Loko is ready for the new season. Errick McCollum – top Eurocup signing
Lokomotiv Kuban announced the signing of a one-year contract with defender Errick McCollum . The Krasnodar club continues to complete the roster for the new season. McCollum is a very powerful shuttle. The defender, who played for Khimki last season, is undoubtedly a top-level performer by Eurocup standards.
McCollum will spend his fourth consecutive season in Russia. Before moving to Khimki, the elder brother of Portland Trail Blazers NBA star CJ McCollum played for UNICS Kazan for two years, where he immediately became the undisputed leader in attack. In the 2019/2020 season, he became the third in average scoring in the VTB United League and fourth in the Eurocup. Before moving to Russia, he managed to play in Israel, Greece, China and Turkey, where he became the champion of the Eurocup in 2016 with Galatasaray and was recognized as the MVP of the regular season, and also entered the symbolic five of the tournament.
Now he will try his hand at Lokomotiv. In the offseason, the team lost two of their top back row players, Will Cummings and Nigel Williams-Goss . The first player to sign up for a problematic position was Darius Thompson , a fast and athletic defender who knows how not only to complete attacks, but also to give quality passes to partners. Last season he helped the humble Brindisi create a sensation in the Italian championship – the team finished second in the regular season, ahead of the eminent Virtus.
Now he will be joined by McCollum, a strong scorer who averaged 12.6 points in 48 games last season. This is a solid indicator, considering that his partner on the back line was the most productive player of the Euroleague Alexey Shved. In UNICS, the American was the unconditional number one, but in Khimki it was pointless to compete with the Swede. In Loko, the American has a good chance of becoming the first attacking option again.
In Lokomotiv, despite serious personnel changes, they still rely on their own youth. And 33-year-old McCollum can be a kind of mentor for young players. The management of the club is counting on this as well.
“With the signing of McCollum, we are significantly improving our attacking potential. In addition, Errik is a reputable, experienced player who knows the tournaments and understands the cost of each match. It is especially important for me that he pass on his experience to our young players and become for them a worthy example of attitude to business on the site and beyond, ”said Lokomotiv President Andrey Vedishchev .
With the transfer of McCollum, Thompson, Stanton Kidd and Greg Whittington, the team looks more than competitive by Eurocup and VTB United League standards. This year, at the group stage of the Eurocup, the Krasnodar club will face a serious test – Partizan Zeljko Obradovic. The Belgrade club has significantly strengthened in the offseason and is looking forward to a triumphant return to the Euroleague.
At the same time, only Lokomotiv and, perhaps, Hoventud can seriously compete with the Serbs for the first place in the group. The task is not easy, but it is definitely within the power of the updated roster of the Krasnodar team. The roster at the moment looks very militant, one should not exclude new high-quality additions. It seems that Lokomotiv is completely ready for the new season, with just over a month left before the start.