EuroLeague Powerhouse CSKA Moscow Showcases Roster Depth In Recent Wins

Should CSKA Moscow compete in its first EuroLeague championship since the 2015-16 season, the club can credit its remarkable balance and depth. 

CSKA maintained its position at No. 2 in the standings with a 107-85 rout of Herbalife Gran Canaria in Round 23, extending its winning streak to five games. The lopsided margin of victory and CSKA’s highest point total of the 2018-19 campaign perhaps best exemplified what makes this team dangerous. It rolled without either Nando De Colo or Cory Higgins in the lineup, instead leaning on Will Clyburn and Sergio Rodriguez. 

CSKA’s depth was evident before Round 23, with three players scoring in double-figures coming in. De Colo and Higgins set the pace at 14.8 and 14.7 points per game, third-and-fourth-most in the league, but Clyburn is not far behind at 14 per. 

Rodriguez’s team-high 18 points against Gran Canaria makes it four CSKA players scoring in double-figures. He bumps up to 10 points per game. And it’s not just that quartet with which opponents must contend. 



Depth has played a part in CSKA’s success, evident in contributions from Othello Hunter (8.2 points and 4.5 rebounds per game); Kyle Hines (6.7 points per game); Alec Peters (6.7 points per game, 3.1 rebounds per games); Daniel Hackett (6.5 points per game with a 48.5 percent 3-point average); and Nikita Kurbanov (5.5 points, 3 rebounds per game). 

All have appeared in at least 21 games, and averaged between 16:13 and 19:12 minutes a contest, translating to a consistent and reliable eight-man rotation. And the depth in the CSKA rotation has also demonstrated its ability to step up into more prominent roles when called upon. 

 De Colo surged in FloHoops.com’s EuroLeague Flo25 rankings coming out of Round 22, so having him out of the rotation could have been a huge shake-up for CSKA amid this winning streak. 

Compound that with the absence of Higgins, whose 53.6 percent shooting from behind the 3-point line ranks third in EuroLeague. Depth alone should not be able to effectively compensate for such a sizable void in the backcourt, but CSKA’s balanced lineup is as versatile as it is deep. 

The perimeter duo of De Colo and Higgins have powered the winning streak, but Round 23’s easy win came on the strength of the frontcourt. Clyburn—EuroLeague’s fourth-leading rebounder—can be a focal point of the offense when needed. He’s a more-than-capable scorer, particularly at the time, and a banger in the paint. 

Alec Peters, a two-time NCAA All-American at Valparaiso, gives CSKA the option to go big, and he’s finding his rhythm at a critical juncture. The 15 points he scored against Gran Canaria is the most since he dropped 20 on Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz in Round 11, and his two season-highs for rebounds came in each of CSKA’s last two contests. 

Meanwhile, longtime NBA reserve Rodriguez adds veteran savvy to a CSKA backcourt that’s among EuroLeague’s most productive. 


Kyle Kensing is a freelance sports journalist in southern California. Follow him on Twitter @kensing45.

Jordan Roland Is On A Roll (See What We Did There?)

null

After setting a career high with 39 points in Northeastern’s season-opening win over Boston University, Jordan Roland upped the ante, posting 42 points in the Huskies’ home-opening win against Harvard.

March Comes Early As Dukes Host Eight-Ranked Maryland

March intensity comes to JMU Convocation Center in November, when preseason Big Ten Conference favorite Maryland visits Colonial Athletic Association front-runner James Madison. 

LaMelo Watch: Ball Leads Illawarra To Second Win Of Season

null

Over the last few months LaMelo Ball has been touted as the potential No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, with his game praised high and low by current and former NBA players. But despite all the buzz Ball has created, he hadn’t put together a complete game yet in the NBL, one where his vast set of skills was on full display.  

CAA Watch Guide: Week Of November 11

Exciting matchups this week as we kick off Week 2 of College Basketball. Keep following the CAA as action begins with several key matchups on the slate.

Hofstra Takes Long Look In The Mirror Ahead Of Visit From Monmouth

null

In the moments before Hofstra’s season opener Wednesday night, tribute was paid one more time to a memorable 2018-19 campaign with the raising of the banner acknowledging the Pride’s trip to the NIT.

Bigger Than Basketball: Skerry, Towson Look To Raise Autism Awareness

Towson coach Pat Skerry, like millions of men, is a husband and father. And, like a growing number of fathers in the United States, Skerry is the father of a child diagnosed on the autism spectrum. 

UNCW Has 'Special Opportunity' With Ninth-Ranked Tar Heels In Town

Skaggs: 'Getting Picked 9th Is Disrespectful'

In a game UNC Wilmington coach C.B. McGrath called a “special opportunity for the community,” the Seahawks host No. 9-ranked North Carolina on Friday.

Japan's Kai Toews Is Blazing His Own Trail At UNCW

null

It might be hard to believe now, as he begins his second season as UNC-Wilmington's starting point guard, but there was a time not long ago that Kai Toews was unsure if he would get the opportunity to play Division I basketball at all. 

Boston Bragging Rights On The Line When Harvard Visits Northeastern

null

A season-opening defeat of Boston University gave Northeastern some early-season bragging rights. Friday when the Huskies host Harvard, they have an opportunity to make some serious noise not just locally, but on the national scene. 

Towson Knocks Off George Washington For First Time Since 1981

null

Four players scored in double figures for Towson during a near-perfect opening night victory over George Washington on Tuesday night at SECU Arena.