So far in BCL play, Monaco has established itself as the team to beat, running out to a 13-1 regular season record. After losing many key pieces from the side that finished third in the inaugural Basketball Champions League, the French team has retooled the backcourt by adding a defensive demon in Aaron Craft (4 rebounds, 4 assists and 2.3 steals per game), a savvy veteran in DJ Cooper (6.4 assists per game), and scoring sensation Gerald Robinson (14 points with 67.1% 2PTS) — whilst adding some strong contributors to the frontcourt in Evans (15.2 points with 63.9% 2PTS and 4.7 rebounds) and Kikanović (15.5 points with 63.2% 2PTS rebounds).
Offensively, they are overwhelming every opponent – pacing the competition in both points and assists per game, with five players averaging double digit points. Although not the best three-point shooting side, they are shooting almost 60% on two-pointers, and around 73% on free throw attempts. And on defence, they are leading the pack with a whopping 11.6 steals per game, led by Craft and his 2.3 per game average.
Given how dominant Monaco has been so far, it’s difficult to see this match-up going another way. However, the team is not without flaws. The squad isn’t the best at getting to the line and have one of the worst records in the BCL for committing fouls (23 per game). If Gora gets hot from deep and gets Monaco into foul trouble, the Polish team could snatch a game – but expect to see the powerhouse from France doing battle in the next round, with a possible revenge tie against Banvit in the cards.
Text edited by: Nick Flynt