Top 10 newcomers of the 2017-18 EuroLeague season!

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Over more than 250 games, there was plenty to see, hear, absorb and analyze from a 2017-18 Turkish Airlines Euroleague season that kept fans on the edge of their seats for almost eight months. Take a look back at some of the biggest moments and players with these Top 10 newcomers of the season!

10. Janis Timma, KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz

After proving himself as a force in the 7DAYS EuroCup both in the paint and from the perimeter, Janis Timma made a big impact for Baskonia in his first EuroLeague campaign with averages of 7.6 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. He ranked third in the competition by making 67.4% of his two-point attempts and knocked down 41.2% of his triples. Timma flaunted his scoring ability with 24 points on 5-of-9 three-point shooting in a Round 11 victory over Unicaja Malaga and delivered an excellent all-around showing with 10 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals in a Round 29 win at FC Barcelona Lassa. The fact that he started 27 games and played the second-most minutes (22:45) on Baskonia speaks volumes of how valuable he was in the team’s run to another playoff appearance.

9. Dorell Wright, Brose Bamberg

Veteran forward Dorell Wright made his EuroLeague debut just weeks before he turned 32 years old and immediately proved to be a difference-maker. Wright joined the team in late October, came off the bench in Round 4 and posted 13 points, 5 rebounds and 4 blocks. He did not miss a game the rest of the way and even started 22 times. Wright scored at least 20 points on five occasions, 15 times in double figures and was second on the team in both scoring (11.6 ppg.) and rebounding (5.4 rpg.). In fact, Wright’s 4.6 defensive rebounds per game were second-most in the league. He was the Round 23 MVP after shining with 21 points on 5-of-7 three-point shooting, 9 rebounds and 4 assists for a performance index rating of 29 in a rout of Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade.

8. Johan Bolden, Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv

Maccabi relied on Jonah Bolden at power forward for his tremendous defensive presence and ability to stretch the floor with effective three-point shooting and the big Aussie did not disappoint. Bolden was the only player in the league this season ranked among the top 10 in steals (eighth, 1.2 spg.) and blocks (seventh, 0.9 bpg.). He also led Maccabi with 5.5 rebounds per game and averaged 6.9 points. Bolden showed off his wide array of skills with 6 points, 10 boards, 4 assists, 5 steals and 4 blocks in Round 10 against Zalgiris Kaunas and produced a double-double in a Round 17 victory over Brose Bamberg. Bolden was Maccabi’s youngest regular in the rotation and is the youngest player on this list.

7. Kaleb Tarczewski, AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan

Even though Kaleb Tarczewski first joined Milan last spring, he only made his EuroLeague debut this season. Tarczewski was one of only two Milan players to appear in all 30 regular season games and he started all but one of them. The 25-year old center was a fixture on weekly highlight-reels and dunked his way to 6.7 points per season. Moreover, his 64.4% shooting percentage was sixth-best in the competition and, despite averaging just under 20 minutes per game, Tarczewski ranked eighth among all qualified players with 5.7 rebounds per contest. However, his banging style of play came with a price; Tarczewski fouled out nine times and his 3.4 fouls committed per game were second most in the competition.

6. Augustine Rubit, Brose Bamberg

Undersized big man Augustine Rubit produced a double-double in his first EuroLeague start and went on to score in double figures in more than half of the regular season games. Rubit averaged 10.1 points and was a force on the offensive glass; his 2.2 offensive boards per game ranked among the top 10 in the league. Rubit’s best game came in Round 21 when he earned MVP honors with a 26-point, 8-rebound and 2-block effort for a performance index rating of 34 in a victory over Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens. Rubit was one of only two players to appear in every Brose game this season and was third on the team with an average index rating of 12.1.

5. Aaron White, Zalgiris Kaunas

From his role as an energetic sixth man, Aaron White was in thick of all of Zalgiris’s battles. White played the fourth-most minutes on the team, ranked second in rebounds (4.4 rpg.) and fourth in both scoring (8.9 pg.) and average performance index rating (10.2). The high-flying forward was not only there to get the team going with his energy and to elevate the team morale with spectacular dunks, but also came up with big baskets when the team needed them most, helping Zalgiris win a series of close games and eventually reach the Final Four. White, who scored a season-high 23 points in Round 18 against Brose Bamberg, had five games this season in which he did not miss a shot!

4. Vincent Poirier, KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz

Vincent Poirier started the season playing a limited role off the bench for Baskonia, but his role changed with the arrival of Coach Pedro Martinez. The 24-year-old center exploded in Round 12 when he earned MVP honors with 16 points, 12 rebounds and 5 blocks for a performance index rating of 35 in a road win at Anadolu Efes Istanbul and never looked back. He pulled down 5 or more rebounds in 19 games, including in 9 of 10 games during the months of March and April. During that two-month span, as Baskonia was first making a playoff push before battling Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul in a tightly contested playoff series, Poirier averaged veteran-like numbers of 12.0 points and 6.7 rebounds. For the season he was second on his team in rebounds (5.2 rpg.) and eighth in the league in blocks (0.9 bpg.).

3. Brandon Davies, Zalgiris Kaunas

Brandon Davies was Zalgiris’s starting center from opening night, but his best performances came later in the season. He simply dominated in the playoff series against Olympiacos Piraeus during which he averaged 17.0 points on 66.7% shooting, 4.0 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks and was chosen as EuroLeague MVP for April, becoming only the second first-year player to earn such distinction. Davies followed that up with his first double-double of the season in the semifinal at the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four against Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul. Davies averaged 9.3 points per game for the season and led all centers in per-minute offense with an average of 21.4 points prorated over 40 minutes. After signing a contract extension with Zalgiris late in the season, Davies is in line to put up much bigger numbers in his second EuroLeague campaign next season.

2. Anthony Gill, Khimki Moscow Region

Khimki battled injuries in its frontcourt the entire season, but Anthony Gill was there to step up and play an invaluable role as the club made its first ever EuroLeague Playoff appearance. In addition to his heroics, which included tipping-in a game-winner at the buzzer against Unicaja Malaga, Gill started in all but one of his 32 appearances and ranked second on the team with 11.8 points and third with 4.5 rebounds per contest. He increased those numbers in the playoffs, averaging 16.8 points and a performance index rating of 20 for the series against CSKA Moscow, including his Playoff Game 3 outputs of 24 points and a PIR of 30, which earned Gill his first MVP of the round honors.

1. Walter Tavares, Real Madrid

 The presence of Walter Tavares made a huge difference – literally and figuratively – in Real Madrid winning the EuroLeague title. His 1.5 blocks per game this season ranked second in the competition and his 5.3 rebounds led the team. Even more than that, the intimidation of shooting over the 2.20-meter center caused the opposition to alter their offensive plans. In addition, Tavares made 68.2% of his two-point shots and with his 6.5 points per game, Tavares made sure he was to be accounted for on the offensive side of the ball as well, making his impact even bigger. A former All-EuroCup First Team selection, Tavares arrived early in the season to help patch up Madrid’s banged up frontline and before long was a central cog in carrying Los Blancos to their 10th EuroLeague title.
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