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 for all players competing for an EMBL team this season.
- Skylar Spencer – Mons-Hainaut: 64.6 Rtpg
- Season Stats: 13.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.7 spg, 1.9 bpg (7 games)
- W-L: 6-1
After 5 EMBL games and 2 Champions League Qualification games we can say that Mons has found themselves a top-notch big man for the season with 26 year old Skylar Spencer. Although usually coming off the bench, Spencer has had a huge impact on the floor for Mons with his defensive presence and is amongst the league’s leaders in rebounding, steals and shot blocking.
On top of his defensive prowess he also has a knack of freeing himself up in the paint for easy finishes down low and although I haven’t been keeping count I’m pretty sure he (along with Fall Faye from Antwerp) has the most alley-oop dunk finishes in the league. It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise then to see that he’s scoring 70.4% of his FG attempts. Obviously it doesn’t hurt that he has one of the best point guards on his squad with Durham, but still… quite impressive.
In the 7 games he competed in so far he has finished in double-figures scoring each time and has recorded 2 Double-Doubles along the way with 14 pts & 10 rebs in EMBL action against Leuven and 14 pts & 15 rebs in the Champions League Qualification game against Bakken Bears.
- Tim Lambrecht – Spirou Charleroi: 63.4 Rtpg
- Season Stats: 18.4 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.6 spg, 1.0 bpg (5 games)
- W-L: 1-4
It’s been 5 seasons now that the lanky forward has been peaking through the door of the EMBL, hoping to get his shot at the highest level in Belgium, all the while being a dominant force in TDM1 with Gistel-Oostende.
With the move to Spirou Charleroi and back under the tutelage of his former coach at Gistel-Oostende Sam Rotsaert, the still only 22 year old Lambrecht has finally gotten his shot this season… and needless to say he has not only thrown the door to the Belgian elites wide open but has actually tore it off its hinges.
Given the green light on the offensive end for the young Charleroi squad Lambrecht is currently second in the league in scoring as he’s shooting a phenomenal 63.6% (14/22) from behind the arc and 90.9% from the FT-line. He’s also 4th in the league in rebounding and has recorded 2 Double-Double’s so far this season with 26 pts & 10 rebs (along with 3 asts & 2 blks) in their only win of the season against Brussels, and a 23 pts & 11 rebs Double-Double (along with 4 stls & 2 blks) at Antwerp.
- Silas Melson – Limburg United: 47.8 Rtpg
- Season Stats: 19.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.0 apg, 2.5 spg (2 games)
- W-L: 0-2
With only two games in the books so far for Limburg United it’s difficult to correctly judge their performances but if those two games are any indication then it’s safe to say that Silas Melson will be their leading man this season.
Being one of only two US players on the squad Melson is looked at for point production and so far he’s clearly doing a solid job at that, averaging 19.0 ppg which leads the league. He looks especially adept from behind the arc where he’s currently knocking them down at 41.7%. Besides his scoring he’s also providing a lot of energy on the defensive end and leads the league in steals with 2.5 spg. Unfortunately for him his individual performances haven’t been enough for Limburg United as they’re still looking for their first win of the season.
Melson recorded his best game in the loss at Antwerp when he finished with a nice all-rounded 23 pts, 2 rebs, 3 asts & 3 stls in 33 minutes of action. We will see if he can keep this up for the remainder of the season and gets Limburg United some wins along the way.
- Alexandre Libert – Spirou Charleroi: 47.5 Rtpg
- Season Stats: 13.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 7.2 apg, 2.4 spg (5 games)
- W-L: 1-4
At 30 years old Libert must feel particularly old on this season’s young Charleroi squad. Feeling old or not, as the most experienced player he’s certainly looked at to lead the way for this young bunch. And leading the way is exactly what he’s doing.
Always known as a shooting threat Libert seems to have converted himself into an excellent passer feeding his young wolves into a frenzy and with the departure of Speedy Smith is currently leading the league with his 7.2 apg. Defensively he’s also showing the right path to take with his never give up mentality. He continues to fight for every ball and is currently second in the league in steals. Unfortunately his shooting has taken a little dip as he’s uncharacteristically shooting only 25% from behind the arc. It hasn’t stopped him from being the second best scorer on the squad though as he has finished in double-figures three times so far this season, including a season-high 22 points in yesterday’s game at Brussels.
With a leader like Libert giving the example on the court and a coach like Rotsaert on the sidelines, I have no doubt that Charleroi’s youngsters will progress exponentially and will be a tough opponent for any EMBL club throughout the rest of the season.
I know, I know. Most of y’all are probably wondering how Welsh has ended up in the top 6 of our Power Ranking. And I admit, at first glance his stats don’t seem to be anything all that special. And yet, here he is… and honestly I don’t think he’ll drop all that much throughout the rest of the season either, especially considering that he’s still adapting to the European style of playing.
So why is he on here? Well, although Welsh is far from a spectacular player and doesn’t really do anything eye-popping, he actually rarely does anything wrong either. He’s always present on the boards, he gets into the passing lanes, occasionally finds his teammates for easy buckets, rarely turns the ball over, doesn’t commit many fouls… and always remains within his game. Only doing the things he knows he’s capable of doing. It’s why he’s shooting an amazing 72% on his 2pt shots, a respectable 33.3% on his threes and a very solid 85.7% from the FT-line and he does it all in limited playing time with only 23.0 mpg.
He has finished in double-figures scoring 5 times this season, including a 13 pts & 12 rebs Double-Double at Tenerife in the 2019-’20 Champions League Playoffs in September. Last week he had his best offensive game of the season for Oostende as he dropped 20 pts in the win at Charleroi, doing it on 9-11 FG shooting. With their European campaign coming to a close and the EMBL season getting ready to get into the full swing of things, I fully expect Welsh’s overall numbers to go up.
- Arik Smith – Mons-Hainaut: 43.6 Rtpg
- Season Stats: 16.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.9 apg, 0.9 spg (7 games)
- W-L: 6-1
In his second season with Mons Arik Smith continues to regale the fans with his smooth style of play. Watching him work on the courts is like watching poetry in motion.
Whether it’s from behind the arc or with the pull-up mid-range jumper or taking it all the way to the basket… Smith just knows how to put up points and does it at excellent percentages as well, shooting 56.9% on his 2pt attempts and 48.4% from behind the arc. He has finished in double-figures scoring in 6 out of his 7 games so far and already has 4 games in which he scored more than 20 points. His highest scoring output – and arguably his best overall game so far this season – came in the win at Oostende when he dropped 25 points, grabbed 5 rebounds and dished out 4 assists, almost single-handedly making the difference to give Mons the victory.
Besides his scoring abilities Smith is also second on the squad in assists with his 2.9 apg and second in rebounding behind Spencer with 4.0 rpg and is one of the reasons why Mons might be the biggest challenger for Oostende this season.