In the last weeks, it seems like intriguing point guard duels Wood-Rice and Wood-Jordan have jumped into the foreground of the pre game chat of The Deutsche Bank Skyliners, but this weekend when BG Goettingen glide into the Ballsporthalle, chatter might evolve around a non player challenge , but more of a fierce coach joust between Gordon Herbert and John Patrick. The Canadian Skyliner skipper Herbert is a coach that is able to get the best out of each individual player no matter the circumstances while Patrick has the talent to keep forming strong teams despite a little budget and the constant coming and going of players each season. BG Goettingen won the Eurochallenge last season and this season is a silent favorite to win the Eurocup. Somehow one has the feeling that Patrick who coached one season in Japan for Toyota Alvark winning the league title, that he has his own type of Patrick cave(Bat cave) under the mysterious Lokhalle where he secretly is able to form college players into BEKO BBL top players as he has demonstrated in the last years with guys like Chris Oliver, Taylor Rochestie, Dwayne Anderson and Jason Boone. Coaches in the BEKO BBL might be wondering what dazzling potions the American is brewing up and helping his players develop so rapidly? “I’d call the potion Patrick’s Cola, named after the ever-so-popular Coca-Cola. Because he is able to take ingredients (players), put them in a bottle (a team), and make it successful without anybody knowing the recipe”, joked MBC American Wayne Bernard. The magic of the BG Goettingen coach isn´t only present in his halo Patrick cave, but in the off season. “I think he does a great job doing research on his players that he is bringing in and they all buy into his system. All of his players seem to play hard for him and that style of basketball is attractive to most players”, added TBB Trier guard John Bynum. Patrick also has been able to have his club reach realistic goals in international play the last two years. “I think it has to do with the players buying into the system and they are a tough team to prepare for. They have a lot of versatile players at the 3/4 spot and cause match up problems for a lot of teams that have traditional players down low and they come at you with pressure with there guards and dont let up”, stressed John Bynum.
Choosing who has been the best player that has come out of the stable of Patrick is difficult. “I like Anderson’s game so I would say Anderson but the other guys are great talents as well”, said Phoenix Hagen Mr fantastic Mark Dorris. “I would say Boone. I think he gave Boone a chance when nobody else would, and developed him into the player he is today”, expressed Wayne Bernard. “That is hard to answer, because of all the players you have named have did a good job there and there is a long list of players that he has had”, added John Bynum. When The Deutsche Bank Skyliners host BG Goettingen on March 12th, fans might want to observe the sidelines as the coaching intensity between Herbert and Patrick could be as intense as the way Wall Street actor Charlie Sheen is trying to show the world that he is always right, the first time Deron Williams faces his old club The Utah Jazz and the forth coming battle between the Ilian Evtimov(Chalon) and Vassil Evtimov(Paris) when they face off against each other despite brotherly love. “Both coaches are great and it will be interesting to see both styles of how they change things during the game and how both teams come up. I am sure both coaches will have their teams prepared”, warned John Bynum.
After the sensational 2010 Eurochallenge win that brought some new fresh wind into German Basketball, BG Goettingen faithful fans were hoping for a majority of the team to remain, but the opposite happened. It may have been summer, but the atmosphere seemed as a big spring cleaning that didn´t take place in just one family house, but a neighborhood. The club let go off nine players including such key players like Chris Oliver, Taylor Rochestie, Chris Mcnaughton, Ben Jacobson and Chester Frazier. This BG Goettingen facelift was about as extreme as if the Los Angeles Lakers had parted with the one and only Kobe Bryant this summer. The only players to remain were Dwayne Anderson, John Little, Jason Boone and Robert Kulawick. In the last years, BG Goettingen have always been in the playoff hunt and just performed very well. BG Goettingen coach John Patrick never has a lot of money for players, but he has the incredible talent of finding players out of college like a Taylor Rochestie or Dwayne Anderson or guys from lower leagues like a Chris Oliver and make them develop quickly into very solid role players moving to team star players. The only problem is that many players have such good seasons that they then become nmon affordable and leave as Taylor Rochestie showed going to Turkey to continue playing the game he loves so much,but return back to the bEKO BBL to Alba Berlin recently.
At the moment, BG Goettingen rest at position 10 in the BEKO BBL standings with a record of 13-12. Before the first meeting between both teams this season, BG Goettingen had a 3-4 record. When comparing this years team to last years tam after seven games, there was little difference as BG Goettingen had a record of 4-3. Last season after seven games BG Goettingen, then won 15 of their next 18 games and also were playing Eurochallenge. Defense seemed to be an issue in the early part of the season concerning the 3-4 start. “We were missing 24 seconds of defense. Looking back on our loses, we did not do a good job playing defense until the possession was over. This is something that we have been working on this week”, stressed BG Goettingen center Jason Boone. BG Goettingen has been up and down since the start of the season and have had a record of 10-8 and have quietly moved on to the Top 16 of the Eurocup. The club had a 5 game winning streak around the holiday season having big wins against The Artland Dragons and The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven. But then also had two 4 game losing streaks. Currently the club is riding a three game winning streak coming off a huge win at home against The Brose Baskets Bamberg. Despite being up and down, the team is capable of beating anyone in the BEKO BBL. “Goettingen is a great team and have had an up and down season but they can beat anyone on any giving night because of there style of play”, stressed John Bynum. The playoff race is tight, but BG Goettingen should be able to make it into the final 8 at the end of the season. “I think they are a playoff team. They are capable of beating anyone on any giving night and if they get it going they are tough to beat on there home court as well”, warned John Bynum.
Losing key players like Taylor Rochestie, Chris Oliver, Ben Jacobson and Chester Frazier seems to have made a difference in the quality of play as well as in their style this season. “Rochestie and Oliver are two great players that meant a lot to their team. They seem to be dearly missed. I think that they had a much better roster the last few years, but some players had success and moved on. Playing against them this season was much easier than the last few years, but they still have a lot of pressure. They still play their kind of style, but not as extreme as in the past”, warned ex Walter Tigers Tuebingen guard Steven Wright. Despite a little change in the new style of BG Goettingen, the team has also gained a few new positives in their game. “Our game plan changes from game to game, but we still try to control the tempo in each game. I think that our team is more athletic than in the past, but also better at slowing down the pace when its needed”, stressed New York native Jason Boone. “BG Goettingen play a fast paced speed up style and have a lot of the same type of players. They are small and have to play like this. I like their style”, stressed ex Michigan State guard Travis Walton. Patrick also seems to have understood how to form the style with the players that he has gotten this season. “I think the coach of Goettingen is great at adjusting. And with this team this year he adjusted to the players he has they still put up pressure but are more controlled. Its not as “wild” as the past couple seasons. Before it seemed like “organized chaos”. Now, it is more controlled pressure. Nothing “hell-like”, laughed Wayne Bernard. BG Goettingen may have to step up their pressure against Dashaun Wood. “I think they Mix it up and still use some press but not like they used to. I would say like 75% press but for Dashaun Wood I would say more Pressure”, joked Mark Dorris.
This will be the eighth meeting between The Deutsche Bank Skyliners and BG Goettingen Goettingen, and the clan of Gordon Herbert haven´t fared so well losing four of the six games the two teams have played since BG Goettingen arrived in the BEKO BBL in 2007. Who could forget the stellar 74-67 Frankfurt win in the Lokhalle in 2008 as half of the team was sick and Maksym Shtein showed a totally other side of him as he exploded on the court making just about every touch he had land in the basket as he led the club in scoring with 24 points. In 2008-2009, the luck of last years Frankfurt team seemed to be with BG Goettingen as they won two nail bitters. In Frankfurt, they prevailed 64-61 despite 16 points from Ilian Evtimov. In the return date in late February and 48 hours before the Top 4 in Hamburg, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners lost 70-65 as they had all chances to win in the crunch time, but missed some key shots. Pascal Roller had a huge game with 20 points. Last season, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners lost 90-78 and were outplayed for 40 minutes. In the return game in Frankfurt, BG Goettingen lost in overtime 90-88 as Aubrey Reese tied the game at 88 with a three pointer and then won the game with two free throws with nine seconds to play and Seth Doliboa blocked the last BG Goettingen shot with two seconds to play. In the first meeting this season between the two clubs, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were able to escape the Lokhalle with a 70-58 win as the club displayed a consistent defensive effort for 40 minutes and keep BG Goettingen at 33% from the field and 21% from the parking lot.. Frankfurt were led by Dashaun Wood and Roger Powell with 18 points a piece.
Dwayne Anderson is playing his second season in Goettingen. The 24 year old 198cm forward from Silver Spring, Maryland was one of the big surprises last season being of the top rookies in the BEKO BBL and being a very important part of the John Patrick winning formula playing 27 games: 11.6ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.4spg, FGP: 64.4%, 3PT: 33.7%, FT: 74.3%; EuroChallenge: 10 games: 10.9ppg, Reb-5(7.0rpg), 1.3apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 63.0%, 3PT: 19.2%, FT: 81.3%. He played at Villanova (NCAA) from 2005-2009 and in his senior year played 31 games: 9.0ppg, 6.2rpg, 1.4apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 44.4%, 3PT: 30.7%, FT: 84.5%. He reached the NCAA Lat 8 in 2006 and Sweet 16 in 2008. This season, he is averaging 12,1ppg, 6,0rpg and 1,1apg. He is shooting solid at 47,5% from the field.
The team added Louis Dale who is a 22 year old 180cm point guard from Birmingham, Alabama. He played at Cornell (NCAA) from 2006-2010 an din his senior year played 31 games: 12.8ppg, 2.9rpg, 4.7apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 46.9%, 3PT. He reached the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2010 and was All Ivy- League Player of the Year -08, All-Ivy League 1st Team -08, 09, 10 and was Ivy League Champion -08, 09, 10. He is currently averaging 7,5ppg, 2,3rpg and 2,2apg. He has scored in double figures 8 times and had two big games against Aris in the Eurocup. The team also added Mike Scott who is a 24 year old 203cm forward from Indianapolis, Indiana. He played at Kent St. (NCAA) from 2004-2008 and in his senior year, he played 35 games: 13.2ppg, 6.3rpg, 1.1apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 48.5%, 3Pts: 39.6%, FT: 85.0%. As a rookie, he played in Turkey for Trabzonspor (Turkey-TB2L). Last season, he played in Hungary for Polaroid Lami-Ved Kormend playing 33 games: 15.4ppg, Reb-2(8.8rpg), 1.5apg, 1.5spg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 59.5%, 3PT: 34.6%, FT: 69.7%. This season, he is averaging 9,4ppg, 5,1rpg and 1,2apg and 1,0bs. So far, the American has shown no problems adjusting to the BEKO BBL. He has shown as a very versatile forward who can find the open man and also help out under the basket on defense as he displayed against EnBW Ludwigsburg blocking five shots this season.
The club also added American Trenton Meacham who is a 25 year old 188cm guard from Champaigne, Illinois. He played at Dayton (NCAA) from 2004-2005 and then transferred to Illinois where he played from 2005-2009. In his senior year, he played 34 games: 10.2ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.7apg, FGP: 42.2%, 3Pts: 42.1%, FT: 84.5%. He has quite a college career at Illinois especially in his senior year as he was named an Academic All-Big Ten selection in all 3 years at Illinois. Also, ´he was team captain in the 2008 and 2009 seasons. He is an outstanding guard who is very capable of playing the point full time as well as the 2 spot. He started all 34 games on the season in 09, ranking third on the team in scoring with an average of 10.2 points. He is an outstanding shooter and he led the Illini and ranked second in the Big Ten in 3-point field goal shooting at 42.1 percent (69-164). Ranks fifth on the Illinois career 3-point field goal percentage list at 40.8 percent (178-436) and ninth on the school career 3-point field goals list with 178 treys. Scored in double figures 16 times and was the Illini’s leading scorer in six games on the year. In final game of his career, scored a season-high 24 points vs. Western Kentucky in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. He was named Big Ten Co-Player of the Week on Dec. 29 after averaging 19.5 points, 4.0 assists and 2.5 rebounds in wins over No. 25 Missouri and Eastern Michigan. He scored 23 points vs. Mizzou and had 16 points vs. EMU. Scored 21 points vs. Indiana on Jan. 10 and made seven 3-pointers vs. the Hoosiers, one shy of his school record…Trent was third on the team in assists with an average of 2.7 apg. Tied career-high of six assists on three occasions, vs. Georgia (Dec. 6), at Purdue (Dec. 30) and at Ohio State (Feb. 22). Trent was third on the team with 31 steals. Last season, he played for Kraftwerk Wels (Austria-A Bundesliga, starting five): EuroChallenge: 6 games: 13.5ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.0apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 45.2%, 3PT: 45.2%, FT: 91.7%; Austrian League: 37 games: 15.4ppg, 2.4rpg, 2.6apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 55.8%, 3PT-2(45.0%), FT: 82.4%. This season, he is averaging 11,2ppg, 2,0rpg and 2,9apg.
The biggest signing of summer was bringing back fan favorite Kyle Bailey who is one of the few Americans who will offer to do an interview in the German language. He is a 28 year old 188cm guard from Fairbanks Alaska that is playing his third season for BG Goettingen. He played at Santa Clara from 2000-2005 playing together with Macabbi Tel Aviv guard Dorin Perkins. He is a very smart player that handles the ball well and is strong in pressure situations. In his rookie season, he split time between the Florida Flame(NBDL) and BK Riga. Since 2006, he has played in Germany. He helped BG Goettingen reach the BBL in 2007 from the second division. In 2007-2008, he played for Ratiopharm Ulm and in 2008-2009 helped BG Goettingen reach the playoffs averaging 14,4ppg, 4,3rpg and 3,3apg. Last season, he played EnBW Ludwigsburg, but it was a season to forget. He played 21 games: 8.8ppg, 3.9rpg, 2.5apg, FGP: 47.8%, 3PT: 18.3%, FT: 82.0%. He was released in February 2010. He somehow didn´t seem to fit into the game style of coach Tolga Ongoren. This season, Bailey is averaging 7,5ppg, 3,2rpg and 2,3apg. He is still looking for his three point shooting touch as he is only shooting 21%from outside. The American missed 15 BEKO BBL games this season, but is back in the lineup. 24 year old 191cm guard Robert Kulawick is playing his third season in Goettingen. He started his basketball career at TUS Lichterfelde in 2003 and also played for Alba Berlin from 2004-2006 playing 14 BBL games, three ULEB Cup games and winning the BBL cup in 2006. After playing with The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven in 2006-2007, he crossed the boarder into Holland and played for Den Helder Seals playing 34 games averaging 7.9ppg, 1.9rpg, 1.3apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 42.2%, 3PT: 39.7%, FT: 84.6%. Already in 2008-2009, one could see the confidence of John Patrick in the German letting him average 10 minutes per game, and last season he increased his minutes to 17 minutes This season, he is averaging 6,1ppg, and 1,6rpg He has been a member of the German U-18 and U-20 teams the last years and if he keeps developing the way he does, then German National coach Dirk Bauermann will have to invite him to the German National team some day.
Another important signing over the summer was bringing John Little back. John Little is a 26 year old 180cm guard from Peoria, Illinois. He is playing his third season with BG Goettingen. He played at Northern Iowa from 2002-2006. In 2007-2008, he wanted to play for the Peoria Kings of the ABA league, but the team folded, so he returned to Northern Iowa and finished the season as assistant coach. Last season, he played EuroChallenge: 16 games: 5.1ppg, 1.9rpg, 1.1spg, FGP: 48.8%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 55.6%; German League: 37 games: 7.2ppg, 2.6rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 51.9%, 3PT: 26.7%, FT: 81.1%. “Little is their energy guy. He brings a lot of energy and athletic ability from the bench. He doesn´t have much of a shot and likes to drive to the hoop and finish at the rim. He is a good rebounder for his size. He is possibly the best defender on the team. He has long arms and plays the passing lanes well and is their best on ball defender”, stressed Omari Westley. “He is probably one of the scrappiest players in the league and always plays hard and gives 100% every minute on the court”, added Ricky Hickman. This season, Little is averaging 5,6ppg and 2,7rpg. The team also brought back Jason Boone who is a 25 year old 198cm power forward/center from Sugar Loaf, New York who is playing his fourth season with Goettingen. Three years ago, he made the jump form the Regionalliga to the BBL, which is similar as if a professional baseball player jumped from A ball to MLB. “Jason Boone is a strong athlete who likes to finish around the rim and is not a shooter at all. One should give him the jump shot and don’t let him penetrate. He is a strong offensive rebounder and goes to the boards each time. He isn´t a good free throw shooter and don’t give him any easy layups. One should attack him on defense and despite his athletic body, doesn´t move his feet so well and he is foul prone”, stressed Omari Westley. Frankfurt will have to keep an eye on him in the paint. “Boone is probably one of the strongest low post players in the BBL. He can move anybody with his strength down low”, added Ricky Hickman. Last season, he played 16 games: 10.7ppg, 6.8rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 59.6%, FT: 53.8%; German League: 35 games: 9.1ppg, 6.1rpg, FGP: 60.3%, FT: 55.9%. This season, he is averaging 7,8ppg and 5,5rpg.
The club also signed Jermaine Raffington who is a 25 year old 205cm power forward/center German. He played at TSG Ehingen from 2002-2005. He played at Southeastern CC from 2005-2007 and then returned back to Germany. He played at BV Chemnitz 99 (2.Bundesliga) in 2007-2008 playing 30 games: 12.6ppg, 5.7rpg, 2FGP: 53.4%, 3FGP: 31.8%, FT: 59.3%. He played for BBC Bayreuth from 2008-2010. Last season, he played games: 10.2ppg, 4.6rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 45.8%, 3PT: 35.5%, FT: 72.7%. This season, he is averaging 1,7ppg and 1,3rpg.The team recently picked up 38 year old 207cm power forward Michael Meeks who was born in Jamaica, but has the Canadian/American citizenship. He was working out in Cologne and came to the team after Adam Waleskowski was released. He is fast for his size and is a great jumper with good timing. Has a nice jump shot from the top of the key. When posting up low he likes to finish with a dunk. The switching of positions and his speed makes him very dangerous in offense. On the defensive side he impresses with his shot blocking. He can hit the three pointer. He played at Canisius from 1992-1996. Since then he has had a long and successful basketball career having played in Countries like Italy, France, Turkey, Croatia, Czech Republic and Germany. He played for Brandt Hagen and The Telekom Baskets Bonn. He played at the 1998 and 2002 World Championships for Canada with NBA star Steve Nash and at the Olympics in Sydney in 2000, where he was the tournaments fifth best scorer averaging 14,3ppg. Last season Meeks played Eurochallenge 15 games: 4.5ppg, 1.5rpg; German League: 25 games: 5.3ppg, 2.3rpg, FGP: 57.1%, 3PT: 34.9%, FT: 70.4%. Currently he is averaging 4,3ppg and 2,1rpg. The team also brought back Antoine Jordan recently who is a 28 year old 196cm forward from Baltimore, Maryland. he played at Siena from 2002-2006. In his senior year at Siena he averaged 8.1rpg, 3.0apg, 1.5spg, FG: 46.9%, 3PT: 45.3%, FT: 81.8%. From 2007-2009, he played in Holland for Magix Nijmegen (Holland-Eredivisie). Last season for BG Goettingen he played 8 games: 3.8ppg, 2.1rpg, 1.1apg; German League: 18 games: 4.8ppg, 1.9rpg. Currently he is averaging7,0ppg and 2,8rpg.
The Deutsche Bank Skyliners are looking for their sixth straight win while BG Goettingen is going for their fourth win in a row. At first glance, one might think that getting the ball inside against BG Goettingen should be the first priority, but this is something that BG Goettingen is prepared for. “They might be undersized, but they have a good inside game. When you go inside, BG Goettingen shrink the court so you have to make the open shots, because they will force you to make them. They know that teams will always try to go inside against them”, warned Ratiopharm Ulm guard Travis Walton. In their first meeting, Frankfurt was averaging 41 rebounds a game and now some months later both teams are averaging 35 rebounds a game. Adam Waleskowski is gone, but the team has Michael Meeks for stability, but Frankfurt still has the upper hand under the boards. It is no secret, that BG Goettingen will have to work extra hard under the boards. “We have to go inside and dictate the speed of which the game is played and rebound well. It would be nice to knock down shots”, warned Jason Boone. BG Goettingen might not play their furious 40 minutes of hell like in the past, but teams always have to be aware of their fast break game. “Frankfurt has to defend them and control them in transition. They can not let them get hot from outside. BG Goettingen is small and Frankfurt should attack them inside. If Wood can control the tempo and lead them, then they will be ok. Powell is so big and will really help them”, warned Steven Wright. As always Frankfurt have their road runner to get them on track. “The Wood show. Let him do his magic and get players involved. Defensively I just think they have to make Gottingen play there sets all the way through and not get on too many runs. Gottingen just has to get easy baskets and also make Frankfurt play defense, attack when they can. At the defensive end they have to cause some turnovers and get some easy baskets”, commented John Bynum. Frankfurt has Dashaun Wood and BG Goettingen has their own x-factor. “For me it is Mike Scott, he can do so much and brings so much to the table. He is very versatile and causes a lot of match up problems. He can guard a lot of people on the defensive end as well”, expressed John Bynum. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners host BG Goettingen March 12th at 20:00.