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Paul Dick(EVL Limburg) I Would Like To Play At A Higher Level And Compete For Minutes In Each Practice

March 29, 2015

Paul Dick is a 23 year old 193cm guard from Ireland that recently completed his second professional season and first in Germany with EVL Limburg. As a rookie he played for Belfast Star (Premier League) playing 16 games: 17.1ppg, 2.7rpg, 3.2apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 35.6%, FT: 72.3%. He started his basketball career fort he Queens Belfast junior team. He then played 2 seasons for Franklin Pierce (NCAA2). He spoke to German Hoops after the 86-81 win against Kaiserslautern.

Paul thanks for talking to German Hoops. A big 86-81 win tonight against Kaiserslautern. What were the main reasons for the win?

The key today for the win was sharing the ball. In the last game we had too much fun and didn´t concentrate the way that we should of. It was a shame that not everyone played tonight, but a win is a win and we secured fifth place in the standings.

Limburg started the season with a 5-6 record and then at the start of December played their best basketball of the season winning seven of eight games. What was the turning point in the play of the team that got the team on this winning streak?

When you get six new guys on a roster of nine then it takes a while to find a flow and start getting wins. It was a learning curve that we went through that took time.

Then came a four game losing streak near the end which kind of put a bad cloud on a seemingly strong second half of the season. Did fatigue set in at the end?

That is really hard to answer. We had some very tough close loses. We beat some of the better teams and lost to some of the worse teams. We had problems achieving consistency this season.

EVL Limburg ended the season in fifth place. How would you summarize the season. Was the team able to fulfill expectations and reach their goals?

I think that we didn´t know our goal at the start of the season. It took a while but we found ourselves and came together. When we started the season at 3-3 and all our losses were by one point, we started to realize that we could be a good team. We didn´t live up to our potential, but did the best that we could. We did enough this season, but came up short.

The club only let up under 70 points five times this season. Why was the team never able to find that sound consistency on the defensive end?

We played a fast pace game with a short rotation cost us on the defensive end

How much fun was it fighting for the team scoring title with BJ Miller? How did the games of you too develop throughout the season?

We were very competitive at the beginning of the season in practice. We started to hang out more and then we started to play team basketball. We turned out to be very good friends.

How happy were you with your own personal season? What were the highs and lows for you as a team and in your individual play?

The team low was our loss against Heidelberg. Our team high was our win tonight against Kaiserslautern as it was the best finish ever for the club in the Regionaliga. My high was the 16 assists against Schwenningen and team low was my 10 points and five assists against Elchingen where My mom and sister came to watch and at halftime I had 10 points and five assists and at the end of the game my stats were still 10 and 5.

You scored in double figures in every game and had 30 or more three times. You had 16 points and 16 assists against Schwenningen. How much did the 16 assists mean to you?

That game meant a lot to me because I am seen to score in this league. However I take enjoyment in creating for others. An assist is an important as a basket for me.

Who was the teams unsung hero this season and what young gun developed the best?

The unsung hero award for me was a toss-up between Mantas Bernativicious and Kwame Duku. The numbers that they produced didn´t reflect their role. I think that the intangibles that they bring to the floor would let them both play at a higher level. I like how both are unselfish and read the game. The best kid to develop was German Norman Klima. He progressed a lot and will play more of a role next season.

How often did you feel the 114 kilo´s of Kwame Duku in practice. What did you like most about his game?

I learned early. One of Kaiserslautern´s players took a bang tonight. Bumping into him happened every practice. I had to prefect the floater and wide euro step around him early. We called him the beast. He is the only guy I knew that said “Its time to feed the beast”. Give me the ball and get out of the way.

Who was the toughest player that you dueled against on the court this season?

The toughest player that I played against Was Franjo Bubalo of Karlsruhe. I saw a lot of similarities that I have. I liked his versatility in his game.

Where will your journey go now? Is reaching the next level achievable?

I am trying to move up. I would like to play at a higher level and compete for minutes in each practice. It doesn´t matter where I will play. I really liked Germany, but I will play anywhere.

What is your nicest story that you can share about the Stahllbom family?

The family all laugh at Danny´s crap jokes. We know they are bad, but we still laughed.

What are your 2015 NCAA Final 4 picks?

Duke, Wisconsin, Kentucky and Louisville. I think Wisconsin will win it all.

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?

 

Kill the Irshman.

Thanks Paul for the chat.

Jacob Burtschi Finds A Second Lake Burtschi Pacing The Fraport Skyliners With 10 Three Pointers Past Bremerhaven 88-79

March 28, 2015

It is hard to believe how fast time flies and it has been almost two years since the last game that Muli Katzurin coached with the Fraport Skyliners and after two seasons with little success, he saved his best for last helping save the 2004 BBL champion from having to move down a level with a 77-72 do or die win against Ludwigsburg where that seasons most lethal weapon Zach Peacock scored 20 points. In his first season the club just missed making the playoffs with a last game loss in Bonn as his defensive approach to the game and style helped the team gain some huge home wins against FC Bayern Munich and Bamberg back to back holding them combined to an average of 58 points. His second season was a season to forget as the club got used to losing and almost had to settle to beg the league for a wildcard had they lost against Ludwigsburg. The whole two year tenure seemed like a misunderstanding as he had been traded during the summer of 2011 with then Skyliner head coach Gordon Herbert to Alba Berlin. Katzurin definitely had an amazing resume having coached the national team of Israel, won a polish title and led top Czech team CEZ Basketball Nymburk to 8 titles in four years with the league and cup wins. He may of already been noticed by manager Gunnar Wobke in the summer of 2008 where he and CEZ Basketball Nymburk played an exhibition game against Frankfurt. He was the total opposite of another Israel head coach Pini Gershon who could be called the Bobby Knight of Europe who even gets carried away in pre season as he threatened to stop an exhibition game between Frankfurt and top Euroleague club Olympiacos Pireus in 2006 in the training facility in Frankfurt. Off the court and outside the locker room Katurin is a quiet gentleman who reminds one of Star Wars character Obi Wan Kenobi sneaking around arena´s the same way the Star Wars figure was looking to turn off the force field of the Death Star. After leaving Frankfurt he took a year off and this season coached Bnei Hertzeliyya (Winner League) before moving to the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven (Germany-BBL) in February coming in as a sort of fireman to help save a sinking ship. Since his arrival the club has played a lot better and have a 3-4 record. Katzurin returned back to Frankfurt since almost two years ready to battle his old team and ex players like Quantaz Robertson, Jacob Burtschi and the German big three of Barthel, Voigtmann and Klein, but had a long 6 hour bus ride to Bremerhaven most likely having many Jacob Burtschi three pointers in his head trying to figure out why his team couldn´t make better adjustments as the Fraport Skyliners rolled by Bremerhaven 88-79 courtesy of 10 Burtschi three pointers. Burtschi had taken extra shooting with Gordon Herbert son Daniel on Wednesday and was two short of the BBL record of Huel Beechum which he set back in 1998. Burtschi didn´t need an ocean, but had a second Lake Burtschi on the court in Frankfurt which is also present in his home town Chickasha was making shots at ease as if he was shooting into a lake at close range, was happy to play against his old coach Muli Katzurin again and grind out the win at the end. “I have never hit this many three pointers. It must be close to my birthday, but that is still a few months away. I had a regular meal before and nothing special. The basket got bigger and bigger the more I hit. It was like throwing into Lake Burtschi back home. Lake Burtschi is a man made Lake where you can fish. My great uncle helped make it, but passed away so they named it after him. It was nice seeing Muli again. He really has made the team better since his arrival. I know that he wasn´t happy with this result. He likes grind out games, but it was high scoring something he doesn´t like. It was an up and down game where we controlled the first half and they made a run at the end of the third and start of the fourth. We took care of business in the last three minutes”, stressed Oklahoma native Jacob Burtschi. Burtschi stole the show from Bremerhaven forward Moses Ehambe who shot over 40% from outside wherever he played from 2005-2012 and many have called him the best shooter in the world finished with 17 points and tipped his hat from one shooter to the next. “What the heck did Burtschi do tonight? When it rains it pours. I know what it feels like when you throw a rock into an ocean and that was the kind of night he had. We could of keyed in more on him”, stressed ex ORU(NCAA) forward Moses Ehambe. TV Langen forward Martinis Woody had a fist row seast and saw the damage Burtschi did wasn´t surprised. “He hit nothing the last game and was due for a big game. The hole was like an ocean for him. When you start to feel it, it is hard to stop you. The way he felt and was throwing he had that unstoppable feeling that everything would go in”, added South Carolina native Martinis Woody. “Burtschi had good looks early and then had the flood gates on. He made open shots and later contested shots and shots beyond NBA range and he just let us pay”, expressed ex Giessen 46er guard Lorenzo Williams.

After having a dismal showing on Tuesday where under 3000 patrons saw a spectacular 2 overtime win, fans sold out the Fraport Arena as 5,000 people were on hand opting to skip Let´s Dance on TV and spend a Friday night at the basketball game. The Fraport Skyliners had Danilo Barthel back in action after missing two months. Many current Giessen 46ers also were on hand to watch Myles Hesson who had played with Giessen last season with guys like TJ Dileo, Cameroun Wells, Eric Palm, Jonathan Malou or Achmadschah Zazai.The Eisbaeren got out on a hot start as they led 5-0 as Lorenzo Williams dropped a three pointer as ex Dayton(NCAA) center Devin Searcy ended the pick and roll with Williams with a lay in. However Jacob Burtschi didn´t waste any time as he found his range and Lake Burtschi early nailing consecutive three pointers as Frankfurt took the 7-5 advantage. The first quarter would have seven lead changes and Burtschi and the other “every basket is like an ocean” Moses Ehambe exchanged buckets as Burtschi nailed consecutive three pointers three and four and Ehambe hit a jumper and trey, but Frankfurt still led 13-12. Bremerhaven regained the lead 14-13 with a mini 4-0 run as Searcy ended the fast break with a dunk after getting fed by Myles Hesson and ex Boston College forward Jake O´Brien scored inside. The leads kept changing as quickly as Quantez Robertson can go coast to coast as Johannes Voigtmann scored inside and Ehambe remained hot making a jumper for the Bremerhaven 16-15 lead as his pregame hot salt bath did wonders. However just when you thought nobody could top the 12 first quarter points of Burtschi, it was Brooklyn native Sean Armand that came out of nowhere making a close game into a bigger lead for Frankfurt scoring 8 consecutive points with two three pointers. Hesson closed out the first quarter with a free throw, but Frankfurt led 23-17. “The scoring of Frankfurt didn´t surprise me as they came out firing after their 2 overtime loss. We all know that Burtschi can shoot. He got early looks and got hot”, stressed Rialto, California native Andrew Bock. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 62% from the field and 60% from outside while the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven were shooting 58% from the field and 67% from outside. Frankfurt had the 6-4 rebound edge and both teams had three turnovers a piece.

There was a span in the second quarter where the Fraport Skyliners led by 11 points, but could never totally shake off Bremerhaven as they fought back, and trailed 46-39 at halftime. Bremerhaven started the second quarter with a quick 6-2 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 25-23 as O´Brien scored inside, ex NBA player Deandre Liggins snuck by the Frankfurt transition defense going coast to coast for a lay in and 221cm giant Nick Schneiders hit a jumper. Mike Morrison made a massive two handed dunk off an Armand feed. The Bremerhaven run didn´t seem to annoy the Frankfurt rhythm as they heightened their game with a 11-2 run to extend their lead to 36-25. Frankfurt continued to sharpen their three point percentage as Konstantin Klein, Justin Cobbs and Sean Armand drilled fr0m outside and Voigtmann scored off a broken play inside. Frankfurt was doing a good job clogging the lane and Bremerhaven had little movement on offense which resulted in low percentage shots. Bremerhaven didn´t allow Frankfurt to totally break away, but continued to chip away at the Frankfurt lead and went on a 12-5 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 41-37. Bremerhaven had no clue how to stop Burtschi as he continued to plug away from outside, but it was ex Ulm forward Hesson that was a big factor in this run and comeback. Hesson hit a three pointer and captivating circus shot as he grabbed a lob pass from Liggins and somehow finished between three Skyliners in the lane. Searcy contributed to the run with a lay in. Frankfurt closed out the second quarter with a 5-2 run as it was Burtschi again hitting another timely three pointer and then scoring inside tipping in his own miss on the second chance. “Bremerhaven picked it up in the middle part of the quarter while Burtschi buried a three at the end. Bremerhaven did a good job cutting inside and getting some and ones. Bremerhaven tried to key in on Armand and Burtschi, but they kept hitting shots”, added ex Pacific(NCAA) point guard Andrew Bock. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 53% from the field and 58% from the three point line while Bremerhaven was shooting 56% from the field and 43% from the three point line. Frankfurt had the 14-12 rebound edge and five turnovers while Bremerhaven had six turnovers.

In the third quarter the Fraport Skyliners led by as much as 18 points, but once again were unable to close out the quarter strong letting Bremerhaven back into the game and only trailed by 11 points after 30 minutes. In the first few minutes, both teams traded buckets as Voigtmann scored twice inside and Searcy made free throws and Hesson made a runner as Frankfurt led 50-43. Frankfurt then continued the three point party going on a 9-3 run to extend their lead to 62-48 as Burtschi connected on two three pointers and Canadian national player Aaron Doornekamp dropped a three pointer. After a Hesson runner in traffic, it was Burtschi again connecting on a three pointer as Bremerhaven trailed 68-50. Bremerhaven closed out the third quarter strong going on a 8-2 run to trail Frankfurt only 70-59. A positive aspect on this night was that Breemrhaven didn´t have many lengthy lulls in their offense. In the run, it was Ehambe and Hesson that supplied the fire power. “We did get back in the game at the end, but weren´t tough on defense and Burtschi kept hurting us”, stressed Bremerhaven forward Myles Hesson. “We came out with a lot of energy and Burtschi continued to be hot”, added Justin Cobbs. “We had many mental errors. We knew that they were shooting hot, but didn´t key in on them. They made us pay with their shooting”, added ex Rice(NCAA) guard Lorenzo Williams. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 51% from the field and 53% from the parking lot while Bremerhaven was shooting 57% from the field and 55% from the parking lot. Frankfurt had the 21-18 rebound edge. Frankfurt had nine turnovers and Bremerhaven had 11 turnovers.

In the fourth quarter, the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven made a huge run to regain the lead, but then it was Justin Cobbs again who took command leading the Fraport Skyliners to another crunch time victory. The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven continued their run which they had started at the end of the third quarter going on a 16-4 run to recapture the lead 75-74 as the Fraport arena got very quiet. Bremerhaven got production from many different heads, but most production came from Moses Ehambe who was in the shadow of the amazing Burtschi show, but amassed seven points in the run drilling a three pointer, hitting a catch and pop shot and sneaking inside and finishing off the quick Williams back door pass. Hesson got the few Bremerhaven fans present going when he rammed home a tip in dunk, Liggins hit a three pointer and giant Schneiders scored inside. “We started to play better defense and got out on their shooters better. Burtschi hurt us early, but we slowed him down during this run”, stressed Lorenzo Williams. “We got too comfortable something we do a lot this season. We have to learn to close out games and step on their necks”, commented ex California(NCAA) point guard Justin Cobbs. “In this run we were being aggressive at both ends of the court something we should have been the whole game”, warned Myles Hesson. With Bremerhaven up 75-74 the only thing missing was that red blinking bat phone for Justin Cobbs to answer and then knowing its time to take care of business. Cobbs didn´t need a phone, but knew it was crunch time, his time to go out and take care of business and win the game. He led Frankfurt on a 14-2 run to regain the lead 88-77 where Bremerhaven were unable to recover from. In the run it was Cobbs who finished himself in the lane and twice played playmaker finding Robertson for the open three pointer and then waited a split second for the cutting Voigtmann to be in perfect position and found him for the easy bucket via the bounce pass. Burtschi added free throws as well. With Cobbs having supplied the spark, it was Morrison who made the arena explode with a massive two handed dunk and Super Tez Roberston put an exclamation point on the win with a step back jumper as Frankfurt led 87-77 with 20 seconds to play sealing the win for Frankfurt. “I just try to do everything for the team if its scoring, rebounding or finding my teammates. We like to move the ball and get the best shot. Burtschi was hot tonight and I got Joe Voigtmann the ball at the end”, stressed Justin Cobbs. “We knew that Cobbs is good. He sees the floor well and can score. We fell asleep on some plays and were unable to execute in key situations”, said Lorenzo Williams. “Cobbs is a stud and we talk about this every week. He was sick against Artland, but tonight he did a great job getting to the cup again. He played in the Pac 12 and just has a high basketball IQ and that is why he can make those passes at the end”, added Jacob Burtschi. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Jacob Burtschi with 36 points. Sean Armand added 11 points and Johannes Voigtmann contributed 10 points. The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven were led by Myles Hesson with 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Moses Ehambe added 17 points. Devin Searcy chipped in with 14 points and nine rebounds and Lorenzo Williams had 10 points and nine assists. The Fraport Skyliners shot 48% from the field and 47% from outside while the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven shot 59% from the field and 62% from outside. Both teams had 27 rebounds a piece. Frankfurt had 12 turnovers and Bremerhaven had 16 turnovers.

Moses Ehambe(Eisbaeren Bremerhaven) Deandre Liggins Has Made Me A Better Player On Defense And Put The NBA And Me In Perspective

March 27, 2015

Moses Ehambe is a 28 year old 198cm swing man from Arlington, Texas that now resides in Minnesota and is playing his seventh professional season and first in Germany with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven. He started his basketball career in 2004 with ORU(NCAA) and as a senior played 11.7ppg, 2.3rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 40.5%, 3Pts: 40.6%, FT: 86.0%. In 2008 he started his professional basketball career with the Tulsa 66ers (D-League) where he played until 2010. In 2010-2011 he played for Aquas De Sousas Club Ourense Balonceto (Spain-LEB Gold): 16 games: 9.6ppg, 2.4rpg, FGP: 38.2%, 3PT: 41.0%, FT: 91.3%; left in Dec.’10, in Feb.’11 moved to Austin Toros (D-League, starting five): 9 games: 10.8ppg, 2.1rpg, FGP: 23.3%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 84.6%; in Mar.’11 signed at Iowa Energy (D-League, starting five): 17 games: 14.5ppg, 3.1rpg, FGP: 47.9%, 3PT: 46.3%, FT: 91.7%. IN the 2011-2012 season he had breathed NBA air with the New Orleans Hornets (NBA), then moved to Iowa Energy (D-League, starting five): 48 games: 12.9ppg, 2.7rpg, FGP: 43.9%, 3PT: 42.7%, FT: 84.1%. In the 2012-2013 season he played for FIATC Joventut Badalona (Spain-Liga Endesa, starting five): 34 games: 7.4ppg, 1.4rpg, FGP: 36.0%, 3PT: 35.0%, FT: 92.6%. Last season he played for the Iowa Energy (D-League) 52 games: 14.9ppg, 3.8rpg, 2FGP: 50.0%, 3FGP: 41.8%, FT: 82.6%. Currently for Bremerhaven he is averaging 13,7ppg, 3,8rpg and 3,2apg while shooting 45% from outside. He spoke to German Hoops before the game against the Fraport Skyliners in Frankfurt.

Moses thanks for talking to German Hoops. You are playing your first season in Germany with Bremerhaven. What kind of experience has it been for you?

It has been an amazing experience for me and my family. I didn´t expect the BBL to be so professional and competitive. I like how there are so many teams with different styles of play. It is never easy getting the right guys on a team, but my Bremerhaven teammates have been phenomenal which makes the experience as a player even better. My family loves Bremerhaven and my kids are learning German.

Coming from Arlington, Texas, how refreshing is it to be living by a body of water. Do you often visit the water?

We live in Minnesota which is the State of 10,000 lakes. In the summer we like to visit the lakes. We haven´t been able to live by a body of water since my time in Spain with Joventud. Bremerhaven has a different climate and atmosphere, but it has been great.

In Europe you only have played in another country with Spain and five years in the D-league. Was that NBA dream always in the back of your mind and is that why you continued to go back each season?

My goal and passion is to get to the NBA. I´ll continue to dream and work of reaching the NBA. The D-league is one route of reaching the NBA and at times faster than going the European route. My family and I decided that going the European route would be good. I feel that I have grown as a player and became more complete and just elevated my game on offense and defense.

It hasn´t been an easy season for the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven. The team was near the bottom of the standings for much of the season. It is hard to believe that such a strong roster of players would have so little success. Can you pinpoint what the problems were?

To this day I don´t really know where to pinpoint the problems. We had high hopes coming into the season, but quickly had a tough patch where we lost many close games. We didn´t lose that many games with high margins. I feel as of late that we have found our niche and have won two games in a row the first time this season. It has been cool and we want to build off it. It is a shame what has happened in Trier with guys not getting paid. I feel for them as they have families. The Trier thing got us bumped up and we want to continue fight and get as high as we can.

Was that hard authority figure missing in Calvin Oldham in tough situations during the season?

I don´t think his authority was missing during the season. Coach Cal is a great coach. He brought me here and his confidence that he had in me has elevated my game this season. He has flaws just like us players. I have a lot to be thankful for his time coaching me.

With Muli Katzurin the team has a very strict and hardnosed defensive minded head coach. How has the team gotten better his guidance?

Coach Katzurin has made us better. He is a leader and is a preacher on defense. He has done a great job and made it fun to go out and defend hard and want to keep teams from scoring much.

You have been one of the few consistent players on the team. How happy have you been with your play and what part of your game really improved this season?

I think that I have improved in many areas like rebounding, defense and the one dribble pull up. Especially being a good defender is important to me as if you don´t defend well than you shouldn´t be on the floor. I am trying to be the best defender that I can be and with having success it has given me confidence to do well in other areas of my game. I did have some bad games this season, but every game played is in the past. I only focus on the next game and try to get better.

You have an outstanding long-range shooter; considered by some as one of the best shooters in the world. His quick release and footwork are at a very high level. At 6’6″ 215 pounds he possesses great size, strength, and athleticism. He is very aggressive 1on1 and will help any team with his passion. Has extensive knowledge for the game and shows potential of being a great defender through his quickness, speed, and tired-less work ethic. However if you had to choose a part of your game a hidden talent that doesn´t always get recognized on the court what would you choose?

A hidden strength is my defense. I have been in a box my whole career being known as being primarily a shooter. It wasn´t until I got to Bremerhaven where my defense got noticed by coach Calvin Oldham. Coach Cal put so much confidence in my defense and helped me believe that I can be a good defender. He kept pushing me telling me I am quick and can defend. I am very thankful that coach Cal saw this quality and motivated me to work even harder at this aspect of my game.

How has English player Myles Hesson developed throughout the season? He seems to have a new role under Katzurin?

Hesson has been great for us. He is so skilled and talented. He produces in all stats and helps us in so many ways. He is our best player at drawing fouls. He is a great guy and so humble.

After a long draining D-league season with Iowa, you don´t seem to get enough of basketball even as you get older. You recently played with Guaiqueries de Margarita (Venezuela-LPB). Is playing during the summer a sort of change of pace from the at times boring summer work outs that a player tends to have?

We decided last summer to do something different and went to Venezuela. One spends so much time in the gym in the summer that after a while one can only take so much. Going to Venezuela was a nice change. We met nice people and I played well. It was a great experience and we might do it again this summer.

In your eurobasket.com profile it says that you are one of the best shooters in the world. I don´t know who wrote this, but is this something that you have heard before?

I have heard that before, but it isn´t about what you hear, but what you believe. It means a lot to me when I hear something like that. It makes me feel good knowing people appreciate what I do after spending countless hours in the gym perfecting my craft.

From 2005-2012, you shot 40% or better wherever you played as a season total from outside. That is mind boggling. Is your consistent season shooting more an attribute to relentless practice or were you also born with the shooting touch and mentality?

It comes from the grace of God and I am blessed to have the skill to shoot. My whole family could shoot. Even my little son can shoot. His form and follow through is crazy.

You have played at NBA Summer Leagues, had NBA work outs and played extensive D-League. NBA heads have seen you play so much. Why do you think that you haven´t been called up to an NBA team yet?

When I was cut from the New Orleans Hornets training camp, head coach Monty Williams told me that I had a gift shooting and that many can´t do it. He told me that now I needed to show the world that I can play basketball. I feel that this season I have shown that I can do more besides just shooting with rebounding, passing it in the post or penetrating and kicking. I am a complete player now instead of a stand still shooter. Who knows what will happen now. Maybe the NBA will take notice?

When you play against a guy like ex NBA player Deandre Liggins who is a defensive specialist in practice, do you sometimes think about how realistic the NBA could be for you if you just had that luck and chance to prove yourself?

Yes I think of that a lot. Getting to the NBA has to do with having an opportunity and showing what you can do on the court. It depends on who you know and what spot is open. I believe that I will get to the NBA and it just depends on the timing. It is great that Liggins is on the team. The funny thing is that we were both in the D-league when he won best defensive player there. When I heard he won that I couldn´t believe it, because on the scouting report it said he was a scorer. However now that he is on the team, I have seen exactly what he brings to the table on defense. I know now why he won best defensive player in the D-league that season. I am always asking him questions why he did something on the court or how to do it better on defense. He has made me a better player on defense and put the NBA and me in perspective. Before coming to Germany we did research and one of the reasons why I came was because we knew that reaching the NBA is possible playing in the BBL. Guys like Brian Roberts and Chris Copeland played here and made it to the NBA and have stuck. Knowing this makes me keep working and hoping that it can happen.

Two seasons ago you played together with ex Beko BBL player Tony Gaffney at FIATC Joventut Badalona (Spain-Liga Endesa). Gaffney is a great story teller. What was your fondest memory with him on and off the court?

Gaffney was a great guy. We spent much time together during the season in Spain and still talk to this day. He had many NBA stories from his Celtic and Laker days. I remember him telling me that when he was on the bus that he would have to get the Mcdonalds orders of all his teammates and then go and get it. He had to memorize every order and if it wasn´t right then something would happen to him. Another time he told Rajon Rondo that he liked his Louis Vuitton bag and Rondo said “you like this bag rook” and the next day that exact same bag was waiting before his hotel door. He also said that each player would give their 200-300 daily meal money to him as a kind of thanks just for him always being a good sport and doing so many chores for the players. Another time he said he was In Las Vegas and Kobe Bryant asked him if he wanted to join in and put in some money, but he declined. Bryant gave him something like 25,000$ to blow, but Tony didn´t and rather kept it for himself.

In the 10-11 season you helped the Iowa Energy win the D-League title. How much worth and difficult is it winning a D- League title considering the vast fluctuation of players during a season. What made this team so special?

A big reason for the success had to do with our then head coach Nick Nurse who is coaching the Toronto Raptors. He never lost confidence in his team despite players coming and going and injuries. The team remained the same no matter what was happening. We knew that we could do what we wanted because he had so much confidence in us. We arrived in the playoffs as a seventh seed and knew we could win and did.

At ORU, you had Scot Sutton as head coach from 2004-2008 who is still active there. How did he prepare you best for a long professional basketball career. What words of wisdom form him has helped you most have a solid and consistent career after ORU?

 

The most important thing that coach Sutton taught me was to be tough. He always stayed on my butt and helped me with the little things. He was a great molder of man. ORU changed my life athletically and spiritually. Having that relationship with Christ mixed in with a great coaching staff and teammates made my experience there so much greater. Sutton was a phenomenal guy and coach. We reached the NCAA tournament three years in a row under him. It was an overall great experience for me.

Who was the toughest player that you had to play against in the NCAA that is in the NBA now?

 

George Hill. He was a hard worker always getting in the passing lanes and just being pesky the whole time. He always got on your nerves.

What were the most three pointers that you hit in a row without missing?

This season after practice I shoot 10 shots from 10 different spots and I can´t move to the next spot until I hit all 10 shots. My best this season has been going four spots and four shots which makes 44 in a row.

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?

The last movie I saw was Unbreakable that was produced by Angelina Jolie. It was a great movie.

Thanks Moses for the chat.

Myles Hesson(Eisbaeren Bremerhaven) My Aim Is To Get Better Each Year Until I Go As Far As I Can In This Sport

March 27, 2015

Myles Hesson is a 24 year old 195 cm forward from Birmingham, England and was one of the 12 best players in Great Britain in 2013 and was selected for the 2013 national team playing in Slovenia at the Eurochampionships. He currently is playing in the Beko BBL for the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven. Last season he played for the Giessen 46ers (ProA) playing 33 games: 16.1ppg, 6.8rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 50.4%, 3PT: 30.1%, FT: 78.8%. Two seasons ago 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%. In 2011-2012 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%. He spoke to German Hoop before the game against the Fraport Skyliners in Frankfurt.

Thanks Myles for talking to German Hoops. You will be making your debut in Frankfurt. How excited are you to be playing in Frankfurt this week?

I am really excited to play there, and hopefully keep our win streak going.

Did you ever visit the arena the season you played in Giessen on off days? How did you like the atmosphere?

Yeah I managed to get down to one game last season, the atmosphere was great.

Bremerhaven have undergone some changes in the last month with a new head coach Muli Katzurin, ex NBA player Deandre Liggins and guard Jerry Smith. How is the club better now?

Yeah we have had a lot of changes since the beginning of the season. We have been playing better on both ends of the court and with a different style of play which suits us more.

What specifically has improved on the defensive end now with Muli Katzurin barking the calls and Deandre Liggins being in the mesh?

Coach Katzurin emphasises every day the importance of good team defense, and I think everyone has brought into his way of playing. Deandre brings great energy and enthusiasm on the defensive end which really helps us.

There are still some games left, but Bremerhaven has won three games more than TBB Trier and Crailsheim that will most likely move down. Is the pressure of staying in the league now a bit less than months ago?

Yes there is less of a pressure of moving down but our goals of winning as many games as we can are still the same so we haven’t taken our foot off the gas.

You are having a great season, but how tough has it been for you in Bremerhaven losing so much after playing in ULM and Giessen were winning was dominant the last two seasons. How were you able to cope with the ups and downs this season? You are fourth in scoring and second in rebounding on the team. One could say that you have developed into a solid BBL player in Germany. How is Hesson the BBL player better now than last season in the Pro A?

My aim is to get better each year until I go as far as I can in this sport. I have had to adjust to the speed and physicality of this league and learn different ways of finishing in the lane. I have also improved my shot both mid range and from 3 point range.

What have you been able to learn in the short from ex NBA player Deandre Liggins? I am sure you guys have had some nice battles in practice the last weeks? The club recently also picked up American Jerry Smith. How has the club been able to compensate the loss of Tyrus Mcghee with his services?

Deandre has great anticipation on defense and is good at playing the passing lanes, this is something I hope to get better at. Jerry is an experienced guard who brings us points, assists and aggressive defense. He does a bit of everything.

The next game is against the Fraport Skyliners who Bremerhaven beat 71-62. Since then the team has been totally different with the arrival of Justin Cobbs who has led the team to a 11-5 BBL record and perfect 10-0 Eurochallenge record. What kind of game can we await and what will be key to getting the win?

I am sure it will be an entertaining game, hopefully we can control the pace of the game and force them into taking difficult shots. Rebounding will be very important in this game.

Have you been following your ex team Giessen 46ers? How good do you see their chances of moving back to the Beko BBL?

Yeah they are in a great spot going into playoffs now. If they can hold their nerve and play how they have been all season, I think they have every chance of moving up.

What are your NCAA Final 4 picks?

Kentucky, Duke, Arizona, Louisville

What was the last DVD movie that you watched?

Focus.

Thanks Myles for the chat.

Terrell Everett(Artland Dragons) I Think That We Can Make The Playoffs As There Is A Lot Of Upside On This Team

March 26, 2015

Terrell Everett is a 30 year old 193cm guard from Charleston, South Carolina that is playing his ninth professional season and fourth in Germany and first with the Artland Dragons. He started the season with Steaua CSM EximBank Bucuresti (Romania-Liga Nationala): 17 games: 11.1ppg, 2.9rpg, 3.2apg, 1.1spg, 2FGP: 56.8%, 3FGP: 47.9%, FT: 71.8%. He started his basketball career with SW Missouri St. – West Plains JC and finished his last two seasons of college with Oklahoma(NCAA) in 2006. In the 2006-2007 season he started his professional basketball career with ES Chalon-Sur-Saone (France-ProA): 34 games: 11.6ppg, 5.1rpg, Assists-5(5.2apg), 1.8spg, FGP: 46.4%, 3PT: 20.9%, FT: 68.0%. IN the 2007-2008 season he played for CEZ Basketball Nymburk (Czech Republic-NBL, starting five): 2 games: 8.5ppg, 3.5apg, 1.5spg, released in Oct.’07, next month moved to JDA Dijon Bourgogne (France-ProA, starting five): 22 games: 11.5ppg, 2.3rpg, 3.0apg, 1.3spg, 2FGP: 43.6%, 3PT: 20.4%, FT: 73.9%. In the 2008-2009 season he returned to the States and played with the Tulsa 66ers (D-League): 2 games: 4.5ppg, 1.5rpg, 2.0apg; left in Dec.’08, at the end of Jan.’09 signed at Bakersfield Jam (D-League): 26 games: 7.0ppg, 2.2rpg, 2.3apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 41.7%, 3PT: 38.5%, FT: 70.0%. In the 2009-20102 season he played with Hyeres-Toulon Var Basket (France-ProA): 6 games: 5.7ppg, 3.3apg, 2.2spg, FGP: 35.7%, 3PT: 54.5%; in Dec.’09 moved to ES Chalon-Sur-Saone (France-ProA): French League: 17 games: 10.5ppg, 3.6rpg, Assists-3(6.4apg), Steals-2(2.0spg), FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 20.6%, FT: 75.0%; EuroChallenge: 8 games: 8.3ppg, 3.1rpg, Assists-1(7.4apg), Steals-5(1.9spg), FGP: 46.5%, 3PT: 23.8%, FT: 64.7%. In the 2010-2011 season he played with Iraklis Thessaloniki (Greece-A1, starting five): 7 games: 13.9ppg, 4.4rpg, 4.4apg, 2.4spg, FGP: 39.7%, 3PT: 26.3%, FT: 65.1%; left in Dec.’10, next month moved to KK Cibona VIP Zagreb (Croatia-A1): Adriatic League: 3 games: 2.7ppg, 1.3rpg, 1.3apg, 1.7spg, left next month, in March’11 signed at Eisbaeren Bremerhaven (Germany-1.Bundesliga) 13 games: 12.0ppg, 4.3rpg, 3.5apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 42.6%, 3PT: 26.5%, FT: 80.4%. In the 2011-2012 season he stayed with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven (Germany-1.Bundesliga) playing 33 games: 11.3ppg, 4.5rpg, Assists-3(4.9apg), 1.2spg, FGP: 47.3%, 3PT: 31.8%, FT: 61.0%. In the 2012-2013 season he played with Cholet Basket (France-ProA): Eurocup: 6 games: 9.0ppg, 4.0rpg, 6.3apg, 2FGP: 44.4%, 3FGP: 18.8%, FT: 41.7%; French ProA: 14 games: 9.3ppg, 3.6rpg, 3.9apg, 2FGP: 39.5%, 3FGP: 30.0%, FT: 76.9%, released in Dec.’12, in Feb.’13 moved to Eisbaeren Bremerhaven (Germany-BBL)10 games: 5.7ppg, 1.5rpg, 3.0apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 30.4%, FT: 80.0%. Last season he played with BC Odessa (Ukraine-Superleague)19 games: 11.7ppg, 3.5rpg, 5.7apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 34.0%, FT: 74.6%. He spoke to German Hoops before the game against the Fraport Skyliners.

Terrell thanks for talking to German Hoops. After almost two seasons away from Germany your back. What did you miss most from Germany?

I missed the whole professionalism of the BBL in the last two years and the level of play. The BBL and country is just better put together than Romania and the Ukraine where I played the last two seasons.

You started this season with Steaua CSM EximBank Bucuresti (Romania-Liga National) before being released. Besides your 47,9% three point shooting, what will you remember most from your short experience in Romania?

I will remember the group of guys the most and that we worked well together even if we weren´t always getting our money each month. I always showed up to play for my team even if I didn´t always play. I felt it was my duty to bring something to the team each night.

You are playing your ninth professional season and in six of them have played for more than one team in a season. Why has it been so difficult for you to stay with one team for one season?

I think that every situation that I have had has been different. I get signed a lot after a team has seen me only on tape, but then when I am there they don´t figure out exactly what I bring to the table. I don´t want to say that I am a home run player, but I do have my ups and downs during a season. I am always working on my style and try to stay within the style of the team, but sometimes they don´t always mesh.

After playing for Bremerhaven for parts of three seasons, you now have found a new team with the Artland Dragons. What were the main reasons for coming to the Artland Dragons?

I came back to Germany because I am familiar with the country and the teams here. I heard many good things about the Artland Dragons and knew that they have been struggling and aren´t in the position where they want to be. I think that this is a good opportunity for me to come in and help the team.

You helped the Artland Dragons in a 87-74 win against Medi Bayreuth registering 3 assists in 11 minutes. How did it feel to be back on the floor in Germany again?

It felt good, but this league is a lot different than two seasons ago as there is more quality now. My rhythm wasn´t there yet as I have been playing in lower levels the last two seasons. I still have to get myself up to par with the other players and put my style on their system.

The Artland Dragons are fighting for the Beko BBL playoffs with six other teams. What is your early impression of the team? Can they end the season on a consistent note and reach the playoffs?

I think that we can reach the playoffs. There is a lot of upside on this team. I haven´t seen all the other teams so far so my focus is mainly on one game at a time. I study each team so when I am on the floor I know what to bring. The focus now is to pick up as many wins as possible and make the playoffs.

You are a combo guard and are a very good penetrator. You join a very potent guard duo with David Holston and Antonio Graves. What exactly is your role for the Artland Dragons?

I am still trying to figure out my role. I want to bring as much to the table as possible. My first game against Bayreuth was a warmup feeling, but I think that I played solid, but I can still contribute more.

How thrilled are you to be teammates with David Holston now instead of having to chase him around the court?

It is a relief right now. It is good to have a guy like David on your team. He is so small that you can´t keep in front of you. He also shoots the ball so well and is just hard to stop. It is good he is on our side and not on the other side.

Last season you played for BC Odessa (Ukraine-Superleague) and were there in the time as there was real political turmoil and war. Ex ratiopharm Ulm player Coleman Collins documented what he experienced in a diary. What experiences did you make that you will never forget?

 

That was a tough season. Odessa was playing good basketball when the turmoil started. We were in third place and it seemed like war came out of nowhere. First games were being cancelled and I didn´t think that it was a big deal, but then the war came. Everybody kept saying that Odessa would be the last place to be hit. I knew something had happened when the Americans started to leave. I saw a lot of protesting in Odessa and then I knew the situation was serious. Then the team got me out of there. Odessa was a nice place and the country has good basketball. It is too bad that war came.

You played parts of three season with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven. You always kept coming back to them. What did you learn to appreciate the most in your time there?

I appreciated the fans so much and still do today. The fans treat you as a player so well and never forget you. I have been back a few times just to see the city again. Bremerhaven is the only city I knew in Germany and the fans always showed love. I still keep in contact with fans today and even though we never won a title, the fans still appreciate you.

You only played one season in the D-league with Tulsa and Bakersfield. What event was everlasting that never took you back to the D-league route again?

There wasn´t a special reason why I never went back to the D-league. I went to Europe and concentrated on a career there. The season in the D-league is shorter than in Europe. It is good to be in America, but in Europe you have a longer season and see so many different cultures. I also like to travel a lot and see different cultures. I can focus on America after my basketball career in Europe. Early in my career I was chasing my dream of the NBA, but after not making it I had to readjust and came to Europe.

With Tulsa you played briefly with Bremerhaven swingman Moses Ehambe who some have described as the best shooter ever. What memories do you have of his shooting and where does he rank in your best shooting teammates ever?

He was very young when we were teammates in Tulsa, but he was already a very confident shooter at that age. I remember he shot each time as if the ball would go in. He is probably still like that. I didn´t play much with him, but just preseason and maybe 2-3 games. I can´t rank him, because I didn´t play enough with him and I didn´t see him go off in that time.

With Bakersfield you played with ex NBA player Trey Johnson who played with the Lakers and Cavs came a year after you out of college, but also has seen the basketball world. He is playing in Japan this season and still going strong after being waived by Sacramento at the start of the season. Is the bond to teammates different that play in Europe to D-league players who are worried only about themselves? What experience did you make with D league players like Johnson?

 

It is different. In a 6 month season in the D-league you can get called up at any time. The main goal for every player is chasing that NBA dream. I remember at the end of the season with Bakersfield we came together because we wanted to make the playoffs and get extra games to get that added chance of getting a NBA call up. I remember that we would root for each other with getting that call up to the NBA. Players are more selfish in the D-league as you don´t want to be there forever as that dream is always in front of you. Players have that attitude to keep shooting until the coach sits you on the bench. In Europe the main goal is to play for the team, make team better and win a title.

As a rookie you played for Chalon in France. What was your wake up call to being a professional player where you knew ok I have arrived in Europe and am a professional player?

 

It was during the middle of the season when I made the allstar team and that was when I noticed that I got more respect as a player. I was signed early to the Phoenix Suns Summer league team. This was when I knew that I could also be a force in Europe. My agent was telling me I would play a season in Europe and then be off to the NBA. I remember I had my best summer workout coming out of college and worked my hardest ever. I was ready to start my professional career and had a chip on my shoulder. I also remember that my coach at Chalon worked me very hard and wanted me to be that leader and point guard even though I am more of a quiet person that leads by example.

How important was it having veterans like UCLA great Tracy Murray who played 9 NBA seasons or John Best that had a great career in Germany. Were they like mentors for you?

They were all mentors for me. We had many old guys that season and it helped me mature as a rookie. They taught me what European basketball and culture was all about. Tracy Murray taught me that I always have to work hard and everything I need to improve to do it in the offseason 24/7. I remember at the beginning as a rookie I was homesick and didn´t speak French or was ready to. If you don´t speak French then you will have problems communicating in English and nobody will talk to you. The veterans told me hey you little rookie, I´ll tell you what Europe is all about. Those guys all had great careers and most retired soon after my rookie season. They were schooling me about basketball and life all the time.

After playing two seasons at Community college, you finished at Oklahoma(NCAA). How did head coach Kelvin Sampson prepare you best for a professional basketball career?

Nobody worked me harder that coach Sampson. He told me that I would be ready to play for any coach after him. I was in tip top shape coming to France as a rookie and over time was able to develop my game at different levels. He also helped me work on my mental toughness. He taught me never to get down on myself, because there is always a next play.

Who was the best player that you battled against in the NCAA that then went on to play in the NBA?

The best player I played against in the NCAA was Kyle Lowry. It didn´t help that he had Randy Foye and Allan Ray as teammates. That Villanova team with them was tough. They were always running around and shooting three´s.

Who won a one on one battle in practice in Bremerhaven you or Anthony Smith?

We had some battles that would go back and forth. I remember he beat me one time just shooting over me. I would beat him six out of ten times.

Is your NCAA tournament bracket messed up? What are your Final 4 picks?

This is the first year I didn´t fill it out. I haven´t been following it. I did catch some of the North Carolina State-Villanova game.

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?

Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins with Martin Lawrence. It is a family comedy that was funny.

Thanks Terrell for the chat.

Big Shot Tone Don´t Leave Him Alone Graves Fires Buzzer Beater Propelling Artland Past The Fraport Skyliners 90-87 In Double Overtime

March 25, 2015

Having big upsets during college basketball´s March Madness is no surprise as they are present each year like in 2012 when Norfolk State sent Missouri home, George Mason letting UCONN pack their bags in 2006, Virginia Commonwealth kicking out Kansas in 2011 or recently North Carolina State rudely dismissing top ranked team Villanova, but one thing that isn´t a surprise is seeing great point guard battles each weekend in the German Beko BBL. For Fraport Skyliner American Justin Cobbs being tested each game is a normal occurrence as he faced off against great point guards in the Eurochallenge like Brandyn Curry, Courtney Forston and DJ Cooper, but also in the BBL he faces off against the best. Everybody was looking forward to Los Angeles facing off against Detroit like Magic vs Thomas back in the day with Cobbs vs the pride of the Artland Dragons playmaking core with David Holston. Holston has been among the top point guards in Germany and is playing his third season in Germany. The great thing about the Cobbs vs Holston battle is that it would have pitted two spectacular point guards with a veteran facing a rookie and fans seeing a 23cm difference with Cobbs taking his 191cm to the court against the diminutive 168cm Holston who is like an adorable teddy bear in a toy store that is waiting to be bought as his smile gets everybody happy. Holston battled in the first meeting against Frankfurt in a big 83-74 victory against Richard Williams who stroked home 20 points while the Artland point guard contributed 12 points and five assists. With Williams having moved back to Vechta, Holston would have made his debut against Cobbs who has big aspirations of moving to the NBA, but this duel had to wait. This duel might not have been equal to Magic vs Thomas back in the day, but both guys have had their own special intensity that bring much flair to the court whenever they are present. Sometimes one can also dream about a great match up like this and it is so much sadder when a guy like Holston can´t play due to injury, but then it gives the chance to other guys like young German Bastian Doreth or veteran Terrell Everett who has played with more than one team in one season in six of nine seasons to showcase their game and battle a future NBA player like Justin Cobbs. Fans didn´t get disappointed in the point guard duels as Cobbs, Doreth and Everett had their moments and after 50 minutes and two overtimes, the only thing that divided both teams was an Antonio Graves buzzer beater that sent the Artland Dragons home with a big 90-87 victory and their playoff hopes remained alive. Fraport Skyliner forward Quantez Robertson who sometimes moonlights as a point guard observed how well Doreth controlled the first half over Frankfurt. “The German point guard did a good job controlling the tempo, making good passes and playing the pick and roll. He executed the offense well and also made his own shots. He was definitely a good replacement for David Holston”, added Cincinnati native Quantez Robertson. “Doreth can be a starter for many teams in the BBL. He always plays well in practice and took advantage of the situation with Holston being out. I like his confidence and how he controls the tempo. This type of play is normal for him, because he does it every day”, stressed Artland Dragon guard Antonio Graves. Fraport Skyliner center Mike Morrison came out of the locker room disappointed and one could feel it with his soft words. “We dug a hole throughout the game and didn´t have the energy at the end. OT is usually our time, but with a few mistakes made, good teams will make you pay. Both teams made plays so fans had to have loved this game”, commented Florida native Mike Morrison. “The game was fun. Both teams were competitive and executed well. The game was neck to neck with both teams fighting for the playoffs. It was a big road win for us, but I give a lot of credit to Frankfurt as they fought hard”, added ex Pittsburgh(NCAA) guard Antonio Graves.

The Artland Dragons were without their star point guard David Holston and the Fraport Skyliners were without Canadian national player Aaron Doornekamp who missed the game because his wife gave birth to a baby. 2,240 fans were in the Fraport arena for a rare Tuesday night evening Beko BBL game and saw a tight affair in the first five minutes until Artland went on a 12-2 run to get the comfortable lead, but Frankfurt fought back on a 7-2 run to cut the Artland lead down to 20-17 after ten minutes. Frankfurt had four leads on their first four scores only to have Artland tie the game again and then take a 12-2 run to get their first lead. German twin tower Johannes Voigtmann scored twice inside and hit free throws while other German Konstantin Klein hit a runner accumulating for the first 8 Frankfurt points. The Artland Dragons struck back four times with a Lawrence Hill dunk, ex TBB trier center Andreas Seiferth made a hook shot over Jacob Burtschi, and Doreth hit a jumper. The Artland Dragons then went on a 12-2 run to take the commanding 18-10 lead. Artland was playing fine inside out basketball getting support from their three point shooting as ex Braunschweig guard Brandon Thomas and Doreth connected for three pointers. The 2008 Beko BBL cup winner also got support from Seiferth who finished the pick and roll with a massive dunk, Hill hit a fade away jumper and ex Fraport Skyliner Anthony King hit a turn around shot. Frankfurt closed out the first quarter taking a 7-2 run as Mikko Koivisto buried a three pointer and Brookly New York native Sean Armand dropped a three pointer buzzer beater as Frankfurt trailed 20-17 after 10 minutes. “Artland did a good job clogging the lane and doing their scouting report on Johannes Voigtmann. Voigtmann can´t always have a big game like he did the last weeks. Artland also did a good job crashing the boards”, stressed medi Bayreuth sport director Kevin Koch. The Artland Dragons were shooting 60% from the field and 50% from outside while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 46% from the field and 40% from outside. Frankfurt had the 8-7 rebound edge, but three turnovers while Artland had two turnovers.

The Artland Dragons continued to keep control of the game in the second to go on a nice run and go into halftime with the nine point lead. The Fraport Skyliners got on the board first as Sean Armand hit off the fast break again as he did finishing the first quarter tying the game at 20-20. However this quick bucket by Armand didn´t amaze the Artland Dragons as they cruised out on a 11-2 run to extend their lead to 31-22. Chad Toppert finished off a fast break after German David Mccray gave the ball to Everett who made a touch pass for the bucket. Toppert continued to bring that needed energy hitting a three pointer and ex Xavier(NCAA) center Kenny Frease smashed home a dunk off the Graves pass and Doreth made a floater. Artland was perfecting the pick and roll and also using the mismatches to their advantage. Frankfurt continued to fight and stay in the game as it was the general Justin Cobbs who took a lot upon himself on the offensive end hitting a floater and turn around jumper while Burtschi made a mid distance jumper cutting the Artland lead to 33-28. Despite the 7-2 Frankfurt run, Artland threw a 6-2 run right back into their face to go into halftime with the 39-30 lead. Artland let good defense lead to good offense in the last minutes. After Graves hit a jumper, it was Thomas who blocked Quantez Robertson which led to a Guido Grunheid dunk who won BBL titles with Alba Berlin and Cologne. Thomas then dunked over Voigtmann from the baseline. Justin Cobbs ended the second quarter with a jumper as the buzzer went off, but Artland still led 39-30. “Justin Cobbs wasn´t hitting any shots, but Frankfurt still defended pretty well giving up 39 points. Artland was defending very well as all were on the same page”, stressed Kevin Koch. The Artland Dragons were shooting 50% from the field and 30% from the three point line while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 38% from the field and 23% from the three point line. Both teams had 19 rebounds a piece, but Frankfurt had five turnovers while Artland had only two turnovers.

In the third quarter the Artland Dragons continued to have the momentum and were able to keep their lead and lead by 12 points after 30 minutes. The Artland Dragons came out of halftime going on a 6-0 run to extend their lead to 45-30. Doreth and King were the main forces in this run as Doreth hit a jumper and King made a tip in and jumper on the pick and roll with Doreth. Frankfurt also had a lot of misfortune as Sean Armand missed three consecutive free throws. Frankfurt continued to fight back going on a 7-0 run to cut the Artland lead to 45-37 as it was Los Angeles native Justin Cobbs that scored twice inside always hurting Artland with his penetration. The game continued to be a game of runs as Artland struck back going on a 8-0 run as Frankfurt continued to have problems bringing stability on the defensive end. In the run Artland crushed Frankfurt with three pointers from Toppert and Hill. Frankfurt did close out the third quarter with a mini 4-0 run as Robertson nailed a jumper in traffic and Voigtmann made a dunk. “Artland was more aggressive on the defensive end and got easy buckets”, stressed Quantez Robertson. “We continued to defend aggressively and rebounded the ball well”, added Antonio Graves. The Artland Dragons were shooting 45% from the field and 28% from the parking lot while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 36% from the field and 20% from the parking lot. Artland had the 30-27 rebound edge and eight turnovers while Frankfurt had nine turnovers.

The Fraport Skyliners never gave up and continued to come back and with two big defensive plays forced the game into overtime. The Fraport Skyliners knew that they didn´t have much time and didn´t waste any time starting the fourth quarter with a lot of intensity and going on an explosive 9-2 run to cut the Artland lead to 55-50. This might have been the best offensive spurt in the game up to that point as they were doing a bit of everything. Cobbs started the run with a floater, Robertson nailed a three pointer, Voigtmann scored inside as Cobbs snuck him a pass and Morrison made an offensive rebound and put back. Despite the game being tight again both teams tended to gamble as Everett flung up the perfect lob pass that Thomas rammed home for the ally op dunk and Cobbs came back and made a reverse lay up in traffic as Artland led 57-53. Frankfurt also had some fortune as they got some loose balls and Klein was able to drop a shot on his third consecutive shot cutting the Artland lead to 57-55. Graves then made a floater and Voigtman made a put back after grabbing an offensive rebound as Artland had the narrow 59-57 lead. King then drilled home a jumper off the pick and roll with Graves. With 1.20 to play Artland led 61-57, but Mike Morrison got two steals which led to a Morrison lay in as Klein fed him and Cobbs sent the game into overtime with his bread and butter the pull up jumper as calmness remained his middle name. “I made a steal on the first play on a good trap at the sideline which led to a basket and on the second play Burtschi and I switched and I got my hands on the ball. It was hustle plays that led to the steals”, stressed Mike Morrison. “Morrison played aggressive defense and Cobbs made a tough shot which is one of his normal shots that we expect him to make”, added Quantez Robertson. The Artland Dragons were shooting 43% from the field and 24% from outside while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 39% from the field and 19% from outside. Frankfurt had the 39-36 rebound edge and 12 turnovers while Artland had 14 turnovers.

The Fraport Skyliners didn´t waste anytime in the first few minutes of the overtime period and after hitting only four three pointers in the first 40 minutes hit four in a row in three minutes as Klein, Voigtmann, Cobbs and Robertson connected as Frankfurt led 73-64. However the Artland Dragons didn´t fret or let Frankfurt continue to nail shots, but recovered and went on a 9-0 run as Thomas and Toppert twice nailed three pointers to tie the game at 73-73. Robertson had the chance to win the game, but missed sending the game into a second overtime. “We weren´t talking on defense. We allowed them to get free and get good looks and we couldn´t get the loose balls”, said Quantez Robertson. “I have to give a lot of credit to coach who did an incredible job adjusting to the situation. We played four guards and one big man and spaced the floor. We played the high pick and role and our sniper Toppert hit shots”, said Antonio Graves. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 40% from the field and 31% from the three point line while the Artland Dragons were shooting 44% from the field and 30% from the three point line. Artland led the rebound duel 43-42, but had 15 turnovers while Frankfurt had 12 turnovers.

In the second overtime period the Artland Dragons took control quickly until Frankfurt made one last comeback to fall just short at the end. The Artland Dragons went on a 10-2 run to extend their lead to 83-75. The Artland Dragons remained aggressive as Frankfurt was unable to match their intensity on defense as their one on one defense got nonexistent. Everett started the run with free throws, King nailed a fade away over Voigtmann, Toppert made free throws, Everett a lay in and Graves also finished inside as he strolled to the bucket with ease. With time running out it seemed like Artland would close out the game with free throws and it seemed like it was taking that route as Graves and Thomas nailed free throws for the 87-81 Artland lead. After a Cobbs miss, Thomas missed two free throws. With 12.3 seconds to play Robertson scored on a coast to coast sprint which has become a thing he does each game and made the free throw as Frankfurt trailed only 87-84. Now there was hope again for Frankfurt fans and once again it was Morrison again who made a huge steal and Robertson nailed a three pointer tying the game at 87-87 and a third overtime period was looming, but there were four seconds to play. After an Artland timeout, Graves was the hero dropping a buzzer beater for the 90-87 win. “That buzzer beater was tough. Graves got a good look and Voigtmann got a hand up, but it was a bit too late”, stressed Quantez Robertson. “The buzzer beater was the best moment. As I released the ball, I knew it was on target and had the right distance and I am happy it went in”, stressed Antonio Graves. “I didn´t know it was going in. I didn´t want another overtime and am glad it went in”, smiled Terrell Everett. The Artland Dragons were led by Chad Toppert with 16 points. Anthony King contributed 15 points and 11 rebounds. Brandon Thomas steered 12 points and Antonio Graves 11 points. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Justin Cobbs with 23 points. Quantez Robertson had 20 points. Johannes Voigtmann added 17 points and seven rebounds. The Artland Dragons shot 47% from the field and 32% from the parking lot while the Fraport Skyliners shot 39% from the field and 29% from the parking lot. Artland won the rebound battle 48-47, but had 20 turnovers while Frankfurt had 15 turnovers.

Antonio Graves(Artland Dragons) Looking To Help Make Those Extra Steps Into The BBL Playoffs

March 24, 2015

Some Beko BBL teams have nice rosters, but usually you can pinpoint exactly who will be top season scorer simply because of a few top players have those extra scoring qualities like a Justin Cobbs in Frankfurt, a DJ Kennedy in Ludwigsburg or a David Bell in Hagen where seeing them a top of the teams scoring list is as probable as seeing Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul leading the NBA in assists. However when you look at the roster of the Artland Dragons, one has a team that for years has belonged to the deepest teams in the league after the big three of Alba Berlin, Bamberg and Munich were you could flip a coin between guys like Brandon Thomas, Anthony King, David Holston, Lawrence Hill or Antonio Graves. Even guys like Kenny Frease, Dennis Horner or Chad Toppert could be a teams top scorer if they were to get consistent minutes on a regular basis. If you had been stuck in a closet for a few months and been denied any basketball stats one may have the best odds of having chosen a Holston or Thomas who can shot out the lights on a consistent rate, but currently Antonio Graves is the teams top scorer, but he does so much more as he also is able to find his teammates as the 29 year old 191cm shooting guard form Ohio is second in team assists behind Holston. Graves is playing his eighth professional season as has been a basketball nomad usually moving from team to team the way Paris Hilton does from sunglasses to sunglasses as he has played in countries like Turkey, Croatia, Israel and Italy. The American has improved his stats this season from last as experience has helped him grow in his role. “I think that my role is the same. I understand our offense more and what my coaches expect from me. I also am doing a better job of picking my spots and finding my teammates. I think the improvement has come because of another year of experience. I know my situation now and coming to a team is always an adjustment”, stressed Antonio Graves. He also has made strides under young head coach Tyron Mccoy where both have seen eye to eye since the start. “I have learned a lot from him. He has a high basketball IQ. He played at a high level and wants us to play at that level as well. I have learned to be a better player on offense and defense and not just to go out on the court and use my athletic ability, but to be able to take the game two steps ahead and also know when too slow it down”, added Antonio Graves. The Artland Dragons have been very up and down in the last two months, but still very much in the playoff hunt and with such a deep roster Graves is content that the 2008 cup winner won´t miss the playoffs. “We still have many games left to make a turn around. I think that the league is stronger this season, but that isn´t an excuse that we should have. We have underachieved, but we are confident that we can turn it around. We had a nice playoff run last year, but want to do better than last year. Anything is possible. We know that we have the potential and we hope that we can find it in the stretch run. I am confident that we will make a run. Nobody wants to match up against us in the playoffs. We are a scary team and we know it and so do our opponents”, warned Antonio Graves.

The Artland Dragons continue to be a club that is stocked tight with great players each season and belong to the top five teams in terms of depth, but in the end in the playoffs when everything is on the line, they are unable to get over the hump and get past the top teams like a FC Bayern Munich, Bamberg or Alba Berlin. It has been like this for years and with each passing season, the 2008 cup win in Hamburg against Ludwigsburg and only hardware in the history of the organization, the wait seems as endless as anyone being tortured in a monkey ditch at a zoo after falling in by mistake. In the last four seasons the club have finished in 4th place twice and in sixth and seventh place. Last season the team was on the right way as rookie head coach Tyron Mccoy more than earned his pay check for halting the Bamberg dynasty from winning a fifth consecutive title kicking them out 3-1 and then taking Alba Berlin to four tough games. Had they won game one which they lost 81-79 in OT, then they would have had a 2-0 game lead and then they may have skipped to the finals to meet FC Bayern Munich. During the regular season they beat Munich, Berlin and Bamberg so they definitely had some practice, but now the team needs to learn how to beat these top clubs in a five game series which is never simple since the playoffs are a completely new season. Head coach Tyron Mccoy as always had an offensive arsenal to work with, but also carved out a well-oiled defensive structure as the team played defense well for most of the season keeping teams to under 70 points nine times.

Tyron Mccoy did a splendid job not messing with last seasons chemistry and trying to keep as many players intact as possible and did just that keeping nine players and with 29 year old Anthony King and Guido Grunheid going into their fourth season with the team. Just when one thinks that the off season can be a time to catch a small breather, Miami native King really had the club work hard to keep him for a fourth season as for months there was unending speculation where he could end up. King has improved his scoring each season with Artland and really was a guy that they couldn´t or wanted to lose no matter what the price was. Last season King played Eurocup 8 games: 10.4ppg, 5.1rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 50.7%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 57.1%; German League: 40 games: 11.9ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 48.2%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 80.8%. Grunheid is a veteran that is the reliable bench player that has won six titles with Alba Berlin and one with Cologne. Last season the the 32 year old 208cm German played Eurocup: 9 games: 5.4ppg, 3.0rpg, FGP: 60.0%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 50.0%; German League: 32 games: 2.9ppg, 3.0rpg. The club also held guys like Lawrence Hill who was able to make the transition from Israel to Germany and was so valuable as an inside out player and was third best three point shooter last season in the league. The 27 year old 203cm forward from Arizona who played at Stanford with NBA player Landry Fields and the Lopez twins has much experience having also played in Mexico and the D-league. Last season Hill played Eurocup: 9 games: 9.2ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 38.5%, FT: 72.2%; German League: 41 games: 11.9ppg, 6.3rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 53.0%, 3PT-3(48.7%), FT: 69.9%

The club also held on to American Antonio Graves who has had experience in Turkey, France and Italy. Last season the 29 year old 191cm guard played Eurocup: 9 games: 6.6ppg, 2.9apg, FGP: 41.7%, 3PT: 31.8%, FT: 80.0%; German League: 42 games: 9.7ppg, 1.8rpg, 3.1apg, FGP: 42.0%, 3PT: 35.8%, FT: 81.4%. Brandon Thomas may be 30 and may be in his prime now and is playing his third season for the team. His all around play, scoring(3rd best FG% last season in BBL) and leadership are his biggest attributes. After a rookie season in Denmark where he led the league in scoring and averaging 20ppg in Austria in his second season, he has been a consistent and strong Beko BBL player since 2009 where he led Braunschweig into the playoffs twice. Last season he played Eurocup: 10 games: 11.1ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.9apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 64.3%, 3PT: 28.9%, FT: 85.7%; German League: 38 games: 12.1ppg, 3.9rpg, 2.3apg, FGP-3(64.1%), 3PT: 31.9%, FT: 65.3%. The team also held on to sharp shooter Chad Toppert who when he is hot can cool down the dungeon of Toby the dragon. The club is hoping for more consistency from the New Mexico native this season. After playing three seasons for CAI Zaragoza (Spain-ACB) where he played 106 games, he came to Artland last season and played Eurocup: 9 games: 6.7ppg, 2.8rpg, FGP: 31.3%, 3PT: 42.1%, FT: 50.0%; German League: 42 games: 6.2ppg, 2.1rpg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 43.8%, FT: 90.0%.

The club also held on to German national player Bastian Doreth where one always knows what you get with his controlled point guard play and never ending fierce defense. Shave off the beard and dye his hair black and you have a second Konstantin Klein. After playing with Bamberg, Trier and FC Bayern Munich, the 25 year old 182cm guard will be playing his second season under Mccoy and last season played Eurocup 10 games: 3.7ppg, 1.4rpg, 3.3apg; German League: 37 games: 4.1ppg, 1.4rpg, 1.9apg. The team added four new players including David Holston as well as Andreas SEiferth who was the clubs biggest and most interesting pick up. Seiferth is a 25 year old 209cm center that is a German national player. He learned the basketball trade in with Alba Berlin and then played three seasons for TBB Trier where 1993 NCAA champion Henrik Rodl gave him time to develop. He improved his stats each season and last season played 31 games: 11.8ppg, 4.9rpg, FGP: 58.2%, FT: 65.1%. Ex NBA player Dennis Horner. This is the second tour of duty for the 26 year old 206cm from New Jersey in Quackenbruck after playing three games in 2012. His NBA train after 8 games with the New Jersey Nets may have been derailed and now he is focusing on Europe. Last season he had strong stats in the D-league with the Springfield Armor (D-League) playing 29 games: 15.0ppg, 6.1rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 51.6%, 3PT: 31.0%, FT: 80.8%, in Feb.’14 traded to Bakersfield Jam (D-League) playing 18 games: 12.6ppg, 8.0rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 50.4%, 3PT: 39.0%, FT: 70.9%. Mccoy adds another dimension to the defense with David Mccray. After playing in Ludwigsburg and Bonn, he is looking to make the next step in Artland. You match up Mccray and Doreth against Justin Cobbs and Konstantin Klein in a defensive battle, you probably won´t find a winner as one will have to let the mascots Tobi the dragon and Dunking Kong battle it out or just toss a coin. Last season with Bonn Mccray played Eurocup: 10 games: 4.9ppg, 1.5rpg, 1.5apg; German League: 39 games: 4.7ppg, 1.2rpg, 1.0apg. The club also added German journey man Tim Schwarz who played 22 Beko BBL games in 2010-2011 with Giessen, but mostly has German pro A experience.Last season the German played for BG Karlsruhe (ProA) playing 28 games: 8.8ppg, 4.1rpg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 87.5%. The club also got Americans Kenny Frease and Terrell Everett late into the season as the club had injuries. Frease is a 25 year old 212cm center from Massillon, Ohio that is playing his third professional season and is playing his second season for the Artland Dragons and last season played Eurocup: 8 games: 9.5ppg, 4.3rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 54.0%, FT: 66.7%; German League: 40 games: 7.1ppg, 3.8rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 55.7%, FT: 49.4%. He played at Xavier from 2008-2012 and as a rookie played for Tuebingen. He started the season with Yesilgiresun Belediye (Turkey-TB2L): 16 games: 13.8ppg, 6.7rpg, 1.1apg, 2.2bpg, 2FGP: 59.7%, 3FGP: 66.7%, FT: 44.4%. Terrell Everett is a 30 year old 193 cm guard from Charleston, South Carolina playing his ninth professional season and played a few years with Bremerhaven. He has come a long way since starting his basketball career with SW Missouri St. – West Plains JC via Oklahoma State, he has played in seven countries with Germany, France, Greece, Czech Republic, Croatia, Ukraine and Romania. Last season he played for BC Odessa (Ukraine-Superleague, starting five): 19 games: 11.7ppg, 3.5rpg, 5.7apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 34.0%, FT: 74.6%,. He started the season with Steaua CSM EximBank Bucuresti (Romania-Liga Nationala): 17 games: 11.1ppg, 2.9rpg, 3.2apg, 1.1spg, 2FGP: 56.8%, 3FGP: 47.9%, FT: 71.8%.

Currently the Artland Dragons have a record of 12-13 and resting in 10th place one win away from the last playoff spot. At the start of December the team started a six game losing streak and since then have a record of 4-4. The club has been defending better as of late as they have suffered only giving up 80 plus points twice in eight games. “It has taken us longer to get our defensive concept down because we play a certain kind of defensive scheme. We like to take teams out of what they do best and take that pick and role away. Playing this way is unconventional and getting that trust with each other has taken longer. We have practiced it in the Eurocup play and the coaching staff has done a great job with us and having us understand it better”, stressed Antonio Graves. The Fraport Skyliners enter the game with a lot of momentum with reaching the Eurochallenge Final 4 and having won five of their last six games and last won in Hagen 79-70 72 hours ago. It will be the battles of the point guards between Justin Cobbs and David Holston and Frankfurt should have the advantage inside if Anthony King is still out, but will need to combat the fierce three point shooting of Artland who have six guys shooting 40% or better.

The Frankfurt Skyliners have a 9-10 record since 2005 playing against the Artland Dragons and during 2005-2007 Frankfurt losing all four games including being outscored in the Artland arena 172-129. However, the tide turned for the better from 2007-2009 as The Deutsche Bank Skyliners  had a 3-1 record. Four years ago, they celebrated a very big emotional win 87-75 winning in overtime as captain Pascal Roller sparked Frankfurt to the win with 26 points. two seasons ago on the last day, Frankfurt lacked spirit and were beaten in every phase of the game losing 90-69. In 2009-2010, the team lost a thriller 77-76 in Artland as Frankfurt staged one of their famous comebacks despite a late Pascal Roller three pointer, it wasn´t enough as they lost. Frankfurt was able to win at home 77-65 as Pascal Roller scored 20 points. Frankfurt won their first show down in 2010-2011 on the road winning 82-56 coming out of half time with a 24-8 run to easily win. Frankfurt was led by AJ Moye with 18 points and six rebounds and fans will remember a crashing dunk by ex NBA player Roger Powell. Frankfurt also won their home encounter 83-72 as Dashaun Wood had a Derrick Rose type of game making 29 points, 9 assists, five rebounds and four steals. The team lost a meaningless cup game in Bamberg against Artland where both teams played for third place and Frankfurt was without Dashaun Wood. In the 2011-2012 season, both teams played a defensive classic in Frankfurt as Artland won 49-44. Frankfurt returned to Artland winning 66-60 as Jimmy Mckinney led the scoring with 15 points and ex NBA player Jermario Davidson had 13 points, six rebounds and six blocks. Two seasons ago, the Fraport Skyliners won their first meeting with Artland 89-80 as American Larry Wright who had scored 27 points in the pre season against Wurzburg showed again his shooting touch scoring 21 points. Dion Dowell and Quantez Robertson added 16 points a piece in the offense surge and Bryce Taylor led Quackenbruck with 21 points. In the return game, the Artland Dragons got revenge putting up the defensive blocade winning 62-58 as ex Skyliner Anthony King showed his baby Shaq mood scoring 16 points and grabbing 11 boards. Ex Skyliner Brad Buckmann contributed 14 points and 13 rebounds. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Quantez Robertson with 23 points and 14 rebounds while Zach Peacock chipped in with 19 points. Last season the teams split the season series. The Fraport Skyliners won their home game 89-74 as Andrew Rautins had a hot night connecting for 24 points and six three pointers. Danilo Barthel added 18 points. The Artland Dragons were led by Lawrence Hill with 20 points. In the return game, Artland won 83-77 as the Fraport Skyliners lost one of their many games in crunch time and also had no idea how to run Chad Toppert cold as he had 21 points hitting 7/8 three pointers. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Johannes Voigtmann with 18 points and Jarred Dubois contributed 17 points. In the first meeting this season Artland won 83-74 as they were led by Brandon Thomas with 13 points. Frankfurt was led by RichardWilliams with 20 points. The Fraport Skyliners host the Artland Dragons Tuesday March 24th.

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