After an extended period, Omri Casspi joined the team's practices this week but won't be available for the Yellow & Blue as he joins John DiBartolomeo and Yovel Zoosman.
"We come back to our home court to play another important game. Fenerbahce lost three games in a row, which makes them more dangerous, and we expect them to fight hard", Said head coach Giannis Sfairopoulos about the Turkish squad. "They have a combination of experienced and new players with a good coach that already implemented his philosophy".
"After analyzing them, we have two important keys for tomorrow, staying focused, and playing hard. Tactically, we know their advantages and disadvantages, and we need to follow our game plan. It's essential for our success on both ends of the court".
Fenerbahce holds an impressive roster featuring Nando De Colo, Jan Vesely, Lorenzo Brown, Johnny Hamilton, Edgaras Ulanovas, and Danilo Barthel. Igor Kokoskov came in Zeljko Obradovic's shoes after the Serbian departed this past summer. Kokoskov stepped in with a remarkable pedigree, leading Slovenia to a European championship title and coaching the Phoenix Suns from the NBA.
The Turkish team started the season with consecutive victories over Crvena Zvezda Belgrade and Anadolu Efes but since then suffered three straight losses to CSKA Moscow, Bayern Munich, and Panathinaikos. Nando De Colo leads the team with 15.2 points per night, adding 4.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists.
Elijah Bryant was asked if his assignment on Thursday is to stop Nando De Colo: "This is a team game, so regardless of what I do on the court, it's a team game, and we have to stop each player as a team. It's five talented players against five talented players playing at a high level, so underestimating any of these EuroLeague will be wrong".
"For us, it's going to come down to playing defense", Stated Tyler Dorsey towards the matchup. "They're a well-coached team that can score the ball with a lot of great scorers and veterans, so it's going to come down to getting stops and slowing those guys down. That's the key for us going into this next game, offensively it will come for us, and we will get it going on that end, but it's going to be a defense tonight for us to get the victory".