By Stefan Djordjevic/ [email protected]
The Basketball Champions League has seen quite a number of excellent point guards throughout its history, ranging from young prospects to guards in their prime years but also a noticeable number of veterans.
In fact, the veterans seem to have a huge impact on the competition and it’s only natural that point guards with more years of experience tend to control the tempo of the game better and guide their teams consistently to wins.
That becomes all the more clear when one takes a look at the BCL all-time list in assists. Nine of the top ten players have entered the fourth decade of their life and none of them were younger than 25 while playing in the competition.
The only exception to both cases is Tamir Blatt who was 20 when he first came into the Basketball Champions League and will soon turn 25.
|3||Tamir Blatt||306||53||5.77||4||Hapoel Holon, Hapoel Jerusalem|
|4||David Holston||301||50||6.02||4||JDA Dijon|
|5||Rodrigo San Miguel||280||78||3.59||5||Tenerife, Basket Zaragoza|
|6||J’Covan Brown||276||57||4.84||4||Karsıyaka, Hapoel Jerusalem|
|7||Eugene Lawrence||268||48||5.58||4||Nymburk, Telekom Baskets Bonn|
|8||Tony Taylor||244||62||3.93||4||Bandirma, Virtus Bologna, Karşıyaka|
|9||Ferran Bassas||243||70||3.47||4||Tenerife, San Pablo Burgos|
|10||Mike Green||232||45||5.15||3||Karsıyaka, AEK, SIG Strasbourg|
The Point God
A lot of veterans to consider but they are not all equal and a few names stand apart. However, despite not yet reaching the top of the all-time list, there is but one player that can be considered the ‘Point God’ of BCL. Marcelinho Huertas.
Huertas joined Tenerife and BCL in 2019 and he rather quickly stole the spotlight in the competition. He’s been putting outstanding numbers consistently over three seasons, holding the impressive pace of 7.13 assists per game on average.
It took him the least games in BCL history to reach 300 assists and there is no doubt he will take over the top spot on the list as long as he stays in the competition for another season. Unless Dusan Djordjevic goes vintage and puts up some big numbers going forward.
Huertas is also holding the record for the best season when it comes to assists with an average of 8.1 in the 2019-20 season. He’s been the only player so far in BCL history to average more than eight assists for the season.
At, soon to be, 39 years of age, at the helm of Tenerife, Huertas is showing no signs of slowing down and he has a chance to crown his presence with a title.
However, there is a challenger, and a very good one at that, who could steal all the glory from the Brazilian guard and make it his own. That challenger is Joe Ragland.
You’ll notice that Ragland is nowhere to be seen on the all-time assists list above but that is only because the 32-year-old is currently in his second season in the Basketball Champions League. He’s not far from the Top 10, though, as he accumulated a total of 213 assists so far in BCL.
That said, he’s been averaging 7.9 assists this season so far over 17 games and he still has the chance in theory to best the record-holding numbers of Huertas.
|Joe Ragland||Hapoel Holon||2021-22||17||135||7.9|
|Kamil Laczynski||Anwil Wloclawek||2018-19||12||94||7.8|
|Tamir Blatt||Hapoel Jerusalem||2018-19||17||120||7.1|
If we limit the story to the ongoing season only, Huertas has been averaging 6.8 assists this season and the two players have led the league as No. 1 and No. 2 respectively.
They both put up multiple games with double-digit assists with Ragland having the best tally of 14. However, Huertas is the one holding the competition record with 17 assists in a single game, back in January 2020.
Both are also solid in keeping it safe, considering the amount of time they spend with the ball in their hands, and both have been keeping the assists/turnover ratio below three (at 2.8 and 2.5 respectively).
The culmination of the race for the title of the Point God, and the title of the Basketball Champions League, will happen in the BCL Final Four when Tenerife and Hapoel Holon clash in the semifinals.
The debutants in the Final Four (Ragland and Hapoel Holon) will challenge the BCL veteran (Huertas) and the former BCL champion (Tenerife), in a battle that will enter the competition’s annals as a classic to re-watch.
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