Although there is a clear favorite to take home the 2017-18 Alphonso Ford Top Scorer Trophy, with eight rounds to play plus the playoffs, a couple of contenders have not yet said their final words. The Ford Trophy is the only end-of-season Turkish Airlines EuroLeague award based purely on numbers. The award, named after the late Alphonso Ford, an elite-level scorer who shined in the late 1990s and early 2000s before falling victim to leukemia, is awarded annually to the player who averages the most points in the competition. Let's check out the top three contenders.
Alexey Shved, Khimki Moscow Region
The top scorer in the 7DAYS EuroCup last season, Alexey Shved has taken his scoring skills back to the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and is leading Khimki Moscow Region to a great season. Shved leads the league with 22.0 points per game, which makes him the front-runner to win the Ford Trophy. His scoring average is the best the competition has witnessed since Lynn Greer of Idea Slask Wroclaw averaged 25.1 points in the 2003-04 season. Moreover, Shved is on pace to break the single-season record of 609 points set by UNICS Kazan's Keith Langford last season. Shved leads the EuroLeague in three-pointers made (72) and fouls drawn (135) and is second in free throws made (98). He has scored more than 15 points in every game so far this season.
Luka Doncic, Real Madrid
Teen sensation Luka Doncic is enjoying a career-defining season by leading Real Madrid through its many injuries, including one that has kept last season's MVP Sergio Llull from playing at all so far. Doncic's scoring average of 17.9 points per game is second in the league. He got off to a huge start to the season by scoring at least 27 points in three of his first four games. Doncic had a career-high 33 points against Olympiacos Piraeus in Round 11 and has reached the 20-point mark seven other times this season. He leads the EuroLeague in free throws made (114) and is second in fouls drawn (129). Doncic is shooting well from all ranges: 81.4% on free throws, 60.9% on two-pointers and 33.9% on threes. He would become the youngest player to win the Ford Trophy.
Nando De Colo, CSKA Moscow
The 2015-16 EuroLeague MVP and Ford Trophy winner, Nando De Colo is ranked third this season with 17.0 points per game. He is both the best free throw shooter in the competition this season (95.9%) and in competition history (93.8%). De Colo threatened the competition record for consecutive free throws made when he made 51 in a row before missing intentionally when trying to force overtime late in Round 22. He has excelled from all shooting spots, in fact, making 56.3% of his two-point shots and 49.3% of his threes, as well. De Colo matched his career high by scoring 30 points against Valencia Basket in Round 22, meaning that he has reached the 20-point mark eight times this season.