Turkish Airlines EuroLeague
Adidas Next Generation Tournament
2007-08 Regular Season MVP: Henry Domercant, Dynamo Moscow
Jan 24, 2008
One of the best shooters in Europe and a first-time ULEB Cup participant, Henry Domercant of Dynamo Moscow, outranked 725 other players to become MVP of the competition's regular season. The MVP distinction is based on the highest average performance index rating over a minimum number of games played. Domercant's per-game index average of 23 helped Dynamo become regular season Group F winner, and he was also the ULEB Cup regular season's top scorer at 22 points per game. An all-around offensive threat, Domercant ranked third in three-pointers made (28) and eighth in accuracy from downtown (52.8%). Domercant also made more free throws per game than anybody (5.6 per game) and had the fourth-best percentage (92.6%) at the foul line of all players. Domercant was also fourth in steals (2.56 spg.) and 14th in fouls drawn (4.9 per game) to round out a fantastic regular season. In his nine regular season appearances with Dynamo, Domercant scored 19 points or more in all games but one, providing the consistency required for his team's success. Few players had a better ULEB Cup debut than Domercant, who joins a select list of regular season MVPs that also include Milan Gurovic, Mario Austin, Brent Wright, Priest Lauderdale and Chris Anstey. At age 27, after becoming the most dominant player in the competition and leading his team to first place in its group, Henry Domercant has taken another step toward stardom.
"We're happy as a team to keep advancing always," Domercant said. "Our goal was to be in first place in our group, and we accomplished that. Now we look forward to keep playing and trying to to advance again
"It was a different situation for me, with a new coach and new team, and of course with that, roles change. In this team, I have been able to step up and be one of the statistical leaders. Both the team and the coach have shown confidence in me, so I feel good. That confidence is there, I'm shooting the ball well, thank god, and once you're rolling, you just try to do the same thing and not stop the train in any way."
After three seasons in the Euroleague, Domercant arrived at Dynamo Moscow ready to prove his value again in his first ULEB Cup season. Domercant was simply unstoppable from the very start of the new ULEB Cup season, leading Dynamo to a 91-66 home win against another former Euroleague team, Beghelli Bologna, with 19 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 8 steals. Domercant soon added 25 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists in Dynamo's road loss against Telindus Oostende.
Dynamo bounced back from that loss with a 97-76 home win against Red Star behind his 22 points on 4-for-4 three-pointers in just 18 minutes. Domercant sat out in the following game due to an injury. He returned on top form, however, scoring 20 points in less than 25 minutes of Dynamo's key 94-83 home win against Nymburk in Week 5. Domercant was limited to just 9 points - his lowest scoring night to this point - in a 81-62 road loss against Beghelli, but proved unguardable thereafter while pacing Dynamo to four consecutive wins and the Group F title. Domercant scored 28 points on 6-for-7 three-point shooting in a convincing 104-84 home win against Oostende, then had 28 on 4-for-6 triples and 10-for-11 free throws in a 98-104 road win over Red Star. He followed with 21 points in 22 minutes against Panellinios, another victory, and punctuated the regular season with a 26-point performance to grab a 83-88 road win at Nymburk.
"With new players and a new coach, some things were undefined to start with," Domercant said. "The pieces just kind of fit and fell the way they did, from my point of view. I got accustomed quickly to the system the coach has us playing, and felt comfortable early, so it has worked out good for me."
In his last four regular season game, Domercant has averaged 25.7 points on 16-for-23 two-pointers (69.5%), 15-for-25 triples (60%) and 26-for-27 free throws (96.3%). The fact that he did not stop filling the baskets gave him the regular season scoring title over proven scorers like Deteri Mayes of Allianz Swans Gmunden (21.1 ppg.), Pero Antic of Lukoil Academic (20.8 ppg.) or Radoslav Rancik of CEZ Nymburk (20.5 ppg.) in less than 27 minutes per night. Antic (22.5) was second in the index ranking race for MVP, while Rancik was third (21.6). Other regular season leaders where Tariq Kirksay of Unics Kazan in rebounds (10.5 rpg.), Willie Deane of Lukoil Academic in assists (6.6 apg.), Chris Williams of Turk Telekom in steals (2.9 spg.) and Akinlolu Akingbala of BK Ventspils in blocks (2.56 bpg.).
"I believe there are several teams in the ULEB Cup who could play in the Euroleague easily and have success," Domercant said. "With 54 teams, of course, there are some others who are unequally matched, but that's the only real difference. A lot of top teams are at the Euroleague level.
"The last time that Dynamo was in this competion, they won it. Definitely our goal is to play in the Euroleague. Management has big aspirations for the club, just like the players do. Definitely our goal is to win both the Russian League and the ULEB Cup. If we fall short of either, as a team we'll be a little disappointed."