Since last season, Venice has brought in as many as five new faces to the team to take its second go at the 7DAYS EuroCup after it had made the Last 32 back in 2015-16. Big man Francesco Pellegrino arrives from a solid season in Italy, while Davide Casarin made his jump to the first team after playing a few games with Venice last season. Veteran guard Jeremy Chappell also had a good season in Italy last year, just the same as big man Ike Udanoh, and both will try to keep their momentum going. Finally, Venice brought back Ariel Filloy after he played a couple of seasons elsewhere, but was a key to the team winning the Italian League title in 2017.
The Venice backcourt will probably start with one name: Mike Bramos. He just extended his stay in the team after four seasons there already in which he has become a true fan favorite. He will be joined there by Chappell, who averaged 12.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists for Brindisi in 33 Italian League games last season. Experience seems to be the norm in the Venice backcourt as Bruno Cerella will be back also for another year with the team, as will Filloy after his two-year stint with Pistoia. Andrea De Nicolao is another key returnee; he boasts four seasons of EuroCup experience already with Reggio Emilia. Another player coming back, Julyan Stone, seems to have found a home in the Italian city. Stefano Tonut averaged 10.1 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists last season as one of the main contributors to the national title. Finally, young Casarin was promoted to the first team after averaging 18.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.3 steals in four ANGT games last season and will be ready to play as many minutes as he is given.
Venice's frontcourt starts with big man Mitchell Watt, who led the team in scoring and blocks last season. Watt will have two familiar faces by his side in the paint: Gasper Vidmar, who boasts more than 100 games of EuroLeague experience, and Austin Daye, who averaged 12.3 points and 5.4 rebounds in Italy last season and also has recent EuroLeague experience. This trio knows each other well and will be joined by both Pellegrino, who shined last season in Udine, and Udanoh, who averaged 12.2 points and 8.3 boards with Avellino. Valerio Mazzola rounds out a frontcourt that looks solid right out of the starting gate.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Mike Bramos has become a sort of legend in Venice. He joined the team four years ago and this summer extended his contract to lead the team in its comeback to the EuroCup. He averaged 11.2 points and 4.5 rebounds in the Italian League last season and was a leader on and off the court for his teammates. He has plenty of experience on the European stage. He played the EuroCup in 2010 with Gran Canaria and also played a couple EuroLeague seasons with Panathinaikos Athens between 2012 and 2014. Since then, Bramos has become a fan favorite in Venice and now he will be expected to take the team to the next level in the EuroCup.
Venice comes off one of its most successful seasons ever and is ready to take on the EuroCup challenge for the second time. Coach Walter De Raffaele has made sure to retain the most important players from a season in which his team won the Italian title. He also hand-picked new players he knows from several of his team's Italian opponents to bolster the roster. There is plenty of experience to go around, and the familiarity of many of the players could be the ace in Venice's sleeve for the season. Expect this team to be a tough one to beat, especially at home.