EuroView: Broekhoff and Motum to shine in Euroleague

It’s that time of year when basketball kicks off all around the globe and in the next fortnight most of the prominent European leagues will be well underway.

Australia’s presence in Spain took a hit over the summer with Chris Goulding and Nate Jawai returning home. However, Brad Newley will again suit up for Herbalife Gran Canaria, with the addition of college standouts Dan Trist and Mitch McCarron to Spanish LEB Gold sides Oviedo and Palencia respectively, they are sure to add intrigue.

Just this week Trist starred in his Spanish debut with 17 points (8/10 FG) and 2 rebounds in 30 minutes. While McCarron also looked settled in Spain as he put up 13 points (5/9 FG), 4 rebounds, and 3 assists to go with two threes.

Mitch McCarron – Courtesy Metro State University of Denver

Newley however will be Australia’s shining light in Spain and indeed Europe, coming off a spectacular year in which he was Australia’s best-performing player in Europe. the South Australian was a force in the Eurocup and will hope to lead Gran Canaria one step further and take home the title after falling short at the final hurdle last season.

Elsewhere in Europe Ryan Broekhoff and Brock Motum have both changed teams this offseason in the pursuit of Euroleague basketball and the opportunity to press their respective claims for an NBA deal following their NBA Summer League performances. The two won’t have to wait long to meet as Broekhoff’s Lokomotiv Kuban will face off with Motum’s BC Zalgiris Kaunas on October 23 in Euroleague Group C action. Broekhoff joins a powerful Lokomotiv Kuban lineup, coming off a semi-final appearance in the VTB United League.

“I come to ‘Loko’, to help the team achieve great success in the VTB United League and Euroleague,”

-Ryan Broekhoff

Like Motum, Broekhoff will have to be utilised as a versatile inside-outside threat to transition his game to the VTB United League. Motum will be joining a team that knows only success, winning the last 5 Lietuvos krepšinio lyga (LKL League) titles and sweeping the entire 2015 playoffs. BC Zalgiris were eliminated from the round of 16 last season in Euroleague and with the addition of Motum they will be hoping their domestic dominance translates to Euroleague success.

David Andersen is the sole Australian representative in the French Pro A League, and the veteran will look to cement a spot in the rotation after a somewhat difficult season. The 35-year old still has plenty to give, despite being in and out of the main rotation for ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne throughout last year. In 32 games, Andersen averaged 9.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 19.8 minutes. He adds great firepower off the bench and is more than capable of starting. The bodies of the ASVEL players will not be burdened by additional rigour of European basketball this season and this will certainly assist Andersen as he looks to show the form that was apparent for parts of the 2014/15 season.

Ben Madgen is trying his game in Europe this season, albeit in the less known Belgian national league. The former Sydney King star has enjoyed a flying start, delivering 23 points and 5 rebounds in a home win to start the season, while also hitting four three-pointers for good measure. Madgen followed up the performance with 15 points and 5 rebounds, seemingly at home with Verviers-Pepinster. Verviers-Pepinster failed to make the playoffs last season and Madgen is sure to help the struggling team up the rankings if his performances thus far are anything to go by.

List of Aussies in Europe 2015/16