Kelly Beidler(Phoenix Hagen Can Score And Shoot Out The Lights, But Against Bamberg, There Is More To It Than Just Scoring)
Kelly Beidler is a 24 year old 199cm forward from Virginia Beach, Virginia that will played his third professional season and first in Germany in the Beko BBL for the Mitteldeutscher BC playing 34 games averaging 9,3ppg, 4,8rpg and 1,6apg. He played at Mt.St.Mary’s (NCAA) from 2006-2010 playing a total of 119 NCAA games. In his senior year, he played 31 games: 10.7ppg, 7.1rpg, 1.5apg, 1.7spg, 1.4bpg, FGP: 41.8%, 3PT: 35.6%, FT: 74.1% . In 2010-2011, he was a rookie playing for : IR Reykjavik (Iceland-Express League, starting five): 24 games: Score-4(21.7ppg), Reb-2(12.4rpg), 3.8apg, Steals-5(2.5spg), Blocks-3(2.0bpg), FGP: 54.1%, 3PT: 34.4%, FT: 72.9%. In 2011-2012, he played for Karhu Kauhajoki (Finland-Korisliiga, starting five): 44 games: Score-4(19.2ppg), Reb-5(9.8rpg), 1.4apg, Steals-1(2.3spg), Blocks-1(1.9bpg), FGP: 57.1%, 3PT: 37.2%, FT: 70.8%. He spoke to German Hoops about the 2013 Beko BBL quarterfinal games.
You played your first season for MBC in Germany. How did you like the experience and what was your fondest memory on and off the court this season?
The experience of playing ball here in Germany has been memorable. To play in a country where the league is respected and to have basketball fans throughout all of Germany makes playing here special. I think the best memory is the excitement and appreciation of our fans when it was announced that we kept MBC in the BBL for the following season
MBC finished in 16th place. How would you summarize the season. Was this finish respectable from a team that had moved up from the second division?
This has definitely been an up and down season and one of the toughest ones to deal with as a competitor. To experience the challenge of being on a team that no one really had expectations for was a challenge in itself. We finished 16th which is good enough to stay in the league but we expected better for ourselves. Sitting in 11th place with 2 weeks left definitely was a better feeling then finishing in 16th place.
You averaged 9,3ppg, 4,8rpg and 1,6apg in the Beko BBL. How happy were you with your season and will you return to Germany?
My personal stats are a little under what I expected of myself for this season but still I can build off of this for the following year. I’d like to think my team and other teams in the league recognized that I have a passion for the game and I bring it to the court every chance I get. A player who plays hard for himself as well as his teammates and the ball club. My plans are to continue playing and Germany would be a country I’d be happy to keep playing in.
The 2013 quarterfinal Beko BBL playoffs look to have some nice matchups. The most interesting is Alba Berlin-FC Bayern Munich. What kind of series can we await, will it go five games and what will be key for each team winning?
I saw the matchup between Alba and Munich and it’s disappointing they have to meet in the first round. I think the series will go 5 games, both having well respected coaches who know the game and will prepare their team accordingly and the players who execute the game plan better than most players in the BBL. The battle between Wood and Rice will be very interesting and whoever can make more plays for the team, that team I think will win.
The Brose Baskets Bamberg have a real tough opening round with Phoenix Hagen. I see this as being a sweep by Bamberg if they are on or going five games. What kind of series can we await and what will be key for each team moving on?
I have Bamberg winning this series easily just because of the experience and discipline alone. Veteran team with great playmakers is a hard team to beat. Hagen also a respectable team that can shoot the ball and the lights out but against a team such as Bamberg, there’s more to it than just scoring
Bonn plays Oldenburg a rematch of the 2009 Beko BBL final where Oldenburg won the title. What kind of series can we await and what will be key for each team advancing?
This could be a good series if Bonn shows up to play because I know Oldenburg will without a doubt. I have Oldenburg winning this series in 4 or 5 games depending on how Bonn plays like I said. I think if Oldenburg plays their fast pace style of play, they should come out on top in this series.
The Artland Dragons have to tangle with ratiopharm Ulm. This is also one of those series that can end quick for Ulm or possibly go five games. What kind of series can we await and what will be key for each team getting to the next round?
Between Ulm and Artland is easy to decide. It all falls on to John Bryant’s shoulders. If he can be efficient offensively and defensively then they should win this series along with the help of his teammates of course. If Artland finds a way to slow Bryant down then they will win this battle with the weapons they bring to the court
NBA player Jason Collins came out saying he is gay. Do you see more professional athletes to follow his lead in the future?
I think with Jason Collin’s coming out and being honest about his sexuality definitely opens the door for other athletes to do the same especially with male athletes. It’s a step in the right direction for society I believe. An eye opener to show that Professional athletes and superstars are human just as everyone else and they face the same life challenges as we do in our everyday lives. I commend Jason Collins for being the first one to take that step
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
The Iran job. Which was a good movie and I recommend it to other athletes that are playing a professional sport in a country other than their own
Thanks Kelly for the chat.
As the Boston Celtics were down 3-0 to neighbors the New York Knicks, being a Boston Celtics fan was about as tough as if Derek Jeter awakened a hard core Red Sox fan with a self made cooked breakfast on a Sunday morning wearing the Yankees uniform. Fans had been wondering will one ever see Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo ever play again as the futures of the trio was as unknown as that of ratiopharm Ulm player John Bryant. The rise of ratiopharm Ulm has gone steadily not too fast after the club reached the Beko BBL cup and playoff final last year, moving into a new arena this season and having another stellar regular season and strong Eurocup season, but the 2013 Beko BBL playoffs could be the last time that John Bryant could help Ulm win a title. Bryant has won the Beko BBL MVP two seasons in a row being the best center in the league giving the word double double a new meaning and without big John, ratiopharm Ulm would not have reached two finals. Also in Quackenbruck, the Artland Dragons seem to be at a kind of cross roads. They are now in their third season with Stefan Koch, but despite reaching three playoffs in a row, it seems like the team has been a bit underachieving especially with the strength of their rosters. The last time, the Dragons won a title was the 2008 Beko BBL cup in Hamburg. Fans are thirsty for a title and the dungeon of Toby the Dragon and the fire inside seems to be getting a tad weaker. The expectations are high despite the average season by the Artland Dragons and this could be that last chance before another rebuilding and possible total restructuring of the roster could happen as it seems to be more the case now a days with professional basketball teams. Recently the 2000 cup winning head coach of the Opel Skyliners announced he wont return to Quackenbruck.
Ratiopharm Ulm had another very strong season not as potent as last season where they finished in second place with a record of 27-7, but this season in third place with a record of 24-10. One cant forget that this season every team was gunning for the Swaben team and that surprise effect like last season wasn´t present, plus they had the strain of the Eurocup season. Despite all this, the club was able to play like a top team and the players from last season and head coach Thorsten Leibanath were able to develop further in their functions and as a team as the chemistry stayed intact from last season coupled with the integration of the new players. The club strung together a six, five and four game winning streaks. Their biggest wins of the season were sweeps of Alba Berlin, EWE Baskets Oldenburg and the Artland Dragons. Who could forget the buzzer beater of Keaton Nankivil last season against FC Bayern Munich and this season they beat Germanys most famous team again at home. Ratiopharm Ulm also have a strong offense as they averaged 84 points per game and scored 80 points or more 24 times. Defense isn´t their strong suit as they were only able to give up 70 or less points nine times. They kept Bayreuth, Trier and MBC under 50 points and even combined the perfect offense/defense combination beating Giessen 100-46, but then again that is no feat. Giessen surprised them in the Osthalle giving them a hard fought loss, defining the meaning that anything is possible in the Beko BBL.Their strength is their scoring power and depth on offense. With John Bryant and Per Guenther they have a powerful duo with the young German always creating points with his penetration or pick and roll play and the American just makes men look like boys in the paint. With Allan Ray, Steve Esterkamp and Daniel Theis, they have very formidable scorers. They also have unlimited potential from the bench with Philipp Schwethelm, Keaton Nankivil, Lance Jeter and Sebastian Betz. Even when Dane Watts went down for the season with an injury, nobody panicked and the late season pick up of Omar Samhan has added stability to the paint. The late addition of Pro B monster Myles Hesson has been a pleasant surprise as he has given strong minutes. For some a weakness is that the club is too dependent on Bryant, but if you look at the team, there is enough firepower and even if you take away the 10 rebounds per game by Bryant, then the team still has 29 which is what many lower ranked teams average. No matter how the game goes, one is never totally able to take Bryant out of his rhythm. Their defense is also suspect which could be a liability when Artland has good shooting nights and Ulm is not on as much on offense.
The last two seasons the Artland Dragons have been my sleeper team, but each season the y have underachieved. At the start of the season, I had them as one of the deepest teams in the league, but seven months later, they ended the season only in sixth place with a record of 20-14 and remained a riddle why such a talented team couldn´t perform better. There were some reasons in that Demond Mallet was injured to start the season and they never had a classic point guard and the big problem of the season was the power forward position as guys came and went like fleas do after having dinner on Beethoven the dog as ex NBA players Ryan Gomes and Dennis Horner as well Andrew Drevo left. Kristaps Valters also played for a few months before having to pack his bags. All in all the club has been searching for a team chemistry and identity all season long, but have always had disturbances of players departing and coming. The team still is a very strong offensive team averaging 77 points per game, but could never go for a very long time with consecutive wins as they had a quick four game winning streak in the first month and after that four three game winning streaks. They actually did have some success against top teams as they beat Alba Berlin and even swept the Brose Baskets Bamberg including being only the third Beko BBL team to do in Bamberg since June 2010 which is definitely something to tell your grand kids. Dragons head coach Stefan Koch has a very strong 11 man rotation and even has started with German Acha Njei, a guy who was usually a garbage time player his whole career. With Branislav Rathkovica, who came recently, they have a classic point guard and with the guard trio of Bryce Taylor, Demond Mallet and Marquez Haynes possibly the best in the Beko BBL. The heart and soul of the team is German Johannes Strasser who is the ultimate team player. The center duo of Anthony King and Petar Popovic is solid and King belongs to the most underrated big men in the league. With Brad Buckman, the team has the perfect power forward who has stepped it up in the last weeks and will need to continue to get touches and shots. Their weakness is that they are still looking for their 100% team chemistry, but that may have been found as they ended the regular season with a three game winning streak beating Bamberg and the red hot Phoenix Hagen.
Ratiopharm Ulm swept the season series as Artland lost 80-69 at home after leading at halftime, but losing control in the second half and then being embarrassed in Ulm 88-60 as the game was already decided at halftime and Artland only mustered eight points in the fourth quarter. In the loss in Ulm, Artland was clobbered on the boards. The duel of the game could be John Bryant-Anthony King. Bryant had Artland for dinner in both games as he scored combined 34 points and 27 rebounds. Artland has to find a way to somehow keep Bryant out of his comfort zone with aggressive post defense and denying him the ball, but that is easier said than done. Both teams have very strong offensive teams and this could be a high scoring series and in the end it will be the team that decides to defend more consistently that will win. Artland needs to change the tempo of the game as well and get out running and try to get Bryant in foul trouble. German Daniel Theis who has been rumoured to have entered the 2013 NBA draft has developed well and even he could have big games if a Bryant has to sit down, not to forget the Egyptian tank Omar Samhan. The Artland Dragons also need a potent Branislav Rathkovica or this could be a short series. All in all ratiopharm is stronger on offense, deeper and has John Bryant. They will be too much for the Artland Dragons and win the series 3-1.
If one had to choose one Beko BBL player that could challenge ex NBA player and sunny boy Casey Jacobsen´s professionalism and his identity rate to his team Brose Baskets Bamberg, then it wouldn´t take long to come up with EWE Baskets Oldenburg American Rickey Paulding. The Detroit native like Jacobson has lesser ties to the NBA than the California native in that he never played, but was drafted by his hometown Detroit Pistons. However Paulding is the kind of guy that can smile with the best of them when one mentions his good friend Jimmy Mckinney after a game, but also unleash that focused and straight ahead look similar to the way one can observe on a Jacobson on the court. Recently Oldenburg played their last regular season game in Giessen as it was more of a Sunday stroll than any player needing to sweat hard as they easily dismantled them 90-59 and after the game, Paulding as usual was prepared to answer any questions and did like a professional. He and his team after the win were exerting a careful confident, but not arrogant type of body language with their task the Eurochallenge Final 4 in Izmir. Nobody wanted to admit it really, but in a way they were favorites and why shouldn´t they have been after they went undefeated in the regular season of the competition. It was so much more of a shock when they lost in the semi final to Krasiyaka 66-62. Oldenburg wanted so badly to win their second team title in their history, but the blow of not winning another hardware must have been as disappointing as it is for a Chevy car fan finding out that the car plant in Detroit only has Ford cars. Even if Oldenburg got third place beating French team Gravelines, there is no justice in that, but at least they still have the Beko BBL playoffs now.
So now the main focus for Oldenburg lies in the playoffs. The team led by 1995 Korac cup winner Sebastian Machowski as head coach came into the season as one of those teams that would be near the top and might be able to annoy some of the top teams. They didn´t disappoint anyone by finishing the regular season in second place and reaching the Eurochallenge final 4. During the season, they whipped up winning streaks of six, five, four and three games. They were able to sweep FC Bayern Munich, Alba Berlin, Artland Dragons and the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg. Oldenburg is a team that can put points on the board averaging 78 this season. They may have the best starting five in the league. Machowski did a good job this season making their defense stronger as the team gave up under 70 points 17 times, finally brought in a classic point guard with Dru Joyce and lets his players use as many options as possible within the individual qualities that each player possesses. Machowski really has a very versatile lineup with Joyce/Kramer at the pg position, maybe the best shooting guard/small forward tandem in the Beko BBL with Julius Jenkins and Rickey Paulding, a good inside presence with experienced ex ACB American Adam Chubb and inside out player Ronny Burrell who showed Frankfurt why you can´t leave him open from the parking lot. The bench is also has stability, but not depth with ex Skyliners Konrad Wysocki and Dominik Bahiense De mello. Robin Smuelders was a big surprise and should could have won most improved player. Their biggest weakness could be the possibility of underachieving, because everything is possible with this team and also consistency on defense as they haven´t been as strong as in the first half of the season.
Who could forget the end to last season as the Telekom Baskets Bonn won a do or die game against Frankfurt on the last game day and then shocked Bamberg on the road in game one with an upset as Tony Gaffney and Andrej Mangold danced on the court celebrating just the second win in Bamberg in two years for any Beko BBL team. Even though Bonn had to fight to get into the playoffs, this season was a bit less unspectacular than last season, but they did beat FC Bayern Munich in OT, the second win in a row at home. Possibly the biggest headline this season wasn´t the play of Bonn, but the departure of Marquis Blakely. How much the departure of sniper Robert Vaden will effect the team now in the playoffs will be interesting to see. The season was pretty much up and down. Except for a five game winning streak in January/February and a three game winning streak recently, the team didn´t have much to cheer about. Their two biggest highlights was sweeping ratiopaharm Ulm and beating Bamberg at home. Bonn is definitely a team with scorers, but that they would average 81 points per game as a team most certainly must have surprised some people. They scored over 80 points 17 times including 100 points or more five times and even out slugged Phoenix Hagen 103-101 which isn´t easy to do beating them at their game. Their biggest strength and weapon is Jared Jordan. The team goes and sputters depending how he plays. It doesn´t matter if he is held scoreless in Trier, he still effected the game with 17 assists or if he needs to be a scorer against MBC with 21 points or does it combined scoring and playmaking against FC Bayern Munich with 19 points and 13 assists, Bonn wins. However when he is shut down as he was in Frankfurt with two assists in 30 minutes, then Bonn is more prone to losing. Just the presence of dinosaur Chris Ensminger on the court or bench is a plus even if his minutes were strongly reduced. Bonn has a strong offense that has deadly scorers like Benas Veikalis and Kyle Weems. The addition of American Jamel Mclean has been a huge spark as he needed little integration and has been very solid finishing very well near the rim. David Mccray and Andrej Mangold are aggressive defenders that make the game faster and make their transition game more effective. The biggest weakness was the departure of Robert Vaden who puts a dent into their scoring and their thin bench. German Jonas Wolfarth-Bottermann has made big strides, but the development of Fabian Thülig has stalled a bit with less minutes. Both will be needed to supply power in this series.
This will be an interesting series as you have the potent Oldenburg team against a weakened, but annoying Bonn team who will want to leave a lasting impression on this season. Oldenburg is the favorite in this series not only having the home court advantage, but because they have more talent and the deeper bench. The duel of the game could be Kyle Weems vs Ronny Burrell. Weems will have to have a very good series, while Burrell who has the stronger supporting cast won´t have as much pressure to perform, but if he plays solid will be a thorn in the side of the Bonn defense. If Oldenburg can keep Jared Jordan from wheeling and dealing and making a mess in the Oldenburg defense then they will have good chances of easily winning this series. One can´t forget that the teams split the season series. Bonn showed how effective they can be when they defend beating Oldenburg 90-57 and keeping Lebron James friend Dru Joyce scoreless and paralyzed forcing him to six turnovers and keeping them to 32% from the field and 17% from outside and dominating the boards. Rebound work will also be key for Bonn in this series. In the return game, Bonn lost 84-74 in Oldenburg where they had a very bad shooting day. Bonn will have to defend with heart to make any kind of progress in this series. They will have to find a way to contain the Oldenburg inside game as well as their dangerous perimeter shooters. Oldenburg should be able to win this series 3-1.
The biggest news story in the German city of Hagen now is the success of basketball team Phoenix Hagen and them reaching their first playoffs in their short history. There have been quite a few surprises this season in the German basketball world like Tim Ohlbrecht reaching the NBA, the immense quick rise of German Dennis Schroeder who might be sooner in the NBA than Davin White can sneak penetrate to the hoop or the rapid development of TBB Trier German center Andreas Seifert, but most likely the biggest surprise this season and biggest story is the consistent season of Phoenix Hagen and actually having the opportunity of playing in May. Three seasons ago, they were the laughing stock of the Beko BBL as not even a Michael hakim Jordan locker room tirade in Frankfurt could steer the club in the right direction. However no one is laughing at Phoenix Hagen anymore as the team has arrived in the Beko BBL playoffs and no one is prouder than the long thunderbird Bernd Kruel who is playing his 16th season in Hagen.
Even if a certain basketball philosophy doesn´t work right away, one could take a shooters slump and just keep shooting and try try try again. The basketball style of Ingo Freyer and his club since reaching the Beko BBL in 2009 has been run and gun and just score more than their opponent. Phoenix Hagen has had massive shoot outs the last three seasons losing the most, but this season their incredible knack of scoring rose even more, but they also decided to play defense something which had been irrelevant in the past. Larry Gordon has stressed all season long that we focus more on defense than our offense everyday. We know defense is what Wins. Phoenix Hagen reached the playoffs as the last team, but from all the teams that were fighting for that last spot, they definitely deserved it the most. They averaged a mind boggling 86 points per game and scored 80 points or more 21 times. They beat all the top teams in the Beko BBL, including Bamberg, Berlin and Oldenburg all in a row at home. There were times that they defended in a first class way keeping Oldenburg to 67 points and holding the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg to an average 67 points in the two games. Besides being a scoring machine and on certain nights being able to shoot out the lights of any team, they are also a very strong rebounding team despite being a smaller type of shooting team. Larry Gordon is one of the most underrated rebounders in the Beko BBL. He gives the word effort a new definition when hauling down rebounds. Another strength of the club is that their starting five of Davin White, David Bell, Larry Gordon, Adam Hess and Dino Gregory never missed a game playing all 34 games. Another strength is how the self confidence of the team has risen game by game. Knowing that they beat Bamberg at home will motivate them, but stealing a game in Bamberg is easier said than done and is like telling Anton Gavel to never defend again which is unlikely. Weaknesses of Phoenix Hagen is their bench. Their starters make 62 of the team 86 points, so the club is very dependent on their starting five something the Nordlingen Giants also were in the 2008-2009 season in the Beko BBL. The club have solid back ups with Mark Dorris, Abe Lodwick and Ole Wendt, but that’s about it. One can´t forget Bernd Kruel who is the Chris Ensminger of Hagen who is 36 and keeps coming back each season and can still bang with the best of them.
For the Brose Baskets Bamberg, it was another typical Beko BBL regular season as they finished in first place with a record of 25-8, but it was the most loses that they had since their first Beko BBL title in their three peat 2009-2010 as they lost 12 games. In the last two seasons 2010-2012 they only lost six games. With their nine game losing streak in March with Beko BBL/Euroleague games, it was obvious that Bamberg wasn´t that invincible team that they once were. One can´t forget that they also had much misfortune in the Euroleague losing many games by fewer than five points. Despite having winning streaks of eight and 11 games and winning 19 of 20 games in the Beko BBL, the Euroleague travel did have a strain on them as they lost three games in a row to weaker competition like Phoenix Hagen and the Fraport Skyliners. Injuries to guys like John Goldsberry, Matt Walsh, Maik Zirbes and Andrew Ogily disrupted the building of the team chemistry as well as the coming and going of players like Teddy Gipson. Jeremiah Massey also was unable to live up to the expectations of manager Wolfgang Heyder and had to go. Despite all the drama this season, the Brose Baskets Bamberg are still the team to beat. They have the second best offense and have a strong core of scorers with Casey Jacobsen, Bostjan Nachbar, Anton Gavel, Sharod Ford, and Matt Walsh and belong to the best on defense giving up an average of 73,0ppg. They continue to play with a lot of discipline and like FC Bayern Munich like that quick offense where their amazing quick ball movement gets good shots fast. They also have the ability to find the mismatches and use them. They continue to play with the heart of a lion led by ex NBA player Casey Jacobson who still is the most professional player in the league. The key duel of the series could be Anton Gavel against Davin White who led the Beko BBL in scoring. Both players are their teams MVP. If White is shut down which is seldom, then Phoenix Hagen may still win, but in a five series against Phoenix Hagen, they will need the production of White. White has led the team all season long and he sparks his teammates. Gavel does everything for Bamberg and even if he seems to have been burned out a bit in the last months, Bamberg needs their spark plug to be on each night. The two teams split the season series 1-1 as Phoenix Hagen played their typical run and gun and forced the five time champion Bamberg to their style of having shoot outs. Bamberg will have to defend a lot better especially the three as Phoenix Hagen shot 20/45 in the two games. If Phoenix Hagen wants to have any chance then they will have to defend and find a way to get around the Bamberg keen ability of using the mismatches. Bamberg should play pick and roll and just push the ball inside more, because despite Hagen having strong defender Dino Gregory, he can´t cover the whole paint. Bamberg has had a long season and are used to the grind and just have so much more experience then does a Phoenix Hagen. This is a series where anything can happen. I could see Bamberg sweeping, but also going to five games , but in the end Chris Fleming will display a smile because Bamberg will win this series, but Phoenix Hagen will not make life easy for Bamberg and this is the perfect opponent for Bamberg to get warmed up for the winner of the Berlin-Munich series. Phoenix Hagen will fight until they fall over, but Bamberg will just be too strong and too experienced and clip the wings of the Phoenix Hagen thunderbird even if it will take a fight.
There is always something happening in FC Hollywood or also known as FC Bayern Munich soccer team as they aren´t only the most famous sports team in Germany, have the best talented and expensive players, but also are used to mostly having success. The last two weeks have been sheer excitement as the team blew out FC Barcelona at home and then advanced to the Champions league final against German team Borussia Dortmund. With all this fuss happening with the soccer team, one may get a bit distracted from the basketball department FC Bayern Munich, but they quietly have reached their second playoffs in a row. There are thousands of bitter and unwanted things that have occurred in the Beko BBL this season for teams and players for instance Bamberg having so much misfortune and losing many close games in the Euroleague, a Jimmy Mckinney getting injured again a thing that unfortunately has plagued him throughout his career, a player like American Robert Vaden being released right before the playoffs hurting the playoff chances of the Telekom Baskets Bonn, Frankfurt losing in Oldenburg this season on a botched in bound play in the last seconds of the game or a traditional Beko BBL team like Giessen having financial woes, losing half their roster getting beat often by 40 points and then having to move down to the Pro A. With the post season starting, not only FC Bayern Munich have some misfortune, but also 8 time Beko BBL champion Alba Berlin who have to face each other in the quarterfinals of the playoffs in the best of five series. Both teams don´t have any time to waste to ponder about their calamity, but need to get prepared as quickly as possible for the most exciting head to head competition in the first round of the playoffs.
After finishing last season their first in the Beko BBL since returning from the second division in fifth place with a record of 22-12, they couldn´t make any real ground this season despite having the command from upstairs to improve their standings situation finishing in fourth place with a record of 21-13. One can´t forget that the team had massive turmoil shortly before the start of the season as ex German national coach Dirk Bauermann was let go and they didn´t name Svetisslav Pesic until December when he took over a 5-5 team. They did lose in the first game under his guidance in Berlin, but then as if a nasty cold Serbian wind had followed and blew away the next opponents won seven games in a row including the first four with 100 plus points and 11 of 12 wins. It didn´t take Svetislav Pesic long to cradle his wan and put his stamp on how the team was to play. Disciplined, hard defense, quick sets on offense with the first open shot to be taken and unending freedom for his players was key to the success. The team did let up a bit in the last two months having a record of 5-6 and losing in the cup against Alba Berlin. Their biggest problem in the stretch drive was losing too many close games like with two points to Bremerhaven, with three to Tuebingen, four to Artland and three to Oldenburg. With three wins more, they would have an easier time now with the Vaden less Telekom Baskets Bonn. Their biggest wins of the season were against Bamberg and ratiopharm Ulm and they had a 1-2 record against Alba Berlin. Fc Bayern Munich has an incredible roster with possibly the best three man big man rotation in the league with Jared Homan, Chevon Troutman and Lawrence Roberts. Tyrese Rice is belongs to the top point guards and with Brandon Thomas an allrounder at the shooting guard position. Pesic has his freedom to pick from top talented German players like Robin Benzing, Jan Jagla, Stefen Hamann and Demond Greene. Top Israel player Yotam Halperin has been somewhat of a disappointment, but he can explode at anytime. It is always sweet when you have two starting five teams plus an 11th man like Aleksandar Nadjfeji that can still gun the ball out of the post to the open shooter. The biggest strength of FC Bayern Munich is their famous and experienced coach, deep roster and combination of lethal offense(83 points per game) and rebounding(37 per game).
Times weren´t easy for the organization or fans of Alba Berlin when the last time they were Beko BBL champion was 2008 and cup winner in 2009. Three seasons title less is about as difficult and grueling as trying to find your way through Berlin without a navigation system. However club and fans finally shared that winning feeling again when they won the 2013 Beko BBL cup in the O2 arena beating ratiopharm Ulm. The team has at least won one title, but a player like Dashaun Wood is still hungry for more hardware as is his team despite going 4-4 after winning the cup. Last season Alba Berlin finished third with a record of 26-8, but weren´t as productive this season finishing in fifth place with a 20-14 record which most likely added a few months on the body of tough head coach Sasa Obradovic who can yell and scream with the best of them. From the view of Alba Berlin except for a strong stretch in the first half of the season where they won eight games in a row, it was a very inconsistent Beko BBL season as they weren´t able to string together more than a two game winning streak the rest of the way. Their biggest wins were beating Bamberg at home and in Bamberg in Euroleague play. One of the reasons for the demise of the team in the second half was the injury to Vule Avdalovic who was the guy that kept the team together. Obradovic put together another strong team keeping Dashaun Wood who had less of an offensive role this season due to the many scorers, but was able to focus more on defense. Berlin has a very solid trio under the hoop with Yassin Idbihi, ACB veteran Albert Miralles and French man Ali Traore who recently got injured and will be lost for the season. Deon Thompson who still has aspirations of the NBA will have to help out even more under the basket. The unsung hero of the team is Zach Morely who has a lethal inside out game. German national player Heiko Schaffartzik is at home at any parking lot and will shoot over the meter maid if necessary and Nihad Djedovic can score in bunches and take over a game at anytime. The club picked up insurance down the stretch with Americans Derrick in flight Byers and 2009 Beko BBL champion Je Kel Foster. Experienced Sven Schultze is the bench leader, isn´t afraid of anyone and can still hit the clutch three pointer. Alba Berlin also has a potent offense averaging 79 points per game and are always good for many points as they scored 80 plus points 20 times. They also do a great job taking care of the ball as they have the least turnovers in the league and are the best at hitting free throws at 80%. The biggest weakness of Alba Berlin is their outside shooting as they were third worst in the Beko BBL this season.
This is the most exciting series in the quarterfinals and should go the distance, but FC Bayern Munich has the home court advantage. The match up of the series with be the two top points guards Tyrese Rice and Dashaun Wood. Rice is a player that loves the big time moments in crunch time and is just unstoppable when he has to be while the danger with Wood is that he loves these type of challenges where he can shine and even if he is far from his Beko BBL MVP season of 2011, he can get hot and change a game at anytime. This makes him very unpredictable and extreme perilous since his main focus is playmaking now, but as soon as he sees the hole, he will be gone before Obradovic can yell road runner. Key for Alba Berlin will be to match the physicality of FC Bayern Munich which will be a real task with monsters like Homan and Roberts sitting in the paint. On offense they should use the pick and role option more to stifle the slower Munich big men and get them into foul trouble. FC Bayern Munich should test the Alba Berlin shooting early and if they aren´t on play zone and let them shoot. FC Bayern Munich also should run a lot and try to wear down Alba Berlin since their bench is thinner than that of FC Bayern Munich. If Alba Berlin can steal one in Munich right away, then that will only be an advantage. This series will go five games with an emotional fifth game in Munich. FC Bayern Munich have the 1-0 series lead and now it is time for Alba Berlin to strike back in game two. Dashaun Wood took over a game in 2011-2012 in Munich carrying Alba Berlin to a big win in the Audi Dome and will burning with fire in this series to repeat glory.
Zach Peacock Unleashes The Ultimate Mad Baller Keeping The Fraport Skyliners In The Beko BBL With77-72 Victory Against Ludwigsburg
There are situations that are never easy, but at times when times arent easy one may rather be in an uneasy position like seeing Lebron James go 0/12 from downtown out of the view of a diehard fan, being caught in an annoying traffic jam on the highway on the way to an event or walking through a park and getting some nasty and unexpected droppings from above from a passing pigeon. However one of the most unwanted circumstances for a professional athlete is an unpleasant do or die situation. A do or die game is an experience for a player that involves a desperate effort to succeed or face dire consequences. The last time the Frankfurt Skyliners were involved in a do or die game Fraport Skyliner big man Johannes Voigtmann was learning his craft at German sport handball as he hadn´t even started to play basketball yet, guard Dwayne Wade was two months away from his first NBA title with the Miami Heat, Adele was still an unknown swan on the music scene getting ready to spread her wings and adore the public with breathtaking music and Germany was getting ready for their soccer world cup in their own country. Frankfurt had been in some do or die games like back in 2010 in game five of the finals losing in Bamberg or 2011 game five of the semi finals losing at home to Alba Berlin, but never as threatening like in 2006 where they had to beat the EWE Baskets Oldeneburg which they did 70-58. In that game, American Kavossy Franklin led the team with 22 points and captain Pascal Roller steered 18 points to the victory and staying in the league. The club has done great things since then reaching the playoffs four times, reaching the 2010 Beko BBL finals, having an MVP player with Dashaun Wood or future NBA player with Jon Leuer and developing the Germans this season, but all those things were only memories and their whole beko BBL existence could have beeen washed out after their 40 minute performance against the Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg. The Fraport Skyliners knew what awaited them, a hard fought battle like 10 battle of Wurzburg´s in one against the Schwaben team, but they were able to keep their nerves and composure betaing them 77-72.The players playing in the game had been in dor or die games before so this was nothing new. “I had been in a few do or die games to get into the playoffs, but nothing like this game. I wasn´t nervous at all and loved the atmosphere. Celebrating after the win with the fans felt like we had won the championship”, stressed Fraport Skyliner forward Laquan Prowell. After the loss Neckar Riesen guard Wayne Bernard had along face after losing his third do or die game in his career. “I had lost these type of games with MBC and Giessen, but I didn´t think about the importance of the game as I go into each game the same way always trying to play with much energy”, added Wayne Bernard. Skyliner Devin Gibson was all smiles after the win as his record in do or die games improved as it took him about 10 seconds to remember his status in these type of games. “I am 7-3 in do or die games now. Whenever the fans are really loud, we step it up even more. We have the best fans in the league. I was as confident as could be going in. We weren´t going to take this loss”, expressed Devin Gibson.
Both teams came into the game knowing that the loser after 40 minutes would be demoted to the Pro A. The Fraport Skyliners controlled the game for 30 minutes, but the Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg made a furious comeback in the fourth quarter producing four three pointers in arrow, but in the end, they were missing extra minutes for them to seriously endanger the Fraport Skyliners. After the win, the players partied long with the fans and by the time they finally had time for the press, they had smiles shinning and probably had the most fun all season long asking questions. Even with the stress of having a do or die game, the reward of winning a game like feels extra special. “It feels so good winning this game. We prepared very hard for it and just reaching our goal is great. Key was having avery good start and finally playing defense the way we did before the last two games against Trier and Bonn”, added Laquan Prowell.After the loss, Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg head coach John Patrick looked like he had just experienced 10 Eurochallenge finals, but he admitted that the Fraport Skyliners were the better team on this night. ”The Fraport Skyliners were clearly the better team in the first three quarters. It took ahead butt in the third quarter for us to start to play with emotion and get back into the game. We can´t start so late, but had to have come out of the gates better. Frankfurt defended very aggressive and we had problems bringing the ball down the court. We had no answer for Zach peacock. I give a lot of credit to Frankfurt. They played with more heart than we did”, added 2010 Eurochallenge winner John Patrick. “We could match the intensity or physicality of Frankfurt. The Peacock ejection got us going, but we should have had that from the start”, warned Marquis Blakely.
In the Beko BBL, there are really only a handful of players that can dominate a game as much as Zach Peacock. Peacock has been the most consistent player on the team and when he gets going and has big scoring games, then he usually is able to carry his teammates and club to victory. That was the case in the do or die game as the Miami native had 10 points in the first quarter and 18 points at halftime. Just give Peacock the ball and all will be ok and as soon as he started hitting his first shots, he continued to get the ball as he was unstoppable. “Zack was amazing. He was on pace for 40 points. His mid distance jumper is so amazing to watch. He was in the zone tonight”, said Devin Gibson. Peacock probably would have had 30 plus points in the game if he hadn´t been disqualified in the third quarter. “I was very focused and knew how important this game was. I work so hard on my shot that I have a lot of confidence in my shot that I just expect it to go in”, smiled Zach Peacock. It didn´t really matter if it was John Turek or Eric Coleman, nobody could contain Peacock. Even if Ludwigsburg would have flown in Bruce Bowen, he probably couldn´t have stopped the mad baller Peacock either who got the nickname in Giessen because he was always so focused in practice. “Peacock was so dominant. His catch and shoot and one dribble hurt us no matter if we had one or two players on him. Coleman can play defense, but Peacock knew he was hot and just felt he always had mismatches”, stressed John Patrick. “When you feel hot like Peacock did, that is what happens, you keep hitting shots. He had so much confidence in his shot”, added Wayne Bernard.
Before the do or die game started there were a few interesting things that one could observe in the Fraport arena like a huge sign up in the upper deck saying Berlin-Ulm-Bamberg: Now beat Ludwigsburg. Shortly before the game started there was one last stern focused hand shake between Ludwigsburg head coach John Patrick and CEO Alexander Reil. The Fraport Skyliner that got the biggest round of applause in the introductions was Dawan Robinson whose future was more than uncertain a week ago after he had lung problems and had to stay in the hospital. Notable people in attendance were Duesseldorf Basket Chris Gadley, LTi Giessen 46er Achmadschah Zazi and head coach Mathias Fischer. When the game finally did commence, the Fraport Skyliners started the way head coach Muli Katzurin had hoped with aggressive defense that would sooner or later spark the offense. Marquis Blakely scored the first points of the ball game following up his own miss. The Fraport Skyliners then really got rolling going on a 8-0 run sparked by three steals by Zack Peacock and three field goals. Prowell made a lay in being fed nicely by Gibson. The Ludwigsburg offense was very static as they couldn´t get any good shots and sharp shooter Lucca Staiger was totally being contained by Quantez Robertson and Zack Peacock was conducting his own shooting clinic. Ludwigsburg got some offense going on a 5-2 run as ex NBA player Derrick Zimmermann hit a runner and Iowa native John Turek a three pointer. The only offense that Frankfurt had was Peacock so if something is working why change it?. Frankfurt ended the first quarter with a stifling 6-0 run to lead 16-7. Peacock hit two jumpers over Eric Coleman and Super Tez and Klein hit buckets. “What really surprised me that neither team had an inside presence. Frankfurt was playing very well together and one could see that they knew the consequences of the game. The Peacock mi distance was deadly”, stressed Duesseldorf Basket Chris Gadley. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 44% from the field and 0% from outside while the Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg were shooting 27% from the field and 0% from outside. Both teams had nine rebounds, but Ludwigsburg six turnovers and Frankfurt only one turnover.
The first few minutes of the second quarter were very sloppy by both teams. Ludwigsburg stayed in the game mainly because the Frankfurt offense was sputtering. Konstantin Klein reacted well after an air ball not losing his confidence and scoring inside on a hard penetration. Turek and Blakely then hit free throws as Ludwigsburg continued to stick around as they trailed only 18-10. Ludwigsburg were making stupid turnovers and at times seemed like they had only been together a few days. Frankfurt was making bad decisions on offense and taking bad shots. Frankfurt finally found their rhythm on offense going on a 9-0 run to lead 27-10.Peacock scored twice, Klein nailed a three pointer and Danilo Barthel hit an off balance jumper. The way Ludwigsburg was playing offense in the second quarter, it seemed like they might never score again, but basketball remains a game of runs and even when times are hard, good times can come a lot quicker and unexpected as they rushed out on a 5-0 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 27-15 as Lucca Staiger who once hit 106 points in a youth game connected on a three pointer and Joshua Jackson hit a jumper. Peacock then hit another shot over Coleman who was still looking for his jock strap somewhere on the baseline, but corrected his mistake on the next possession scoring inside. Turek then hit an open three pointer and then it was Peacock again this time connecting over Turek as the Fraport Skyliners led 31-20 at halftime. “I think that at times the Ludwigsburg offense couldn´t even be of Pro A level. They seemed to have no concept on offense or defense. Each guy was playing for themselves it seemed. Nobody was able to contain Peacock. Ludwigsburg should of kept a more mobile guy on him. Frankfurt continued to hit shots and defend very aggressively”, stressed American Chris Gadley. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 43% from the field and 9% from the three point line while the Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg were shooting 37% from the field and 33% from the three point line. Ludwigsburg had the 18-14 rebound edge, but 13 turnovers while Frankfurt only had three turnovers.
After a weak first half where the Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg mustered only 20 points one would have been confident that they would make some kind of adjustments and come back, but instead it was the Fraport Skyliners that continued to play strong offense going on a 9-2run to totally break open the game 42-22. Devin Gibson who isn´t known for burying shots from downtown nailed two consecutive three pointers and Robertson made a big steal and went coast to coast with the elegant push through dunk. Ludwigsburg had to come soon or be in fear of being blown out. The Schwaben teams had glimpses of a spark on offense as they went on a 6-2 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 44-28. Turek hit a jumper and free throws and Marquis Blakely made a put back after getting his own rebound. American Ryan Brooks then hit a jumper as Frankfurt led 47-28. Sometimes in games, one little sequence or play can help spark a team which happened to Ludwigsburg. Ex Skyliner Max Weber went inside an got an offensive foul mowing down Zack Peacock that retaliated with a head butt. On account of this, Peacock was disqualified and had to go to the locker room. “I thought that the offensive foul and disqualification were correct. This call gave us adrenaline and I am happy that we never gave up”, stressed John Patrick. “I wouldn´t say that it was a head butt, but moreover I tried to push him back with my head”, smiled Zach Peacock. “That was a head butt by Peacock. That doesn´t belong in the sport. He should of kept his cool”, expressed Marquis Blakely. Ludwigsburg ended the third quarter with 7-2 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 49-35. It was all Lucca Staiger that nailed four free throws and a three pointer. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 60& form the two point range and 20% from the parking lot while the Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg were shooting 36% from the two point range and 23% from the parking lot. Ludwigsburg had the 26-23 rebound advantage, but 18 turnovers while Frankfurt only had seven turnovers.
With only 10 minutes to play, the basketball life of the Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg was slowly heading in the direction of the Pro A, but they still had energy left as they started off the fourth quarter with a 6-2run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 51-41. Turek hit free throws and Bernard and Blakely scored in the lane. With no Peacock available, Frankfurt had to find a way to close out the game with what they had and they had a Prowell who hit a huge three pointer to give Frankfurt the 54-42 lead. As the fourth quarter continued to dwindle down, one was slowly seeing that despite the more consistent play of Ludwigsburg, Frankfurt had just the right big lead and was hitting enough to keep the Schwaben team at bay and not getting dangerous and under 10 points. After a Blakely dunk, Frankfurt got free throws from Gibson, Klein and Voigtmann as they led 62-46. Ludwigsburg kept their best for last with their outside shooting as Blakely nailed a three pointer and Staiger two bombs form the parking lot cutting the Frankfurt lead to 68-56. Now it was time for ex MBC guard Wayne Bernard to start getting hot hitting three three pointers. His second three pointer cut the Frankfurt lead to 73-66 with two minutes to play. “I was just trying to get up my shot as quick as possible”, stressed Wayne Bernard. Frankfurt continued getting to the free throw line, but had much misfortune missing too many. Ryan Brooks missed four in a row. After Coleman scored inside, it was Prowell making one free throw as Frankfurt led 75-68. Bernard then hit his third three pointer of the last few minutes cutting the Frankfurt lead to 75-71. Prowell then made one of two free throws but Frankfurt led 76-71. With 5,5 seconds to play in the contest, the Fraport arena increased its noise level as Muli Katzurin inserted Dawan Robinson. Blakely made one more free throw cutting the Frankfurt lead to 77-72. Staiger ended the game with a missed three pointer as the Saturday night of every Skyliner fan was extended as it was party time. “They played with more energy in the fourth quarter, but we were able to hold them off. They rattled us a bit at the end, but we controlled the game for 80% of the time and we just wanted it more”, added Devin Gibson. “WE just tried to push the ball up quickly and get the first open shot. We came up short at the end. Who knows what would have happened if there had been three more minutes in the game”, warned Marquis Blakely.
The Fraport Skyliners were led by Zach Peacock with 20 points. Devin Gibson produced 12 points. Laquan Prowell and Konstantin Klein contributed 11 points a piece. Quantez Robertson added 10 points. The Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg were led by Marquis Blakely with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Lucca Staiger scored 16 points as well. John Turek added 15 points while Wayne Bernard chipped in with 11 points. If the Fraport Skyliners had lost then Zach peacock would have been the tragic loser on account of his ejection, but with the big do or die win, his ejection will be long forgotten when people look back at this historic game. Peacock was the last player to return form the floor into the locker room one hour after the game had ended after fulfilling every last autograph request and was thrilled how his teammates finished the game without him. “It really feels good to end the season winning this important game. We did a great job starting off aggressive on defense which led to our offense getting started. I am really proud of the team in that even after my ejection, they continued to fight hard and just took care of business”, stressed Zach peacock. The Fraport Skyliners eneded the season in 14th place while the Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg ended the season in 17th place.
Despite New Name, The Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg Hoping To Save Some Grace With Their Unlucky Season With Do Or Die Win In Frankfurt
If legendary sports broadcaster Marv Albert came to Ludwigsburg and yelled Kung Fu instead of Yesssssssssss, he may get more response simply because the cities karate club MTV 1846 e. V. Ludwigsburg has tasted numerous success in the last years being known as having the top Karate players in the country. Changing a name in the German basketball world often has to do more with a transition of a sponsor, more than with luck which is seen often in China. Changing a name doesn´t always bring luck as the feisty Napoleon lost his empire and for EnBW Ludwigsburg who are touring the German arenas this season as the Neckar Riesen and have been living in the lower places and are being thretaned of moving down to the second Bundesliga. If it was solving internal problems with jerry Green, switching players late in the season where team chemistry should be carved on the fore heads of the players or changing the coach, basketball life has been tough once again in Ludwigsburg as a new name brings no new luck. There was so much turbulence in Ludwigsburg that one could of expected them not to be in the playoff places, but being near the end for so long would have surprised even the most staunch basketball critic. After a bitter loss against TBB Trier, German point guard Konstantin Klein was asked why Ludwigsburg has struggled so much, but the German had no answer, because he was still trying to digest the loss. However TBB Trier German Mathis Monninghoff who was smiling after the win and had an answer for the woes with Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg. “It has been a tough season for Ludwigsburg. One can´t forget that the Beko BBL not only remains strong where each team can beat each team, but gets stronger each season. Ludwigsburg has had very much misfortune this year. It isn´t the fault of John Patrick. He came late and brought in new players and it is always difficult to integrate them so late in the season. Its hard for a young German like Lucca Staiger to lead the team in a situation like this. He is a very good player, but he can´t do it all himself”, stressed Mathis Monninghoff.
It has been a while since the wins for EnBW Ludwigsburg were as frequent as they have been for the Brose Baskets Bamberg in the last years. There was one season, where the team was winning, winning, winning and Who could forget the 2006-2007 EnBW Ludwigsburg Cinderella team that started the season on a seven game winning streak, winning the first 11 of 12 games and dominating the BBL the whole season until losing in the semi finals against The Brose Baskets Bamberg who would later win the BBL title. There was something so fresh with this team as team basketball had been taught by coach Silvano Propat and his players had learned it as quickly as first graders do their a,b,c´s. However the last two seasons were a downgrade as the playoffs were missed. In the 2007-2008 season, the team reached the BBL cup final losing to The Artland Dragons, but management somehow had their differences with coach Silvano Poropat as he had to pack his bags and go. In 2008-2009, management brought in ex Bamberg player Rick Stafford as the team missed the playoffs again and were searching for an identity all season long, but never found one. After December 14th, 2008, the team would not win more than one game at a time before losing again. It was a very disappointing and weird season as the biggest highlights were the three B wins against Berlin, Bonn and Bamberg, and then the strange 1-0 win as The Giessen 46ers were unable to get to Ludwigsburg on time as they were stuck in traffic. It also marked the last professional season of all rounder and likeable American Brandon Woudstra who decided to hang up his sneakers and return back to the States to start a new life with his family. The 2009-2010 season marked a rebirth as a new arena was introduced, a new coach with Tolga Ongoren and many new Americans that would hopefully lead the club back to the playoffs. Many fans had to get used to watching basketball in a new state of the art arena as the club said goodbye to the old, but comfy Rundsporthalle that had been alive for 37 years. The goal last season could only be the playoffs as the club has a lot of pressure from their sponsor to perform in the new arena, but this important goal was missed as the team missed the playoffs for the third consecutive season finishing the season in 11th place with a record 17-17. In the last three seasons, the club had a dismal record of 48-54. Two years ago, the club started well last season winning seven of their first nine games including a six game winning streak, but then lost nine of 11 games. The team had the problem of being consistent and was unable to beat the big teams. Their two biggest wins of the season was against Oldenburg and BG Goettingen. The team was strong on paper, with players like Kyle Bailey, Michael King, Quadre Lollis, Kyle Visser, Michael Haynes, Domonic Jones and Richard Chaney, but coach Tolga Ongoren was unable to produce a chemistry on the court and something else was missing as well. “It seemed that winning wasn´t as important to some guys as their selves. They definitely were talented enough for the playoffs, but they lost some games that they should of won”, stressed ex Paderborn guard Steven Wright.
Last season despite having a talented roster, one can describe the season two ways. It was a catastrophe of a season and one where one could only shake their head in disbelief about how such a collection of players could only land in 16th place with a record of 10-24. The team was just too inconsistent and losing nine of ten games in the first half of the season didn´t help much either. They also had the misfortune of losing five games with less than four points. With a new name, the club decided to make a huge facelift saying goodbye to nine players. When reading the list of guys like Alex Harris, John Bowler, Mark Dorris, Matt Howard(2 time NCAA finaklist with Butler), Jeff Greer or a Johannes Lischka, one has to ask the question how a team like this was battling to stay in the Beko BBL for months instead of hanging around the playoff door. Management has continued to give trust to American head coach Steven key who will remain as head coach. His way of keeping his team focused in the big games at the end of the season and not moving down gave him a lot of credit. Despite the new name, the club did experience a few negative things this past summer concerning Kurt Looby and Jerry Green. Looby left to play in Puerto Rico despite not getting the clearance from the German team. The team and Looby seem to have solved their differences, but the big man wont be returning. Recently, the club and Jerry Green parted ways. Green who had been a fan favorite in Ludwigsburg for years after bringing the team much success wasn´t asked back on account of his fitness. Apparently Green still had a valid deal, but the court will solve this problem. Green had been practicing with PRO A team Kirchheim Knights.
With the team budget only reduced by 200,000, the club was still able to bring in an interesting core of players from Beko BBL players too newcomers in the Beko BBL.The club brought in five ex Beko BBL players and three newcomers. The most interesting signing has to be German national player Lucca Staiger who is hoping for his breakthrough. The club also brought back experienced Wayne Bernard who will be playing for this third Beko BBL team. Ivan Elliot remains in the Beko BBL who will bring much on court versatility. John Turek is also back after having played in Hagen a few years ago and has made a name for himself in the Dutch league. Max Weber enjoyed a strong individual season in Goettingen and could play a big role for the team with his hustle play on the court. The three newcomers are Kammron Taylor, David Weaver and Darryl Jackson. Taylor will take the role of Jerry Green at the point guard position. David Weaver is a young player who will be banging inside and could be on some highlight films this season giving a Quantez Robertson competition and Darryl Jackson brings scoring routine from lower leagues. The question will be how well he can adjust to a stronger league in Germany. The strength of the team is the Beko BBL experience that many of the new players bring as well as the new hope that the roster has. The team had little consistency in their chemistry last season and it will be the job of head coach Steven key to develop something early. The team will need to find a new type of identity. A weakness could be not having that one or two identity figures early on. The team will need to establish one or two leaders early, so when the team has a tough stretch that there will be guys that can lead the team. Guys like John Bowler and Jerry Green aren´t around anymore to bark the needed commands.
However the season came totally different for the Schwaben team. They did have a super start crushing Frankfurt in the home opener and embarrassing ratiopharm Ulm, but instead of keeping that trend the team then lost 10 of their next 12 games and didn´t necessarily have a Christmas with nice memories of the first few basketball months. They just seemed to have a nasty combination of misfortune and inconsistent play. The ylost by 30 points at MBC, gave up 100 points to Bonn, lost at home against Giessen and even when they played well against TBB Trier, couldn´t get anything going on offense scoring only 60 points. Despite getting a big 79-75 win in Wurzburg, management decided to let go of Steven Key and replace him with an unlikely fireman John Patrick. Patrick not known for coming to teams in mid season, but moreover building teams with lower budgets to winners as he showed with BG Goettingen leading them into the BBL playoffs in three of his four years and winning the Eurochallenge as well as leading Wurzburg into the playoffs as a new team in the league and upsetting Alba Belrin in the playoffs. He also had numerous success in Japan leading Toyta Alvark to titles. He is a coach that likes the pressure basketball and knows how to motivate his players to get the fullest out of them. He also made some changes as Americans Kammron Taylor and David Weaver had to depart. He brought in Americans Marquis Blakely who has brought scoring punch who has valuable experience having been in pre season for the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers. Patrick also brough in Eric Coleman who played together with his ex players Ben Jacobson and John Little at Northern Iowa and finished sixth alltime in scoring and always brought up consistent stats in the Ukraine. He also brought in guard Lawrence Westbrook who got injured and missed the rest of the season. The last component that Patrick brought in was Derrick Zimmerman who is a crafty athletic point guard that can fill up the stats. He played at Bamberg back in the 2006-2007 season and even played two NBA games for the New Jersey Nets. “He is our floor general and he is cat quick. He is very long for a point guard at 190cm and his arms are 210cm. You can´t take the ball from him and he has a great eye for the floor. He is a great ball handler. He is so athletic and is like a human highlight reel”, expressed John Patrick. After losing the first two games under Patrick, the team then seemed to find their stride winning three games in a row but against teams in the middle of the standings. However since then they have a 4-7 record. They demonstrated that they could stay with teams like ratiopharm Ulm losing by six points and keeping Alba Berlin at bay on the road before losing gas in the fourth quarter and losing by 13 points.
The Fraport Skyliners have nice memories of the last 14 games against EnBW Ludwigsburg having a 9-6 record. They have a 4-1 record in the Ballsporthalle. One player who has fond memories of playing EnBW Ludwigsburg is ex Skyliner Derrick Allen who was the top scorer of Frankfurt in four of the last six games including a 37 point performance in a 96-87 win in 2008. In 2008-2009, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners split the season series 1-1 winning 68-64 at home getting 19 points from Aubrey Reese and losing the last game of the season 71-62 on the road getting 18 points from Derrick Allen. In 2010-2011 The Deutsche Bank Skyliners beat EnBW Ludwigsburg 74-67 in a low scoring affair. Frankfurt was led by Roger Powell with 16 points and six rebounds while current beko BBL top scorer Dashaun Wood chipped in with 13 points and eight assists. EnBW Ludwigsburg was led by Alex Harris with 18 points and ex Telekom Baskets Bonn center John Bowler was tough with 13 points and nine rebounds. In the last game of the season in Ludwigsburg, the Skyliners whipped EnBW Ludwigsburg 94-79 as ex NBA player Roger Powell had his best game as a Skyliner pouring in 28 points and Dashaun Wood added a double double with 19 points and 10 assists. Last season, the teams split the season series. The Fraport Skyliners played a horrible game in Ludwigsburg where nothing went their way losing 82-57, but won at home 76-72 as Jermario Davidson led the team with 21 points and Michael Thompson chipped in with 17 points. In the first game this season, the Fraport Skyliners stunk up the building losing 74-56. They only managed 23 points in the first half. Despite scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter, it was too late. Frankfurt was led by Quantez Robertson with 16 points and Johnathan Jones added 11 points. The season now comes down to one game. Do or die in the Fraport arena on Saturday. Frankfurt has the destiny in their hands and just need to win to stay in the Beko BBL. It could be the last game of Quantez Robertson and the last thing that he wants to do is go out losing his last game and not being able to help the team stay in the league. “We will have to fight for 40 minutes. It will be a hard fought game where we have to execute on defense first and limit them too one shot. The biggets game of my career was game five in Bamberg, but this game is up there with that”, expressed Quantez Robertson. Moments after the loss to TBB Trier, Ryan Brooks was disappointed by the loss, but his confidence was already set for the do or die game. “We have to go out and fight and play as hard as we can. We know what we can do right and wrong, but I am sure the results will be in our hands”, warned Ryan Brooks.
The team is led by John Turek who is a 29 year old power forward/center from Council Bluffs, Iowa. He is a very effective front court player, who improved his performing year after year and seems now ready for the higher level. Bangs well inside, can score from outside and defends hard. Hesn’ t so athletic, but knows how to do and where to stay in almost any moment of the game. Great attitude and team mentality. He played at Nebraska(NCAA) from 2001-2005. In his first four seasons, he played twice in Holland and in Belgium and Poland. In 2009-2010, he played for Phoenix Hagen (Germany-1.Bundesliga, starting five): 28 games: 12.4ppg, Reb-5(6.6rpg), 1.0apg, Blocks-1(1.4bpg), FGP: 52.8%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 61.8%. Last season, he played for Trefl Sopot (Poland) winning the cup and playing 48 games: 14.1ppg, 7.4rpg, FGP: 58.0%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 62.5%. The last new addition that will be making his Beko BBL debut will be Darryl Jackson. Jackson is a 26 year old 189 cm guard from Oregon that also has the Malta citzenship. He played at Warner Pacific(NAIA) before turning professional in 2008. In his first three seasons, he made a name for himself in Romania. He got experience playing eight Eurochallenge games. Last season, he played for InterCollege Etha Engomis (Cyprus-Division A): Greek League: 13 games: 10.0ppg; EuroCup Qualifications: 2 games: 6.0ppg, 1.5apg; EuroChallenge: 5 games: 11.4ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.2spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 76.5%, in May’12 joined Sokhumi Tbilisi (Georgia-Superleague, starting five): 5 games: 13.2ppg, 2.6rpg, 3.4apg, FGP: 59.3%, 3PT: 34.8%, FT: 83.3%. He won the super cup and league title in Cyprus last season.
Wayne Bernard who was the 2009 PRO A player of the year is a 31 year old 190cm combo guard from Poway, California who is playing his first season for the Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg. He has displayed a knack for knocking down clutch baskets in key situations and is a player that performs at his best in pressure situations. He has superb range on his jumper, and can also drive to the hoop with slashing moves. He is also a capable ball handler. He played at Davidson(NCAA) from 2000-2003. Bernard has very much experience having played in countries like Israel, Greece, France, Sweden and Finland It doesn´´t matter where Bernard has played, he has always been a scorer. in the 2008-2009 season where MBC moved up to the BEKO BBL, he played 30 games: 14.4ppg, 2.3rpg, 2.6apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 56.9%, 3PT: 43.2%, FT: 80.4%. In 2009-2010 for MBC, he played 34 games: 8.6ppg, 1.9rpg, 1.7apg, Steals-5(1.5spg), FGP: 41.6%, 3PT: 33.6%, FT: 80.8%. In 2010-2011 for MBC, he played 34 games: 11.1ppg, 3.1rpg, 1.8apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 46.9%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 85.7%. Last season for the LTi Giessen 46ers, he played 34 games: 9.5ppg, 2.6rpg, 1.9apg, Steals-5(1.4spg), FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 35.0%, FT: 85.2%. The team also added Ivan Elliot who is a 25 year old 203cm power forward/center from San Francisco, California that played at UCSB. He is a very versatile on the offensive end, able to shoot the 3-pointer with confidence, slash to the basket, and play underneath the basket with his physical strength and overall skills, is the ultimate team player who always gives everything he has in every practice and game, highly motivated and willing to do the extra work to become the best player. He has experience having played for SK Valmiera (Latvia) as a rookie and two years ago for MBC. In 2010-2011 for the s. Oliver Baskets Wurzburg, he played 30 games: 10.6ppg, 6.0rpg, FGP: 59.3%, 3PT: 41.0%, FT: 77.8%. Last season for the s Oliver Baskets Wuerzburg (Germany-1.Bundesliga) he played 34 games: 8.6ppg, 4.7rpg, FGP: 43.1%, 3PT: 32.5%, FT: 74.0%
The team also brought in Americans Lucca Staiger and Max Weber. Staiger is a 24 year old 195cm shooting guard that was born in Ulm. He started his basketball career with TSG Ehingen in 2003. He once scored 106 points in a youth game at age 16. He played at Iowa State from 2007 until January 2010 where he moved to Alba Berlin. At Iowa State, he played a total of 49 NCAA games. In his senior year, he played 17 games: 9.4ppg, 1.8rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 42.5%, 3PT: 42.5%, FT: 75.0%,. He played for Alba Berlin from 2010-2012, but never really got a chance to get sufficient minutes. He played a total of 69 NCAA games. Last season for Alba Berlin, he played German League: 21 games: 2.2ppg; EuroCup: 8 games: 0.9ppg; Euroleague Qualifying Round: 2 games: 7.5ppg, also played at ALBA Berlin II (ProB): 8 games: 14.5ppg, 5.4rpg, 5.5apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 40.0%, 3PT: 27.9%, FT: 83.3%. Staiger played at the World Championships in Turkey -10: 4 games: 7.3ppg, 1.0rpg, FGP: 66.7%, 3PT: 37.5% and European Championships in Lithuania -11: 6 games: 2.7ppg, 1.2apg. This past summer, Staiger played eight games at the 2012 European qualification games averaging 9,9ppg, 1,9rpg and 1,4apg.
Max Weber also has joined the team. Weber is a Weber who is a 201cm small forward and be only 27, but he has much experience having played in Peru and winning a Beko BBL title with Bamberg in 2005 at the age of 20. He started his basketball career with BBC Bayreuth (2.Bundesliga) in 2003 and then played for GHP Bamberg and TSV Troester II Breitengussbach from 2004-2oo6. He then played for TV Langen (2.Bundesliga) and the Deutsche Bank Skyliners from 2006-2009. He played a total of 19beko BBL games and seven Eurochallenge games. In 2009-2010, he played for the LTi Giessen 46ers playing 28 games: 2.6ppg, 1.4rpg. In 2010-2011, he played for the Saar-Pfalz Braves (ProA, starting five): 27 games: 11.5ppg, 3.3rpg, 2.2apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 46.6%, 3PT: 27.0%, FT: 60.0%. He was a member of the German U-16, U-18, and U-20 national teams and played at World University Championships in Bangkoki n 2007. Last season for BG Goettingen, he played EuroChallenge: 6 games: 4.5ppg, 2.7rpg, 1.2apg; German League: 33 games: 6.4ppg, 2.3rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 48.4%, 3PT: 27.1%, FT: 59.6%. The club also has The club also has big german/Albanian talent Besnik Bekteshi who is a 19 year old 188cm guard. In 2009-2010, he played for BSG Ludwigsburg (Germany-Regionalliga): 19 games: 12.6ppg, played also for BBA Ludwigsburg (NBBL): 11 games: 16.0ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.4apg, 3.7spg. He made an early name for himself in the summer of 2010 at the European Championships U17 in Hamburg (Germany) -10: 8 games: 15.5ppg, 4.8rpg, 2.9apg, Steals-4(2.3spg), FGP: 47.1%, 3PT: 40.7%, FT-3(87.0%). He won a bronze at the 2010 Albert Schweitezr tournament in Mannheim. He played at the European Championships U18 in Wroclaw (Poland) -11: 8 games: 9.1ppg, 1.8rpg, 1.4apg, Steals-5(2.4spg), FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 41.7%, FT-3(87.5%). Last season he played for EnBW Ludwigsburg (1.Bundesliga): 2 games: 1.5ppg; had also a license to play for VfL Kirchheim Knights (Germany-ProA): 33 games: 4.9ppg, 1.9rpg. The team also kept Tim Koch who is a 23 year old 196cm forward that has been in the Ludwigsburg system since 2006. He has only been able to play a total of 32 Beko BBL games as he has moved between BSG Ludwigsburg(Regionaliga) and Kirchheim Knights(PRO A). The team also has young German talent Johnathan Maier who is a 19 year old 211cm center. Last season he played for EnBW Ludwigsburg (1.Bundesliga): 2 games: 1.0ppg, 1.0rpg; had also a license to play for VfL Kirchheim Knights (ProA): 15 games: 2.3ppg, 1.3rpg.