Mornar Bar, the Montenegrin champion and a newcomer to Euroleague Basketball, faces the challenge of the 7DAYS EuroCup season with a brand new backcourt. This summer, Mornar acquired a pair of combo guards in Bronson Koenig and Khadeen Carrington, two 23-year olds ready to make their competition debuts, too. However, that duo accounts for only half of the new additions on Mornar's perimeter, as club also brought in point guard Nikola Rebic and a swingman Djordje Drenovac, both of whom have previous EuroCup experience. For its frontcourt, the club also added a rookie power forward, Marin Mornar, whose last name matches the name of the club. Could that be a serendipitous coincidence?
Koenig and Carrington can play both guard positions, just like the veteran guard Nemanja Vranjes, who was a big piece of team's success last season. Expect Coach Mihailo Pavicevic to take any chance he can get to use two of these three players at the same time. Both Koenig and Carrington like playing up-tempo basketball, and that's what Mornar sought to do last season, too. Drenovac is another player who can make buckets in bunches, and he will spend most of his time at the small forward position. Rebic offers playmaking depth, as do two more more point guards, veteran Marko Mijovic as the oldest player on the team and a homegrown 22-year old Lazar Pavicevic as the youngest. Meanwhile, big shooting guard Marko Mugosa, whose 2.00-meter size comes handy at the perimeter, is another long-distance threat.
Mornar's frontline has remained mainly intact from last season, with Marin Mornar the only new addition to the group. Mornar will bring additional size, toughness and some shooting touch to a group that already has plenty of that. The focal piece of team's frontcourt is veteran center Uros Lukovic, who was a force last season, posting 12.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.3 blocks against tough Adriatic League competition. Another important piece of Mornar's frontcourt will be stretch-four Strahinja Micovic, whose contributions last season got better as the season went along, a trend he hopes to continue in this campaign. Mornar will have depth with center Radoje Vujosevic and power forward Vukota Pavic, who will both be coming off the bench.
PLAYER TO WATCH:
Big man Uros Lukovic had arguably the best campaign of his career last season, when he dominated the paint in the Adriatic League. Despite being a newcomer in the competition, as with the majority of his teammates, Lukovic is among the most experienced players on the team at age 29. More importantly, he's a savvy veteran whose set of skills will present a problem for many opponents. He is a force around the rims and a constant threat on offense, while also being an intimidator and paint-protector on defense. His ability to produce on nightly basis will be very important for Mornar, and Lukovic is eager to prove he can do that, and more, in his long-awaited EuroCup debut.
Mornar is facing a new situation this season as it enters EuroCup for the first time in club history. Most of its players have never faced this level of competition before, and it might take little extra time for the new pieces in the backcourt to settle in. But Mornar will never be an easy out. This team likes to play up-tempo and shoot a lot from long range, but has enough size and muscle to be physical enough in the trenches. With a little help from the fans, who are eager to see Europe's elite teams come to their town for the first time, the team from Montenegro will not shy away from the challenge.