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RealGM's 2012-13 Euroleague Awards

For the third consecutive year, RealGM presents the most outstanding players of Euroleague.

Victor Khryapa of CSKA Moscow is the winner of the RealGM Euroleague MVP award for the 2012-13 season. The 30-year-old forward has improved all of his main statistical numbers this season, averaging 10 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Khryapa has also helped his team, which holds a 23-5 record this season, to defeat Caja Laboral Vitoria in the playoffs to reach the Final Four.

For the second consecutive year, the RealGM Euroleague MVP award was given to a Russian player, as the winner of last season's prize was Andrei Kirilenko of CSKA Moscow.

The RealGM All-Euroleague First Team consists of Montepaschi's Bobby Brown and Olympiacos' Vassilis Spanoulis at guard, Khryapa and Maccabi's Shawn James at forward and CSKA's Nenad Krstic at center.

The RealGM All-Euroleague Second Team includes guards Jordan Farmar of Anadolu Efes and Zoran Planinic of Khimki, forwards Rudy Fernandez and Nikola Mirotic of Real and center Ante Tomic of Barcelona Regal.

Paul Davis of Khimki Moscow region is the winner of the Euroelague Rookie of the Year Award, while Aron Baynes (formerly of Union Olimpija before joining the San Antonio Spurs) was the RealGM pick to win the Most Improved Played Award.

Georgios Bartzokas of Olympiacos was named as the 2012-13 Euroleague Coach of the Year, while Kyle Hines (also from Olympiacos) is the winner of the 2012-13 Euroleague Sixth Man of the Year Award.

Euroleague MVP

Victor Khryapa (CSKA)

All-Euroleague 1st Team

Bobby Brown (Montepaschi): 18.8 points, 5.3 assists in 33 minutes

Vassilis Spanoulis (Olympiacos) - 14.7 points, 2.1 rebounds and 5.6 assists in 30 minutes

Victor Khryapa (CSKA) - 10 points (45% 3FG), 7.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 28 minutes

Shawn James (Maccabi): 11.5 points (64% 2FG), 6.5 rebounds in 24 minutes  

Nenad Krstic (CSKA) - 13.6 points (63% 2FG), 4.6 rebounds in 24 minutes

All-Euroleague 2nd Team

Jordan Farmar (Anadolu Efes): 13.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 30 minutes

Zoran Planinic (Khimki): 12.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 6.3 assists in 31 minutes

Rudy Fernandez (Real): 13.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 27 minutes

Nikola Mirotic (Real): 11.7 points, 5.5 rebounds in 25 minutes

Ante Tomic (Barcelona Regal) - 11.5 points (63% 2FG), 6.3 rebounds in 23 minutes

Sixth Man Award

Kyle Hines (Olympiacos) - 9.1 points, 5.9 rebounds in 20 minutes

Most Improved Player Award

Aron Baynes (Union Olimpija) - 13.8 points, 9.8 rebounds in 26 minutes

Coach of the Year

Georgios Bartzokas (Olympiacos)

Rookie of the Year

Paul Davis (Khimki)

All-Rookie 1st Team

Paul Davis (Khimki) - 13.4 points, 5.5 rebounds in 20 minutes

Ricky Hickman (Maccabi) - 13.5 points, 2.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 29 minutes

Blake Schilb (Elan Chalon) - 15.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4 assists in 33 minutes

Marcus Williams (Unicaja) - 10.5 points, 2.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 22 minutes

Shelden Williams (Elan Chalon) - 11.3 points, 7.6 rebounds in 23 minutes

All-Rookie 2nd Team

Drew Gordon (Partizan) - 9.1 points, 7.5 rebounds in 29 minutes

Lukasz Koszarek (Asseco Prokom) - 11.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 4 assists in 30 minutes

Kelvin Rivers (Khimki) - 9.6 points, 2.7 rebounds in 26 minutes

Dashaun Wood (Alba) - 9.8 points, 2.5 assists in 24 minutes

Maik Zirbes (Brose Baskets) - 8.2 points, 5 rebounds in 20 minutes

Euroleague Rookie Ladder

- All records and stats through Game 13 of Top-16. 

1. Blake Schilb - Elan Chalon-sur-Saone (France)

15.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4 assists in 33 minutes.

Former Loyola star Blake Schilb had a dream Euroleague debut season, averaging MVP-award-worth 15.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4 assists per game. The 29-year-old forward had a major role in Elan Chalon-sur-Saone, where he averaged 32 minutes per game (3rd most in the league) and brought his team to the doorstep of Top 16. Moreover, he also leads the Euroleague in ORAT rating (the difference between his team's scored and allowed points per 100 possessions) - Elan Chalon-sur-Saone scored 24.2 points more while Schilb was on the court.

Schilb successfully used his versatility and made himself best known in regular season's game 9, when he finished the game against Montepaschi with 28 points, seven boards and five assists. Schilb's career game secured him an MVP of the week award and helped him to climb to the top of Euroleague rookie rankings.

2. Paul Davis - Khimki Moscow region (Russia)

13.4 points and 5.5 rebounds in 20 minutes.

Paul Davis is not only one of the best rookies in the Euroleague this season, but undoubtedly he should also be considered as one of the most productive players in the league as well. Formerly of the Los Angeles Clippers and Washington Wizards, Davis, together with Panathinaikos' Sofoklis Schortsanitis, ranks 1st in terms of scoring in 50 possessions (19 points).

Davis, a very crafty big man, usually comes of Khimki's bench and becomes a difference maker when Moscow region team needs it most. Davis excelled in Top 16 stage as he finished in double digits in all 13 games so far and lately has been producing an MVP worth numbers.

3. Ricky Hickman - Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)

13.9 points, 2.7 rebounds and 3 assists in 28 minutes.

Hungary, Romania, Germany, Finland, Italy - journeyman Ricky Hickman played for many different level teams in various countries prior getting a chance to finally taste Euroleague basketball. But his patience definitely paid off as Hickman quickly became one of the key players for Maccabi, even though he didn't have any previous experience playing neither in Eurocup nor Euroleage.

Hickman, averaging 13.9 points per game, has been one of the biggest offensive threats in the league, as he also ranks 3rd in received fouls per game (5.3). At the same time, the fact he's playing meaningful minutes on a Top 8 contender gives him an edge over other rookies. 

4. Shelden Williams - Elan Chalon-sur-Saone (France)

11.3 points and 7.6 rebounds in 23 minutes.

Before Shelden Williams made his debut in Europe, there was a question will he become another Euroleague bust coming from the benches of the NBA? However, it didn't take long for former Duke standout to silence those who questioned his abilities, as Williams immediately became a very productive Euroleague player.

Williams quickly established himself as an elite rebounder, ranking 3rd in rebounds (7.6) and 2nd in offensive rebounds (3.1). No surprise, Williams' performance didn't remain unnoticed and Fenerbahce Ulker made an effort to bring 6-foot-9 center for the Top 16 stage, but Williams remained in France for the rest of the season.

5. Marcus Williams - Unicaja Malaga (Spain)

10.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 22 minutes.

Marcus Williams is another veteran American player who has succeeded by using his six-year professional experience in either the NBA, Russia or China. The 27-year-old playmaker instantly contributed, helping Unicaja to have a great 7-1 start in Euroleague, while Williams played big minutes replacing starting point guard Earl Calloway during that stretch.

However, Williams established himself as one of the best lefty point guards in the league, who is not afraid to shoot from beyond the arc. Williams is ranked 3rd in made three-pointers (48) and hit three or more long distance shots in nine Euroleague games this season. Despite that, Williams has been too inconsistent on his debut season to prove he can be a starter on a winning team, as he failed to produce big numbers on a nightly basis.

6. Drew Gordon - Partizan Belgrade (Serbia)

9.1 points and 7.5 rebounds in 29 minutes.

Partizan Belgrade is known as a great place not only for young European talents, but also for college graduates who want to kick-start their career in the Top European league. Oliver Lafayette, Curtis Jerrells and others made their name known with Partizan, and 22-year-old Drew Gordon is next on the list.

The former UCLA and New Mexico star, Gordon had a smooth transition to the European basketball style and successfully used his main weapons, rebounding and defensive skills. Due to his athleticism, Gordon ranked 4th in rebounds per game (7.5), 10th in blocks (1.1) and was one of the most influential players on the defensive end of the floor in the league. Despite that, his limited offensive game and poor results of Partizan kept him away from being ranked higher than 6th place in the Euroleague rookie ladder.

7. Leo Westermann - Partizan Belgrade (Serbia)

9.6 points (43% 3FG), 2.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 29 minutes.

Gordon's teammate, Leo Westermann, is the youngest and the first non-American player in the Euroleague rookie ranking. Despite a rough Euroleague start, the 20-year-old guard quickly earned the trust of Partizan head coach Dusko Vujosevic and had a very rare a chance to learn by playing and making mistakes against the best.

As usual for young prospects, Westermann led the league in received personal fouls per game (3.7) and ranked 7th in turnovers (2.7). His first season in the elite competition didn’t answer any questions, as Westermann remains a future player of Partizan with two years left on his deal.

8. Dashaun Wood - Alba Berlin (Germany)

9.8 points (43% 3FG) and 2.5 assists in 24 minutes.

Dashaun Wood is clearly worthy of inclusion on this list as one of the Euroleague's Top 10 rookies this season, but things definitely could have gone better for the 27-year-old guard. After leading the Eurocup in assists (5.4) and averaging 14.2 points per game in the second top European competition, Wood expected to be a dominating offensive player in the Euroleague too.

In fact, after the departure of head coach Gordon Herbert, Wood had to face a decreased playing time, impacting his game, and his statistical numbers dropped to 9.8 points and 2.5 assists per game. On a better note, Wood proved to be an elite shooter, making 43% of his long distance shots, and he’s worth getting a new offer from a Euroleague team as his contract with Alba ends this season.

9. Nemanja Nedovic - Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius (Lithuania)

9.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 23 minutes.

In his Euroleague debut season, Nemanja Nedovic reminded a yo-yo guy with many ups and downs. The 22-year-old guard had a slow start but after Darius Maskoliunas replaced Alexander Djikic as a new head coach of Lietuvos Rytas, Nedovic’s adjustment was accelerated by received more playing time.

In front of NBA scouts, Nedovic had a 1-for-9 shooting from the field performance against CSKA, 6-for-15 against FC Barcelona Regal and 3-for-15 versus Brose Baskets. Clearly, Nedovic remains a rough, athletically gifted talent, who, as most of young players, lacks consistency. Moreover, Nedovic proved to be more of a ‘work in progress’, rather than a player who could make a difference right away.

10. Kelvin Rivers - Khimki Moscow region (Russia)

9.7 points and 2.7 rebounds in 26 minutes.

Kelvin Rivers, 26, spent three seasons in Eurocup prior joining Euroleague, but still struggled to adapt to the second best league in the world. Rivers, who once made eight three-pointers in a single NCAA game, has struggled from beyond the arc in the first half of the season, making only 23% of his long distance shots. However, the percentage rose by 27% in the Top 16 as Rivers made 24-of-48 three-pointers he took.

Khimki became dependent on Rivers scoring as Moscow region's team is 6-1 this season when Rivers scored 14 points or more. Still, Rivers game remains very unpredictable as for example, in the middle of Top 16, former Clemson star scored 16 points against Caja Laboral and went scoreless versus Olympiakos in the next week's game. Then Rivers put 14 points against Besiktas; again was held scoreless versus FC Barcelona Regal, and scored 19 against Montepaschi. 16-0-14-0-19 points performance best illustrates Rivers' roller-coaster ride in the Euroleague debut season.

Honorable Mentions: Lukasz Koszarek, Rasid Mahalbasic, Asseco Prokom; Miro Bilan, Cedevita.

24 Questions For The Start Of Euroleague

As the 12-13 Euroleague season begins, RealGM presents 24 questions for the Euroleague fans.

1. Was Alba worthy of the Euroleague wildcard?

Thanks to their amazing game attendance numbers, Alba Berlin received a wildcard from the Euroleague this offseason, letting compete in the top European competition once again. Having Elan Chalon and Asseco Prokom Gdynia in their group, Alba has a good chance of making it out of the group and prove they were worthy of the wildcard.

2. Was Jordan Farmar a player Anadolu Efes has been missing for years?

Anadolu Efes Istanbul has arguably spent more on their team without receiving a good return than any other team in Euroleauge. Anadolu Efes has always been a team full of stars and it won't be any different this season. However, Jordan Farmar was an MVP candidate last season in his short stint with Maccabi and he's capable of helping the Turkish team make a long run this Euroleague season.

3. Can Asseco Prokom win more games than last season?

Asseco Prokom won just one game last season and it doesn't seem like it's going to be any better this year. The Polish team didn't construct a competitive roster this offseason and making it to the Top 16 would be a huge surprise. On the other hand, it can't get any worse for Asseco Prokom.

4. When Khimki will end road losing streak in Euroleague?

Eurocup winners Khimki Moscow Region has been known as a home team, as its last Euroleague away win came against Caja Laboral in Vitoria back in 09-10 season. Khimki lost six road games in a row and eight out of its last nine. 

5. Did Besiktas have enough time for team-building?

EuroChallenge winners Besiktas brought in ten new players, a head coach and completely changed the face of the team. Of course, Besiktas beat Anadolu Efes to win the Presidential Cup, but as the Turkish championship hasn't started yet, the new-look Besiktas comes to the Euroleague with no games-that-matters experience.

6. Will we see the old Bostjan Nachbar this season?

Just a couple of years ago Brose Basket's Bostjan Nachbar was one of the best small forwards in Europe, but injuries have slowed down the Slovenian's career. As Nachbar demonstrated in preseason, he feels very comfortable in Bamberg, but there's a question is he ready to lead the lead and finally fight for an MVP award.

7. Can Andres Nocioni lead Caja Laboral to the Euroleague Final Four?

It's been more than four since since Caja Laboral last played in the Euroleague final four. After missing Top 16 last season, it didn't seem that Caja Laboral is moving in the right direction, but the acquisition of Andres Nocioni could change everything. Nocioni is back in the Euroleague after eight years break and will play his first game since April 2004.

8. Is Cedevita capable of creating a miracle in group C?

Anadolu Efes, Caja Laboral, Olympiakos, Zalgiris and EA7 Emporio Armani. Cedevita of Croatia will be competing in 'millionaires group C with clubs, which has intentions to go all the way to the Final Four. Cedevita made a great effort this offseason on building a competitive roster, but it might not be enough to kick off two of those five teams to advance to the Top 16.

9. Does Ettore Messina plus CSKA equals Euroleague titles?

Four-time Euroleague champion Ettore Messina is back in Moscow, where he won his last Euroleague title back in 2008. Messina didn't succeed in Spain with Real as he won only 56% Euroleague games they played, but coming back to Russia feels like a homecoming for Messina. And there's no better place to fight for the Euroleague trophy than at home.

10. How much more money does EA7 Emporio Armani need to spend to finally reach Top 8?

Last season, EA7 Emporio Armani, same as every year, spend millions of Euros to build a team capable of fighting for a spot in Euroleague final four. Unfortunately for Olimpia Milano fans, as always, the Italian team failed to meet the expectations and opened its pocket even wider this offseason. If Milan team won't make it to the Top 8 this season, how much more money they have to spend to finally do that?

11. Will we see a French team in Euroleague Top 16 in next five years?

2007 was the year when Pau-Orthez, made it to the Top 16, and all French clubs have failed to do repeat the feat in the following seasons. Elan Chalon doesn't have much of a chance to change the history this season and here comes the question is there going to be a French team, capable of making it out the regular season group.

12. What is easier for FC Regal Barcelona - beating an NBA team in a preseason game or making it to the Euroleague Final Four?

Some call European teams wining against NBA clubs 'historic', but it's become routine for FC Regal Barcelona to beat NBA in the preseason games marathon as they did that for the third time on Tuesday. After beating the 76ers in 2006, Lakers in 2010, the Mavericks were next on their list this season. However, after a sluggish start in Spanish Championship (0-2), there is confusion where FC Regal Barcelona stands now and will they sort out their problems during the Euroleague regular season.

13. Is the wait for Fenerbahce Ulker fans over?

Bo McCalebb is a game changer and their primary MVP candidate heading into Euroleague. He's teaming up in Istanbul again with familiar faces - Romain Sato, David Andersen and Simone Panigiani. Does that mean Fenerbahce Ulker finally found its saviors who will carry the Turkish club to the top?

14. Could the game against CSKA be the last for Aleksandar Dzikic?

Lietuvos Rytas was sluggish in preseason and had a rough start in VTB United League where they lost the last game against Spartak by 27 points. Over the next week, Lietuvos Rytas will be facing CSKA and FC Regal Barcelona and knowing how impatient the owners of Vilnius club can be, a terrible performance in Moscow might lead to the departure of head coach Aleksandar Dzikic.

15. Does Maccabi have enough talent to maintain the high standard?

Maccabi Tel Aviv doesn't seem to be as dominant on paper as they have in recent seasons. Six Maccabi players have never played in the Euroleague before. David Blatt will have a quite big challenge to maintain Maccabi among the elite with the talent he has right now.

16. Is Cantu going to be the best Italian team in this year's Euroleague?

It's not a big secret that with the departure of McCalebb, Montepaschi lost a big part of its strength and might not be as dominant as we have come to expect. That means Marpooro Cantu, which was in the Euroleague qualification, has a great chance to become the number one Italian team in Euroleague if they repeat their last season's success.

17. What is next for Montepaschi?

The post-McCalebb era has begun for Montepaschi, who have been king of Italian club basketball for years. After the core of team left for Turkey, Montepaschi, which has only six Italians on its squad, decided to rely on foreigners. It's a rebuilding year for Siena, but how painful is it going to be?

18. Would Olympiakos still be an underdog in the London Final Four?

Except for the head coach, the Euroleague champions maintained all main parts of its team to repeat their last season's success and everything seems to be bright for Olympiakos. Despite winning a championship, Olympiakos still seems to be an elite team without being elitist, but that could only benefit them in the long run.

19. What is going to be a post-Obradovic life for Panathinaikos?

Without question, Zeljko Obradovic had been a huge part of making Panathinaikos the most successful European club in the last decade. Four Euroleague titles speak for themself. But does the departure of Obradovic means that the glory days of Panathinaikos are over?

20. Which of the young Partizan stars will have the best season?

Partizan is full of talent this season, with players such as Leo Westermann, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Davis Bertans, Dejan Musli and many others. With coach Dusko Vujosevic back in Belgrade, who of these players will make an immediate impact for Partizan this season?

21. Will better bench depth lead Real to the final?

Real Madrid has everything it takes to accomplish big things in Euroleague this season. Talent, stars, size, experience and probably the best bench in the league. Most of Real's substitutes could be starting five members in nine out of ten others Euroleague clubs and that could be a decisive power in the playoffs.

22. Can Unicaja advance beyond the Top 16?

Clearly, it's difficult to see Unicaja not making it out of the group, especially as they'll compete with lower caliber teams like Asseco Prokom, Alba and Elan Chalon, but their chances to make a long run is less certain. Fran Vazquez is a great replacement for Joel Freeland, but Unicaja still has many problems, which have to be sorted.

23. Can a one million Euro budget team win a Euroleague game?

Union Olimpija don't have many things to be happy about. The Slovenian club's budget is just one million Euro and as there are not enough funds to sign high profile athletes, nine of its players have never played in the Euroleague before. Union Olimpija will compete in a tough group A and there's a huge chance Ljubljana club will finish its Euroleague season without a single win.

24. Will Zalgiris finally reach the Top 8?

It's the same old question, and it's the same story every season. It didn't matter how much talent Zalgiris had, they won just four matches in Top 16 since 2004 and holds an awful 4-32 record. This year, Zalgiris built a very strong team and brought in a new coach, Joan Plaza, but is this enough to break the curse?

European Domestic League Power Rankings For February

We are past the halfway point in all of the European National Domestic Leagues and with January fully in the books, it is an opportune time to check in on team rankings for Spain, Italy, Greece, Russia, France, Turkey, Lithuania, Serbia, Croatia, Germany, Israel & more.

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