Turkish Airlines EuroLeague
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Eurocup top 10 stars to watch
Nov 04, 2012
More than anything else, it's the players that make the Eurocup great. And the truly specials ones are the players that you can count on producing every night. As we enter the 2012 Eurocup season, there are several players that already fit that billing. This list of 10 Eurocup players to watch features not only two former Eurocup MVPs, but also two past Euroleague champs and seven players who have been parts of Euroleague Final Four teams! It goes without saying that all of these guys know how to win.
10. Nikos Zisis, Gescrap Bilbao Basket
After playing 200 career Euroleague games over 12 seasons, Zisis will get his feet wet in the Eurocup. A former Euroleague and European national champion, Zisis is best known for his basketball IQ and willingness to do whatever is needed for his team's success. Now on a team with a rich Eurocup history, Zisis could be the difference-maker as Bilbao looks to make a run at the title.
9. Rado Rancik, CEZ Basketball Nymburk
A look at his career Eurocup numbers alone proves why Rancik is a player to watch. He was top 10 in both scoring and performance index rating twice in a three-season period with different clubs between 2007 and 2010. Now back with Nymburk, where he had his first taste of success, Rancik could be in for a big year as he uses his tremendous frontcourt skills to lead the Czech champs on another march deep into the Eurocup.
8. Miroslav Raduljica, Azovmash Mariupol
Raduljica is back in the Eurocup after playing parts of three seasons in the competition with FMP early in his career. Though injuries have prevented him from unleashing his considerable talent in the Euroleague, he aims for a breakthrough campaign with Azovmash. A classic center with an array of low-post moves, a face-up jumper and good rebounding mechanics, Raduljica looks set to dominate.
7. Igor Rakocevic, Crvena Zvezda Diva Belgrade
No player has more pedigree than Rakocevic, a three-time Euroleague Alphonso Ford Top Scorer Trophy Winner. Rakocevic led Valencia to the ULEB Cup semifinals in 2005, his last season in the competition. He has scored at least 20 points in 11 of his 26 career Eurocup games and met the 30-point mark three times. Now back with his boyhood club, expect more greatness from this shooting legend.
6. Matt Walsh, Belgacom Spirou Basket
Veteran scorer Walsh returns to the club with whom he made his Eurocup debut. Walsh has averaged double figures in points in each of his four different Euroleague and Eurocup stops thanks to his picture-perfect jumper. However, Walsh is also a deft passer, which makes him dangerous to double team. If Spirou goes deep, he is sure to be leading the way.
5. Doron Perkins, BC Donetsk
Now fully healthy after a knee injury struck him down in the Euroleague playoffs a year-and-a-half ago, Perkins is an elite-level point guard on both sides of the ball. His great speed and athleticism aids him both as a lock-down defender and a penetrator, which leads to easy points for himself and teammates. Perkins is as exciting a player to watch as there is.
4. Nick Calathes, Lokomotiv Kuban
Calathes rose to prominence during his three years with Panathinaikos Athens, constantly improving his game under legendary coach Zeljko Obradovic and winning the Turkish Airlines Euroleague crown in 2011. Now Calathes is ready to step out on his own and lead Lokomotiv. A combo guard who can score, pass and play great defense, Calathes looks to be the team's go-to guy.
3. Milan Macvan, Galatasaray Medical Park
Macvan has long been a Eurocup star, dating back to the 2008-09 season, when he led Hemofarm Stada to the Eurocup semifinals and was named the Eurocup Rising Star. After reaching the Euroleague Final Four two years ago and dominating in the Euroleague last season, Macvan returns to the Eurocup and promises to be an exciting player to watch every game.
2. Chuck Eidson, Unics Kazan
Eidson is back in the Eurocup for the first time since 2009, when he led Lietuvos Rytas to the title with a brilliant campaign. He was constant triple-double threat after taking on the point forward role midseason. Now after several strong Euroleague campaigns, Eidson will try to become the first two-time Eurocup MVP.
1. Patrick Beverley, Spartak St. Petersburg
As the reigning Eurocup MVP, there is little doubt about Beverley's status coming into this season. He is simply one of the top talents in the competition and will figure prominently as the leader on a Spartak team that aims for nothing short of winning the Eurocup crown.