Roster rundown: Galatasaray Doga Sigorta Istanbul
There is a great deal of stability within the roster of second-year coach Ertugrul Erdogan with only two new players arriving for this campaign. Forward Greg Whittington, who spent last season with Galil Gilboa in Israel, will make his debut in European competition and 23-year-old guard Yigit Arslan was signed from fellow Turkish team Tofas Bursa. The only other new face is teenage guard Serkan Aydin, who has been promoted from the club's youth ranks.
Ball-handling duties will be chiefly led by New Zealander Tai Webster, who averaged 4.1 assists plus 12.5 points in 28 minutes on the floor per game last season. He will be complemented by all-action Aaron Harrison, who also provides a strong defensive presence. That duo will be supported by a solid core of Turkish talent, with new signing Arslan joined by team captain Goksenin Koksal, Can Korkmaz and Emir Gokalp, while Aydin is also set to receive chances to impress. Koksal will have a particularly important role and is likely to start most games as a swingman alongside Webster and Harrison.
Zach Auguste is the key performer around the rim for Galatasaray. He was the only player on the team to start all 10 games last season and averaged 11 points plus 7 rebounds, including 2.4 offensive boards. An important presence off the bench is Marko Arapovic, who only started two games last season, but still averaged nearly 22 minutes on the floor and posted 7.6 points and 3.5 rebounds. The team’s biggest bodies are another bench-booster, Ege Arar, and Ayberk Olmaz, who could be given more playing time after only making three appearances last season. New signing Whittington should become a prominent presence on the perimeter and Caner Erdeniz will hope to make more of an impact after averaging less than 7 minutes in seven appearances a season ago.
PLAYER TO WATCH
After gaining his first taste of European competition with Panathinaikos Athens in 2017-18, Auguste took a big step forward last season and now looks to become a standout performer in the 7DAYS EuroCup. The Notre Dame alumn is a dominant player under the boards and his ability to sniff out offensive rebounds will be a valuable element in his team's scoring efforts. At the age of 26, Auguste is entering the prime of his career and he should be a major asset for Coach Erdogan over the next few months.
Galatasaray was disappointed to claim just three wins in last year's regular-season and its quest to challenge for a place in the Top 16 this time around should be boosted by the stability and mutual understanding which will result from bringing back 10 players. Last season's leading scorer Nigel Hayes – who has moved to Turkish Airlines EuroLeague side Zalgiris Kaunas – will be missed, but the roster is built on a solid core of proven performers and the team's raucous fans will be worth a few more points in home games. With two of the last three regular-season matchups coming at home, Galatasaray should be in a strong position to advance into the next phase.