Every weekend, Fraport Skyliner point guard and the pride and joy of Englewood, New Jersey, Jordan Theodore has too battle against top rated point guards in the Beko BBL and some nights, he comes out the winner both in the team and match up category, but as of late, he has only been coming up the master in the head to head battle while his team the Fraport Skyliners have been coming up short in the victory department. After having a 6 game winning streak in the Beko BBL, the 2004 German champion currently is riding a three game losing streak. Theodore held his own in Ludwigsburg against American Kerron Johnson producing 22 points, but losing 74-70, then held a basketball boxing match against Jordan Taylor as he hit the game winning shot propelling 9 time Beko BBL cup winner into the final in Munich and last weekend the ex Seton Hall guard supplied 21 points to Brad Wanamaker´s 12 points, but the Brose Baskets Bamberg crushed Frankfurt 71-58. Theodore returned back to his own living room after three games on the road and was ready for the next battle against German national player Per Guenther and ratiopharm Ulm, currently one of the hottest team´s in the league having won 13 of their last 14 games. In this long and illustrious winning streak also belonged the 68-61 win of ratiopharm Ulm over the Fraport Skyliners on December 12th at home as Theodore couldn´t play in that game due to injury as German national player Konstantin Klein moved into the starting rotation notching 14 points as Guenther achieved 10 points and six assists in the win. It was the little things that Ulm did and Frankfurt didn´t that paved the win for guys like Chris Babb and Taylor Braun. One thing that Theodore has had often this season after games in the Fraport arena is that winning smile and non stop talkative mode that let´s him go on and on about the beauty of Frankfurt basketball as he has a 16-2 record this season in Beko BBL and Europe Cup play at home. In his first meeting with Guether and with revenge on the minds of his teammates, he and the Fraport Skyliners came out with an exceptional effort over 40 minutes as it was another day at the office where the offense was rolling and the defense was standing tall beating ratiopharm Ulm 92-73. Theodore didn´t start the game as he hadn´t practiced all week, but still amassed 10 points and four assists in the rout. “I was sick this week and I was a last minute decision to play. Klein did a good job and we still took care of business. We knew that it would be a good game. I didn´t play in Ulm and all I wanted was a win tonight. I wanted show my presence and this was a great win after the loss in Bamberg. We did a good job on Guenther and credit Klein for locking him up. Klein showed a lot of pride after losing the first time. We did a good job attacking Guenther and taking him out of the game”, stressed ex Seton Hall guard Jordan Theodore. A big key in the Frankfurt victory was the superb play by the German twin Towers Johannes Voigtmann and Danilo Barthel who combined for 35 points, 14 rebounds and six assists. Especially their amazing passing game once again dazzled everyone as they continue to demonstrate why they are the best passing 4-5 duo in the German Beko BBL. Even if Canadian national player Aaron Doornekamp led all players with 8 assists, the passing flavor of the game were called Voigtmann and Barthel as they just took apart the Ulm defense all night long. Some come to games to witness the cool decision making and amazing game control of Jordan Theodore, Aaron Doornekamp make splash sounds from the corner, Mike Morrison make crushing authority dunks or the beautiful precision passing from all over the floor from Johannes Voigtmann or Danilo Barthel. “We really rely a lot on Voigtmann and Barthel, but what else can you expect when you have two guys like that that can score, rebound, pass and work so hard. It is a big advantage when you can give the big man the ball and let him go to work. Their passing is huge. It is a big advantage when they have a good position with the ball. It opens up the floor for their 1-1 play or if the double team comes, they know where to find us”, expressed 5 time CIS champion Philip Scrubb. Ratiopharm Ulm really had no cure of how to stop 40 minutes of always attacking mode on offense and couldn´t crack the always aggressive Frankfurt defense. “When you play against a good team, you have to be ready for 40 minutes, but we weren´t. We were unable to execute on offense and looked confused on defense. Their two big men really hurt us with their scoring and when they can pass as well it gets tougher. We have a very athletic front court, but we were unable to use it to our advantage”, stressed ex Boston Celtic Chris Babb.
4,970 fans witnessed a very scoring friendly first quarter as the Fraport Skyliners had the more flowing game as their typical ball movement and open shots were frequent while ratiopharm Ulm did a good job keeping pace and making more difficult shots against the always annoying Frankfurt defense. Ratiopharm did get on the board first as ex North Dakota State guard Taylor Braun hit a three pointer, but Frankfurt didn´t waste any time jumping on the Ulm defense as Doornekmap connected on a trey and Danilo Barthel snuck inside for a reverse lay up. After ex Walter Tigers Tuebingen forward Augustine Rubit connected on free throws where his slow arc on his shot could of put anyone to sleep if they hadn´t had had sufficient coffee that day, Frankfurt broke loose on a quick 6-0 run to lead 11-5 as they got some spectacular buckets. Doornekamp had no problems getting by Babb and had a clear lane to the hole and unleased a massive one handed dunk which electrified the Fraport arena into the night´s first frenzy. Barthel then scored inside and then it was Doornekamp feeding Voigtmann inside for the heavy dunk as Ulm couldn´t match the intensity or physicality down low. In this run, Frankfurt forced Ulm to three consecutive turnovers and Guenther was being taken well out of the game early. Doornekamp was getting hot and would steer 12 points to the Frankfurt success in the first quarter as he hit a trey and made a lay in to increase the Frankfurt lead to 20-14. However ex BG Goettingen forward Raymar Morgan kept ratiopharm Ulm in the game as he had 9 points destroying Frankfurt inside as he had a knack for getting good position and once he has that, there is no stopping the ex Michigan State player. Guenther showed some brilliance as he tied the game at 20-20 knocking down a trey on transition. That didn´t rattle Frankfurt as they closed out the first quarter strong going on a forceful 7-2 run to lead 27-22. Frankfurt got added production from 2010 Eurochallenge winner John Little with a pull up jumper and Theodore came from the bench and knocked a three and made free throws. “We wanted to come out scoring and did. We knew that Ulm could also score points. We were unable to get more stops early, but did a good job not letting it go back and forth after that. When we do that, we tend to have problems”, stated Canada native Philip Scrubb. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 67% from the field and 50% from outside while ratiopharm Ulm was shooting 53% from the field and 75% from outside. ratiopharm Ulm had the 8-5 rebound edge, but six turnovers while Frankfurt had only two turnovers.
In the second quarter, ratiopharm Ulm fought back, but the Fraport Skyliners raced out on a 11-0 run to go into halftime comfortably leading 52-39. The Fraport Skyliners got on the board first as Mike Morrison snuck inside and was presented nicely by Barthel with a crisp bounce pass that the Florida native dunked home with authority. The one Twin tower flavor of the day named Barthel was at work displaying his pretty passing craft. However one should never underestimate the strong ratiopharm Ulm bench as head coach Thorsten Leibenath has an array of guys to go to and went with 23 year old American rookie Pierria Henry who started the season with B.C. Vita Tbilisi (Georgia-Superleague) and was a defensive specialist at Charlotte (NCAA) averaging 2,4spg and gave ratiopharm Ulm a push now on both ends of the court leading them on a 7-2 run to cut the Frankfurt advantage to 32-29. He got two steals in the run and made a lay in and difficult three point bank shot that got a Frankfurt bounce. Frankfurt was having lapses where they were playing flawless offense, but then being unfocused and coughing up the ball too much. After Barthel made free throws for the 34-29 Frankfurt lead, it was ratiopharm Ulm that continued to press and fight as it was Henry who continued to be the energizer on defense and executing on offense with a floater and free throw getting ratiopharm Ulm the lead back at 35-34. However the Fraport Skyliners just had too much fire power and consistency on their side as they closed out the second quarter with major Skyliner authority going on a 18-4 run to lead 52-39. In the run it was twin tower Johannes Voigtmann that powered eight points making a running lay in and step back jumper and hitting four free throws. Frankfurt also got further good production from Mr freak athlete Quantez Robertson who hit a difficult step back three with a few seconds on the shot clock and Mike Morrison had the play of the game with a monster alley-oop dunk as Doornekamp made the perfect pass. The Frankfurt offense was rolling and they were getting their transition game going while ratiopharm Ulm wasn´t hitting the tough shots as fluently as they did in the first half. “We got stops and easy buckets. Voigtmann got easy baskets and we made many plays. When our offense is rolling then it is hard to stop us”, stated ex Charleton guard Philip Scrubb. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 61% from the field and 36% from the three point line while ratiopharm Ulm was shooting 44% from the field and 50% from the three point line. Frankfurt had the 16-11 rebound edge and six turnovers while ratiopharm Ulm had nine turnovers.
The third quarter saw less scoring, ratiopharm Ulm got back into the game, but the Fraport Skyliners closed out the third quarter strong and led 66-56 after 30 minutes. Ratiopharm Ulm came out of halftime rejuvenated going on a 7-0 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 52-46. In the run, the club got production from three different players as ratiopharm Ulm was benefited with a loose ball that Braun fed Morgan for the dunk, Guenther hit a three and Rubit closed out the perfect fast break with a dunk as Guenther made the outlet pass to Babb who found Rubit. Ratiopharm Ulm stepped up their defensive intensity and stopped the first five possessions of the Fraport Skyliners. Then it was time for Jordan Theodore to do what he does best when the Frankfurt offense is sputtering and take matters into his own hands as he led a quick 6-0 run to heighten the Frankfurt lead to 58-48 with a step back jumper, Barthel nailed a three pointer and Doornekamp made a free throw. Frankfurt continued to use all their weapons and everyone contributed at some point of the game as Scrubb scored in bunches making a trey and free throws extending the Frankfurt lead to 63-49. Ratiopharm Ulm closed out the third quarter with a timely 7-3 run as Henry and Bremblay hit free throws and Theodore and American Da Sean Butler traded three pointers. “That 7-0 run came, because we expected it to be too easy and they came back from the break motivated. They kept us on our heels and made us use more energy”, added Philip Scrubb. “We had more energy at the start of the third and then they hit shots. Good teams know how to protect their home court”, stressed American Taylor Braun. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 49% from the field and 35% from the parking lot while ratiopharm Ulm was shooting 40% from the field and 43% from the parking lot. Frankfurt had the slight 25-23 rebounding advantage and 10 turnovers while ratiopharm Ulm had 12 turnovers.
In the fourth quarter as the Fraport Skyliners have demonstrated so often this season, they seemed to get better and stronger while their opponent slowly wilted like a thirsty flower as they powered home 26 points registering a rout on the stat sheet. Little started off the fourth quarter with a three pointer which was followed by a Philipp Neumann fade away over Barthel and Scrubb fade away as Frankfurt led 71-58. Then the turning point of the game came even if a negative turned into a positive for the Fraport Skyliners. Jordan Theodore was hit with a technical, but it didn´t change the game for ratiopharm Ulm, but actually made the Fraport Skyliners stronger as they cruised out on a 15-4 run to extend their lead to 86-62 deciding the game. In the run, it was the German twin towers of Voigtmann and Barthel combining for 10 of the 15 points. Voigtmann scored twice and Barthel three times and twice was fed beautifully by Voigtmann who showed why he was the passing flavor of the night on the court with spectacular perfect passes. Scrubb also contributed with a jumper and Klein dropped a three pointer. “Despite picking up that technical, the 13-2 run showed that we have enough guys that can score and we do have that balanced attack. We continue to be dangerous when we play team basketball. We made many shots near the end of the shot clock passing up good shots for great shots. We feed off each other in each game”, warned Jordan Theodore. Down the stretch, ratiopharm Ulm got a bucket from Morgan and trey from Rubit, but it was too little too late. Fraport Skyliners head coach Gordon Herbert inserted young German Max Merz and Stefan Ilzhoefer in the garbage time. Ilzhoefer hit a pretty floater. Morgan closed out the game making the last five points of the game. An interesting side note was that Quantez Robertson who averages 30+ minutes didn´t play a single second of the fourth quarter. “I don´t know if this was the first time ever as a Skyliner that I sat out a quarter. I have been in foul trouble before, but never as bad as this”, commented Quantez Robertson. “Klein did a good job coming off the bench and running the team. We have full confidence in him that the level won´t drop when he is in. He always brings energy and really changed things up in the fourth”, stated Philip Scrubb. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Danilo Barthel with 19 points, nine rebounds, three assists and four blocks. Johannes Voigtmann added 16 points and five rebounds. Aaron Doornekamp contributed 13 points and eight assists while Philip Scrubb and Jordan Theodore added 10 points a piece. ratiopharm Ulm was led by Raymar Morgan with 22 points and eight rebounds. Augustine Rubit supplied 15 points and eight rebounds and Pierria Henry had 13 points and four steals. The Fraport Skyliners shot 55% from the field and 38% from outside while ratiopharm Ulm shot 40% from the field and 41% from outside. Frankfurt won the rebound duel 33-28 and had 11 turnovers while ratiopharm Ulm had 14 turnovers.