After making a strong 7DAYS EuroCup debut last season, Mincidelice JL Bourg en Bresse is entering its second season in the competition looking for even better things. New head coach Laurent Legname's team has versatile pieces all over the roster. Though it may lack size, it certainly seems Bourg will be able to make it up with athleticism. Bourg might have a new head coach and almost a brand-new team, but it has the same goal of competing and beating the best of them.
Coach Legname will have plenty of choice on the perimeter to mix and match thanks to the versatility of his players. In the early going of the domestic season, Axel Julien has been the starting point guard, with Rasheed Sulaimon next to him. Julien has a great all-court presence, the ability to score and create and he also contributes on the glass. Sulaimon is an impact player on both ends of the floor and his defensive play might prove invaluable. The most excitement for the fans, however, might come from 20-year-old homegrown point guard Hugo Benitez, who might soon be the leader of this team. Bourg has good depth and important experience on the perimeter thanks to Calvin Harris Jr., a veteran combo guard making his EuroCup debut at the age of 30, as well as swingman Maxime Courby who shined last season by sinking 50.9% from long range over 16 games. Teenagers Corentin Falcoz, Hugo Cosse and Elian Benitez will be hoping to gain valuable experience this season, too.
Similar to the team's backcourt, Bourg's front line is also made of players who can give the opposition all kinds of looks and matchup problems. Maxime Roos can play both forward positions; he's a small forward in a big lineup or a stretch four if Broug opts to play small-ball. Roos is a reliable long-range shooter with the length and athleticism that makes him a valuable presence on the defensive end. JaCorey Williams can play either as a power forward or an undersized center. He introduced himself to EuroCup fans last season with Dolomiti Energia Trento as an inside force to be reckoned with. Williams aims to do damage under the EuroCup rims again, this time alongside Eric Mika and Pierre Pelos, who both have the size to battle inside, but also present a long-range threat. Mika brings two seasons of EuroCup experience and Pelos thrived in his debut last season. Center Alexandre Chassang, back in the competition after seven years, is another big who brings size and some outside-shooting potential to the team.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Last season, Hugo Benitez was a teenager who made quite some noise in his EuroCup debut. What impressed most was his ability to grow as the season progressed, especially late last season when he was no longer a surprise for the opposition, but became a key piece for Bourg off the bench. Benitez averaged 5.0 points, 4.3 assists and 2.3 steals in the Top 16 last season and he appears to be ready to take it to another level this season. Benitez plays with a level of confidence are for a player his age. He also brings a flair from his background in 3x3 basketball, in which only two years ago he was one of the best in the world.
Bourg has gone through significant changes this summer with the arrival of a new head coach as well as a big roster turnover. However, when making roster changes, the club made sure it keeps some of the fan favorites, like homegrown youngster Benitez, Courbey, and Pelos. The pieces Bourg brought in are proven veteran competitors, some with and others without previous experience playing in the EuroCup arenas, but certainly ready to contribute and bring the fans of Bourg-en-Bresse lots of basketball joy.