Serbian powerhouse Partizan NIS Belgrade made just a handful of changes to its roster from a successful 2019-20 campaign that saw the team win its 7DAYS EuroCup Top 16 group and clinch home-court advantage in the elimination rounds before the COVID-19 pandemic prematurely ended the season. However, there was a big change on the bench where club legend and the assistant coach the past two years, Vladimir Scepanovic, takes over as the head coach. The team will also have a new point guard in Codi Miller-McIntyre, while forward Nemanja Dangubic and center Eric Mika join the squad and big man Stefan Jankovic returns from a loan.
Partizan's new court general is Codi Miller-McIntyre, a playmaker with plenty of EuroCup experience, who is no stranger to flirting with triple-doubles. Miller-McIntyre can do it all on the court and he will have plenty of help running the offense with Marcus Paige and veteran Nemanja Gordic behind him. Coach Scepanovic can mix up combinations between them as all three players can play both guard positions, hit consistently from deep, penetrate to the basket, and also find open teammates. Partizan has another such playmaker in 20-year old Uros Trifunovic who had a very successful debut season last year and quickly became a part of the rotation. Shooting guard Ognjen Jaramaz, who plays with a lot of confidence on both ends of the floor, will be another one of the team's go-to guys. Swingman Braian Angola will make his EuroCup debut after signing with the team in late February and playing and impressing in a pair of domestic league games last season. The arrival of small forward Nemanja Dangubic gives this Partizan squad even more depth, energy and athleticism. Dangubic can hurt teams from behind the arc and also often serves as a tough perimeter defender by using his long wingspan that opposing guards hate to see in front of them.
Rade Zagorac is one of the most versatile forwards in the competition and one of the leaders and most important players for this team. His basketball IQ, combined with his athleticism and 2.05-meter size allows him to play just about any position on the court. Another player with plenty of athleticism and prowess for scoring is power forward Rashawn Thomas, who enters his second season with the club. Partizan looks very big on the court when it has both Zagorac and Thomas on the floor, along with one of the big men. Will Mosley had a monster debut last season. A regular on the weekly highlight reels, Mosely ranked second in the competition with 1.4 blocks and also averaged 2.3 offensive rebounds. The arrival of Eric Mika brings more size and muscle to the team and fortifies the depth at the center position, where Partizan already had Nikola Jankovic filling the role off the bench. The other Jankovic, power forward Stefan, returns to the team after spending last season on loan. Last, but certainly not the least in this front line is the team captain and a club legend Novica Velickovic, a former EuroLeague Rising Star who is this team's vocal and by-example leader.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Partizan has a loaded roster with plenty of balance, but one player to keep an eye on is shooting guard Ognjen Jaramaz. Maybe a less known name for the wider EuroCup audience, Jaramaz is one of this team's go-to guys and one of the players who might get the ball in his hands in the final seconds with a game on the line. A complete guard, Jaramaz started in every single one of his 15 appearances last season and ranked second in minutes played on a team. Just 25 years old, and coming off a season where he still left plenty of room for improvement by shooting just 31.1% from three-point range, expect Jaramaz to improve and deliver, and do so often, this season for Partizan.
Last season Partizan compiled a 12-4 record and was in a position to hold home-court advantage in each EuroCup playoff round it qualified for, starting with the quarterfinals, but the pandemic ruined its plans. This season, Partizan simply plans to pick up where it left off. Few teams have as much size as this squad with only five players below 2.00 meters. Partizan has plenty of experience, enough youth, and an abundance of energy and athleticism to compete with any team in the EuroCup. No ambition is too great for Partizan this season, which will aim to go all the way and collect the trophies in all the competitions it enters, including in the 2020-21 7DAYS EuroCup.