Limoges aim to bigger results this year

Limoges aim to bigger results this year

The 11 times French league champions, Limoges, had a very tough campaign last season. They finished on 7th place in the regular season but were eliminated in the first play-offs round by Monaco with 2-0. In Eurocup, they managed to get into top-16, but there they were drawn in a very tough group with Valencia, Unicaja and Crvena Zvezda and they finished in 4th position.

Limoges aim to have bigger results this year, so for that, they changed the entire roster, only big man Jerry Boutsiele remained from last season. The first man changed: the coach. They brought in Alfred Julbe, an experienced coach who trained before teams like Girona, Basket Zaragoza, Caceres or Andorra. Last year he was assistant-coach at Barcelona Lassa and also the coach of the national team of Egypt.

Despite having some good numbers last season, players like Dwight Hardy, Axel Bouteille, William Howard, Jordan Taylor or Isaiah Miles left the team for other teams or are currently free agents. In exchange the added 11 new players. First, they added four American players: Semaj Christon, Brian Conklin, Marcus Ginyard and Vincent Sanford. From them, Semaj Christon (26 years-old, 1.90m, G) had the most impressive stats last season. He averaged 18.8 points, 4.0 assists and 2.1 rebounds in 8 league games for Hapoel Beer Sheva.  He also played 64 NBA games of Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2016-2017 season.

Their attention then turned to some young prospect for the future. They added on loan from Barcelona B, Atoumane Diagne (20 years-old, 2.15m, C) a player that was already coached by Julbe. Then, 2 young French players were added, Maxime Carene and Timothe Crusol. Both are 18 years old and won the U16 European Championship in 2017 and get the silver medal at the U17 World Cup last summer with France. They are two high prospects and everybody at Limoges was happy with these additions.

The last four players added were two foreigners and two French players. The Lithuanian, Ovidijus Varanauskas (28 years old, 1.88, G) came from Polish side Trefl Sopot where he averaged 12.5 points and 3.0 rebounds in 13 league games. Benoit Mbala (24 years-old, 2.04m, F), a Cameroon native player, was the other foreigner. He played in French second division where he averaged 15.2 points and 7.2 rebounds in 18 games. And the French players are Nicolas Lang, who`s recovering from an injury and left Strasbourg to join the team and Hugo Invernizzi, who came from Nanterre, where he averaged 8.6 points and 3.9 rebounds in the French league.

Limoges made some very interesting addition and seems that they don`t want to have lower results than last year. It`s important to find the perfect rotation and the chemistry must be the first problem solved for coach Alfred Julbe. I don`t think they have any chance in French league or Eurocup, but some good results are more than welcomed by Limoges`s fans.

Photo credit:

Bogdan Vasile Tirc