Of the many players who have been lighting up EuroLeague floors in recent weeks, no one stands out more than Bitci Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz’s rookie center Steven Enoch.
Over the last three rounds, Baskonia has a win over Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade in between losses against powerhouses FC Barcelona and CSKA Moscow. The team also went through a coaching change, with Neven Spahija replacing Dusko Ivanovic at the helm.
But not the coaching change nor tough opposition has managed to slow down the 24-year-old Enoch, who has been the most productive EuroLeague player over the last three rounds.
Enoch has grabbed 29 rebounds in that span, which are tied with league rebounding leader Georgios Papagiannis of Panathinaikos OPAP Athens for the most in the competition. Moreover, only one player, FC Barcelona superstar Nikola Mirotic, has scored more points since Round 9 than Enoch's 59.
Only one point and one rebound shy of a 20-point 10-rebound average over this three-game span, Enoch has averaged 28.7 PIR, the most of any player in the competition. And he has also managed to put together an impressive highlight-reel while doing it, too.
Enoch's first big performance came in Round 9 at Barcelona. For that game, he returned to the starting lineup for the first time since opening night and used 24 minutes on the floor to score 22 points on 7-of-8 two-point shooting. He was also perfect on 8 free throws and pulled down 8 rebounds in accumulating a PIR of 35.
His first double-double of the season came in Round 10 during a 93-74 drubbing of Crvena Zvezda in which Enoch posted 23 points on 10-for-12 two-point shooting plus 11 rebounds for a PIR of 32. Three days later, Enoch had another double-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks in a home loss against CSKA.
Over the last three games, not only is Enoch averaging 19.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.0 blocks and a PIR of 28.7, but he has also made 24 two-point shots on 77.4% shooting. While his accuracy over the last three games ranks third, his 24 made shots are 8 better than the next best player, Walter Tavares of Real Madrid.
All of this has been a massive improvement for Enoch compared to the first eight games of the season, during which he never scored more than 12 points, had only two games in double figures and his highest single-game PIR was 10.
Enoch averaged 6.1 points and 3.3 rebounds before Round 9, but has tripled those numbers since then. He also opened the season with 52.8% two-point shooting and 55.6% free throw shooting, but has not missed a free throw, and barely missed any two-point shots, since then.
The Baskonia center is poised to continue his run of performances this week when he faces what might be the ultimate test, a game against Real Madrid and its towering duo of Tavares and Vincent Poirier.