Galatasaray is having a poor start of the season

Galatasaray entered the 2023-24 season with high hopes, but the results are disappointing in both the Basketball Champions League and the Turkish Super Lig.

The Turkish giants made some important moves in the summer, most notably signing three players with EuroLeague experience, two for the backcourt (Jonah Radebaugh and Corey Walden) and a power forward (Jarell Martin). Radebaugh played for Valencia in the previous season and averaged 5.7 points per game in 17 minutes spent on the court. He also has BCL experience having previously played for Ludwigsburg where he helped the team reach the Final Four of the competition in 2022. Corey Walden has three seasons of EuroLeague experience with an average of 9.7 points per game while playing for Crvena Zvezda and Bayern Munich. Power forward Jarell Martin arrived in Istanbul from Tel Aviv, where he played for Maccabi last season and averaged 7.2 points per game. He also has NBA experience, playing 184 games for the Memphis Grizzlies and Orlando Magic. These new signings, together with experienced center Miralem Halilovic and great Turkish players Goksenin Koksal and Ismet Akpinar should have been a guarantee of an amazing season for Galatasaray.

However, these great individual pieces did not seem to form a team yet, and for the BCL campaign, it might be too late for the Turkish team if the don’t start winning right away. Galata started the BCL season with a defeat in the Sinan Erdem Dome against PAOK. At the end of October, the Yellow-Red team decided to bring back point guard Dee Bost (another player with EuroLeague experience) in order to strengthen the team further. Unfortunately, the move did not bring the expected improvement as the team from Istanbul lost twice against Hapoel Jerusalem and defeated only Benfica at home. In Round 5 Galatasaray has a crucial game against Benfica in Lisbon and then they will end the group stage in Thessaloniki against PAOK.

The situation is not better for Zvezdan Mitrovic’s team in the domestic league either. After 10 rounds in the Super Lig, Galata is only 12th in the standings with a 4-6 record and they lost 4 of their last 5 games. On the positive side, at the end of October Galata beat Efes by almost 20 points which shows that the team has quality, however, if they don’t get on the winning track fast the season could turn into a complete disaster.

Imre Halasz

Image: BCL