These five players impressed enough to earn a notable mention after another thrilling week of action in the BKT EuroCup.
Roll call, Round 7: Youngsters, EuroCup rookies stepped up
Ruzic showed his promise against Paris
Joventut Badalona may have lost 94-101 in overtime to Paris Basketball, which improved its record to 7-0, but youngster Michael Ruzic certainly made a good impression for the depleted hosts. The Spanish side has been dealing with a number of injuries this season and has thus leaned on its ever-impressive youth academy, with the 17-year-old Ruzic having his best game to date in Round 7. The Croatian finished with a career-high 17 points on good shooting splits, having gone 5-of-7 on two-pointers, 2-of-2 from deep and 1-of-2 from the free-throw line. Ruzic also grabbed 5 rebounds, dished 2 assists and made 2 blocks, all of which are career-best marks in what was just his third game in the BKT EuroCup.
Popovic went to new heights for Lietkabelis
Nikola Popovic had his best EuroCup game to date in Round 7, as the 7bet-Lietkabelis Panevezys big man posted career highs in points (18) and PIR (23) as his team beat Turk Telekom Ankara 93-86 in overtime. Impressively, 8 of those points came in the final quarter of regulation, with the 26-year-old Popovic playing a key role in keeping Lietkabelis close before the hosts had a late surge to force the extra period. Having only joined the Lithuanian side midway through last season, with his EuroCup debut coming in Round 12 of the 2022-23 campaign, Popovic seems to have really found his feet at Lietkabelis, with the Serbian going from a career-high 15 points in Round 6 against Mincidelice JL Bourg en Bresse before then bettering that mark with the 18 he netted against Turk Telekom one week later.
March helped Prometey bounce back
Prometey Slobozhanske returned to winning ways after a couple of losses by downing Hapoel Shlomo Tel Aviv 98-89 at home. Ronald March made sure his team was highly competitive until the end, helping Prometey in many different ways. He played more than 31 minutes and finished the game with 14 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, 5 fouls drawn and a PIR of 19. He had 4 points and 1 block in the final quarter, in which Prometey managed to keep a safe margin until the final buzzer. March is averaging 12.7 points on 59.5% two-pointers but is doing better at home, posting 14.8 points on average and hitting 16 of his 24 two-pointers (66.7%).
Prkacin had an all-around performance
Dreamland Gran Canaria remained undefeated in the 2023-24 EuroCup season after downing Slask Wroclaw 81-77 in Round 7. Roko Prkacin had his best game of the season, coming off the bench to get 9 points on 4-of-4 two-pointers. He added 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals for a PIR of 17, a new career high. Prkacin, whose father Niksa played in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague for nine seasons, ranks fifth overall in two-point shooting, hitting 82.4% of his attempts inside the arc (14-of-17). Prkacin left the game when Gran Canaria led 77-60 and his team was +14 with him on the court, which is a good sign going forward.
Tucker kept leading Reyer's comeback
Umana Reyer Venice started the season with a 1-4 record but has now won its last two games, with Rayjon Tucker having had a lot with it. Reyer downed Wolves Vilnius 77-93 in Round 7 and Tucker was everywhere, getting 14 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, zero turnovers and 5 fouls drawn for a PIR of 21. He helped Reyer have extremely good ball circulation: 18 assists and just 5 team turnovers. Tucker played really well against Cedveita Olimpija Ljubljana in Round 6, too: 19 points, 6 rebounds, 6 fouls drawn and a PIR of 21. Tucker was on the court for over 31 minutes in both games, showing he is one of Reyer's main pillars this season.