05 October, 2021
15 May, 2022
Group J preview: Can Ozdemiroglu and Dacka steal the show again?
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Group J preview: Can Ozdemiroglu and Dacka steal the show again?

MIES (Switzerland) - The Round of 16 starts on Tuesday, and Group J will see the team that knocked out the defending champions. Darussafaka are red hot, BAXI Manresa, Tofas Bursa and Nutribullet Treviso will try and stop them from advancing to the Round of 16.

BAXI Manresa were the best team of the Regular Season, while Tofas Bursa managed to win their group despite being swept by the team that got eliminated (Kalev/Cramo).

Nutribullet Treviso are putting the town back on the map, and Darussafaka are enjoying a historic season which sees them fighting for #1 seed in the Turkish League.

Group J

0/12 games played

# Team P W L % Last 5 For Agt +/- FA AA  
1 MANR BAXI Manresa MANR 0 0 0 0   0 0 0 0 0 0
2 TOFA Tofas Bursa TOFA 0 0 0 0   0 0 0 0 0 0
3 TVB Nutribullet Treviso TVB 0 0 0 0   0 0 0 0 0 0
4 DSK Darüssafaka DSK 0 0 0 0   0 0 0 0 0 0
BAXI Manresa

Points per game: Joe Thomasson 13.2
Rebounds per game: Ismael Bako 6.8
Assists per game: Dani Perez 4.0
Steals per game: Sylvain Francisco 1.2
Blocks per game: Elias Valtonen 0.8

Not a lot of teams can say they have five different names to lead the team in these five categories, but BAXI Manresa are probably the only team to have five different names up here, and their top player is not named yet. 

Chima Moneke is the charismatic leader of this team that forgot how to lose games. He admitted it himself, he didn't really see eye to eye with coach Pedro Martinez, but once he bought in, the chemistry levels went off the charts in Spain.

Manresa only lost to Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem in BCL, and managed to defeat Barcelona on the road for the first time in 25 years. Their defense makes the difference, good luck scoring against a team that allows only 97.4 points per 100 possessions, one of three teams under 100 per 100 there. They are also Top 3 in Spain in that department, meaning their defense is rock solid.


Tofas Bursa

Points per game: Pako Cruz 16.7
Rebounds per game: Tomislav Zubcic 5.2
Assists per game: Berk Ugurlu 4.5
Steals per game: Berk Ugurlu 1.2
Blocks per game: Elgin Cook 0.7

Tofas and Darussafaka are in a bizarre situation which will see them play two games in a matter of two and a half days. After facing off on Sunday in the Turkish League, they are set to open Round of 16 proceedings with the all-Turkish duel in Group J.

The biggest news since the Regular Season ended was the arrival of Tyler Ennis. Dylan's brother is coming back from another injury, and if he is anywhere near his usual rhythm, Tofas could be impossible to stop with a healthy balance of Ennis, Cruz, Cook, Zubcic, Yasar, Ugurlu...

First two games of their Round of 16 will be at home in Bursa, against Darussafaka and BAXI Manresa. Before the break, they also have to travel to Italy to meet Treviso, giving them reason for optimism they could even start 3-0.


Nutribullet Treviso

Points per game: Tomas Dimsa 16.1
Rebounds per game: Aaron Jones 8.3
Assists per game: DeWayne Russell 5.6
Steals per game: DeWayne Russell 1.4
Blocks per game: Henry Sims 1.9

NBA schedule looks like a walk in the park compared to Nutribullet Treviso's season. Coach Massimiliano Menetti has already seen 30 (!) official games this season, which started with the Italian SuperCup and the Qualifying Rounds for the BCL.

Treviso did not do themselves any favors, either. A missed Tomas Dimsa layup against Falco Szombathely gave them two additional games, which they won easily against Lavrio Megabolt to reach the Round of 16. They don't have the deepest of all squads, but they complement each other perfectly.

Henry Sims leads the BCL in blocks per game, Aaron Jones is the best rebounder of the League, Giordano Bortolani could be the Best Young Player, and Nicola Akele the best kept secret. Being in the Round of 16 is already an amazing achievement for the club founded in 2012, but Treviso as a basketball city wants and needs more than just being in this phase.



Points per game: Gabe Olaseni 13.4
Rebounds per game: Gabe Olaseni 6.0
Assists per game: Troy Caupain 5.3
Steals per game: Dogus Ozdemiroglu 3.0
Blocks per game: Gabe Olaseni 0.4

Back in 1961 and 1962, Darussafaka won their only two Turkish Championships. Fast forward to 2022, they are right there, battling for the first spot with Fenerbahce and Anadolu Efes, while also knocking out the two-time defending champions Hereda San Pablo Burgos in the Play-In series.

Coach Selcuk Ernak has all sorts of weapons in this roster, from Isaiah Pineiro's athleticism and three-point shooting at 62 percent, through Troy Caupain's court vision, Sinan Guler's leadership, all the way to Dogus Ozdemiroglu being the secretary of defense.

Ozdemiroglu stole 27 balls this season, which gives him 11 steals more than the second-placed guy on that list, Markel Starks. And it's fitting that Darussafaka as a team steal the ball 13.7 percent of times on defense, because Ozdemiroglu and Dacka are here to steal the show. They are doing it against odds in Turkey, they did it against Burgos here, so why stop now? Quarter-Finals are just a few steps away now.