Head-to-head: Mitchell Watt vs. Zach Auguste

Dec 15, 2021 by Eurocupbasketball.com Print
Head-to-head: Mitchell Watt vs. Zach Auguste

A Round 7 clash between Umana Reyer Venice and Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana in Group B on Wednesday night will feature a collision in the paint between Mitchell Watt for the hosts and Zach Auguste for the visitors.

The two centers are among the most dominant big men in the competition in the past few seasons, and their teams' success greatly depends on their performance and control of the paint.

That is particularly true for Watt, who is a go-to guy and an anchor in the paint for Reyer.

Watt's season averages of 12.0 points and 5.3 rebounds lead Reyer. He also has a team-high average PIR of 11.5 and plays more than 23 minutes per game, second on the team.

Watt, who has scored four times in double figures, was dominant in Reyer's two wins. He collected 16 points and 12 rebounds in the season opener on the road against Mincidelice JL Bourg en Bresse and had 25 points and 7 rebounds in a home win over group leader Buducnost VOLI Podgorica.

Auguste has had up-and-down performances this season. He averaged 9.0 points and 7.3 rebounds over the first four rounds, including a double-double in an overtime home loss against ratiopharm Ulm. But he has posted below-par 4.5 points and 5.0 rebounds in the last two rounds, which brought down his season averages.

It is hard to find a big man who shined as much as Auguste did in his two previous EuroCup seasons, with Galatasaray from 2018 to 2020. In 26 appearances with the Turkish club, Auguste has averaged 13.1 points and 7.1 rebounds.

Moreover, since making his EuroCup debut in the competition in the 2018-19 campaign, Auguste is the runaway best average rebounder among players with at least 30 appearances, posting 7.0 boards per game. In that four-season stretch, he also ranks fourth with 224 total rebounds.

That's not to say Watt has not been productive. On the contrary, in three seasons since joining Reyer, Watt has averaged at least 12.0 points in each of them. However, his EuroCup debut season with ALBA Berlin in 2015-16 knocks down his career average to 10.4 points and his PIR to 10.6 per game.

Wednesday's game will be the first time that Auguste and Watt go against each other. Establishing inside presence will be of great importance for each team in this highly important clash in which both are looking to bounce back and return to winning ways.