EuroCup signings: Frontcourt moves

Sep 23, 2021 by Print
 EuroCup signings: Frontcourt moves

This season saw more than its fair share of big men join 7DAYS EuroCup squads. Whether they are EuroCup stars looking for a different challenge or Turkish Airlines EuroLeague vets trying out the EuroCup, these are players who could change the course for their teams. From that long list, here are 10 frontcourt players who should have big impacts this season.

David Dudzinski, Frutti Extra Bursaspor

David Dudzinski made his EuroCup debut with Telenet Giants Antwerp last season, his fourth with the Belgian powerhouse. He has joined Bursaspor to play a similar role as a stretch power forward. Dudzinski is a great three-point shooter (47.1% on 3.4 three-point shots per game last season) who also helps on the boards (5.5 rpg.) and runs the floor well for a player his size. On a team full of EuroCup veterans, Dudzinski may become Bursaspor's X-factor due to his shooting range and character.

Octavius Ellis, Turk Telekom Ankara

Octavius Ellis led the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague in two-point shooting percentage last season when he made 77 of 106 attempts (72.6%) for Olympiacos Piraeus. Ellis was worth 5.9 points and 4.1 rebounds in 33 games despite averaging less than 15 minutes per night. Ellis is now expected to see significant playing time with Turk Telekom Ankara as its main frontcourt reference. A strong rebounder and shot blocker, Ellis is used to playing above the rim. Expect him to see him often on the Top 10 plays of the round.

Melvin Ejim, Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana

Melvin Ejim knows all about the competition: this is his sixth EuroCup season after previous experiences with Virtus Roma, UNICS Kazan, Unicaja Malaga and Buducnost VOLI Podgorica. He is a versatile player who can take smaller defenders to the low post for easy points in the paint or open the floor as a stretch power forward. A career 86.1% free throw shooter, Ejim steps up in crunch time and is set to help Cedevita in many aspects of the game, thus making the Slovenian powerhouse more competitive.

Kevin Hervey, Virtus Segafredo Bologna

Ekpe Udoh went down with a severe injury, which means that Kevin Hervey should have an even bigger role. A mobile power forward who plays with outstanding energy, Hervey can run the floor like a guard and shoot with unlimited range. He can use his great athleticism to run to the basket and his physicality to beat his defenders, thus getting a lot of three-point play opportunities. Fully adjusted to the EuroCup after a season with Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar, Hervey should contribute from Day One.

Vince Hunter, Boulogne Metropolitans 92

Vince Hunter arrives to Metropolitans after two good EuroCup seasons with Virtus Segafredo Bologna. He was chosen as the 2020-21 EuroCup Top 16 MVP after averaging 13.3 points and 7.2 rebounds in that phase. Hunter also made it to the All-EuroCup Second Team last season. Metropolitans should know what to expect: a strong, physical presence in the paint at both ends. Hunter is a great finisher who plays above the rim, but can also change any game on defense with his blocked shots and overall energy.

Kerem Kanter, Slask Wroclaw

Big man Kerem Kanter comes off a strong season with Greek side Kolossos, where he averaged a league third-best 17.9 points and fourth-best 7.5 rebounds. He played in the 7DAYS EuroCup in the 2019-20 season with Joventut Badalona for a total 13 games with averages of 6.8 points and 3.8 rebounds. Kanter is instant offense, as he knows how to use his body in the paint to score and has polished post moves to be even harder to stop down low. Expect him to play a leading role in Slask's frontcourt.

Zach LeDay, Partizan NIS Belgrade

Partizan looked for experienced leaders and found one in Zach LeDay, who last season helped AX Armani Exchange Milan reach the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four for the first time since 1992. LeDay is a good mid-range shooter who never hides in crunch time. He is also an energy player with a strong set of post skills, highlighted by a very effective, hard-to-guard turnaround jumper. After three EuroLeague season, LeDay makes his EuroCup debut with the goal of bringing Partizan as close to the title as possible.

Artem Pustovyi, Gran Canaria

This old-school center gives Gran Canaria a physical presence in the paint. Artem Pustovyi saw limited playing time in his three years with EuroLeague powerhouse FC Barcelona but gained valuable experience and has already shown in pre-season that his willingness, post skills, power and overall effectiveness are still intact. By signing Pustovyi, Gran Canaria keeps the same team structure that saw the team to get to the semifinals last season. He should play an important role going forward.

JaCorey Williams, JL Bourg en Bresse

Dolomiti Energia Trento was close to reaching the EuroCup playoffs last season mainly due to JaCorey Williams's explosiveness. Williams impressed EuroCup fans and experts alike with his intensity, power and effectiveness. He averaged 15.0 points and 7.4 rebounds in 14 games. He ranked eighth overall in PIR average (17.1) and should use his recently-gained EuroCup experience to do better with Bourg. Expect him to be a force on the boards and make plenty of plays that bring Bourg fans to their feet.

Johnathan Williams, Dolomiti Energia Trento

An athletic center and an excellent rebounder, Johnathan Williams hopes to become one of the best big men in EuroCup this season. Williams brings in some EuroCup experience; he played the competition with Maccabi Rishon LeZion in the 2019-20 campaign and averaged 11.3 points and 7.8 rebounds in 9 games. Williams is set to do what he does best, play above the rim and power the boards, especially at the offensive end. He is a team-oriented player, which matches Trento's blue-collar mentality.