With the Pro B regular season winding down, one can pretty much predict well where the post season journeys of the Fraport Skyliners Juniors and TG s.Oliver Wurzburg teams will take them. Frankfurt has booked a ticket for the playoffs while TG s.Oliver Wurzburg most likely will play in the playdowns to be able to book their ticket for the upcoming Pro B season. One thing that is never as predictable is what lineup the Fraport Skyliners Juniors will go with on account of their BBL license players and injuries having been a huge factor in the success they have had this season. With Isaac Bonga, one never knows will he suit up or not as he has been concentrating more on the easyCredit BBL this season and only played sporadically in the Pro B. Especially on weekends when the BBL team Fraport Skyliners are in action, his chances of playing become less, but this weekend the team was off as they had back to back games within the week. Bonga had played in the last home game victory against the Bayer Giants Leverkusen and had been a vital factor for the success as he took over the game in many phases and finished with a career high 30 points. Fans weren´t disappointed when Bonga arrived in the BCM gym for warm ups and then was present on the court ready for battle again. He didn´t score 30 again like two weeks ago, but this time it was Garai Zeeb again who was the fourth quarter savior as like some weeks ago against KIT Karlsruhe, he had a horrible first half and stepped it up in the second half sparking Frankfurt with 13 points and this time powered home 8 points down the stretch against TG s.Oliver Wurzburg pacing the Fraport Skyliners Juniors to the 75-69 victory.
Miles Jackson-Cartwright is a 25 year old 190cm guard from Van Nuys, California that is playing in his third professional season and second in Germany and first with the TG s.Oliver Wuerzburg (Germany-ProB) averaging 14,7ppg, 5,0rpg and 4,8 apg. His last club was the Hebeisen White Wings Hanau (Germany-ProA) playing 29 games averaging 11.0ppg, 3.4rpg, 3.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 42.1%, 3PT: 32.4%, FT: 71.4%. In his rookie season he played with Aris Leeuwarden (Holland-Eredivisie, starting five) playing 18 games: Score-3(16.1ppg), 3.3rpg, Assists-1(5.1apg), 1.4spg, FGP: 47.0%, 3PT: 42.6%, FT: 80.2%. He started his basketball career at Pennsylvania (NCAA) in 2010 and played there until 2014 playing a total of 115 NCAA games and in his four year career averaged 11,6ppg, 2,6rpg, 2,8apg and 1,0spg. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Miles thanks for talking to German Hoops. We both have a very uncommon same name. How many other Miles´s have you met in your life? My count is less than 5.
Ha! I have actually met quite a few, to be honest. Definitely more than I can count.
You sat out a whole season. Talk a little about your time off. Was it a planned thing to pursue other interests or were offers scarce and just not the right opportunity to play professionally last season?
I actually signed with a Bulgarian team last season before the new year. It did not work out for the best, but I was appreciative of the team for giving me the opportunity obviously, I wanted things to work out differently but I probably would not be in the position that I am now if not for what happened last season.
Congrats on signing with TG s.Oliver Wuerzburg (Germany-ProB). Two seasons ago you played in the German Pro A with the Hebeisen White Wings. Do you feel like your taking a step back this season or what benefits do you see by playing in the Pro B this season?
Thank you! I truly believe that this is the best situation that I’ve been in so far. It’s the best of both worlds for me. I get the chance to lead a young group with the Pro-B team, all while being able to play and learn from Coach Dirk Bauermann and the talented group of guys on the BBL team. Being here with Coach Liam Flynn has always been something that I’ve looked forward to, and the opportunity to also play in BBL games is truly a blessing. This organization is first-class in all facets and I have never been more excited to be playing for a team like I am here.
There was only one win where the smile was at it´s greatest for American Kameron Taylor and that was following his unforgettable buzzer beater pull up jumper against the Fraport Skyliners Juniors which saw nothing but net, but other than that one could really debate in which of the other games his smile was bigger, because the Dragons Rhondorf have easily disposed of every other opponent with Leverkusen, Munich, Schwelm and Karlsruhe that have attempted to make some noise in the loud Dragon Dome and were easily put in their place and sent home trying to figure out what went wrong. Two weeks ago, the Dragons Rhondorf easily took apart HIT GEQOUS Karlsruhe and saw the struggle of Kameron Taylor getting in early foul trouble and regrouping and having a strong second half to produce 18 points in 18 minutes while his teammate German Patrick Reusch was reborn after battling injuries and stepping up big in the absence of Taylor and racking up 18 points in 18 minutes and giving the team that much needed push form the guard position while the American was fighting with his thoughts on the bench. The Dragons Rhondorf came into the game with a potent 9-2 record and resting comfortably in second place in the Pro B south standings sporting a four game winning streak and were looking for their six win a row at home a place that has turned into that special dominating living room as they welcomed the 11th placed TG s Oliver Wurzburg as they had a miserable 1-10 record and were one place away from being the leagues doormat. The Dragons Rhondorf entered the contest as the huge favorite and showed no real signs of having difficulty in losing as they played a solid defensive game and as always when they needed instant points, they looked to Kameron Taylor who came up big in the fourth quarter scoring 12 points and leading his team to their sixth win in a row at home. After the game, the Maryland native was focused and trying to save his smile for another day even if he had flirted with a quadruple double with 22 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and eight steals, he never noticed. “I can´t even imagine getting a quadruple double. I just play my game and my stats come on their own. Statistically this may have been my best defensive game, but I try to compare my best defense to how well we contain the opponents best player”, stressed Kameron Taylor. The focused attitude of the American had more to do with how well he really felt his team played. “It was an ugly game and we weren´t satisfied as a team. We were disappointed and feel that we could of played a lot better, but were happy we got the win. It shows what kind of team we really are when we aren´t happy with a 16 point win”, added Kameron Taylor. TG s.Oliver Wurzburg were without many key players and that showed in the play of the team. “We had a lot of guys that had to step up and play out of position. We lost so much inside and this game was a real challenge. We knew that we had to stop them on transition. I felt we defended and rebounded well for three quarters, but in the end they edged us out. Rhondorf was the better team”, stressed ex USC(NCAA) forward Garrett Jackson.
Marcellus Barksdale is a 24 year old 196cm guard from Lexington, Kentucky that recently completed his first professional season in Germany with TG s.Oliver Wuerzburg (Germany-ProB) averaging 17,0ppg, 6,0rpg and 3,3apg.He played at IUPUI (NCAA) form 2011-2016 playing a total of 131 NCAA games. As a senior he played 31 games averaging 8.7ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.6apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 28.1%, FT: 73.1%. He spoke to German Hoops after the conclusion of the season.
Marcellus thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and what were your foremost basketball thoughts today?
I’m currently back in my hometown of Lexington, Kentucky. Honestly, I’ve tried to free my mind from basketball this past week to give my mind and body a chance to rest.
You and TG Wurzburg gave it a great fight, but came up short in a do or die game against the ScanPlus baskets. How disappointed were you of ending the season like this?
It’s never a good feeling after taking a loss, especially a season ending loss. Initially, I was disappointed but looking back on things, my teammates and I were able to come together and we had a special season.
You told me our last interview in January that the team had had the potential to defensively lock team down. In the three game series against the ScanPlus Baskets you allowed 80 points as a team which was also the season average. Was the opponent in the long run just too good offensively to have achieved this goal?
ScanPlus is a very talented team. I felt we were able to set the tone defensiviely in game two, which led us to a win. Ultimately, they made some huge shots in game three. That was the difference.
There is one thing you can´t take away from Vincent Sanford and that is his unending drive like a starved kitten who is shyly and timidly strolling down a city alley looking for any tiny scraps of food preferably tuna fish or it´s abandoned mother to keep chipping away at not only being the best player that he possibly can, but too also never lose that fierce desire to play at the best level even if it has been a slow process. He definitely doesn´t have the same route like a Malcolm Delaney or Brian Roberts who played at high levels like the easyCredit BBL and then made the jump to the NBA, but the American who lists Mr cross over Kemba Walker as his hardest opponent in the NCAA has had to toil in lower leagues in Europe, but now has reached the EasyCredit BBL in Germany. Sanford is a 26 year old 190cm guard from Lexington, Kentucky that has continued to battle the odds and now with possibly the help of a coaching change with s.Oliver Wurzburg and has reached one of the top leagues in Europe in Germany with the EasyCredit BBL by accident even if he has the talent. Four months ago, the basketball life of Vincent Sanford looked a lot different.
The expressions on the faces of the players of the Dragons Rhondorf and TG s.Oliver Wurzburg were like night and day last weekend as the two teams fighting for the right to play in the playoffs continued with the Dragons Rhondorf losing a bitter game in Frankfurt while the Bavarian team Wurzburg slapped the top ranked team PS Karlsruhe. After the 91-82 loss in Frankfurt, Rhondorf beast Aaron Nelson was lying on the floor in front of his own bench feeling as worn out as a antelope who has been chased around and beaten all day long by cheetah´s in the jungle. Nelson had had another typical day at the office scoring 33 points and securing nine rebounds, but still lost on the road in Frankfurt. About 120 kilometers away TG s.Oliver Wurzburg were having a serious slugfest with the top ranked Pro B team PS Karlsruhe and somehow managed a 89-86 win where they took apart the leagues number one defense scoring 53 points in the first half. In the fourth quarter, they showed real heart and discipline withstanding all PS Karlsruhe comebacks never letting them get the lead back and also showed their German consistency as they had the majority of the load scoring most points as the American tandem of Barksdale and Sanford produced only one bucket. Both teams need wins as the season is winding down with a month left and both teams are fighting for a playoff place as both have 14 points and identical 7-10 records, but Rhondorf currently has the eighth and last playoff spot while Wurzburg was in ninth place. The Dragons Rhondorf won the first meeting of the season on the road 81-71 as they had their problems rebounding and taking care of the ball, but the fact that Wurzburg connected only on two tries from downtown sealed their fate. TG s.Oliver Wurzburg took the court in Rhondorf wanting revenge for their loss at home while the Dragons wanted to take advantage of their home court and fans saw an exciting basketball game that was filled with runs and a massive comeback by the Bavarian team, but the home team Dragons Rhondorf had nerves of steel in crunch-time overcoming TG s.Oliver Wurzburg 84-77.
After the win, a thrilled Mike Lucier who hit the last four free throws of the game explained the secret to sweeping TG s.Oliver Wurzburg. “We both needed the win and we knew that they would come out and play well. They fought well and made a nice run at the end, but we did a good job not losing control and closing out the game strong. Viktor Frankl-Maus was huge at the end, getting the steal, basket and making the no look pass to Wendeler for the basket. He has been doing it all season long and we can always count on him when he has the ball in his hands”, stressed Dragons Rhondorf forward Mike Lucier. After the contest a disappointed Vincent Sanford was trying to analyze why they lost and also found some positives. “We had problems executing and finishing around the basket. We didn´t do a good job handling their runs and had bad phases on defense. I thought we played defense as hard as we could and did a pretty good job on Aaron Nelson”, stressed ex Georgetown guard Vincent Sanford. “This was a super win and I am very happy. We had some dumb mistakes, but tomorrow nobody will remember that. It was important that we won and stayed together without Aaron Nelson who left the game hurt”, stressed Dragons Rhondorf CEO Boris Kaminski.
Vincent Sanford is a 26 year old 190cm guard from Lexington, Kentucky playing his third professional season and first with TG s.Oliver Wuerzburg (Germany-ProB). Last season he played with Barrancabermeja Ciudad Futuro (Colombia-Liga DirecTV)Liga DirecTV-1 playing 20 games: 14.8ppg, 5.5rpg, 3.0apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT-2(42.9%), FT: 76.8%. He started his basketball career with Georgetown (NCAA) in 2009 where he played until 2011 playing 54 NCAA games. He then played two years at Dayton (NCAA) playing 68 NCAA games and as a senior played 37 games: 9.6ppg, 2.7rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 44.8%, 3PT: 30.2%, FT: 69.8%. As a rookie, he played for Thor Thorl (Iceland-Dominos League): 13 games: 22.1ppg, 7.9rpg, 2.1apg, 2.0spg, FGP: 50.8%, 3PT: 42.9%, FT: 73.0%. He spoke to German Hoops after the huge 89-86 win against PS Karlsruhe.
Vincent thanks for talking to German Hoops. 2017 is here and did you set any new years resolutions or are you the type of guy that doesn´t really put too much focus on setting those type of goals?
Our main goal is to get in a good spot to make the playoffs, and play in the post season.
Congrats on the huge 89-86 win against PS Karlsruhe. How proud are you of the guys for getting the victory against the first place team in the Pro B south?
Definitely proud, we are beginning to find our stride as a team which is very pivotal at this time being the last few games in the season.