By: Nick Gibson / @euro_adventures

Martynas Pocius, Real Madrid via Zalgiris

After four years at Duke marred by injuries and DNP-CD’s, Marty Pocius skipped his final season of eligibility to return home and play in Kaunas.  Although he missed out on an NCAA Championship, it’s tough to say he made the wrong call.

Just two seasons into his (professional) European career and he’s made quite the name for himself. Two Baltic League titles, a Lithuanian championship and a bronze medal from Lithuania’s unlikely 2010 World Championship team.

Now he’ll head to Real Madrid where minutes should be cut and statistics shaved; but he’ll win more games, in a better league, without Vladimir Romanov calling the subs from the floor seats. Most importantly, it’s now safe to say: Pocius is established.

Malik Hairston, Olimpia Milano via Montepaschi Siena

We’ve all seen someugly basketball games. Indescribably dreadful, unwatchable basketball. Montepaschi Siena saw a rare feat of impotence this season, and they were on the losing end of it. In game one of the Euroleague playoffs, Siena squared off with Olympiacos with Final Four dreams dancing in their heads. A quarter later, it was 24-4.

The season should’ve been over. Everyone sure thought it was, at least, and why shouldn’t they have? The score was 89-41 once everyone had collected their dead.

Then, rookie Malik Hairston, who’d only averaged 6.5 points in his first ten games, cut loose for 19 in a game two Siena victory. He quieted down with 2 in the next contest but showed up with 25 more in the deciding game four, punching Montepaschi’s ticket to the F4.

Now he’s seasoned, proven, and in position to knock his former team off their Italian throne.

Jaka Blazic, Union Olimpija via Geoplin Slovan

Jaka Blazic is not established. Jaka Blazic is young, 20, to be exact. But he averaged 9.7 ppg in the Slovenian League last season and Ljubljana is hoping the 1.93 m youngster will fall comfortably into a reserve role and add some  beef to his frame. Godspeed, Jaka.

Matt Howard, Olympiacos via Butler University

It looks like Slam will be a happy man after Howard, whom he drafted in our Reject Draft, will have a European address after all. After the nationwide fire sale, it looks as if Greek teams are back in the market, albeit with smaller name, cheaper options (a la Howard and fellow NCAA alum Kalin Lucas of Michigan State who’s also signed with the Reds).

Howard’s game is cut out for Euro ball. Ultra tough, below-the-rim big whose range increases daily.

I’ll stop just shy of  calling him a Matt Nielsen clone, but he’s damn close.

But let’s hope preseason training is in the Greek Isles. Dude could use some color.

Pat Calathes, Panathinaikos via AEK Athens

Two summers ago, Panathinaikos was coming off of a Euroleague championship, on top of the world. Instead of adding impact players to widen the gap between them ans the competition, the Greens loaded up with younger, less experienced players who spent most of the following year on the bench: Milenko Tepic, Giorgi Shermadini and…Nick Calathes. The only top notch signing they made was supposedly Marcus Haislip, but he proved to be a disappointment.

They didn’t make it past the Top 16.

Flash forward to now. Same situation, plus Greek’s belt has tightened significantly. Their first signing: Nick’s brother, Pat.

Tarence Kinsey, Anadolu Efes via Fenerbahçe Ülker

Istanbul’s so damn big that it might take playing for two different teams to fully explore a tenth of it. And if he’s still curious after this, Besiktas is reportedly in the market for Americans.

Milko Bjelica, Caja Laboral  via Lietuvos Rytas

Got Milko? OK. It’s out of my system now. Never again. I won’t speak for the general public, but Milko was easily in my top ten for the EL’s most underrated award. Meaning, I never gave this guy the credit he deserved. Some of it was surely borne of my desire to watch Jonas Valanciunas crash around the court for more than a few minutes at a time, or maybe it’s because Bjelica’s game was about as smooth as sandpaper. Either way, it took me far too long to appreciate the 2-year-old’s ability to get the job done while hardly breaking a sweat. I have a good mind to presume the intelligence of Baskonia faithful superior to mine, so Milko should receive a warm reception.

Updated Dotted Line Up:

Rank #colspan#Player #colspan#Team #colspan#He's here because... #colspan#Last DLU #colspan#
1Milos TeodosicCSKA MoscowThe EL's most clean cut franchise adds the Shooting Stoner to a backcourt that just lost a pair of legends in Trajan Langdon and JR Holden. Good thing Milos' brain doesn't process pressure.3
2Ioannis BourousisOlimpia MilanoCan't wait to see him play extended, consistent minutes. The most efficient big in Europe is about to get a big test.1
3Jaycee CarrollReal MadridThe two-time ACB scoring champ is ready for his EL debut. He won't be able to sneak up on the Spanish teams anymore, but everyone else: hide your kids, hide your wife.2
4Maciej LampeCaja LaboralEver since he vanished from Maccabi's roster two seasons ago, I've been itching to see him in the EL again. He's primed to explode.4
5Bojan BogdanovicFenerbahçe ÜlkerYou won't find many 26-year-olds as mature as Bojan (still just 22); now it's time to be assertive and create a role for yourself, big guy. As the star.5
6Nenad KrsticCSKA MoscowBoston's trash is CSKA's treasure, as Krstic will add to Moscow's already stellar defensive front of Khryapa, Kaun and now Darjus Lavrinovic.6
7Stanko BaracAnadolu EfesA 24-year-old center who rarely makes mistakes and still has room to grow. Yeah, OK. We'll take him.7
8Esteban BatistaAnadolu EfesIndifferent to pace or pairings, Stevey Bats gets boards as well or better than the rest. If he and Barac can figure each other out, it's lights out for the rest of Turkey.8
9Malik HairstonOlimpia MilanoWith a frontcourt of Bourousis, Radosevic and Fotsis and Omar Cook at the point, all Milano needs to fall in with the elite is a dynamic small forward. Well, damn.-
10Sasha VujacicAnadolu Efes"Stop telling me and show me, Sasha."

10James GistFenebahçe ÜlkerHis enthusiasm is neither a front nor compensation for a lack of skill. Ülker's no Partizan, fan-wise, but they're getting there. A couple oops from Gist should accelerate that process.10
12Dusko SavanovicAnadolu EfesDon't expect another All-EL season from Dusko, but be ready for some big shots in some big moments. And sweat. There will be plenty of sweat.11
13Ben WoodsideUnion OlimpijaPut Davis Bertans on the floor with Woodside and watch the shots fly up. Neither one's what I would call bashful.14
14Luka ZoricUnicajaThis Nesterovic clone was built for the index rating. Spain should be kind to him.12
15Martynas PociusReal MadridExcuse me, I've lost Real Madrid's weakness and was hoping you could help me find it.-
16Drew NicholasOlimpia MilanoFormer EL scoring champ came to personify Panathinaikos' consistently unspectacular dominance. Italy's a different story, and we'll see if he still has some 20-point games left in the tank.13
17Leon RadosevicOlimpia MilanoA bright star in a dimly lit organization last year, now he'll be a key piece in the Italian Renaissance.15
18Henry DomercantUnics KazanThe hefty hoister seems to be right at home in Russia. Now, after five Final Four-less EL seasons and in a starring role, he'll be hungrier than ever.16
19Sonny WeemsZalgirisProps to Sonny for making the leap, and props to Romanov for welcoming the Raptor with open arms. Think Weems has any idea what he's gotten himself into? Not a chance in Hell.17
20Nathan JawaiUnics KazanI hope restaurants stay open late in Kazan. Nathan strikes me as a fourth meal fiend.18
21Pat CalathesPanathinaikosDon't be surprised to see the Calathes Bros account for 40% of the starting line up next year. Pat's a perfect complement to Batiste's bruiser mentality.-
22Jon ScheyerMaccabi ElectraWith his vision fully restored, the cultural adjustment is all that stands between him and an instant impact.19
23David LightyNGC CantúThe new kids on the block get proactive and pluck one of college's most well-rounded, pro ready swingmen. Me like.20
24Tarence KinseyAnadolu EfesAn extremely reliable an oft forgotten scoring threat. He just hangs around, ends up with 12 or 13.-
25Robertas JavtokasZalgirisHe should sell his house and just move into an ice tub to be safe.21
26Shawn JamesMaccabi ElectraWho needs Serge Ibaka when you've got Shawn James? If you think that's a stretch, check the stats. (OK, so maybe it's still a stretch.)22
27Matt HowardOlympiacosPrintezis, Kyle Hines, Matt Nielsen and he make up one of the tougher forward threesomes in the EL. Interesting change for team not usually renowned for its physicality.-
28Milko BjelicaCaja LaboralThe milk man delivers. Plain and simple.-
29Milovan RakovicZalgirisTatted up, shaved down and ready to beat your ass.23
30Marcus SlaughterBrose BasketsIf you watch this man play, his last name starts to makes sense.24
31Raul LopezBilbao BasketThe ACB finalists finally have a new face on the bench, and it's one of experience. It's also one, however, of considerable age and injury.25
32Thomas HuertelCaja LaboralWith the Marcelinho Huerta sweepstakes ongoing, the Huertel signing might carry more weight than we initially thought.26
33Ermal KuqoAnadolu EfesYou might not notice him when he's out there, but his opponents will feel him the next day. (Does that sound weird? Yeah, I think it sounds weird.)27
34Marko CakarevicPartizanAfter extending super vets Bozic and Kecman (again), Partizan better hope Cakarevic can provide some bounce on the wing.28
35Jaka BlazicUnion OlimpijaI wish my last name were Blazic. It would make introductions more fun.-