Welcome. Since the lockout has now ended, this will now be a European & NCAA basketball discussion thread. After the jump is an in depth explanations of European basketball & the NCAA part is in progress. Schedules for each weeks best games & news for both will be provided weekly.
European Basketball -
In Europe there are three main levels of Professional International Basketball Competition
- The EuroChallenge is the 3rd tier of professional basketball competition in Europe. The start of the competition is inherently the actual initial qualifying round for the EuroCup(see below). The champion & the other finalist club of qualifying round of the EuroChallenge are are elevated to this years Eurocup, while the clubs who lose in the qualifying round of the EuroChallenge stay in the 3rd tier competition. Deron Williams & Besiktas currently compete at this level, after failing to qualify for the EuroCup.
- The EuroCup is the 2nd tier of Pro Ball competition in Europe. The competition starts as a 32 team qualifying round. Take a look here for a more comprehensive breakdown of exactly how the EuroCup tournament works. Each seasons EuroCup winner gets an automatic birth in the following seasons EuroLeague. Tony Parker's Asvel Club is competing in this years Eurocup, but had a chance in the EuroLeague Qualifying Round to advance to the EuroLeague for this year, but could not make it. His best chance of lockout fame will be stealing a French League title from Batum & setting his team up with a EuroLeague birth for next season by winning the Cup. The two EuroCup teams who make it to the finals of the qualifying round, Galatasaray & Spirou Charleroi have both been elevated to EuroLeague competition this year. The clubs who lose in the qualifying round of the EuroLeague parachute back down to the EuroCup competition. To keep an eye on this years EuroCup standings, check here.
- The EuroLeague is the best international professional basketball club competition in Europe. This is the league that you will primarily will want to keep your eyes on for the best basketball outside the NBA. Teams are eligible from 18 different countries. The qualifications to get into the league vary based on a vareity of factors including each clubs record in their domestic leagues in the past few seasons. Particularly championships in those leagues. For instance, last year Nicolas Batum's current team SLUC Nancy won the LNB(AKA "French League") Championship last year, automatically qualifying them as a EuroLeague club for this season. Once again, each EuroCup team that win the championship gets a guaranteed spot in the next seasons EuroLeague. The Top 16(What we would call "playoffs") start January 18th. Take a look here for in depth look at the format of the EuroLeague Competition. We are currently in the Regular Season stage of the EuroLeague.
The 2011-2012 EuroLeague Teams are divided into Four Groups of Six Teams:
- Olympiacos - A member of the Greek League, also participates in the Greek Cup. One of the two "power" clubs in Greece that consistently represent the EuroLeague. They lost several players from last year, but did keep Vassilis Spanoulis the 8 year Greek League Veteran Point Guard who spent a little time in the NBA with the Rockets. They stole Kyle Hines away from the German EuroLeague Club Brose Basket. In addition, they inked a few American Imports. Kalin Lucas who played college ball for Tom Izzo at Michigan State. Also signed Matt Howard, formerly of Butler Bulldog fame.
- Caja Laboral-Vitoria - A member of the ACB Spanish League, last winning their domestic league in the 09'-10' season. A constant EuroLeague competitor, they are led by veteran point guard Pablo Prigioni, who was on the team from 03'-09' & after a two year stay with Real Madrid, has returned. This season during the NBA lockout so far they have signed NBA players like Kevin Seraphin, Reggie Williams,Joey Dorsey & most recently Goron Dragic. Recently lost back to back games to SLUC Nancy & Bilbao Basket after starting 3-0.
- Fenerbahçe Ülker - A member of the Turkish Basketball League, which they won last season. Thabo Sefolosha from the Oklahoma City Thunder has been playing for them this year, though they lost former North Carolina Standout Sean May to KK Zagreb. This years the Final Four of the EuroLeague will take place on their home court, so they have some extra motivation.
- Bilbao Basket - A member of the ACB Spanish League. A very young & inexperienced team. They've reached the EuroCup Finals twice. Though they have kept a lot of their players, I don't believe they have what it takes to compete in the EuroLeague.
- Bennet Cantu - A member of the LEGA Italian League, where they lost in the finals last year. University of Oregon fans will recognize the face of Maarty Leunen & they retained most of their talent from last year. They also signed former Ohio State Buckeye David Lighty.
- SLUC Nancy - A member of the LNB French League, which they won last year. Their veteran head coach of 8 seasons, Jean-Luc Monschau has now brought his team to the top of European basketball in the EuroLeague. They are led by Nigerian Center Akin Akingbala who has been with the club the last three seasons & played college ball for West Virginia. They made one of if not the largest free agent coup of the lockout by signing Nicholas Batum who before the lockout played for our Portland TrailBlazers.
- Panathinaikos - A Greek League club. Historically dominant, winning the Euroleague in 1996, 2000, 2002, 2007, 2009 & 2011. Some might remember former University of Florida guard Nick Calatheswho comes off the bench. Primarily they rely on local talent.
- CSKA Moscow - The most dominant Russian League club. They have won 6 EuroLeague championships, most recently in 06' & 08'. They lured the native son Andrei Kireleinko, former Utah Jazz member to play for CSKA-Moscow this year & he has been dominant. Nenad Kristic has also had a hand in the teams success this year.
- Unicaja Málaga - Another member of the Spanish ACB League & last won the title in the 05'-06' season. They have competed in the EuroLeague for the past decade. Euro Legend Jorge Garbajosa returns to Unicaja to aid the long time point guard Berni Rodriguez & the best young talent of the club, Joel Freeland. Whose draft rights currently belong to your Portland TrailBlazers, from the 2006 NBA Draft.
- Žalgiris Kaunas - A member of the LKL Lithuanian League, where they are the preeminent basketball club. Which is why they were able to sign both Ty Lawson & Sonny Weems of the Denver Nuggets - There is a clear difference between their NBA/EuroLeague performances, with Sonny Weems far out performing Lawson. Though we all know in the NBA, Ty Lawson is the superior player. Kaunas also competes in the VTB United League. They regularly represent the LKL in the EuroLeague & even won the title in 1999. This was Arvydas Sabonis's hometown team.
- Brose Basket - A member of the Basketball Bundesliga German League, where they have won the last two championships. Lost a key member of their team to the Olympiacos in Kyle Hines. Besides him they kept their core team together. Anchored by young German big man Tibor Pleiß. One of LaMarcus Aldridge's former University of Texas team mates P.J. Tucker also comes off the bench for them.
- KK Zagreb - A member of the A1-Liga Croatian Basketball League, where last year they won the championship. Almost by a default considered the weakest of the EuroLeague teams because of its inexperience at this level of competition. Sean May has been playing very well for them so far this year, good to see him bounce back. They also just reached a deal with NBA refugee T.J. Ford.
- Read Madrid - Real is a historically great ACB Spanish League club. They have won an all time high 8 EuroLeague Championships, though their last came in 1995. They are notoriously willing to spend. Former Blazers Arvydas Sabonis & Dražen Petrović(RIP) played for them. The club is currently guided by the steady hands of veterans Felipe Reyes & Sergio Llull. Their current roster consists of NBA talent like Serge Ibaka, Rudy Fernandez, Sergio Rodriguez & Ante Tomic. Former Utah State standout Jaycee Carroll(Known as The Orginal Jimmer by DraftExpress) has been tearing up the EuroLeague this year. Orlando Magic's 2011 draft pick, #23 overall Nikola Mirotic has been playing for Madrid since 2008.
- Maccabi Tel Aviv(Electra) - Competes in the Israeli Basketball Super League, where they have lost an incredible total of 3 titles since 1969. They also compete in the Adriatic League. They won back to back EuroLeague championships in 05' & 06'. Most recently reached the Euroleague title game last year, losing to Panathinaikos. NBA Players like Jordan Farmar & Jon Scheyer. In the middle they are anchored by the man once deemed "The Greek Shaq" by draft experts, Sofoklis Schortsanitis.
- Partizan Belgrade- A dominant member of both Adriatic(5-Time Back to back champions) & the Serbian Basketball League(Won every championship since 2001). They signed NBA Players Acie Law & Nikola Pekovic. The Oklahoma City Thunder's 2011 draft pick Milan Macvan also plays for them. Jan Vesely played for Partizan for 3 years, before being drafted #6 overall in the NBA draft this year. This was the former team of Vlade Divac.
- Anadolu Efes Istanbul - A member of the Turkish Basketball League. During the lockout so far they have signed NBA players Ersan Ilyasova(Milwaukee Bucks) & Sasha Vujacic(Lakers/Nets). The team is led by all EuroLeague forward Dusko Savanovic and promising young Center Stanko Barac. Anadolu Efes has extra motivation to be good, because this years EuroLeague Final Four will be head on their home court.
- Olimpia Milano(EA7 Emporio Armani) - A member of the LEGA Italian League. More known for a historic past then their results recently. Some former members include Danillo Gallinari & Beno Udrih before they left to the NBA. University of Oregon fans will recognize former 4-Year Duck Malik Hairston, who in his first year with Milano has really impressed thus far.
- Spirou Charleroi(Belgacom) - A member of the Belgian League Basketall, won 4 straight domestic league championships. This is their 2nd straight year reaching the EuroLeague, they
- Barcelona Regal - An ACB Spanish League club. Considered the other power club in Spain opposite Real Madrid. Barcelona has won 7 of the past 13 ACB championships. They are also responsible for NBA talent such as Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol, Anderson Varejao & Ricky Rubio.Their team stars Fran Vasquez a Spanish bigman who was drafted by the Magic but never made it over to the NBA.
- Montepaschi Siena - A member of the LEGA Italian League & has won a record 5 straight championships in a row. Also competes for the Italian Cup. Their Point Guard, Bo McCalebb is quickly building his own legend in Europe, after winning a Serbian & Adriatic League Championship with Partizan two years ago. Then impressed again last year by helping Siena reach the EuroLeague Final Four. He has continued his strong play this year. On the inside they are led by EuroLeague & NBA veteran David Anderson.
- UNICS Kazan - Competes in the Russian Basketball League & The VTB United League. Won the EuroCup last year, guaranteeing them a spot in this seasons EuroLeague. Long time EuroLeague American-Veteran Henry Domercant(Previously played for Siena) plays the role of lead guard while former NBA player Nathan Jawai defends the paint as the center(Who last year had a very good season with Partizan).
- Asseco Prokom Gdynia - Plays in the Polish Basketball League, winning the title now an 8th consecutive time in a row. They also play in the VTB United League. Consistently represents Poland in the EuroLeague. This years team includes 2011 top NBA draft pick Donatas Montiejunas.
- KK Union Olimpija - The dominant club of the Slovenian domestic league, winning the championship 15 out of the last 20 years. Also competes in the Adriatic League. Former Cleveland Cavalier & San Antonio Spur Danny Green currently plays for them. Indiana Pacers 2011 Draft pick Davis Bertans plays for them as well.
- Galatasaray(GS Medical Park) - A Turkish Basketball League Club located in Istanbul, who has reached the EuroLeague this season by making it to the final of the Qualifying Round.
There are 10 "Game" Weeks in the Regular Season of the EuroLeague, Each week there are 12 games, with three games per group.
via imageshack.us through EuroLeague.net
via imageshack.us through EuroLeague.net
Domestic Leagues(Each have an Independent Schedule, in addition to EuroBasket competition):
- ACB(Spanish League) - The most competitive domestic league in the world outside the NBA. This year bringing 4 EuroLeague teams to the table, Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga, Bilbao & Vitoria. Keep your eye on the ACB because they regularly have great matchups.
- ABA(Adriatic League) - Another highly competitive league, sending 4 teams to EuroLeague competition: KK Partizan, KK Union Olimpjia, KK Zagreb & Maccabi Tel Aviv. Most dominant recently being KK Partizan winning 5 straight championships.
- LNB(French League)- While the only EuroLeague Club is Nicolas Batum's SLUC Nancy, The French League is really intriguing this year & like the ACB, there will be several French League games worth watching this season. Plenty of NBA talent with the likes of Tony Parker & Ronny Turiaf both play for Asvel Lyon-Villeurbanne(Compete in the EuroCup) the team which Tony Parker own's 20% stake in. Orlando Magic rookie Justin Harper(Strasbourg), Ian Mahinmi(Le Havre) & Alexis Ajinca(Hyres-Toulon) round out an impressive list. Historically Pau-Orthez has been the best team, winning a league high 7 championships in 12 years between 1992 & 2004, with the help of the Giant Gheorghe Mureşan. Beside those stretches, results of the league have been rather sporadic.
- LEGA(Italian League) - The Italians have three EuroLeague teams competing this year with Montepaschi Siena, Olimpia Milano & Bennet Cantu. Though Virtus Bologna were the last Italian Euroleague champs in 2001 with Manu Ginobili. Last year Bologna won the EuroChallenge(3rd Tier Competition), beating the french team Cholet. Former Blazer euro stash Petteri Koponen & NBA player Chris-Douglas Roberts are playing for them in the EuroCup this year. Virtus Roma just signed Tyreke Evans from the Sacramento Kings.
- VTB United(League consisting of teams from Eastern & Northern European Countries) - A legitimate league, with several teams also in the EuroLeague like CSKA Moscow, UNICS Kazan, Asseco Prokom Gdynia & Zalgiris-Kaunas. Lithuanian EuroCup club Lietuvos Rytas also competes.
- Basketball Bundesliga(German league). Brose Baskets is the only current EuroLeague Club, they have been by far the best club in Germany in recent years. Winning the german championship in 2005, 2007, 2010 & 2011 Alba Berlin is historically dominant, winning the German League from 1997-2003 consecutively & brings to the table a 16,000 seat arena - Though they currently are only competing in the EuroCup. Germany in general seems to have had the toughest time luring NBA talent, yet with rumors now swirling of Nowitski & Durant, they could yet make a splash in the years Euroleague.
- IBSL(Israeli Basketball Super League) - Maccabi Tel Aviv has lost an 3 titles in this league since 1969. Really all you need to know. Bnei Hasharon has shown spending power lately, landing NBA players like J.J. Hickson(Cavaliers), Trevor Booker(Wizards) & Ekpe Udoh(Warriors), who joins former Baylor Bears team mate LaceDarius Dunn, the lead guard of the club who may have lured Udoh.
- HEBA(Greek League) - Spawns two consistently competitive EuroLeague teams, the Panathinaikos & Olympiacos. They dominate the Greek League. Panathinaikos record is simply outrageous, winning 6 EuroLeague titles since 1996. Both teams are more then willing to spend & could definitely benefit from a mass NBA exodus. The Blazers 2011 draft pick Jon Diebler signed on with a Greek team for this season.
- LKL(Lithuanian League) - Puts forth only one EuroLeague team & almost every time it is Zalgiris-Kaunas representing the LKL. Lietuvos Rytas as their closest competition, currently a EuroCup squad.. 2011 NBA draft pick Jonas Valančiūnas plays for them. They've won the 05'& 09' Eurocup Challenges, Overtook Kaunas in 4/10 LKL Championships this past decade.
- RPBL(Russian League) - A brand new league, which enters two EuroLeague clubs this season. CSKA-Moscow & UNICS Kazan. Khimki Basketball Club signed Denver Nugget Timofey Mozgov though they lost in the Euroleague qualifier & are competing for the EuroCup this year.
- TBL(Turkish League) - Anadolu Efes & Fenerbahçe Ülker are the twoTurkish Clubs are participating in the Euroleague competition this season. However, Besiktas has shown to be the most willing to spend club during the lockout. Signing NBA All-Star Deron Williams. Most recently been said to be interested in signing Lamar Odom. Although they are only competing at the EuroChallenge(3rd tier) level this season, in addition to the TBL.
- CBA(Chinese League) - The primary professional basketball league in FIBA Asia & the most well equipped to pay NBA players. During the lockout so far they have landed the most impressive list of NBA talent in Aaron Brooks, Wilson Chandler, JR Smith & Kenyon Martin. However they don't compete against nearly the competition that the European clubs do. evidenced by Wilson Chandler going for 43 points & 22 rebounds in his debut. The China teams have been the strictest about not allow NBA-Outs in their contracts they are offering.
- PBL(Polish League)- Asseco Prokom Gdynia gains an automatic berth in each years EuroCup because they consistently win their Polish League title, now for the 8th time in a row.
- BBLS(Serbian League)- KK Partizan is again dominant, much like the Adriatic League, maybe even more so. Representing in the Euroleague every season since 2001 to present.
- A-1 Liga(Croatian League) - Puts forth a single EuroLeague team with last years Croatian League Champion, KK Zagreb.
- PSBL(Slovenian League) - KK Union Olimpjia is the dominant club of the Slovenian domestic league, who annually represents the Slav's in the EuroLeague. Beno Udrih used to play in the PSBL.
- BLB(Belgian League) - Four time Belgium League Basketball Champ Spirou Charleroi managed to make it to the final of the qualifying round of the EuroLeague, which means they got a spot in this years EuroLeague.
- Other minor leagues include Austria, Czech Republic, The UK, Netherlands & Switzerland.
Still to come, Youtube Links with full games(The ones worth watching), domestic league schedules with key matchups & an updated weekly schedule converted to Pacific Time.
Must See Matchups(Click the links to watch):
EuroLeague - SLUC Nancy VS Caja Laboral: Frenchman Nicolas Batum(Blazers/Nancy) & Kevin Seraphin(Wizards/Caja Laboral) face off in a EuroLeague battle. American Import Reggie Williams who played for the Golden State Warriors also comes off the bench for Caja.
LNB French League - Asvel Lyon-Villeurbanne VS SLUC Nancy: Tony Parker & Ronny Turiaf play for Asvel & face off against the future of French Basketball, our Nico Batum.
Draft Express also has a database that allows you to keep track of all the refugee NBA players stats.
ESPN's database of "The Overseas Movement"
All Euro Matches are played by the FIBA Rules.
Once again, a look at the format of the EuroLeague Competition.
Qualifying Teams for the EuroLeague is not an exact science. There are a number of formalities.
NCAA Basketball - Under Construction.
If you have any suggestions or comments please feel free. Lets get back to talking BasketBall.