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Once Again The Fraport Skyliners Can´t Shake The Crunch Time Disease Losing To Phoenix Hagen 66-63

April 18, 2014

The one guy let his defense speak volumes at Auburn(NCAA) while opponents were ripping out their hair as too who this quick athletic player was with the less common name Quantez while the other guy was making a name for himself at Marshall(NCAA) where as a senior he averaged   13.6ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.4apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 39.1%, 3Pts: 34.3%, FT: 75.9% and also displayed defensive skills being named to the C-USA All-Defensive Team. However at the end of the day  Quantez Robertson and Mark Dorris are only your average professional players that are experiencing their dream of playing overseas and in the same country in Germany. Both guys also come from the same city Cincinnati. And after a hard workout during the summer where each guy is meticulously working on their game the way a satisfied Lion is scrapping off the remaining meat from a bone, these guys will still test their skills together on the playgrounds of the city that gave the world the likes of basketball great Oscar Robertson, Baseball hero´s David Justice and Barry Larkin and football great Roger Staubach each night during the summer. Robertson has been in the Beko BBL since 2009 and is playing his fifth professional season with Frankfurt while Mark Dorris is playing his fourth professional season and third with Phoenix Hagen and also played a season with Ludwigsburg. Robertson has really upped his offensive game as of recently being a sort of go to guy with injuries and other guys having off nights while Dorris has always been a scorer as he had 27 points against hi ex team Ludwigsburg and 25 points against Frankfurt. His stringy agile play is so unique that a special fantasy figure should be created that makes it difficult to get a hand on his shots as off balance should be his second nickname after Mr fantastic. These two friends have met in the Beko BBL seven times as Robertson has the edge coming into the game at 5-2. Dorris is 0-2 in Hagen against Super Tez and was hoping for that first win in his away from home living room and was rewarded with a 66-63 crunch time win as Phoenix Hagen snapped their four game losing streak at home against Frankfurt finally winning for the first time against the 2004 Beko BBL champion. Even after another tough crunch time loss which now must be feeling like an eternity for the Fraport Skyliners, Skyliner forward Quantez Robertson had a stern look, but his face found a little life when the name Mark Dorris popped up and the question about the 100 yard dash. “It was too bad that he didn’t play so much, but it is always fun playing against him, because he is such a competitor. He has been taking that step back jumper since we were kids. There is no question that I would beat him at a 100 yard dash. He may have a quicker first step, but I have make up speed”, stressed Quantez Robertson. Dorris was relaxed after the win, but thrilled to have finally beat his friend in Hagen and had a new Cincinnati story prepared. “There is the famous debate of Kobe vs Lebron as to who is better and in Cincinnati there was always the debate of Tez vs Dorris and we just love to compete, but I got the better of him tonight. Tez is faster in a straight line, but I am quicker side to side. Tez is fast, but I am quick”, laughed ex Ludwigsburg guard Mark Dorris. Long after the game ended and as the last players were exiting, Phoenix Hagen Larry Gordon whispered these words as Mark Dorris was listening. “It is great to watch these two guys compete. It is amazing how Tez still has that zip after that long injury. I think the way Tez can dribble up the court so fast, I think he would take Dorris in a 100 yard dash”, stressed California native Larry Gordon.

It really doesn´t matter where Frankfurt has played this season, if it was in Oldenburg, Ludwigsburg, Braunschweig or Frankfurt, they have been caught with the crunch time disease and it seems like they have absolute no remedy for it. It is slowly starting to seem like when a game is drawing to an end and the game is close that the Fraport Skyliners suddenly do everything wrong that there is too much missing shots, making fouls, turnovers, missing 50/50 balls, making the wrong decisions and all combined has become one big mental mess brewing in the heads of the players and coaches. After the loss American Ramon Galloway took a lot of time to reflect and try to analyze why the team can´t win at the end any more. “I think that with all the mistakes done like missing shots or me getting traveling calls twice, that it has to do with us thinking too much instead of just going out and playing the game. We feel a lot of pressure at the end and then we think should we give the lane or make the play. If we make the wrong decision or play, they then go on transition and make an easy basket”, warned Texas native Ramon Galloway. Phoenix Hagen also went through a stretch this season where they had problems winning games near the end. California native David Bell who has the body of baby Shaq and can shoot out the lights whenever he wants had some advice for the Fraport Skyliners. “Frankfurt just needs to be a tic tougher down the stretch and play better defense. They have to stick together. We went through the same thing, but stayed together and got out of it”, stressed Ex Montana(NCAA) guard David Bell. Fraport Skyliner Jacob Burtschi´s phrases and words have gotten less and less in the last month of the losing streak, but even if there is less quantity, his heeding words have quality. “We couldn´t shake the crunch time disease, but we better if we want to end the season well”, added Jacob Burtschi.

Phoenix Hagen entered the game in tenth place with a record of 13-16, but had lost four of their last five games and badly needed a victory to keep their playoff chances alive. The Fraport Skyliners controlled the game for the most part, but Phoenix Hagen stayed on their heels and at the end took the Frankfurt crunch time woes to their advantage. “It feels great getting the first win against Frankfurt in Hagen. Frankfurt did a great job keeping us under 70 points which isn´t easy to do. It wasn´t really an ugly game, but just a very good defensive battle. We did the little things and hustle plays better. Key was that they didn´t hit many three pointers despite shooting much. Our biggest strength was our will to win. This win was so important for our chances to get into the playoffs. We have to win our home games”, warned Phoenix Hagen assistant coach Steven Wriedt. The Fraport Skyliners arrived in the game in 12th place with a dismal record of 11-18. After a seven game losing streak and then two amazing home wins against FC Bayern Munich and ratiopharm Ulm, the club was locked in another losing streak which stood at five games. Frankfurt never got a healthy rhythm on offense and turned over the ball 19 times which probably will be on the mind of Gordon Herbert this Easter weekend as he prepares for TBB Trier. It is at the point now, that one could start a contest as to which late game loss has been the most bitter. “It has really been very tough that we are unable to close out the third and fourth quarters. We fought, but missed some open shots and 50/50 balls”, stated Ramon Galloway. “It was a tough fight for 40 minutes where it went back and forth, but at the end Phoenix Hagen just made more plays”, added Oklahoma native Jacob Burtschi.”We kept Frankfurt out of their comfort zone. We kept Barthel in check who has had some big games recently and had Burtschi in check somewhat. Frankfurt made a run, but it really sucks that they lost so many key pieces in the first half of the season”, added top Beko BBL rebounder Larry Gordon.

The Fraport Skyliners got on the board first when German Danilo Barthel found Ramon Galloway back door for an easy bucket. Maryland native Dino Gregory got the first points for Phoenix Hagen with a hard two handed dunk. Ramon Galloway quickly showed leadership as he wanted the ball and produced dropping a three pointer which was matched by Larry Gordon as the score was 5-5. Gordon was doing what he does best grabbing rebounds at a quick rate and got a put back after an offensive rebound as Phoenix Hagen led 7-5, but it was Galloway once again that was smoking hot from down town nailing a three pointer as Frankfurt led 8-7. Keith Ramsey then got a lay in for the 9-8 Phoenix Hagen advantage. Texas native Henry Dugat then connected as did Los Angeles native Jarred Dubois on a pull up jumper. Both guys continued their offensive shooting fest exchanging three pointers as the first quarter came to an end as the game was dead locked at 14-14. “It really wasn´t a good game of both teams. Frankfurt had problems finding an offensive rhythm and Ramon Galloway kept Frankfurt in the game”, stressed Phoenix Hagen amanger Oliver Herkelmann. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 31% from the field and 30% form outside while Phoenix Hagen was shooting 45% from the field and 67% from outside. Phoenix Hagen had the 11-7 rebound edge, but five turnovers while Frankfurt had two turnovers.

The second quarter remained tight and the Fraport Skyliners soon gained the lead again and would keep it going into the break. Dubois got Frankfurt on the scoreboard with a pull up jumper, but Larry Gordon connected on a three pointer as Phoenix Hagen led again 18-17. Senegal native Aziz Ndiaye then had his best offensive moments as he got a lay in and easy dunk while getting quick feeds from Jacob Burtschi and Dubois as Frankfurt led 22-18. However Phoenix Hagen went on a mini 4-0 run as Bell and Gregory hit shots to tie the game at 22-22. Robertson and Bell then exchanged buckets for the 24-24 score and then it was Burtschi who nailed a three pointer for the 27-24 lead. Frankfurt kept the lead as Dubois made free throws and Tez spun his way coast to coast for an easy lay up and 31-27 Frankfurt lead. Phoenix Hagen head coach Ingo Freyer didn´t shy away from playing his young Germans Niklas Geske and Fabian Bleck who contributed. Bleck scored on a pretty lay in and Geske preformed the perfect pick and role with Ramsey who finished with a dunk as Phoenix Hagen trailed 35-33. “Our German guys did a good job. Not many know, but our German under 22 guys get the most minutes in the Beko BBL after Frankfurt. Our NBBL team was one of the best two years ago. Those guys play for us now and we want them to have BBL minutes”, added Steven Wriedt. Skyliner Ramon Galloway ended the second quarter with a last second tip in as the Fraport Skyliners led 37-33 after 20 minutes. “Both teams we replaying with much energy, but both teams were making easy mistakes and not hitting shots. Dorris hadn´t played much, but he really needed some energy form him”, warned Oliver Herkelmann. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 38% from the field and 29% from the three point line while Phoenix Hagen was shooting 46% from the field and 43% from the three pint line. Phoenix Hagen had the 17-13 rebound edge, but nine turnovers while Frankfurt had eight turnovers.

In the third quarter, The Fraport Skyliners had control until the last minutes where they allowed Phoenix Hagen to take the lead again. The Fraport Skyliners started off the third quarter hot going on a 7-1 run as all Frankfurt points were supplied by Mr Top Gun Jacob Burtschi who hit consecutive three pointers including the four point play as Frankfurt led 44-34 which was their biggest lead of the game, but that didn´t last for long. Mark Mr fantastic Dorris didn´t get too much playing time up to this point, but made his presence felt quickly hitting a three pointer and then making a big steal which led to Gordon free throws. Gordon then completed the Phoenix Hagen 7-0 run with a mid -distance jumper as suddenly Frankfurt led only 44-41. In this run, Frankfurt was making lousy mistakes like Galloway getting his second travel call of the game. Frankfurt then got a burst of energy as Dubois gave a perfect shovel pass to Barthel who rammed home the massive dunk as Frankfurt led 46-41. However Phoenix Hagen continued to do a super job in the half -court offense since Frankfurt took away their fast break play and took advantage of more Frankfurt turnovers going on a 11-3 run to finish the third quarter with the slim 52-49 lead. In the run, Phoenix Hagen did a marvelous job getting to the free throw line and got timely buckets from David Bell who hit twice. Phoenix Hagen was shooting 40% from the field and 36% from the parking lot while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 36% from the field and 33% from the parking lot. Frankfurt rebounded better in the third quarter and led the rebound duel 30-27, but had 15 turnovers while Phoenix Hagen only had 10 turnovers.

The fourth quarter looked like a carbon copy of the third quarter where Frankfurt got the lead again gave it up and then lost again in crunch time. Danilo Barthel quickly got Frankfurt the lead back in the first minute of the fourth quarter with a three pointer and free throws. German Konstantin Klein closed out the Frankfurt 8-0 run with a bomb from outside as Frankfurt led 57-52. Mark Dorris then stopped the Frankfurt run by taking on Galloway and making an in your face fade away jumper to cut the Frankfurt lead to 57-54. Both teams were missing shot after shot as it was evident that the game would end low scoring. Phoenix Hagen kept fighting and closing in and went on a 6-0 run to retake the lead 60-59. In this run, Phoenix Hagen got some rare in the paint points from Gregory and Ramsey and a Bell pull up jumper. Robertson missed three shots during the run, but made amends making a tip in off a Burtschi miss as Frankfurt led for the last time 61-60. Gregory then nailed a 20 footer as Phoenix Hagen got the lead back 62-61 and would never look back. With under a minute to go, it was Dubois who elected to go into traffic penetrating, but got stopped which led to Bell free throws and the 64-61 Phoenix Hagen lead. With 30 second left, Burtschi missed a good look. “I should of shot and not faked. I didn´t learn from the Tuebingen loss”, expressed Jacob Burtschi. Bell then made two free throws to close out the bruising Phoenix Hagen 6-0 run as they led 66-61. With six seconds to play, Galloway hit a jumper which ended the game 66-63 for Phoenix Hagen. “Key in crunch time was defense and rebounds”, stressed David Bell. Decision making is always something that can be key at the end and something that hasn´t been on the positive side for Frankfurt. “We got lucky at the end. We threw them a match up zone. I think that Frankfurt could of made better decisions at the end”, added Steven Wriedt. “I thought that we had ok decisions. Burtschi took a tough shot in that if he made it he would have been the hero and if not one would have been aww. I thought he had a good look and Dubois penetrated and was aggressive”, stated Ramon Galloway.

Phoenix Hagen was led by David Bell with 17 points. Larry Gordon added 15 points and nine rebounds and Dino Gregory contributed 13 points. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Ramon Galloway with 15 points. Jacob Burtschi added 12 points and 11 rebounds while Quantez Robertson had 11 points. Both teams ahd miserable shooting nights as Phoenix Hagen shot 39% from the field and 29% from outside while the Fraport Skyliners shot 33% from the field and 28% from outside. Frankfurt won the rebounding 44-36, but had an unacceptable 19 turnovers while Phoenix Hagen steered 12 turnovers to the win. The Fraport Skyliners now have 96 hours to regroup before the home game against TBB Trier. The club can take one positive thing into the TBB Trier game. We rebounded very well and even when times were tough in the third and fourth quarters, we always stuck with it and didn´t hang our heads”, warned Ramon Galloway

The Larry Gordon(Phoenix Hagen) Versatility Has Made Him Into A Top Beko BBL Player This Season

April 17, 2014

When you see Larry Gordon depart a locker room after a hard fought basketball battle win or loose in any German arena, you see similarities to other players in that he is wearing normal leisure basketball attire, has headphones as huge as 70´s afros and has a gentle smile to fans who are inquiring for an autograph, however there is one big difference to the regular Beko BBL player in that when he is on the court, his game separates himself from most as he belongs to the top five players at his position. Gordon is a 26 year old 196cm guard/forward that is playing his fifth professional season and second in Germany with Phoenix Hagen after having played as a rookie in Holland and two seasons in Austria. He never won anything in his first three seasons in Europe, but was a major force in those leagues. Usually when you see a player coming from a lower league to the Beko BBL, one may have some skepticism as to wheather the player can make the jump to a higher league. We have seen it ever so often in the Beko BBL for example a Derrick Allen coming from Iceland to BG Karlsruhe, a high scoring Davin White coming form Mexico to Germany last season or a James Florence coming from Hungry to Braunschweig this season. All these guys were able to make the transition as was Larry Gordon. Gordon already had a stellar rookie season in the Beko BBL, but in a way was in the shadow of Davin White who led the Beko BBL in scoring and steals and won 4 Eurobasket.com All-German Bundesliga awards. White was a big reason why Phoenix Hagen was able to reach the playoffs. Last season Gordon in a way was the unsung hero award, but he put up amazing stats in 37 games averaging 12.7ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 43.0%, FT: 83.2%. One could say that without a Gordon, White would not have been as lethal and reaching the playoffs would have been more difficult. Gordon knew before the season that there would be more expected of him on the court. “Yea I worked hard on my game this off season, I really wanted to get better at certain things so I can be a major threat when I’m on the court and so my teammates as well as the coaches can trust that I can make the right plays no matter what the situation is. I set a goal for myself to be more of a threat this year in the BBL and I will continue to work to achieve that goal”, stressed California native Larry Gordon. This season Gordon has improved his stats in scoring, rebounding and assists. There was a time where he was leading the Beko BBL in rebounds by himself, but at the moment is still leading it, but is in a dog fight with Bonn center Jamel Mclean of Bonn. “Rebounding is one of my strongest attributes but I’m an All Around player so I don’t just focus on one thing, I do a lot of other different things on the court that sometimes stats do not show. So I’m just going to keeping doing what I’m doing and let everything else take care of itself. It actually feels good, because I pride myself on rebounding because it’s one of the strengths in my game. Also because I’m a 6’4 guard leading a league with a lot of really good big man in rebounding, so it feels real good”, commented Larry Gordon. Gordon can fill up the stats sheet and his versatility and passing game are big suits of his overall game. “My versatility is one of my strong suits in my game, so when something is not working I just do what is and let everything else take care if itself. Creating has always been in my game but people only notice when it shows up on the stat sheet, I create a lot good looks for my teammates and that’s what makes me an effective combo guard in this league”, warned Larry Gordon. With only a few weeks to go in the regular season and Phoenix Hagen two wins from the last playoff spot, it will require a minor miracle to make the playoffs as individual success is always in the shadow of Gordon. “It’s been tough as of late to enjoy individual success when your not winning games. I’m the type of player that really doesn’t care unless we Win games. Not saying I don’t observe the way I play but you take more pride as a player when you can back your stats up with Wins”, added Larry Gordon. If that playoff miracle does arise, then one will be sure that Larry Gordon had his magical hands and basketball IQ involved in reaching the promised land.

Since coming into the Beko BBL in 2009, Phoenix Hagen has continued to support run and gun basketball and nothing changed last season as they kept practicing it in games, but they also defended a bit better than in previous years as they earned their first playoff berth finishing the 2012-2013 season in eight place with a record of 18-16. They gave a great fight in the first round of the Beko BBl playoffs against the Brose Baskets Bamberg winning game two in Hagen, but were unable to win the series as the depth and experience of the Freak City team was just too much. There were many reasons why the club made the playoffs last season. Having a strong playmaker with Davin White who decided many games with his play, but also was able to put his scoring on the back burner when his shot wasn´t falling and was able to find his teammates. The team chemistry was developed very early in the season and with early success came for team confidence. Their offense also seemed to grow from other years as with a month before the end of the season, the team  scored 80 plus points in 18 of 30 games and average 86 points a game.  One could even be as unfriendly and mention that the team didn´t play defense in order to conserve energy for their offense. They continued to play run and gun, but seemed to play with a bit more consistency than in the past and the club also has found the word DEFENSE in their vocabulary. They were able to hold offensive teams like Oldenburg and Tuebingen to under 70 points and the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg who weren´t the strongest scoring team, but are capable of breaking out  especially with a then fit Jimmy Mckinney who logged 34 minutes and was held to eight points. Not sustaining any severe injuries was also a plus for the team chemistry. Head coach Ingo Freyer preaches offense and last season the difference to the first three seasons, it seemed like they were playing a type of Euroleague offense compared to BBL offense the last years.

This season Phoenix Hagen had to say farewell to key players Davin White and Adam Hess as well as role player Abe Lodwick who was a type of glue guy coming from the bench that was capable of making big hustle plays. A big part of future success this season could be the importance of being able to hold six players from last season while adding three new parts to the roster this season. The most important player the club kept was Larry Gordon who is a 26 year old 197cm forward playing his fifth professional basketball season. He played his first three seasons in lower leagues Holland and Austria and last season made a very good transition to the stronger Beko BBL playing 37 games and averaging 12.7ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 43.0%, FT: 83.2%. He received a Eurobasket.com All-German Bundesliga Honorable Mention. Gordon is a very versatile player that can do just about everything on the court. He defends positions two to four, rebounds well and scores on a consistent rate. He is Phoenix Hagen´s best player. The team was also fortunate to be able to keep David Bell. Bell is a 32 year old 187cm guard that is the only basketball player on earth that looks like baby Hulk and can shoot out the lights on the court. The Oakland California native has a lot of experience having played in the D-league and in Holland, Switzerland or Finland and last season played  37 games: Score-5(15.7ppg), 2.5rpg, 2.5apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 39.9%, 3PT: 38.3%, FT: 90.1%. If he isn´t consistent then it is harder for the team to win. He great combination of shooting and penetrating and drawing fouls is his trademark. Another important player that they held on to was Mark Mr fantastic Dorris who is a 27 year old 188cm guard from Cincinnati, Ohio that could probably open up a special school with his friend Quantez Robertson entitled, “The dunking flight school”. He played at Marshall(NCAA) and since turning professional in 2009 has always been in Germany playing for Cuxhaven, Ludwigsburg and now his third season in Hagen. Last season for Hagen he played  30 games averaging 10.6ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.7apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 43.3%, 3PT: 34.8%, FT: 75.0%. He is a scoring guard that loves to dance into the lane and finish with a mid distance jumper.

The team also kept defensive specialist Dino Gregory. Gregory is a 24 year old 200cm forward/center from Baltimore, Ohio that played with NBA player Grevis Vazquez at Maryland. After playing for the : Sundsvall Dragons in Sweden as a rookie, he also made a good transition tot he Beko BBL last season playing  37 games: 7.3ppg, 6.0rpg, Blocks-1(1.6bpg), FGP: 55.6%, FT: 60.0%. He is very athletic and fits perfect into the playing style of Ingo Freyer and is a very good leaper and rebounder for his size. It will be important that the club establish more of an inside game, so there is more variation in the team game. He won the last two seasons Eurobasket.com Swedish Basketligan All-Defensive Team -12, and Eurobasket.com German Bundesliga All-Defensive Team -13. The team also kept German Ole Wendt who is a 21 year old point guard that comes from the Paderborn school of basketball. He belongs to the next generation of German basketball players. Last season he played  37 games averaging  3.6ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.6apg. He made a tremendous step last season and already shows a remarkable ability to lead a team at such a young age. He is a great defender that just doesn´t lay off his man. He has played for the German U-18 and 20 teams and the next step is the A German national team. The team also kept German basketball dinosaur Bern Kruel who is playing his 21ist professional season and 17th in Hagen. The 210cm center is 37 and this will be his last season. Kruel is an old school player that isn´t athletic, but can score and pass out of the post. He has seen it all as a professional and won a Beko BBl title in 2004 with Frankfurt.  The club brought in three new players with Henry Dugat, Keith Ramsey and Nikta Khartchenkov. The most important order of business was finding a player that could replace top point guard Davin White. Dugat is a 26 year old 183cm point guard from Dayton, texas that played at Baylor. He is an NBA level PG with a 41 inch vertical – Quick, athletic guard. Known for highlight-reel quality drives, dunks and blocks. Finished seventh all-time with 158 career 3-point field goals made.  Finished career fourth all-time at Baylor with 152 career steals. H eplayed most of his career in Mexico and his first in Europe last season with LF Basket (Sweden-Basketligan, starting five): 36 games: Score-2(20.4ppg), 5.8rpg, Assists-3(4.8apg), Steals-1(2.0spg), FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 40.2%, FT: 82.7%. The team also brought in a side kick for Gregory and to keep company in the zone with Keith Ramsey. He is a 26 year old 205cm power forward/center from Tennessee. He played at Missouri and as a professional in Spain, Sweden and Israel. Last season he played for  Ironi Kfar Hamaccabia Ramat Gan (Israel-National League) playing 31 games: 12.7ppg, Reb-4(10.6rpg), 2.0apg, Steals-5(2.5spg), 1.3bpg, FGP-1(66.4%), 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 57.1%. His athletic and strong defense will make him a formidable duo with Gregory. The team also brought in Nikita Khartchenkov who is no stranger to Germany. He is a 26 year old 201cm forward that has the German/Russian citizenship. He started his career in 2003 with TV Langen and then got experience playing for  BC Khimki-2 Moscow. In Germany he is a journeyman having played for Braunschweig, Chemnitz, MBC, Lepizig and Nurnberg. He also played a season in Romania. Last season he played for Uni-Riesen Leipzig (Germany-ProA): 13 games: 15.5ppg, 4.0rpg, 1.8apg, 2FGP: 42.3%, 3FGP: 36.6%, FT: 78.9%, in Jan.’13 moved to Nuernberger Basketball Club (Germany-ProA, starting five): 18 games: 14.6ppg, 2.3rpg, FGP: 50.6%, 3PT: 41.0%, FT: 83.6%. His best quality is his deadly shooting and his unorthodox shooting technique makes it hard to defend. He already showed an early knack for dropping bombs from outside nailing 15 three pointers as a junior.

Head coach Ingo Freyer is coaching his fifth season in the Beko BBL with Phoenix Hagen. He had a nice playing career playing for the German national team, in Italy and winning the Korac Cup with Alba Berlin in 1995 has made a solid transition to coach coaching three seasons in Wedel and now is behind the helm for his 7th season with Phoenix Hagen. He is the bonafide players coach that gives his players freedom. Experience in the Beko BBL has improved his coaching as last seasons playoff appearance the first since 2004 was no fluke in an always more competitive land growing Beko BBL. He has given the name run and gun a totally new meaning in the Beko BBL as sometimes just seeing their guards shoot, shoot, shoot makes one think that one is on the playground. Important was keeping consistency within the roster, but this season the team will be on the radar of teams and wont have that surprise factor as last season as no one predicted their good finish. The good last season gave the returning players very much confidence like Larry Gordon and David Bell. A big part of where Phoenix Hagen will be how consistent Henry Dugat will be. It is never nice to put so much pressure on one player, but Davin White was the best performing player on that team since they entered the Beko BBL in 2009 and he carried the team last season and in a way with the many role players this season will need a leader like that again. Dugat has played a solid season, but is no where statistically where White was and having that pest like White on offense and defense has been missing this season for Phoenix Hagen being consistently in the playoff places. Currently Phoenix Hagen is in 10th place with a record of 13-16 and still has big chances of making the playoffs as they are two wins from the last spot. This season their rapid fire power hasn´t been as explosive as last season as they have scored only 100 plus points once. Their defense continues to be their sour note as they have given up 100 plus points five times and 80 plus points 19 times. Their biggest wins have been against Alba Berlin, Artland Dragons and EWE Baskets Oldenburg. One never knows what you will get from Phoenix Hagen. They play very well at home and come into the game against Frankfurt having lost five of their last seven games. “Our preparation has been excellent the last weeks. We just need to execute. We have been good in preparation, but not doing it in games where it counts. We have to control the tempo in Hagen”, warned American Jarred Dubois.

The Frankfurt  Skyliners swept the season series in 2009-2010 with Phoenix Hagen stomping all over them in Hagen 93-64 as Derrick Allen led all scorers with 22 points, Aubrey Resse chipped in with 18 points and Grayson Moyer had one of his best games as a Skyliner with 15 points and five assists. In the return game in Frankfurt, Phoenix Hagen lost 89-76. Skyliner captain Pascal Roller led Frankfurt with 18 points and five assists and Derrick Allen produced 17 points. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners outrebounded Phoenix Hagen 66-49 in both games. In 2010-2011, the Skyliners also won the season series with a 90-85 win as Jermaine Bucknor led the team with 19 points and six rebounds and 92-53 romp at home getting 24 points and eight rebounds from Roger Powell and only six points and seven assists from Dashaun Wood. In the first game in the 2011-2012 season, the Fraport Skyliners romped Phoenix Hagen 83-65 as fans saw the last Beko BBL game of Jon Leuer who erupted for 27 points and Jimmy Mckinney had 21 points. In the return game, the Fraport Skyliners stomped all over Phoenix Hagen 92-47. Five players scored in double figures as the team was led by Devin Gibson with 16 points. Last season  Fraport Skyliners lost the first game against Phoenix Hagen in their own living room in embarrassing fashion 107-102 as they witnessed their opponent gave them a display of how to play run and gun basketball. Phoenix Hagen shot an amazing 51% from the field and 60% from the three point line. In the return game in Hagen, the Fraport Skyliners had their nerves under control in crunch time slipping by Phoenix Hagen on the road 81-78 as Frankfurt was led by Dawan Robinson with 25 points and ex Giessen players Ryan brooks chipped in with 14 points and Laquan Prowell with 13 points. In the first game of this season, the Fraport Skyliners squeezed out a 82-79 win at home as Aziz Ndiaye had his best game of the season with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Frankfurt had consistent production from many as Jarred Dubois had 15 points, Andrew Rautins chipped in with 13 points and Germans Danilo Barthel and Konstantin Klein had 12 points a piece. Frankfurt had no remedy for Mark Dorris who poured in 24 points for Phoenix Hagen. David Bell had 17 points and Larry Gordon had 16 points. Phoenix Hagen hosts the Fraport Skyliners April 17th.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steven Bennett(Giessen 46ers) We Understand How Playoffs Are With The Experience Of The Jena Battle

April 17, 2014

Steven Bennett is a 25 year old 173cm point guard from Los Angeles that is playing his second professional basketball season with the Giessen 46ers. Last season he played for  the Spot Up Medium Baskets Braunschweig. With Braunschweig he played 10 games averaging 22.7ppg, 4.1rpg, 5.1apg, 2.4spg, 2FGP: 57.5%, 3FGP: 34.2%, FT: 76.6% He is one of the few special players that has a tenacity and will to win that is unmatched; it is impossible to judge him based upon height alone because he can compete with anyone in the world. He has proven this in the Maui Invitational division I tournament in 2010, and was recognized as one of the top players (All-Maui Award) from a field of other top US point guards such as Kemba Walker, Kailin Lucas and Brandon Knight. Bennett is known for his great court vision and passing ability, and is able to get in the lane at will and finish against anyone with either left or right hand. Every team bases their defensive strategy around Bennett and is forced to take create his own shot and take his three point shots off the dribble. He is an excellent shooter, but wants to continue to improve his already respectable 40% three point percentage. Steven is known for having excellent leadership skills, and is highly respected by all of his peers and coaches. He played at Citrus JC (JUCO) from 2007-2009 and then played at  Chaminade (NCAA2). Last summer he also found experience playing for the  Rockingham Flames (Australia-SBL) He played three games with 2013 NBA draft pick Dennis Schroeder last season in the Pro B. He spoke to German Hoops after advancing by Science City Jena in 5 games

 

 

Steven congrats on the 87-73 do or die win over Science City Jena. This was your first playoff series as a professional. How did you experience the five games?

 

It was a hard fought series and we actually had 6 games in a row as we ended the season playing them. I can say now that after six games, I can identify the game of each guy of Jena. I really enjoyed the series and learned that you have to be mentally tough, because there are so many ups and downs in a series.

 

What was key for 40 minutes for being the better team in game five?

 

We made sure that we would be the aggressor and not let them be more aggressive than us. We did a good job on offense creating shots and on defense getting rebounds and just playing at a pace that suited us.

 

What was the most difficult thing that Giessen had to overcome in this five game series to be successful?

 

Their fighting qualities. They were by far the most aggressive team in the German Pro A. Jena was very good at causing distractions on the court and making us play a different kind of basketball. We had to stay mentally very tough and not throw the ball all over the place because of their aggressive play.

 

What was key for getting the win in the fourth quarter?

 

Jena had done a good job in this series making a comeback in the fourth quarter. We didn´t want that to happen again so coach told us to stay composed and just take shots when we were open.

 

What was key in crunch time that Giessen was able to get to the next round against BG Goettingen?

 

All bodies were tired in the fourth quarter, but we wanted to make a statement and wanted to take it to them right at the start of the fourth quarter. With Sim out, we decided to control Hudson and it paid off at the end.

 

You had another solid game with 16 points. How happy were you with your own game?

 

I always want to get into the game aggressive and get the team into a good flow on offense and defense. I try to be aggressive hitting shots or creating for others.

 

Myles Hesson did hit for 30 points like the other two games, but was still a big factor in the win with his 17 points. How else was he valuable?

 

He tends to get more aggressive when I am aggressive. When I am aggressive, he can conserve his energy and use it for rebounding and on the defensive end.

 

You were probably happy not to have to guard Dennis Tinnon for the last six games. Can he reach the next level the Beko BBL?

 

He is so aggressive and a beast on the boards. He is probably the most aggressive four man in the Pro A. If you have the type of energy that Tinnon has then you can play at every level. I think that he could with that energy level.

 

How important was the coaching of rookie Denis Wucherer in this series?

 

Coach has experienced all of this as a player and he told us that we may never get an experience like this again so the combination of leaving it on the court and enjoying ones self was important.

 

Who was the Giessen unsung hero of the Jena series?

 

I think our unsung hero was TJ DiLeo. He is a defensive minded player and is like a solider. Whatever you need on the court, he will give it to you. He always battles for 40 minutes.

 

What will be the focus for the next series against BG Goettingen?

 

We have to be ready and be aggressive from the start. We have a young team while they have experience. But we played a tough first round which will help us. We understand how playoffs are with the experience of the Jena battle.

 

Do you see the Atlanta Hawks making a first round upset and what is your take on ex teammate Dennis Schroeder´s first season?

 

I think that Atlanta has no chance to advance. I didn´t see many Schroeder games, because of the time difference, but I feel that he held his own and it wasn´t easy being behind  a guy like Jeff Teague who had his best season and Shelvin Mack also had a good season. I think that he has the potential to step up next season.

 

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?

 

Dennis Wilson.

 

Thanks Steven for the chat.

 

 

 

 

Myles Hesson Leads The Giessen 46ers Past Science City Jena In Game Five 87-73

April 16, 2014

After the big Giessen  87-73 do or die victory in the Osthalle over ex Beko BBL club Science City Jena, there was a tall 198cm dark haired German young man walking around and most people didn´t even notice, but he was filling the gym with some family like big game aroma as his dad had won countless important games for Werder Bremern, AS Rom or the German national team like the 1990 World Cup. The soccer player that is a German sports legend is Rudi Voeller and the young man walking around was son Marco Voeller who plays for Hanau and saw a very entertaining game. However the Giessen 46ers didn´t need any extra aid of having family of a famous German sports figure with some of that winning rubbing off, but had everything under control for 40 minutes as Giessen took care of business from the start letting Science City Jena only have one lead of 5-3 in the first two minutes and then retook the lead and never looked back.  Despite winning the first two games at home, Giessen learned from those games and didn´t want to make it too exciting at the end again. “Every game in this series was different. It was a challenge to always find new ways to have to beat Jena. After a while we really knew their tendencies, so it was cool to look for new options. The difference in game five was that in the first two wins in Giessen, we had an easy mind set and figured we would beat them easily at the end, but they came back each time. In game five we decided to take it too them right away and not give them that chance to fight back”, warned ex Auburn center Rob Chubb. Science City Jena once again fought very hard in game five like the others, but it seemed like the atmosphere, an upgraded defense and big shots simply was too much for Science City Jena. “This was a tough series, but Giessen played great defense and took us out of things that we like to do. We played with so much heart and especially me as being one of the older guys pushed the team even harder and we had a chance to win, but Giesen played us very tough”, stressed North Carolina native Dorenzo Hudson. “Giessen played very well and Jena was always fighting back. Giessen hit many big shots while Jena was missing that one big shot”, stressed Phoenix Hagen point guard Ole Wendt.

The Giessen 46ers got on the board first as ex Temple guard TJ DiLeo knocked down a three pointer. Science City Jena came storming back as Illinois native Billy Rush hammered home a three pointer and Dennis Tinnon pushed the ball forward scoring on the fast break and Giessen trailed 5-3. However this didn´t hinder Giessen at all as they were on a mission and didn´t want to disappoint their fans as they cruised out on a 13-2 run to lead 16-7. Englishman Myles Hesson got the run going with a one handed dunk, Steven Bennet and Benjamin Lischka connected on consecutive three pointers, Bennett scored inside with his left hand and Hesson also scored inside. Then came the prettiest scene of the game as Lars Wendt under the watchful eye of brother Ole Wendt of Phoenix Hagen lobbed up the perfect ally-op pass that Billy Rush slammed home. Wendt then scored inside as Science City Jena cut the Giessen lead to 18-11. Science City Jena then got some forceful production from Green Bay native Dennis Tinnon who showed his work horse qualities scoring inside twice as Giessen led only 20-16. Ex TBB Trier guard Joshiko Saibu then put a little damper in the comeback leading Giessen on a 5-0 run with a floater and three pointer, while German Julius Wolf closed out the first quarter with a three pointer as Giessen led 25-19. “Jena always had a problem with starting games in this series. Giessen played with high intensity which led to Jena turnovers”, stressed Phoenix Hagen guard Ole Wendt. The Giessen 46ers were shooting 60% from the field and 57% from outside while Science City Jena was shooting 50% from the field and 29% from outside. Science City Jena had the 10-5 rebound edge, but four turnovers while Giessen had only one turnover.

In the second quarter it was business as usual for both teams as the Giessen 46ers were the enforcers and Science City Jena continued to fight back, but couldn´t regain the lead back. Lars Wendt got his second foul and had to depart to the bench, but Ermen Reyes-Naploes who has played in Jena since 2004 proved to be a valuable replacement as he dropped a three pointer and Tinnon scored with his left hand as suddenly Science City Jena was only down by 27-24. However Giessen never really had a dull stretch in the game offensively as they pretty much scored when they had to as Jonathan Malou got a back door feed from team player DiLeo and Bennett snuck inside for a quick two as Giessen led 31-24. It didn´t help Science City Jena either that Billy Rush and Julius Wolf had two airballs in one minute while Daniel Mayr and Saibou traded baskets as Giessen led 33-26. Hudson who was kept quiet by Giessen had a quick spurt of two back to back pull up jumpers over Chubb and Lischka cutting the Giessen lead to 35-30. Both teams finished out the second quarter strong on offense as neither could run away with the lead as Chubb scored inside getting the extra pass from Hesson that he did twice on that day to the American and Hesson then made a fancy spin move around Kristian Kuhn for the 42-32 advantage. Giessen was just unstoppable from downtown closing out the second quarter with a 6-2 run as DiLeo and Bennett nailed consecutive three pointers and Kuhn scored inside as the Giessen 46ers led 48-36 at the break. The Giessen 46ers were shooting 53% from the field and 38% from the three point line while Science City Jena was shooting 50% from the field and 25% from the three point line. Jena had the 18-15 rebound edge, but seven turnovers while Giessen had three turnovers.

The Giessen 46ers did a great job keeping the lead in the third quarter, but it was evident that Science City Jena wouldn´t end the season without a fight in the fourth quarter. Science City Jena actually started out a quarter fast for a change charging out on a 8-2 run to cut the lead to 52-44 as the Jena role players came up big as Kristian Kuhn took a chapter out of the Dennis Tinnon aggressiveness book scoring inside twice catching a Hudson airball and making a put back and getting a tip while Wolf also scored inside. However just when Science City Jena was threatening it was a Giessen big shot that halted that dangerous run as Myles Hesson hit a clutch three pointer to give Giessen the 55-44 advantage. Chubb and Tinnon then traded buckets as Giessen still led 57-48. It seemed like Giessen head coach Denis Wucherer would look at his bench and nod to a player which meant that it was his turn to produce and that is exactly what German Falko Thelig did hitting a big pull up jumper and three pointer from the corner to keep Science city Jena at bay as Giessen led 63-52 after 30 minutes. “We had many guys supplying big shots today like Di Leo or Hesson and even Thelig came up big was asked to play point guard and did a great job”, stressed Rob Chubb. The Giessen 46ers were shooting 51% from the field and 40% from the parking lot while Science City Jena was shooting 45% from the field and 19% from the parking lot. Jena had the 28-21 rebound edge, but 13 turnovers while Giessen had nine turnovers.

In the fourth quarter to no ones  surprise, Science City Jena wanted to save their season with one last come back try, but Giessen remained very cool and never let the guests get closer than five points. Science City Jena started off the fourth quarter with a bang with a lightening 5-0 run as Tinnon escaped inside as he always does scoring and getting the free throw and Rush made a steal and scored as Giessen led only63-57. However even if Science City Jena was a thorn in the side of Giessen, Giessen would  take that thorn and unleash it back at Jena blocking their run with more big shots as Di Leo nailed a three pointer and jumper as Giessen led 68-59. Science City Jena had their moments on defense as Tinnon made a monster block on Bennett. Reyes-Napoles hit another big shot cutting the Giessen lead to 68-62. Then seemed to come the turning point of the game as Tinnon lost his nerves getting a technical, but DiLeo only made one free throw and Jena then made a stop on Hesseon and Rush came down the floor on the next possession nailing a three pointer as Giessen led only 70-65. Giessen stayed calm and went on a 8-3 run to decide the game and  lead 78-68. Giessen was the more aggressive team in this phase as Saibou knocked down two shots and Hesson grabbed an offensive rebound and got the put back. Hudson did get some buckets, but it was too little too late. Giessen then closed out the game at the free throw line as Bennett, DiLeo and Malou nailed shots. “Giessen played great defense. They did a good job taking one of our players out of the game and tonight it was me”, added Dorenzo Hudson. Team basketball was huge tonight as it has been the whole season. Basketball is a team sport. Individual play just harms the team. Rebounding was  huge in the fourth quarter. Tinnon had got rebound after rebound in the first three quarters and in the fourth we did a better job due to our mental toughness”, stressed Rob Chubb. “The zone of Giessen was tight as Jena only scored on the three pointer or transition. Jena had no inside game and Giessen rotated very well”, said Ole Wendt.

The Giessen 46ers were led by Myles Hesson with 17 points. Steven Bennett added 16 points. TJ DiLeo netted 15 points, four rebounds and six assists while Joschiko Saibou added 12 points. Science City Jena was led by Dennis Tinnon with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Billy Rush added 14 points and Dorenzo Hudson 11 points and Kristian Kuhn 10 points. Giessen shot 49% from the field and 35% from outside while Science City Jena shot 45% from the field and 26% from outside. Jena did win the rebounding duel 35-33, but ahd 20 turnovers while Giessen had 16 turnovers. Giessen now faces 2010 Eurochallenge winner BG Goettingen in the semi finals and Rob Chubb knows what got Giessen past Jena and what the club has to do now to reach the final. “WE kept our composure in the Jena series. They trapped us all over the court, but as soon as we got by that we made the right choices with the next pass. We proved the league wrong that we can play together as a team. Goettingen has experience and our smart. For us it will be a test of patience and playing together”, warned Rob Chubb.

Myles Hesson(Giessen 46ers) Home Court Advantage Has Definitely Played A Part In This Series And Lets Hope It Stays That Way For Game 5

April 15, 2014

 

Myles Hesson is a 23 year old 195 cm forward from Birmingham, England that is one of the 12 best players in Great Britain and was selected for the 2013 national team playing in Slovenia at the Eurochampionships. He currently is playing in the German Pro A this season for the Giessen 46ers. Last season he played for  Weissenhorn Youngstars (Germany-ProB, starting five): 20 games: 19.7ppg, 10.3rpg, 1.5apg, 1.7spg, 1.5bpg, 2FGP: 54.4%, 3FGP: 27.4%, FT: 65.6%, in Mar.’13 moved to Ratiopharm Ulm (Germany-BBL): 9 games: 4.2ppg, 2.8rpg. He started his professional career in 2009-2010 for  Birmingham Aces (EBL2) averaging 13.1ppg, 4.9rpg, 2FGP: 47.9%, 3PT: 33.3%. In 2010-2011, he played for the Essex Pirates Basketball Club (BBL): 11 games: 9.5ppg, 3.5rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 47.1%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 68.4%. Last season he played for Liverpool Mersey Tigers (BBL, starting five): 27 games: 15.1ppg, 7.7rpg, 1.3apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 48.8%, 3PT: 32.0%, FT: 61.5%. This past summer, he was a member of the British national team taking part in preparations for the 2012 Summer Olympics. He also took part at the British 3×3 Mixed and menTeam for World Championships in Greece  in 2012. He spoke to German Hoops before game five against Science City Jena in Giessen

Myles a tough 82-78 loss in Jena in game four. The series remains very crazy. Why has no team been able to steal a game on the road?Y

 

Yeah home court advantage has definitely played a part in this series. Lets hope it stays that way for game 5.

 

 

Science City Jena did a great job in the third quarter until Giessen tied the game at 61-61. What was key for getting back into the game?

Taking care of the ball and making the most out of our opportunities to score.

 

 

Each game seems to have another crazy ending. You gave Giessen the 78-76 lead with 3.40 to play, but Science City Jena closed out the game with a 6-0 run. What went wrong at the end?

Im not sure if we were tired or what the case was but we had a few good looks close to the basket, I myself missed two easy shots but thats how it goes sometimes.

 

How much does this loss hurt. Giessen was so close to winning the series on the road. What was the most positive thing that Giesen could take out of this game?

It hurts for now because obviously we wanted to win and close the series, but game 5 is Tuesday so there is no point dwelling on what could have been.

 

You had another great game with 31 points and are averaging 30 points in the last two games. How frustrating is it knowing making one or two three pointers from you could of given you the series win?

I didnt have any look from beyond the arc but like I said thats just how it goes sometimes, I cant be down on myself for missing shots. it comes down to more than that, rebounding and transition defense played a big part in why we lost.

 

The Giessen 46ers were hit hard on the boards. Is rebounding and limiting turnovers two key points to focus on for game five?

Yes I would say so, we cant allow them to take advantage of silly turnovers and offensive boards.

 

 

With only 48 hours until game five, how do you prepare mentally and physically for a do or die game?

 

I will get as much rest as I can so I am physically ready to go again, and mentally, I´ll try and forget about the previous 4 and focus on the upcoming game on Tuesday.

 

 

How excited are you for this do or die game? How often have you been in a do or die game and will we see Myles Hesson the beast??

 

This will be my first in a long while playing a leading role. I will do whatever I can to help my team win.

 

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?

 

Raid

 

Thanks Myles for the chat.

A Late Ronald Burrell Two Handed Stuff And Smashed Game Board Sums Up Another Frankfurt Crunch Time Loss To Bayreuth 72-64

April 14, 2014

 

 

A very exciting aspect to a professional basketball players season is when two players meet again for the first time as full blown professionals after making the jump from the NCAA ranks. This is something that happens every so often in any league in Europe. Back in December ex NBA player Andrew Rautins of the Fraport Skyliners and 2 time NCAA finalist with Butler Matt Howard met in Ulm and at the end Rautins was standing tallest as he had led his team past ratiopharm Ulm in three over time periods as Howard once again was at the short end of a game departing the floor as a loser. With the season winding down, medi bayreuth more or less was saved form the cellar and the Fraport Skyliners were closing out the season with pride wanting to win as many games as possible. However this wasn´t the only duel for pride, but there were also two guards from both teams that were meeting again after playing in the NCAA head to head. It was on March 14, 2012 on a comfortable evening in late winter in Los Angeles when Cal State Fullerton arrived to play Loyola Marymount. It pitted bowling aficionado and NBA aspirant DJ Seely of Cal State Fullerton against Jarred Dubois who were both juniors. After 40 minutes, it was Dubois and Loyola Marymount that prevailed 88-79. Dubois played 28 minutes netting five points and dishing out two dimes. It was Seeley who had a monster game with 32 points that probably would have needed a Bobby Brown who played at Cal Fullerton before turning professional as a reinforcement at the guard position to help win the game as he can score at an instant. 25 months later, both American guards faced off again in Frankfurt and this time DJ Seeley got revenge grinding out a hard fought 72-64 win with medi bayreuth in Frankfurt. After the game the numbers of 32 and 5 and schools Loyola Marymount and Cal State Fullerton brought a smile to his face. “I remember that game against Jarred Dubois. It was a win or go home game. It is nice seeing guys again and you can see how they have developed over time. Dubois is a good player a lefty that is hard to guard, shifty around the rim and a good defender”, stressed American DJ Seeley. Dubois who had two tough endings to the last two games also remembered the 32 points, but also was quick to reply that Loyola Marymount had won the game. “It is lovely to see a guy like Seeley again. He didn´t get the recognition that he should have, because of playing at a smaller school and it doesn´t surprise me how well he played”, added Jarred Dubois. “I have seen many guys over my career that I played against in the NCAA. I remember playing against Chris Mcnaughton when he played for Bucknell and it is especially nice when you can still see guys now at this stage when so many guys aren´t playing anymore”, stated ex Holy Cross guard Kevin Hamilton.

Another great thing to observe before a game is the familiar faces that one may see in the stands following a basketball game. In the last weeks, Hans Beth who once coached Hanau has been a frequent visitor in the Fraport arena or Kevin Koch who is the son of medi bayreuth head coach Michael Koch has been in Frankfurt. Despite still living in Bonn, he is at every road game of Bayreuth to support his dad and was even in Frankfurt recently when the Brose Baskets Bamberg played as he was watching his friend Jared Jordan play. These two guys were both in attendance today, but the game marked also the arrival of the male relatives were in attendance. Over in the medi bayreuth fan area, there was a middle aged man that looked like he lived in Florida year round that was sporting the smooth tan that would even have made actor George Hamilton jealous and it was so apparent that he was the dad of Bayreuth player Beckham Wyrick. His friendliness was apparent right away, but what he didn´t know was that he wasn´t the only Ohio native in the arena that was a relative of a player, but a relative  of Fraport Skyliner Quantez Robertson was also in the stands.It was unsure if it was the dad or an uncle, but one thing was certain, the resemblance to Tez was easy to observe. The relative of Tez wasn´t as lean as Tez, but probably was an athletic demon in his younger days. After the big medi bayreuth win, Beckham Wyrick had some time to reflect on how thrilled he was too have his dad at the game and let out a loud laugh when asked about his dads chances against the relative of Tez in a one on one game. “It was really good to be able to play for my dad. He doesn´t get to see me play so much anymore. He once saw me play here when I was playing for Bamberg years ago. I am sure that Tez´s relative would beat my dad in a one on one game”, smiled Beckham Wyrick. Well then again Beckham Wyrick didn´t know that his dad definitely had the lean effect over Tez´s relative and probably would of won by speed.

Two months ago medi bayreuth fans were panicking that they might not survive and stay in the Beko BBL for next season, but the club has rattled out five wins in the last six games and won the last three road wins and came into the game in 15th place with a record of 9-19 and were a real crunch time team has they had won their last games with not more than 14 points combined. medi bayreuth played a solid game and just were the more intelligent team in crunch time, made big shots, plays and made the defensive stops to get the win. Maybe it was the luck of the beard of Kevin Hamilton who has been growing it as of late. “I didn´t start to grow this beard because of Isaiah Swann as his beard is more established in the league, but since we have been winning I have decided to let it grow.It has brought us luck. We turned over the ball too much in the first half and they got easy buckets. We defended better in the second half. We had good possessions and cut down our turnovers and were lucky to get the win”, said New York native Kevin Hamilton. 2014 has been a short basketball year to forget as they have had a 2-11 record. Crunch time has slowly become like a curse no matter if Frankfurt plays in Frankfurt, Oldenburg, Braunschweig or Ludwigsburg as they have lost six games at the end and with half those wins probably would be scratching at the playoff places. At the end, it was the little things that hampered the Fraport Skyliners from winning as a smashed game board at the entrance to the catacombs showed the frustration of the Fraport Skyliners. “I thought that Frankfurt played ok, but it is tough losing close games. It was rebounding and the little things that hurt the team. I think that the club will be ok. It just has to execute better”, stressed Canadian Bryson Johnson.

4,750 fans were in the arena to see a Sunday matinee as Frankfurt was without Dane Watts and Konstantin Klein, but the Fraport Skyliners got out on the board first getting Quantez Robertson free throws and a Ramon Galloway three pointer as Frankfurt led quickly 5-0. However medi bayreuth also found their rhythm quickly going on a 8-2 run to take their first lead of the game 8-7. In the Bayreuth run, it was the lethal combination of DJ Seeley who nailed two consecutive three pointers and ex Bonn forward Ronald Burrell who hit a mid-distance shot.  Then both teams exchanged leads as Danilo Barthel nailed free throws and Burrell connected again on a runner as Bayreuth led 10-9. medi bayreuth continued to take advantage of the dismal Frankfurt pick and roll and transition defense as Seeley scored inside as if he was on a Sunday stroll and Frankfurt were behind the arena picking daisies. Burrell then connected on a three pointer as he was hitting nothing but net as Bayreuth led 15-9. However the Fraport Skyliners closed out the first quarter with an 8-2 run to lead 18-17. Barthel made his two free throw misses good again by taking advantage of the Johannes Voigtmann lob pass an getting an easy put back and then also jammed home a quick Max Merz pass. Frankfurt kept taking advantage of Bayreuth break downs inside as Robertson scored on the hard penetration and Dubois made two free throws. “We started out bad, but I felt that the game was even. Frankfurt upped their defensive intensity the last few minutes and got easy buckets”, stressed Bayreuth guard Nico Simon. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 60% from the field and 50% from outside while medi bayreuth was shooting 50% from the field and 50% from outside. Frankfurt had the 6-5 rebound edge, but a horrible eight turnovers while Bayreuth had seven turnovers.

In the second quarter, the Fraport Skyliners started to pull away from medi bayreuth as they were getting production from every player and Danilo Barthel added on to his first quarter eight points with seven in the second quarter. The Fraport Skyliners took off in the second quarter heightening their 7-0 run to end the first quarter with a 6-0 run with consecutive three pointers from Barthel and Merz as Frankfurt led 24-17. Hamilton who had four turnovers in the first quarter made some amends with dropping a three pointer, but Barthel kept his offensive aggressiveness intact and Frankfurt ahead 27-20 with a running hook shot over German Philipp Heyden. Frankfurt was defending very fiercely and much of their baskets were the result of Bayreuth turnovers. Super Tez was the force on defense getting three steals and on the offensive end, Ramon Galloway calmly nailed a pull up jumper and Voigtman scored inside as Frankfurt led 31-22. American Kyle Weems then made a dunk getting a back door pass from Hamilton as Frankfurt still led 31-24. The Frankfurt offense was still potent as they could keep their lead as Barthel scored on a tip in ally-op. After a Brian Qvale lay in who had been kept quiet to that stand point with little touches and constant double team, it was Dubois and Weems who traded three pointers as Frankfurt still had the 37-29 advantage. Dubois then hit a runner and Qvale closed out the second quarter with a nifty turn around shot as Frankfurt led 39-31. “We had a bad start again, because we had problems with their press defense and had too many turnovers. Barthel was playing great on the high and low and Robertson was defending great and gambling correctly and we couldn´t take care of the ball”, added ex Alba Berlin guard Nico Simon. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 64% from the field and 80% from the three point line while medi bayreuth was shooting 43% from the field and 38% from the three point line. Bayreuth had the 15-11 rebound edge, but 13 turnovers while Frankfurt had 11 turnovers.

In the third quarter, the Fraport Skyliners had a 10 point lead, but at the end of the third quarter led by only two points as Frankfurt let medi bayreuth back into the game. medi bayreuth exploded on a 9-3 run to start the third quarter to cut the Frankfurt lead to 42-40. Voigtmann got Frankfurt on the board first with a kook shot over Qvale, but then it was all Bayreuth going on a scoring onslaught as Qvale got more touches got to the free throw line, scored with a  runner and a massive dunk, while Weems easily got by Voigtmann for the easy bucket. Bayreuth was playing very smart offense and had stepped up their defensive intensity while Frankfurt wasn´t executing on offense and got away from the team basketball that they had displayed in the first half. Seeley who had been as quiet as any town during the Superbowl got heated up again making a dunk and hitting a three pointer as Bayreuth retained the lead again 45-44. The lead would go back and forth for a few times as Galloway connected on a tip in and Heyden scored inside as Bayreuth led 47-46. Frankfurt then got the lead back and kept it in the third quarter as Robertson penetrated hard to the hoop and finished with his left hand as Frankfurt led 48-47. Galloway then continued the Frankfurt 7-0 run with a lay in and step back three pointer as Bayreuth trailed 53-47. Wyrick then scored then scored inside as did Galloway hard over Heyden as Frankfurt still led 55-49. Bayreuth closed out the third quarter with a 5-0 run as Heyden hit free throws and Weems made a three pointer, but Frankfurt still led 55-54. “We stuck with it, got stops and made big plays. We did miss some free throws, but did a good job keeping the turnovers down”, added Kyle Weems. “I think we had the ball stuck too much in the same spot. Bayreuth hurt us with their defense”, stated Bryson Johnson. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 57% from the field and 56% from the parking lot while medi  bayreuth was shooting 47% from the field and 47% from the parking lot. Bayreuth had the 21-19 rebound edge and 13 turnovers while Frankfurt had 15 turnovers.

The fourth quarter was a dog fight where medi bayreuth had the better nerves at the end. medi bayreuth got the lead back as Qvale scored inside as Frankfurt trailed 57-55. However it the Frankfurt rookie guard duo of Dubois and Galloway that smoked medi bayreuth with two consecutive three pointers as Frankfurt took command again 62-57. However medi bayreuth didn´t let that rookie push unnerve their game as Kyle Weems led his team on a swift 6-0 run making all points with lay in, free throws and a three pointer to give Bayreuth the lead back 63-62. Aziz Ndiaye then hit two big free throws to give Frankfurt the lead back 64-63. Ndiaye had been huge in these few minutes as he made a monster block on Weems and scooped up some big defensive rebounds. “Aziz was great. He was so valuable on the offensive glass. He is the best teammate and gives everything on every possession. He does great things and never takes off a play”, warned Bryson Johnson. Frankfurt had the lead, but instead of keeping the lead, they lost it and even worse let medi bayreuth end the game with a 9-0 run. Burrell and Wyrick then scored free throws as Barthel and Robertson both missed shots on two possessions as one could of questioned the shot selection. “If those two guys get that same shot 10 times, then each guy makes it nine times. They are both big time players and we have the confidence always that they will make those shots in that situation”, stressed Jarred Dubois. Dubois then made a turnover which led to an open two handed dunk by Burrell as medi bayreuth led 68-64. “It was a handoff and each defender went for it and Burrell had the open space for the dunk”, stated Bayreuth guard DJ Seeley. Dubois then missed a three pointer and Weems ended the game with four free throws to seal the victory for medi bayreuth. “Dubois played a great game. He hit shots and made big plays in the game. Turnovers happen and we need to rally as a team at the end to get the win”, warned Bryson Johnson. “I thought that I was more patient than in Braunschweig. Turnovers are a part of basketball. I need to learn from my mistakes”, added Jarred Dubois. medi bayreuth was led by Kyle Weems with 15 points. Ronald Burrell added 14 points. DJ Seeley and Brian Qvale added 13 points a piece. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Ramon Galloway with 17 points. Danilo Barthel contributed 15 points and Jarred Dubois 12 points. medi bayreuth shot 44% from the field and 44% from outside and the Fraport Skyliners shot 46% from the field and 47% from outside. Both teams had 31 rebounds a piece. Frankfurt had 21 turnovers and medi bayreuth had 16 turnovers.

Steven Bennett(Giessen 46ers) We Have To Keep Our Composure Come Out Fighting Strong And Just Handle Business In Jena.

April 13, 2014

Steven Bennett is a 25 year old 173cm point guard from Los Angeles that is playing his second professional basketball season with the Giessen 46ers. Last season he played for  the Spot Up Medium Baskets Braunschweig. With Braunschweig he played 10 games averaging 22.7ppg, 4.1rpg, 5.1apg, 2.4spg, 2FGP: 57.5%, 3FGP: 34.2%, FT: 76.6% He is one of the few special players that has a tenacity and will to win that is unmatched; it is impossible to judge him based upon height alone because he can compete with anyone in the world. He has proven this in the Maui Invitational division I tournament in 2010, and was recognized as one of the top players (All-Maui Award) from a field of other top US point guards such as Kemba Walker, Kailin Lucas and Brandon Knight. Bennett is known for his great court vision and passing ability, and is able to get in the lane at will and finish against anyone with either left or right hand. Every team bases their defensive strategy around Bennett and is forced to take create his own shot and take his three point shots off the dribble. He is an excellent shooter, but wants to continue to improve his already respectable 40% three point percentage. Steven is known for having excellent leadership skills, and is highly respected by all of his peers and coaches. He played at Citrus JC (JUCO) from 2007-2009 and then played at  Chaminade (NCAA2). Last summer he also found experience playing for the  Rockingham Flames (Australia-SBL) He played three games with 2013 NBA draft pick Dennis Schroeder last season in the Pro B. He spoke to German Hoops after the big 84-75 win in game three against Science City Jena.

 

Steve congrats on the 84-75 win in game three and 2-1 series lead. Does it seem a bit strange how all three games have been pretty the same in the way it ended?

 

Yes it has. We have had a good start to all games and control the game, but let Jena back in the game in the second half, but win at the end except for game two. These games come down to execution and free throws at the end.

 

Science City Jena made a 11-0 run in the second quarter. The Jena runs are no surprises anymore are they?

 

No they aren´t. We are used to them. We just have to keep our composure. They like that high tempo basketball, so it is nothing unusual.

 

Giessen did a great job in the third quarter in that whenever Science City Jena tried to cut down your lead to 10 or under, you made big shots. It seems like there are so many guys that can step up in these pressure situations.

 

Yes we have many guys like that. Jena like to scramble all ove rteh court, but we did a great job keeping our composure and finding the right players to knock down shots.

 

It seems like if Myles Hesson doesn´t get at least one dunk per game it is as unusual as an American not visiting Mcdonalds or Burger King at least once per week in Giessen. You and Hesson hooked up for a beautiful ally-op dunk. How many have you done in games and practice this season?

 

That is tough since we have been together for 8-9 months. I would say we hav hooked up for about 60 ally-ops. If Myles gives that dunk a five then so do I considering his jumping ability. We have eye contact and I try to tell if the defender is lazy and if he is then I give him this special look and go back door for the dunk.

 

Hesson was huge for the win in game one as he hit big free throws and did it again in game three. It seems like Giessen and Hesson go hand in hand for success.

 

He was key for the win. He had that look and he hadn´t been happy with his game in Jena. Without Hudson and the small guards, he got into a good rhythm. He gave us  apush on defense with his rebounding, shot blocking ability and deflections.

 

It seems like Science City Jena never go away especially in the fourth quarter. How impressed are you with this team that plays with so much heart and always has the ability to come back when they need to?

 

I am very impressed, but at the same time they are a very irritating team to play. They hit you with random traps that forces you out of rhythm. They play at a high tempo and with big plays and hitting shots get more confidence.

 

You scored only nine points, but had six assists and three turnovers. How happy were you with your performance?

 

It wasn´t one of my better games, but I thought my passing was good. My passing created problems for the Jena defense. I didn´t get as many open looks, but they didn´t want to give me any open looks.

 

Giessen has its star Myles Hesson and Science City Jena has Dennis Tinnon. How hard is it to play against him?

 

He is a tough player that is long and athletic and is so quick on his feet and can handle the ball well. Plus he can push the ball in transition and has a nice touch around the rim.

 

Giessen can end the series Sunday in Jena. What will be key in getting the win?

 

We have to keep our composure, come out fighting strong and just handle business in Jena.

 

How surprised were you that UConn won the 2014 NCAA tournament?

 

You could see how important it is for the star player to play well. Shabezz Napier was a great leader that made big shots. This win was one the biggest shocks for me besides the Butler back to back final appearances.

 

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?

 

More than a game.

 

Thanks Steven for the chat.

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