The Dragons Rhondorf Pound KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe 98-73 With Special Patrick Resuch Lift

Back in the day when a third grade school kid had produced good work on a math quiz of testing one´s division and times skills, one would get a small star plastered to your forehead and you would run home to mommy and be gleaming with joy while possibly being rewarded again with a tasty twinkie after a hard school day. In basketball it´s no different, if Kameron Taylor would have been rewarded with every amazing game and shot he had completed so far in this young season for the Dragons Rhondorf, his forehead would be hidden from site. The play of the Maryland native and ex Seton Hill(NCAA) standout has been brilliant again and brought joy again to the energetic Dragon Dome after two poor seasons where the club was clobbered in the Pro A two seasons ago winning only two contests while last season had to battle in the playdowns to secure a spot again in the Pro B this season. Taylor was averaging 23,8ppg, 6,0rpg and 4,1apg coming into the KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe  game and has totally dominated the Pro B leading his club to a refreshing 7-2 record this season. Even if he did play in the higher Pro A last season for Ehingen where he averaged 10,8ppg, you sometimes have to take a step back to make a step forward. He wooed fans three weeks ago with a spectacular buzzer beater against the Fraport Skyliners juniors at home and in the last two weeks has been brilliant as he combined for 69 points in the two wins at home against the EN Baskets Schwelm netting 37 points and the nail bitter win in Coburg where he dropped 32 points and help ice the cake with free throws in the last seconds preserving the 68-65 victory. Rhondorf went into the contest having found a consistent rhythm on defense again allowing an average of only 70 points per game in the last two and wanted to register their fifth home win of the season while Taylor was gunning for his third 30 plus game in a row of the season. The Dragons Rhondorf kept their winning ways, but Taylor didn´t reach his third 30 plus game of the season, but nobody noticed as the club pounded  KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe as 24 year old German Patrick Reusch had the game of his life pouring in 18 points while Kameron Taylor was derailed a bit in his minutes and points because of foul problems. After the big win, Taylor was raving about the fine effort his club displayed as he played only two minutes in the first half plus minus Kevin Thomas, the club still led 41-39 at the break. “Everybody stepped up today and it was a great team effort with great team basketball minus Kevin Thomas. We knew that we had to rebound well with Thomas and we did. We played solid defense forcing the opponent to many turnovers doing a good job keeping the man in front of us”, stressed ex Seton Hill(NCAA) standout Kameron Taylor. KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe totally fell apart in the third quarter and could never get back into the game after head coach Jaivon Harris was rejected and Rhondorf cruised out on a 22-7 run. “We played ok in the first half, but it wasn´t our best basketball. They came out more aggressive in the third quarter and forced us right away to two turnovers and scored. Then our coach was thrown out and they had the momentum. When Rhondorf has the momentum then they are very hard to beat at home”, stressed ex BG Karlsruhe guard Aaaron Schmitz.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Dragons Rhondorf guard Patrick Reusch after dropping 18 points in 98-73 win against KIT SC GEQUOS

A big key in the game was that everyone stepped up on the Dragons Rhondorf squad as Kameron Taylor was hit with two early fouls. It was the Germans Valentin Blass, Thomas Michel and Yannick Kneesch that carried the team along with 24 year old Patrick Resuch. The young German Reusch started his career with Bayer Uerdingen and came to Bonn in 2014. He worked his self up slowly playing two solid seasons in the Regionalliga averaging 10,5ppg and 12,9ppg and arrived in Rhondorf last season. Last season was also a process as his minutes increased more in the second half and he sparkled with his aggressive defense and timely offense especially in the playdowns. This season he was struck with a tough injury that held him back and it took him a while to reach his rhythm again. In the last weeks he was making some progress on the court as he got into the last three games. The early foul trouble from Kameron Taylor was like a blessing in disguise as the German jumped up from the bench and not only fulfilled his role, but much more scoring nine points in eight minutes in the first half. His consistent production didn´t end there as his magical play continued in the second half as he scored nine more points in eight more minutes finishing with 18 points in 18 minutes while Taylor finished with 16 points in 18 minutes. After the big win the German was thrilled with the big win and modest with his own achievement on the court. “It really helped me that I hit my first two shots. That raised my confidence to want to keep taking and making shots”, stressed Patrick Reusch. The instant production was no surprise to Taylor as he has seen it over and over in practice. “He plays so hard in practice and he was coming off an injury. He came in and proved he could produce. He saw me in foul trouble and knew the team needed scoring and stepped up”, stressed Kameron Taylor. Despite the foul trouble, Taylor was on triple double course, but because the game only has four quarters and not five was denied as he finished with 16 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and two steals in only 18 minutes. “I was mad about the fouls in the first half. I had my head down at half-time, but my team told me i´m good and I should just play my game. They gave me the confidence to execute in the second half”, stressed Kameron Taylor.

The Dragons Rhondorf were without Kevin Thomas who was home in Canada spending time with his sick dad. Both teams came out hot from downtown as KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe took the quick 6-3 lead with two trey´s from Croatian sniper LuKa Drezga and ex Speyer guard Aaron Schmitz as Rhondorf tallied with a Thomas Michel three. The first quarter remained a tight affair as there were four lead changes and no team ever led by more than three points. Michel gave Rhondorf their first lead 9-7 after he followed a Andreas Moeller basket. Drezga regained the lead for KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe with a trey only to see it melt with two buckets in a row by Michel who gave Rhondorf the 13-11 lead as Rhondorf were getting easy bucket after easy bucket inside as KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe was lacking physicality and good 1-1 defense. KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe got the lead back on Florian Rothenberg free throws 19-18, but in the last few minutes Patrick Reusch sparked Rhondorf with five points and Kneesch made a lay in keeping Rhondorf in front 24-22 after one quarter. “We did a good job compensating the foul trouble of Kameron Taylor and Kevin Thomas absence. We were attacking well and got easy baskets”, stressed Dragons Rhondorf assistant coach Max Schamborn. The Dragons Rhondorf were shooting 58% from the field and 25% from outside while KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe was shooting 43% from the field and 57% from outside. The Dragons Rhondorf had the 10-5 rebound edge and both teams had two turnovers apiece.

In the second quarter despite a slow start, the Dragons Rhondorf would control the quarter and lead by as much as eight points, but KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe clawed back and trailed by only two points at the break. KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe upped their intensity and aggressiveness on the defense end stopping Rhondorf on their first five possessions, but got only two buckets in the paint by German second Bundesliga Veteran Jeremy Black who averaged 13 points and 8 rebounds in six Pro A seasons. Taylor was hit with his third foul and left after a few seconds. However Rhondorf stuck together and were tough as nails as their two imports were off the floor and it was the Germans and Latvian Lion Ronalds Elksnis who brought the club back on a potent 13-3 run to retake the lead 37-29. In the run, Rhondorf totally crushed KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe in the paint area as they scored 11 points there. Viktor Frankl-Maus carried the team with his aggressiveness and crafty play netting eight points. Moeller made an offensive rebound and put back and Kneesch connected on a pretty running hook shot. Rhondorf also displayed their immaculate transition offense as KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe lost focus and intensity. KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe got out of their funk riding into the locker room at halftime with some momentum going on a 10-4 run to trail only 41-39. Dutch player and ex Tennessee State(NCAA) center Chaed Wellian hit a trey and scored inside while ex Speyer guard Banjamin Kaufhold made a pull up jumper while using Reusch´s body to flick the ball at and get back as he could find no teammate open in the inbounds pass and Drezga nailed a trey. “The second quarter wasn´t pretty. We didn´t have a good start as they stopped us on our first five possessions. But there were 2-3 situations where we rebounded well which led to transition baskets and helped us back into the game”, added Rhondorf assistant coach Max Schwamborn. The Dragons Rhondorf were shooting 44% from the field and 11% from the three point line while KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe shot 54% from the field and 58% from the three point line. Rhondorf had the 22-12 rebound edge and five turnovers while KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe had 10 turnovers.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Dragon Rhondorf guard Kameron Taylor after he finished with 16 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists in 18 minutes of work in 98-73 win over KIT SC GEQOUS

The turning point of the contest occurred in the third quarter as KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe head coach Jaivon Harris was kicked out of the game and the Dragons Rhondorf launched a brutal 22-7 run to open up the game and the club would never look back. The Dragons Rhondorf got off to a quick start right away and went on a 8-2 run before Jaivon Harris was ejected. Kameron Taylor was back on the court and got very aggressive on the offensive end and scored twice as did his playmaking side kick Frankl-Maus as the home club led comfortably 49-41. Then came the ejection of KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe head coach Jaivon Harris. He had been at odds all game long with the referees and despite being warned by, he didn´t get a second warning as he was ousted from the game. This rattled KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe which propelled the Dragons Rhondorf to an unstoppable 21-7 run as three´s rained down for the basketball heaven as the club led 70-48. When the damaged had ended, KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe had witnessed six trey´s as the Dragons Rhondorf didn´t miss as the basket looked as big the ocean. Rhondorf got three point support from Michel with two and also from Frankl-Maus, Taylor, Blass and Kneesch. The Dragons Rhondorf kept up the pressure on offense as Taylor scored two more times inside and Reusch hit another trey as KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe trailed 77-54. “Coach Adelt told us at halftime that we had to improve our three point shooting. He said shoot if your open, but also go inside. We were open and shot and mostly scored”, smiled Kameron Taylor. “We had big problems trying to stop them in their run. We gave them too much room and let them score to easily”, added Aaron Schmitz. The Dragons Rhondorf shot 53% from the field and 33% from the parking lot while KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe shot 49% from the field and 44% from the parking lot. Rhondorf had the 31-18 rebound edge and had seven turnovers while KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe had 15 turnovers.

In the fourth quarter there were no let downs by the Dragons Rhondorf as they finished strongly and also got solid input from players like Joe Kaschade and Fabian Vermun who got some extra garbage time. The Dragons Rhondorf started off quickly going on a 6-2 run to extend their lead to 83-56 as Reusch continued his stellar play with two drives inside that resulted in layins and a Michel layin. Both teams continued to score at ease while the defense took a break. Rhondorf had the huge lead and wouldn´t lose any more on this evening. The fans saw a pretty Kameron Taylor tap in alley-oop in which Geretzki dished him the perfect pass. Young German talent Anton Geretzki also hit a trey and  Alexander Moeller hit a jumper who had a solid game with nine points and five rebounds as Rhondorf led 92-67. Down the stretch KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe German Marcel Davis scored inside and Taylor added some fine tuning to his stat sheet with free throws closing out the 98-73 Rhondorf victory. “We never let up on the court. Our bench did a good job keeping the energy up and closing out the game”, expressed Kameron Taylor. “It is hard to come back when your down by 25 points. The mental part played a big role. Rhondorf continued to play their game and we couldn´t stop it”, stressed Aaron Schmitz. The Dragons Rhondorf were led by Patrick Reusch with 18 points. Kameron taylor added 16 points.  As did Vikto Frankl-Maus. Thomas Michel added 13 points and Yannick Kneesch had 11 points. KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe were led by Luka Drezga with 20 points. Chaed Wellian supplied 14 points and Jeremy Black and Florian Rothenberg added 10 points apiece. The Dragons Rhondorf shot 52% from the field and 34% from outside while KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe shot 49% from the field and 39% from outside. Rhondorf won the rebound duel 39-27 and had only eight turnovers while KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe coughed up the ball 19 times.

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Joseph Lewis(ratiopharm Ulm)Playing With That Seemingly Engraved Chip On His Shoulder

At the end of September head coach Rick Pitino was dismissed of his basketball duties at Louisville and where exactly ratiopharm Ulm guard Trey Lewis was when he had heard of the news over the social media, CNN or a phone call from an ex teammate is unknown, but any basketball fan would have loved to have been caught in his personal thoughts about the matter and a phrase like “Good riddance” or “That for sure didn´t surprise me” could easily have been in his mind. According to si.com Pitino´s employment contract and that allegations in the federal government complaint “insinuate a scheme of fraud and malfeasance'” in recruiting gave the school a reason to put Pitino on unpaid leave.  The short basketball career of Joseph Lewis has had his highs and lows as he played his first three years for two schools Penn State and Cleveland St. (NCAA) where he put up very strong stats and as a senior averaged 16.3ppg, 4.4rpg, 2.9apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 47.4%, 3PT: 42.3%, FT: 75.7%, but two Horizon League Tournament Semifinal runs denied him every player´s dream of playing at a NCAA tournament. Despite graduating from Cleveland State, he still had a season of eligibility to play and chose to play at Louisville a school that had captured two NCAA titles in the 80´s, but then dipped into obscurity until 2005 since then the school has reached two NCAA Final 4´s, two NCAA Elite 8´s and won it all in 2013. In the 2015-2016 season, Lewis and the Cardinals had a great season and a record of 23-8 and were 12-6 in the ACC, but it all didn´t matter, because shortly after the college basketball season started, the school announced that they were ineligible to play in the NCAA or ACC tournament on account of a recruiting scandal. After not winning anything at Cleveland State or at Louisville despite averaging 11.3ppg, 3.4rpg, 2.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 46.9%, 3PT: 35.1%, FT: 79.5%, he left Louisville with a big chip on his shoulder and probably unending thoughts in his mind and numerous “why me´s”. It didn´t help matters either that he couldn´t make any impact for his own cause on the court at the NBA Pro Summer League in Las Vegas (Cleveland Cavaliers) as he hardly got a chance in 5 games averaging 1,4ppg. His chip on his shoulder was growing and continuing to be an annoying reminder each day about his career and as heavy as if Terrance “pot Roast” Knighton was resting on his shoulder. The American from Garfield Heights stayed calm and let his agency Priority Sports go to work and prompt found him a good situation in Germany with medi Bayreuth last season. He was the main offensive force on a team that hadn´t been to the playoffs since the 90´s and brought the small Bavarian city back to life and back on the map since 2011 where there was the funny Kevin Durant rumors of him going to play there during the NBA lockout. Last season Lewis was brilliant as a rookie averaging 15.3ppg, 2.6rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 46.7%, 3PT: 44.7%, FT: 93.8%. He had no problems adjusting to the European game. Last season he took almost six three´s per game, but not only his shooting was adored by the fans, but also his drive and free throw accuracy. He came on a mission with a chip on his shoulder and delivered. The club lost in the playoffs to a strong and confident Oldenburg team, but he did his share averaging 19,0ppg and shot a massive 11-24 from outside. A couple breaks here and here and medi Bayreuth could have been in the semi´s. This season Lewis has made the jump to top team ratiopharm Ulm and has the difficult task of replacing ex NBA player Chris Babb, but so far he has done a fine job as his stats are up, but the only negative thing is the team started off slowly. His stats might not be as high as last season as he is simply engulfed with more scoring options but he is being effective. Averaging 12,8ppg, 1,9rpg and 2,1apg and really been great in the Eurocup averaging 13,8ppg, 1,0rpg and 3,0apg while shooting 42,4% from outside. Lewis will make the next step in Ulm and improve once again just because of the vast talent on the team, but one thing won´t disappear so quickly. He continues to play with an urgency and angriness that really has propelled his game to another level. He had his lows in the NCAA and really was robbed at Louisville and it just will take some basketball time for that to heal so in the meantime he will take it out on his opponents. His chip will still be clinging on his shoulder and feeling like it could physically maim him sometime as it won´t get any lighter even as his team is crawling out of it´s hole clinging on to a three game winning streak in the BBL at the moment.

Sometimes things change so rapidly that one forgets just how wonderful basketball times were last season. Last season ratiopharm Ulm didn´t lose their first regular season game until April 8th against FC Bayern Munich where they pulled out 27 victories in a row setting off a new kind of excitement never witnessed before by a team other than a Bamberg or Alba Berlin or the Bayer Giants Leverkusen back in the day. But the club was unable to finish the job last season in the playoffs as all were expecting a Bamberg-ULM final, but instead lost a hard fought five game series against the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg. Their unstoppable offense fascinated everyone last season and rebounding helped them get out of jams on many occasions, but without their arsenal of offensive weapons, they would have landed farther back in the playoff places on account of their inconsistent defense. This season has been a nightmare so far for ratiopharm Ulm as they started off 1-5 and for anyone that took a three week vacation to the outback and were offline and came back and saw the BBL standings wouldn´t have believed the 1-5 start something that just seemed impossible on paper. Nobody expected the club to start as well as last season, but these horrible start shows just how valuable the loses of ex NBA player Chris Babb, top center Raymar Morgan, Augustine Rubit, Braydon Hobbs and Karsten Tadda was for the overall team chemistry. Their offense is far from reaching their peak and defense continues to be their achilles heel as they allow 80 points per game. But they have another potent offense as always and now it depends on just how good a coach Thorsten Leibenath is to get out of this black hole. In the last weeks, it has gotten better as the club is quietly climbing up the BBL ladder with a three game winning streak and currently in 10th position.

Besides keeping their talented young Germans like David Kramer, Joschka Ferner, Bjoern Rohwer and Hungarian Marcell Pongo, the club also held on to Per Guenther, Da´sean Butler and Tim Ohlbrecht. Guenther is a 185cm point guard that will be turning 30 this season and is wedged between Rickey Paulding(since 2007 in Oldenburg) and Quantez Robertson(since 2009 in Frankfurt) as he arrived in Ulm in 2008 from Hagen and is the club´s absolute identity figure. His back problems have been persistent, but the ex German national player still belongs to the best point guards from Germany. He is trying to find his lethal three point accuracy from 2012-2015 where he averaged an amazing 47% and last season played 38 games averaging 8.0ppg, 1.2rpg, 3.4apg, FGP: 38.6%, 3PT: 35.2%, FT: 88.0%; In the Eurocup, he played 7 games averaging 9.1ppg, 1.0rpg, 2.9apg, FGP: 36.8%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 84.6%. The German now has the task of not only leading his team to success, but grooming Ismet Akpinar and helping him reach the next level., Da´sean Butler is a 201cm forward from New Jersey that played at West Virginia(NCAA) and was drafted by the Miami Heat in 2010 and is playing his third season with Ulm. He has experience having played in countries like Latvia, Belgium, France and the D-League. Last season for ratiopharm Ulm he played 28 BBL games averaging 10.4ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 53.7%, 3PT: 35.5%, FT: 79.7%; In the Eurocup, he played 13 games averaging 9.0ppg, 4.0rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 51.4%, 3PT: 32.9%, FT: 60.0%. The versatile American who can play both forward positions will be relied on to help carry the team since he has been a consistent contributor the last two years and be a good role model for the new players. Tim Ohlbrecht is a 30 year old 201cm forward/center playing his third season with the team. The ex NBA player who played 3 games with Houston is the most experienced player on the squad playing his first BBL game at age 16 with Leverkusen and also played for teams like Bonn ,Frankfurt and Enisey Krasnoyarsk (Russia-VTB). Last season the two time D-League champion was plagued with injuries and played only 16 games averaging 12.4ppg, 4.4rpg, FGP-2(69.1%), 3PT: 43.8%, FT: 88.9%; In the Eurocup, he played 8 games averaging 9.1ppg, 3.1rpg, FGP: 55.8%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 72.2%. His inside out game and experience will help the team most this season.

Besides Joseph Lewis, the team also brought in five new players with ex NBA players Luke Haragody and Toure Murray as well as Ryan Thompson, Isaac Fotu and Ismet Akpinar. The club has been known of liking to haul in ex NBA players and with Harangody did just that. The 29 year old 202cm undersized forward is an ex Notre Dame(NCAA) standout who averaged 21,8ppg and 9,1rpg as a senior and was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 2010 playing 70 NBA games for Boston and Cleveland. He has had a solid European career since 2013 playing in Russia, Spain and Turkey and the last two seasons balled for Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul (Turkey-BSL) playing 23 games averaging 8.8ppg, 4.9rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 66.7%, 3PT: 38.2%, FT: 74.1%;In the Euroleague, he played 28 games averaging 3.9ppg, 2.5rpg. His 62 Euroleague games will help the team as well as his consistent scoring and rebounding and should be that Jack Cooley type dominant player in the BBL. Murray is a 29 year old 196cm American that can play the positions 1-3 and is in his second season in Europe. Last season he played with Yesilgiresun Belediye (Turkey-BSL playing 6 games averaging 8.3ppg, 3.7rpg, 3.0apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 41.4%, 3PT: 26.3%, FT: 78.6%. After playing only 75 NBA games for teams like New York, Washington and Utah and playing with 5 G-League teams, the American is concentrating on Europe. He could easily be an impact player overseas, but so far hasn´t found his place in the Ulm rotation. His defense, scoring and creative impulses will only help ratiopharm Ulm get back on track if he gets the chance. Ryan Thompson is a 29 year old 198cm forward playing his eighth professional season and third in Germany after stops in Bamberg and Bonn. The ex Rider(NCAA) standout has extensive experience having played in Italy, Belgium, Serbia and Turkey. Last season the Belgium cup winner with Ostende played with the Telekom Baskets Bonn (Germany-BBL) playing 35 BBL games averaging 13.7ppg, 2.1rpg, 3.1apg, FGP: 60.3%, 3PT: 40.3%, FT: 84.2%; In the FIBA Europe Cup, he played 12 games averaging 9.6ppg, 2.4rpg, 4.9apg, FGP: 58.2%, 3PT: 28.0%, FT: 72.7%. The American could be the X-factor this season as the exceptional one on one player who can also shoot the three will be able to decide games in crunch-time. Isaac Fotu is a 24 year old 203cm forward that has the Tonga/New Zealand citizenship that played at the University of Hawaii (NCAA) and the last three seasons in the Spanish ACB and last season with Tecnyconta Zaragoza (Spain-Liga Endesa) played 32 games averaging 9.5ppg, 5.7rpg, FGP: 66.9%, 3PT: 8.7%, FT: 58.9%. The physical big man will bring the needed muscle and be a consistent scorer, but also an impact player on the defensive end. Ismet Akpinar is a 190cm point guard that is playing his fifth BBL season and is only 22 years of age. He made his breakthrough with Alba Berlin as Sasa Obradovic believed in his abilities and in the last two seasons got more responsibility and grew as a player and became a German national player last summer. Last season with Alba Berlin, he played 37 BBL games averaging 4.4ppg, 1.4rpg, 1.1apg; In the Eurocup, he played 14 games averaging 3.6ppg, 1.2rpg, 1.2apg. The German with Turkish roots is a good scoring point guard that likes the floater and can find his teammates will be a suitable back up to Guenther.The club recently brought in big man Jerrelle Benimon for inside insurance who is a 26 year old 203cm forward from Warrenton, Virginia playing his fourth professional season. After not getting a real chance at Georgetown, He finished at Towson (NCAA) and had a stellar senior season playing 32 games averaging 19.0ppg, Reb-3(11.6rpg), 3.7apg, 1.3bpg, FGP: 55.3%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 72.3%. AS a rookie he played one NBA game with the Utah Jazz, but stayed the rest of the season with the  Idaho Stampede (D-League) playing 44 games averaging 19.8ppg, 11.0rpg, 4.4apg, 1.1spg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 63.6%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 62.9%. He chased the bucks the last two seasons in China and last season played with Qingdao Double Star Eagles (China-CBA) playing 17 games averaging 18.9ppg, 10.4rpg, 2.4apg, 1.5spg, 1.5bpg, FGP: 58.3%, 3PT: 10.0%, FT: 72.3%. He will make an impact in the paint for the club.

So where will the journey of ratiopharm Ulm go this season?   On paper they are just as deep as last season, but with their immense loses especially with Babb and Morgan is lacking in having kept that dominant team chemistry of last season. When looking at the first nine games and 4-5 record, one could say they are underachieving and it can only get better. Their offense is only average and their defense so far is horrible which has resulted in the less than satisfactory start. In four of the first five loses they averaged giving up 85 points and played under expectations on offense. The season is still young and ratiopharm Ulm is going through a process that will only get better. New imports Ryan Thompson and usual consistent player Da´sean Butler are still searching for their groove while Toure Murray has been a bust. Those are three players that could help give the team between 30-40 points. Ratiopharm Ulm won´t win as many games as last season, but they will still reach the playoffs. The club will find their rhythm on offense and be an 80 plus scoring team, but their major goal will be to get some sort of defensive consistency which will be the difference between a longer playoff stay or a three and out playoff run. Ratiopharm Ullm will finish between 5-8 and in the playoffs anything is possible with a team like ratiopharm Ulm that has the personal to beat any team in a playoff series which they demonstrated over the last years reaching the final.

 

 

Michael Holton JR(Stahnsdorf) I’ve Always Been Able To Be Around The NBA And Continually Watch And Learn

Michael Holton JR is a 26 year old 185cm guard from Portland, Oregon that is playing his second professional season and first in Germany with  RSV Eintracht Stahnsdorf (Germany-ProB).Currently he is averaging 19,6ppg, 4,7rpg and 3,4apg and shooting 44% from outside As a rookie two years ago he played with ECE Bulls Kapfenberg (Austria-A Bundesliga) playing 38 games averaging 8.4ppg, 2.5rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 42.3%, 3PT: 34.1%, FT: 75.7%; He also played 6 FIBA Europe Cup games averaging 10.7ppg, 2.7rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 46.4%, 3PT: 27.6%, FT: 87.5%. He started his basketball career in 2010 at St.Michael’s (NCAA2) and as a senior played 17 games averaging 14.9ppg, 3.8rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 55.0%, 3PT: 34.7%, FT: 79.6%. He spoke to German Hoops late in the summer about basketball.

 

 

 

 

Michael thanks for talking to German Hoops. It has been almost 16 months since your last professional game against Wels. Please explain how hungry you are to get back on the court in a professional game?

 

Hey Miles, thanks for having me I appreciate it. It’s been a long 16 months since that last professional game and I am extremely hungry to get back out on the floor and compete at a high level again.

 

 

You have signed with German Pro B team Stahnsdorf. How difficult was the last season not playing the game you love? Did you ever have doubt that your career would continue?

 

 

Watching this last season come and go without being on a team was a really difficult challenge for me to navigate. I’ve been on a team year after year since I was very young. There were definitely a lot of moments of frustration, but I never let doubt fully creep in and used my situation to fuel me to keep getting better and preparing for another opportunity.

 

 

You played your rookie season in Austria and now are coming to the German Pro B league. Do you feel pressure to have to really make a statement in your game or are you the type of player that just let´s the game come to you and let the rest fall in place?

 

As a competitor you always want to go out and make a statement with your performance, and for me that has always been important especially with trying to crack my way into the pros. Overall I am more of the type of player to let the game flow and have it come to me. Any pressure I have is never external and only internal as a driver to keep pushing forward and improving.

 

 

 

What was the main reason for you joining Stahnsdorf? What sold you most on coming to play for them?

 

I’ve wanted to play in Germany for some time now and the opportunity with Stahnsdorf is a good one for me. They believed in me enough to give me an opportunity after a “year off”. With the way their season ended last year and coming into this year you could say that some may have counted them out. I see my situation as a similar one, and think it’s a good fit for both the team and myself to go out there and turn things around this year.

 

 

You have been impressed by the motivation of the club in the early going. The club has two Americans with you and Josh Smith and talented Germans. What has impressed you most about this bunch of guys in the early going?

 

Everybody has been working really hard early on here in the preseason and I can really tell that we have a great group of guys who are ready to train hard and go out and compete.

The club has a new Head coach Denis Toroman who has coached in 8 countries. Have you felt his experience come through in the early going and what has impressed you most about his coaching style?

 

I really like Coach Toroman’s approach. He has a lot of on court experience and it’s clear that he knows a lot about the game, especially from the players’ perspective. With him playing previously at a high European level it comes out in his coaching style and he’s able to coach and take us through a lot of situations on the court as well as talk about the mindset you need to have as a player.

 

 

 

Let´s talk about your game. You are a point guard that demonstrated that you could score in college. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player to whom would you do that?

 

 

I like to think that everybody has their own game and playing style including myself, but Damian Lillard is one of my favorite guards to watch and if I could model my game after an NBA player it would be him.

 

 

What other strengths do you have? You never averaged more than 3,6apg. Do you feel like you could really heighten your playmaking this season and not be relied on so much to only score?

 

I shoot the ball very well and this has been a big part of my game and has also often enabled me to play off the ball for previous teams I’ve been on. Increasing my playmaking is definitely something I’m conscious of and want to continue improving in.

 

 

 

 

You’re a player that can really fill up the stat sheet, but what do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away on the court?

 

 

My ability to set other guys up by keeping good spacing.

 

 

AS a rookie you played for ECE Bulls Kapfenberg (Austria-A Bundesliga) playing 38 games averaging 8.4ppg, 2.5rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 42.3%, 3PT: 34.1%, FT: 75.7%; You also played FIBA Europe Cup: playing 6 games averaging 10.7ppg, 2.7rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 46.4%, 3PT: 27.6%, FT: 87.5%. What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Europe where you knew that you were far away from home in Portland, Oregon?

 

I’d say the biggest wake up call for me as a rookie was seeing the business side of the game. Before reaching the professional level you don’t see guys on your team being sent home or new guys being added in the middle of the season as well as on the other teams in your league that you’re playing against. So just adjusting your mindset for that and being steady in your routines and controlling what you do was a big learning piece for me.

 

 

 

 

How vital was 35 year old veteran Shawn Ray in your rookie season. Did he take you under his wing in the early game and what did you appreciate most by his presence?

 

I’m extremely glad that I had Shawn Ray as a veteran on my team in my first season. He definitely took me under his wing as a rookie and we’re still close today and talk to each other pretty often. I learned a lot from him and really admire how he has turned coming from a smaller college into a lengthy and successful professional career abroad. He embodies what it is to be a pro from his professionalism on the court to his consistency in his routines off the court that have always kept him in shape and ready.

 

You had some big games in the Austrian league and also hit Cantu and Boras for 20 plus points in the Fiba Europe Cup. Will you keep these highlights in the back of your mind this season when you continue your quest of climbing the basketball ladder in Europe?

 

Sure. I think that you can always use experiences and learn from both the good and the bad. So I look at the moments where I wasn’t at my best and keep working to improve on those areas and situations, and then with the highlights I use them as confidence for myself that I belong and that I can keep climbing and moving forward in my career.

 

 

Your dad played in the NBA in the 80´s with teams Phoenix, Chicago, Portland and Charlotte, coached at the college ranks and is a color man for the Portland Trailblazers at the moment. How was it growing up with an NBA dad and what special NBA stories do you have?

 

 

What stands out most for me having a dad who played in the NBA and coached in college is that I’ve always been able to be around the game and continually watch and learn. I’ve been in gyms for as long as I can remember and have observed a lot. He played in a golden era of the NBA with and against a lot of legends, there’s just too many stories to tell one. His path wasn’t clear cut and he bounced around a bit with the CBA and was on a couple of 10-day contracts at times but he turned it into 6 years in the league. I’ve always admired the drive he had to keep pursuing his career.

 

 

 

You played at ST Michaels from 2010-2015 . You had many memorable games, but was your 36 points game in the win against Bentley your most memorable experience on the court?

That was a special game individually for me, but my most memorable game at Saint Mike’s would be one from my sophomore season on the road at Southern Connecticut State. We were the underdog and it went into 4 overtimes, we pulled out the win, and had 3 guys score over 20. A lot of big time plays were made from everybody on the team to pull out the win and the feeling afterwards was really special.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How did head coach Josh Meyer groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?

 

 

Coach Meyer took over as head coach for my last 2 seasons and he really helped me mentally to mature as a player and a leader especially at a time when I went from being an underclassman to being in my final years.

 

 

 

Who won a one on one in practice you or Corey Crawford?

 

 

Corey Crawford is one of the hardest working players I know and we spent a lot of time preparing together in the off-seasons. We had a mutual admiration and respect for each other’s games. I’ll tell you that I would win one on one every time against him, and he would tell you that he’d win one on one against me every time. That’s just how we are as competitors. So, me. I would win.

 

 

Who was the toughest player you battled in the states in high school or college time that is in the NBA or in Europe now?

 

There’s a lot of guys I could mention. Avery Bradley and I were on the same AAU team for a brief period in high school, on the Portland Legends. He was a killer on both ends of the floor. Going against him consistently in practices getting ready for tournaments, I saw why he’s an elite defender and starter in the NBA now.

 

 

 

 

 

If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you chose?

 

 

 

Jordan, Kareem, Magic, LeBron.

 

 

 

Lebron James failed to win his fourth NBA title and is still three away from Michael Jordan. Where does Lebron stand right now in your opinion in the never ending debate of who is the best of all-time?

 

Jordan is the best to ever do it. LeBron is also unlike any player we’ve seen before and his career is far from finished. Depending on how he ends his career he could end up being the greatest.

 

 

 

 

There has been criticism of Russell Westbrook to be focusing more on rebounding to help inflate his stats and possibilities of getting triple doubles instead of focusing on his defensive assignments. Do you feel that this is a fair assessment to the player Russell Westbrook?

 

 

I think that people have always and will always have something negative to say about Westbrook for some reason. Do you realize how special you have to be to inflate a stat like rebounding? I think that’s silly. The guy is incredible and anybody who averages a triple double is doing something valuable for their team. He deserved MVP.

 

 

 

 

How do you summarize the 2017 NBA Draft. What sleepers do you see playing a role in the NBA?

 

 

 

This year’s draft was loaded with talent and exciting players. I think maybe 2nd rounder Jordan Bell will find his niche. He plays great defense and has a good motor. He could end up being another valuable piece for the Warriors.

 

Where will the journey of the Houston Rockets go this season with Chris Paul and James Harden in the back court. Do they have enough to make a serious run at the title or is something missing?

 

I really don’t know what to expect from this situation. They’re two of the top guards in the league with the ball in their hands. It will be exciting to watch how they share roles on the team and see how it will elevate the players around them. Rockets have some good defenders and shooters which makes them tough, but the West is just going to be really hard to get out of.

 

 

 

 

How do you rate the Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas trade? Who got the better deal and which team will profit better in the long run?

 

I was shocked when I saw this trade go through. Both teams lost and received value. Cavs got more in the short term, and a lot obviously depends on if LeBron remains there for a while or not. If Kyrie fits well in Boston they could be in a great position for some years to come due to the young talent that he will have around him.

 

 

 

 

What was the last movie that you saw?

 

Get Out.

 

Thanks Michael for the chat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anthony Ireland(Juventus-LKSK Utenos) I Had Played 5,000 Pick And Rolls And Those Greek Legends 35,000 Pick And Rolls

Anthony Ireland is a 26 year old 175cm point guard playing his fourth professional season and first with Juventus-LKSK Utenos (Lithuania-LKL). Last season he played for Trefl Sopot (Poland-TBL) playing 33 games averaging 17.4ppg,  2.9rpg, 2.9apg, FGP: 53.3%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 89.9%. As a rookie he played with ES Chalon-Sur-Saone (France-ProA) playing 33 games averaging 9.2ppg, 2.6rpg, 3.4apg, FGP: 45.7%, 3PT: 31.9%, FT: 81.7%. Two seasons ago he played with SEFA Arkadikos (Greece-A1) playing 8 games averaging 7.0ppg, 1.8rpg, 1.6apg, 2FGP: 45.5%, 3FGP: 36.4%, FT: 73.7%, in Mar.’16 signed at Trefl Sopot (Poland-TBL) playing 7 games averaging 19.7ppg, 4.7rpg, 3.0apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 39.0%, 3PT: 54.5%, FT: 62.5%. He played at Loyola Marymount (NCAA) from 2010-2014 and as a senior played 32 games averaging 18.5ppg, 3.7rpg, 5.3apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 40.7%, 3PT: 30.8%, FT: 81.7%. He spoke to German Hoops before the Basketball Champions League game against the EWE Baskets in Oldenburg.

 

 

 

 

Anthony thanks for talking to German Hoops. You are in Oldenburg preparing for a Basketball Champions League game. Is this your first time in Germany or have you been here before?

 

 

This is my first time to Germany. My first impression has been good. At shoot around tonight, I got a first impression of the gym and I liked it. It was very clean and looked new.

 

 

What do you know in general about the country Germany and it´s basketball? Do you have any buddies playing in Germany? I remember your ex teammate Jared Dubois played with Frankfurt.

 

 

I know a few guys that play for the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg and a few guys that play for Alba Berlin. I talked to Bryon Allen after shoot around and he told me that the BBL is very competitive and that it is good from top to bottom. Anybody can beat anybody on any given night.

 

 

You are playing your fourth professional season and first with Juventus-LKSK Utenos (Lithuania-LKL) and are playing your first season of international club basketball. You have needed no adjustment period as you are putting up good stats. What have you appreciated the most about this new experience?

 

 

I have learned to take care of my body and watch what I eat. We travel a lot and have less practices. You also have to focus more on the scouting.

 

 

 

Juventus started off on the wrong foot in the LKL league, but are playing better in the BCL league. How much has the bad LKL start affected you mentally because you are the point guard and has to lead the team?

 

 

It hasn´t only affected me, but everybody on the team. It has been a bigger adjustment period for the team. A lot of guys came in late and we had a coaching change. A new offensive and defensive system was put in. We are on the rise and getting better and starting to click.

 

You face a tough Oldenburg team that have played a very strong BCL competition that are very deep and have many imports. What kind of game can we await?

 

 

I await a very competitive game from start to end. We are going in with a lot of confidence and are very motivated. In the BCL we have more freedom because we don´t have a lot of time for preparation and scouting. All we can do is play of instincts and off our confidence. A win in Oldenburg would be huge.

 

 

 

 

You play with new American teammates each season and this year have Jonte Flowers and Laron Dendy. What have you appreciated most about their games and how have you meshed best with them?

 

 

We have meshed perfectly. The two guys have totally different personalities. Jonte is the veteran and I try to pick his brain whenever I can. Laron and I play well together and feed off our energy. Our personalities are pretty similar and we come from the same kind of background. We both are playing for something bigger than basketball.

 

 

I covered Carl Lindbom 7 years ago when he played with the Fraport Skyliners and since then played in his home country Finland and now is abroad again with Juventus. He isn´t getting much minutes, but does he still have sufficient potential at age 25?

 

 

I feel he still has a lot of potential. He can play the stretch four or three and can really shoot the ball. He is a good locker room guy with a high basketball IQ. Even though he came in late, he had no problems picking up on the plays quickly. He is still young and hasn´t hit his prime yet. He still has a way to go in his development.

 

 

Let´s talk about your game. I love small point guards and you stand only 175cm. What was the most common phrase that you heard throughout your basketball life concerning your height and ability to play?

 

 

 

Take your pick. I heard the normal comments like I´m too small, I can´t get off my shot over bigger guards at the next level, but wherever I played at the next level, I was able to develop further and had no problems with my height. I play with a chip on my shoulder. I play hard because I am always underestimated. I have to give the extra edge each night at both ends of the court. I see it as an advantage for taller guards to guard me, because they have problems getting low on me.

 

Very small point guards aren´t a dime a dozen, but they do exist and are often exciting to watch in a sport that has taller players. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would you chose?

 

 

That is right. Right now I would compare my game to Isaiah Thomas of the Cavs. I played against him in prep school when he was at South Kent. I remember seeing eye to eye. Being the height I am I have to do extra work. In the summers, I am in the gym bulking up and working on my quickness. You can´t teach speed. I am pretty athletic and jump well. I make up for my height disadvantage with my jumping ability.

 

 

You’re a scoring point guard, but have proved on occasion that you can find your teammates, but what is a hidden strength in your game that isn´t noticed right away on the court?

 

A hidden strength is my passing ability. I feel that I can get in the lane and create for others and make the right plays. My goal now as a professional is to lock in on defense. If I want to reach the next level, I need to be a pest on defense and create havoc for my opponents.

 

 

 

Last season you played with Trefl Sopot (Poland-TBL) playing 31 games: Score-4(17.4ppg), 2.9rpg, 2.9apg, FGP: 53.3%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 89.9%. How vital was it coming to this team the season before in mid season after a short stay in Greece? Would you say you made your breakthrough there?

 

I feel that was my breakthrough last season in Poland. I came to that team at the end of 2015-2016 and finished with 8 good games. They wanted me back and I went into last season wanting to put together a complete season there. We won games last season, but missed the playoffs. I feel I made the next step there and was able to reach the next level.

 

You were the only American last season and proved that you could be an impact player without American teammates. What did you learn about yourself last season that enabled you to be so successful going the non typical route with mostly Polish players?

 

Last season being the only American forced me out of my comfort zone. The Polish players and Serb all spoke English, but it was different having no Americans around. On the court the focus of the opponent was always on me. I enjoyed the challenge and my play helped my teammates have good seasons as well. I remember in pre season at a tournament my coach saying if I had seen the rosters. I noticed every other team had 3-4 Americans, but I was the only one on my team. That was when I realized that it was a job and I had to take care of business. Off the court I was able to grow as a person as I had to involve myself more with their culture.

 

 

 

You did the same thing with Trefl Sopot (Poland-TBL) at the end of the 2015-2016 season coming from Greece putting up excellent stats with no Americans. What was your secret to staying positive coming from your Greece gig where you couldn´t make an impact?

 

That season was mentally tough. After Greece, I went home for about a month and stayed in shape waiting for a call of a team. When I got to Poland in March, I was eager to prove myself and get on the court. I knew nobody on the team and knew nothing about the Polish league. I was very motivated and just went in wanting to prove to myself that I could still play. I was able to turn it around with a good finish to the season.

 

 

You started the 2015-2016 season with SEFA Arkadikos (Greece-A1) playing 8 games averaging 7.0ppg, 1.8rpg, 1.6apg, 2FGP: 45.5%, 3FGP: 36.4%, FT: 73.7%. The club was filled with other talented guards. What kind of learning experience was this for you?

 

 

That was a big learning experience. I couldn´t really control what happened there. I was playing for a young Greek coach who had a 35 year old Greek point guard playing ahead of me. The two were close. I don´t know if the coach didn´t like my play, but the coached liked the veteran and I didn´t get the minutes. I always practiced hard and one game I played very well and I thought I might get a chance, but never did. That was it. I then decided to leave.

 

 

You scored seven points and had three assists in 19 minutes in a 78-61 loss to top Euroleague team Panathinaikos. Panathinaikos had many ex NBA players and Greek legend Antonis Fotsis. What things on your game did you realize after that loss were still a work in progress if you ever wanted to reach that level?

 

 

I don´t feel that there was so much difference basketball wise, but the big difference was the experience. I had played something like 5,000 pick and rolls in my life and those Greek Legends something like  35,000 pick and rolls. I know that the more I play, the more experience I will gain to reach that level one day.

 

As a rookie you played for ES Chalon-Sur-Saone (France-ProA) playing 33 games averaging 9.2ppg, 2.6rpg, 3.4apg, FGP: 45.7%, 3PT: 31.9%, FT: 81.7%. What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Europe where you knew that you were very far away from home?

 

My rookie season with Chalon was a very good experience. I had been used to being away from home for a while. I had gone to school in Los Angeles while I came from Connecticut. That isn´t the same as the States and Europe, but the adjustment still wasn´t bad. The food was different, but nice was having some Americans there as we celebrated Christmas together. The biggest change was the time factor as it was difficult getting a routine with my family.

 

 

Chalon was stacked with so much talent like Marcus Dove or Eric Dawson to name a few. How vital was having so many experienced Americans around that made your basketball life easier?

 

It was huge having them as teammates as a rookie. They taught me the business side and how it works overseas. They told me that Americans have the most pressure to perform on a nightly basis and that you can´t take any nights off. Jason Rich taught me how important it is to have a good pre game routine. Eric Dawson taught me about saving money and Marcus Dove was a huge energy player that also taught me a lot as a rookie.

 

You were teammates with one of my favorite guys Illian Evtimov who never met a basket he didn´t like. Do you remember him putting on some amazing shooting clinics in practice?

 

 

He had great games, but he didn´t miss in practice. He was a great shooter. I remember him talking trash 3-4 feet behind the three point line and sinking everything. He would shoot and call that the ball would swoosh through the net and not just drop straight down, but turn and go out of bounds. He also taught me a lot. He was a very disciplined and family orientated guy that was strict on massages after games.

 

 

You played at Loyola Marymount (NCAA) from 2010-2014. You had endless huge individual games even if you didn´t win any, but can you explain why you seemed to always pick Gonzaga and Santa Clara for shooting clinics?

 

I liked playing against them. I always came to play against Santa Clara because of their point guard Evan Roquemore who would win a lot awards as did I did during those years and that pushed me. I always got up playing against Gonzaga especially at their place. The games were always nationally televised and my family could watch. I had to play my best.

 

 

You put up huge stats at Loyola Marymount and are in the schools basketball record books. Were you in a way playing with a chip on your shoulder which pushed your whole career simply with your height issue and not having played at a more known basketball school like UCLA or USC?

 

 

I had been recruited by bigger schools, but I had committed early to Loyola Marymount and wanted to stay faithful to them. I had a great game against UCLA: I always wanted to play at the highest level and always knew I could. I didn´t play at the top school, but that motivated me to always work at my game. I was able to spend a lot of time in the gym in school. I wanted to bring it every game.

 

 

 

You played two seasons with Jarred Dubois who currently is a player development coach for NBA team Toronto Raptors. What memories do you have of him and was he one of those guys that really pushed you in practice?

 

He was older than I and was the main guard when I started there. I had to bring it each practice because he really pushed me. We really went at it each practice and it was physical. Whenever I saw him working on his game, I pushed myself to work on my game.

 

 

How did head coach Max Good groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career at Loyola Marymount?

 

 

Coach Good is like my dad. We had a great relationship. He recruited me. He was always hard on me the whole 4 years, because he didn´t want to show favoritism. He never let up either being hard on me. Even when I had great games, he never gave me praise. He would tell the worst to your face and best behind your back. Even if he cursed at me in practice, I knew that he genuinely loved me and only wanted the best for my career.

 

 

Who won a one on one in practice you or Ayodeji Egbeyemi?

 

 

We call him daisy. He was a character. We would play 3 dribbles. He would win a few, but I would win the spot. He was a long athletic guard that was a very good defender. He was always a good matchup.

 

 

 

 

Who was the toughest player that you battled in the NCAA that is in the NBA now?

 

 

It was Damian Lillard who played at Weber State. It was a good experience. I remember playing him in my sophomore year when he was a senior. At the time we played him he was averaging something like 25 or 26 points a game and our whole defense was for him. We did a good job on him. He went 17/17 from the free throw line, but had an off shooting night. He hit a big shot bringing the game into OT, but we eventually won the game. You could tell that he was ready for the next step. He was never wild or panicked, but stayed mellow.

 

 

If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you chose?

 

 

Lebron James, Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, Shaq

 

 

 

 

Lebron James failed to win his fourth NBA title and is still three away from Michael Jordan. Where does Lebron stand right now in your opinion in the never ending debate of who is the best of all-time?

 

 

 

 

 

 They are tough to compare. You tend to appreciate guys more when they aren´t playing anymore. I didn´t see Jordan play, but my dad says that Lebron is better. I honestly think Lebron is better, because he is more the complete player that can play positions 1-5.

 

 

There has been criticism of Russell Westbrook to be focusing more on rebounding to help inflate his stats and possibilities of getting triple doubles instead of focusing on his defensive assignments. Do you feel that this is a fair assessment to the player Russell Westbrook?

 

 

 

I don´t feel that he was stocking his stats. He just did what he had to do to win games. His teammates allowed him to get many more rebounds simply because he could get out on the  break quicker than a center rebounding the ball. I am glad I was able to witness that season.

 

 

 

How do you summarize the 2017 NBA Draft. What sleepers do you see playing a role in the NBA?

 

I really like Kyle Kuzma and train with the same coach he has during the summer. I know the amount of work he puts in. I also like Jayson Tatum.

 

 

 

 

Where will the journey of the Houston Rockets go this season with Chris Paul and James Harden in the back court. Do they have enough to make a serious run at the title or is something missing?

 

 

 

They don´t have a chance to knock off the Golden State Warriors. All these teams are trying pack super teams, but will they have the better chemistry and better unselfishness than the Warriors? The Warriors will be hard to beat.

 

 

How do you rate the Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas trade? Who got the better deal and which team will profit better in the long run?

 

 

 

We have yet to see because Isaiah Thomas hasn´t been on the court. The Cavs are struggling now and need him to make plays. We will see in June when everything is on the line who made the better deal.

 

Where will the journey of the Oklahoma Thunder go this season with Westbrook, George and Anthony? Can they make a serious run in the west?

 

I would love to see it. I think they could. I love Carmelo. Westbrook has to be Russ and not worry about them but just play his game. Russ will lead and they will follow. Then Russ can tell KD that they didn´t need him.

 

 

What was the last movie that you saw?

 

 

How to be a player. A 90´s comedy that will give you a laugh before sleep.

 

Thanks Anthony for the chat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eniel Polynice Wants To Remain In Europe

Eniel Polynice is a 28 year old 196cm guard from Sarasota, Florida that has played six professional seasons and gathered vast experience having played in countries like the states, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Uruguay, Argentina, Puerto Rico and France. His uncle is 17 year NBA veteran Olden Polynice and his cousin is Euroleague player James Nunnally.  Last season he played with Saint-Quentin Basket-Ball (France-ProB) playing 8 games averaging 9.4ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 45.0%, 3PT: 39.3%, FT: 66.7%. He played at  Mississippi (NCAA) from 2006-2010 playing a total of 99 NCAA games and in his last season played 33 games averaging 8.8ppg, 4.1rpg, 3.9apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 41.9%, 3PT: 24.2%, FT: 67.9%. He played his last season of NCAA ball with Seton Hall (NCAA) playing 31 games averaging 3.8ppg, 2.8rpg, 2.0apg. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.

 

 

 

Eniel thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?

 

 

I am in France now. I am working out with a team and just waiting for the right call.

 

 

You are still unsigned. Your 28 years old and have six seasons of professional experience. Last season you also got signed late. Do you get a bit more uneasy each season as you get older about getting another job?

 

Every year is a new year and I am just thankful to still being playing the game I love.

 

 

 

 

You played in North and South America for your first five seasons and moved to Europe last season for the first time playing with Saint-Quentin Basket-Ball (France-ProB). Why do you feel did it take you so long to get to Europe?

 

 

I played in South America and kept going back because I was chasing the money.

 

 

Last season with Saint-Quentin Basket-Ball you came in mid season playing 8 games averaging 9.4ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 45.0%, 3PT: 39.3%, FT: 66.7%. You didn´t seem to need any real adjustment period. With your age and having played only one season in Europe so far do you feel an extended hunger for basketball in Europe like a rookie?

 

 

My hunger is the same each season. My goal is to play professional basketball for 10-12 years.

 

 

 

What is your biggest strength that will continue to help a team in Europe?

 

 

My strength is that I am versatile and can play many positions. I have filled up the stat sheet wherever I have played. In France I played close to 20 minutes averaging 10,0ppg, 5,0rpg, 2,0apg, 45%fgp and 40% from outside.

 

 

You’re a guy that can fill the stat sheet very well, but what do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away on the court?

 

I feel that my defense doesn´t get the credit it deserves. I guarded the best players in college from Chris Lofton to John Wall.

 

 

 

 

If you could describe your game and to why you could help any team now how would you explain best in a few sentences?

 

 

I can help any team now because I am the type of player that likes to play up and down, pick and roll and am versatile.

 

 

After playing your whole career in North and South American what was your wake up call to your first season in Europe in France. Was being in a place like ST Quenten a good place where you could totally focus on basketball?

 

I was able to focus well in France at ST Quenten and kept my passion for the game.

 

 

You played your rookie season with the  Los Angeles D-Fenders (D-League) playing 16 games averaging 6.3ppg, 2.6rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 55.9%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 58.3%. What kind of experience was that for you and when you look back at that experience how could you really measure how far you really were from the NBA in terms of what you had on talent?

 

Playing with the Los Angeles Defenders was a great learning experience being able to go up against NBA type guys on any night. I averaged close to 7,0ppg, 2,0rpg and 1,0apg in 16 minutes per game.

 

 

What vital things could you take from head coach Eric Musselman. Just how much can players profit from a coach in the D-League? How valuable is that player coach relationship in the D-League?

 

 

Coach is a great coach and has been for a while. He always made sure we were best prepared for every opponent.

 

What memories do you have of highly talented Courtney Fortson who at that time was between call up to the Los Angeles Clippers and now is making millions in Asia. Did his height limit him from an NBA career?

 

 

 

Courtney and I are best friends. Heck we are like brothers. I am proud of him that he came from nothing like me and is making millions now.

 

 

You played at Mississippi(NCAA) from 2006-2010. You played with many great players there like Terrico White, Chris Warren or Zach Graham just to mention a few. From what player did you profit the most from in that time on the court?

 

Playing there was great and amazing. I didn´t profit from anyone there. I have continued to keep watching film and continue to keep learning from others wherever I have played after.

 

 

 

You played with three very talented guys with Herb pope, Jeremy Hazell and Jordan Theodore. Theodore had tow brilliant seasons in Germany and Turkey and now will play in Italy with Milan. He told me earlier in the year in an interview he is ready for the NBA. Could he be the next Malcom Delaney and make to the NBA after some years in Europe?

 

 

Jeremy and Jordan are great guys that always worked hard. Everybody is trying to prove themselves while putting in the work year in and year out. We aren´t here to compete against each other, but too inspire others that you can do others things in life outside of the NBA.

 

Who won a one on one in practice you or Jeremy Hazell?

 

 

We never played, but that would be an interesting battle.

 

 

 

Who was the toughest player you battled in school that made it far as a professional?

 

 

John Wall.

 

Thanks Eniel for the chat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hayden Lescault Paces The ScanPlus Baskets Putting Another Buzzer Beater Dagger In the Heart Of the Fraport Skyliners Juniors 87-84

Sometimes one does realize how time flies when a player returns back to a place he once played in almost two seasons ago as players have come and gone and even the floor was redone in the BCM gym in Frankfurt, but with all the traveling to different arena´s in the last years, it wouldn´t be a surprise if Hayden Lescault didn´t notice this. In the 2015-2016 season, the 25 year old 192cm shooting guard from Folsom, California who had a stellar career at Point Loima(NCAA2) embarked on his professional basketball career to Germany where he suited up for BG Karlsruhe and had a solid rookie campaign averaging 13.8ppg, 3.4rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 55.1%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 71.8%. After a season away from Germany, he got a taste of a new style of basketball with the  Glasgow Rocks (United Kingdom-BBL), but also witnessed a whole new kind of life in Scotland that was very much different than the carefree life in California that he had been used to. Lescault came back to Frankfurt for his second time as in his rookie season he helped beat Frankfurt at home scoring 27 points in a big 76-59 win, but couldn´t find a groove on the road losing 77-70 as he produced only 12 points in 20 minutes. Two seasons ago he was surrounded by veterans like Rouven Roessler, Jeremy Black and Marcus Smallwood and it´s no different this season as he has four guys on his team 30 or older and a fine mentor in 37 year old Marin Petric who has been a professional since 1997 and has played for 13 teams. The faces on the Frankfurt side had changed as only one player was still on the court with Garai Zeeb who had been instrumental in the win in Frankfurt in 2015 with 14 points and nine dimes. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors came into the game playing up and down basket and were confronted with the best team in the Pro B south ScanPlus Baskets who entered the game with a 7-1 record sporting an offensive powerhouse averaging 85 points, averaging 37 rebounds per game and holding their own on the defensive end allowing 73 points per game. The guests had the huge advantage on paper, but with 17 seconds to go there was not big difference as the game was tied and the ScanPlus Baskets with the ball gave it to Mr moneyball Hayden Lescualt who like Kameron Taylor two weeks ago put another dagger in the hearts of the Fraport Skyliners Juniors winning with a buzzer beater 87-84. However there was one little difference. In Rhondorf, Frankfurt saw nothing but net, but in their own gym had to watch the ball dance on the rim for a few seconds feeling like an eternity before it trickled in wondering on who´s side the basketball God really was. “I wanted to be aggressive today. We had never won here and really wanted to win to get the monkey off our back. I have had one or two buzzer beaters in college, but this was my first professional one. We had a high ball screen and I was supposed to read what the defense gave me. My guy kept sagging off me thinking I might drive, but he gave me enough space to shoot it. When I let it go, it felt good, but then it trickled around the rim and went in finally. We had some luck from the basketball God. I love this gym today”, smiled California native Hayden Lescault.

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How Dangerous And Scary Will The Fraport Skyliners Be In May 2018?

If one were to put Fraport Skyliner identity figure Quantez Robertson and ex NBA player Toure Murray face to face at a table, it would be interesting to see how long it would take for the conversation to mention the word NBA. The NBA was never a reality for freak athlete Robertson who would have made it had offense been omitted from the game and defense been the only option while Murray made it to the big show playing parts of four seasons in the G-League and 53 games for the New York Knicks and Washington Bullets. There could be other topics like where the United States will go with Donald Trump, if the Houston Astros can repeat as World Series Champions as Murray hails from that city or if the Cincinnati Bengals where Robertson is from will ever win a Superbowl. But would the conversation ever get to the topic of which team´s start into the current EasyCredit BBL season was more surprising? It probably wouldn´t as American players are always joking and talking about home and other comical things, but in basketball Germany, this is a topic that has left many bewildered. No disrespect to Alba Berlin who have made a great comeback and start to this season after underachieving last season, but what ratiopharm Ulm and the Fraport Skyliners have produced in the early going have been the biggest surprises in the league so far. In a way the Fraport Skyliners and ratiopharm have traded roles if one remembered how they started last year. Fraport Skyliner Mike Morrison if confronted with this reference would just smile gently and with his pleasant Floridian tone reply with a funny and witty gesture concerning the undeniable strong team basketball that his club is displaying.

If you had been in a closet or taken a month vacation to the outback and been offline and returned back to Germany and checked the BBL standings and seen the 0-5 Ulm record most wouldn´t have believed it. How can such a deep and talented roster with so many scoring options not be 5-0 or at least 4-1? There are some reasons why the club has played under expectations.

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