After reaching the playoffs and only going one Final Four victory away in their first season in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, AS Monaco are coming back with important returns and new names that will allow the team to level up and establish themselves in the league.
Mike James, the Monegasque star
There’s no doubt that all eyes will be on Mike James, who returns to the team after signing an extension in the summer. Last season, James averaged 16.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.2 steals. He was named to the All-EuroLeague First Team and earned MVP of the Month honors for March. He will be the main piece of the Monaco puzzle, a pressure he appreciates. James will be joined as goaltender by two new double-digit scorers to the team: Jordan Loyd and Elie Okobo. This trio constitutes an impressive firepower for Monaco. Yakuba Ouattara will be one more year in the team’s backcourt and the second line will also be completed by another new face, Matthew Strazel. Another top signing for Monaco is Jaron Blossomgame up front, one of the most decisive players in the 7DAYS EuroCup last season. He will have the reliable Alpha Diallo at his side. Monaco’s backcourt will be a force to be reckoned with.
A complete Frontcourt
The same could be said of the frontcourt. One of last season’s surprises, Donta Hall, returns to Monaco and hopes her connection with James remains as electric as ever. Two new names stand out among the bigs playing in the main this season: two-time EuroLeague champion Adrien Moerman and also John Brown, who had an impressive EuroLeague season with UNICS Kazan last year and added defensive power. in the painting. All that experience in the paint will be balanced by the youth and energy of Yoan Makoundou, who signed a four-year contract this summer and is set to become an important piece in Monaco’s future.
Elie Okobo, AS Monaco’s player to watch
Elie Okobo took the EuroLeague by storm last season on his debut with LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne. Averaging 14.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 27 games, he took everyone by surprise as he became one of the most decisive players in the league, especially in the first half of the season. Now Okobo lands in Monaco to join a team with a very aggressive defensive profile. At ASVEL he was the main option in attack, but here he will have to share the stage with a shooting ace like Jordan Loyd and, of course, a scoring machine like Mike James, the undisputed leader of the team. . It will be crucial for these three players to understand each other and function and probably the one who will have to work the hardest will be Okobo, who will only be playing his second EuroLeague season in a team for which an improvement would be to make the Final Four.
The ambitions of As Monaco
The Monaco team had an impressive debut season and are now coming back for more. The team managed to retain some of the most important pieces of success from last season and added a bunch of names that should turn a few heads quickly if they managed to put themselves together. Coach Sasa Obradovic has a remarkable group of players. The other teams now know what to expect, so the element of surprise will no longer exist, but such a workforce more than compensated.
Matches to follow
Round 1: EuroCup champions
The last two 7DAYS EuroCup champions will meet when Monaco play against Virtus Segafredo Bologna. Monaco won this competition in 2021 and Virtus did so last season. Apart from this piquant fact, their duel could have a major impact on the team that will remain in the EuroLeague the following season, so expect great intensity when these teams face each other.
5th day: a revenge of the playoffs
The final ticket to the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague 2022 Final Four went to Olympiacos Piraeus, but only after surviving a five-game fight against Monaco. Each side have won away and lost at home in a thrilling series that has left fans hungry, making every encounter between the two sides this season one not to be missed. Monaco will be determined to get a little revenge when the two teams meet at the Stade de la Paix et de l’Amitié on October 27.
Matchday 12: face Real Madrid
The 23rd round meeting between Monaco and Real Madrid was one of the most exciting matches of the last season. Monaco led by six points with two minutes remaining in regulation before Real recovered to force extra time. Nothing could decide between them after five additional minutes, and it took a second extra time for Real to win 84-90. Monaco will be motivated to beat Real for the first time.
24th day: The best of the French League
The French basket giants play each other many times every season, and it’s always a bit more special in the EuroLeague. Last season, LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne and Monaco went head-to-head in a thrilling French League final, while their first EuroLeague encounter was decided on a mid-court buzzer. All the signs point to new dramas.
Day 31: More thrills for Zalgiris?
Monaco’s first two EuroLeague games against Zalgiris Kaunas only whetted the appetite. The road team passionately imposes itself every time. First, Monaco rallied in the fourth quarter to force extra time en route to a 98-107 victory in Lithuania, as Mike James set a club record with 14 assists. Then, Lukas Lekavicius scored the last four points of the game as Zalgiris beat Monaco 82-83 at Salle Gaston Medecin. What does this season have in store for us?