Keenan Evans was all smiles after Maccabi Politics Tel Aviv extended its winning streak to five games on Friday night. The Turkish Airlines rookie in the Euroleague has just helped his team win as he has played his best game so far this season.
Evans collected 14 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists and an index rating of 22 in Maccabi’s 69-87 away win over Beechi in Asconia Vitoria-Gastis. All four of those stats were Euroleague career highs for the 25-year-old guard.
“The sky is the limit. If we stay together and stay with a level head and not get too high from victories, who knows? We just hope we can continue to run away from them,” Evans said after the game.
If Evans has more games like this, Maccabi fans can expect even more victories. And Evans’ performance was especially needed on this occasion, as the team’s leading scorer and general floor general Scotty Wilbkin was forced to leave the game with an ankle sprain in the middle of the second quarter and did not return.
Evans did an admirable job as he made just one loss in almost 31 minutes of action, scoring his 14 points in just 10 shots and three free throws.
The Texas native is definitely starting to find his way into the Euroleague during his rookie season in competition. Arriving at the game against Basconia on Friday night, Evans scored 13 points twice – in LDLC ASVEL Villeuerbanne in round 4 and at home against Zalgiris Kaunas in round 6. Through eight games, Evans now averaged 8.3 points while scoring 38.9% on three. – Vote for the end with 2.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists for 0.6 losses and 0.8 steals in 23 minutes of the game.
Evans played last season for the Israeli Hapoel Haifa after making his European debut in 2019-20 with Igokia Alexandrovich in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He is constantly improving, showing against Basconia that he can help a great team in big moments: the hosts took out a 13-0 run with four threes to lead 27-21 in the second quarter, but then Evans assisted with a three by James Nonley and added a three of his own in a 0-14 leap To 27-35 pillow.
Later, the 25-year-old recorded a three-point game and an assist in an important 2-10 break in the third quarter to push the gap to 44-56. He then scored two points and handed out three assists in a crucial 2-13 run in the fourth quarter to a 58-78 lead to lock out the win.
Evans may be playing in an international competition for the first time in his career but he certainly doesn’t look like a wide-eyed rookie. Instead, he plays with the control needed to help the team win big games on the road when the team leader outside is injured.
When Evans plays like this, Maccabi’s sky is definitely the limit.