Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul had reached the Eurocup Finals for the first time in club history - its best previous result was making it to the semifinals in 2008, losing against DKV Joventut Badalona. Head coach Ergin Ataman put together a core of experienced players - Sinan Guler, Blake Schilb, Stephane Lasme, Vlado Micov - who also happen to be hungry - none of them has ever won the Turkish Airlines Euroleague or the Eurocup, therefore facing a great opportunity in their careers. Galatasaray added Errick McCollum right before the season and it paid off incredibly well. McCollum is this season’s leader in performance index rating (22 per game) and ranked second in scoring (18.7 ppg.), despite coming off the bench in half his games. Adding more experienced players like Chuck Davis and Curtis Jerrells, only made the team even more dangerous.
ALMOST UNDESTRUCTIBLE AT HOME
Galatasaray has based its success in its home strength. In fact, the team has gone 10-1 in the Eurocup in Istanbul this season, including seven straight by double figures (with an average margin of victory of 23.3 points!). Getting the home court advantage in most scenarios at the end of the Last 32 has proved to be a critical factor for Galatasaray. Indeed, the team lost all road games after that - against Pinar Karsiyaka Izmir in the eighthfinals, FC Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals and Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas in the semifinals - but managed to reach to the Finals based on its outstanding home performance. Throughout the elimination rounds, Galatasaray has allowed 86.7 points on the road but just 66.3 at home - a 23.4-point differential!
DAVIS SET TO MAKE EUROCUP HISTORY
Davis is a historical player in the Eurocup - this is his seventh season in the competition after playing for Telenet Ostend and Banvit Bandirma before joining Galatasaray. Davis needs just 9 points to go past Todor Stoykov and become the Eurocup's all-time second best scorer. Davis ranks third with 1,130 points, Stoykov has 1,138 and Mire Chatman leads the rankings with 1,187 points. His teammate Schilb is also a Top 50 scorer in the competition, ranking 47th with 676 points. Errick McCollum is the Eurocup's all-time best scorer on average. McCollum had averaged 19.4 points in 34 Eurocup career games, with Igor Rakocevic (19.1 ppg.) and Jamie Arnold (18.7 ppg.) right behind him. Davis is also third in total performance index ranking (1,283), eighth in total rebounds (392) and seventh in blocks (73). He is first in two-pointers made (382) and second in free throws made (279).