EuroCup first team revealed with individual brilliance all-around

EuroLeague Basketball
Photo: EuroLeague Basketball

The five players selected to the 2017-18 All-7DAYS EuroCup First Team each blended brilliant individual campaigns with team success.

Devin Booker of FC Bayern Munich, Ryan Broekhoff of Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar, Quino Colom of UNICS Kazan, Amedeo Della Valle of Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia and Scottie Wilbekin of Darussafaka Istanbul were all among the best in the competition and helped make their respective teams title contenders.

For the second straight season, the selection process combined the results of fan voting with the opinions of Euroleague Basketball’s in-house panel of experts. Though no team has multiple players on the squad, each of the four EuroCup semifinalists is represented. It is the first such selection for each of the players.

Interestingly, none of the five All-7DAYS EuroCup first-teamers is new to his club and four of the five have been with their current team for at least three seasons.

Devin Booker, FC Bayern Munich

The king of the EuroCup highlight reel, Devin Booker not only played a spectacular sophomore season during which he helped carry FC Bayern Munich to the semifinals, but he thrilled all onlookers while doing it. Booker’s high-flying rim-rattling dunks were a staple of Bayern victories and were worth more than just 2 points because they often ignited the Bayern loyals, sank the opposition supporters and deflated the other team. His strong across-the-board production is even more impressive when put in perspective; Booker led a deep Bayern team in performance index rating (17.0), scoring (13.6 ppg.), rebounding (5.3 rpg.) and offensive boards (2.0 orpg.). Among EuroCup centers, he was second in index rating, third in scoring and first in both free throws made (73) and free throw accuracy (85.9%). Booker was accurate on 61.0% of his two-point shots and added 1.5 assists per game, too. He was the Top 16 Round 3 MVP after leading Bayern to victory over Zenit St. Petersburg with 27 points on 10-of-14 shooting and 3 blocks. He also set a club record this season with a 15-rebound game and tied a club record with a 29-point effort. The sum total of what Booker did on EuroCup courts this season made him a worthy addition to the All-7DAYS EuroCup First Team.

Ryan Broekhoff, Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar

In a nod to how brilliant he was over the first two-thirds of the season, Ryan Broekhoff earned his place among the best EuroCup players even though an injury sidelined him for the playoffs. The lone holdover from Lokomotiv’s Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four run in 2016, the Aussie forward raised his production to new levels in leading the team to perfect records in both the regular season and Top 16. Broekhoff is among the league leaders in performance index rating (ninth; 16.3 per game), three-point shooting (fourth, 50.6%), two-point shooting (fifth, 66.7%) and free throw accuracy (sixth, 88.6%). Moreover, he leads Lokomotiv in scoring (12.3 ppg.) and offensive rebounding (1.6 orpg.) and ranked second on the team in rebounding (5.5 rpg.). Broekhoff did much of his damage from downtown; he made multiple three-pointers in 13 of his 16 appearances, including five games with at least 4 triples made and three games with 5. After two quiet games to start the season, Broekhoff’s index rating did not drop below 13 in any of his next 14 games played, which gave Lokomotiv the consistency it needed to prolong what eventually became a record winning streak. This is Broekhoff’s fourth EuroCup season and the first time he is included in an All-7DAYS EuroCup team.

Quino Colom, UNICS Kazan

Quino Colom further cemented his place among the elite point guards in Europe after leading UNICS Kazan to the brink of the 7DAYS EuroCup Semifinals. Colom was second in the EuroCup in assists (5.6 apg.) and fourth in average performance index rating (18.8). He also recorded 14.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game over 19 appearances. Colom recorded double-doubles on three occasions, and in one of those games, a regular season win over Fiat Turim, he set a career high in scoring with 26 points. He also flirted with a triple-double when he posted 20 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists in a Top 16 road win at ASVEL Villeurbanne. Colom made multiple three-pointers in more than half of UNICS’s games, but while threatening defenses with his outside shot, he did not think twice before attacking via penetration; Colom’s 4.8 fouls drawn per game were fifth-best in the competition and second among guards. After just two EuroCup seasons, he also leads the all-time charts in assists per game (6.6 apg.). A native of Andorra, Colom is a member of the All-7DAYS EuroCup team for the first time.

Amedeo Della Valle, Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia

His fourth season as a professional was the charm for Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia guard Amedeo Della Valle, who produced one of the most spectacular offensive seasons in EuroCup history. At face value, Della Valle’s production was outstanding; he ranked second in the EuroCup in both performance index rating average (20.2) and scoring (17.5 ppg.) and was the EuroCup leader in fouls drawn (6.5 per game). That production can be better appreciated when considering that Reggio Emilia excelled on defense and scored the second-fewest points (75.4 ppg.) in the competition. A lights-out shooter who was always entertaining to watch, whether pulling up from deep or attacking the basket with another acrobatic move, Della Valle also contributed on defense; he led Reggio Emilia and ranked seventh in the EuroCup in steals (1.4 spg.). Rounding out his stellar numbers, he ranked third on the team with 3.1 assists per game and fourth with 3.2 rebounds per game. A model of consistency, Della Valle scored in double figures in all but two of his 19 appearances this season and recorded at least 1 steal in all but one game in leading Reggio Emilia to the 7DAYS EuroCup Semifinals. Della Valle, 24, is honored as an All-7DAYS EuroCup selection for the first time.

Scottie Wilbekin, Darussafaka Istanbul

Scottie Wilbekin has been a dominant force from the season opener until his historic semifinals display, and the Darussafaka Istanbul guard still has the 7DAYS EuroCup Finals to play. In his debut EuroCup campaign, Wilbekin starred en route to claiming the 7DAYS EuroCup Regular Season MVP and the 7DAYS EuroCup Semifinals MVP trophies. The 25-year-old leads the competition in performance index rating (20.7 per game) and scoring (18.9 ppg.), but he is much more than just a scorer. Wilbekin is tied for second in the EuroCup with 1.6 steals per game and ranked fourth with 5.1 assists per game. Not only has he re-written the Darussafaka record books, but Wilbekin’s 41 points on 10-of-15 three-point shooting in the clinching game of a semifinals sweep of FC Bayern Munich set new EuroCup records for non-overtime games in both categories. On top of all the big numbers, Wilbekin has also hit more than his fair share of big shots, such as the long go-ahead three-pointer with 25 seconds left in the fourth quarter to win the quarterfinals opener against Buducnost VOLI Podgorica. With his spectacular season – which still has an unwritten chapter to it – Wilbekin was a consensus pick for the All-7DAYS EuroCup First Team.