2009-10 Team Focus: Entente Orleanaise

Oct 12, 2009 by Euroleague.net Print
Entente Orleanaise
Jeremie Douillet
Cedrick Banks
Ryvon Covile
William Herve
Justin Doellman
Mael Lebrun
Johwe Casseus
Aldo Curti
Austin Nichols
Ludovic Vaty
Adrien Moerman
Laurent Scierra
Anthony Dobbins
Elio Sadiku
Head Coach: Philippe Herve
Philippe Herve
A remarkable climb from the French third division to the Euroleague in just 16 years has Entente Orleanaise Loiret and its fans jumping for joy and full of expectations to see and compete with the finest teams on the continent. It also makes this qualifier to the 2009-10 Euroleague Regular Season a danger based on both its performance so far and an unbound enthusiasm to prove itself. The presence of a head coach with Euroleague experience, Philippe Herve, will no doubt help to guide Orleans through the toughest tactics while allowing its fans to enjoy the Euroleague experience for the first time. If their run through the Qualifying Rounds are any indication - and should be a good one - Orleans can be expected to shoot from long range with plenty of confidence and move the ball well in an offense that shares scoring duties. The presence off veteran leader Laurent Sciarra at point guard means plenty of on-court expertise, while an assortment of younger talents and a collective nothing-to-lose mentality might make Orleans among the loosest teams heading into the Euroleague season. Having already surprised such bigger names as Benetton Basket of Italy and Spirou Charleroi of Belgium, the goal for Orleans is to keep the surprises coming throughout its debut Euroleague season!

Entente Orleanaise (Photo EO-Sébastien Léger)

Sciarra is one of only two players on the Orleans roster with Euroleague experience, his dating to 1998, when he reached the Final Four with Benetton Treviso. An outspoken leader who shoot little anymore but passes with the best of them, Sciarra comes off the bench as a game-adjuster without many equals. The young starter at point guard is Aldo Curti, who also specializes in distributing the ball and keeping opposing dribblers in check. One of their main targets is Cedrick Banks, a great shooter from long range who rounds out his game with plenty of assists and steals. Although he, too, mostly comes off the bench, his go-to confidence will be key for Orleans in pressure situations. The starter at shooting guard, Anthony Dobbins, brings ferocious defense to opposing top scorers and helps establish a competitive tone at the game's outset for Orleans. Austin Nichols, a swingman, is the team's inside-oustide threat, safe with the ball and sure with his shot, especially when he gets to the foul line. Adrien Moerman, a hero in the qualifying rounds, is a combination of slasher and shooter who has plenty to offer when keeping out of foul trouble.

In the frontcourt, shooting power forward Justin Doellman forces defenses to open wide or suffer the consequences of his fine stroke from deep. He is also one of the team's top rebounders. Ryan Covile is the main inside threat for Orleans, a banger who makes a high percentage of his shots and also gets to the foul line with consistency. The other player with Euroleague experience is high-flying Ludovic Vaty, who debuted in the continent's top competition for Asvel Basket, the other French represetantive this season, back in 2006, shortly after his 18th birthday. Still just 20 going into this season, Vaty now runs, defends and especially rebounds with a gusto that will serve Orleans well in the Euroleague. In all, Orleans has already proven it has the ingredients and the game savvy to get results. The transition from the Qualifying Rounds to the Euroleague Regular Season will no doubt be a big one. With Hervelle and Sciarra at the controls, however, the Orleans fans can expect steady hands to keep their team in any game despite its rookie status in the Euroleague.
Justin Doellman - Entente Orleanaise
Entente Orleanaise Loiret has reached the Euroleague Regular Season through the Qualifying Rounds, and one of the main reasons for that recent success has to be versatile forward Justin Doellman. A sharpshooting, tall power forward, Doellman is virtually unknown for the average European basketball fan but ready to prove himself.

Doellman enters his third season as a professional basketball player since he finished his four-year career at Xavier University. Doellman is an all-around player, able to do those things that turn a team from good to great. Whether it's defense, positioning, blocking shots or scoring, Doellman is always ready to help his team. Not a very physical forward, Doellman reads the game very well and is smart enough to choose his options. Not fast enough to play small forward but also lacking strength to play inside, Doellman has turn that disadvantage into his main ability, analyzing his opponent and taking advantage of being a natural-born mismatch at power forward.

For instance, he had 11 points in the first quarter of Game 1 of the second qualifying series against Benetton Basket by opening the court against Sandro Nicevic and C.J. Wallace with his three-point shots. A very good shot blocker and with good feel for steals, Doellman is a tough defender despite lacking athleticism. His size, high release and smart driving skills, using his body to create contact and move away from his defender, turn Doellman into a nightmare matchup at both forwards.

Doellman would be even more dangerous if he was able to put the ball on the floor and take more advantage of his good passing skills. A deadly free throw shooter, Doellman can put any team in trouble with his versatility and know-how. Expect him to be a pleasant surprise in the 2009-10 Euroleague season and a key of Orleans is to make some noise in its debut season.