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vendredi, 15 septembre 2017

Hei een flotten Artikel iwwert Nationale 2 vun


This Friday starts the new Nationale 2 season. Basketlux takes at look at the different teams and tries to find out who has the best chances to move up to the Total League in 2018.


Arantia Larochette
Coach: Jerome Hansen
Professional/non-JICL players: Ladarius Tabb, Xavier Tabb

Arantia has seen some important roster changes this summer and can be clearly considered as one of the winners of the off-season. The contract extension of Tabb was a great sign and the addition of DJ Wilson looks like a great move for a N2 team. Coach Hansen, who will go into his first Nationale 2 season will try to integrate more the young players like Philippe Oly while the older generation around Sam Ferreira, Luc Kirpach and Pedro Nunes will remain the core of the team. The roster is quite deep so that Arantia can clearly be considered as one of the favorites this season.

Verdict: Back to Total League

Hedgehogs Bascharage
Coach: Nigel Tolentino
Professional/non-JICL players: Aaron Harrison, BJ Caldarelli, Marko Latinovic

The summer in Bascharage has been tumultuous and there is only Steven Mersch who has remained from the main players. Coach Tolentino brought in Aaron Harrison who played for Arantia two seasons ago and he tried to find motivated young players that want to impose themselves in the Nationale 2. Jerome Lanners comes from T71 and should bring some athleticism to the frontcourt while Ralph Lana arrives from the Pirates. The main addition though should normally be Marko Latinovic who comes as 3rd non-JICL player from Basket Esch. With this newly formed team, the main goal should be to reach the playoffs but this might be a difficult task.

Verdict: Playoff Candidate

Kordall Steelers
Coach: Paul Missavage
Professional/non-JICL players: Marcus Neal, Antonio Bivins, Thomas Kaspereit

The Kordall Steelers want to attack the Total League as goal this season after having been quite close to a promotion last spring. With the addition of Marcus Neal, the Steelers have added a real leader that has a proven ability to lead a team to promotion. Kordall is certainly the most athletic team of the league but they have also their flaws in terms of being regular throughout the season. The team of coach Missavage will also have a third non-JICL player in the German big guy Thomas Kaspereit who will stabilize their inside game. Kordall needs to find the right mix between athletic presence and control of the game in order to find their way to the Total League.

Verdict: Promotion Candidate

BC Mess
Coach: John Griffin
Professional players: Brett Morris, Richard Ross

BC Mess has played a very promising pre-season despite the loss of their two main JICL players this summer. However, coach Griffin could add Christian Weisen for the big guy rotation which is a major plus. The Mess team wants to give more responsibilities to their younger players and they clearly want to qualify again for the playoffs. The Americans seems to be well integrated so far but the team might lack a bit of size in order to compete with the top teams. Nevertheless, Mess seems to be a clear playoffs candidate at the moment if they can continue on their pre-season level.

Verdict: Playoff Candidate

Grengewald Hueschtert
Coach: Karel Achten
Professional players: Mike Jones, Jeylen Sharpe

After a disappointing season, Grengewald has changed the coach and wants to build on the experience of Mike Jones to qualify again for the playoffs. Coach Achten has tried out several new JICL additions but the offense will most likely turn again around Chris Leclerc and Laurent Majerus when it comes to the local players. Newly added Gilles Surkijn and comebacker Sven Kauffmann should be able to play some valuable minutes on defense but the overall roster looks a bit short in the backcourt. However, Grengewald should be able to compete for the playoffs spots again but it will be tough competition with the different other candidates.

Verdict: Playoff Candidate

Telstar Hesper
Coach: Gabor Boros
Professional players: Alex Harris, Pierce Cumbstone

After an excellent first season under coach Gabor Boros, Telstar Hesper wants to confirm its progress and become a serious playoff candidate. Two new professional players plus a few smart additions on the JICL spots make their roster deeper. Telstar hopes that their young players continue to progress and it seems like coach Boros has done a good job for that part. The major question mark though remains the professional players and it is hard to foresee right now if they can have the same impact than their predecessors.

Verdict: Playoffs Candidate

AS Zolwer
Coach: Carlo Ferrante
Professional players: Ky Howard, Brian Jefferson

Zolwer had a huge turning point when they relegated in 2016 and local coach Carlo Ferrante took the job to build a completely new team from scratch. After a difficult start, the team seems to have made significant progress and with the right choices of professional players, Zolwer can eventually attack the playoff spots again. Brian Jefferson has shown interesting potential during the preparation phase and the whole team uses that one year of N2 experience to progress. With a good start into the season, Zolwer might be able to become the surprise of the year.

Verdict: No problem to stay in the league

Black Star Mersch
Coach: Misha Stojanovic
Professional players: Bryant Irwin, Duane Johnson, Ogi Beocanin

Mersch had another tumultuous season in 2016/17 and Misha Stojanovic will try to build his team in a more stable way. The JICL spots remain very thin despite the addition of some veterans like David Torres and Elisio Delgado. The big advantage is that Mersch can start the season with a duo of proven professionals. Nevertheless, it is hard to imagine that Black Star can be a playoff candidate even if they added former BC Mess play Ogi Beocanin as third non-JICL player to cover a lack of backcourt talent.

Verdict: Relegation battle

Avanti Mondorf
Coach: Robi Horsmans
Professional players: Cameron Lee, Trent Weaver

After several years in the Nationale 3, Avanti Mondorf is back in the second highest league. Robi Horsmans comes up with a team of veterans built around former Total League players Oli Haan and Sylvain Felten. The professional additions look promising but the main problem might become the lack of quality coming from the bench. The core of the JICL players is quite old already which might be hard especially on the double game-days. Mondorf has given itself the chance to compete with N2 teams and it might become an interesting battle with Mersch for avoiding relegation.

Verdict: Relegation battle

Black Frogs Schieren
Coach: Nikolaos Skontos
Professional players: Stefan Stefanovic

The Black Frogs actually prepared to play another season in the Nationale 3 when the promoted Les Sangliers Wiltz decided to step back. This move put the Black Frogs in the awkward position to build a N2 team in a few days when several players had already decided to leave for other teams. Coach Skontos will have the extremely difficult task to make this team competitive enough in order to avoid a winless season similar to what happened to Preizerdall. Schieren will most likely have to go back to Nationale 3 next spring.

Verdict: Relegation

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