is heavy loaded with American talent this year, which has close to zero affect on Shved. He is still the first option in Georgios Bartzokas` offence in both Euroleague and VTB League. There is not a lot of competition outside Khimki squad either. In Russian league only Justin Carter (Astana) showed up with really big numbers (23.0 PPG), while Euroleague is still an open race despite early heroics of Luka Doncic.
Taylor Rochestie, Crvena Zvezda
Euroleague: 17.8 PPG (3rd)
ABA League: 19.0 PPG (2nd)
Very deep Crvena Zvezda this summer transformed into more of a leader-oriented squad, which is a perfect environment for Taylor Rochestie, who is well-known for his production with middle-market teams. His best such showing came up in 2014-15 season with Russian dark horse Nizhny Novgorod. Fairytale story brought Rochestie Alphonso Ford trophy and a chance to play for much bigger clubs, Maccabi Tel Aviv and Lokomotiv Krasnodar.
American saw his numbers lowered in Israel and second Russian trip, but after signing with Crvena Zvezda, at that time already without Marko Simonovic, Taylor have quickly bounced back to the top of scoring charts. It`s basically his team now and Rochestie runs the whole show in Belgrade, leading both in points and assists categories. He has perfect chances to be at the top of starless ABA League at the end of the season, but Euroleague rumble will be a whole other story with scoring machines all over the place.
Erick Green, Valencia
Euroleague: 16.8 PPG (4th)
ACB: 17.9 PPG (2nd)
Erick Green is definitely one of them. American combo guard never really had a chance to showcase his lethal scoring with typical “between the NBA and Europe» career. His time with Olympiacos was pretty productive, but there was no real room to jump in numbers with stable core of star veterans, so Green picked up the option with Spanish champion, Valencia.
It was perfect union on paper. Valencia has found much-needed prolific scorer, while Green`s search for freedom on the offensive end was finally over. Results didn`t lie and guard started his campaign with multiple 20-point games. The only problem with Erick is his consistency. There were nights when he was not only inaccurate, but simply passive (0/5 FG vs Fenerbache, 3/6 FG vs Murcia). It will definitely won`t help in a pool of shark, what is basically Spanish league really is. So, Sylven Landesberg, Tornike Shengelia, Jaka Blazic and some other guys will be closely watching.
Bryon Allen, Oldenburg
Basketball CL: 19.3 (5th)
BBL: 17.9 PPG (3rd)
Now, we are on to more modest European competitions. Best chances to repeat last season Nick Minnerath` success in Basketball Champions League belong to the leader of EWE Baskets Oldenburg, Bryon Allen. The product of George Mason University has never climbed so high in his professional career. Now he is more than a real contender to grab both scoring crowns in Germany and FIBA tournament, while being reliable contributor on both ends on the floor. Some obstacles will be needed to overcome, though. Hot start of Jarrod Jones (23.0 PPG) in Basketball CL is a major one.
Amedeo Della Valle, Reggio Emilia
Eurocup: 22.5 PPG (1st)
Serie A: 16.7 PPG (5th)
Young Italian already makes a lot of noise outside Italy. He recorded excellent start in European competition, and from this standpoint has a better position than aforementioned Allen. Serie A is a little bit different story. There are no clear-cut favorites, but rejuvenated Alessandro Gentile, always streaky Darius Johnson-Odom and flashy American rookie Dallas Moore have already made their cases. Tiny backcourt of Reggio Emilia is on Della Valle side and there will be not much help, so Italian will keep up with rivals regardless.
Luka Doncic, Real Madrid
Euroleague: 21.6 PPG (1st)
ACB: 13.1 PPG (17th)
Last, but definitely not least. Slovenian prodigy took basketball world by storm and is probably more famous than a lot of top football prospects. His path to the NBA via 2018 Draft seems inevitable and the only question remaining is how high he will be picked. But Doncic is still playing in top European tournaments and there is no easy way to the top.
His chances to achieve double crown are slim at best. Slovenian is tested, but his current Euroleague numbers are overblown and realistically can drop in the near future. Situation in Spain is much more problematic. Right now he is not so close to the top 10 and even his fellow teammate Anthony Randolph is doing better. At this point it will be very hard to catch the likes of Landesberg and Green, but is it really important for a 18-year-old guy, who is already doing amazing things at his age?