The last new face to have joined Rytas in the summer was Tu Holloway, a point guard who was one of the best scorers in the Turkish League last season. The assists leader in Lithuania last season, Dovis Bickauskis, also joined the team during the summer. Shooting guard Pako Cruz and big man Cameron Bairstow from Down Under are expected to contribute immediately and the club has also invested in its future with young Greek talent Andreas Kalogiros.
Tu Holloway will probably be the starting point of Rytas's offense this season. He shined last year in Turkey averaging more than 20 points together with 4.7 assists, so expect him to lead the team and also take responsibility if he gets a clean shot. He will be together with Mindaugas Girdziunas, who just extended his contract until 2021 with the team after two solid seasons in Vilnius. His EuroCup experience will be key. Pako Cruz arrives from the Spanish League to contribute solid numbers from long range, while Dovis Bickauskis and his 5.7 assists from last season in Lithuania made him the best passer in that country. Arnas Butkevicius will be back for his fifth EuroCup season - and third with Rytas - to provide experience and many minutes on the court, and Deividas Sirvydis will look to confirm that he has become an important player after a promising campaign last year. Karolis Giedraitis will make his EuroCup debut this season.
Cameron Bairstow arrives from the other side of the world to provide versatility both inside and outside the paint; he averaged 11.6 points and 5.8 boards in Australia. Martynas Echodas will be in his third season with the team and in 2018-19 he exploded to become one of the main names in the team. Marek Blazevic made his EuroCup debut last season while also being a main player in the U18 team that reached the title game in the Kaunas ANGT. Rytas's bet on Andreas Kalogiros has been high; the 16-year-old will probably see limited time, if at all, but there's no doubt that Rytas trusts the player. Young Einaras Tubutis will also be ready on the sidelines to make his EuroCup debut and contribute as much as he can.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Martynas Echodas is in front of a season that could be a stepping stone for his career. At just 22 years of age, this will be his third EuroCup season with Rytas and last season he just confirmed the hints that could be seen two years ago. Echodas averaged 9.6 points and 5.1 rebounds for a performance index rating of 11.7 in 18 games. He scored in double figures in 10 of those 18 games and, despite coming off the bench 16 times, Echodas was the second-best rebounder on his team, ranked third in scoring and third in performance index rating. All that earned him the EuroCup Rising Star award in 2018-19. That's why many eyes will be on Echodas for 2019-20, a season in which he may graduate to full-time starter and the main reference in the paint for Rytas.
Rytas has stayed true to its philosophy: a roster bursting with young Lithuanian talent and sprinkled with a few foreign additions. The draw landed Rytas in Group B together with Limoges CSP, Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar, Partizan NIS Belgrade, Tofas Bursa and Umana Reyer Venice, making it one of the hardest of all groups in the regular season. It won't be easy for a young team with almost half the roster being new faces. The main job of Coach Adomaitis will be to help his men find the chemistry and confidence to start on the right foot because, in such a short regular season, any mistake can be fatal.