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League Lookout: betFIRST BNXT League 22/23

Image: imago images / Beautiful Sports

Top Signings - The Belgian Teams

No, we still have not fully understood the BNXT League's competition system. But we will give it another try soon. And this unfortunate truth does not discourage us from taking a look at the marquee import player signings the clubs from Belgium and The Netherlands went ahead with this summer. Let's get started with the ten teams from Belgium. 

BC FILOU Oostende

While a few more additions are to be expected after an unlikely semi-finals exit in 21/22, bringing in Breein Tyree can almost certainly be regarded as a major coup for Belgium's main basketball power. The scoring combo guard has already hinted at things to come with a 31-point outburst in BC's preseason friendly versus ProA France outfit ESSM LePortel. His profile differs slightly from last year's top find Phil Booth, who moved on (and up) to Buducnost Podgorica, since Tyree is maybe a bit less fundamentally sound but more explosive and flamboyant. At the PF spot, it is another European basketball debut for Tre'Shawn Thurman, who brings a solid body, above-average athleticism and rebounding prowess but will have to adjust to Dario Gjergja's style of basketball after three seasons in the NBA G League and some question marks regarding his basketball IQ and passing prowess. 

Telenet Giants Antwerp

After a lackluster 21/22 campaign, there were wholesale changes in store for the traditional no. 2 in Belgium's bball pecking order. Newly appointed Head Coach Ivica Skelin reunites with his Torun/Poland floor general Maurice Watson who is a top quality pick-up for the BNXT's level. An expert passer like him is a joy to watch for every basketball purist, no matter defensive shortcomings or size concerns. Veteran sniper Avery Woodson (as the mid-term replacement for injured fellow sniper Arik Smith) and athletic combo Quentin Goodin (pictured above), who could be a pleasant surprise/bargain coming from ProA Germany, round out what should be one of the division's top backcourts. Up front, the Giants become more athletic and mobile with the signings of former ACB and SerieA PF Reggie Upshaw (still only 27!) and UNLV rookie Royce Hamm. Watch out for an uptempo, high octane offense!

Kangoeroes Basket Mechelen

Last season's surprise team went out looking for more diamonds in the rough this summer. Lefty swingman Brian Fobbs certainly fits that bill. He is great in transition, can be a wing stopper on defense and is a positionless but physically impressive specimen similar to Myles Stephens, who excelled for Kangoeroes in 21/22 and now moved on to the German BBL. DeAndre Davis, the former "Center of the Year" in Basketligan Sweden, is actually more of a PF and while maybe not outlandishly talented, he brings the motor and a blue-collar mentality that seems to be one of the main priorities for Mechelen HC Kristof Michiels. Former Crailsheim 5 man Richmond Aririguzoh is cut from the same mold. His role should increase but he was already valuable as a rim runner/off rebounder/garbage collector in BBL Germany. 

Leuven Bears

Bears managed to bring back reliable PF/C Nick McGlynn and efficient SG KeVaughn Allen. Slovenian pass first PG Zan Kosic will run the show and distribute the rock from now on. Former Tennessee big John Fulkerson joined after a bumpy draft process that saw him look a bit questionable at the PIT, for example. He appears to be quite similar to McGlynn when it comes to their profile setup, which could be both a blessing and a curse. One of them will probably have to prove an ability to consistently stretch the floor for the duo to be playable at the same time. Former Wisconsin sharpshooter Brevin Pritzl brings terrific percentages from Basketligaen Denmark and can also be involved in PnR creation as an off guard. 

Belfius Mons Hainaut

Rookie point guard Charlie Moore could very well be the prize signing for the entire league so far. He looked terrific in NBA Summer League action with the Detroit Pistons. Do not be fooled by the babyface - Moore is supremely quick, has good vision and can also be a pesky on ball defender. Head Coach Vedran Bosnic also acquired solid experience with his Bosnian compatriote Adin Vrabac, a versatile combo forward, and big men Alexandre Gavrilovic and Steve Harris. Midrange scorer Keith Braxton will be the X factor coming off a 19/8/5 campaign in 2nd league Israel. 

Best of the Rest

Other notable signings include Nigerian big Osasumwen Osaghae, who struggled in BBL Germany but should rank among BNXT's top rebounders and shotblockers in an increased role, Puerto Rican SG Jhivvan Jackson (both Charleroi), who averaged 23ppg in LEB Silver Spain last season, strong and athletic combo guard Jordan Walker (Okapi Aalst), one of the top players in Germany's third tier ProB in 21/22, sharpshooter and former Luxembourg top scorer Alex Stein (Limburg), Germany's former top prospect Ferdinand Zylka (Brussels), a gifted three-level scorer, and Slovenia's ex-wonderkid combo forward Nik Dragan (Liege). 

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