Hamburg Towers is the only 7DAYS EuroCup debutant in the 2021-22 campaign and it arrives with big ambitions and a solid structure. Head coach Pedro Calles earned a reputation for putting together physical, hard-nosed teams that never give up. Expect Hamburg to fight at all times.
Opposing teams will take notice of all the weapons assembled in Coach Calles's backcourt. Jabril Durham played in Sweden, Hungary, Greece, Latvia and Belgium before getting the opportunity to make his EuroCup debut. He is a pass-first playmaker with a great feel for steals, who plays with high intensity. Jaylon Brown is expected to see most of the minutes at shooting guard. He is an explosive player with deep shooting range and good one-on-one skills. Zach Brown is an all-around scorer, who can pull the trigger from downtown, attack the rim to go to the foul line often, and use his high energy to be effective on defense. Caleb Homesley was the final addition to the squad. A do-it-all small forward, Homesley can let the game come to him and make an impact wherever needed. At age 20, point guard Justus Hollatz has already played for the German national team and is only improving. He should change games with his high basketball IQ, quick hands and ability to make open shots. Playmaker Max DiLeo is set to come off the bench to offer defense, energy and a team-first approach. Osaro Rich is another energy player and an athletic guard who rebounds well. Teenage talent Leif Moeller should also see some playing time during the season.
Hamburg has a versatile, deep frontcourt in which many players will be expected to contribute. Eddy Edigin has never played at this level - he was in the German second division last season - but has all it takes to be successful in this team - intensity, hustle, effectiveness in the paint and good rebounding skills. Lukas Meisner is an interesting forward with deep shooting range (43.6% 3FG last season), size and court sense. Seth Hinrichs, one of the few Hamburg players with previous EuroCup experience, already played for Coach Calles at Rasta Vechta. He offers much-needed experience, deep shooting range and leadership. Maik Kotsar is the team's main reference at center due to his size, post skills and aggressiveness. Kotsar is a great rebounder, especially on the offensive end. Robin Christen also played for Coach Calles in the past. He came back after a 16-month absence that caused him to miss the entire 2019-20 season due to a knee injury and an appendectomy. Young Hendrik Drescher is expected to come off the bench and make an impact, too.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Jaylon Brown had three strong seasons with Spanish side Bilbao Basket and by joining an ambitious EuroCup team, has taken a step forward in his career. He has a very good ability to create his own shot off the dribble. Brown has worked on his three-point shot, too, improving from 26.1% in the 2019-20 campaign (18 of 69) to 34.2% (53 of 155) last season. He knows how to use his athleticism to draw fouls and get easy points from the foul line. His quick first step and leaping ability allow Brown to attack the rim and finish strong. He is expected to have a leading role with Hamburg due to his experience, determination and work ethic. It won’t surprise anybody if Brown has the ball in his hands when Hamburg needs a game-winning shot.
Hamburg is not a well-known team in Europe, but it is really well organized and that should help it surprise a lot of opponents. Coach Calles and sports director Marvin Willoughby – who played three EuroCup seasons with RheinEnergie Cologne – have put together a strong squad, with a lot of physical players. There are great rebounders in Hamburg and for Coach Calles, defense and intensity come first and foremost. If Hamburg is loyal to its own standards on defense, offense should come with players like Kotsar, Jaylen Brown, Meisner and Durham. Don't expect Hamburg to be your average EuroCup newcomer, as it will be a tough opponent on a nightly basis.