There was a tight finish this season in the race to finish with the most BBL Team of the Week appearances.
Kareem Maddox – Newcastle Eagles (Weeks 3,7,12,14,15,23,30)
The Newcastle Eagles forward led the race for much of the season, but was almost caught right on the line. However, he produced the goods just when it mattered, by pulling out a seventh appearance of the season, some seven weeks after his previous slot, to cling on to the top of the podium. Maddox was the only player to feature seven times during a fantastic first year in British Basketball since making the switch from Zwolle to Newcastle last summer. He has been the Molten BBL Player of the Month, has entertained with his scoring, rebounding, blocking and dunking ability. Indeed skills which have been widely recognised and appreciated. The high flying forward can now add finishing the campaign with more BBL Team of the Week honours than any of his peers to his rapidly expanding list of accomplishments.
Drew Sullivan – Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders (Weeks 7,16,21,22,26,30)
The Molten BBL Player of the Year was just pipped to the post by Maddox, but his six appearances re-enforced why he took the accolade of being crowned MVP of the league. His performances for Riders have been consistently at a very high level, regularly featuring on our BBL Team of the Week bench when not in the starting line-up. But, as Riders’ head coach Rob Paternostro correctly pointed out, it’s not about the numbers with ‘Sulli’, but more the all-round influence. He may have not had the most appearances with six to his name, but his leadership is immeasurable in what has already been a stunning season for the player and his club.
Alex Owumi – Worcester Wolves (Weeks 2,4,6,21,24,28)
Having been in the running to grab top spot in our chart, the sharp-shooting Wolves danger man could only muster one appearance during the last six weeks. But, whilst he didn’t get to the top, he was the only other player along with Sullivan and Maddox to get six or more appearances. Owumi can feel aggrieved at not landing some silverware with Wolves, or at least contesting a Final, since he has had an outstanding first season. But semi-final exits in the BBL Trophy when flying in February and also a quarter-final exit in the play-offs is likely to leave a bitter-sweet feeling in his mouth during the summer months.
Joe Chapman – Newcastle Eagles (Weeks 4,7,18,20,24)
The man nicknamed ‘Mighty Joe’ came mightily close to clinching top spot, even though he eventually came fourth in the chart. He had some excellent performances in the closing weeks of the season, but just couldn’t manage to squeeze into the starting five with some appearances on the bench. He is perhaps now enjoying his best form of an up and down year and he could yet prove to be the ”X-Factor’ for Eagles as they bid to retain their BBL Play-Off crown.
Charles Smith – Newcastle Eagles (10,18,20,27,28)
A late arrival towards the head of our leader board, the Eagles’ veteran forward loves the business end of the season and he is showing he still has the legs and class to be a match-winner on any given night. Two appearances in the last four line-ups of the season took his season tally to an impressive five and ominously for Surrey Heat, he’s in good form ahead of the play-off semi-finals this weekend.
Travis Holmes – Surrey Heat (24,25,26,28,30)
However, when it comes to actual form, Heat have the unbeatable and too-hot-to-handle Travis Holmes. His performances in the last seven weeks have been absolutely sublime. He finishes with five appearances, despite not playing a full season. Incredibly all of them came in the last seven weeks of the campaign and he deservedly finished in the final line-up during Week 30, as he helped his team into the last four of the play-offs.
Chavis Holmes – Surrey Heat (Weeks 1,3,5,10,12)
It’s fitting that there is a kind of brotherly equilibrium when it comes to our chart in that Chavis Holmes also finishes with five appearances to his name. His best work came at the start of the campaign, compared to the mirror opposite of Travis who has been electrifying of late. Having said that, Chavis has been the true leader of Heat all season and maintained an impressively high level of performance.
Mike Tuck – One Health Sharks Sheffield (Weeks 5,11,22,23,26)
It’s hard to find any more consistent player during the last few years in the BBL than the Sharks’ big man. He was the cornerstone of their BBL Trophy triumph and helped drive them towards the play-off quarter-finals as they finally erased the memory of their awful first half of the season. But, as the week appearance numbers of Tuck highlight, it’s been a consistently solid season for him individually.
Gareth Murray – Glasgow Rocks (Weeks 1,8,13,17, 28)
There will be a tinge of regret and unfinished business for the Scottish forward after he picked up a fifth appearance of the season and also a very creditable third place finish with his team. But, the Rocks endured misery as they crashed out of the play-offs in the quarter-finals at the hands of Raiders and that may well overshadow the satisfaction Murray should have with an array of excellent displays.