Club Profile: Besiktas Istanbul

In its ninth Eurocup season, Besiktas Istanbul is already a classic team in the competition. Besiktas comes off a sub-par domestic season, in which the team missed the Turkish League playoffs and the Turkish Cup final eight. Besiktas, however, was second in its Eurocup regular season group behind only eventual champion Khimki Moscow Region and missed the elimination rounds due to a home loss against Paris Levallois in a do-or-die game. A well-known name in world sports, Besiktas's basketball section came along in 1933, was stopped in 1936 and reopened in 1940. With the exception of the 1987-88 season, Besiktas has kept its name in the Turkish first division ever since. It won its first Turkish championship in 1975, and the “Black Eagles” added the Turkish Cup to the trophy case in 1987. After some struggles, Besiktas made the Korac Cup quarterfinals in 1999 and continued its way to the top with a Turkish League semifinals appearance in 2004 and reaching the Turkish League finals and FIBA Champions Cup quarterfinals in 2005. Besiktas reached the ULEB Cup Final Eight in 2008, but Galatasaray stopped its run in the quarterfinals. The club was not able to get past the Eurocup regular season in either of the next two seasons. Besiktas reached to the Turkish League semifinals for three consecutive years before things changed in the 2011-12 season when Besiktas played outstanding basketball led by Carlos Arroyo, David Hawkins and Pops Mensah-Bonsu and won the triple crown - Turkish League, Turkish Cup and EuroChallenge. It was the club's first continental trophy and its first Turkish League title in 37 years. In the 2012-13 Euroleague, Besiktas managed to make it to the Top 16. A season later, Besiktas reached the Eurocup elimination rounds before being ousted by Nizhny Novgorod in a thrilling home-and-away series. Besiktas is always a dangerous team to keep an eye on when the Eurocup season begins.