Turkish Airlines EuroLeague
Adidas Next Generation Tournament
Post-draw analysis, comments: Group G
Oct 05, 2013
Perennial Eurocup challenger Unics Kazan is once again loaded for a run at the title. New head coach Andrea Trinchieri has a great many options at every position. In the paint, the likes of Vladimir Veremeenko, Ian Vougioukas and Luke Harangody are true weapons, while Chuck Eidson and Kostas Kaimakoglou provide versatility at forward. Andrew Goudelock, Nikos Zisis and Tywain McKee make for a light out backcourt too.
Important new players arrived during the summer to Bandirma, where new head coach Dimitris Itoudis has the roster to go far in the competition. Point guard E.J. Rowland, one of the best assist men on the continent, shooter Klemen Prepelic, and big men Drew Gordon and Ermal Kuqo, will add experience and talent to confirmed scoring ace Sammy Mejia and forwards Chuck Davis and Keith Simmons.
After narrowly missing advancing to Eurocup Quarter Finals last season, three-point happy Latvian champion VEF Riga returns the core of its young and energetic team. Shooting and scoring starts with a duo of Kristaps Janicenoks and Tomas Delininkaitis, and point guard Dee Brown should serve them with plenty of good looks. Antywane Robinson has a big role of a scorer and a glue-player, while forwards Janis Berzins and Arturs Berzins will provide plenty of hustle, and some more three-point threat.
Maccabi Haifa Bazan
Israeli champion Maccabi Haifa makes its Eurocup debut eager to continue building itself into a recognized name throughout Europe. Donte Smith and former ULEB Cup champ Ido Kozikaro headline the returning players from last season. Point guard Moran Roth and forward Brian Randle bring Euroleague experience to the mix, while rookie Sherwood Brown and David Cubillan are two players to keep an eye on.
MZT Skopje Aerodrom
For a Eurocup newcomer, MZT Skopje Aerodrom has plenty of experience. It starts at the top with head coach Vlada Vukoicic and continues with former All-Eurocup First Team selection Todor Gecevski and small forward Damjan Stojanovski. Stefan Sinovec and Cade Davis could be important scorers on the wings, creating options for point guard Aleksandar Kostoski. And defensive ace Justin Reynolds should not be overlooked either.
Kalev Cramo Tallinn
Kalev Cramo Tallinn returns to the Eurocup after a lengthy break and brings with it a tough roster that promises to compete hard every night. The duo of lengthy center Bamba Fall and rebounding ace Frank Elegar make for a strong frontline, while versatile forward Vlad Moldoveanu can score inside and out. Armands Skele provides a serious scoring threat alongside Ty Abbott, who is not afraid to shoot from deep. When all is clicking, Tallinn will be a dangerous foe.
Maccabi Haifa Bazan executive vice chairman Arnon Shiran:
"We won the Israeli League last season and made quite a progress. We want to preserve what we achieved and get good results in the Eurocup. We have to go step by step, just as we did last season. We now have three exhibiton games against NBA teams and will be back one day before the start of the Eurocup. We have to move up to the next stage and if we manage to do that, set new goals."
Kalev Cramo Tallinn president Ivar Valdmaa:
"It was a good draw for Kalev. We knew that all teams would be good so that is exactly what we expected no matter who we will play in the end. We will do our best and I hope that we will be enough to do well. We are happy to be back after several years. We try to be back in the big scene - we will also play in the VTB League, which is also as good as the Eurocup."
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