Whenever Unics Kazan needed a basket this season, the team with the best record in the Eurocup turned to Andrew Goudelock. Time and time again, the shooting guard stepped up and delivered, leading Unics to the Eurocup Finals.
For his many spectacular performances in taking Unics to the brink of the title, Goudelock has been chosen as the Eurocup Most Valuable Player for the 2013-14 season. A rookie in European basketball, Goudelock put up big numbers all season long. He started 21 of his team’s 22 games prior to the Eurocup Finals and scored in double figures in every one.
Goudelock finished fourth in the competition in scoring, with 19.1 points per game, ranked ninth in three-pointers made per game (2.4) and sixth in free-throw accuracy (90.5%). A statistical analysis of Goudelock’s season shows that he didn’t just pile up stats in blowout wins, either. He actually raised his scoring average to 20.1 points and his performance index rating to 16.8 (from 15.9) in the eight games Unics won by less than 10 points. Goudelock went even higher with the season on the line, averaging 22 points and an 18.8 index rating in six elimination-rounds games. For rising to the occasion whenever necessary and getting better as the season went along, Andrew Goudelock is Euroleague Basketball’s choice as this year’s Eurocup MVP.
The Eurocup MVP is part of an awards structure that recognizes the finest Eurocup players for their efforts on the court throughout the season. Goudelock’s selection was made by a panel of Euroleague Basketball’s in-house experts based on his and his team’s performance during the Eurocup regular season, Last 32 and elimination rounds. Statistics and performance index ratings were taken into consideration for the award, but did not alone determine the winner.
Goudelock joins teammate Chuck Eidson on the list of distinguished Eurocup MVPs. Eidson played for Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius when he won the award in 2009. The list of previous Eurocup MVPs also includes last season’s, Nick Calathes of Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar, 2012 MVP Patrick Beverley of Spartak St. Petersburg, 2011 MVP Dontaye Draper of Cedevita Zagreb and 2010 MVP Marko Banic of Bizkaia Bilbao Basket. Goudelock will lead Unics into Game 1 of the Eurocup Finals on Thursday in Valencia. The second and last game of the finals is next Wednesday, May 7, in Kazan. Goudelock’s first taste of Eurocup action was fantastic as he scored 15 first-quarter points at Maccabi Haifa Bazan to lead his team to a road win. He went on to reach the 20-point mark in four Eurocup Regular Season games and made a remarkable 25 of 49 three-pointers (51.0%) as Unics rolled to a 10-0 record.
After the club suffered its first loss, 78-75 at Telenet Ostend in Round 3 of the Last 32, Goudelock avenged the defeat a week later with 27 points in 26 minutes of a 69-63 victory against the same opponent. Entering Last 32 Round 6, Unics faced a road test at Valencia Basket Club – its Eurocup Finals opponent-to-be – to decide first place in Group O. Goudelock had another big night with 25 points, including late, go-ahead free throws, as Unics won 73-76. He tortured his opponents in the elimination rounds, amassing 65 points on 12-of-23 three-point shooting (52.2%) against CEZ Basketball Nymburk in the eighthfinals, going for 21 points and 6 assists in the second leg of the quarterfinals against Aykon TED Ankara Kolejliler and then 17 points and 6 assists in the finals-clinching second leg of the semis against Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade.
Goudelock, 25, is the MVP of his league for the third time in less than a year. He won the NBA Development League’s MVP trophy last season after splitting time with Rio Grande Valley and Sioux Falls. Earlier this season, he was named the VTB United League’s regular season MVP. Goudelock replaced Draper as a starting guard at the College of Charleston, where he played four seasons of NCAA basketball, became the school’s all-time leading scorer and earned 2011 Southern Conference Player of the Year honors. He played for Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA over the next two seasons in addition to his time in the Development League’s before coming to Kazan last summer.