Two games out due to injury did nothing to slow down the regular season's best scorer, as Nizhny Novgorod guard Taylor Rochestie returned to action with a bang this week as the first bwin MVP of the Top 16. Rochestie was everywhere while leading Nizhny to a historic first Top 16 win by 59-79 over host EA7 Emporio Armani Milan on Friday. Coming off the bench late in the first quarter, he set about feeding teammates on the way to eight assists, matching his Euroleague career high. But with his team trailing at halftime, Rochestie turned his attention to the basket and scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half as Nizhny raced to victory in stunning fashion. Rochestie added 4 rebounds and was a perfect 6 for 6 from the free throw line, too, contributing to a performance index rating of 32, which equaled his own previous best and was the highest among all Euroleague players in Top 16 Round 1. Rochestie had good company at the top of the week's best performances as his teammate Trey Thompkins had the second-highest index rating, 28, thanks to a huge double-double of 19 points, 15 rebounds in Nizhny's road win. James Gist of Panathinaikos Athens was third this week with a 26 index rating as he led the Greens to an 83-76 home win over Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv. Gist made 10 of 12 free throws for 15 points to go with 6 rebounds in that game. A pair of big men, Artsiom Parakhouski of Nizhny and Alex Tyus of Maccabi, rounded out the best five of the week with index ratings of 24 each. Parakhouski scored 18 points in Nizhny's victory while Tyus had a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double in defeat for Maccabi. MVP Video
Individual leaders: Trey Thompkins, Nizhny Novgorod, 15 rebounds
Marcelinho Huertas of FC Barcelona led all scorers in Top 16 openers with 23 points. Rochestie was one of three players with 19 points, the second best scoring output of the week, and remains as competition's top scorer with 19.9 per game. His teammate Thompkins had 15 rebounds which matched the second-most in a Top 16 game this decade. Boban Marjanovic of Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade remains Euroleague's leader with an average of 10.4 boards, and Thompkins moved into second place with 7.9 per game. Vassilis Spanoulis of Olympiacos Piraeus was the only player with double-digit assists in Round 1 of the Top 16, dishing 10 in the Reds' win at Unicaja Malaga. Milos Teodosic of CSKA Moscow, who returned to action this week after missing time with injury, is the leader in this category with 8 assists per night. Five players had 3 steals in Top 16 openers – Aaron Jackson of CSKA, Fabien Causeur of Laboral Kutxa Vitoria, Marcelinho Huertas of Barcelona, Furkan Korkmaz of Anadolu Efes Istanbul and Mindaugas Kuzminskas of Unicaja. Tarence Kinsey of Nizhny Novgorod leads all players with 2.0 steals per game. Nizhny's Art Parakhouski, Kyle Hines of CSKA and Alex Tyus of Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv each had 3 blocks to lead all players in Top 16 Round 1. Mirza Begic of Laboral Kutxa is competition's top blocker, averaging 2.0 per game, and Parakhouski follows with 1.8. Among players with double-doubles, Spanoulis had 11 points and 10 assists. All other players reached double digits in points and rebounds – Thompkins (19 points, 15 rebounds), Tyus (14 and 11), Fran Vazquez of Unicaja Malaga (11, 10), Andrey Vorontsevich of CSKA (10, 10), and Nemanja Bjelica of Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul (10, 11).