One thing that you can´t discredit BG Goettingen head coach Johan Roijakkers from having is enormous balls or in kinder terms giant guts for how he decided to put together the most important piece of his team with the point guard position. Its no secret the success of a team usually has to do with how well the point guard leads and guides the team coupled with a healthy team chemistry that is formed by the head coach and carried on by the complete team. Last season Roijakkers came up with the interesting, surprising, but right choice in hauling in former NBA player Khalid El Amin who played 50 NBA games for the Chicago Bulls and won the NCAA title with UConn. Alba Berlin swing man Nils Giffey and El Amin could go back to the Uconn campus in Storrs with their three NCAA rings and probably get a hero´s welcome. What makes the welcome of El Amin to the German Beko BBL so interesting and amazing is the risk that BG Goettingen took on the 35 year old 200 pound American. Not did El Amin look out of shape, but he didn´t play at all last season on account of an injury in a Turkish cup game and had many critics questioning the mind of BG Goettinge head coach Johann Roijakkers for making such an unpredictable and bold move. Of course, El Amin has had a stellar track record in Europe as BG Goettingen is his 12th team, but his numbers and titles don´t lie. He has played most of his career in Turkey and the Ukraine and even played two seasons for Besiktas Istanbul (Turkey-D1) where Allen Iverson played. His stats have always been immaculate as he has been at the top of scoring and assists for whatever league he played in. He won titles in Croatia and in Turkey and Ukraine the cup where he was MVP in two titles victories. Even if his appearance and one year off are questionable, his play in the Beko BBL was excellent as he played 32 games averaging 14.5ppg, 2.3rpg, 4.8apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 53.5%, 3PT: 32.3%, FT: 90.1%. With a little more luck and bounces here and there, the team would have reached the playoffs, but finished in 10th place. BG Goettingen would have liked to have kept the American this season, but with a limited team budget and many heads to feed, El Amin moved to Sigal Prishtina (Kosovo-SuperLeague). This season Roijakkers had more pressure to form a potent team as he lost key players like El Amin, Raymar Morgan and Alex Rouff, but instead of going a more safe route and bringing in a younger, equally talented point guard, he must have had that itch and special feeling in his stomach to do the more unconventional and risky again like last season by bringing in an older point guard in Ricky Minard who had two pluses over El Amin in that he is two years younger and actually played last season even if it wasn´t much for SPO Rouen Basket (France-ProA) playing 5 games: 4.4ppg, 1.4rpg, 2.4apg, 1.2spg. Minard is a 33 year old 196cm guard that can do it all filling up the stats sheet the way Monta Ellis does in the NBA scoring on the penetration, shooting from outside and finding his teammates. This is the first season for the American in Germany after having played in countries like Italy, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and France. He was drafted in 2004 by the Sacramento Kings (NBA,2rd(48) after a stellar college career at Morehead St. (NCAA) and as a senior played 29 games: ScoreOVC-1(21.8ppg), RebOVC-4(7.3rpg), AssistsOVC-4(5.1apg), 2.1spg, FGP: 45.1%, 3PT: 32.6%, FT: 77.6%: Finished career at Morehead State as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,381 points. Also finished 11th in rebounding (725) and second in assists (417). He felt most comfortable in Italy playing parts of 8 seasons there. His biggest titles was the 2011 Eurocup with Unics Kazan (Russia-PBL) and winning the league and cup in 2014 with Budivelnyk Kyiv (Ukraine-Superleague). However after two games he hasn´t lived up to expectations averaging only 5,0ppg, 2,5rpg and 2,0apg and the club now got a shock that the American is indefinitely injured. Now the question will be how well does BG Goettingen survive without Minard and if they compensate the loss by other means. The momentary solution was called Chris Jones who is a 24 year old quick 178cm guard that is a rookie that started with Yesilgiresun Belediye (Turkey-BSL), but never played a game. He played the last two years with Louisville (NCAA) and as a senior played 26 games: 13.7ppg, 4.0rpg, 3.6apg, 2.0spg, FGP: 40.3%, 3PT: 33.9%, FT: 73.0%. He had 15 points in his BBL debut in the loss to Bamberg. But he is already gone and headed to Paris. So who will be the new American point guard an old or another younger player? There are some well known players on the market just cut from NBA teams, but will they be in any way to finance? The club has had a rough start at 1-3 and now must do serious soul searching and hope the risk and question mark feeling doesn´t back fire.
After being in the Beko BBL from 2007-2012, 2010 Eurochallenge winner BG Goettingen had to live two seasons in the Pro A before moving back to the Beko BBL last year. After winning titles in Belgium with Euphony Bree (Belgium-D1) and reaching the Eurocup final in 2008 with Dexia Mons-Hainaut (Belgium-D1) as an assistant, John Roijakkers became head coach in 2011 right away winning a title as a rookie head coach with BC Prievidza (Slovakia-Extraliga). He has been with BG Goettingen since 2012 and since his arrival has brought the team back to the BBL and last season almost made the playoffs reaching a 10th position. Last season the team had some big wins against teams like FC Bayern Munich sweeping them which pretty much made their season and also had victories against teams like ratiopharm Ulm and the EWE Baskets Oldenburg. Roijakkers stayed faithful to his players from the 2014 Pro A title team keeping a majority and only bringing in two players with Khalid El Amin and Raymar Morgen which was a risk in that El Amin hadn´t played in a year professionally and Morgan wasn´t 100% fit, but in the end he did everything right in the player signings. The ability to keep teams under 80 points was a problem as they allowed 80 or more 23 times. This is one aspect of the BG Goettingen game that Johan Roijakkers wants to improve on this season.
This season BG Goettingen kept six players and added seven new players while having to let Armon Johnson go and doing some shuffling with new players like Marque Perry coming in late. Losing El Amin, Morgan and Ruoff hurts, but that is common as basketball is a business and when a player has a good season then they obviously get picked up by richer teams. BG Goettingen might not have the type of single brilliant talented players, but they will have a good rotation this season and if the team can play team basketball then they will be successful with the personal that they have. They shot only 32% from down town last season and that is another area where they need to improve to be successful. So far this season they are shooting 34% from the parking lot with still a lot of time for improvement. The team will get consistent scoring from guys like Harper Kamp, Shane Edwards and David Godbold, but will they also get that on a consistent rate form Germans Mathis Monninghof, Malte Schwarz and Robert Kulawick. But the big question mark will be what will Ricky Minard bring to the table. Will he follow El Amin or be a bust? Roijakkers will have his hands full this season and his basketball wisdom and tactical know how will be more than needed for the club to be successful.
The club kept Harper Kamp who is a 27 year old 203cm power forward/center that is playing his fourth professional season and third with BG Goettingen. Kamp is a mobile big guy that is dangerous around the glass, but doesn´t shy to step out and take the three or mid distance jumper. He played at California (NCAA) from 2007-2012 playing a total of 133 NCAA games and as a senior played 34 games: 11.6ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 55.7%, 3PT: 14.3%, FT: 76.1%. As a rookie he played for Panelefsiniakos AOK Eleusina (Greece-A1): 14 games: 4.9ppg, 3.1rpg, in Feb.’13 moved to Feni Indistrija Kavadarci (FYR Macedonia-Prva Liga): 16 games: 9.9ppg, 4.4rpg, 1.2apg, FGP-3(66.7%), 3PT: 26.3%, FT: 74.2%. Last season for BG Goettingen he 28 games averaging 10.2ppg, 3.9rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 58.8%, 3PT: 28.6%. The team held The team also kept David Godbold who is a 29 year old 196cm guard from Oklahoma City that is playing his seventh professional season and third with BG Goettingen. The American is a leader that can shoot the lights out and uses his athleticism to his advantage. He played at Oklahoma(NCAA) and as a professional has played in countries like Poland, Finland and Slovakia. Last season for BG Goettingen he played 34 games averaging 8.4ppg, 4.3rpg, 2.3apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 51.3%, 3PT: 35.8%, FT: The club also retained Dominik Spohr who is a 26 year old 198cm forward with rich Beko BBL experience. The German is a fighter that can always hurt you with his shot and one should never foul him in a tight game at the end as he rarely misses from the free throw line. He started his basketball career at BG Hagen. He played for Phoenix Hagen from 2007-2012 playing a total of 64 Beko BBL games. The following season he moved to Giessen where he played 29 games: 5.6ppg, 2.0rpg, FGP: 42.9%, 3PT: 37.3%, FT: 75.6%. Last season for BG Goettingen he played 34 games: 4.7ppg, 2.2rpg.
The team held on to German Robert Kulawick who is a 29 year old 192cm guard from Berlin who played for bG Goettingen from 2008-2011 playing 103 Beko BBL games and winning the 2010 Eurochallenge. He started his basketball career in 2003 with TUS Lichterfelde Berlin (2.Bundesliga). He then played 11 Beko BBL games for Alba Berlin. His basketball journey then continued to Bremerhaven, Bernau and Den Helder. He played for Braunschweig the last three seasons and last year played 33 games: 3.0ppg, 1.1rpg. His biggest strength is his shot even if it looks very unorthodox, it can be very effective. The team also kept Andrew Onwuegbuzie who is a 20 year old 192cm guard that started his basketball career in 2011 with ASC Goettingen 2 (2.Regionalliga). he moved to BG Goettingen in 2013 playing 5 Pro A games. Last season for BG Goettingen he played 20 games: 1.6ppg, 0.3rpg, 0.3apg, 0.1spg, FGP: 83.3%, 3PT: 42.9%, FT: 100%. His quickness and athleticism standout. He will be fighting for minutes this season with the good guard rotation. The team also held on to Nick Boakye who is a 20 year old 196cm that also started his basketball career in 2011 with ASC Goettingen 2 (2.Regionalliga). Last season he played seven BBL games. His defense and rebounding is his strength.
BG Goettingen added 28 year old 201cm forward Shane Edwards who is from Gilbert, Arizona and is playing his seventh professional season. He played at UALR(NCAA) and was briefly the NBA taking part in the training camps of Denver and Cleveland and playing 2 NBA games. He played in the D-league and in Italy, Australia and Sweden. Last season he played for the Sundsvall Dragons (Sweden-Basketligan) 31 games: 16.1ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.4apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 58.8%, 3PT: 31.0%, FT: 64.3%. He can get to the rim whenever he wants to and scored 29 points against MBC. The etam also signed American Ruben Boykin who is a 30 year old 201cm forward from Los Angeles, California that is playing his ninth professional season. Last season he played for MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg (Germany-BBL), only pre-season, then signed at Akita Northern Happinets (Japan-BJ League) 58 games: 10.7ppg, 7.1rpg, 3.9apg, FGP: 47.5%, 3PT: 37.8%, FT: 76.6%. He played at N.Arizona (NCAA) from 2003-2007. As a professional he has played in countries like Poland, Italy, Greece and Italy. He is a very athletic inside player, who can spend time in the 4 and 5 positions as well, even being a little udersized. Can defend on smaller and quicker opponents, has a good shooting selection and a good mid-range accuracy. The team also added German Malte Schwarz who brings three point power from the bench and is a 26 year old 188cm guard that has 5 years of Beko BBL experience with two with Phoenix Hagen and three with MBC: Last season he played with MBC playing 32 games: 5.6ppg, 1.2rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 35.0%, 3PT: 34.6%, FT-1(95.8%). He defends very well and has developed well into a consistent passer which he improved with MBC the last four years.
With Mathis Monninghoff another sharp shooter was brought in. He is a 23 year old 200cm swing man that played 52 NCAA games with Gonzaga between 2010-2012. He started his basketball career with the Bayer Giants Leverkusen in 2007. He played 95 BBL games with TBB Trier from 2012-2015 and last season played 31 games: 6.5ppg, 2.3rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 47.8%, 3PT: 35.0%, FT: 82.9%. He improved his scoring and rebounding average each season with TBB Trier and is a great free throw shooter. The club added American Lawrence Alexander late as he was waived by MBC. Alexander is a 24 year old 190cm guard from Peoria, Illinois that is a rookie and played at N.Dakota St. (NCAA) form 2011-2015 playing a total of 129 NCAA games and as a senior played 33 games: 18.9ppg, 4.5rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 41.9%, 3PT: 44.1%, FT: 80.9%. Marque Perry is a 34 year old 185 cm guard from Chicago, Illinois that is playing his 13th professional season. He played at St Louis(NCAA) from 1999-2003 and as a senior played : 30 games: ScoreCUSA-5(17.1ppg), 4.7rpg, 3.2apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 43.2%, 3PT: 26.0%, FT: 80.0%: Finished career as the tenth all-time leading scorer in St. Louis history with 1,358 career points. He has played in 8 countries including Greece, Italy, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, Slovenia, Latvia and Romania. Last season he played for Steaua CSM EximBank Bucuresti (Romania-Liga Nationala): 10 games: 3.8ppg, 1.5rpg, 2.8apg. He won the Turkish federation cup in 2014 with Istanbul Buyuksehir Belediyesi (Turkey-TB2L).
In the years between 2007 and 2011 where BG Goettingen was in the Beko BBL, there were some unforgettable games against Frankfurt like 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. In the 2009-2010 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 2010-2011 season, the Fraport Skyliners swept the season series winning 70-58 as Frankfurt was led by Dashaun Wood and ex NBA player Roger Powell with 18 points a piece while BG Goettingen was led by Kyle Bailey with 10 points. In the return game, Frankfurt won 88-82 at home as they were led by Dashaun Wood with 25 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds while BG Goettingen was led by Dwayne Anderson with 16 points. Frankfurt then swept BG Goettingen 3-0 in the playoffs. IN the 2011-2012 season the teams split the season series. Frankfurt won 78-65 on the road as Jimmy Mckinney rattled home 21 points and BG Goettingen was led by Raymons Sykes with 24 points. IN the return game, American Matt Bauscher preserved the win for BG Goettingen 62-61 with the classic buzzer beater. Darrell Tucker led BG Goettingen with 16 points while Jimmy Mckinney poured in 15 points for the losers. Last season both teams split the season series as Frankfurt won at home 74-70 as they were led by Danilo Barthel with 17 points and 11 rebounds and had four other guys in double figures while BG Goettingen was led by Alex Ruoff and Raymar Morgan with 17 points a piece. In the return game, Frankfurt lost on the road 74-62. BG Goettingen was led by Alex Ruoff and Khalid El Amin with 17 points a piece while the Fraport Skyliners were led by Johannes Voigtmann with 22 points.
The 2-2 Fraport Skyliners meet the 1-3 BG Goettingen coming off a huge home win against Tuebingen 92-64 where they shot the lights out with 59% from the field and 64% from outside. BG Goettingen lost 87-63 at home against Bamberg having no cure of how to stop the consistent shooting of the current BBL champion. With no healthy point guard on the court this season BG Goettingen have had problems finding their rhythm and chemistry and are giving up 88 points per while scoring only 70 points per game. This will be a huge game for BG Goettingen as they need a win badly not to slip further into the BBL cellar while the Fraport Skyliners want to return home with a win and an extra dose of self confidence before they start the Fiba Cup Eurochallenge competition. The biggest hurdle for BG Goettingen will be coming up with an offense game plan that the Fraport Skyliners wont know before each play as their scouting is immaculate while their offense is coming along and should put up points in Goettingen and come home with a win.