BallinEurope is previewing all 18 Euroleague Basketball teams over the next 18 days. Yesterday it was the turn of Anadolu Efes. Today it’s their cross city rivals in Istanbul of Dimitris Itoudis and Fenerbahce.
There was an extra dose of fight in Fenerbahce at the tail end of last season. They appear to have added some more quality to give Dimitris Itoudis an intimidating roster heading into the new season.
Euroleague record: 19-15
Regular season position: 8th
Playoffs: Lost to Olympiacos 3-2
BSL record: 24-6
Regular season position: 2nd
Playoffs: Lost semi-finals 3-1 (Anadolu Efes)
Nemanja Bjelica (Crvena Zvezda), Carsen Edwards (Bayern Munich), Kostas Antetokounmpo (Panathinaikos), Tonye Jekiri (CSKA Moscow), Ismet Akpinar (Galatasaray), Samit Geyik (Galatasaray), Devin Booker (Bayern Munich).
Who is new?
Raul Neto (Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA), Sertac Sanli (FC Barcelona), Georgios Papagiannis (Panathinaikos), Yam Madar (Partizan), Nana Sestina (Turk Telecom), Yigit Hamza Mestoglu (La Roda), Arturs Zagars* (Nevezis)
*Zagars is on loan for this season with BC Wolves.
Dimitris Itoudis (Coach), Nigel Hayes-Davis, Dyshawn Pierre, Marko Guduric, James Metecan Birsen, Scottie Wilbekin, Johnathan Motley, Tyler Dorsey, Melih Mahmutoglu, Tarik Biberovic.
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Need to know
James Metecan Birsen is half-Irish. That may not mean a lot to you. I, on the other hand, am that rare breed. Namely, a basketball journalist born and based in Dublin. Ireland may only get to claim half of Jimmy Birsen but it’s a reason for people here to watch Fenerbahce basketball.
In more relevant information, the overall outgoing and incomings are fascinating. The team has gotten younger and deeper, particularly at point guard and the 5. This is going to be a tough team to beat in Euroleague Basketball.
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What the bookies think
The sportsbooks are very high on Fenerbahce. Right now, they are at 8/1 in basketball betting, which has them in line for a trip to Berlin next May. Honestly, and this is looking at all of the odds, I think the balance of odds at the top of the pile makes a lot of sense. The price might look short but, in context, it’s fair.
What we think
This is a great basketball team. It’s a very different one to the last group that got Fenerbahce a Euroleague crown but that’s fine. Dimitris Itoudis is a different coach to Zeljko Obradovic. He’s the type to want a different group to win with. In the simplest terms, this is one of the best teams in Euroleague Basketball this season.
Fenerbahce are very good. That’s enough for you all to know I’ve picked them for a spot in the playoffs. These previews however are skewed towards regular season performance in Euroleague Basketball. With that in mind, if anything, I get even higher on Fenerbahce. Injuries happen and affect different teams in different ways. At key positions, Fenerbahce are in a better position than most to weather them. They’ll get home court as a result.
Pick: 2nd place in the regular season