Making it rain, again: Three-point specialist Jarell Eddie back in Strasbourg
STRASBOURG (France) - SIG Strasbourg made it to the Semi-Finals last time around, and despite losing the BCL MVP Bonzie Colson, they put together another strong squad led by coach Lassi Tuovi, his staff and the front office.
The 2021-22 season is coach Tuovi's second in charge of the team. With the way the first one went, players aren't thinking twice about going to Strasbourg, knowing how much it helped Bonzie Colson and Ishmail Wainright, to name a few. Colson picked up the MVP award and signed a contract with Pinar Karsiyaka, Wainright is now a Toronto Raptors player.
Tuovi had to rearrange the squad with the two of them gone, and Brandon Jefferson also leaving the town. Here's what the Finnish playcaller came up with:
Jean-Baptiste Maille, Jaromir Bohacik, DeAndre Lansdowne, Leopold Cavaliere, Ike Udanoh and Yannis Morin are all making a comeback after a memorable season that saw them reach the Semi-Finals of the Basketball Champions League Final 8, and also finish third in the French League.
The biggest name among the arrivals: Jarell Eddie. The 29-year-old shooter already played for SIG Strasbourg, back in 2018-19, his first European season. He moved on to UCAM Murcia and Fenerbahce for the next two seasons.
Eddie is a lethal shooter who had a season of 44 percent shooting from beyond the arc while at Virginia Tech. He was knocking down 38 percent of his shots from deep in his first BCL season with SIG, and became even more deadly last season in Turkey, shooting an absurd 3PTS percentage of 54.5 in the Turkish League, done on six attempts per game.
John Roberson will take care of the point guard position. The 32-year-old is full of international experience, having started his European career ten years ago in Zlatorog Lasko in Slovenia. He played in Switzerland, Sweden, Hungary, France, Russia, Australia, Turkey and Spain before coming to Strasbourg.
Roberson is 5'11''/1.80m tall and isn't shy to shoot it from behind the three-point line. He set a FIBA Europe Cup record with 10 threes in a single game, and knocked down 112 three-point field goals in Australia during the 2019-20 season, setting a new NBL record.
Gaylor Curier will help the wing rotation as a domestic player. He was born in Massy, Essonne 29 years ago, and got his first taste of professional basketball while at Limoges back in 2012. Curier stayed in France over the next nine years, spending three solid seasons with Orleans from 2017 to 2020.
He went back to the second division in 2020-21, and the plan worked perfectly for him. Gaylor averaged 11.2 points in 26 games for Lille, shooting an impressive 47 percent from beyond the arc for the season, meaning the weather forecast in Strasbourg will see a lot of rain in 2021-22.
Matt Mitchell is a rookie coming over from San Diego State. Mitchell is 22, and averaged double digits in each of his four NCAA seasons, including a 15.4 ppg mark in 2020-21. The forward was voted for Mountain West Player of the Year in 2021.
Mitchell is a solid shooter, another one in SIG Strasbourg rotation, and he can do the damage on the defensive part of the floor, too, averaging 1.4 steals in 2020-21. His defense usually leads to offense, so there is no doubt the fans in Strasbourg are going to enjoy watching him play.
Georgi Joseph was a late addition to the squad after a Yannis Morin preseason injury. Joseph is 39, plays inside the arc and isn't easily moved with his solid 6'6''/1.98m frame. He played college basketball for Kennesaw State from 2002 to 2005, and started his professional career 16 years ago in Italy.
He moved to Paris Basket Racing, played for Clermont, Aix Maurienne, Pau Orthez, Orleans, ASVEL, Bourg, Monaco, Levallois Metropolitans and Le Portel. Back in 2018, he helped AS Monaco reach the BCL Final in Athens, playing 17.5 minutes per game for coach Zvezdan Mitrovic.