2018/19 EuroCup: Preview

EuroCup
Photo: EuroCup

The new EuroCup season starts tomorrow (02/10) and the 24 teams are ready to fight tooth and nail for the title and the ticket to the EuroLeague.

Here are the most interesting facts ahead of the new season:

Lokomotiv Kuban to go all the way 

Lokomotiv Kuban certainly is one of the favourites to win the competition. Coach Sasa Obradovic led the team to 20 consecutive wins last season, yet they came up short in the end.

This season, the Russians want to go all the way and have created an impressive roster. Jamel McLean, Mateusz Ponitka, Dorell Wright, Vitaly Fridzon, Isaiah Whitehead, JaJuan Johnson and Dmitry Kulagin can make the difference on both ends of the floor for the squad.

If they remain healthy, they will be the number one favourite to become champions and secure their place in the 2019/20 EuroLeague.

Larry Brown returns to the bench

Larry Brown is getting ready for his rookie season in the EuroCup as the head coach of Fiat Turin. The 77-year-old coach brings his valuable experience to the squad and all eyes will be on him.

Forward Victor Rudd and sharpshooter Carlos Delfino will try to help their teammates claim victories and advance to the Top 16.

EuroCup
Photo: EuroCup

Brandon Jennings comes back to Europe

Brandon Jennings decided to leave the NBA and return to Europe, after a 10-year absence. The American point guard joined Zenit St Petersburg and has only one target on his mind, to fight for the title.

ASVEL and Unics Kazan to be the competition’s pleasant surprises

The French team looks forward to playing in the EuroLeague next season (through an associate wild card), but they now want to play consistently in the EuroCup.

The team is talented, while some players (Mantas Kalnietis, AJ Slaughter and DeMarcus Nelson) also have EuroLeague experience.

Unics Kazan made many changes to their roster and head coach Dimitris Priftis has created a decent roster. Pierria Henry, Maurice NDour and the latest acquisition, Errick McCollum, are expected to be the squad’s leaders.

The newcomers

Mornar Bar, AS Monaco and Germani Basket Leonessa will play in the competition for the first time. Especially the French team wants to become a force to be reckoned with, after playing in the Final of the Basketball Champions League last season.

BeBasket/Sebastien Grasset
Photo: BeBasket/ Sebastien Grasset

Unicaja Malaga and Valencia return to the EuroCup

Unicaja Malaga makes its return to the EuroCup for the first time since winning the title in 2017. They have created a competitive roster, including versatile players like newcomers Brian Roberts, Kyle Wiltjer and Mathias Lessort as well as Dragan Milosavljevic and Adam Waczynski.

Although they don’t start the season as the favourites, they can make the surprise and go all the way.

With three titles and five finals, Valencia are still keeping the record for most victories (134), points (14.722), rebounds (6.098) and assists (3.027) in EuroCup history.

The roster consists of talented and experienced players (Rafa Martinez, Antoine Diot, Bojan Dubljevic, Fernando San Emeterio and Sam Van Rossom, among others), so the Spaniards are ready to fight tooth and nail for their fourth title.

Crvena Zvezda can have a breakout year 

The Serbians made many changes to their roster and now want to have a breakout year. Mouhammad Faye, Joe Ragland, Stratos Perperoglou and Maik Zirbes signed with the club, while Milan Tomic took over the team, after spending the majority of his career with Olympiacos.