20 October, 2020
09 May, 2021
24 Jacob Wiley (ZARA), 7 Jonathan Barreiro (ZARA)
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How they got to the Final 8: Casademont Zaragoza

ZARAGOZA (Spain) - Casademont Zaragoza are gearing up for their second Final 8 appearance in as many BCL campaigns, and they are set to face hosts Nizhny Novgorod in the first Quarter-Final, on May 5. Here's a look at what helped the Spanish team get here.

What is special about Casademont Zaragoza?

  • The Spanish side don't do low scores. Zaragoza are the second-best scoring team in the league, averaging 87.3 points per game. They had five games of 90 or more points, but it is true that part of their offensive prowess has to do with their high number of possessions. So, in terms of offensive efficiency, Zaragoza score only 110.9 points per 100 possessions, which places them eighth among Final 8 teams.

  • Zaragoza are the best team among the 16 that made the Play-Offs in shot-blocking, averaging 3.5 blocks per game. Although big men Tryggvi Hlinason and Jacob Wiley lead the team in blocks, every Zaragoza wing and forward contributes, so having the lights turned off when you try to take a shot against Zaragoza is a normal occurrence. That is, if you are allowed to fire off a shot at the first place, because Zaragoza also average 7.3 steals per game (fourth-best among Play-Offs teams).

  • This ability to come up with steals, or in general force turnovers, powers Zaragoza's excellence in a stat category that truly reflects their favorite style of play. The Aragon team average an impressive 19.7 points off turnovers per game, and they are the best team in the league in that aspect.

  • Zaragoza not only have the ability to make you pay a high price for every turnover, they also prefer to do so in transition, so they average 14.5 fast-break points per game, which places them among the faster-paced teams in the league.

  • The Spanish team's prowess in the open floor is partially responsible for them having a quite high assist rate of 18.7 and for them being the ninth-leading team in the league in two-point field percentage, shooting 54.6 percent from within the arc.

  • It's not the same story with three-point shooting though, as Zaragoza can be quite streaky from downtown and they shoot 34.5 percent from beyond the arc on average. This lowers their effective field goal percentage to just 53.7 percent, the sixth-best among Final 8 teams.

  • One area where Zaragoza show little interest in, is the offensive glass. They rarely focus on getting the rebound after they miss a shot, and they have the lowest offensive rebound rate - just 25.4 percent - of all teams in the Final 8 and consequently they average only 9.3 second-chance points per game.


The 2020-21 Casademont Zaragoza highlights

Regular Season

Zaragoza finished first in group D on a 5-1 record, right ahead of their Quarter-Final rivals Nizhny Novgorod, who finished at 4-2. Zaragoza beat Nizhny in both games between them and their only defeat in the group came at the hands of Falco Szombathely (who eventually didn't make the Play-Offs) in Hungary.


Zaragoza finished second in Group L (behind ERA Nymburk) on a 4-2 record but they had already secured qualification to the Final 8 ahead of gameday 5. They won all three games at home by double-digit margins and even enjoyed a 19-point victory (90-71) over Nymburk, but they suffered a 117-76 loss at Bamberg and a 98-78 loss at Nymburk.

The last shot

Zaragoza and Nizhny are sort of...old foes since this Quarter-Final between them is the only one involving two rivals whose paths crossed earlier in the season. A lot of things have changed on both teams since then, but Zaragoza can take heart from the fact that there was one constant in both of those Regular Season games, and it has to do with two important players who are still in Aragon and will be at the Final 8.

Dylan Ennis and Robin Benzing put up great performances against Nizhny, who failed to limit them both in the November game in Spain and in the January game in Russia. Ennis had 22 points in each of the two games, with 4 assists in the first and 7 in the second, while Benzing had 16 points and 5 rebounds the first time around and went off for 23 points and 6 boards in the second clash.