In Part seven of our “23 (teams) in 230 (words)” Euroleague mini preview series, we anticipate a young Partizan roster which is looking to celebrate the return of Dusko “Dule” Vujosevic with Top16 participation.
Partizan has always been a financial lightweight, but never more than this season. The Serbs will be going into their 2012/13 campaign without the likes of Nikola Pekovic, Milan Macvan or experienced swingman Dusan Kecman. At a projected 23.1 years (minute-weighted), this is an incredibly young team, the youngest since a too inexperienced Cibona roster finished zero for ten in the 2010/11 Euroleague season. In contrast to previous years, except for 27-year-old playmaker Torey Thomas, what promises to be the key axis (Thomas, Drew Gordon, Leo Westermann and Dragan Milosavljevic) is not going to lead by experience. But they may grow.
High-IQ playmaker Westermann, fresh off a 2011/12 season where he averaged 23.2 and 24.2 minutes per game respectively in ProA and EuroCup action with ASVEL, is going to carry plenty of responsibility as he projects to see minutes on both the one and two. Projected topscorer is Torey Thomas, a relatively little-known journeyman who will share backcourt duties with Westermann and shooting guard Danilo Andjusic. Drew Gordon, one of the NCAA’s top rebounders, projects to be one of the league’s top per-game rebounders if the minutes per game go along.
There is plenty of opportunity for niche players to shine: Dorde Gagic, a 21-year-old acquisition from Hemofarm, has been phenomenal in preparation on center, while combo forwards Vladimir Lucic and young Latvian Davis Bertans are most likely to fill the void on power forward, should Gordon indeed play the majority of his minutes on center.
The task is all too simple: Defeat two of Besiktas, Brose Baskets and Lietuvos Rytas, and you are through to Top16. With the Euroleague middle stage now extended to seven instead of three home games, this would be a most welcome sight for the financially riddled Serbian powerhouse.
|C||Dejan Musli||Dorde Gagic||Nikola Milutinov|
|PF||Drew Gordon||Vladimir Lucic||Branislav Dekic|
|SF||Davis Bertans||Marko Cakarevic|
|SG||Dragan Milosavljevic||Bogdan Bogdanovic||Danilo Andjusic|
|PG||Leo Westermann||Torey Thomas|
- *The projected 2012/13 numbers take into account past performance and aging, as well as different league quality.
- The only arbitrary (and thus least reliable) input are minutes per game.
- Minute-weighted age: 22.3 years
- Minute-weighted height: 1.98 meters
- Contract Lengths & Salaries