Top 16 profile: Pau-Orthez

Feb 02, 2007 by Print

Regular Season:
4th, Group C, 7-7

Key Team Stats
Without a regular player taller than 2.06 was the top shot-blocking team of the regular season

Team Rankings
4th free throw %
4th defensive rebounds
7th assists

Gordon Herbert - EB Pau-Orthez
Gordon Herbert
Elan Bearnais Pau-Orthez is back in the Top 16 for the first time in three years, hoping to use its versatility, depth and fan base to climb even higher. The difference in Pau under new head coach Gordon Herbert was evident when the team stole three clutch road wins – at Fenerbahce Ulker, Eldo Napoli and Zalgiris Kaunas – in the opening seven games. Then Pau did the rest of Group C one better by handing defending champion CSKA Moscowits only defeat of the regular season. All of which saw Pau storm out of the gate on the way to a 7-7 record and fourth place in Group C. Four different players – C.C. Harrison, Aaron Miles, Britton Johnsen and the regular-season's seventh-best scorer, Michael Wright – have all broken the 20-point mark this season,
Aaron Miles - EB Pau-Orthez
Aaron Miles
proving how many scoring options Pau has when needed. Pau's squad is indeed a versatile one in which small forward Ricardo Greer is the top rebounder. Wright is the centerpiece of its offense, but Aaron Miles has stepped up as a top-notch playmaker and floor general. Miles, who ranks second in rebounds among point guards, has also hit half of his attempts from downtown. Johnsen and Greer are multi-faceted players who give Pau's offense incredible dynamism, ideal to help create one-on-one situations in the low post for Wright. If Pau makes the most out of its talent and continues to pick up wins on the road, it may well fight for a spot in the Quarterfinal Playoffs.
Elan Bearnais Pau-Orthez head coach Gordon Herbert: "It is a very interesting group for us. A great group not only for our club, but also for our players and for the fans, too. As a basketball team, this is a big challenge for us. Tau is one of the best teams in Europe along with CSKA Moscow, Maccabi has a huge tradition and Roma is also a very good team. Our goal is making it to the playoffs, so we have to be strong at home and probably get one win on the road to get to the next round.”
Elan Bearnais Pau-Orthez forward Michael Wright: "We are in a very tough group with Maccabi and Tau in there. If we want to make it to the playoffs we have to be really solid, but it is going to be a hard challenge for all of us. It is definitely a personal challenge to play against Luis Scola or Nikola Vujcic. The whole team has a tough task, because the competition gets even better in the Top 16. Anything is possible, as even when we try to win every game, the home games are very important, this is our own territory. We will try to be solid at home and steal one or two games on the road."
Elan Bearnais Pau-Orthez sports director Gerard Bouscarel "Tough draw, of course. But there can be no easy group in the Top 16. We are pleased to play Tau Ceramica of Vitoria, because we have a close relationship with that team. Maccabi Tel Aviv, of course, has a big European history. And I am very happy that we play Roma also, because they bring big stars to our gym, which will make it a great event for us. It's a nice group."