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Hardy leads the Race to MVP

Race to MVP

Hardy leads the Race to MVP

Ayron Hardy is leading the race to the MVP award, but we take a look at the top 10 in the running as the season enters the closing stages.

My apologies to all the readers who have checked back for weekly M.V.P updated I have been away from writing for some time due to injury but am now getting back into the swing of things. In other news from next week the BBL Race to M.V.P will move to a Friday clearing a space for a new weekly feature coming to you weekly on Wednesdays (keep an eye out). As for the M.V.P the list will start to have some significant changes with winning become a major factor in positioning, in other-words if your favourite player isn’t at least contending for a playoff position don’t expect to see him on this list.

1. Ayron Hardy – Leicester Riders – 14 Wins 5 Losses – 15.8 p.p.g – 7.8 r.p.g – 1.3 b.p.g – 2.5 s.p.g – 4.8 a.p.g – 71% 2pt FG.

Thanks to a huge triple-double Ayron is now the league leader in assists, 6th in blocks, 2nd in steals, 12th in rebounds, 19th in points while hitting a league leading 71% from the field, his side are among the best teams at the top of the table and will look to contend come playoff’s. If there was a ‘Rookie of the Year’ award Hardy would have both it and M.V.P almost wrapped up, not only getting support from his team mates but also opposing coaches.

2. Richie Gordon – Worcester Wolves – 18 Wins 5 Losses – 18.7 p.p.g – 9.5 r.p.g – 1.3 b.p.g – 1.7 a.p.g – 1.2 s.p.g – 61% 2 pt FG.

Possibly the most dominant big-man in the league Richie’s averages are scorching, 18.7 points per game is good for 9th in the L and his rebound rate of 9.5 per game is also good for 5th. The Wolves continue to win thanks to his presence inside which helps draw defenders from great outside shooters such as Tommy Freeman (below) and Arnas Kaslauskas.

3. Joe Chapman – Newcastle Eagles – 20 Wins 2 Losses – 20.9 p.p.g – 4.3 a.p.g – 3.6 r.p.g – 55% 2pt FG – 40% 3pt FG.

For a team that has already qualified for the playoffs, Joe Chapman has been the most consistent and dominant player, his ability to drain shots from almost anywhere while also contribute not only a ton of points but also 4.3 assists, good for 8th in the league and 3.6 rebounds per shows his all-around ability to do what matters to get his team the win. His sides 20 win 2 loss record will be hard to match by any team.

4. Cameron Rundles – Leicester Riders – 14 Wins 5 Losses – 18.8 p.p.g – 4.7 a.p.g – 3.9 r.p.g – 51% 2pt FG – 36% 3pt FG.

The Riders guard is among the league leaders in scoring despite having Weirzbicki, Sullivan and Hardy all on his team, he is a leader and his 4.7 assists per game are good for joint 2nd in the league behind his teammate. His 36% shooting from deep isn’t bad either. Cameron and Ayron are key reasons why the Riders have possibly the best defence in the league, conceding a league lowest 78 points per game and blocking a league leading 3.7 shots per game.

5. Jeremy Bell – Plymouth Raiders – 15 Wins 5 Losses – 19.7 p.p.g –4.5 r.p.g – 2.7 a.p.g – 1.8 s.p.g – 45% 2pt FG.

Jeremy Bell has shown why he is the current holder of the BBL M.V.P trophy his ability to get his team the win against almost any team is obvious, his 12 point, 6 rebounds and 8 assists outing against the current league leaders won his team that game (along with Paul Williams 19 point, 19 rebounds, but more on that later). His side currently sits in 3rd place and has giving the Eagles just their 2nd loss of the season.

6. Tommy Freeman – Worcester Wolves – 18 Wins 5 Losses – 19.8 p.p.g – 4.1 r.p.g – 2.7 a.p.g – 90% FT 39% 3pt FG.

One of the league’s most prolific scorers from anywhere on the court, Tommy is 2nd in the league in free-throw shooting and 6th in three point percentages, he is the league’s 3rd leading scorer with 19.8 points per game, while having Sherrad Prezzie-Blue and Richie Gordon on his side, both of whom are in the league’s top 20 scorers. When asked who he is backing for M.V.P of Twitter he said ‘I gotta believe in myself. A lot of great players. More concerned about get wins in March, April, and May’ good to see he is focused on winning more than anything.

7. Mychal Green – Glasgow Rocks – 12 Wins 11 Losses – 18.5 p.p.g – 4.8 a.p.g – 1.4 s.p.g – 5.7 r.p.g – 47% 2pt FG.

Despite a recent injury his play before he went down was solid, his ability to keep his team in playoff position despite injuries to key players truly earned him a spot on this list. His huge 18.5 points per game and joint-league-leading 4.8 assists is reason to see why Mychal is one of the best players in the BBL.

8. Paul Williams – Plymouth Raiders – 15 Wins 5 Losses – 15.0 p.p.g – 12.4 r.p.g – 1.5 b.p.g – 0.9 s.p.g – 57% 2pt FG.

One of the BBL’s finest rebounders who posted consecutive 19 points, 19 rebound and 20 point, 20 rebound performances is deserving of a ranking in the Race to M.V.P especially when the 19 point, 19 rebounds came against the league leading Eagles who aren’t exactly short on big rebounders (Thompson, Defoe, Flournoy) and are the league’s 2nd best rebounding team. He then followed that game with a 20 point, 20 rebound game against the bottom of the league, Durham Wildcats.

9. Demarius Bolds – MK Lions – 8 Wins 14 Losses – 24.2 p.p.g – 4.6 a.p.g – 6.3 r.p.g – 3.1 s.p.g – 52% 2pt FG.

Demarius continues to be a statistical beast, but his team keeps piling up the losses, if his side’s record was better he would be at least top 5 in this list. He leads the league in point per game by a significant margin but his side sits in joint 7th position, desperately clinging to a playoff spot. Daniel Northern Tweeted last week ‘I’m backing the best player in the league Demarius Bolds’ he may have the support of his team mates but their record is just not good enough to get him the award.

10. Bill Cole – Cheshire Jets – 6 Wins 14 Losses – 18.7 p.p.g – 9.2 r.p.g – 2.4 b.p.g – 1.85 a.p.g – 1.0 s.p.g – 58% 2pt FG.

They are still contending for the final playoff position thanks in part to the play of this man, his averages of 18.7 points per game and 9.2 rebounds equate to a near double-double while he also leads the league in blocks with 2.4 per game. Like Demarius above him, if his team’s record was better so would his chances of getting M.V.P.

Honourable Mention:

Daniel Northern (Lions) 14.4 points, 11.5 rebounds per game, 2.2 blocks.
Charles Smith (Eagles) 18.8 points, 1.8 steals, 5.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists,
Justin Dobbins (Lions) 15.8 points, 9.2 rebounds, 0.8 blocks, 60% 2pt FG.
Matthew Schneck (Jets) 16.9 points, 10.8 rebounds, 44% 2pt FG.
Adam Brown (Jets) 19.1 points, 4.1 assists, 2.2 steals, 81% FT.
Mike Tuck (Sharks) 15.1 points, 10.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 52% 2pt FG.

Feel free to criticise the rankings in the comments section below, if you feel I missed someone or someone is better than someone else I want to know about it! Check back in two weeks for the updated rankings.

Key – p.p.g – points per game, a.p.g – assists per game, b.p.g – blocks per game, r.p.g – rebounds per game, s.p.g – steals per game.

Sam Raphael Chadwick is currently an Assistant Quantity Surveyor, Part-Time University Student and Co-Head Coach of the Solent Kestrels Under 14’s, I also contribute for www.ballineurope.com you can find me on twitter @chadwick9

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