In the fifth of our 16 team previews in 16 days, Emmet Ryan looks at Brose Bamberg’s prospects as they fly the flag for the Bundesliga in Euroleague 2016/17
As the intro suggests, we’re doing a preview for each of the 16 teams in Euroleague in the 16 days leading up to the start of the new season. Regarding player movement, we are relying heavily on the wonderful Mark Porcaro’s work with his 2016-17 player movement database. You should all follow Mark on Twitter.
We are going through the sides in reverse order of when they take the floor in the opening round of games in the 2016/17 Euroleague season. The entire reason we ended up on that order was because we figured it would be cool to finish with the two teams playing in the season opener.
Coach: Andrea Trinchieri
Arena: Brose Arena (6,800)
Last season in Euroleague: 13-11 (6-4 regular season, 7-7 Top 16), missed the playoffs
Last season in Bundesliga: 31-3, won finals
Who’s new? Fabian Causeur (Baskonia, ACB), Vladimir Veremeenko (Reggio Emilia, Serie A), Maodo Lo (Columbia, NCAA), Aleksej Nikolic (Baunach, German Pro A), Louis Olinde (Hamburg, German Pro A)
Who’s gone? Brad Wanamaker (Darussafaka Dogus, BSL), Arnoldas Kubolka (Baunach, German Pro A)
What friend are they on a night out? They’ve been around a while and you figured they were a lightweight but, wow, they have stepped up to be able to down jars with the auld lads at the end of the bar.
Brose Bamberg come into the new look Euroleague with a loaded roster on the back of what was comfortably the club’s most impressive performance in the big show to date. Having never won a game in two previous trips to this stage, the Bundesliga champions got the job done at the 22nd attempt and ended up in a race for the playoffs before eventually finishing 7-7 and missing out on tie-breakers.
Now it gets harder. The arrival of Causeur is promising, particularly if he can stay healthy, and Lo is a nice addition to the club’s German corps. The big question of course is what happens without Wanamaker. That’s a big loss for the side and one that will most certainly be Darussafaka’s gain. The race for the final playoff spots is also going to be even tougher this year with several of the sides that disappointed in the Top 16 last season having reloaded their rosters.
Nic Melli promises to be the man for Bamberg this year and he knows the balancing act of being a giant domestically and in a dogfight at Euroleague level. That makes for Bamberg as a playoff contender but the shake up means it’s going to take a bunch of breaks going their way to make it.
Fearless prediction: Despite the positivity, I have Bamberg last of the sides I see in the final shake up for playoff spots. Essentially I’m calling 6th through 12th as an absolute scrap to the final weeks but Bamberg will probably prove the first to fall out of the reckoning. They are a lot closer in quality to 8th than 16th but I’m sticking them in the middle at 12th.