2009-10 All-Eurocup first, second teams announced

Apr 07, 2010 by Eurocupbasketball.com Print
2009-10 All-Eurocup first, second teams announced
Euroleague Basketball is proud to announce the members of the All-Eurocup first and second teams for the 2009-10 season. Big men Marko Banic of Bizkaia Bilbao Basket and Matt Nielsen of Power Electronics Valencia headline the list of All-Eurocup First Team selections as the only honorees to repeat from last season. Banic becomes the first player to repeat as an All-Eurocup First Teamer, while Nielsen was a second-team choice in 2008-09. Banic and Nielsen are joined on the All-Eurocup First Team by point guard Nando De Colo of Power Electronics and shooting guards/small forwards Devin Smith of Panellinios BC and Immanuel McElroy of Alba Berlin. The All-Eurocup second team features Arthur Lee of CEZ Nymburk at point guard, Kostas Charalampidis of Panellinios and Dijon Thompson of Hapoel Jerusalem at shooting guards/small forwards, and James Augustine of Gran Canaria 2014 and Blagota Sekulic of Alba at the power forward/center positions. The competition reaches its culmination with the Eurocup Finals set for April 17 to 18 in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, where a new champion will be crowned. Bilbao and Valencia are joined by Alba Berlin and Panellinios as the four teams still alive in the race for the cup. The All-Eurocup first and second teams are named by in-house experts at Euroleague Basketball. The teams are part of an expanded awards structure started last season aimed at enhancing the recognition of the finest Eurocup players for their efforts on the basketball court throughout the season. The first and second teams are divided by position, each with one point guard, two shooting guards/small forwards and two power forwards/centers. Not surprisingly, the All-Eurocup first and second teams are dominated by players who will be at the Eurocup Finals - seven of the 10 honored players will be in Vitoria-Gasteiz trying to lead their teams to the Eurocup title.
Nando De Colo - Power Electronics Valencia
Devin Smith - Panellinios BC
Imanuel McElroy - Alba Berlin
Matt Nielsen - Power Electronics Valencia
Marko Banic - Bizkaia Bilbao Basket
De Colo established himself this season as one of the top young guards in the game, leading Valencia in both scoring (13.6 ppg., 15th in the Eurocup) and assists (2.6 apg.) in his first season with the club and in the competition. His 85.4% from the free-throw line was 12th best in the Eurocup. A fierce competitor, De Colo put his enormous talent to work in ensuring Valencia a Eurocup Finals trip.
Smith made an instant impact in his first season in the competition, leading his team and ranking 13th in the Eurocup in index rating (14.5 per game) and 11th in scoring (14.4 ppg.). He ranked 12th in the Eurocup in two-point accuracy (62%) and was the Last 16, Week 4 MVP after scoring 27 points on the road at Benetton for one of the season's key wins on his team's march to the Euroucup Finals. 
The consummate do-it-all wing player, McElroy ranked among the top players on his team in every major statistical category, leading the team in assists (3.2 apg.) and steals (1.2 spg.) and finishing among the top three in scoring (10 ppg.) and rebounding (4.1 rpg.). McElroy started every Alba game and the team went 7-2 when he scored at least 10 points, marking a path to the Eurocup Finals.
After earning All-Eurocup second team honors a year ago, Nielsen played his way onto the first team with another sterling season. The big man has the highest index rating (15.2 per game) of any player at the Eurocup Finals after leading his team in rebounding (5.3 rpg.) and fouls drawn (5.1 fouls per game). Valencia was 10-0 when Nielsen posted an index rating higher than 10.
The only two-time All-Eurocup first team selection, Banic enjoyed another banner season as the go-to guy on Bilbao. Banic led the team in index rating (13.6 per game) and scoring (13.2 ppg) and ranked fifth in the competition in points per minute (0.57). Most importantly, Banic was the player Bilbao looked to consistently for big baskets when required on the way to the Eurocup Finals.
Arthur Lee - CEZ Nymburk
Dijon Thompson - Hapoel Jerusalem
Kostas Charalampidis - Panellinios BC (photo Panellinios)
Blagota Sekulic - Alba Berlin
James Augustine - Gran Canaria 2014 (photo cbgrancanaria.net)
In his third season with CEZ Nymburk, Lee led the team on the floor and off. He ranked first on Nymburk in index rating (13.8 per game), scoring (12.6 ppg.), assists (3.1 apg.), steals (1.7 spg.), fouls drawn (4.4 per game) and free-throw accuracy (93.8%), pacing his team its first-ever  Quarterfinals. Lee is also the Eurocup's career leader in free-throw accuracy, 91.13 %.
Thompson turned in a steady and - when needed - spectacular season for Jerusalem, which narrowely missed out on the Eurocup Finals. He ranked eighth among all Eurocup players in index rating (16.4 per game), second in steals (2.3 spg.), sixth in rebounding (6.1 rpg.) and seventh in blocks (0.9 bpg.). Hapoel went 7-2 in games in which Thompson scored in double figures.
Despite always coming off the Panellinios bench, Charalampidis managed to rank 13th in the league in scoring (14.1 ppg.) and 14th in performance index rating (14.1 per game). Charalampidis  led the Eurocup in free throws made (63) and was fourth in free-throw percentage (92.6%), too, helping his team reach the Eurocup Finals, its best-ever finish in European competition - so far.
Alba Berlin’s most consistent big man, Sekulic was at his best when the team needed him the most, in the Last 16 after Adam Chubb was sidelined by injury. He raised his numbers to 16 points, 6 rebounds and a 19.3 index rating over that four-game stretch and his overall Last 16 averages of 14.8 points and a 16 index rating each ranked 13th in that stage.
The high-flying forward led the Eurocup in rebounds after grabbing 7.4 per game. In his second season with Gran Canaria in the Eurocup, Augustine took a great leap forward. He had the highest index ranking (13.1 per game) on Gran Canaria and ranked sixth in the Eurocup in free throw accuracy (88.2%) while setting single-game career highs in scoring, rebounding and steals.