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Stellar Upsides from Aleks Maric and Richard Hendrix - Apr 14, 2013


POSTED BY:
DAVID PICK
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Aleksandar
Maric
Behind a strong double-double showing of 12 points and 10 rebounds, courtesy of 6-11 Australian center Aleks Maric, and thanks to a dominate Most Valuable Player performance by interim big man Richard Hendrix, who contributed 14 points and 9 boards, Russian Lokomotiv Kuban secured its first ever Eurocup title with a 75-64 triumph over Spanish Uxue Bilbao.

Both Maric (Panathinaikos) and Hendrix (EA7 Milan), shown the door by their recently respected Euroleague homes, have managed to come alive in Russia, upped their statistics, and resurrect their stardom, en route to returning to Euroleague action next season.

While Maric is locked in with Kuban for the upcoming 2013-14 season, Hendrix, who is on a loan from Milan, will get shipped back to Italy to honor the second year of his deal.

Kuban Coach Evgeny Pashutin utilized his massive inside presence to the maximum. Maric playing the center, and Hendrix at power-forward revealed to be a killer duo combining for 19 boards, five of them offensive, and five assists.

"Our strategy offensively was to go inside to Richard Hendrix and Aleks Maric," a victorious Pashutin said. "They both dominated and we were able to get a lead, go from there and have a good game," the 44-year-old Russian-born coach added.

Awkwardly enough, Israeli power Maccabi Tel Aviv, currently trailing Real Madrid 0-2 in the best-of-five Euroleague quarter-finals series, is getting demolished inside the paint by its Spanish rival.

Seeing that Maccabi sent 7-footer Giorgi Shermadini to Greece on December 2012, and waived high-flying 6-8 power-forward Malcolm Thomas, who is now hooping for the Chicago Bulls, Shawn James' outstanding performances remain no match against Madrid's inside firepower. Dating back to March 2013, Maccabi targeted and engaged in conversations with Maric, who eventually preferred the Russian currency. Upon joining Kuban on January 2013, David Blatt heavily pursued Hendrix, and urged Tel Aviv officials to re-sign the Alabama alumnus. Yet Maccabi executives eventually inked Croatian Euroleague-rook Darko Planinic to a multi-year deal.

Planinic is far from being the coaching staff favorite Hendrix was, or Maric could have been, registering just 3.5 points and 1.5 boards during 6.5 minutes per versus Madrid.

As Madrid outrebounds Tel Aviv 85-44 over the first pair of series contests, Maric, tailing a miserable four points in seven minutes for Panathinaikos under former coach Zeljko Obradovic last season, has jump-started his international career, revisiting his dominance from when playing in Serbia with Partizan Belgrade.

"Our target from the beginning was to win this cup. We are now going to the play in the Euroleague. We conquered our goal of taking Kuban to the next level. It is an amazing feeling," said Maric, completing his Eurocup debut season with double-digit scoring figures of 11 points and 7.3 rebounds nightly.

Hendrix's season upside has also been remarkable. The 264-pounder who took home Israel's Center of the Year honors, discovered unfamiliar territory earlier this season under Sergio Scariolo, barley logging double-digits in minutes, which by default, meant failing to adapt to the Italian system.

In Russia, Hendrix revived his brand, doubled his scoring averages, and tripled his European competition statistics. For Kuban's defensive anchor, winning the Eurocup title was simply the icing on the cake.   




Jeffrey
Brooks
Jeff Brooks extends deal with Unicaja - 13 days ago
Unicaja Malaga and Jeffrey Brooks(203-F-89, college: Penn St.) have agreed on terms of contract extension. The forward will spend at least one more season in Malaga. Jeffrey Brooks joined Unicaja at the start of the season. He averaged 7.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.0 assist per game in EuroCup. In ACB his stats read 7.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists per appearance. Previously Jeffrey Brooks had stints in Russia, Italy. He also attended several NBA Summer League editions.   [read more]

Dzanan Musa
Dzanan Musa three more years with Cedevita - 13 days ago
After he arrived to KK Cedevita Zagreb from KK Kos Sarajevo of BiH, Dzanan Musa (204-SG-99, agency: BeoBasket) profiled himself as one of the best youngsters of Europe. Swiftly, he won his place at KK Cedevita Zagreb and today he is an irreplaceable member of the team that played in the ABA League Finals. In the meantime, he became a member of Bosnia and Herzegovina senior national team as well before he has just turned 18 years old and signed his first professional contract, extending t...   [read more]

Michael
Fusek
Michael Fusek explodes in Belgium - 1 month ago
Michael Fusek (221-C-95, agency: Octagon Europe) has exploded in the Euromillions Basketball League. Recently becoming a MVP in the win against Basic Fit Brussels. Fusek made 11 points (4/5), 8 rebounds, 18 of evaluation in 21 min. Last Saturday, the Slovak center scored 13 points (5/7) and grabbed 8 rebounds and 3 blocks. Michael Fusek took a giant step forward with Proximus Spirou Charleroi by making solid numbers. His great mobility for a player his size and very effective shots a...   [read more]


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Eurocup Standings
Group E
 1 Lokomotiv 5-1 
 2 Gran Canaria 4-2 
 3 Fuenlabrada 2-4 
 4 UCAM Murcia 1-5 
Group F
 1 B.Muenchen 6-0 
 2 Khimky 4-2 
 3 Lietkabelis 2-4 
 4 Ratiopharm 0-6 
Group G
 1 Hapoel J-M 5-1 
 2 Zenit 3-3 
 3 Lietuvos rytas 3-3 
 4 N.Novgorod 1-5 
Group H
 1 Valencia 6-0 
 2 Unicaja 3-3 
 3 Cedevita 2-4 
 4 ALBA 1-5 
Stage One Standings
Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
 Alexey SHVED
  Khimky
  (198-G-88)
  Avg: 22.1
 1. Shved, Khimky22.1 
 2. Kikanovic, ALBA19.6 
 3. Toolson, Zenit18.9 
 4. Logan, Lietuvos.18.1 
 5. Kane, N.Novgorod16.8 
 6. Jerrells, Hapoel J.16.8 
 7. Timma, Zenit16.2 
 8. Kuric, Gran Canaria15.1 
 9. Strebkov, N.Nov.14.6 
 10. Morgan, Ratiopharm14.4 
Rebounds Per Game
 Drew GORDON
  Lietuvos.
  (205-F-90)
  Avg: 9.6
 1. Gordon, Lietuvos.9.6 
 2. Kane, N.Novgorod7.6 
 3. Dubljevic, Valencia6.8 
 4. Stoudemire, Hapoel J.6.6 
 5. Kleber, B.Muenchen6.6 
 6. Bilan, Cedevita6.2 
 7. Rojas, UCAM M.5.9 
 8. Booker, B.Muenchen5.9 
 9. Jones, Lokomotiv5.8 
 10. Rubit, Ratiopharm5.8 
Assists Per Game
 Stefan MARKOVIC
  Zenit
  (199-G-88)
  Avg: 9.1
 1. Markovic, Zenit9.1 
 2. Campazzo, UCAM M.6.7 
 3. Siva, ALBA6.3 
 4. Logan, Lietuvos.5.8 
 5. Williams, Lietkabelis5.4 
 6. Shved, Khimky5.2 
 7. Strebkov, N.Nov.5.2 
 8. Oliver, Gran Canaria5.0 
 9. McCalebb, Gran C.4.8 
 10. Hobbs, Ratiopharm4.7 
Steals Per Game
 Facundo CAMPAZZO
  UCAM M.
  (181-PG-91)
  Avg: 2.2
 1. Campazzo, UCAM M.2.2 
 2. Siva, ALBA2.0 
 3. Logan, Lietuvos.1.7 
 4. Williams, Lietkabelis1.7 
 5. Diot, Valencia1.6 
 6. Kane, N.Novgorod1.5 
 7. Markovic, Zenit1.4 
 8. Rowland, Khimky1.4 
 9. Kinsey, Hapoel J-M1.4 
 10. Gaffney, ALBA1.3 
Blocks Per Game
 Mirza BEGIC
  Cedevita
  (216-C-85)
  Avg: 1.3
 1. Begic, Cedevita1.3 
 2. Stoudemire, Hapoel J.1.2 
 3. Kravtsov, Valencia1.1 
 4. Gaffney, ALBA1.1 
 5. Pushkov, Zenit1.0 
 6. Todorovic, Khimky1.0 
 7. Monya, Khimky0.9 
 8. Kleber, B.Muenchen0.9 
 9. Musli, Unicaja0.8 
 10. Mbakwe, Zenit0.7 
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