Only award FIBA Europe hands out in EuroLeague Women apart from the championship trophy is Final Four/Eight MVP. Well, that’s pretty boring. I’d suggest FIBA Europe to significantly increase the number of their awards to make people talk about the tournament more and discuss player performance. Thus I’ve created my All-EuroLeague Women teams for the first part of the tournament. Final Eight will be a tournament by itself.
Seeing how 90% of first two teams filled out with American/Australian players, I added an All-European team to the mix and rounded out all of the teams with an All-Youth squad. Players born in 1989 or later were considered for the youth team.
First All-EuroLeague Women team:
G Seimone Augustus (Sparta&K) [17.6p, 4.5r, 1.9a] – Fifth leading scorer in the league, Augustus has been the best player on Sparta&K this season. Her shooting percentages (54% 2P, 42% 3P) are exceptional. She’s been clutch for the Vidnoje squad – this season she has made several game tying or winning shots in the final minutes of games. In general this hasn’t been a season for spectacular guard play so Augustus in the first team was a given even despite the subpar play from her team at times.
G Diana Taurasi (Galatasaray) [21.0p, 4.2r, 3.4a] – Taurasi was certainly worth the money Galatasaray threw at her. The only issue seems like there aren’t the right players around her in EuroLeague. Though individually there wasn’t anyone in the “Group of Death” who would be able to limit her. While I haven’t crunched the numbers yet, I am guessing her 40 from 80 three point shooting performance this season might have been one of the best ever in this competition.
F Angel McCoughtry (Fenerbahce) [18.2p, 5.8r, 2.6a] – The best player on the only EuroLeague Women undefeated team. Her numbers this season are closer to the ones she had on teams on which she had to do everything, instead of the ones she had last spring with Fenerbahce. All of that despite still having no outside shot to speak of. McCoughtry has been kind of a perfect fit for the rabid Fenerbahce fans – she’s emotional and feeds off them.
F Nicole Powell (Wisla Can-Pack) [15.9p, 6.4r, 1.6a] – This was a tossup between Powell and Taylor. Taylor had the edge in shooting from inside and assists while Powell was better from outside and rebounding. What tipped it over for Powell was improvement – this is her best EuroLeague season since 2006/07 with Halcon Avenida. Also Powell is the main offensive weapon for Wisla Can-Pack while Taylor at best is option 1B for Fenerbahce.
C Ann Wauters (Ros Casares) [15.3p, 8.4r, 1.6a] – Statistics would dictate that this spot goes to Tina Charles, but since this is alsno part subjective, Ann Wauters got the first squad nod. Wauters is coming of giving birth to a baby last summer, she’s the best player on the squad that has already four times beaten two Final Eight participants.
Second All-EuroLeague Women team:
G Sharnee Zoll (CCC Polkowice) [12.0p, 3.7r, 6.6a] – Zoll’s 6.64 assists per game this season ranks her fourth all time. She’s behind only two seasons by Dalma Ivanyi (7.5 in 2009, 6.9 in 2005) and one by Andja Jelavic (6.7 in 2010), though her assist to turnover ratio is better than in any one of those three seasons for Ivanyi and Jelavic. Zoll also scored more than Ivanyi in any of her two seasons. All of that while playing on a team that doesn’t have a player that ranked in the top 30 in scoring.
G Penny Taylor (Fenerbahce) [17.2p, 4.3r, 2.8a] – While traditionally a small forward, Taylor playing alongside Angel McCoughtry is essentially the shooting guard in that lineup. I actually didn’t think that Taylor and McCoughtry at the same time on the floor will work out as well as it is, but I’ve been proven wrong. It seems some of McCoughtry’s aggressiveness has rubbed off on Taylor with her being among the league leaders in fouls drawn and free throw attempts.
F DeWanna Bonner (Perfumerias Avenida) [19.3p, 9.6r, 1.2a] – A pretty ridiculous season number production wise. She would have probably made the first team, had Perfumerias Avenida made the Final Eight. If there was an All-Defensive team, she would certainly be on it, but not this year. But all-in-all you still get the feeling Bonner undeservedly flies under the radar, while that might not be the case in Salamanca or Madrid, in general she’s not as talked about as the likes of McCoughtry or Taurasi.
F Asjha Jones (Rivas Ecopolis) [17.4p, 8.6r, 0.8a] – Jones has had her best European season with Rivas Ecopolis this season. Jones has been the driving force for the best Rivas Ecopolis international season which they’ve already achieved. If Rivas are to upset anyone in the Final Eight it will be on the shoulders of Jones to achieve it.
C Tina Charles (Galatasaray) [18.5p, 8.6r, 1.4a] – To anyone doubting decision to play Charles over Fowles in EuroLeague Women – Fowles in her three seasons in ELW maxed out at 16.2 points per game. Charles gives them much more room to maneuver with tactics with her diverse offensive skills. She would have been the top ranked center had I not had a soft spot for Ann Wauters this season.
All-European EuroLeague Women team:
G Iva Ciglar (Uni Seat Gyor) [12.9p, 3.1r, 5.5a] – Ciglar has been a rare bright spot for both Gyor and Croatian NT who are thinking about the London Olympic basketball tournament.
G Eva Viteckova (ZVVZ USK Prague) [14.0p, 4.9r, 1.1a] – Savvy veteran had one of her better offensive seasons in EuroLeague Women.
F Laura Macchi (Famila Schio) [16.0p, 3.8r, 2.7a] – The same as Viteckova, at 32 she had her second best season.
F Endene Miyem (Bourges Basket) [12.2p, 5.5r, 1.7a] – While the obvious choice at this spot would have been Sandrine Gruda, I went of the track a bit with another deserving French power forward.
C Ewelina Kobryn (Wisla Can-Pack) [14.0p, 6.6r, 1.6a] – second best European center this season not named Ann Wauters.
All-Youth EuroLeague Women team:
G Katerina Elhotova (ZVVZ USK Prague) [10.6p, 1.8r, 1.4a] – Not much of an improvement for Elhotova this season, but that speaks to the lack of young guards in EuroLeague this season.
G Marta Xargay (Perfumerias Avenida) [6.0p, 3.0r, 2.7a] – With Torrens having left, Xargay had more playing time and her production continues it’s constant increase.
F Sonja Petrovic (Sparta&K) [8.9p, 5.2r, 1.4a] – As with Xargay, Petrovic has received more playing time and her production has adjusted accordingly.
F Farhiya Abdi (Frisco Brno) [8.2p, 5.8r, 0.7] – Young Swedish forward has really shown promise in her first season abroad. On top of that she’s still 19 for a couple of months.
C Natalia Vieru (Good Angels Kosice) [9.9p, 7.9r, 0.8a] – Personal favorite of the season which you should have noticed by now if you read any of my ELW round-ups/reviews.
Honorable mentions: Laura Nicholls (Rivas Ecopolis), Alena Hanusova (Frisco Brno), Magdalena Zietara (Lotos Gdynia)