Last season for Wisla Can-Pack was full of interesting turn of events. They swept the season series against Sparta&K, but lost to Frisco Brno, to whom that turned out to be the only win of the season. They were also swept by Rivas Ecopolis. The eventual Polish champions left Istanbul with 0 wins in 4 games of the Final Eight.
In the offseason Krakow blew up their squad. Nicole Powell, Erin Phillips, Ewelina Kobryn, Milka Bjelica, Ana Dabovic, Petra Ujhelyi, Magdalena Leciejewska left. Only four players returned. Combined they averaged 14 points per game last season.
To replace all that loss of production, the previously mentioned Charles and Douglas have been signed. They will be joined on the team by Hungarian center Dora Horti, Spanish guard Cristina Ouvina, Croatian power forward Petra Stampalija and a couple of Polish players – Daria Mieloszynska and Justyna Zurowska.
With Tina Charles it’s pretty straightforward – she is the best center in the World right now. How she gets used will be up to Krakow’s guards ability. I am not high on Paulina Pawlak and Cristina Ouvina as elite European point guards. In 116 career ELW games which should be a “fairly decent” sample size, Pawlak’s A/TO ratio is 0.85. Ouvina just last season averaged 3 assists and 3.4 turnovers per game in Spanish league. Best option there would be the Belgian wing Anke de Mondt who is currently the team’s leading assister in Polish league and has a career A/TO ratio of 1.2 in ELW, which is not groundbreaking, but still better than other options.
It’s currently hard to tell when exactly Katie Douglas will join Wisla Can-Pack, but once she does show up, Krakow will get a player who during the summer had a career like season in the WNBA. While not as good of a 3p shooter, at least in Europe, as Nicole Powell, Douglas is a deadly finisher on her drives to the left which everyone knows she will take but no one can stop.
To find when Petra Stampalija shot under 50% from the floor in European club competitions, you would have to go way back to 2004. Since then she has been a consistent finisher, mostly in EuroCup Women, but once also in EuroLeague with Perfumerias Avenida during the year they first got to the ELW Final.
Dora Horti is another stab at a Hungarian center whose career has not exactly been stellar. Like the previous one – Petra Ujhelyi – Horti has been a player who converts in the low 40% from inside. Could be decent to relieve Charles for a minute here or there, but not someone you would want getting major minutes on a winning squad.
From the limited field of Polish players, Daria Mieloszynska and Justyna Zurowska are good depth pickups. Neither will light you up in ELW, but those are not their roles on the team.
Wisla Can-Pack certainly have the talent to return to the Final Eight and improve upon their performance last year, but how well will the players mesh together in a team that had no continuity from last season is yet to be seen.