In a possible sign of the times, this week’s BBL All-Star Five includes a former NBA star alongside an array of shooting big men, just days after an exciting Sky Sports package was announced for the league covering the next two seasons.
Marc Kwedi – Glasgow Rocks
The Rocks got their campaign off to a winning start at the Emirates Arena, with the 6’7” Frenchman near unstoppable as he made his first seven three-pointers en route to a game-high 26 points. He eventually missed one, when the game was already settled with five minutes to play, but added a perfect 5-5 at the free-throw line along with six rebounds, five assists and two steals in an eye-catching BBL debut.
DeAndre Liggins – London Lions
The former Cleveland Cavalier and teammate of Lebron James played all 40 minutes as London recorded their first win of the season, scoring a weekend-high of 32 points in a grudge match against B. Braun Sheffield Sharks. Liggins lit up the Copper Box Arena, shooting 7-11 from beyond the arc – including one on the halftime buzzer as Lions established an early 20-point lead – with his customary lockdown on defence, as well as seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks.
William Lee – Leicester Riders
Leicester’s 6’9” American forward shone on Sunday as they overcame the Lions to complete a big weekend double-header. Lee hit 18 points and, although he brings a reputation as a shooter, made 8-14 on the inside, completing a double-double with 13 rebounds and adding five assists. Riders were fast out of the blocks as he scored twice in a 6-0 start and he had 12 of his points in a first half that they won 53-31.
Jordan Williams – Worcester Wolves
There was another double-double for British forward Jordan Williams, who finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds as Worcester beat Surrey 86-85 in a nail-biter. He scored six of his points inside the final five minutes, including consecutive buckets with around three minutes to play, giving Wolves an 82-76 cushion that they needed down the stretch. Williams demonstrated his credentials as a Point Forward, adding five assists to that performance, while scoring eight of his points from midrange.
Will Neighbour – Plymouth Raiders
Plymouth’s sharpshooting 6’11” British forward was almost unplayable as he demonstrated his full repertoire of scoring in Plymouth’s comprehensive defeat of Surrey on Sunday. He scored 18 points, including hitting three of his four long range attempts, going 7-9 (77%) from the field in total and adding six rebounds and five assists. He had matched that (18 points, 3-4 from downtown) two days prior in a South-West derby win over Bristol Flyers.
Off the bench: Rex Pflueger (Newcastle Eagles), Connor Cashaw (Surrey Scorchers), Josh McSwiggan (Worcester Wolves), Boban Jacdonmi (Glasgow Rocks), Dirk Williams (London Lions), Conner Washington (Leicester Riders), Skyler White (Surrey Scorchers)