A Top 16 run in its first 7DAYS EuroCup season has paved the way for a newer, deeper AS Monaco, beginning on the bench, where Sasa Obradovic, a former 2017-18 EuroCup Coach of the Year, took up residence late last winter. He will lead many new faces into battle, chief among them twin point guards Dylan Ennis, who was chosen last season to the All-EuroCup team, and Dee Bost. Another guard, Anthony Clemmons, arrives together with a teammate of his from last season, forward J.J. Obrien. The new troops also include small forward Wilfried Yeguete, as well as big men Kim Tillie and Landing Sane, all of whom give Monaco an exciting new look with experience and athleticism to spare.
A trio of highly capable new playmakers joins holdover Yakuba Ouattara, a double-digit scorer in the EuroCup last season, to give Monaco many threats on the perimeter. Ennis drove MoraBanc Andorra into last spring's EuroCup Semifinals with solid numbers across the board. Bost arrives from a strong Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season with Khimki Moscow Region, which finished second in the VTB United League, which is where Clemmons showed his all-around skills over two years alongside O'Brien. Their ability to work together already will be a plus for a largely new Monaco team looking to find its chemistry as soon as possible.
Almost everything is new, too, in the Monaco frontcourt, but the anchor there will again be Eric Buckner, who joined the team halfway through last season and shot 80% on two-pointers during the Top 16, third best in that phase. Power forward Kim Tillie returns to France and the EuroCup after five EuroLeague seasons in which he established himself as a game-changer. He should be a team leader for Monaco, too. Landing Sane is another Frenchman coming home with even better credentials after playing the last two EuroCup seasons abroad. He was a double-digit scorer last season for Mornar Bar in Montenegro. Swing forward Yeguete was one of the better rebounders in France last season and is now ready to show his stuff on an even bigger stage.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Ennis may have just two pro seasons under his belt after a prolonged university career, but his impact has been undeniable. Back in late 2018, he stepped in for Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade and performed well despite limited EuroLeague playing time. As a starter last season, he guided MoraBanc into the semifinals on his way to recognition on the All-EuroCup Second Team. Ennis forces opponents to adjust to his speed and aggressiveness whenever he's on the floor. He can score, assist and steal with the best of them, and his chase-down blocks made highlight reels. After one principality proved a great place for Ennis last season, Monaco fans will be anxious to see if he can take his game even higher in theirs.
Monaco learned the ropes well in its EuroCup debut last season, and was smart enough to add proven performers in this competition for its second go-round. That includes Coach Obradovic, whose ability to teach defense to athletic teams fits perfectly here. His selection of playmakers in the backcourt offers the chance to play several different ways, knowing that a solid wall of big men can be counted on. With those set pieces, it may be the wings -- O'Brien, Ouattara and Yeguete -- whose skills will spell the difference in terms of depth and athleticism for Monaco, whose group includes only MoraBanc among last season's top teams, but is otherwise unpredictable with three virtual EuroCup newcomers. Monaco knows well how ambitious and dangerous newcomers can be.