To cover SLUC Nancy, nobody else could have been a better fit than Maxime Weber from eurobasket.com. He covers French basketball for several years now and he is pretty close to Nancy and his favorite basketball team.
Overall record prediction: 4-6
SLUC Nancy has built the best roster of their history with all positions being doubled. Maybe Le Mans looks stronger but the roster of Nancy is extremely well furnished for their standards. If you put this in the right angle, you could even say that Nancy is the Panathinaikos version of France this year. Of course, without the big names…
Ricardo Greer is the clear leader of the group, he is taking the ball in his hands in the important moments. With his incredible versatility, he can create his own shot as well as making spaces and open positions for his teammates. Together with John Cox and Lamayn Wilson, they form a aggressive scoring trio that will create some trouble even on the Euroleague level. John Cox brings good size on the PG spot and can go for post-ups against smaller defenders. He has good fundamentals which he uses to score a lot.
Lamayn Wilson will bring his long frame and decent shooting and athleticism to the forward positions and he can create some matchup problems for the defenders. The problem though may be on the inside positions. Without a big offensive force, Victor Samnick has to play a lot of minutes on the Center position. Rod Benson and Roger Zaki are still in a learning process of the European level. In his first game in the French League, Benson played only 3 minutes after being schooled by Ali Traoré two times in the first defensive situations.
On the other hand, Zaki can be a nice surprise of this season. The seven footer excels in pick-and-roll situations and hammers down everything he gets close to the basket. He cooperates well with Samnick and this combination may be used more often by coach Jean-Luc Monschau.
Michael Morandais and Jeff Greer will be the main options coming from the bench and giving scoring power to boost the team. Both will however only play a minor role in the plans of the team as the focus lies on the dynamic trio. Another player that could break into the rotation is Seydou N’Joya. He is not allowed to play in the French League because of the foreigner rules and the non-replacement of TJ Parker could be a sign that the young guard who spent some time in Sweden last season will see the floor in the Euroleague.
Finally, we have of course the typical French syndrome. Will they be able to play a successful basketball and win games? In the Euroleague, experience and credit among the referees is very important, you just have to see the results of Le Mans from the last years. And this is definitely not present in Nancy where only Ricardo Greer has a big name in Euroleague conditions.
Final Four participants: Olympiacos, CSKA Moscow, Real Madrid, Montepaschi Siena
Euroleague Winner: CSKA Moscow
written by Maxime Weber