Roster rundown: AX Armani Exchange Milan

Sep 18, 2019 by Euroleague.net Print
Roster rundown: AX Armani Exchange Milan

WHAT'S NEW:

It's the start of a new era in the fashion capital as Ettore Messina, the four-time EuroLeague champion, took over as head coach. Messina's Milan will enter the upcoming campaign with a new point guard duo; two-time champion and former MVP Sergio Rodriguez won it all last year with CSKA Moscow and he is joined by veteran Shelvin Mack, who at age 29 arrives in the EuroLeague for the first time. Milan added more offensive firepower to its perimeter with sharpshooter Michael Roll and scorer Riccardo Moraschini, who made his EuroLeague debut as a teenager with Virtus Bologna in 2008 and now returns to the competition 12 years later. Milan's front line got a lot more athletic with the additions of high-flying forward Aaron White and undersized center Paul Biligha.

BACKCOURT:

Milan's offense will be in the hands of a couple of new faces, Rodriguez and Mack, proven playmakers who will have plenty of weapons surrounding them. Proven scorer Nemanja Nedovic is coming off an injury-plagued season and hopes to get back to his old self; he finished second in the league in scoring with 16.8 points per game in the 2017-18 season. Veteran small forward Vladimir Micov has been Mr. Reliable for Milan on both ends of the floor and Milan got one of EuroLeague's most dangerous shooters in Roll. Team captain Andrea Cinciarini, the longest-tenured Milan player, has often thrived in his role to provide energy off the bench, while Milan might have two hidden gems in Moraschini as well as former All-EuroCup guard Amedeo Della Valle, who is just 25 years old and determined to prove he can deliver at the EuroLeague level.

FRONTCOURT:

Milan has its fearsome pair of towers in centers Arturas Gudaitis and Kaleb Tarczewski who showcased last season how dominant they can be under the rims. With Gudaitis still recovering from an ACL injury suffered in February, the addition of undersized but athletic center Paul Biligha will give Coach Messina different options underneath. Power forward Jeff Brooks has been a source of energy and was one of the rebounding leaders for Milan last season. He has company in all those roles with the arrival of the high-flying White, who thrived on both ends of the floor the past two seasons at Zalgiris Kaunas. Veteran forward Christian Burns is another solid rebounder who completes this front line.

Shelvin Mack - AX Armani Exchange Milan in preseason (photo Milan) - EB19

PLAYER TO WATCH:

Kaleb Tarczewski could be in for a massive workload in the first part of the season because of the absence of Gudaitis. The two centers each had their shining moments last season, but both missed time with injuries, including a season-ending ACL tear for Gudaitis. Now, it is Tarczewski's time to step up as his frontcourt mate is still in the recovery process. Tarczewski ranked second in two-point shooting last season (72.4%) and seventh with 2.0 offensive rebounds per game. He has a chance to build on those numbers and make the difference under the baskets for Milan.

OUTLOOK:

A change on the bench and the appointment of Coach Messina led to quite a few changes to Milan's roster. The new arrivals have added significant depth at all positions and Rodriguez and Mack will be a new duo running the show. With Nedovic, Micov and Roll, Milan will be a dangerous shooting team, while the front line with Gudaitis, Tarczewski, White and Brooks will have a chance to dominate the boards. Milan was close to the playoffs last season, but eventually missed out. This time, the bar is set higher and making the playoffs will only be this team's initial goal.