Turkish Airlines EuroLeague teams have been playing at a faster pace than ever before. That has and allowed players to utilize some of their abilities more than before and helped bring the scoring to another level. With more room to operate, speed and quickness have been on display in recent years. Here is a selection of players whose quick feet make them to players to watch in the coming months.
Dogus Balbay, Anadolu Efes Istanbul
The veteran Anadolu Efes captain is one of the stingiest defenders in the competition. Balbay is the starting point of the Efes defense when he is on the floor. He possesses quickness and great lateral movement that enables him to recover quickly as well as to attack opposing ball-handlers and pressure them high and early. Balbay has never been one of his team's main offensive options, but he picks his opportunities to use that same quickness to get past his defenders and to the rim.
Luca Vildoza, TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz
The latest Baskonia hero, Vildoza's most recent EuroLeague campaign was cut short due to a shoulder injury and the resulting surgery after only 16 games. But Vildoza recovered in time for the Spanish League end-of-season tournament where he was the finals MVP and scored a buzzer-beating game-winner that lifted Baskonia to a long-awaited Spanish League crown. Vildoza always seems to play in a higher gear and gives Baskonia's game a pace that makes him very fun to watch.
Pierre Jackson, Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
Jackson returns for his third go in the EuroLeague with a third different club. He showcased what kind of scoring threat he is in the 2017-18 campaign with Maccabi Tel Aviv when he ranked seventh in the league with 14.5 points per game. This 1.80-meter scorer peppered the nets thanks to his unlimited range, but even more so thanks to his ball-handling skills and speed to get to the basket.
Wae Baldwin IV, FC Bayern Munich
After a season of EuroLeague adjustment in Piraeus, Baldwin enters this season as a go-to perimeter threat with Bayern. An energetic and explosive player, he does not shy from being aggressive on either end of the floor. When it comes to getting to the rim, Baldwin has a quick first step and a long stride that gets him through the lane to help him finish at the rim, often in crowd-pleasing fashion.
Lorenzo Brown, Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul
Brown had a better EuroLeague debut last season than his final numbers would suggest running the Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade offense, posting 12.3 points and 4.6 assists. Even though his most memorable heroics came from downtown, including a buzzer-beater game-winning triple against Valencia, Brown kept finding ways to use his combination of size and quickness to get buckets in bunches.
Maodo Lo, ALBA Berlin
A return to his hometown will make this a special season for Lo. With four campaigns and 113 EuroLeague appearances already under his belt, Lo now puts on an ALBA uniform where his playing style should blend very nicely into the team’s fast-paced up-tempo style of play. Lo has plenty of quickness and agility and a high basketball IQ that should come to the fore in ALBA's high-scoring offensive scheme.
Rodrigue Beaubois, Anadolu Efes Istanbul
Few players possess the combination of speed and shooting touch that Beaubois boasts. He is also one of the fastest players in the EuroLeague, whether with the ball speeding like a bullet to the other rim, or without it when getting himself open in a sweet spot for a transition triple. It is no accident that he earned the nickname "Roddy Buckets" early in his professional career. An important player on well-oiled top-ranked offense, Beaubois is an offensive option coaches are thrilled to have.
Facundo Campazzo, Real Madrid
A two-time EuroLeague champion, the diminutive Real Madrid floor general has a playing style like few others in the competition. Campazzo averaged 7.1 assists last season, and in the process tied the all-time EuroLeague single-game record with 19 in a road win over ALBA Berlin. In that game, Campazzo attempted only 3 field goals, which speaks volumes of the player he is. Campazzo has been unstoppable in the open floor, which has allowed him to elevate the running of the fast break to another exciting level.
Mike James, CSKA Moscow
No player has been as prolific in scoring baskets in the EuroLeague over the past two seasons as Mike James, who is the only player to top 1,000 points scored over the last two campaigns. After dropping 19.8 points per game for AX Armani Exchange Milan and running away with the Ford Trophy for the 2018-19 season, he had even better numbers last season with 21.1 per game. Like most guards, James can light it up from downtown, but what separates him from many others is the way he explodes to the rim with the ability to finish with vicious dunks. All combined it has made him one of the most exciting EuroLeague players to watch in recent years.
Shane Larkin, Anadolu Efes Istanbul
The Efes guard has been re-writing EuroLeague history books since the spring of 2019. After his impressive finish to the 2018-19 season, Larkin topped it all multiple times last season. He made history with a 49-point performance in a home win against Bayern to shatter the previous EuroLeague mark of 41. The last time he stepped on the EuroLeague floor, he dropped 40 points against Olympiacos, becoming the first player this century with two 40-point games to his name. In each of those games, he also knocked down 10 triples, tying another competition record. As quick with a ball in his hands as he is without it, Larkin makes slashing through defenses look easy and led the EuroLeague with 22.2 points per game last season.