Schmidt of the London Lions has been awarded Kevin Cadle Molten BBL Coach of
the Month for January, after he led his team to BBL Cup Final glory at the end
of the month and maintained their position atop the BBL Championship table.
is the second month in a row that he has scooped the award, and third time
overall this season, as he won a first piece of silverware on these shores with
a 79-71 defeat of Leicester Riders in front of a sold-out crowd at Utilita
Arena, Birmingham, live on Sky Sports.
by their two former NBA stars Sam Dekker and Kosta Koufos, Lions never trailed
in the Cup Final, but they had to withstand a late fightback from the defending
champions with Schmidt’s calling of a timeout early in the fourth quarter and
re-inserting Dekker into the fray proving timely.
continues a run of success for Schmidt, who also won the Canadian Elite
Basketball League (CEBL) with the Hamilton Honeybadgers in 2022, alongside
current player Aaron Best.
to the Cup Final, London navigated a busy schedule of BBL Championship and
EuroCup games, going a perfect 6-0 in domestic competitions in January with all
of those victories being by double-figures.
particular high point was the 75-63 defeat of B. Braun Sheffield Sharks in
front of a near-capacity crowd approaching 5,000 at the Copper Box Arena,
avenging one of their two defeats earlier in the campaign, having lost their
last meeting with Sheffield in October.
was followed by another home win over Cheshire Phoenix, and Lions were even
more impressive on the road, beating both Surrey Scorchers and Caledonia
Gladiators by more than twenty points in recent weeks.
in the month, they also progressed to the BBL Trophy quarter-finals with a win
over Worthing Thunder – coached by former player Zaire Taylor – as they seek
redemption in that competition following last season’s Trophy Final defeat to
Lions maintain by far the best defence in the BBL, holding teams to just 71
points per game as the only team to force opponents under 40% shooting from the
field – notably they held Leicester, the league’s best offence, to that 71
points mark in the Cup Final. On the offensive end, they boast the most
efficient interior scoring at 58% with efficient seven-footers such as Koufos,
Josh Sharma and Tomislav Zubcic; and also demonstrate their brand of team
basketball with the most assists in the BBL.
attention now turns to a busy February which starts on the road in all corners
of the UK with away trips to Plymouth City Patriots, Caledonia in the BBL
Trophy quarter-final, and Cheshire all to come in the next week.