To be a top candidate to win the 7DAYS EuroCup MVP Trophy, a player must have two things going for him. First, he must be playing outstanding basketball. Second, he needs to lead his team to victories and a shot at winning the championship. Those criteria certainly limit the field of candidates, but the players listed below are all worthy. Each has starred for a team that is already assured a spot in the quarterfinals or controls its destiny to get there in Round 6 of the Top 16. And as their respective teams advance, these players' case for the EuroCup's premier individual award only grows.
Milos Teodosic, Segafredo Virtus Bologna
Teodosic makes a compelling case as an MVP candidate since he provides elite production, vast experience and leadership qualities and, of course, a ledger full of clutch play and game-winning shots. In his first EuroCup campaign in more than a decade and Virtus's first since 2004, Teodisic has his team knocking on the door of the quarterfinals. He was the EuroCup Regular Season MVP and leads the competition in scoring with 17.6 points per game. Teodosic is fifth in the EuroCup with 5.5 assists and has made the third-most three-pointers (39), too. He has already been both a EuroLeague MVP (2010) and EuroLeague champion (2016) and has a real shot at adding EuroCup silverware to his impressive tally.
Rasid Mahalbasic, EWE Baskets Oldenburg
No player in the EuroCup this season has put up numbers like Mahalbasic, who leads the competition in performance index rating with 21.8 per game. He is also the only player in the EuroCup ranked in the top 10 in scoring (fourth, 16.3 ppg.), rebounding (seventh, 7.1 rpg.) and assists (10th, 5.1 apg.). Lest one think that Mahalbasic has feasted on weaker competition, he has raised all of his numbers in the Top 16 and is that phase's leading scorer (19.2 ppg.). He is Oldenburg's focal point and can win games with his scoring or passing, thus keeping opposing defenses guessing how to stop him at all times. As Mahalbasic goes, Oldenburg goes, which right now is staring at a historic EuroCup Quarterfinals berth.
Errick McCollum, UNICS Kazan
It's been another banner season for McCollum, who is well on his way to cementing his status as one of the best players in EuroCup history. After leading the competition in scoring with Panionios Athens in 2013-14 and two years later winning the EuroCup and taking home the MVP trophy with Galatasaray Istanbul, McCollum is gunning for the trifecta this season. He is currently third in the EuroCup in scoring with 17.1 points per game and with a win in Top 16 Round 6, his team will have home-court advantage in the quarterfinals. McCollum ranks third in average performance index rating, too, with 20.5 and his 102 fouls drawn and 92 free throw attempts are both best in the EuroCup this season. In just his fourth season in the EuroCup, McCollum has soared into third place on the EuroCup's career scoring charts with 1,204 points and second place is in reach this season.
Johnathan Hamilton, Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul
A dominant force in the paint at both ends of the floor, Hamilton's first season in Europe has been something to savor. He is having one of the best offensive rebounding seasons in competition history and anchors one of the EuroCup's premier defenses (Darussafaka has allowed opponents just 71.7 points per game). Hamilton's 4.0 offensive rebounds per game are the most by any player in a season with at least 10 appearances. His 8.3 rebounds overall per game are second-most in the EuroCup this season and his 1.4 blocks rank third. He also leads Darussafaka with 11.4 points on 63% shooting and is seventh in the EuroCup in average performance index rating with 17.2. Darussafaka hosts Segafredo Virtus Bologna for a do-or-die clash in their Top 16 finale and another big game by the big man would further boost his MVP credentials.
Devin Williams, Tofas Bursa
Tofas has already made this season its best-ever in the EuroCup and Williams has been front and center (no pun intended) as the team's top scorer and the third-ranked rebounder in all of the competition. His 14.6 points and 8.3 rebounds help give him a performance index rating of 17.1 – and eighth in the EuroCup. Moreover, Williams's consistency, aggressiveness and intimidating presence have created headaches for opposing frontlines all over Europe. He has posted three double-doubles so far and missed two others by a single basket while scoring at least 8 points and grabbed at least 5 rebounds in every game. With Tofas headed to the quarterfinals, it is time to watch out for Williams.