Moving on with Group B and Italian champions Montepaschi Siena, who are rebuilding their squad for this season.
Introduction : After several seasons in which Siena added one or two players in a consolidated group, this year begins a new era with a new coach and many new players. The global crisis has also had an impact here, and then the budget was reduced. But general manger Minnucci has a good reputation when the matter is to find hidden gems without spending too much.
Bobby Brown will be the motor from the point guard position; mainly a scorer, he had to find balance between his own shot and a good ball distribution. Marcelus Kemp is a strong wing forward, yet unproven on this stage, but he has all the tools to deliver on both sides of the floor.
Hackett is another strong guard that fight on defence, while on offence is a good assist man. In the frontcourt there unproven Euroleague players; Kasun and Eze are good but not spectacular role players, while Sanikidze and Kangur haven’t never played at this level before, so they will have to adjust.
Coach : Luca Banchi deserves this chance, after passing on several efforts to remain as first assistant during Pianigiani’s tenure. He hasn’t an easy task, beacuse this is basically a new group, but Minnucci will give him plenty of time. Also Banchi has added a new high profile assistant, Marco Crespi, former head coach and NBA scout.
During his career, mainly in Jesi and Livorno, Banchi has made a good work developing young players, but on a lower level; with this Montepaschi team he will have to show that he belongs to this level. Minnucci has stated that this is the first year of the rebulding project, so the task for Bianchi will be that of showing a group with an all-in attitude, that try to win by committee, within the system.
Key player : Bobby Brown will be a vital piece, but Sanikidze could be the most important; his rebounding prowess, if translated on Euroleague level, can decrease the gap compared to the other frontcourts. His demeanor and intensity should influence his teammates, mainly those with less experience.
Breakout player : Daniel Hackett is a combo guard that will bring toughness and intensity while on defence. Not a good overall shooter, he is at his best using his strengths at the guard position and is best suited to play next to a good scorer, as Bobby Brown. Had to improve on offence, but he could be a real asset on defence in his first season in Euroleague.
Biggest Euroleague moment : Siena has played in many Final Fours, but Minnucci hopes that the biggest moment is ahead. A win would be a fitting reward for the excellent work that society has done over the years, finding and developing unheralded players; Bo McCalebb is only the last of a long list.