|31 October 2013|
|It has been a long time between drinks in Europe for Camille Little |
We take a look at the EuroLeague Women prospects of one of this years' newcomers and last years' EuroCup Women runners-up, Kayseri Kaski spor.
Last Season: Dynamo Moscow plunged a dagger through the hearts of the Turkish club in the second-leg of the EuroCup Women Final when in front of a staggering and heartbroken 11,000 Kayseri Kaski spor fans, the Russian visitors clinched victory from the jaws of defeat with a dramatic last-gasp success.
Significant Summer Departures: Dynamite Greek forward Zoi Dimitrakou, former Final Eight MVP Asjha Jones, fellow center Nicky Anosike, highly-rated Turkish guard Pinar Demirok and former EuroBasket Women MVP Evanthia Maltsi.
Roster Review: There will be plenty of confidence in the Kayseri camp heading into their rookie EuroLeague Women season after getting a stunning win at Fenerbahce in the Turkish League. Central to that success was swingman Camille Little, who returns to the club after a brief stint in Kayseri earlier in her career before heading to China. The good early chemistry could be down to Little being joined by wing star and Seattle Storm team-mate Tanisha Wright, who is a do-it-all player that will also be a tower of strength. Belgian guard Anke De Mondt knows what it feels like to win a EuroLeague Women title and she will be vital in terms of experience both on and off the court. Spanish guard Nuria Martinez is one seriously tough performer and she stays on board to give some continuity in terms of the big-hitters, whilst emerging Turkish talent Aysegul Gunay also continues, having made a breakthrough at senior national team level. Center Esra Ural was hoping to do the same because of her impressive rebounding qualities, but she will have to step things up a little further in order to make the grade. Gamze Takmaz has also been brought in from Adana Botas and is a strong player who looks after intangibles in the small forward spot. Sabrina Cinili has also been handed a first season in the competition after the forward impressed playing for the Italian national team at EuroBasket Women
Headline Stealer: Camille Little may have been writing headlines in the WNBA, but having played in Asia during the last few years, she now looks set to make a splash in Europe again. She is the kind of player who can make clutch shots or go off in any contest and explode for a game-winning MVP contribution.
Sliding Onto The Radar: Whilst never big on numbers during her youth career, 21-year-old guard Aysegul Gunay was a surprise inclusion on the senior Turkish team at EuroBasket Women in France and having come home from the competition clutching a bronze medal, the experience should give her confidence to now make a further stride forward. She has played good minutes in the Turkish League so far and if she wants to retain her place for the FIBA World Championship for Women in her homeland next year, she needs a good campaign under her belt.
Scanning The Schedule: Group A looks like posing a potential nightmare first season for Kayseri on paper since you could barely get a more difficult first four games than Good Angels Kosice, Beretta Famila Schio, Tango Bourges and UMMC Ekaterinburg. At least three of their last four games are at home, so they need to keep the faith. They will also play underdogs Uni Gyor.
‘Twittertastic': Look out for @ankedm and @CamilleLittle.
In Just Ten Words: Tough initiation in a difficult group, but could be pesky.