Oldenburg: French teams welcome here!
It is undeniable that Oldenburg has done really well against French teams this season. The club started the Eurocup regular season with a 0-3 record, but bounced back with an 84-81 home win against JSF Nanterre. In the penultimate regular season game, Oldenburg upset Nanterre 83-92 in what eventually became the go-ahead win for the German side. Oldenburg opened the Last 32 with a 78-87 road win against Limoges CSP in which Chris Kramer had 8 steals. Oldenburg also beat Limoges 92-88 to book its place in the eighthfinals for the first time ever. Brian Qvale is averaging a team-high 14.8 points this season, but his numbers jumped to 16.5 in his team's four wins against French teams. Will Oldenburg be able to keep it going?
Strasbourg: Germany a second home
When Strasbourg travels to Oldenburg, it will be the club's sixth Eurocup trip to Germany in the past three years. Oldenburg had only been to Germany twice in 13 years - since it first played in Trier back in 2000, but that changed in the 2013-14 season. Strasbourg lost against Brose Baskets in Bamberg in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague and could not beat ALBA Berlin in the Eurocup Last 32. Since then, Strasbourg has been to Germany twice every season. Strasbourg did very well in Germany in the 2014-15 regular season, downing Telekom Baskets Bonn 83-86 and Brose Baskets 63-70 on its way to placing first in its group with an 8-2 record. This season, Bayern Munich beat Strasbourg 76-61 in the Euroleague regular season - and now Strasbourg travels to meet a fifth different German team in three years.
Campbell: know your enemy
Strasbourg point guard Louis Campbell started his professional career in Germany with Giessen 46ers. He went on to play for Toyota Alvark of Japan, but moved back to Germany and suited up for Eisbaeren Bremerhaven before joining Oldenburg in the 2010-11 season. Campbell played with Robin Smeulders and Rickey Paulding for a full season, in which he averaging 9 points and 4 assists in six Eurocup games. After a season with Tuebingen, Campbell joined Strasbourg and is in his fourth season with the French powerhouse. Campbell will be ready to give his teammates valuable inside information about Paulding and Smeulders, as well as making sure everyone knows about the great basketball atmosphere they can expect at Kleine EWE Arena.
The barometer of a winner
Though they may not square off in a head to head matchup much, Strasbourg swingman Mardy Collins and EWE Baskets guard Chris Kramer can both be looked at as barometers of their team’s success. At least that how it looked in the Last 32. Collins was rolling with 15.3 points on 5 of 11 three-point shooting (44.5%), 5.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals for an average performance index rating of 19.3 in Strasbourg’s four Last 32 wins, but those numbers plummeted to 6 points on 0 for 3 three-point shooting, 4.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1 steal for a performance index rating of 7.5 in the team’s two defeats. Kramer posted 13 points, 3.5 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 2.5 steals, which came out to an average index rating of 19.8 in Oldenburg’s four Last 32 victories. But in its two losses, Kramer tallied just 5.5 points, 1.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 0.5 steals with an index rating of 6.5.
As evenly matched as they come
A peek at the numbers shows that Strasbourg and Oldenburg are just about as evenly matched as they come for their series. The two teams are very close in average performance index rating (83.1 for Oldenburg, 81.6 for Strasbourg) and also close in scoring (Oldenburg leads 78.6-77.3), rebounds (Strasbourg leads 33.3-31.1) and assist to turnover ratio (Oldenburg leads 1.25 – 1.19). In playing styles there are some strong similarities too, with each pairing a back-to-the-basket scorer and a stretch 4 on the frontline (Matt Howard and Kyle Weems for Strasbourg; Brian Qvale and Nemanja Aleksandrov for Oldenburg) and featuring experienced swingmen (Strasbourg’s Louis Campbell and Jeremy Leloup have seven Eurocup seasons between them; Rickey Paulding and Vaughn Duggins combine for nine seasons). Could this series simple come down to which team is in better form at tip off? Absolutely!