Riders dominate end of season awards

Riders_Horse_LogoLeicester Riders completed a historic treble this season and their dominance was reflected in the end of season awards.

The Coach of the Year accolade was claimed by Rob Paternostro for the second time while the player equivalent was also won for a second time by Drew Sullivan.

Riders’ head-coach first won the award in 2008-09 – his first season in charge at the club – and then led his side to their best season last year but a first club Championship and treble tops the lot.

Sullivan led the way for Leicester in numerous departments and his defensive intensity set the tone for his side as they became renowned for the defensive strength throughout the season. The 33 year-old, who captained GB at last year’s Olympics, had a stellar campaign, finishing as the club’s leading scorer with 509 points at an average of 14.5 ppg whilst also averaging 7.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game.

The Player of the Year was joined in the BBL team of the Year by team-mate Jay Couisnard, who finished as the runner-up in the MVP voting and also earned the Cup Final MVP award in January. The American was a decisive factor in a number of games for the Riders, in particular their overtime victory in Manchester when Couisnard netted two buzzer-beaters to get the win.

Travis Holmes finished the season in sensational form which helped him take third in the MVP race whilst taking a place in the team of the year.  The Surrey Heat guard and twin of Chavis, finished with an impressive 20.6 ppg average helped by an incredible 44 point haul against Cheshire.

The final two spots on the team of the year were taken by Kareem Maddox and Matt Schneck who had a personal battle in the stakes for the best rebounder. It was the BBL rookie who came out on top with an average of 10.7 per game while Schneck complimented a healthy 16.5 points per game with an average of 10.1 rebounds.

The Americans were both ‘walking double-doubles’ for their teams with the Plymouth Raiders’ centre opening the season with 10 straight games with double-figures in points and rebounds while Maddox produced arguably the stat-line of the season with 26p/20r/4a/3st/4bl against Surrey in a run of ten straight double-doubles.

The BBL also announced the British team of the Year and Defensive team of the Year and they were both as follows:

British Team– Orlan Jackman; Drew Sullivan; Sam Cricelli; Anthony Rowe and Mike Tuck
Defensive Team– Chavis Holmes; Jay Couisnard; Zaire Taylor; Drew Sullivan and Kareem Maddox

Here are some of the crucial stats from the season via the BBL and Sporting Pulse.

Most points: Charles Smith– 691; Best average: Chez Marks– 22.8;
Most in a game: Charles Smith– 49 v Durham
Best FG%: Demetrius Jemison– 61*; Best 3PT%: Arnas Kazlauskas– 44.6*;
Best FT%: BJ Holmes– 88.3*
Most FG made: Charles Smith– 261; Most 3PT made: Joe Chapman– 108;
Most FT made: Tayo Ogedengbe– 134
Most rebounds: Kareem Maddox– 376; Best avge: Kareem Maddox– 10.7;
Most in a game: Kareem Maddox– 20 v Surrey
Most assists: Joe Chapman– 201; Best average: Ralph Bucci– 5.5
Most steals: Chavis Holmes– 95; Best average: Travis Holmes– 3.0
Most blocks: Alif Bland– 76; Best average: Alif Bland– 2.4
Most double-doubles: Matt Schneck– 22;
Triple-doubles:  Ralph Bucci v London (10p/11r/12a) & Joe Chapman v Durham (18p/10r/11a)

*minimum 100 attempts

Sunday round-up in the BBL


Leicester Riders moved back level on points with Newcastle at the top of the table with a 72-51 win at home to the Sheffield Sharks. Drew Sullivan led the way with a game-high 21 points while Olu Babalola had 13 for the visitors, who were restricted to shooting a below-par 32% from the field. Sheffield had an early four point lead but this was cancelled out when Sullivan slammed the ball home to tie the game at 16 at the end of the first. A 7-0 run at the latter stages of the second, consisting of four points from Pavol Losonsky and a three point play from Jamell Anderson, helped the Riders into a 32-28 advantage at the interval. The home side increased their defensive efforts in the second half as they contained the Sharks to just 23 further points to complete a routine victory in a game to be televised on Sky Sports.

Glasgow Rocks made third place their own with a 94-84 victory over Plymouth which secured the head-to-head series against their rivals. The home side did the damage in the second quarter when they outscored their opponents 30-18 and the Raiders struggled to get back in the game. Michael Ojo continued his fine run of form with a 30 point haul but 24 points from Donald Robinson and a further 20 from player-coach Sterling Davis helped the Rocks to their sixth consecutive win. Plymouth did close the gap to five points in the fourth quarter but a baron spell of no points in four minutes proved costly as they now lie in fifth position.

Durham Wildcats joined a host of teams on 16 points after an 89-84 success at home to the London Lions. Keith Page was the star for the hosts with a 29 point haul which included 8/9 from the FT line while Mike Baldarelli and Brad Guinane contributed 19 and 15 points respectively. After a tight first ten minutes, the home side began to establish their authority and a 12-4 burst towards the end of the third gave them a 71-60 advantage to take into the fourth. The lead peaked at 16 points at 80-64 before the visiting Lions roared back into life with a 15-1 tear capped by a Tayo Ogedengbe dunk. Page sealed the win with four free throws down the stretch to give his side their eighth win of the season and hope of making the play-offs.

Here is the current table in the BBL Championship: