Coach T.J. Parker and his LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne charges have plenty to be excited about this season. ASVEL boasts a team that is deep and combines speed and size, strength and outside shooting, and youth and experience. Coming an impressive regular season in which the team swept eventual EuroLeague runner-up FC Barcelona, ASVEL looks to be in the playoff hunt this year.
Coach Parker can rely on different guards to run the offense in different ways in their time on the floor. Veteran playmaker Antoine Diot is a pass-first leader who comes off a career-best season in terms of three-point shooting (42 of 80, 52.5%). Chris Jones showed off his scoring chops as a EuroLeague rookie last season with Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv and is hungry for a bigger role. Still a teenager, Matthew Strazel has been a part of the ASVEL rotation for two seasons already and continues to improve. He's a nuisance on defense and growing his offensive game all the time. Combo-guard Elie Okobo returns to his native France after three years in the United States and can play alongside any of the other guards in the ASVEL backcourt, making an impact at both ends of the floor. David Lighty enters his seventh season with ASVEL and was second on the team in scoring last season with 11.3 points per game. His versatility is a great weapon for Coach Parker. Veteran swingman Paul Lacombe brings confidence and maturity off the bench. The senior-most player on the team is Charles Kahudi, who at age 35 remains a physical presence, tough defender and effective shooter. Teenage prospect Kymany Houinsou will train with the senior squad, but is not expected to see many minutes this season.