This week starts the 2011-2012 season of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague. The league looks stronger than ever with several big names using the lockout to play in the toughest competition outside the United States. But there is one name that we might have to follow more than others in relation with our blog which is Dario Saric.
The Croatian forward will play his first Euroleague game this Thursday at the age of 17 years and 6 months making him the youngest player since Ricky Rubio who had his first Euroleague experience at the age of 15 in 2006 (wow, that’s a long time ag0 already). His team KK Zagreb will make its Euroleague debut in the hot atmosphere of the Stechert Arena of Brose Baskets Bamberg and Saric might see his first minutes. However, the team does not look in good shape so far as they have fired their head coach after the two first games of the Adriatic League. So the questions is, will Dario Saric play at all?
Saric saw only minutes in the first game of the Balkan competition so far. He had 8pts and 6rebs and started the game that ended though in a blowout loss against Partizan Belgrade and marked somehow the beginning of the end of the head coach Ivica Buric. As you can see on the video below, Saric was doing a great job running and pushing the ball and found his team mates on multiple occasion in open positions.
Since then, Saric has not played anymore and we did not hear anything about injuries. The pressure on the new head coach Vladimir Androic is probably that high that he does not want to give minutes to his youngster anymore. It will be even more difficult for Saric to grab minutes in this new situation as he was not even on the roster anymore for the last game against Buducnost where KK Zagreb came home with a win though.
Now, the question is: Will Dario Saric see minutes in the Euroleague this season? Time will tell but it would be too bad if one of the most promising players in Europe would not see minutes this season. We will follow the game in Bamberg in any case on Thursday and we might be more knowing afterwards.
UPDATE: Dario Saric did not play the last two games because he sprained his ankle.