BBL Team of the Year 2016

This year’s regular season gave us drama until the very last weekend of the campaign, capped with a Riders championship and a historic post-season berth for Force. With all eyes now on the playoffs, we’ve selected our BBL squad of the season and it was no easy task! We’ve opted for the less traditional 3 guard 2 forward starting 5 and included an 8-strong bench! Cheating? Yes, a little, but it’s our list…

While we wait on the league to announce their picks for the official Team of the Year, here’s our choices for the players who’ve left us impressed. We only considered players on teams who made the playoffs.

G Neil Watson [Leicester Riders]

While his backcourt mate Tyler Bernardini could have equally accepted the plaudits here, few guards control the tempo of the game as well as Watson. The Riders’ pointman once again showed his offensive versatility, scoring 15 points per game on 60.1% from 2pt range, 37.2 from beyond the arc and 80% at the line. Not just a scorer, the guard added 4.6 rebounds a game, 3.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists overseeing Leicester’s Championship and Trophy success.

Season Statistics
FG 2PT 3PT FT Rebounds
M MIN FGM-A FG% 2PM-A 2P% 3PM-A 3P% FTM-A FT% OFF DEF TOT AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Season 31 952:47 177 – – 48.4 107 – 178 60.1 70 – 188 37.2 48 – 60 80.0 0.4 2.8 3.3 4.6 1.6 0.1 3.0 1.9 15.2

G Rahmon Fletcher [Newcastle Eagles]

In many ways Fletcher embodies the Eagles ethos as well as any of the distinguished players on Newcastle’s roster, the tough guard gives 100% from tip to buzzer. One of the league’s top playmakers, Fletcher kept the opposition’s defence honest on a nightly basis with averages of 14.5 points and 5.6 assists per game: spectacular around the rim, the Eagles’ fan favourate shot a staggering 52.2% from the field.

Season Statistics
FG 2PT 3PT FT Rebounds
M MIN FGM-A FG% 2PM-A 2P% 3PM-A 3P% FTM-A FT% OFF DEF TOT AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Season 32 1010:09 179 – 343 52.2 150 – 258 58.1 29 – 85 34.1 76 – 98 77.6 0.4 2.8 3.2 5.6 1.6 0.1 2.3 1.5 14.5

G Marek Klassen [Leeds Force]

Perhaps the most influential mid-season pickup and possibly our most controversial pick, due to relatively small number of games he played. However, the Force guard rapidly established himself as one of the league’s elite. In just 14 matches, Klassen contributed 4 double-doubles and a triple-double on the way to season averages of 17.6 points, a league best 8.1 assists and 5.7 rebounds. The Canadian helped oversee a change a belief among the Leeds roster, finishing the campaign on an incredible run that ensured the first playoff berth in the franchise’s history.

Season Statistics
FG 2PT 3PT FT Rebounds
M MIN FGM-A FG% 2PM-A 2P% 3PM-A 3P% FTM-A FT% OFF DEF TOT AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Season 14 516:35 84 – – 40.6 40 – 84 47.6 44 – 123 35.8 34 – 48 70.8 1.0 4.7 5.7 8.1 2.1 0.1 4.2 2.8 17.6

F Kieron Achara [Glasgow Rocks]

The experienced Achara led Glasgow to an impressive regular season campaign, which saw the Rocks compete with the league’s best for playoff seeding. Earning multiple Player of the Month honours, the forward notched up 14 double-doubles and just missed out on finishing the season with the gold standard of efficiency: 50/40/90. The GB veteran was also one of the BBL’s best rim-protectors and added 2 assists per contest for good measure.

Season Statistics
FG 2PT 3PT FT Rebounds
M MIN FGM-A FG% 2PM-A 2P% 3PM-A 3P% FTM-A FT% OFF DEF TOT AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Season 32 916:27 174 – 351 49.6 145 – 278 52.2 29 – 73 39.7 95 – 109 87.2 1.8 6.6 8.5 2.1 0.6 1.7 1.5 1.4 14.8

F Kinu Rochford [Cheshire Phoenix]

Rochford began the season in impressive form and didn’t look back. Awarded the accolade of Molten BBL Player of the Month in January, Rochford established himself as one of the BBL’s best big men. There was barely a facet of the game the forward didn’t impact, Cheshire’s talisman finished the year with eye-popping statistics: giving Nix 17.7 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists a steal and block per game.

Season Statistics
FG 2PT 3PT FT Rebounds
M MIN FGM-A FG% 2PM-A 2P% 3PM-A 3P% FTM-A FT% OFF DEF TOT AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Season 28 866:22 210 – 405 51.9 207 – 389 53.2 3 – 16 18.8 73 – 115 63.5 3.7 6.3 9.9 3.0 1.0 1.0 3.1 4.1 17.7

Coach: Rob Paternostro [Leicester Riders]

Bench: TrayVonn Wright [Leicester Riders], Scott Martin [Newcastle Eagles], Charles Smith [Newcastle Eagles], Drew Sullivan [Leicester Riders], Perris Blackwell [Worcester Wolves], Jerrold Brooks [Sheffield Sharks], Antone Robinson [Sheffield Sharks], Demond Watt [London Lions] | Update: Tyler Bernardini [Leicester Riders] – just misses out on the start and we forgot to add him on the bench…

Have we got it right? Let us know who would make your team!

Image: C.Cox