July 25, 2014
GREECE - Sophomore transfer Egor Koulechov put together an outstanding two weeks of play for the Israel U20 national team earlier this month and helped the squad to a seventh place finish at the FIBA European Championship in Heraklion, Greece.
The transfer from Arizona State averaged 7.8 points and 3.5 rebounds over 10 games and ranked in his team's top five in minutes played, points, rebounds, steals and blocks. The 6-5 wing player came up big in the clutch in Israel's five wins.
In the opening game of the tournament, Koulechov played a team-high 31 minutes in a 74-49 win over Poland. He notched 11 points with five rebounds and a pair of steals in the victory. In the second game of group play, Israel fell, 75-63, to France. The Owl notched six points and three boards in the setback.
Koulechov and the squad rebounded from the loss to tally a 58-56 win over Russia and an 82-68 triumph over Bulgaria to advance to the second round. He tallied 12 points and six rebounds over the stretch.
The second round of play divided the remaining 12 teams into two groups vying for a spot in this weekend's quarterfinals. Israel advanced as one of the top four teams in its group, despite early setbacks to Croatia (80-76) and Turkey (79-66). Koulechov recorded 13 points and five boards over the two contests.
The team then punched its ticket to its first quarterfinal since 2007 with a 79-67 win over Italy on Wednesday. With the game in the balance midway through the fourth period, Koulechov sank his first three-pointer of the game to spark a 10-0 run and put Israel in the lead for good. He finished with 13 points, six rebounds and a pair of steals.
It took two overtime periods to separate Israel and top-seeded Serbia, but the favored team eventually prevailed, 90-86. Koulechov chipped in five points and four boards. The setback sent his team to the 5th-8th place classification round, where Israel suffered a hard-fought 81-75 loss to Lithuania. The future Owl tallied 13 points on 4-of-5 three-point shooting in 27 minutes of action.
In the final action of the tournament, Israel rebounded with a 68-55 win over France in the seventh place game. Koulechov chipped in five points, six rebounds and a pair of blocks in 17 minutes on the court.
Turkey defeated Spain, 65-57, to claim its first-ever U20 European Championship.
The Volgograd, Russia native saw action in 27 games for Arizona State as a freshman in 2013-14, including seven starts. Koulechov averaged 3.7 points and 2.8 rebounds while shooting 43.8 percent from the field and 11-of-33 from downtown.
Koulechov spent two seasons at The Sagemont School in Weston, Fla., but grew up in Israel from the age of seven and spent the recent summers playing for the Israeli national team. In his time with the U-18 national squad, he led the team with 19.8 points and 7.9 rebounds in the 2012 European Championship B Division, including 33 points against the Czech Republic.
|Koulechov at the 2014 FIBA U20 European Championships|
|vs Poland (W 74-49)||31||4/14||1/5||2/2||5||1||0||2||0||11|
|vs France (L 75-63)||22||2/5||1/3||1/2||3||1||1||0||1||6|
|vs Russia (W 58-56)||17||1/8||1/5||1/2||1||0||0||0||0||4|
|vs Bulgaria (W 68-82)||27||2/9||2/6||2/2||5||2||1||1||0||8|
|vs Croatia (L 76-80)||16||1/8||0/4||0/0||2||0||0||2||0||2|
|vs Turkey (L 79-66)||27||5/9||1/5||0/0||3||0||2||0||1||11|
|vs Italy (W 79-67)||22||4/9||3/4||2/2||6||1||0||2||0||13|
|vs Serbia (L 90-86)||32||2/8||1/5||0/0||4||0||0||0||0||5|
|vs Lithuania (L 75-81)||27||4/8||4/5||1/2||0||2||2||1||1||13|
|vs France (W 68-55)||17||2/8||1/5||0/0||6||1||0||0||2||5|