As another exciting 7DAYS EuroCup season draws to a close, the time has come to celebrate those players that made the 2017-18 campaign a memorable one. The five members of the All-EuroCup Second Team were all instrumental in their teams’ success and in the high level of the competition. The second team honorees all led their respective teams to at least the quarterfinals and the list includes two players from this season's finalists, Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar and Darussafaka Istanbul. Four of the five players are first-time selections and the fifth, Kyle Kuric of Zenit St. Petersburg, is honored as an All-EuroCup selection for the third time in four years. For the second consecutive season, the All-EuroCup teams were chosen based on a result of voting by both the fans and Euroleague Basketball's panel of experts. Earlier in the week, Dzanan Musa of Cedevita Zagreb was announced as the winner of this season's 7DAYS EuroCup Rising Star Trophy and Sasa Obradovic of Lokomotiv was named 7DAYS EuroCup Coach of the Year. Still to be revealed are the identities of the 2017-18 All-7DAYS EuroCup First Team and the season's 7DAYS EuroCup MVP.
Ondrej Balvin, Herbalife Gran Canaria
Center Ondrej Balvin was a nightmare matchup for opposing teams on a weekly basis, giving Herbalife Gran Canaria much-needed balance with his close-range game. He ranks third in the EuroCup with 7.3 rebounds and is tied for fourth in total blocked shots (14) this season. The 2.17-meter Czech had the highest average performance index rating on the team (16.2) and scored the third-most points on the team 10.6, per game. Balvin stood out with his 69.1% two-point accuracy, which was fourth highest in the competition. It was a breakout season by all means for the 25-year old, who recorded three double-doubles and scored more points, grabbed more rebounds, made more shots and dished more assists (27) this season than in all of his previous three full EuroCup seasons combined. The result is the first All-EuroCup selection of Balvin’s career.
Nikola Ivanovic, Buducnost VOLI Podgorica
Point guard Nikola Ivanovic played a vital role in the turnaround of perennial Montenegrin champion Buducnost VOLI Podgorica, which reached the 7DAYS EuroCup Quarterfinals after going winless just a season ago. As the team's sixth man, Ivanovic led the team in scoring (13.4 ppg.) and was second in assists (3.3 apg.). His team-high average performance index rating of 15.8 ranked 15th in the competition. In Ivanovic's fifth EuroCup campaign, the 24-year-old playmaker knocked down 31 threes, which was second most on the team, and made them with a career-best 39.2% accuracy. Those numbers attest to Ivanovic's ability to keep defenses off balance all season, and he used them to also get to the foul line and make his free throws; Ivanovic drew 4.4 fouls per game and made 88.2% of his free throws, which were both seventh-best in the EuroCup. His numbers combined with his crucial role in Buducnost's impressive bounce-back season make Ivanovic a deserving recipient of his first All-EuroCup Second Team selection.
JaJuan Johnson, Darussafaka Istanbul
It is hard to imagine Darussafaka Istanbul advancing to the EuroCup Finals without the services of JaJuan Johnson. In his third season in the competition, the big man starred for his new team, posting 14.6 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.2 blocks, and accumulating a performance index rating of 16.0. Johnson ranked second in the competition in blocks and 10th in rebounds. He was also second on his team in points and PIR. Johnson’s consistency is what may have been most impressive, especially down the stretch. Since the end of the regular season, Johnson scored in double digits in eight of his nine appearances, and also blocked at least one shot in nine of his last 10 games. He has averaged at least 14 points in every phase of the competition so far. His inside presence not only helped Darussafaka reach the EuroCup Finals, but also earned Johnson his first All-EuroCup selection.
Dmitry Kulagin, Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar
Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar has made history by reaching the 7DAYS EuroCup Finals with a perfect record and that would not have been possible without the contributions of guard Dmitry Kulagin. Kulagin ranked third on his team in scoring with 11.0 points per game and second with 3.8 assists per game this season. Factoring in his 3.2 rebounds, he is one of only two players in the competition to post those numbers. More importantly, Kulagin stepped up when he was needed most. He was the EuroCup Quarterfinals MVP after leading Lokomotiv to a sweep of Herbalife Gran Canaria; His 26.0 points per game - including a club-record 32-points in series-clinching Game 2 – were the highest scoring average for that stage in the history of the competition. Now, the 25-year old, who won the 2016 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague crown with CSKA Moscow, has an All-EuroCup Second Team honor to his credit, too.
Kyle Kuric, Zenit St Petersburg
A familiar name on this list, veteran sharpshooter Kyle Kuric of Zenit St Petersburg had another memorable season in the competition. Coming off the bench, Kuric was instrumental in getting Zenit to another EuroCup Quarterfinals appearance by scoring a team-high 290 points and ranking eighth in the competition with 15.3 points-per-game. Before the start of the EuroCup Finals, Kuric is tied for second in the competition with 52 three-pointers made for the season. Kuric’s star was shining brightest when he earned the inaugural Top 16 MVP trophy. During that phase, he averaged 22.5 points, nailed at least 3 triples in each of the six games and made them with 57.1% precision in addition to 93.9% of his free throws plus 3.5 rebounds. Kuric joins Bojan Dubljevic of Valencia Basket as the only players in competition history to be named to the All-EuroCup Team on three occasions.