Eurocup Regular Season, Group E analysis

Oct 31, 2011 by Print
Gran Canaria 2014
PBC Lokomotiv-Kuban
Banvit BK
Fraport Skyliners
Keith Simmons - BK Banvit
Keith Simmons
A young veteran at age 26, Keith Simmons enters his third season with Banvit with the chance to face one of his former teams, Fraport Skyliners. Athletic, intense and ready, Simmons is a good defensive player that reads passing lines very well. He is a slasher who thrives in transition and can help on the boards due to his jumping skills. Lokomotiv Kuban is a Eurocup newcomer but has a very experienced point guard in Lionel Chalmers, who returns the competition for the first time since 2008. Chalmers enters his second season with Loko, to which he arrived after leading the 2009-10 Russian League in scoring (19 ppg.) with Enisey. Far from being a scorer, Chalmers is a steals specialist and a great on-the-ball defender, too.
Lionel Chalmers - Lokomotiv Kuban (Photo:
Lionel Chalmers
Michael Thompson - Fraport Skyliners (Photo: Fraport Skyliners)
Michael Thompson
A great shooter with unlimited range, Javier Beiran has confirmed his potential in Gran Canaria and is set to see extended responsabilities in the 2011-12 Eurocup. Beiran can help on the boards but is mainly a scorer, able to generate his shot. Full of confidence and always ready to deliver, Beiran will always be ready to pull the trigger from downtown. A newcomer to European basketball, playmaker Michael Thompson is Fraport Skyliners' new floor general. A deadly three-point shooter that always plays hard, Thompson has very good court vision and always find the way to find the open shooter. If he adjusts to this new level of competition, Thompson can surprise a lot of fans all around the continent.
Javier Beiran - Gran Canaria 2014 (Photo: ACB Media)
Javier Beiran
Eurocup classic Gran Canaria 2014 did not change many pieces in its roster, keeping most of the players that helped the team to have a great season. Its main addition is explosive scorer Marquez Haynes, who offers athleticism and great one-on-one skills. Granca also signed big man Laurence Ekperigin and sharp shooter Roman Martinez, as well as bringing back Juan Palacios. Lokomotiv-Kuban fully reloaded its roster with marquee additions such as Ali Traore, Primoz Brezec, Rod Blakney, KC Rivers or Sergey Bykov. It also inked legendary coach Boza Maljkovic to lead the team on and off the court. Fraport Skyliners brought in Thompson, Jon Leuer, Justin Gray and Jermareo Davidson to try to improve its roster in almost every position. Banvit kept the same core of players that has been together for a while and added several pieces to be even stronger. Veteran scorer Serkan Erdogan, big man Cemal Nalga, swingman Cliff Hammonds and above all, star forward Kenan Bajramovic are ready to make Banvit even better.
Anything can happen in Group E as even when Gran Canaria 2014 and Banvit were in the competition last season, Fraport Skyliners also has Eurocup experience and Lokomotiv-Kuban is not a conventional newcomer. Gran Canaria will have to travel more than anyone else due to its location in the Canary Islands, around 1,500 Km from Dakar, Senegal. Granca has been very consistent at home throughout the years and that strength in front of their fans will be critical to survive this group. Lokomotiv has a very talented team that needs to adjust to deliver right away. Returning players like Jeremiah Massey, Chalmers or Maksim Sheleketo will play big role to getting the team to play together from the very beginning. Banvit has had the same group of players, such as Chuck Davis, Lance Williams, Simmons or Baris Ermis. Players like Hammonds or Bajramovic only make the team even better, as Banvit has good chance to fight for a Last 16 spot. The Skyliners have changed a lot since last season but players like Lauer, Tim Ohlbrecht or Gray are able to lead a team ready to beat anyone. As always in a six-game regular season, road wins will be good as gold, especially when all four teams will face long trips down the stretch.