Beşiktaş Sompo Japan: 2016/17 season preview

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Updated: October 7, 2016

After yet another disappointing season, Beşiktaş are looking to go back to the playoffs after a 2 year absence. The fans are also expecting the team to go further in European competition as well after going out early in the Eurocup last season. This time around, Beşiktaş will be competing in the Basketball Champions League, which is relatively easier compared to the Eurocup.

First and foremost, Beşiktaş will continue with Sompo Japan as the sponsor for another season. It’s expected for Beşiktaş to make around $1,500,000 from this new agreement between them and Sompo Japan. On the other hand, the home matches will continue to be played at Akatlar Arena.

There have been many changes to the squad for the new season and also a new head coach, Ufuk Sarıca, who Beşiktaş fans love very much. Ufuk Sarıca has returned to his home after 8 years. He was last an assistant for Beşiktaş in the 2007/08 season. Before coming to us, Sarıca was in charge of Pınar Karşıyaka for 4 years, where he won the league, the cup, and the president’s cup during his time there.

The only players who remain in the squad from last season are Doğan Şenli and captain, Muratcan Güler. Youngsters, Ömer Utku Al and Enes Berkay Taşkıran, have been loaned out to Yeşilgiresun Belediyespor. A total of 10 new players were added to the squad during the off season and those players are:

Guards

  • Michael Thompson – 27
  • Michael Roll – 29
  • Şafak Edge – 24
  • Kenan Sipahi – 21

Forwards

  • DJ Strawberry – 31
  • Earl Clark – 28
  • Kyle Weems – 27
  • Erkan Veyseloğlu – 33
  • Ilkan Karaman – 26

Centers

  • Vladimir Stimac – 29
  • Sertaç Şanlı – 25

There could be more transfers during the season, notably a center. Stimac wasn’t a main transfer target as the team was looking for an athletic rim protector, but since the other targets couldn’t be brought in, Stimac was transferred. It’s likely that Stimac will be sent and a new center will be brought in.

With so many new faces on the squad and this being Ufuk Sarıca’s first season, the team will need time and all the support they can get. It’ll be unrealistic to expect a championship from this team straight away considering the opponents, such as Fenerbahçe, Darüşsafaka, Anadolu Efes, and Galatasaray, have much higher budgets compared to us. The main goal in the league heading into the new season should be to make the playoffs after not making it for 2 years straight. When it comes to the cup and Europe, I expect the team to go far in the Basketball Champions League as the competition isn’t very strong there and possibly a good run in the cup.

Emre Kaya
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Emre Kaya

Born, raised and living in the USA. Crazy about Beşiktaş.
Emre Kaya
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