Even though the 7DAYS EuroCup is full of veterans who know the competition inside out, there are always a few new faces who make an instant impact in their respective first seasons. Trimming the list to five was not easy and the likes of RaShawn Thomas of Partizan NIS Belgrade, Justin Knox of Dolomiti Energia Trento, Alan Williams of Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar, Hassan Martin of Buducnost VOLI Podgorica and Alex Tyus of UNICS Kazan, among others, all warranted consideration. Here we salute the top five newcomers who have taken the EuroCup by storm this season.
5. William Mosley, Partizan NIS Belgrade
Partizan is having an excellent season and two of its newcomers - Thomas and Mosley - are making the difference under the baskets. Mosley rarely misses shots inside the arc (28 of 37 2FG, 75.7%), is tied for second in the competition in offensive rebounds (3.1 oprg.) and blocks (1.9 bpg.), all in less than 24 minutes per game. Mosley has averaged 9.3 points and 6.6 rebounds and only his poor free-throw shooting (15 of 28, 53.6%) prevents him from having an even higher PIR (16.0 per game). In short, Mosley is one of the reasons Partizan is one of the strongest teams in the 2019-20 EuroCup.
4. Alex Hamilton, Maccabi Rishon LeZion
Despite his team's performance - Rishon is already out of chances to reach the Top 16 - Hamilton has taken the opportunity to showcase his all-around skills in his first EuroCup campaign. A combo guard with great driving skills, Hamilton is tied for fourth place in steals (2.0 spg.), has helped a lot on defense for a player in his position (4.1 rpg., 1.0 bpg.) and shares the ball, ranking 11th in assists at 5.4 per night. Hamilton has also scored a lot; he ranks fourth with 17.3 points per game and is fifth with 6.0 fouls drawn per game. With such numbers, it is no surprise that he leads the EuroCup in PIR.
3. Greg Whittington, Galatasaray Doga Sigorta Istanbul
On a team full of talented and experienced scorers, Whittington has found the way to fit in and be quite effective in his EuroCup rookie season. Whittington has been a solid scorer, mainly coming off the bench to average 13.2 points on reliable shooting percentages (57.4% 2FG, 30.0% 2FG, 81.0% FT). He has also dominated the boards, tying for second in defensive rebounds (5.5 drpg.) and seventh overall (7.0 rpg.). A stretch power forward with unlimited range, Whittington has been active on defense (1.5 spg.) and a perfect fit for Galatasaray. After stops in the USA, Australia, Japan and Israel, Whittington is shining in the EuroCup.
2. Semaj Christon, Limoges CSP
His outstanding ballhandling and one-on-one skills have turned Christon into a mismatch for all opponents. Fully aware of his potential, Limoges head coach Alfred Julbe gave him the freedom to create and organize the team. Christon has recorded three double-doubles so far and leads the EuroCup in assists (8.0 apg.), ranks third in scoring (17.6 ppg.) and fourth in PIR (19.7 per game). Christon has been aggressive, going to the foul line often (5.3 fouls drawn per game), too. He has read the games better as the season progressed; after averaging 5.3 assists in the first three games, he's been worth 10.0 since. This tall, poised and skilled playmaker looks ready to keep shining.
1. Johnathan Hamilton, Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul
Hamilton has impressed a lot of basketball experts with his combination of size, athleticism, post skills and ability to clean the boards. Hamilton leads the 2019-20 EuroCup in blocked shots (2.13 bpg.) and offensive rebounds (4.4 orpg.). In fact, Hamilton is on track to set the offensive rebounding record; no player with at least 10 games played has had such a high offensive rebounding output in EuroCup history. He has been effective on offense 12.0 points on 66.1% two-point shooting and 8.8 rebounds, which are second-best in the competition. And not only does he lead the EuroCup in blocks, no-one has been able to reject one of his shots yet.