WINNER LEAGUE PREVIEW

It should be a very interesting year in Israeli basketball as two new teams will play in the division I level, Hapoel Eilat and Hapoel Tel Aviv. Both clubs have rich traditions and should help make the Winner League more competitive. As always Maccabi Tel Aviv will go into the season as the favorites as they have the best Israeli talent and the best foreign talent. Maccabi’s main competition this year will be Hapoel Jerusalem, Hapoel Holon, Galil Gilboa and Maccbi Rishon Lezion.

As many of the top foreign players have left for bigger squads in Europe, the Winner League is looking for new foreign stars. Outside of Maccabi Tel Aviv, Maccabi Haifa and Hapoel Jerusalem most teams lack the financial resources to attract top foreign players and to retain the best Israeli players.

Four Israeli teams will compete in European leagues this year. Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Euroleague, Hapoel Galil Gilboa in the Balkan League, Hapoel Jerusalem in the Eurocup and Hapoel Holon in the EuroChallenge.

Even though Maccabi Tel Aviv will likely dominate, the league should be incredibly competitive as the weaker teams from last year have revamped their line up with new talent. One of the biggest question marks will be which Israeli player will be able to step into the spotlight. Last year Maccabi Tel Aviv guard Yogev Ohayon went from being a well known player in Israel to a well known player throughout Europe. Who will be the next Israeli star?

HAPOEL EILAT

Hapoel Eilat has been added to the Israeli Basketball Super League after switching places with Habika BC. Though Hapoel Eilat has not been in  the top division since 1999, the club has a rich coaching tradition. The club has been coached by legend Ralf Klein, current Israel National Basketball Head Coach Arik Shivek and current Maccabi Rishon Lezion Head Coach Effi Birnbaum.

The club will be led by former Maccabi Tel Aviv star Oded Kattash. Kattash led Hapoel Galil Elyon to a surprising championship over Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2010. Kattash was not able to duplicate the success he had at Galil Elyon while coaching Hapoel Jerusalem. After a disastrous start to the 2011-2012 season, Kattash after it became clear the team was not following his leadership.

Hapoel Eilat may be a new team the division I level but they certainly have the talent to compete. The backcourt will feature former Georgetown Hoya (NCAA) stand out Austin Freeman, former Tennessee Volunteer (NCAA) star Scotty Hopson and Israeli PG Avi Ben-Chimol. Expect Hopson and Freeman to put up a lot of points for their squad, due to their ability to get to the rim and shoot from anywhere. Austin Freeman was known for his great leadership qualities at Georgetown and these qualities will be needed as Hapoel Eilat try and stay competitive in the top Israeli Basketball League. The frontcourt will feature rookie Eli Holman, who has shown at times that he is able to dominate the boards in the collegiate level but still has a raw offensive game. Veterans Tony Younger and Jerome Tillman will help fortify the frontcourt. Despite the talent, it will take a couple of years for the team to get comfortable in the division I level.

BARAK NETANYA

Barak Netanya is still trying to cope with last season’s heartbreaking loss to Habika BC. The loss knocked Netanya out of the playoffs and left a sour taste for the team. The Club will now have to deal with a much more difficult task,  the loss of superstar Adrian Banks. Banks led the league in scoring last year and was one of the toughest players to guard. The team also lost Israeli guard Lior Lifshitz who has moved to play for Ashkelon.

Head Coach Danny Franco will have a lot of talent to work with this year. Marco Killingsworth will provide an inside game that Netanya has lacked the past few seasons. After a terrific start with Ashekelon last year forward Raymar Morgan injured his knee and was out for the season. Netanya will hope that Morgan will be completely healthy and will be able to team up with Marco Killingsworth to form a dangerous duo.  The backcourt will be led by former Hapoel Jerusalem guard Ramel Bradley and former Virginia Tech (NCAA) star Deron Washington. Bradley and Washington will dish the ball out to Israeli sharp shooter Yehu Orland. Orland will provide leadership and experience for the team as he has been in the league for 14 seasons. If Raymar Morgan struggles with injury forward Warren Carter will fill in nicely.

The team should have no problems qualifying for the playoffs as they have significantly upgraded their roster from last year. The only issue with this team, is whether they will be able to play well together.

HAPOEL JERUSALEM

After a very slow start to last year’s campaign, Hapoel Jerusalem finally started to play better under new head coach Sharon Drucker. Drucker is a local favorite as he is the last coach to have led Hapoel to a trophy, the ULEB Cup in 2004 . At the end of last season the Hapoel front office decided to build a team around a new group of foreign stars. The result: Hapoel Jerusalem decided not to resign John Thomas, Brian Randle, D.J. Strawberry and playmaker Ramel Bradley. The heart and soul of the team,  guard Yuval Naimy also decided that it was time he go test the waters in Europe and signed with Russian squad BC Triumph Lyubertsy.

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Sharon Drucker will now have a full season to coach a team that he personally selected. Hapoel Jerusalem has recruited  NBA forward Craig Smith from the Portland Trailblazers. Hapoel fans are excited over Smith’s potential. The guard position should be much more consistent this year as Hapoel has signed former Kansas State (NCAA) star guard Jacob Pullen. Pullen has spent the summer competing for the Georgian National Basketball team and has helped them qualify for the 2013 EuroBasket. Pullen is a dangerous shooter who can shoot from anywhere on the floor and is a deadly three point and clutch shooter. Hapoel has also signed Israeli veteran Meir Tapiro and will count on him to distribute the ball to all of Hapoel scorers. After a very successful stint playing with the Israeli National Team over the summer guard Raviv Limonad has signed with Hapoel. Limonad has demonstrated his ability to score. Hapoel will hope he can be consistent this year after an up and down season with Ashekelon. Possibly the biggest catch for Hapoel was the addition of forward Courtney Fells from Hapoel Galil Gilboa. Courtney Fells was arguably  the best player on Hapoel Galil Gilboa and helped lead his team to a 2011/2012 Baltic Championship, Galil Gilboa’s first European trophy. After having a break out year and leading his team to the championship game vs. Maccabi Tel Aviv former Ashdod forward Josh Duncan will help solidify the backcourt. Hapoel will also count on contributions from Israeli forwards Elishay Kadir and Uri Kokia.

After completely revamping their lineup Hapoel Jerusalem should be able to compete for a top three position. This Hapoel team is one of the most talented they have had in years and expectations will be sky high as Hapoel supporters hope they can finally knock off their bitter rivals Maccabi Tel Aviv.

MACCABI HAIFA

Maccabi Haifa has been one of the most disappointing teams in the Israeli division I level the past few years. The team has assembled a lot of talent but has not been able to mesh and play like a team . Haifa finished last season in last place despite having one of the most talented players in the league in the league former Virginia (NCAA) star Sylvan Landesberg. After numerous coaching changes the past few years, billionaire owner Jeffery Rosen decided to hire former Philadelphia 76ers GM (best known for drafting Allen Iverson number 1 overall in the 1996 draft) and Venezuelan National Basketball Team assistant coach Brad Greenberg to help rejuvenate Maccabi Haifa. Greenberg will bring an enormous amount of coaching experience as he has coached in the collegiate level (Radford) NBA level ( New York Knicks assistant) and the international level ( Venezuelan team Bucaneros de La Guaira ). Greenberg’s hiring comes at a very crucial time for  Maccabi Haifa as they move in to their new  5,000 seat Romema Arena. This not the first time Maccabi Haifa has had an American coach be a part of its organization. Last year Maccabi Haifia hired former Syracuse (NCAA) assistant coach Bernie Fine to help make important basketball decisions for the front office.

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Maccabi Haifa’s backcourt will be led by Israeli-Swedish Chanan Coleman, American-Greek guard Pat Calathes, American-Mexican guard Paul Stoll and former Bucknell (NCAA) stand out Bryan Cohen. Chanan Coleman has had a lot of success in the Swedish basketball league and the team hopes he can bring his winning ways to Maccabi Haifa. Though Pat Calathes did not get a lot of playing time for Greek powerhouse Panathinaikos there is no question he is very talented. Pat was able to dominate at the collegiate level and most likely made the mistake of going to Panathinaikos early in his career. Calathes will get more playing time and Maccabi Haifa will hope he can provide the spark he did while he was in college. Guard Paul Stoll brings over a unique style of play as he played his season in Venezuela. Head Coach Brad Greenberg who coached in Venezuela last season, will be very comfortable with using Stoll as the team’s primary point guard. Do not expect Bryan Cohen to be an offensive threat for Haifa, but do expect him to lead the league in most defensive categories. The 3-time defensive player of the year in the Patriot League will be counted on to do all the little things that don’t show up in the stat box.  Donta Smith will round out the backcourt and will bring NBA experience to a team searching for an identity. Maccabi Haifa has also signed American-Israel veteran guard Cory Carr. Cory brings eleven years of division 1 experience and will help all the young guards on the team.

The frontcourt will not be nearly as strong as the backcourt as it features Israeli National Team member center Ido Kozikaro, forward James Thomas, center Alexey Tzubrevitch and youngster Sean Labanowski. The frontcourt will heavily rely on Kozikaro and Thomas to put up points.

Though Brad Greenberg has built a team that he likes, Maccabi Haifa fans should be patient and realize that it may take a few years before they can compete for a championship. The most interesting question going into the season is to whether the team will be able to mesh different styles of play. 

HAPOEL HOLON

Last season Hapoel Holon was able to make it to the Final Four after defeating Hapoel Jerusalem in a very intense series. Holon ended up losing to surprise team of the season Maccabi Ashdod. Hapoel Holon will continue to be one of the best teams in Israeli basketball despite a very challenging off-season, that will feature a fairly new roster. During the off-season Holon were to hear that heart-and-soul  of the squad guard Moran Roth was leaving to play for Maccabi Tel Aviv. Hapoel will also look to replace star guard Ron Lewis who has left for Turkish side Antalya BSB.

Holon believed it had signed the best off-season transaction, by announcing that former Houston Rocket guard Luther Head would suit up for Holon but in the end the deal fell apart and Holon was left searching for another guard. Holon then announced that they had reached an agreement with former Hapoel Jerusalem guard D.J. Strawberry and at the last minute he left for Cibona Zagreb of the Croatian League. Hapoel Holon finally reached an agreement with former U Conn (NCAA) star guard Jerome Dyson. The backcourt will also feature Jewish college basketball star Zack Rosen. Rosen spent the off-season playing for the Philadelphia 76ers summer league team and is expected to be one the best guards in the Israeli league this season. He is often compared to Jeremy Lin and many analysts say that if he were a  few inches taller, he could be a very solid player in the NBA. Rosen also has tremendous leadership skills, something which will be needed for one of the youngest teams in the league. Jerome Dyson will bring NBA experience to the team as he spent the past season with the New Orleans Hornets.

Holon’s frontcourt will feature forwards Frank Hassell, Tyler Smith, Lawrence Hill, and Israeli forward Sean Daniel. Frank Hassell and Lawrence Hill both spent the past season playing in the D-League and should be expected to be score a lot of points. As always Sean Daniel is a very dangerous shooter and is one of the better young Israelis playing in the first division.  Tyler Smith who has struggled with legal problems in the past will hope he can turn around his career in Israel.

This team is very young but will be led by one of the best coaches in the Israeli League, Dan Shamir. If the forwards are able to contribute this team could be very dangerous come the playoffs.

 

MACCABI ASHDOD

After a very slow start to the season, Maccabi Ashdod found its stride after beating Maccabi Tel Aviv in Nokia. At the time the upset was huge since Maccabi Ashdod had just loaned star guard Ramel Bradley to Hapoel Jerusalem. The team owes much of its success to former Florida ( NCAA) F Alex Tyus who was able to dominate down low, both defensively and offensively. Alex Tyus was awarded for his outstanding play with the leagues sixth man of the year award. Another reason for Ashdod’s success was the chemistry between Israeli play maker Tapiro and his teammates. Tapiro was in the top 5 in the league in assists and had plenty of good shooters to dish the ball to. Let’s also not forget Josh Duncan and Josh Carter  who were able to frequently dominate a game offensively. Head Coach  Ofer Berkovich deserves credit for motivating the players and making them believe that they could compete against the best teams. Maccabi Ashdod ended up losing against Maccabi Tel Aviv in the championship game, to earn its first runner-up trophy in franchise history . Maccabi Ashdod now needs to rebuild after losing some of  the team’s best players. Alex Tyus has left for Italian Euroleague team Cantu, Meir Tapiro and Josh Duncan for Hapoel Jerusalem and finally  Josh Carter for Russia squad Spartak SPB.

The Maccabi Ashdod front office  has assembled a fairly strong team after losing all of it’s stars to bigger clubs. The backcourt will be led by guard Chris Allen and Israeli point guard Dror Hagag. Chris Allen will be making his professional basketball debut with Ashdod and will try and put all his troubles in the past. Allen helped lead Iowa State (NCAA) back to prominence last year but has struggled with his consistency. Dror Hagag will be the main point guard for this team and will have a lot of forwards to pass too.

The frontcourt will feature forwards Jamie Skeen, Kenny Gabriel and Moshe Mizrahi. The lone center on the roster will be Diamon Simpson. Simpson spent part of the last season with NBA’s Houston Rockets and will bring NBA experience that Maccabi Ashdod fans are not used to. Jamie Skeen who had a very solid year with Ashekelon last season will contribute immediately. Moshe Mizrahi will also provide insurance in the frontcourt.

Do not expect Maccabi Ashdod to make another Cinderella run as they did last year. This team is not nearly as talented as last year’s and will most likely stay in the middle of the standings.

MACCABI RISHON LEZION

Last year’s Rishon squad made headlines when they were able to overcome a 2-0 deficit in a playoff series against Eldan Ashekelon. Rishon went on to play Maccabi Tel Aviv in the final four semi-final and lost. Rishon will have to replace its three stars as Derwin Kitchen has left for Panthanoukius, Brandon Bowman for South Korea and Joe Crawford has decided not to return. One thing is sure, when you have a seasoned coach like Effi Birnbaumeading an organization,chances are it will be successful.

The backcourt will feature former LA Clipper point guard Willie Warren. Warren was never able to live up to his high expectations. Warren has looked very good in the pre-season and Rishon officials hope that he finally will be to showcase all of his talent. Guard Nizan Hanochi will return for Rishon and will be counted on to provide lock down D on his opponents. Hanochi is the reigning defensive player of the year. Guard Lazeric Jones has also signed with Rishon. Jones spent the past year at power house UCLA, and is more of a passing threat than Willie Warren. Rounding out the backcourt is Israeli veteran guard Amit Ben-David.

The frontcourt will feature center Adrian Uter. Uter is one of the best big men in the league. Uter shined in the Israeli division II league for a couple of seasons and finally got his chance when Rishon decided to sign him, and boy were they happy. Uter provides leadership for the squad with many new faces coming in. Forward Paul Carter, who will replace Brandon Bowman, spent the off-season with the Atlanta Hawks summer league team.

Rishon should compete for a top four finish and will be one of the strongest teams going in to the playoffs. One thing to keep an eye on is the development of guard Willie Warren, he is capable of becoming a super star.

 

HAPOEL TEL AVIV               

Hapoel Tel Aviv is finally back in the top division in Israeli basketball after six long years playing in the second division. Hapoel Tel Aviv is now the only team in the league to be owned by the fans. Hapoel Tel Aviv has a very rich history which includes 5 championships (1959-60, 1960–61, 1964–65, 1965–66, 1968–69)  and a very competitive rivalry against Maccabi Tel Aviv also known as the “Derby”. Despite being a Division II team last year Hapoel Tel Aviv was able to sell out its arena for almost every game. Hapoel Tel Aviv also got the opportunity to play in the Balkan League last year and ended up making it as far as the Final Four before losing to Israeli team Hapoel Gilboa Galil.

Hapoel Tel Aviv fans are hoping that their team which was in division II last year will not only play division I quality basketball but also  be competitive with  the top teams in the league. This all of course starts with former Kansas State (NCAA) star Curtis Kelly who Hapoel officials decided to bring back. Kelly was the main reason this team was able to win the second division and compete in the Baltic League. The team will really miss guard Cory Carr but will hope that new addition Toure Murry a former standout at Wichita State (NCAA) will help take his place. As well as deciding to bring back Kelly Hapoel will also bring back point guard Demontez Stitt. Israeli guard Eytan Gal will help round out the backcourt. With Kelly at the power forward position Jonathan Skjoldebrant/ Jeff Allen will play the center position. Skjoldebrant is well liked by Hapoel fans and will help bring toughness to the team. Israeli Matan Naor will help bring balance in the forward position.

Hapoel Tel Aviv is finally back in the top division, but that is not enough for Hapoel fans. If Hapoel struggles out of the gate there will be a lot of pressure on the team to make some moves. Expect forward Curtis Kelly to become one of the top forwards in the top division. If guards Toure Murry and Demontez Stitt play the way they are capable of, Hapoel should have no problems competing.

     

MACCABI TEL AVIV

Maccabi Tel Aviv had one of the longest seasons in its franchise’s  80 year history. Maccabi participated in both the Euroleague and the Adriatic League.  In the Euroleague, Maccabi battled Panathinaikos before being edged out 86-85 in a very dramatic game 5  of a best of 5 series in the quarterfinals. Maccabi dominated the Adriatic League and easily and beat Croatian side Cedevita in the championship. Thanks to the NBA lockout, Maccabi Tel Aviv was able to sign New Jersey Nets guard Jordan Farmar who played until the end of the lock out. Although Farmar struggled during the first few games, he eventually adapted his game and became one of the most dominant guards in Europe. When Farmar returned to the NBA, Maccabi failed to find a point guard presence until Yogev Ohayon emerged as an outstanding playmaker. The team almost lost Ohayon over a contract dispute but in the end the conflict was resolved and Ohayon signed a new three year deal.

With everything going on with the Ohayon case, Maccabi still had to find ways to bolster their roster after losing five key players. During the off-season sharpshooter David Blu and longtime leader Tal Burstein two all-time favorites for Maccabi announced their retirement. Maccabi also lost the services of guard Keith Langford and forward Richard Hendrix who went to Euroleague rival Milano while center Sofoklis Schortsanitis decided to return to his native Greece to play for Panathinaikos.  

After leading Russia to a Bronze medal in the 2012 Olympics, coach David Blatt has stated that he expects his new team to surprise a lot of people. The front court will be led by Moran Roth and Yogev Ohayon. Moran Roth comes from Holon where he helped lead them to a final four appearance. What is interesting about Maccabi’s point guards is that Roth is arguably the best Israeli veteran point guard in the league and Ohayon is the best Israeli up and coming point guard in the league. The two will match up and form a very scary dynamic duo. Ricky Hickman and David Logan will also play the guard position for Maccabi Tel Aviv. Hickman spent the past year with Italian team Scavolini Siviglia Pesaro. He had a breakout season there and was recruited to join many EuroLeague teams, but ultimately decided to join Maccabi. Hickman most likely will be the number 2 spot as Ohayaon and Roth will play point guard.  David Logan spent the past year playing with Panathinaikos.  Devin Smith will return for Maccabi and also play the guard position. There were points last season where Smith was one of the leading scorers on the team. Smith has a very smooth jump shot and is a very clutch shooter.

Maccabi Tel Aviv forwards will be Lior Eliayhu, Guy Pnini, Nik Caner-Medely, Sylven Landesberg and rising star Idan Zalmanson. There were a lot of rumors buzzing around Israel that Lior Eliyahu would go to America and play for the Minnesota Timberwolves, but in the end the rumors were not true. Eliyahu is one of the most commanding power forwards in Europe as he has a very strange but unique shooting stroke. The stroke makes it very difficult for his opponents  to block his shot. Guy Pnini had an up and down season last year and hopes he will be able to find his  signature 3-point shot. Former Maryland (NCAA) star  Nik Cander-Medley will provide another big body down low for Maccabi and has proved that he can compete in Europe after a successful season with Valencia. Sylvan Landesberg has shined with Maccabi Hafia but will now have to show he can compete on the bigger stage in the Euroleague. In his two seasons in the Israeli Basketball League Landesberg has always been in the top 5 in scoring. Youngster Idan Zalmanson is considered the future of Maccabi Tel Aviv and will only play when Maccabi is down big or up big. Keep an eye on his development as he has been hailed as one the best prospects in Israeli basketball history. 

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Maccabi will have two very good centers in Shawn James and Georgian national Giorgi Shermadini. Though Shawn James is an offensive threat he is most known for his ability to block shots. Last year he was the number one shot blocker in the league despite playing limited minutes. Giorgi Shermadini spent the summer playing with the National Georgian Basketball Team and is expected to contribute to Maccabi right away.

Maccabi has a lot of talent in every position and knows that it is a matter of time before Blatt bolts for the NBA. Maccabi Tel Aviv will be the favorite to win the league from opening day and should win the domestic cup and championship. Maccabi has the type of squad that can make a lot of noise in the Euroleague especially now that that point guard Yogev Ohayon is back. If this team figures out how to play together (something Coach Blatt has never had a problem teaching) this team could be lifting Maccabi Tel Aviv’s 6th European Championship.

 

ElDAN ASHKELON

Ashkelon started off last season red hot. The combination of Raymar Morgan, Marco Killingsworth, Dwayne Mitchell, Tony Skinn and Jamie Skeen really worked well. Everything changed when Raymar Morgan went down with a season ending injury. The team ended  up finishing in the middle of the league. Ashekelon has lost some of its best players. Marco Killingsworth and Raymar Morgan left for Barak Netanya, Jamie Skeen for Maccabi Ashdod, Raviv Limonad  for Hapoel Jerusalem and Dwayne Mitchell and Tony Skinn for Europe.

The backcourt will be led by Israeli guard Lior Lifshitz who has come over from Barak Netenya. Though Lifshitz does not up point up that many points he is very good passer. Guard Marcus Moore who had a breakout season in Cyprus will be the main scoring threat in the guard position. Moore will also bring a lot of experience as he has played professionally in Mexcio, Hungary, Belgium, Australia , Cyprus and now Israel. Guard Julien Mills, who spent the last season in Hungary will round out the backcourt. The frontcourt will be led by  center Taj Gray and power forward Marcus Dove. There are lot of questions marks regarding Gray as he did not play basketball last year. Forward Marcus Dove spent the past season with the Dakota Wizards of the D-League where he averaged 13.8 points per game and 6.5 rebounds per game. If center Taj Gray can go back to his old form, Gray and Dove could form a dynamic duo down low. Making predictions for this team is very difficult as there are a lot of questions marks. The team’s success will depend on the play of the guards.

GALIL GILBOA

Head Coach Lior Lubin had a mixed season last year for Hapoel Galil Gilboa. While he the led small market team Galil Gilboa to its first European trophy ever, the Balkan League, his team was unable to make it to the final four. This was somewhat disappointing as they won the championship in the 2009/2010 season and were runner-ups in 2010/2011.

Lubin counted heavily on power forward Romeo Travis, small forward Courtney Fells and forward Joseph Jones. All three are now gone. With one of the most passionate fan bases in the league Galil Gilboa fans will expect the team to compete for a top 3 finish and a return to the final four. This will be possible as Galil Gilboa has rebuilt their line up with a lot of new outstanding talent.

The backcourt will feature guard Kenny Hayes, guard Rakim Sanders and Israeli shooting guard Dagan Yazuri. Kenny Hayes comes from the NBA D-League’s Main Red Claws where he had a breakout season averaging 17.1 points per game and 5.2 assists per game. Guard Rakim Sanders arrives at Galil Gilboa via a loan from Maccabi Tel Aviv. Sanders shined his senior year at Fairefield averaging career highs of 16.6ppg and 8.2rpg. Rounding out the frontcourt is clutch Israeli 3-point shooter and Israel National Basketball Team member Yuvzuri Dagan.

The frontcourt will feature, power forward Mitchell Watt and power forward Brandon Hunter. Hunter is a journey man who has minimal experience playing in the NBA and should be a leader on this team. Power forward Mitchell Watt just won the MAC player of the year award playing for Buffalo (NCAA).

After releasing center Travis Hayman a week before the season, the team will now search for a big body down low. After a brief stint out of the final four, Hapoel Galil Gilboa should be back.

 

 

 

BNEI HASHARON/HERZLIYA

Though Bnei Hasharon/Herzliya finished at the cellar of the league, they had one of the league’s top stars in former Baylor (NCAA) guard Tweety Carter. Not only was Carter in the top 5 in scoring he was also able to be in the  top 5 in assists.  Despite the loss of their star Tweety Carter and last year’s dismal record, I expect Bnei Hasharon to greatly improve as they have added talent in every position.  

The frontcourt will feature power forward Herb Pope, and power forward Jumaine Jones. Herb Pope was a terrific scorer in college and is known for his toughness after barely escaping death during a shoot-out. Jumaine Jones brings NBA Finals experience (2001 NBA Finals) to a franchise that is hungry to succeed. When asked if Jones thinks he can turn around the struggling franchise the 33 year old  said, ” I am coming to Israel to win”.  Power forward Isaac Rosefelt will hope he can follow up his breakout year with another strong year.

The backcourt will be led by Belizean/American playmaker Milt Palacio. Palacio also has spent numerous years on NBA rosters and should help tutor and mentor all the young players on the roster. Niv Berkowitz will suit up and play shooting guard while Mexican national Romel Beck will join him.  Beck will provide the scoring that guard Tweety Carter provided last year.   

The franchise always seems to have a lot of talent but never seems to be able to put it together. I believe this year that will change. Bnai Hasharon have everything you need for a good team to win, leadership, defense scoring and toughness. With the combination of former NBA players and the addition of Romel Beck this team could be a team no one wants to face if they make it to the playoffs.

 

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