Club Profile: UNICS Kazan

Aug 14, 2020 by Print
Club Profile: UNICS Kazan

UNICS Kazan has been one of the stalwarts of the 7DAYS EuroCup, playing in the competition now for a fourth straight season and 14th time since 2005 - with the three other campaigns being one-year stints in the EuroLeague. UNICS won the title in 2011, reached the finals in 2014 and three times bowed in the semifinals. UNICS' 207 games played rank first all-time in EuroCup history - one more than Valencia Basket. UNICS stumbled out of the gates in the 2019-20 season with an 84-75 loss at Germani Brescia Leonessa. UNICS' home opener ended up in an 80-67 victory over Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana and started a five-game winning streak, including a thrilling comeback 92-94 road win over Nanterre 92 and a 77-79 win at Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul on Errick McCollum’s buzzer-beater in moving to 5-1. UNICS then dropped three straight games - at Olimpija, versus Nanterre and at Joventut Badalona - before knocking off Darussafaka 71-68 to lock up first place in Group C with a 6-4 mark. UNICS opened the Top 16 with a five-point win at Rytas Vilnius before falling at home against AS Monaco. UNICS rebounded with a 25-point blowout of Galatasaray Doga Sigorta Istanbul at home only to fall by 14 points in Istanbul in Round 4. UNICS protected its home-court and locked up a spot in the quarterfinals by beating Rytas again, 82-69. UNICS still had a chance for first place in Group G but it lost at Monaco 85-60 to take second place. Next up would have been a quarterfinals showdown with Partizan NIS Belgrade but the rest of the season was cancelled due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the VTB League, UNICS lost three games away from home in starting with a 2-3 mark. It was 6-5 when UNICS reeled off six wins in seven games for a 12-6 record - good for fourth place when the Covid-19 pandemic ended the season. UNICS will enter the new EuroCup season looking to show again why it is one of the competition’s all-time best teams.


2019-20 EuroCup 9-7 Top 16, Quarterfinals canceled
2018-19 EuroCup 16-5 Semifinals
2017-18 EuroCup 12-7 Quarterfinals
2015-16 EuroCup 14-4 Eighthfinals
2014-15 EuroCup 7-5 Semifinals
2013-14 EuroCup 20-4 Final
2012-13 EuroCup 10-4 Quarterfinals
2010-11 EuroCup 13-3 Champion
2009-10 EuroCup 8-4 Last 16
2008-09 EuroCup 9-3 Last 16
2007-08 ULEB Cup 7-8 Quarterfinals
2006-07 ULEB Cup 12-4 Semifinals
2005-06 ULEB Cup 9-3 Eighthfinals

TOTAL: 207 146-61

In just over a quarter-century of existence, UNICS Kazan has firmly entrenched itself as a European power. Founded in 1991, UNICS became the perfect ambassador for the sports-crazy Republic of Tatarstan in the Russian Federation. The club reached the Russian League finals in 2001 and 2002, the year in which it also made it to the Saporta Cup semifinals. Its hard work paid off in 2003 when UNICS edged CSKA Moscow in overtime to lift the Russian Cup. In 2004, Kazan was home to the FIBA Europe League final four and UNICS made the most of it by downing Maroussi to win its first continental title. UNICS made its ULEB Cup debut in the 2005-06 season and reached the semifinals the following year before losing against Real Madrid. UNICS also reached the 2008 ULEB Cup Final Eight. Everything clicked in the 2010-11 EuroCup as UNICS thrashed Cedevita Zagreb in the semifinals and bested Cajasol Sevilla in the championship game to take the crown. Marko Popovic amassed 18 points and 11 assists to earn Finals MVP honors. UNICS made its EuroLeague debut a successful one in the 2011-12 campaign by going all the way to the playoffs and returned to the EuroCup a year later, but lost to Valencia in the quarterfinals and finished that season with a 10-4 record. The team made up for that early exit the next season; UNICS reached the EuroCup Finals sporting a 20-2 record, which helped Andrew Goudelock earn EuroCup MVP honors and Andrea Trinchieri to be chosen as the EuroCup Coach of the Year. However, Valencia again stopped UNICS's march to the title. UNICS bounced back by lifting the Russian Cup trophy and reaching the VTB United League semifinals. The 2014-15 season saw UNICS back in the EuroLeague. After it narrowly missed reaching the Top 16 despite a historic win over eventual champ Real Madrid in the Spanish capital, Keith Langford and co. made another deep EuroCup run and reached the semifinals, though a Spanish side was again its kryptonite; Herbalife Gran Canaria swept their two-game series. UNICS made it to the VTB League finals in the 2015-16 season, which allowed the club to return to the EuroLeague. UNICS missed the EuroLeague Playoffs in the 2016-17 season, but Langford managed to claim his second Alphonso Ford Top Scorer Trophy. UNICS made it to the VTB League semifinals and the EuroCup playoffs in 2016-17 and 2017-18. Quino Colom earned 2017-18 All-EuroCup First Team honors, Errick McCollum made it to the 2018-19 All-EuroCup First Team and Pierria Henry was the 2018-19 Regular Season MVP. The 2019-20 EuroCup started with UNICS jumping out to a 5-1 record and finished 6-4 in the regular season. Two wins over Rytas Vilnius carried UNICS into the quarterfinals but the rest of the season was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The club started the VTB League at 2-3 but went 6-1 by early March for a 12-6 record and fourth place when Covid-19 ended that league as well. UNICS is back once again in the EuroCup and expect it to challenge for the trophy.

Trophy Case

Eurocup: 2011
FIBA Europe League: 2003-04
NEBL: 2002-03
Russian National Cup: 2003, 2009, 2014