Turkish Airlines EuroLeague
Adidas Next Generation Tournament
Post-draw analysis, comments: Group B
Oct 05, 2013
Last season’s Eurocup runner-up continues to strive for greatness with the core of last season’s juggernaut squad back. Raul Lopez and Roger Grimau in the backcourt and Alex Mumbru and Axel Hervelle at the forward spots make for an excellent starting point. Antanas Kavaliauskas and German Gabriel fortify the frontline, while Dairis Bertans and Zoran Vrkic provide great firepower on the wings.
Cedevita Zagreb enters the new season with a lot of fresh and young faces, but remains with a bar set really high after the apointment of head coach Jasmin Repesa. Veterans Marko Tomas and Marino Bazdaric headline the roster with their scoring and range on the perimeter, and will provide experience for a young team. American Nolan Smith, NCAA winner with Duke, runs the point, while Miro Bilan will look to build on last season and be the dominant-self in the paint.
Dinamo Banco di Sardegna Sassari
Dinamo Banco di Sardegna Sassari had an early exit in the 2012-13 Eurocup and is back to do better. Sassari kept the Diener cousins, Travis and Drake, as well as adding pass-first playmaker Marques Green. Omar Thomas will be a natural-born mismatch at both forwards while Linton Johnson and Caleb Green will be the team's biggest references around the baskets. Sassari is more experienced and therefore, more dangerous.
Belgacom Spirou Charleroi
Spiroudome fans welcome home Demond Mallet, who will take back the team's leadership again. Big men Mohamed Abukar and Darryl Watkins, after scoring in double digits in the last Eurocup for Lukoil Academic, also put consistent rebounding energy and skills at the service of Spirou. Interesting 2.21-meter center Nemanja Besovic arrived from Partizan to get some minutes on the floor, while guard Jason Clark will be an additional scoring weapon.
Elan Chalon Sur Saone
After getting a taste of Euroleague last season, Elan Chalon is back to make things happen in Eurocup. Steed Tchicamboud is back to run the offense, but pieces around him are new. Perimeter threat starts with A.J. Slaughter and Josh Bostic in the backcourt, while returnee Ilian Evtimov's three-point daggers come from the wings. Meawhile, addition of Jon Brockman, a new center piece in the paint, should provide offensive balance for the team.
EWE Baskets Oldenburg
EWE Baskets Oldenburg returns all the key players from last season, and has plenty of enthusiasm entering a new one. Pass-first players Chris Kramer and Dru Joyce run the offense alongside experienced shooting guard Julius Jenkins and swingman Rickey Pauliding as team's premier scorers. With big man Adam Chubb and Andrea Crosariol in the paint, addition of versatile power forward Nemanja Aleksandrov should make everyone around him, and the team, better.
Bilbao Basket president Predrag Savovic:
"It has been a good idea to divide the regular season into two conferences: that allows us to make shorter trips. Nothing has changed in terms of competitiveness: we are into a very competitive group and are happy to meet again our old friend Belgacom Spirou Basket. We played against them last season and returned to Charleroi for the Eurocup final. We are happy with the conference split and now must be ready to compete and reach as high as we can."
Cedevita Zagreb general manager Kresimir Novosel:
"It is a tough group. It is really interesting because all opponents are strong. The beginning of the season will be critical for all of us in order to advance to the next round. We must check all the rosters - I have only seen Bilbao play so far - but it is going to be attractive, that's for sure. I hope that our fans in Zagreb will come to see us and watch good basketball."
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