Team Focus 2012-13: Mapooro Cantu

Oct 05, 2012 by Euroleague.net Print
Team Focus 2012-13: Mapooro Cantu
ROSTER
4
KUDLACEK, JAKUB
G
1.93
5
ABASS, AWUDU
G
1.94
7
SCEKIC, MARKO
F
2.07
8
SMITH, JERRY
G
1.88
9
MARKOISHVILI, MANUCHAR
G
1.97
10
LEUNEN, MAARTEN
F
2.06
12
MAZZARINO, NICOLAS
G
1.91
13
CASELLA, ANDREA
F
1.96
15
BROOKS, JEFF
F
2.03
16
TYUS, ALEXANDER
F
2.03
18
TABU, JONATHAN
G
1.90
21
ARADORI, PIETRO
G
1.94
22
CUSIN, MARCO
C
2.11
Head Coach: TRINCHIERI, ANDREA

2011-12 Results
Euroleague:
Regular Season
5-5
Top 16
3-3
Italian League:
Quarterfinalist
Italian Cup:
Finalist


HISTORIC RESULTS

2011-12: 8-8, Top 16
2010-11: 3-3, Eurocup RS


WHAT'S NEW
The many new faces on the roster of Marpooro Cantu, a Top 16 team last season, include a new-look backcourt featuring experienced Pietro Aradori, talented newcomer Jerry Smith and combo-guard Jonathan Tabu. Cantu loaded their paint with athleticism by bringing in power forwards Jeff Brooks and Alex Tyus. Active big man Marco Cusin adds much needed size and muscle, while promising swingman Andrea Casella and on-loan guard Jakub Kudlacek add more depth to the perimeter.

Players Pallacanestro Cantu - Qualifying Round Desio 2012 (photo Chiara Turati - Pallacanestro Cantu)

THE BACKCOURT
Playmakers Smith and Tabu are expected to deliver on both ends of the floor. Their stingy defense should help Cantu get turnovers and run the fastbreak often, and their scoring habits and shooting range will help the team in the half-court sets. Veteran Nicolas Mazzarino can share the floor with both of them as a clutch performer and reliable outside shooter, while young veterans Manuchar Markoishvili and Aradori are ready to be team’s go-to-guys. With vast experience at such young age, these two swingmen both bring rare combination of energy and know-how that can push the team far. Youngsters Kudlacek, Casella and homegrown guard Awudu Abass give Cantu perimeter depth.

THE FRONTCOURT
Cantu has lots of versatility in the revamped front line. Shot-blocker Tyus is a true inside presence while Brooks stretches defenses with his inside-outside game. Both are athletic, strong rebounders and strive to run the break. Blue-collar center Cusin is another great shot-blocker who is also efficient on offense, while Maarten Leunen can shine at both forward positions because of his fantastic three-point shot, court vision and rare passing abilities. Veteran Marko Scekic will provide Cantu’s frontcourt with more depth after he recovers from knee injury that made him miss most of the last Euroleague campaign.

OUTLOOK
After a terrific debut season, Cantu comes back to the Turkish Airlines Euroleague with dangerous perimeter shooting, inside athleticism, high IQ in key positions and a will to play defense. With those engines already warmed up through the qualifying rounds – not to mention an incredibly devoted fan base creating a true home-court advantage – head coach Andrea Trinchieri’s men are back for real and ready to make more big noise this season.


Pietro Aradori - Mapooro Cantu - Qualifying Round Desio 2012
PLAYER TO WATCH: Pietro Aradori
Scoring ace Pietro Aradori saw limited playing time in his last two seasons at Montepaschi Siena, but was a full-time rotation player and helped his team to reach the 2011 Final Four. Over those two seasons, Aradori averaged 15 points and a 21 index rating whenever he played more than 20 minutes in Euroleague games. In the recent qualifying rounds, he put up a team-high 14.3 points and 4 rebounds to get Cantu back to the Euroleague. At age 23, he’s ready to become a full-time leader on the court.