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TIB Power Ranking: Youngsters playing for EMBL teams (December 27th)

Much like last season we at TIB will again publish our several Power Rankings throughout the season. Our ranking is based on the TIB rating which is calculated using the players’ stats and is somewhat similar to the standard efficiency rating but also takes into account the level of competition the player competes in and whether the stats came in a win or loss for their team.


Here’s the Top 6 of our Power Ranking of the season with the Youngsters (born in 1999 or later) playing for an EMBL team.

The reigning Belgian Youngster of the Year continues to up his level of play as he is currently the undisputed leader for the Leuven Bears, leading them in rebounding, passing and in steals, while he’s second on the team in scoring. He’s also the player who receives the most playing time from his coach Eddy Casteels with 38.7 mpg so far. Unfortunately for him the rest of the team is yet to follow his example and they have lost all three of their games this season. D’espallier notched his best all-rounded game in the loss at Kangoeroes when he recorded 10 pts, 8 rebs, 6 asts & 4 stls, while playing all 40 minutes. This weekend he dropped 15 pts to lead Leuven in their close loss against Mons.

The 20 year old Montenegrin Forward Djurisic has been a nice addition to the EMBL as he leads Brussels in rebounding and is second on the team in scoring with his 12.6 ppg. He had his best game yesterday evening when Brussels hosted Charleroi at Palais 12 and came away with the win thanks to his 22 points & 10 rebounds Double-Double in 31 minutes of action. He finished in double figures scoring 4 times already this season although it needs to be said that his outside shooting still needs some improvement as he’s only knocking them down at 25%.

A youngster we definitely expect to grace our Power Ranking throughout the entire season is 20 year old Bleijenbergh and so far he hasn’t disappointed. In 4 EMBL games and 10 EuroCup games Bleijenbergh has notched 8 games scoring in double figures and even recorded a Double-Double in the EMBL game against Limburg when he finished with 13 pts & 11 rebs. He has especially boosted his 3 point shooting this season and upped his percentage to an impressive 39.7%. With the departure of Speedy Smith, Bleijenbergh was pushed to the Point Guard position these past couple of games and proved to be up to the task, leading the team in assists. The acquisition of newcomer Gibbs will now put him back to his natural position on the wings where we fully expect him to continue to create on the pick-‘n-roll.

  • Amar SyllaOostende: 25.8 Rtpg
    • Season Stats: 6.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.3 bpg (9 games)
    • W-L: 4-5

Undoubtedly blessed with excellent physical abilities the 19 year old Senegalese Sylla has been blowing hot and cold so far this season. While he’s performing solidly in the EMBL with three games in double figures scoring, he has clearly struggled to have a big impact on the court in Oostende’s European games in the Champions League. Especially his shooting has been a huge working point this season as he’s only shooting 38.8% from 2-pt range and an abominable 18.2% from behind the arc! Despite his shooting woes the strength of his physical abilities have still launched him into our Power Ranking as he’s 2nd on the team in rebounding and leads the team in shot blocking with 1.3 bpg (3rd in the league).

Despite having missed several games already (first due to an injury and then by testing positive to covid-19) Bratanovic has still been able to show off his skills in the two games he disputed so far. In the tough loss against Brindisi in the Champions League Bratanovic played a total of 15 minutes and finished with 9 pts on a perfect 3-for-3 FG shooting & 2-for-2 FT shooting, while also adding 3 rebounds. With his 83% shooting from the field so far this season it’s tough to find fault with Bratanovic’s performances and we can only hope he can shrug off his health issues of the early season and continue to show us his capabilities in the many games still to come.

Unfortunately this will be the first and last time this season that we’ll include Samardzic in our Power Ranking as he sustained an injury early on in the game at Antwerp and will have to sit out the rest of the season. It’s a huge shame as the 21 year old Point Guard had put the young Charleroi team on his shoulders and had been crucial in their opening games of the season. He helped them to their one and only win of the season so far against Brussels when he finished with 14 pts, 4 rebs, 3 asts & 2 stls in 31 mins. He scored a season-high 18 points in the loss at Oostende where he played a total of 39 minutes. We wish him all the best and hope to see him back stronger than ever next season.

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