|29 October 2013|
|Jantel Lavender was at the Final Eight last year with Famila Schio and will want to be back there again this year with new club Wisla Can-Pack|
We take a look at the Euroleague Women prospects of the Krakow-based club.
Last Season: Injuries took their toll as Wisla crashed to a horrendous 0-3 start and whilst they recovered to finish in third place in the Group with a 6-6 record, head coach Jose Hernandez was replaced during the middle of the play-offs against Bourges Basket with the series balanced 1-1. Wisla subsequently lost the deciding game in France and their roller-coaster season was brought to a halt.
Significant Summer Departures: The dominant Tina Charles and fellow center Dora Horti, along with experienced former EuroLeague Women winner Anke De Mondt and the versatile Alana Beard.
Roster Review: It looks like new head coach and former Good Angels Kosice play-caller Stefan Svitek has an enhanced Wisla roster at his disposal with the club having lost some key players, but having also landed some very useful replacements. Center Jantel Lavender can be a dominant player in this competition and with Latvian Zane Tamane also added, Wisla have two very good players in the five spot, with valuable back-up from Joanna Czarnecka and Marta Jujka. The forward spots will see Justyna Zurowska push hard for a starting place, with Agnieszka Szott-Hejmej also in contention, whilst Katarzyna Krezel will try to do some damage on the wings. Bringing back Australian guard Erin Phillips could be a master-stroke and with the firepower of Allie Quigley, it looks to be a very fruitful and productive source of creativity and scoring for Wisla. The hard-nosed defence and passing skills of Spanish playmaker Cristina Ouvina along with the leadership of Paulina Pawlak will still be integral after the pair re-signed and they will all have to be on top of their game to get the nod as the preferred starting duo in the backcourt.
Headline Stealer: Jantel Lavender was sensational for Famila Schio last season and whilst she has big shoes to fill - those of former WNBA MVP Tina Charles - she has already shown during domestic action that she is on-song and ready to post another big Euroleague Women season in the paint.
Sliding Onto The Radar: With plenty of experience in their ranks, Wisla generally have a team of players already on the radar, although after around a decade since her last appearance in the competition, veteran Agnieszka Szott-Hejmej may be keener than most to make a mark this season.
Scanning The Schedule: A good start would be nice after their dismal opening last season and certainly a home game against Rivas Ecopolis (who will brign former coach Jose Hernandez) is a winnable and spicy curtain-raiser, followed by a trip to BK Imos Brno. It's a nicely spread schedule, with other games against UE Sopron, Fenerbahce and Basket Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration.
‘Twittertastic': Try out @jlav42 @erinphillips13 @alliequigley @cristi106.
In Just Ten Words: Svitek will target Final Eight, but maybe not deep enough.