For the first time since it has been competing in the 7DAYS EuroCup, former semifinalist Dolomiti Energia Trento has opened the season with three victories. Trento improved to a 3-0 record with its second road win of the season, a hard-fought 65-71 decision at Nanterre 92. Besides its historic start to the season, Trento has also been putting up some defensive numbers that it has never done in the competition before.
After setting a club record by holding Promitheas Patras to just 51 points last week, Trento doubled-down on its defensive performance by holding Nanterre to 65 points last night. This was Trento's 67th game in the competition and it was the fewest points it has allowed in a road game.
"We did a great job on defense", Trento guard Jeremy Morgan said after the game. "We did a good job of making it tough for them, and finishing with a rebound. That's what we talked about and that's what we need to continue to do to keep getting wins."
The hosts entered the game averaging 11 offensive rebounds and Trento allowed only 7 on this night - and 2 of those were team rebounds. It helped Trento keep the visitors in check by holding them to just 42.9% shooting on two-pointers while turning big man Alpha Kaba in a non-factor, forcing him to 1-for-7 shooting in just 12 minutes.
"I want to mention JaCorey Williams," Trento head coach Nicola Brienza pointed out in the press conference after the game. "When he was on the court he closed [paths] to the rim in any way and any situation and then guards were ready to help him when he was in a defensive rotation."
While its defense has allowed 58 points on average over the last two games, Trento has a balanced offense with four different players currently averaging 10.0 points or more and Victor Sanders coming just short at 9.7. That balance worked great last night.
Williams and Luke Maye did a great job inside, while Morgan stepped up big with 3 fourth-quarter triples to keep Trento in the lead. The team went with his hot hand in the last 3 minutes, but when his shots did not fall, Trento still had the man for the job. Gary Browne, the leader of this team, nailed two jumpers in the final 39 seconds and secured the victory.
This combination of stellar defense and balanced offense has Trento currently sitting undefeated atop of Group D. It's a combination that shows that something special might be brewing in Trento.