19 September, 2017
06 May, 2018
23 Rickey Paulding Jr. (GER)
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Regular Season overview: a closer look at the directly qualified teams (2/4)

MIES, Switzerland (Basketball Champions League) - Numerous current national champions are among the 24 teams that have directly qualified for the 2017-18 Basketball Champions League Regular Season which gets under way next week.

The 24 teams have just been been joined by eight qualifiers to make up a 32-team playing field. They will play in four groups of 8 teams each with the top four in each group going through to a home and away Round of 16 ahead of the Quarter-Finals which will determine the Final Four. The action will tip off on 10 October and conclude with the Final Four on 4-6 May 2018.

Find out what has happened in the off-season, as we take a look at our 24 direct-to-the Regular Season qualifiers. Teams are still finalizing their rosters, but let's assess the current situation. After a rundown of the first six teams (alphabetically), let's now have a look at the following six: Dinamo Sassari, Elan Chalon, Enisey Krasnoyarsk, EWE Baskets Oldenburg, Gaziantep and Hapoel Holon.


Rok Stipcevic is their only major player who returns to the Italian side, as Sassari have faced a large overhaul in the off-season.

Last season Sassari reached the quarter-finals of the Basketball Champions League and have a brought in a wealth of talent to attempt to repeat the task.

William Hatcher, who starred in the Basketball Champions League last season with Partizan, will take the reigns of the squad at the point guard position. Scott Bamforth switches to Italy after averaging 14.4 points in the ACB last season with Bilbao, Dyshawn Pierre comes from Germany after an impressive rookie season in the BBL, whilst Croatian National Team player Darko Planinic will provide strength in the front court.

The athletic Levi Randolph, who also featured in the Basketball Champions League last season with Avellino, also joins Sassari.

Last Season BCL Record: 10-10, ¼ Finals

Key Additions: Scott Bamforth (Bilbao Basket, ESP), William Hatcher (Partizan, SRB), Dyshawn Pierre (Braunschweig, GER), Darko Planinic (Gran Canaria, ESP), Levi Randolph (Avellino, ITA)

Key Departures: Trevor Lacey (Lokomotiv Kuban, RUS), David Bell (Imola, ITA2), David Lighty (ASVEL, FRA), Gani Lawal (KaresiSpor, TUR), Josh Carter (Limoges, FRA)


The defending French domestic champions, Elan Chalon, make the switch over to the Basketball Champions League following a second place finish in the FIBA Europe Cup last season.

Having lost a number of players from last season’s Pro-A winning squad, athletic American Lance Harris and Jeremy Nzeulie are the sole returners as key contributors for the team last year.

James Farr joins after a successful rookie campaign with Europe Cup side Alba Fehervar, Belgian star Pierre-Antoine Gillet adds some presence inside, whilst Canadian and former Boston Celtic draft pick Kris Joseph provides firepower on the wing. Raphiael Putney joins the team after a solid season in Italy’s Serie A with Juvecaserta.

Last Season BCL Record: N/A

Key Additions: James Farr (Alba Fehervar, HUN), Pierre-Antoine Gillet (Oostende, BEL), Kris Joseph (Brindisi, ITA), Raphiael Putney (Juvecaserta, ITA)

Key Departures: Axel Bouteille (Limoges, FRA), Moustapha Fall (Sakarya, TUR), Cameron Clark (Gaziantep, TUR), John Roberson (ASVEL, FRA)


Enisey Krasnoyarsk are a new addition to the league from Russia - where they finished sixth last season and competed in FIBA Europe Cup - and will have many new players in the squad with 8 fresh players having been contracted for 2017-18.

The team was close to sign a familiar face for the Basketball Champions League fans, Tekele Cotton from Ludwigsburg, but the player failed his medical tests, whilst Vasily Zavoruev is the only returner who was a major contributor last season.

Athletic American power forward Octavius Ellis joins the Russia side, along with 33 year old American Zabian Dowdell from Cantu, where he averaged double digits last year.

Matic Rebec, the point guard who averaged over 5 assists per game last season along with double digit points in Slovenia, will run the show, with 6’6” Vitali Liutych from Belarus, hoping to be one of the beneficiaries.

Last Season BCL Record: N/A

Key Additions: Octavius Ellis (Mornar Bar, MNE), Zabian Dowdell (Cantu, ITA), Matic Rebec (Krka Novo Mesto, SLO), Vitali Liutych (Kalev/Cramo, EST)

Key Departures: Frank Elegar (Lokomotiv Kuban, RUS), Tony Taylor (Banvit, TUR), Vladislav Trushkin (Unics Kazan, RUS)


Oldenburg will hope to go beyond the Regular Season this year, and are another side to face a major overhaul from last season.

Having lost stars Dennis Kramer and Brian Qvale, Oldenburg will be hoping American Bryon Allen will provide a scoring punch - he averaged 15.3 points in his 16 Basketball Champions League appearances with CEZ Nymburk last season.

Mickey McConnell joins after being a starter in the ACB with Obradoiro last season averaging 11.2 points and 6.4 assists, as well as Christian Jones for his rookie year out of UNLV where he averaged 10 points and 6 rebounds as a Senior.

Last Season BCL Record: 11-6

Key Additions: Bryon Allen (CEZ Nymburk, CZE), Rasid Mahalbasic (Real Betis, ESP), Mickey McConnell (Obradoiro, ESP)

Key Departures: Dennis Kramer (Goettingen, GER), Brian Qvale (Lokomotiv Kuban, RUS), Chris Kramer (Lietuvos Rytas, LTU)


Turkish side Gaziantep are debutants to the Basketball Champions League for the 2017-18 season.

Cameron Clark will be their main offensive threat, having averaged over 18 points per game last season for Chalon in France whilst shooting 52% from the field. Sean Armand averaged just shy of 15 points for Istanbul Buyuksehir Belediyesi last season, whilst the addition of Victor Rudd from Maccabi will be a huge asset.

Former NBA rotation player DJ White, who averaged 15.5 points and 7.9 rebounds for Torino in Italy last season will also suit up for Gaziantep, whilst Mark Lyons, who started in the Basketball Champions League last season with USAK Sportif, ended up with Hapoel Tel Aviv averaging over 20 a game.

Last Season BCL Record: N/A

Key Additions: Sean Armand (Istanbul BB, TUR), Cameron Clark (Chalon, FRA), Victor Rudd (Maccabi Tel Aviv, ISR), D.J. White (Torino, ITA), Mark Lyons (Hapoel Tel Aviv, ISR), Orhan Haciyeva (Galatasaray, TUR)

Key Departures: Davon Jefferson (Bahcesehir, TUR2), Marcus Denmon (Panathinaikos, GRE), Will Cherry (Cedevita, CRO)


A new entry for the 2017-18 Basketball Champions League season, and the only side from Israel, Hapoel Holon come in as domestic regular season champs.

They have confirmed the return of Tu Holloway, their second leading scorer from last year at 16.6 points, with 4.1 assists per outing to boot, with the likely departure of Khalif Wyatt, their leading scorer.

Israeli prospect Tamir Blatt - son of David Blatt - also signed with the team on a two year deal, following an impressive showing at the U20 Europeans this summer where he led Israel to the final.

Two players from Maccabi have signed with the squad in Guy Pnini and Joe Alexander, Corey Walden provided a scoring punch off the bench last season with Oostende, and Americans TaShawn Thomas, a defensive specialist, and Jabril Trawick from the G-League.

Last Season BCL Record: N/A

Key Additions: Tamir Blatt (Hapoel Tel Aviv, ISR), TaShawn Thomas (Cremona, ITA), Joe Alexander (Maccabi Tel Aviv, ISR), Jabril Trawick (Sioux Falls, USA), Guy Pnini (Maccabi Tel Aviv, ISR), Corey Walden (Oostende, BEL)

Key Departures: Darion Atkins (Strasbourg, FRA), Roi Huber (Hapoel Jerusalem, ISR)

In the next article, we'll have a look at the following six teams: Iberostar Tenerife, medi Bayreuth, Neptunas Klaipeda, Oostende, PAOK and Petrol Olimpija.