Aussie big Aron Baynes has continued his break-out year with Ikaros in Greece. He dropped 23 points and reeled in 8 boards against PAOK in a narrow five-point loss, going down 81-76. On January 4, Baynes had 11 points and 9 rebounds in a big win over Ilysiakos 75-69.
Baynes is still trying to find some consistency, as is his team, Ikaros Kallitheas, who have slipped to second last with a 3-11 record. Baynesy’s numbers have peaked and troughed as the season has gone on. He’s more than proven he can post big numbers, averaging 13.9 points and 8.5 boards, scoring into the 20s on a number of occasions. Can he start to deliver those numbers week in and week out? Time will tell.
Spanish hoops have acquired another Aussie with Brad Newley making his way to Valencia, where Boomers teammate AJ Ogilvy currently resides. Newley enjoyed an impressive debut, dropping 11 points and pulling in five boards in 18 minutes in his first dress with his new club – already better minutes and better numbers he’s posted at his previous club. Good move by the swingman.
His teammate A.J. Ogilvy is also putting up solid numbers, averaging just under 10 points and 3 rebounds a game in Eurocup action. His numbers are similar in the Spanish League.
Another man performing well in limited minutes in Spain is Joe Ingles. His team, Regal FC Barcelona, are sitting in second place. In 12 minutes of Euroleague action each outing (10 games), Ingles is averaging just on 4 points, shooting 61 per cent from the field.
It’s no secret that Penny Taylor is continuing her stellar European career, recently named Eurobasket.com’s Player of the Year for 2011. Her 2011/12 season is a continuation of her dominate previous season. Taylor is averaging just under 18 points per game in Euroleague play and just over 18 points in the Turkish League for Fenerbahce, who continue to dominate. She grabs 4.1 boards on the Euroleague hardwood and a shade under 6 in Turkey.
The three highest-ranked teams in the Euroleague have Aussies with the ball in their hands. Wisla Can-Pak sit in first place in Pool C with Erin Phillips at the point. She averages 15 points (second in her team) 3 assists and 3 boards in Euroleague play, leading her team to a 9-2 start.
In Pool A, Lauren Jackson’s Ros Casares in Spain also enjoyed a 9-2 starts. LJ has been playing just under 20 minutes a game in the Euroleague and is averaging just over 6 points and 3 rebounds. One feels that the superstar is just starting to warm up as the season clips along.
With Penny’s Fenerbahce enjoying a 9-0 start in Pool B, the stage is set for an all-Aussie affair at Final Four time.