2008 Top 16 profile: Aris TT Bank

Jan 30, 2008 by Euroleague.net Print

 Aris TT Bank
Regular Season:
5th, Group B, 7-7

Team Rankings
5th fouls received

Gordon Herbert - Aris TT Bank
Gordon Herbert
Aris TT Bank stormed back into the Top 16 this season looking to make more noise than last year. Despite a 7-7 record and a fifth-place finish in Group B, Aris posted many quality wins showing that it could be a force as the season goes on. Led by star power forward Jeremiah Massey and rookie guard Bracey Wright, the club added point guard Darius Washington and forward Vladimer Boisa late in the season sowing that a spot among the 16 best is not enough for the proud folks in Thessaloniki, Greece. Aris is the lowest-scoring team to advance to the Top 16 this season, but in the last two games with Washington in the lineup were arguably Aris’s best offensive showings all season. Head coach Gordon Herbert arrived this summer and kept the core of last year’s team – some seven players – while adding select pieces in Wright, another rookie in sixth man Reyshawn Terry and big man Hanno Mottola. The result was a hot start with a win over a Final Four team from last season, Unicaja, in the opener on
Jeremiah Massey - Aris TT Bank
Jeremiah Massey
the way to a 3-0 start. The team’s major weakness would prove to be its streakiness, losing back-to-back games three times including four of five at one point. Massey not only leads the team in scoring, rebounding, steals and blocks, but also in spirit. He is backed up by a host of quality performers as after Wright, Aris has four more players averaging between 8.5 and 9 points per game. Aris’s next test will be to survive an injury to Terry, its top reserve who will miss the start of the Top 16. The surprise performer late in the regular season was small forward Dimitris Tsaldaris, who had his three best games in the month of January. As long as Massey remains an unstoppable force, respectable contributions from the remaining starters – Washington, Wright, Tsaldaris and Mottola – and help from reserves Boisa or veteran Georgios Kalaitzis could push Aris into the quarterfinals and beyond for the first time since the early 1990s.
Aris TT Bank general manager Ioannis Damianidis: "First of all, I think it is a big honour for Aris TT Bank to reach the Top 16 for the second consecutive year. We are facing a group with a very high level and are expecting tough games. What I actually know is that my team will fight for each game. We will go as far as I can. This is great for our fans, players and the club. It is big to reach the Top 16 in two consecutive years. Some very good teams are not even in the Euroleague."