Can The Mitteldeutscher BC Make A Rapid Impact In The Beko BBL Again Like In 2009-2010?

Back in 2009-2010 prior to the start of the regular season, basketball experts and critics were giving the Mitteldeutscher BC as little of a chance to survive the return back to the Beko BBL as  red head Prince Harry is ever to erase his new scandal of undressing frequently in Las Vegas, world famous actor Mel Gibson ever to be taken seriously again by society after numerous escapades in the last years or Hessen club LTi Giessen 46ers of winning the 2013 Beko BBL title. However in 2009-2010, the Mitteldeutscher BC proved all the critics wrong displaying a solid season finishing in 11th placed even dismantling 8 time Belo BBL Alba Berlin twice in the two seasons in the Wolves den. Instead of being a tired and lazy wolf banished to their den without havinggourmet deer for dinner, they presented themselves in their first season back in the Beko BBL as very hungry, high energy dangerous wolves who came to play every night and always showing that never die attitude never allowing that deer to fully escape their grasp. In the second season, they were unable to remain in the Beko BBL finishing in 17th place. Last season, they moved down competiting in the always competitive PRO A controlling the league and mowing down the competition like an oversized Godzilla type of wolf and now have entered the Beko BBL again ready to battle again not oversatisfied from just deer, but always looking to have that special smorgasbord Alba Berlin for dinner. As was the case three years ago, critics are giving the Mitteldeutscher BC as little chance of surviving this season. However despite a 0-2 start, the club has shown early strides in the preseason eliminating established Beko BBL teams in 40 minutes of play like Braunschweig, Wurzburg, Alba Belrin and Giessen. This is a team that no Beko BBL team can take lightly because if any teams dares to then they will quickly get an annoying surprise of a nasty wolf bite in the behind.  If there is any indication that the Mitteldeutscher will survive another season in the Beko BBL, then just seeing the coach Silvano Poropat barking commands behind the bench to Sharrod Curry or Devin Uskowski should ease wolf fans since his track record in the Beko BBL has been very positive leading a EnbW team in the 2006-2007 season more than unexpectedly to the top of the league winning the regular season and losing in the semi´s to Bamberg. He didn´t waste his time last season forcefully leading the club back into the Beko BBL. Poropat is a very well respected basketball name in Germany and has the basketball knowledge and coaching skills to make another basketball success this time in Weissenfels. “Silvano is a very good head coach. He always is able to build good organized teams. He always does a super job scouting and is always ready for any opponent. He always makes competitive teams and you can´t underestimate them since they are always competitive. MBC is like Giessen in that they have a home bonus which is very important in this league. It is always hard to win there. I don´t think that they will be a team like BG Goettingen last season. It will be very tight at the end of the standings this season. They played pretty well in Bonn. I think that they have a chance to stay in the league. MBC will be hungry and a player like Devin Uskowski will be hungry now being able to play in the first league. That situation reminds me of ex Tuebingen player Juwan Howard when he moved up to the Beko BBL, he played well. I think that if they have enough players that stay hungry then they could have a very good chance of remaining in the league”, warned basketball expert Steven Clauss.

 

In 2009-2010, MBC played very solid and were near and around the playoff standings for the whole season and really surpassing the highest expectations. The team finished the season in 10th place with a record of 18-16 and at times played as if they were a playoff team despite having the smallest budget in the BEKO BBL The team started off quickly winning their first three games and having a 6-2 record including wins against The Telekom Baskets Bonn and The Brose Baskets Bamberg. The only problem that the club really had was that it wasn´´t always consistent. Despite their up and down play, the team had shown that it can compete with any team as they also added wins against 2009 BEKO BBL champion EWE Baskets Oldenburg and the Artland Dragons to their collection. Their biggest win of the season was against 8 time BEKO BBL champion Alba Berlin. The team had a lightening start like the Nordlingen Giants in 2008-2009, but the only difference is that they have been able to play solid all the way through, not sustain injuries and not have to count on a four man rotation. MBC had a very young team which might have had to do with their up and down play. “It is really a matter of execution. Sometimes we executed well while other times we are very sloppy. We were not always mature to balance out our game plan”, stressed ex MBC American Ade Dagunduro who played at the 2012 Olympics in London for Nigeria. “Teams started to figure out how to attack them and play against them”, said Quentin Pryor. MBC was able to strengthen their offense. “MBC was always a defensive team, but the team became very solid on offense”, stated Quentin Pryor. “MBC play very hard at both ends of the court and play together as a whole unit”, stressed Tuebingen guard Steven Wright.  “When you have 12 players on the same page then it is also a lot easier to win. “We were a young team and all guys seemed to connect very well. We all understood each other and they were all good guys. I like every guy”, stressed ex CSKA center Anatoly Kashirov.

In 2009-2010, MBC got off to a quick 6-2 start, but in 2010-2011 MBC started at 3-7 and were moping at position 16 near the BEKO BBL cellar. Nobody had to be a mathematician wiz to see that MBC seemed to have a little less quality than in 2009-2010. The team lost key players Ade Dagunduro, Giorgi Gamqrelidze, Anatoly Kashirov and Nikita Khartchenkov and role players Ivan Elliot and Oskar Fassler. In 2010-2011, the team got Michael hakim Jordan and Jerome Tillman who have been their most important players and solid role players Vassil Evtimov and Davon Roberts. MBC might have gotten off to a slow start, but the season was long and might have made a run. “MBC is a solid team that just hasn´t come together yet this season”, warned Phoenix Hagen guard Quentin Pryor. Having a Jordan barking the signals in the backcourt and having a Bernard scoring, MBC had little weakness at the guard position. “The MBC guard play is great. They also have good experience in the paint with Guido Grunheid. They will get better as the season goes along”, commented John Bynum in 2010. MBC was only averaging 31 rebounds per game which is 7 less than what The Deutsche Bank Skyliners average in March 2011, but the club could have had a strong rebounding day anytime especially when a Vassil Evtimov was making room under the boards. “They were a very good rebounding team. They had big bodies that crashed and controled the glass”, warned Quentin Pryor. However after the 70-58 home loss to the Deutsche Bank Skyliners, MBC lost four of the last five games despite Ron Ross leading the team in scoring each game and went down to the PRO A.

Last season, the Mitteldeutscher BC finished the regular season with a record of 23-5 and finishing in first place of the standings. They had a huge 8 game winning streak at the start of the season which kind of set the tone of how the season would run. In the playoffs, they easily took care of Science City Jena sweeping them and winning by an average of 22 points per game. In the semi finals, they found a hard nosed opponent with the Crailsheim Melrins winning 3-1 in games. In the PRO A final, they met the Kirchheim Kights losing the first game on the road 88-82, but wrapped up the 2012 PRO A title at home winning 81-73 securing the title on account of winning the point difference.

This season, Silvano Poropat chose to say farewell to a core of last seasons players with Arizona Reid, Robert Faye-Holcomb, Louis Hinnat and ex North Carolina state forward Jordan Collins. He opted to keep many of the German players with the heart and soul of the team captain Sascha Leutloff, Steve Wachalski, Philipp Heyden, Malte Schwarz and Johannes Lange. He also decided to keep Iceland scorer Hoerdur Vilhjalmsson. This season, he has brought a core of talented less known Americans. Kelly Beidler tore up the league in Iceland and Finland and now is looking to make the next jump in the higher league Beko BBL. Sharaud Curry is a diminutive point guard that tore up the Austrian league last season and also is looking to make an impact in the higher league Beko BBL. Chad Timberlake brings experience to the guard position and is playing in his fifth country in Europe. Devin Uskoski is a sort of Cinderella story as it took him four years to move from the German Regionaliga to the Beko BBL. Poropat also brought in help for the boards with Serb Djordje Pantelic.  With only 1,4 million Euro budget, the club has little chance of picking up high class players. Despite little money and less talented players, the team will not go scared into the season. “We know that we have one of the smallest budgets in the league, but we will take up the challenge and will go with a lot of self confidence into the season.  We don’t want to make the mistake that small teams do and get into debt. For us it isn´t so critical if we play BBL or PRO A”, stressed MBC manager Martin Geisler.  A strength  that the team has is their unpredictability. They had many different top scorers in the pre season and the scoring was always well balanced. The team will have nothing lose and fight in every game as if its their last game. Weaknesses in the team is under the basket where the team is thinly stacked. The team also coughed up the ball much in the preseason. “We are still making too many mistakes on offense and have problems finding our rhythm. We still have to work much on ending the play”, warned MBC head coach Silvano Poropat.

In the short two year tenure that the Mitteldeutscher BC had from 2009-2011, the Frankfurt Skyliners were able to leave the floor each time as the winner and have a positive 4-0 record in that time. In the 2009-2010 season who could forget the exciting 76-74 win in MBC as Frankfurt was down 10 points and made  a big comeback in the last minutes as American guard Aubrey Reese won the game with a shot. Frankfurt won the game at home 77-65 as American Jimmy Mckinney led Frankfurt with 17 points, Derrick Allen added 12 points and Skyliner legend Pascal Roller 11 points. In the 2010-2011 season, the Deutsche Bank Skyliners had an easier time winning as they routed the Wolves 83-52 at home as Dashaun Wood had a type of Derrick Rose performance with 16 points, six rebounds and six assists. Dominik Bahiense De Mello added 13 points and KImmo Muurinen 11 points. Frankfurt won in Weissenfels 70-58 as Dashaun Wood poured in 26 points and Quantez Robertson steered 11 points.

The Mitteldeutscher BC come to Frankfurt with a 0-2 record and want to get that monkey off their back and return home with their first win. They played a spirited first game in Bonn, but lost 83-77. They lost the rebound battle and shot only 29% from outside. Their best stat of the game were the seven turnovers. The team returned home to face Phoenix Hagen but lost  again. They lost the rebounding duel and shot poorly again from the parking lot at 29%. They also coughed up the ball 18 times. The best positive out of both games is surely that different players popped up in the scoring and that it is very spread out. The Fraport Skyliners come home looking to win their home opener. After a less than satisfactory loss in Ludwigsburg, the club showed a strong game in Artland winning 89-80. It was their third win there in a row and they come home with confidence. They finally found their shot shooting 52% from the field and 52% from the three point line.  They did a great job taking care of the ball only having eight turnovers. Larry Wright had his breakout game with 21 points as did American Johnathon Jones who had 14 points and eight assists. He did a superb job with the playmaking duties leading a well balanced attack and never losing the offensive rhythm. The only negative stat is that the starters made 81of the 89 points. This will not work every night and the team will need help from the bench on a consistent rate.  This will be a hard fought game where defense might take center stage.  The Fraport Skyliners have been known as being a defensive force and could make dividends with a strong effort against MBC. One player already has defense  inscribed in his brain. “If we come out and play defense the way that we know how, then we will not only win against MBC, but many games this season”, stressed Quantez Robertson.  The Fraport Skyliners host MBC October 10th at 19:30.

The Mitteldeutscher BC is led by Steve Wachalski who is leading the team in scoring after two games. It took the German seven years to reach the Beko BBL in 2010 with BBC Bayreuth. He played his first five seasons starting in 2003 in the Regionaliga with Osnabrueck before reaching the PRO B in 2008. In 2010-2011, he got Beko BBL experience with BBC Bayreuth playing 27 games: 3.3ppg, 1.8rpg. Last season for MBC, he played  37 games: 9.9ppg, 5.1rpg, FGP: 63.2%, 3PT: 42.3%, FT: 77.1%. Kelly Beidler is a 24 year old 199cm forward from Virginia Beach, Virginia. He is starting his third professional basketball season and third in Europe. He is a very athletic forward that can do it all with rebounding, posting up, shooting from outside as firstmost is a team playerHe played at Mt St Marys from 2006-2010. In his senior year, he played 31 games: 10.7ppg, 7.1rpg, 1.5apg, 1.7spg, 1.4bpg, FGP: 41.8%, 3PT: 35.6%, FT: 74.1%. In 2001 as a rookie he played for : IR Reykjavik (Iceland-Express League, starting five): 24 games: Score-4(21.7ppg), Reb-2(12.4rpg), 3.8apg, Steals-5(2.5spg), Blocks-3(2.0bpg), FGP: 54.1%, 3PT: 34.4%, FT: 72.9%. Last season he played for : Karhu Kauhajoki (Finland-Korisliiga, starting five): 44 games: Score-4(19.2ppg), Reb-5(9.8rpg), 1.4apg, Steals-1(2.3spg), Blocks-1(1.9bpg), FGP: 57.1%, 3PT: 37.2%, FT: 70.8%. Milan Brown his coach at Mt St Marys has helped shape him to be the player that he is today. Milan Brown is one of the smartest people I’ve met and always had wise words up to this day. I remember two things he would say, “To reach the highs, you have to experience the low” I didn’t feel like I belonged in Iceland but hey I did it and here I am and another was “every player is equal when stepping onto the court but when the lights turn on and it’s time to play ball, the best separate themselves from the pack”. That’s what I try to do every time i step on the court”, added Kelly Beidler.

Sharaud Curry is a  25 year old 178cm point guard from Gainesville, Georgia that is playing his third professional basketball season. He played at Providence(NCAA) from 2006-2010. He played a total of 119 NCAA games. In his senior year he played  31 games: 15.5ppg, 2.0rpg, 3.4apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 40.7%, 3PT: 34.5%, FT: 87.5%. In 2010-2011, he was a rookie for  AZS Koszalin (Poland-PLK): 3 games: 5.3ppg, 1.3rpg, 2.3apg, left in Oct.’10, in Jan.’11 moved to AEK Athens (Greece-A1): 7 games: 2.7ppg, 1.0apg. Last season he played for Allianz Swans Gmunden (Austria-A Bundesliga, starting five): 41 games: 18.0ppg, 3.1rpg, 5.0apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 47.7%, 3PT: 36.8%, FT: 77.0%. Last season he won the Austrian Super Cup and was MVP as well as winning the Austrian Cup and being an allstar. Hoerdur Vilhjalmsson is a 23 year old 190cm guard from Iceland. He started his basketball career in 2003 for Fjolnir (Intersport League) and played most of his career in Iceland except for a stint with CB Dunas Hotels Gran Canaria Las Palmas (Spain-EBA) in 2007. He played for Top Iceland team and ex Skyliner Derrick Allen team  Keflavik (Iceland-Express) from 2008-2011. In his three seasons there, he never averaged less than 16,5ppg. Last season he played for  Mitteldeutscher BC Weissenfels (Germany-ProA): 37 games: 9.6ppg, 2.3rpg, 2.8apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 47.7%, 3PT: 37.2%, FT: 77.6%. Chad Timberlake is a 28 year old 193cm guard that was born in Wiesbaden, Germany and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He  is a very talented point guard with good physical size (6’4″,208 lbs.) and toughness, he can play the shooting guard position, if that is what is needed for the team. Chad is the floor general with excellent court vision and he is a natural team leader. He can play fast break style or he can run an offense with set plays, whatever is essential to win. He is an extremely athletic guard and gets to the basket, always finishing ha rd. He has the skills to take over games with his scoring and jumping ability. He played at  Fairleigh Dickinson (NCAA) from 2002-2006. In 2006-2007 as a rookie he played for Mlekarna Kunin Novi Jicin (Czech Republic-NBL, starting five): EuroCup Challenge: 8 games: 16.5ppg, 3.6rpg, 4.0apg, 1.8spg, 2FGP: 61.3%, 3FGP: 21.1%, FT: 61.1%; Czechs League: 46 games: 15.3ppg, 4.2rpg, 3.7apg, 2FGP: 57.9%, 3PT: 37.7%, FT: 60.6%. In 2007-2008, he played in the States for the Albany Patroons (CBA, starting Five): 36 games: 15.1ppg, 5.2rpg, 3.7apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 47.6%, 3PT: 33.0%, FT: 73.1.0%. In 2008-2009, he played for Sokol Znicz Jaroslaw (Poland-PLK, starting five): 11 games: 14.1ppg, 2.2rpg, 2.5apg, 2.1spg, FGP: 53.6%, 3PT: 36.1%, FT: 52.0%. In 2009-2010, he played for Zalakeramia-ZTE KK (Hungary-A Division): 18 games: 5.8ppg, 3.2rpg, 1.4apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 47.1%, 3PT: 31.0%, FT: 56.5%. In 2010-2011, he played for Elitzur Yavne (Israel-National League, starting five): 31 games: 20.2ppg, 5.7rpg, 3.3apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 58.7%, 3PT: 21.1%, FT: 73.2%. Last season he played for Falco-Szova KC-Szombathely (Hungary-A Division, starting five): 36 games: Score-3(21.3ppg), 5.0rpg, 3.2apg, 1.5spg, FGP-3(67.4%), 3PT: 36.1%, FT: 71.1%. He won the cup and league title in Hungry in 2010.

Devin Uskoski is a 26 year old 201 cm forward from Brush Praire who can rebound with the best of them and reacts very smart under the boards. He played at Rocky Mountain(NAIA) and turned professional in 2009. In 2009-2010, he was a rookie for  BG Leitershofen/Stadtbergen (Germany-Regionalliga)): 26 games: 25.9ppg, 11.0rpg, FGP: 70.3%, 3Pts: 48.6%, FT: 73.5%. In 2010-2011, he moved up a league with BG Leitershofen/Stadtbergen (Germany): 31 games: Score-4(20.7ppg), Reb-1(10.8rpg), 1.4apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 62.4%, 3PT: 35.0%, FT: 73.4%. Last season, he was one of the top forwards in the PRO A for  VfL Kirchheim Knights (Germany-ProA): 36 games: 16.1ppg, Reb-3(8.1rpg), 1.3apg, FGP: 53.3%, 3PT: 39.4%, FT: 83.4%. This past summer, he played for the Vancouver Volcanoes (IBL, starting five): 12 games: 17.2ppg, 8.6rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 57.9%, 3PT: 57.6%, FT: 74.6%. Djordje Pantelic is a 28 year old 204cm forward form Serbia that gives MBC added experience as Germany will be his sixth country in Europe. He got early experience playing in Cyprus. In 2009-2010, he played for  BC Steaua Turabo Bucuresti (Romania-Div.A, starting five): Romanian League: 14 games: 6.1ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.5apg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 63.0%, 3PT: 16.7%, FT: 71.4%; Balkan League: 5 games: 7.4ppg, 4.4rpg, 1.0apg, 1.6bpg, FGP: 54.2%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 71.4%, released in Dec.’09, in Feb.’10 moved to Stjarnan (Iceland-Express League, starting five): 11 games: 14.1ppg, 10.8rpg, 1.7apg, 2.9bpg, FGP: 58.1%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 81.3%. In 2010-2011, he played for   Apollon Patras (Greece-A2): 30 games: 11.0ppg, Reb-2(8.9rpg), 1.4apg, 1.0spg, Blocks-1(1.9bpg), FGP: 64.8%, 3PT: 26.5%, FT: 72.4%. Last season, he played for Falco-Szova KC-Szombathely (Hungary-A Division, starting five): 38 games: 13.0ppg, Reb-4(9.0rpg), 1.9apg, 1.7spg, Blocks-2(1.6bpg), FGP: 61.9%, 3PT: 36.8%, FT: 69.9%. Sascha Leutloff is a 30 year old 202cm forward from Berlin. He continues to have his heart with MBC as the captain is returning for a sixth season. He  started to play organized basketball at age 16 and developed rapidly into a promising player. He has very good speed and athletic potential, is a very good and aggressive defender, can play inside out, is an exceptional offensive rebounder, has a very good character and is a smart person on and off the court. He started his basketball career with TUS Lichterfelde in 2001 and also played with Alba Berlin from 2004-2006. Last season for MBC, he played  37 games: 9.7ppg, 3.7rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 51.5%, 3PT: 37.8%, FT: 74.1%. He won the Beko BBL cup in 2006 with Alba Berlin. Malte Schwarz is a 23 year old 188cm guard that is palying hiss econd season in Weissenfels. He started his basketball career in 2006 with Bramfelder SV Hamburg (2.Regionalliga). He then played a season with  SC Rist Wedel (Regionalliga) before getting his feet wet in the Beko BBL playing for Phoenix Hagen from 2008-2011. He played a total of 58 Beko BBL games. Last season for MBC, he played  25 games: 6.8ppg, 1.4rpg, FGP: 57.1%, 3PT: 38.9%, FT: 88.0%. Johannes Lange is a 27 year old 208cm center that took nine  years of playing in the German minor leagues before finally getting his chance this season in the Beko BBL with MBC. He started his basketball career with  Rhondorf 1912 Dragons (2.Bundesliga) in 2003 where he played until 2010. In 2010-2011, he played for  GiroLive-Ballers Osnabrueck (ProA): 22 games: 3.9ppg, 2.1rpg. Last season, he played for BG Karlsruhe (ProA): 6 games: 3.2ppg, 1.0rpg; left in Nov.’11, then moved to Mitteldeutscher BC Weissenfels (ProA): 21 games: 4.3ppg, 2.0rpg

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