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Euroleague 2014-15: Groups A & B

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Here's a look at this year's Euroleague teams, key players and young players who might become interesting for the NBA draft in the future.

Lennart Preiss

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RUDY FERNANDEZ
GUSTAVO AYON FACUNDO CAMPAZZO
pos Starters Bench
C Ioannis Bourousis Salah Mejri Marcus Slaughter
PF Gustavo Ayón Felipe Reyes -
SF Jonas Mačiulis Andres Nocioni -
SG Rudy Fernández Jaycee Carroll KC Rivers
PG Sergio Llull Sergio Rodríguez Facundo Campazzo

RECENT HISTORY?

Real Madrid was on a tear all of last season and looked like locks to win some title around its incredible roster that featured Nikola Mirotic, Rudy Fernandez and Sergio Rodriguez - just to name a few. Despite playing terrific basketball, the royals had to accept being the runner-up in the league as well as the Euroleague. The shocking defeat to David Blatt's Maccabi Tel Aviv left a bitter taste and Nikola Mirotic, after a disappointing closure to the season, left for the NBA. Real Madrid reloaded with an impressive Latin American trio: Argentine veteran Andres Nocioni shores up the offense with his NT teammate, waterbug Facundo Campazzo while prime Mexican big Gustavo Ayón will be asked to do a little bit of everything.

WHO ARE THEY?

This is basically the same team from last year with a bunch of players trying to make up for the production lost with Mirotic. Ayon has been as good as advertised so far and is averaging 10.5 pts (65% FG%), 5.3 rebs, 2.3 assts, 1.3 steals with 1.3 turnovers in just 18 minutes of play. This team is dangerous at every position and have a terrific balance of creators and role players. Take Jaycee Carroll for example. Not as big a name as some of his internationally known teammates, 31-year old guard is patiently waiting for open looks and can be a huge offensive factor as in the game against Nizhny Novgorod where he scored 32 points on 7-of-9 three pointers in just 21 minutes. Carroll has hit 11 of his last 13 three point attempts.

As always, the backcourt is a brilliant mixture of creativity and guts with Rudy Fernandez and Sergio Rodriguez leading the team. Somewhat unfortunately, the back court is so brilliant that Facundo Campazzo doesn't see that many minutes. The 23-year old 5'11-playmaker was a joy to watch at the FIBA World Championship and can collapse defenses with ease. Real is beautiful to watch on offense. Currently, they are leading the field with an ORTG of 126.8 through four games. They are also second in AST% and have the lowest TOV%.

ANY INTRIGUING YOUNGSTERS?

This team is desperate to win so there isn't much space for youngsters. One youngster who saw decent minutes last year, Daniel Diez, was loaned away to a league rival to gain experience.

Assist of the Night: Rudy steals it and throws the no-look

Week 3 MVP: Jaycee Carroll goes bonkers against Nizhny Novgorod


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DARIO SARIC NENAD KRSTIC CEDI OSMAN
pos Starters Bench
C Nenad Krstić Stephane Lasme Emircan Koşut
PF Dario Šarić Milko Bjelica Deniz Kılıçlı
SF Stratos Perperoglou Cenk Akyol Okben Ulubay
SG Matt Janning Cedi Osman Birkan Batuk
PG Dontaye Draper Dogus Balbay Donnie McGrath

RECENT HISTORY?

Anadolu Efes' 2013 season wasn't very good... and they didn't care. After being semi-competitive in the Euroleague, the Istanbul club decided to go through a mid-season rebuild which resulted in a quick Turkish league playoff exit and nine straight losses in the Euroleague Top 16 round. This all was the intro to greater aspirations. AE signed legendary coach Dusan Ivkovic, inked wunderkind Dario Saric, defensive stud Stephane Lasme, vet Stratos Peperoglou, Minnesota-native Matt Janning who played with Saric in Zagreb, and NBA- and Euroleague-supervet Nenad Krstic.

WHO ARE THEY?

They are a league pass favorite, and not only for Dario Saric. Besides  the Croat, this roster features six (!!!) more players born in the 90s... three of them born in 1995 or later... 181 of 800 game minutes so far have been played by guys born in '94 or later. This team is thin in traditional playmaking department with Dontaye Draper and Dogus Balbay being less than ideal floor generals. Nenad Krstic and Matt Janning can help out in that department and eventually it is a great opportunity for guys like Saric and Cedi Osman to develop under offensive responsibility at the highest European level.

ANY INTRIGUING YOUNGSTERS?

You know everything about Dario already. He's becoming more of an inside banger as you can see from his developing body and his shot chart. In three euroleague games so far, Saric has taken 22 shots inside the perimeter (68% FG%) and just four threes. Cedi "Jedi" Osman, another Balkan transplant,  is a big kid (6'8) who mostly played both wing positions in youth competitions where he unfortunately didn't quite dominate. He ascended quickly from a prospect to contributor though and is averaging almost 20 minutes throughout four games. Osman turned some heads at the World Championship in the elimination game against Finland when he was subbed in decisive minutes to lock down Petteri Koponen. Osman won gold at this year's Under-20 World Championship along with teammates Emrican Kosut and Efekan Cosar. Furkan Korkmaz and Okben Ulubay won gold at the Under-Under-18 World Championship (historically relevant as the "The Bender Games"). Last year, Ulubay had a so-so season in Turkey's 2nd divison with one outstanding game where he scored 38 points.

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James Anderson Edgaras Ulanovas
Lukas Lekavicius
pos Starters Bench
C Robertas Javtokas Arturas Gudaitis -
PF Paulius Jankunas Darius Songaila Donatas Tarolis
SF Edgaras Ulanovas Vytenis Lipkevicius Siim-Sander Vene
SG James Anderson Arturas Milaknis Tomas Dimša
PG Vaidas Kariniauskas Lukas Lekavicius Kaspars Vecvagars

RECENT HISTORY?

Lithuania's cult club is always competitive behind one of Europe's best homecourts. Last year, Zalgiris brought back Sarunas Jasikevicius to run the point in his retirement farewell season. Going through three coaches in a year, Zalgiris was washed out of the Euroleague Top 16 with a 2-12 record while at least winning the national league title as they basically always do. Besides Jasikevicius, Zalgiris lost a scoring option in Justin Dentmon who left for the Chinese League. Dentmon was named Euroleague Weekly MVP three times and set a record for three pointers made so his absence will obviously hurt. However, the Lithuanians landed very intriguing replacement in former San Antonio Spur and Philadelphia 76er James Anderson.

WHO ARE THEY?

James Anderson didn’t waste any time to become the first option on offense. So far through four games, Anderson is averaging 15 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 25 minutes per game. After a disappointing game against Anadolu Efes Istanbul, Anderson bounced back with a Weekly MVP performance against Unics Kazan, scoring 27 points on 12 shots with 11 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. He’s doing it all – hitting three pointers as well as drawing and making fouls at a high rate. Arturas Milkanis is a terrific back-up who can throw up points at a similar rate as a spot-up shooter from deep.

Anderson is crucial to the offense also because Zalgiris lacks strong playmking. Zalgiris has three traditional point guards, none older than 21 years. 20-year old Lukas Lekavicius is seeing most minutes at that position, but he isn’t much of an outside shooter which makes it hard to play him off-the-ball a lot. Also, he’s going through expected growing pains, spotting an A-to-T rate of 1:1.

Zalgiris was a below average defensive team last year and is much improved so far with the 3rd best defensive Rating in the early going. Veterans Robertas Javtokas and Paulius Jankunas guard the inside with fellow veteran Darius Songaila and youngster Arturas Guidatis backing them up.

ANY INTRIGUING YOUNGSTERS?

Arturas Gudatis is somewhat undersized at 6'9 but has a solid place in the rotationas a scorer, rebounder and occasional shotblocker. Lukas Lekavicius might be something of a late bloomer who went through the entire Youth competition catalogue from U16 to U20 without dominating but showing improved playmaking awareness, averaging 2.9 assists to just 1.1 turnovers at this year's Under-20 European Championship. Wing player Edgaras Ulanovas got some attention as a scorer at the Under-19/20 level as a teammate of Jonas Valanciunas but is 22 already and hasn’t quite broken out at the pro level. 20-year old Nike Hoop Summit participant Tomas Dimsa (teammate of Dante Exum and Andrew Wiggins then) seemed destined to take a step forward last year but the guard wasn’t quite able to break out due to shaky ballhandling and hasn’t seen many minutes in this year’s campaign. He has heavy competition from Vaidas Kariniauskas and Lithuanian Kaspars Vecvagars who are seen as more talented. Both are tall scoring point at 6’6 and can play multiple positions.

Week 4 MVP: James Anderson dominates Unics Kazan

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TAYLOR ROCHESTIE
TARENCE KINSEY
SEMEN ANTONOV
pos Starters Bench
C Trey Thompkins Artsiom Parakhouski Maksim Krivosheev
PF Semen Antonov Ilya Popov Vladimir Ivlev
SF Tarence Kinsey Will Daniels Ivan Viktorov
SG Evgeni Baburin Dmitriy Golovin
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PG Taylor Rochestie Dmitry Khvostov Ivan Savalyev

RECENT HISTORY?

Nizhny Novgorod is debuting in the Euroleague after a strong 2nd place finish in the domestic VTB United league.

WHO ARE THEY?

The team's probably most important player, point guard Taylor Rochestie arrived midway through last season and happily signed a new deal to lead the rookie side through its first Euroelague campaign. They knew they would have to shore up their roster to compete in the Euroleague and signed wing players Tarence Kinsey and Will Daniels, as well as Trey Thompkins. That bunch and Semen Antonov give them decent vet power but it just might not be enough in this tough field.  After beating Sassari in the opener, Nizhny Novgorod struggled to stay in games and currently ranks in the bottom five in ORTG and DRTG.

ANY INTRIGUING YOUNGSTERS?

Not really. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Rakim Sanders David Logan
Jerome Dyson
pos Starters Bench
C Shane Lawal Amedeo Tessitori -
PF Jeff Brooks Miroslav Todic Manuel Vanuzzo
SF Rakim Sanders Brian Sacchetti -
SG David Logan Giacomo Devecchi -
PG Jerome Dyson Edgar Sosa Massimo Chessa

RECENT HISTORY?

Sassari comes off a magnificent season winning the Italian Cup, going deep in both the Italian League as well as the EuroCup. Going into their  first Euroleague season, Sassari had to replace multiple key players. The Diener cousins, Travis and Drake, as well as All-Eurocup Second Team guys Caleb Green and Omar Thomas. Sassari signed a number of gritty foreign vets in David Logan, Jeff Brooks,  Jerome Dyson, Rakim Sanders, Edgar Sosa, Miroslav Todic and Shane Lawal.

WHO ARE THEY?

Sassari is a patchwork right now which might not have had enough time to gel and seriously compete in this competition. Everybody in the starting five can score the ball. Rakim Sanders can be a beast who can score in a variety of ways and usually does so very efficiently. David Logan will likely take a backseat to Jerome Dyson and Edgar Sosa in the creativity department and settle for a spot-up role where he can use his creativity as a secondary playmaker.  They can be scary offensively but whether they had enough time to figure out how to use all the firefpower they have remains to be seen.  Miroslav Todic, Shane Lawal and Jeff Brooks will crash the boards but defense will be a significant problem. Currently, they rank last in Defensive Efficiency.

ANY INTRIGUING YOUNGSTERS?

None that have been much visible at the youth stage.

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KEITH LANGFORD
KOSTAS KAIMAKOGLOU
JAMES WHITE
pos Starters Bench
C D'or Fischer Dmitri Sokolov Vadim Panin
PF Kostas Kaimakoglou Petr Gubanov Pavel Antipov
SF James White Viktor Sanikidze Valery Likhodey
SG Keith Langford Nikolaos Zisis Kemal Velishaev
PG Curtis Jerrells Sergei Bykov Ruslan Khabirov

RECENT HISTORY?

For a strong 2013-14 season, Unics got rewarded with the Russian Cup title. Ultimately, they ended the season on a low by losing in the Eurocup finale to Valencia BC, thus ending Russia’s dominance of the competition after three consecutive titles. Kazan got into the Euroleague through the qualifying round with a roster featuring big names even though it’s not quite sure how the pieces will fit.

WHO ARE THEY?

Kazan lost its key player of the 2013 campaign, Andrew Goudelock to fellow Euroleague side Fenerbahce Istanbul. Goudelock led the team in scoring and was named VTB United League and Eurocup MVP. Kazan added Curtis Jerrells and Keith Langford, a dynamic duo helping Olimpia Milano to surge up to an impressive Euroleague campaign last year. Langford is a terrific replacement for Goudelock. The former Kansas Jayhawk was last year’s top scorer averaging 17.6 points per game, and led the Italian side to a domestic title as well. Through four games in the current campaign, Langford is scorching hot, averaging 19 points on 64% from inside the perimeter and 43% from beyond. Legend of Dunkz James Flight White and Nikos Zisis help out on the wings. They’re big and beardy inside with D’or Fisher, Kostas Kaimakoglou, Viktor Sanikidze and completely useless Dmitri Sokolov.

ANY INTRIGUING YOUNGSTERS?

Not really. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

STANDINGS

TEAM WINS LOSSES POINT DIFF OffRTG DefRTG
Real Madrid 4 0 56 126,8 106,9
Zalgiris Kaunas 3 1 34 106,9 95,2
Anadolu Efes Istanbul 3 1 20 104,0 97,1
Unics Kazan 1 3 10 107,9 104,4
Nizhny Novgorod 1 3 -71 98,5 121,8
Dinamo di Sardegna Sassari 0 4 -49 104,5 122,0


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MILOS TEODOSIC
SASHA KAUN
NANDO DE COLO
pos Starters Bench
C Sasha Kaun Kyle Hines Pavel Korobkov
PF Victor Khryapa Andrey Vorontsevich Grigoriy Shuhovtsov
SF Sonny Weems Manuchar Markoishvili Demetris Nichols
SG Nando de Colo Vitaly Fridzon Aleksei Zozulin
PG Milos Teodosic Aaron Jackson Ivan Strebkov

RECENT HISTORY?

Dominating Russia but eventually too stupid to bring home the real precious cup - literally. Too. Stupid....Sigh. Few changes for the worse about this team this year. With Nenad Krstic gone, the frontcourt should be more solid defensively with Sasha Kaun and Kyle Hines roaming the zone. Nando De Colo was a premier signing to play alongside evil genius Milos Teodosic. Manuchar Markoishvili adds scoring punch to the perimeter. They're on a streak of 11 domestic championships and should win again, but eventually, they will be too stupid to win the Euroleague once again.

WHO ARE THEY?

Last year, CSKA set a record for assists per game in the Euroleague. Sasha Kaun is not quite the passer Nenad Krstic is but the addition of Nando De Colo after an intriguing but eventually disappointing NBA stint is a major addition who can do a little of everything. Teodosic is balling and not caring about the haters as always, currently averaging 17.8 points per game after four games with 65% from inside the perimeter and 45% from beyond the arc. Also, he’s had two double doubles already with 15/11 and 27/10 against two of the better teams in this group, Maccabi Tel Aviv and Unicaja Malaga. Sonny Weems is playing incredible basketball as well with 15.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game.

Finally healthy, big Andrey Vorontsevich is there to stretch the floor and is looking to pass more this year, averaging 2.5 assists to just 0.5 turnovers so far. Kaun and Kyle Hines with the Freddy Kruger wingspan play defense and finish inside very efficiently while Vitaly Fridzon spaces the floor as a spot-up shooter from the wing. Offensively, CSKA is as good as it gets, currently ranking 2nd in offensive efficiency behind Real Madrid. Defense will be a question mark again but the upside might be higher this year than last year.

ANY INTRIGUING YOUNGSTERS?

HAHAHAAHAHHA, you can sign young players?! Next you're going to tell me they're cheap.... Actually, they have two guys in their early 20-s but they won't play.

Dunk of the Night: Vorontsevich drives baseline and dunkzzz

Block of the Night: One, Two, Kyle is comin for you

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JEREMY PARGO
DEVIN SMITH
BRIAN RANDLE
pos Starters Bench
C Sofoklis Schortsanitis Alex Tyus Aleks Maric
PF Guy Pnini Brian Randle Jake Cohen
SF Devin Smith Sylven Landesberg Ben Altit
SG Yogev Ohayon Marquez Haynes Nate Linhart
PG Jeremy Pargo - -


RECENT HISTORY?

The Champ is heeeeeere. Upset everybody and landed David Blatt a coaching job - THE coaching job - in the NBA. Their Euroleague success was a coup barely anybody believed in against two incredible offenses in CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid. After ‘tripling’ by winning the domestic cup and championship as well, Maccabi is looking to play another strong season under the guidance of Guy Goodes, one of Blatt’s former assistant coaches.

WHO ARE THEY?

Maccabi lost Euroleague MVP Tyreese Rice who made that stunning shot to upset CSKA in the semifinals to Russian side Khimki . The Isreali team lost their leader on the sidelines as well as the court without significant additions to its roster. After averaging just 5 points per game last year, Jeremy Pargo will have to fill a similar role Rice played. Brian Randle has been a surprisingly competent addition. The US-American who logged a few Euroleague minutes with ALBA Berlin a few years back, is averaging 15 points on efficient shooting to go with Pargo’s 17 points per game. Devin Smith, Guy Pnini and Sylven Landsberg are versatile wing players who will help while the interior will once again rely on Alex Tyus health who had to sit out the last two games.

ANY INTRIGUING YOUNGSTERS?

EVERYTHING IS IRRELEVNT WHO CRES BOUT THE EUROLEGUE MCCBI TEL VIV SIGNED DRGN BENDER TO PRCTICE DESTROYING THE UNIVERSE IN THE SECOND ISRELI DIVISION WITH SOME TAM WHOSE NME I KEEP FORGETTING BEFORE HE IS REDY TO SH▲TTER THE IMGE OF GOD IN  SHINING YELLOW MCCBI JERSEY ND BECOME THE OVEROVERLORD TO NTHONY DVIS’ OVERLORD PRY PRY PRY HE IS COMING PRY PRY PRY WE RE NOT WORTHY PRY PRY PRY TIME IS RUNNING OUT PRY PRY PRY PRY PRY PRY PRY PRY PRY PRY PRY

Dunk of the Night: Alex Tyus Alley-Oop

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MINDAUGAS KUZMINSKAS
RYAN TOOLSON
JAYSON GRANGER
pos Starters Bench
C Fran Vázquez Vladimir Golubovic Maodo Nguirane
PF Caleb Green Will Thomas -
SF Carlos Suárez Mindaugas Kuzminskas
SG Kostas Vasileiadis Ryan Toolson Jón Stefánsson
PG Jayson Granger Stefan Markovic -

RECENT HISTORY?

Malaga is a balanced team all around with players from 10 different countries. After two years of barely missing out on the postseason, Malaga qualified for last year’s ACB playoffs and went to the semifinals. They have been a Euroleague fixture for years and made the Top 16 round for the last seven years.

WHO ARE THEY?

Unicaja lost three key players in Zoran Dragic (NBA), Vladimir Stimac (Bayern - GER) and Nik Caner-Medley (Astana – KAZ). Distributing the scoring Malaga loses with them won’t be easy but this is still a dangerous, deep team that takes care of business. In his second year with Unicaja, 25-year old Lithuanian forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas is a joy to watch and can do a little bit of everything. He will be asked to be more of a scorer but he can also take care of the ball and get others involved. Uruguay#s Jayson Granger should be a decent facilitator and scorer even though he’s struggling a little so far. Combo guard Ryan Toolson will be asked to do more as well and he’s delivered so far, upping his assists per game from 1.0 in 2013 to 4.5 through four games. Newcoming forward Caleb Green averaged 19 points in the EuroCup last year and should help the offense as well.

Malaga was a strong defensive team last year with Fran "Orlando Forever"Vasquez patrolling the paint but it’s actually been their offensive that has looked good in those four games. Unicaja currently ranks fourth in Offensive Efficiency.

ANY INTRIGUING YOUNGSTERS?

Malaga is one of the teams that have been scouting African prospects extensively in the recent past and they have integrated a few 17-19 year olds this year who played in the minor league system. 17-year old Congolese Romari Belemene and Vinny Okouo participated in the NIKE Junior Invitational Tourament that is played as a side attraction at Euroleague venues and had a solid season for Unicaja’s second team. They  won’t play Euroleague minutes but keep an eye especially on Belemene. Senegalese 6 foot 10 center Maodo Nguirane is interesting too but is 20 years old already and hasn't had much experience. Morayoninuoluwa "Mo" Soluade is a 19-year old british guard who had a decent season in the 2nd Spanish division and has been called up to join the ACB/Euroleague roster. He won’t play much in the Euroleague but keep an eye on him in eventual ACB blowouts where he might get some minutes.

Play of the night: Matrix Vasilieiadis

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REGGIE REDDING
JAMEL McLEAN
ALEX RENFROE
pos Starters Bench
C Leon Radoševic Jonas Wohlfarth-Bottermann -
PF Jamel McLean Marko Banic -
SF Reggie Redding Alex King -
SG Vojdan Stojanovski Akeem Vargas -
PG Clifford Hammonds Alex Renfroe -

RECENT HISTORY?

10 years back, ALBA Berlin was a German powerouse but they struggled to stay competitive with teams like Bonn and Bayern Munich rising up. Berlin reached the Eurocup quarterfinals and and lost the German league final to Munich. The German’s lost two key players David Logan and David Kendall but retained Eurocup All-Second Team selection Reggie Redding and brought back guard Alex Renfroe. Jonathan Tabu was signed to replace David Logan but the player from Belgium suffered a significant injury and is out for the season.

WHO ARE THEY?

Clifford Hammonds, Renfroe and Redding are the creative parts who can create for others and score. After winning two NCAA championships at Connecticut and going undrafted, sharpshooter Niels Giffey joined ALBA and should be a major part of the rotation. Jamel McLean transferred from last year’s Eurocup team Bonn to bring power at the PF spot. With Bonn, he averaged 15.5 points and 6.7 rebounds per game and is off to a good start in his Euroleague debut too. He’s averaging 13.3 points on 62% from the field with 5.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists. He also leads the league in fouls drawn. Marko Banic is another decent vet with extensive international experience who will share duties with 24-year old fellow Croat Leon Radosevic.

ANY INTRIGUING YOUNGSTERS?

17-year old Moritz Wagner has played at the PF spot in youth competition but but flashed enough potential as a wing for ALBA to give him a pro roster spot. 19-year old Ismet Akpinar is a dynamic floor leader who might be ready to play decent minutes too.

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ROKO UKIC
NEMANJA GORDIC
MARKO ARAPOVIC
pos Starters Bench
C Miro Bilan Stanko Barac Marko Arapovic
PF Mario Delaš Tomislav Zubcic Karlo Žganec
SF Marko Tomas Ivan Ramljak Lovro Mazalin
SG Luka Babic Fran Pilepic Jovan Novak
PG Roko Ukic Nemanja Gordic Ante Delaš

RECENT HISTORY?

Cedevita is returning to the Euroleague after a one-year hiatus. The Croatians had an allright season, reaching the Top 32 stage in the Eurocup and winning the Croatian league title against rival Cibona Zagreb but losing the Adriatic League title to the seam team and Dario Saric. Jusuf Nurkic left the team after just one year but Zagreb was able to shore its roster up a little with domestic veterans like Roko Ukic and Fran Pilepic, as well as Bosnian Nemanja Gordic.

WHO ARE THEY?

Cedevita’s strong suit is the guard rotation around Roko Ukic, Luka Babic, Nemanja Gordic and Fran Pilepic. These guys can score and get others involved. Ukic had to sit out the first two games and is still rusty but showed signs of what Cedevita expects from him when he dished out six assists to no turnovers against Maccabi Tel Aviv. The big duo of Mario Delas and Miro Bilan will try to keep the lane free and 24-year old Tomislav Zubcic might be an X-factor for the Croats. Zubcic is a guy I like a lot, a jack-of-all-trades who looked good in youth competition but didn't quite develop into a versatile threat.

A lot relies on the creativity of Cedevita’s guards which is not among the better backcourts in the competition so they will struggle to score while their size should solidify their defense.

ANY INTRIGUING YOUNGSTERS?

Cedevita has a few very intriguing youngsters on their roster, most notably ‚97-born Lovro Mazalin and ’96-born Marko Arapovic. Both are already seeing significant playing time despite their youth.  At Eurohopes, both are listed as Top 5 talents in their birth years. Arapovic is a skilled center who plays defense but also shows awareness and IQ on the offensive end. Playing for Croatia’s youth teams, he dominated at the U-16 to U-18 stages. Occasionally, he showed the ability to knock down long range jumpers which will be key for his development since he is undersized to play center with the pros.

Mazalin is a giant 6’8 wing who might still grow with a 6’11 wingspan. Mazalin has shown flashes of being a very versatile player with his shooting being his one glaring flaw which should not be too concerning at this age. Mazalin can remind one of Dario Saric as a guy who can get to the rim with ease at the youth level using exceptional handles for a guy that big and run fast breaks, yet he’s not nearly the passer Saric is. On defense, the question marks are the same as those with Saric but as he grows, he might be tall enough to play inside and not have to check perimeter players where he should have enough smarts to be average.

With guys like Arapovic, Mazalin and Dragan Bender the Ender of Worlds, Croatia’s future looks bright.

Assist of the Night: Behind-the-Babic

Dunk of the night: Nemanja Gordic goes up in transition

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LEO WESTERMANN
JAMAR SMITH
NOBEL BOUNGOU-COLO
pos Starters Bench
C J.P Batista Fréjus Zerbo -
PF Adrien Moerman Trent Plaisted Ousmane Camara
SF Nobel Boungou Colo James Southerland Lamine Kanté
SG Ramel Curry Jamar Smith -
PG Leo Westerman Pape-Philipe Amagou -

RECENT HISTORY?

After competing in the Euroleague in the late 90’s, Limoges went through some dark times falling as far as the third division before climbing back up, winning the French league and returning to Europe’s elite level. A gritty team without big names, Limoges picked up known names in Jamar Smith, Ramel Curry, and domestic talent Leo Westermann, as well as intriguing euro rook James Southerland.

WHO ARE THEY?

Leo Westermann went through some dark times himself. After getting his name in the books of NBA scouts, Westermann took the gutsy step of leaving France and joining the young roster of Serbia’s Partizan Belgrade where he should be paired with Bogdan Bogdanovic to form a dynamic young duo. As a traditional point guard with below average athleticism, Bogdanovic struggled on an inexperienced squad without much spacing. A few weeks into last season, Westermann tore his ACL which shot his chances of being picked in the NBA draft for good while Bogdan Bogdanovic became the primary ball handler and made a name for himself.

Syracuse wing James Southerland bounced around the D-League and NBA last year and will debut in Europe. So far, he’s being eased in, averaging just 9 minutes per game. Jamar Smith will be tasked with putting the ball in the hoop. The guard gained experience with German club Baskets Bonn last year where he scored 12.5 points per game. Ramel Curry, who led the Eurocup in scoring in 2011-12 is another Euroleague vet after last year’s stint with Panathinaikos Athen. 33-year old undersized Brazilian center Joao Batista will have a tough job defending the rim alongside Adrien Moerman and super athletic Nobel Boungou-Colo who is a very streaky shooter at the wing.

All in all, Westermann is glad to be back at the Euroleague level, but he’s in a very similar situation as last year. There is not much spacing and scoring and Limoges is currently a bottom 3rd team in Offensive Efficiency.

ANY INTRIGUING YOUNGSTERS?

Not really. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Dunk of the Night: Guard blocks center, transition ends in huge Alley-Oop dunk

STANDINGS

TEAM WINS LOSSES POINT DIFF OffRTG DefRTG
CSKA Moscow 4 0 49 125,4 108,0
Unicaja Malaga 3 1 14 113,6 108,7
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv 2 2 2 112,2 111,5
ALBA Berlin 1 3 -11 108,1 111,9
Cedevita Zagreb 1 3 -20 100,2 107,4
Limoges CSP 1 3 -34 95,2 106,6

VJL110's NUMBERS FOR YOUTH PLAYERS

Last but not least, I looked at all youth players logging minutes so far in the Euroleague that can also be found at Dr. Mr. Vashro’s Euro database along with the type of competition they logged most of the minutes in each year. "1st"/"2nd" = 1st / 2nd domestic division, "Youth" = international youth tourney, "Int" = International FIBA pro tourney.

Player Season Competition Age MP CMB
Dimitris
Agravanis
2014 1st 18 434 0,759
2013 1st 17 358 0,639
2012 Youth 16 394 0,409
2011 Youth 15 165 0,499
Marko
Arapovic
2014 1st 17 284 0,865
2013 1st 16 213 0,772
Vassilis
Charalampopoulos
2014 1st 16 406 0,85
2013 1st 15 27 0,869
Tomas
Dimsa
2014 1st 19 482 0,062
2013 Youth 18 227 0,308
2012 Youth 17 96 0,707
Ludde Hakanson 2013 Int 17 82 0,694
Mario
Hezonja
2014 1st 18 342 0,928
2013 1st 17 28 0,616
Furkan Korkmaz 2014 Youth 16 180 0,871
Emircan
Kosut
2014 1st 18 225 0,706
2013 Youth 17 188 0,779
Lovro
Mazalin
2013 1st 16 337 0,85
2012 1st 15 192 0,894
Luka
Mitrovic
2014 1st 21 261 0,759
2013 1st 20 329 0,489
2012 2nd 19 491 0,456
2012 2nd 18 351 0,650
Cedi
Osman
2014 1st 18 482 0,553
2013 Youth 17 143 0,707
2012 Youth 16 157 0,721
Kenan
Sipahi
2014 1st 18 191 0,811
2013 Youth 17 211 0,600
2012 Youth 16 239 0,813
2011 Youth 15 228 0,788
Mo Soluade 2014 Youth 18 273 0,822
Marko Tejic 2014 1st 18 421 0,582
Guillem
Vives
2014 1st 20 953 0,708
2013 1st 19 375 0,242
Karlo
Zganec
2014 Youth 18 275 0,726
2013 Youth 17 266 0,911
2012 Youth 16 190 0,848