Last season, its first full campaign in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, Zenit St Petersburg made history by reaching the playoffs before getting ousted in the maximum five games by eventual runner-up FC Barcelona. Now, the bar gets a little higher and the task gets a bit more difficult, as coach Xavi Pascual aims for more success.
Zenit has a new man to run the offense in Shabazz Napier, an explosive playmaker who can score plenty himself and will have a lot of scoring punch around him. The team loaded up on players who can score in bunches, starting with Jordan Loyd, who ranked third in the league last season with 17.3 points per game. Zenit also added shooting ace Conner Frankamp and reunited with scoring guard Sergey Karasev, while swingman Dmitry Kulagin gives Zenit another capable scorer and versatile option on the wings. That is all in addition to sharpshooter Billy Baron, who enters this season with a streak of 29 games with at least one three-point shot made. Denis Zakharov gives this team depth on the perimeter, while young playmaker Andrey Toptunov and swingman Igor Volkhin will be looking to maximize their likely limited opportunities.