Top 10 showcase shooters of the 2017-18 EuroLeague season!

Jun 14, 2018 by Print
Top 10 showcase shooters of the 2017-18 EuroLeague season!

Over more than 250 games, there was plenty to see, hear, absorb and analyze from a 2017-18 Turkish Airlines Euroleague season that kept fans on the edge of their seats for almost eight months. Take a look back at some of the biggest moments and players with these Top 10 showcase shooters of the season!

10. Adam Waczynski, Unicaja Malaga

This was the first full season in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague for Adam Waczynski, who made plenty of noise with his sharpshooting throughout the campaign. Waczynski debuted in the competition with two games for Prokom Trefl Sopot as a teenager a decade ago and this season he showed what he is worth at the elite level. He finished third in three-pointers made per-40-minutes and seventh in the league – and first among all forwards – in average three-pointers per game (1.9). Waczynski was fifth in accuracy behind the three-point arc (49.5%) this season and made multiple triples in 15 games, including his 7-for-9 shooting performance for a career-high 25 points in a Round 11 road win at KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz. He was also excellent from the free-throw line; Waczynski made 22 consecutive foul shots to finish the season.

9. K.C. Rivers, Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens

Opposing defenses know they are in trouble if they leave former EuroLeague champion K.C. Rivers open. Over the past four seasons, only two men have made more three-pointers than Rivers's 193. As Panathinaikos's sixth man this season, he ranked among the top 15 in both total threes made and average three-pointers per game, after ranking fourth and sixth in those respective categories the season before. Rivers just completed his fifth EuroLeague season and has proven to be much more than just a player to stretch defenses; he is equally lethal from mid-range and considered to be an outstanding defender. He notched a career-best with 24 points on 6-of-10 shooting from downtown in a Round 26 win at Unicaja Malaga, which helped the Greens finish the regular season in fourth place. At age 31, Rivers still has many years to keep knocking down long balls at the top level.

8. Matt Janning, KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz

Matt Janning attempted more than twice as many three-pointers as he did two-point shots for Baskonia last season in helping the team bounce back from a tough start to reach the playoffs. His 160 attempts from behind the arc were the fifth most in the competition and nearly three-quarters of all his points were either long jumpers or three-pointers. Janning just completed his fourth EuroLeague campaign with his fourth different team, but his three-and-D profile has helped make all of them winners. He has been to the playoffs in each of his past three EuroLeague campaigns and reached the 2016 Final Four with Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar. Late in games, Janning is a player who can be counted on to make big shots or to get fouled, where his 93.5% free throw shooting is second on the league over the past two seasons.

7. James Nunnally, Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul

Fenerbahce sniper James Nunnally was as reliable as they get from behind the three-point line last season. Nunnally was on a record-setting pace between Rounds 5 and 12 when he made 22 of 35 three-point shots (62.9%). After returning from a broken wrist, he converted 14 of 19 triples (73.7%) in the final eight regular season games. Nunnally improved his three-point shooting from an already spectacular 45.1% his rookie season to 55.4% last season. In fact, no player had ever shot as well in a single season and made as many as 40 threes; Nunnally finished with 46! He made multiple threes in 14 different games last season and twice shot 4 for 4 from downtown. Nunnaly's 50.65% success rate from behind the arc is the second best in EuroLeague history behind only Jon Diebler.

6. Kevin Pangos, Zalgiris Kaunas

Zalgiris point guard Kevin Pangos led his team to a third-place finish this season by using all of his fantastic skills, including ace marksmanship from behind the three-point line. As his team's primary ball-handler, Pangos created most of his shots. Though he was happy to drive to the basket - nearly half of his shot attempts are from close range, Pangos is equally accurate whether he fires long jumpers or three-pointers and has become one of the steadiest shooters in the competition. He not only made a total of 75 three-pointers, which was tied for the third-most in the league last season, but he ranked 10th by making 47.5% of them. He started in all of his team's 36 games last season and made at least 1 three-pointer in 34 of them.

5. Petteri Koponen, FC Barcelona Lassa

Former EuroCup champion Petteri Koponen of Barcelona was already considered one of the top shooters on the continent prior to last season and then he went and set a new personal best by making 51.1% of his three-pointers. Koponen is most comfortable stretching the floor and rarely takes any kind of close-range shots; more than 80% of all his field goal attempts come within 8 feet of either side of the three-point arc. Koponen was saddled with a limited role, mostly off the bench, until the end of January, but the veteran sniper improved his numbers over the last 11 games of the season. Over the past two seasons, Koponen has made 92.1% of his free throws, which leads the EuroLeague over that span.

4. Sergio Rodriguez, CSKA Moscow

Former EuroLeague MVP and CSKA Moscow playmaker Sergio Rodriguez is one of the best point guards in the competition and a player you want to have the ball in the waning moments of the game. To get an understanding of his seemingly unlimited shooting range, advanced stats suggest Rodriguez attempted more than 70% of his shots at least 4 meters away from the baskets last season. Last season he made 92 three-pointers, which was the second most in a single-season ever, and he shot them at 43.8% accuracy despite a high degree of difficulty on many of them. That came in his first season in Moscow and at age 32, Rodriguez could be primed for an even bigger campaign in year two in Russia.

3. Arturas Milaknis, Zalgiris Kaunas

How high is this guy’s shooting confidence? In Round 12 on the road against Fenerbahce, with a 1-point lead in the final seconds and Zalgiris holding the ball, Milaknis shot a transition three from the corner rather than running out the clock. His decision drew immediate ire from head coach Sarunas Jasikevicius, however, it is worth noting that Milkanis made the triple and sealed the win. It was one of 167 three-pointers he attempted while making 75 this season, which was tied with Pangos for third most in the competition. Unlike the majority of the players on this list, Milaknis is a three-point specialist; last season 80% of his field goals attempts come from behind the 6.75-meter line and he arguably had the best season of his career.

2. Luigi Datome, Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul

There are not that many great shooters at Luigi Datome’s size out there. Advanced stats show that three of every four field goals Datome shot last season came from further than 4 meters from the basket. While he made 52 triples on 44.4% during the course of the season, Datome is at is deadliest when trying long two-point jumpers, which he attempted with larger frequency and made with better accuracy (close to 55%) than all shots he took within 4 meters of the basket. Despite his impressive shooting numbers in a season in which Fenerbahce reached the championship game, this was not his best campaign which, in turn, shows that Datome is not a streaky shooter, but one of the most consistent on the continent.

1. Jaycee Carroll, Real Madrid

The greatest thing about Jaycee Carroll’s four-year streak of playing in 134 consecutive Real Madrid games in the EuroLeague is that fans all over could constantly watch him showcase his shooting skills. In each of the last four seasons, Carroll hit at least 40 triples, even though he never even averaged 18 minutes per game. Carroll now ranks in the top five all-time in triples made per-40-minutes. He is one of those players who does not shy away, but rather steps up on big stages and he has seen plenty of them in his seven seasons with Madrid. This season, Carroll knocked down 13 triples during playoffs and Final Four. With a smoothest of strokes and regardless of if he is having his day or not, there always seems more surprising when Carroll misses a shot than when he makes one. That’s just the type of shooter he is – a tremendous one.