Group B co-leaders Strasbourg host Besiktas Cola Turka on Tuesday in a crucial matchup. Strasbourg (3-1) is coming off its first defeat in the current campaign in Belgrade against FMP, with Chuck Eidson missing the potential game-winning triple. Besiktas (2-2) has won back-to-back games for the first time in the competition, though it's still hunting for its first road win in the ULEB Cup. Strasbourg is a balanced team, with inside and outside offensive weapons and a rock solid defense, allowing only 74.5 points per game. The Week 1 MVP Eidson (17 ppg., 9.2 rpg., 3.2 apg.) is the leader, while Afik Nissim (11.5 ppg.) and Claude Marquis (10.5 ppg., 5.7 rpg.) are the other main scorers. Strasbourg's depth and experience allow the team to play at any pace. Besiktas has used defense as the key to its victories, holding its opponents to an average 67 points in the last two home wins. The club will need a similar defensive effort in France to scorer the valuable away win. Besiktas has struggled on the offensive end, averaging 71.5 points per game and shooting 38.5 % on two-pointers and 37 % from three. Point guard Aubrey Reese (15.5 ppg.), who played all 40 minutes in the last two games, is the key to the offense, while Brooks Sales (8 ppg., 8.2 rpg.) and Cevher Ozer (10.5 ppg., 8 rpg. ) are the relevant big men. Besiktas will need a solid game from swingman Jamel Thomas (13.3 ppg., 4.3 apg.) to help balance its attack, while Aerick Sanders (9.7 ppg., 7.2 rpg., 1.2 bpg.) could be Strasbourg's trump card in the paint.
Monday, November 27, 2006