Could 2009 be the breakout year for highly touted forward Nikita Kurbanov? The conditions all seem right for last season’s loaner to Spartak St. Petersburg: Kurbanov is rounding into maturity at 22 years old; he spent much of 2008-09 as a starter; and, perhaps most importantly, his old Spartak coach Evgeny Pashutin is now his new CSKA coach. Just remember, when the name “Nikita Kurbanov” becomes regularly bandied about in 2010 by Euroleague devotees, you heard it here first.
(Euroleague.net) – CSKA Moscow announced on Tuesday that forward Nikita Kurbanov will return to the squad this season after spending a year away on loan at Spartak St. Petersburg. Kurbanov (202, 22) was a member of the CSKA side that won the 2006 Euroleague crown. Always viewed as a top prospect, he played a reserve role for the club for several seasons while also spending time on loan at Unics Kazan, Lokomotiv Rostov and St. Petersburg to develop. Last season he averaged 8.9 points and 4.1 rebounds in 21 Russian League games at Spartak under head coach Evgeny Pashutin, who will coach him again this season at CSKA.