Playing in the competition for the seventh season in a row, ratiopharm Ulm approaches the new 7DAYS EuroCup campaign with ambitions raised. A decade removed from playing in the EuroCup Quarterfinals, Ulm has not finished with a winning record in any of the last six seasons, but is looking to end that negative streak. After rebuilding its roster to be more versatile and offensively potent, Ulm is poised to make a splash in the 2021-22 season.
Ulm's offense will depend a great deal on playmaker Semaj Christon who will be responsible for a lot of scoring, but also for finding his teammates. Christon will be the motor of this offense, though Coach Jaka Lakovic may choose to play often with two point guards. In that scenario, Thomas Klepeisz should play a lot of minutes alongside Christon. Club legend Per Guenther, who announced he is playing his final professional season, will give Ulm a lot of depth at the position. Another go-to guy on the perimeter is swingman Justin Simon, who is not only dangerous offensively, especially attacking the rim, but is also an aggressive defender. One of Europe's biggest teenage talents, 18-year-old Fedor Zugic will look for extended playing time to showcase his great talent, and if he manages to do so, Ulm will have an impressive array of offensive backcourt weapons. Karim Jallow will provide depth as another perimeter player capable of scoring, while playmaker Marius Stoll will look to use any opportunity he can get to gain valuable experience.
The anchor in Ulm's paint is center Cristiano Felicio. An imposing inside presence and experience of playing at the elite level will make Felicio a matchup problem for any team this season. Jaron Blossomgame is one of Ulm's x-factors as someone who can cover both forward positions. Philipp Herkenhoof is more of a classic stretch-four who will be valuable for Ulm with his ability to spread the floor. Christoph Philipps is not as tall and is less of a downtown threat, but a homegrown forward who is the second longest-tenured player on Ulm's roster and has the strength and hustle that benefits the team. Center Nicolas Bretzel will be coming off the bench behind Felicio, while power forwards Moritz Krimmer and Nat-Sidi Diallo will provide more depth while gaining much-needed experience.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Small forward Jaron Blossomgame figures to be one of the key players for Ulm on both ends of the floor. A small forward by vocation, Blossomgame can play both forward positions and will do so, depending on whether Coach Lakovic wants to play with a big or a small lineup. A dangerous scorer and a great rebounder, Blossomgame troubles opposing defenses, while defensively he has the muscle to battle against bigger players as well as the speed and athleticism to run with the smaller guys. Blossomgame's versatility and production will guarantee him plenty of minutes as one of the key players for Ulm this season.
Ulm will not lack offensive firepower this season. With talents like Christon, Blossomgame and Felicio being able to score in bunches, and surrounded by the likes of Klepeisz and Simon, Coach Lakovic's team will find ways to score often. What should be Ulm's advantage is the versatility of some of its aforementioned key players, who are used to playing multiple positions. In addition, the team has a lot of size and that is something that should play to its advantage. Preseason performances that saw the team battle it out against continental champion Anadolu Efes Istanbul and thrash Partizan NIS Belgrade, before beating FC Bayern Munich in the German League, just show how dangerous Ulm can be and the club is poised to finally win more than what it losses this EuroCup season.