The great thing about pre season basketball is that Beko BBL teams have the chance to test against a wide spectrum of teams coming from Japan, the Pro A, Holland or even France as the Fraport Skyliners are doing this season. Another advantage is getting reacquainted with former players like Fabian Franke or former big German talent like Marco Buljevic who started his basketball career up the A5 in Giessen. Fraport Sklyiner fans didnt only have the chance to see shot specialist Marco Buljevic show his straight forward parked stance in the corner, but also observe Fabian Franke again who returned back to his living room in the BCM with PRO A team ETB Wohnbau baskets Essen to duel against the Fraport Skyliners. Franke played three seasons in Frankfurt playing a total of 29 games in the Beko BBL mostly getting garbage time and also having a double license for the PRO B team playing a total of 53 games and being the third best German scorer last season in the PRO B. Franke will always be remembered for being able to completely fill up the stat sheet in the Pro B, decline at times to take open shots in the Beko BBL, his 31 point explosion against BG Illertal last season and last season for his growing GQ looks and fancy outfits which easily would have given him best dressed Skyliner if there had ever been an award like that. After a strong first half by the Fraport Skyliners, the ETB Wohnbau Baskets came back in the third quarter to cut the lead down to five points, but were unable to regain the lead as they ran out of gas. Franke was a central figure in the team and Fraport Skyliner captain Marius Nolte was thrilled to see his ex teammate again. I was happy to see him again. I had 1-2 flashbacks of how he played with us when he was able to defend me well. However I was able to block him once. Fabian is a great guy and friend, stressed Paderborn native Marius Nolte. Franke was unable to remember the Nolte block. It was like a home coming for me. I got a warm welcome and it was cool to see all the people again. I dont know if Marius blocked me, because I wanted to pass the ball, but he did a good job on me, added Fabian Franke. Ex teammate Devin Gibson was also happy to see his ex teammate. I spoke to him before the game and it was nice. This was a good test, because we will also play against Jimmy Mckinney and Jacob Burtschi this season. I think that he will be a solid player for them and produce much, commented Texas native Devin Gibson. It was nice coming back to the BCM. I played here from 2006-2008 with Giessen. My dad comes from Hessen and I really like this training facility, said 2009 Beko BBL champion with Oldenburg Marco Buljevic.
After the more than convincing 100-57 win against PRO A team BV Chemnitz 72 hours ago, where the Fraport Skyliners stifled the team from the former eastern Germany often with their press defense not allowing them to inbound the ball, the team had their second meeting with a PRO A team with the ETB Wohnbau Baskets Essen where they didnt have as an easy time. They had a big second quarter, fell asleep in the third quarter like a overblown black bear after a tasty feast of berries, but closed out the game in the fourth quarter with big shots from the Jones gang, Danilo Barthel and Konstantin Klein (185-PG-91). We played a good first half defensively. Essen came back in the second half and played well. The result may be a bit too high from their stand point. We werent able to keep up the tempo in the third quarter which gave Essen the chance to come back. Chemnitz didnt come to terms with our pressure, but Essen did. Essen should be able to be a top team in the PRO A, stressed Skyliner sport director Kamil Novak. The ETB Wohnbau Baskets Essen played with a lot of heart, but in the end were a bit overwhelmed by the higher class of players that the Fraport Skyliners have. We played hard for 40 minutes. We had some mental lapses and werent always as well organized when they pressed. We were in game and we wanted to win and we showed that we could hang with a Beko BBL team. The way we were able to play them will help our confidence, stated Orlando, Florida native Rickey Claitt.
The Fraport Skyliners entered the game without former German national player Johannes Herber who was out with the flu. The team also had a void at the forward position as Alexander Franklin had been cut recently and the team was still without new power forward Dion Dowell who was expected to arrive in Frankfurt on Saturday. The Fraport Skyliners had young German Konstantin Klein in the starting lineup and right away produced as he made a nice pump fake on American 198cm forward Terren Harbut and scored inside off the glass as if he was a very undersized power forward. Essen made a lot of pressure on offense and had for a stretch the lead, but always had to contend with the full court press of Frankfurt. Fabian Franke gave Essen its first lead with a three pointer. German forward Danilo Barthel who had a long shooting day from the parking lot at 2/9, but had better luck from the field as he gave Frankfurt the lead back 7-4 as he scored on a runner and slammed home a beautiful Konstantin Klein bounce pass. Essen then went on a 5-0 run as Marco Buljevic hit a brilliant fade away jumper in the corner over Klein and American Logan Stutz nailed a three pointer as the ETB Wohnbau Baskets Essen led 11-7. The Fraport Skyliners didnt let this little burst of energy from Essen startle them as they closed out the first quarter 8-4 to dead lock the game at 15-15. Frankfurt displayed some crisp ball movement and the guy who you want to get the last shot is a guy like Anthony Jones who is parked behind the three point line and always ready to release a bomb hitting. After a Joey Henley tap in, Klein drew a foul making two free throws and ended the first quarter scoring on a lay in getting a quick feed from German Johannes Vogtmann showing once again his masterful passing qualities.
Both teams got going slowly in the second quarter as no team was able to get anything going inside and rather focusing on finding that open shot from the mid distance or from outside. The Fraport Skyliners then finally scored inside as Devin Gibson did his typical quick steps finding the open space and then serving Marius Nolte cusine in form of a basketball with a high lob that he easily put home. Essen then got a timely three pointer from Lexington, Kentucky native Terren Harbut who has played his entire career in Germany for teams like Paderborn, Herten and BV Chemnitz. The Fraport Skyliners led 18-17, but would now open up the game as they went on a 26-7 run to close out the second quarter leading 44-25. Danilo Barthel started the scoring attack with six straight points as he scored inside using his wit and waiting for the defender to commit and fall on him as he was in the air making the lay up and one and then nailed a three pointer with his typical high rainbow. Essen trailed 24-17. After a Marco Buljevic three pointer, the Skyliners hit three consecutive three pointers often on the transition as the club continued to go make the game fast after each defensive rebound. Johnathon Jones hit and PRO B player Larry Wright connected twice as the Fraport Skyliners led comfortably 37-20. The Fraport Skyliners continued to hit at a high percentage as Vogtmann made a mid distance jumper , Johnathon Jones read a pass perfectly jumped in front tipped the ball away and went coast to coast with a one handed dunk. Anthony Jones closed out the scoring in the second quarter making an open three pointer. The ETB Wohnbau Baskets Essen went into half time with a lot to talk about as they trailed 44-25. We had very good defensive pressure in the second quarter. We had better ball movement and started to make more shots, stressed Fraport Skyliners guard Devin Gibson. We werent getting into the passing lanes, gave up too many offensive rebounds and just let them play. If that happens you can quickly be down by 20 points, added Marco Buljevic. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 42% from the field and 40% from outside while the ETB Wohnbau Baskets Essen shot 37% from the field and 36% from outside. Frankfurt had the 20-15 edge, but only three turnovers while Essen had 11 turnovers.
The ETB Wohnbau Baskets Essen kept the basketball adage alive that basketball is a game of runs and set forth theirs as they battled back into the game. Essen did start off fast going on a mini 4-0 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 44-29 started to push the ball inside more with success. 196cm forward Joey Henley who is an avid Dallas Cowboys fan scored hard over Nolte and Buljevic showed that he wont shy from going inside scoring over Klein. It seemed like Essen might be in the middle of their run, but instead was put on hold as the Fraport Skyliners were able to bounce back on a potent 10-0 run to extend their lead to 54-29. Nolte started the run finding some daylight in the lane getting a pass from Gibson. Anthony Jones then responded hit twice from the field and from the corner for three getting a four point play. Whenever the shot clock is down or the Skyliners seem to be in trouble, it is the American who hits the big shots. The ETB Wohnbau Baskets had had enough and now made the game interesting again going on a 17-4 run to close out the third quarter trailing only 58-49. Essen got back into the game playing a clever inside out game. Buljevic started the run with a three pointer. Essen then got two back to back buckets inside as 24 year old 205cm forward Logan Stutz that played for Leitershofen and in Austria last season scored over Nolte and Henley made a reverse lay up who was very active all day long on the boards. Henley then scored again making a guard type play coming from the second row in the lane and stepping in front of a pass and going coast to coast for the basket. PRO B player Tim Oldenburg then hit a mid distance jumper from the corner as Frankfurt still led 58-38. Essen closed out the third quarter with a 11-0 run to trail 58-49. Stutz hit from outside, German Carsten Bartels scored inside and Harbut scored from the top of the key. We played better defense, got in the passing lanes, got steals and had better ball movement, stressed Essen guard Marco Buljevic. We were a bit winded in the third quarter. We were getting the shots that we wanted, but they just werent falling, added Devin Gibson.
The ETB Wohnbau Baskets still had energy and kept their 11-0 run from the end of the third quarter going as 21 year old 201cm forward and ex LTi Giessen 46er Roben Christen scored inside and Stutz scored easily inside as the Fraport Skyliners had little defensive pressure or body containment in the paint as the PRO A team was suddenly only down 58-53. However the Fraport Skyliners finally stopped their scoring drought of almost seven minutes dating back to the last bucket from Tim Oldenburg in the third quarter by getting production from captain Marius Nolte who got a lob pass from Gibson. Gibson then nailed a jumper as Essen trailed 62-53. However Essen still was clawing their way back as Harbut hit a free throw and Rickey Claitt hit a fade way as Essen trailed only 62-56. However the Fraport Skyliners had had enough now and simply were still too overpowering even so late in the game closing out the game with a forceful 16-4 run. Barthel nailed a three pointer to help improve his poor shooting day from down town and Anthony Jones lit up the scoreboard again. Henley then grabbed an offensive rebound and got a put back as Essen trailed only 68-58. After a Johnathon Jones three pointer at the shot clock buzzer, it was Konstantin Klein that ultimately that brought Essen back to reality with two consecutive three pointers to lead 77-60. Klein closed out the game with a free throw only after Skyliner head coach Muli Katzurin had raced over to the referee to get the free throws as most everyone had seen the game as over. We were more focused in the fourth quarter and increased our defensive pressure, stressed Devin Gibson. One could see the big difference in individual class that there is between both teams in the fourth quarter. We defended the pick and roll very bad and Frankfurt was always able to penetrate into the heart of our defense. We didnt have the strength to come back down by so much, added Marco Buljevic.
The Skyliners were led by Danilo Barthel with 15 points, six rebounds and three assists. Anthony Jones added 14 points, four rebounds and three steals. Konstantin Klein produced 13 points and four assists. Johnathon Jones contributed 12 points. The ETB Wohnbau Baskets Essen were led by Joey Henley with 16 points. Logan Stutz added 14 points and Marco Buljevic 10 points. The ETB Wohnbau Baskets Essen shot a tad better from the field at 44% as Frankfurt did at 42%. Frankfurt shot 38% from the three point line and Essen 37%. The Fraport Skyliners easily won the rebound battle 37-31 and had nine turnovers while Essen had 15. One player who continues to make strides is 21 year old German Konstantin Klein who scored in double figures and started at point guard and is blessed with a healthy confidence level. He already has the respect of his teammates as training camp isnt even a month old. Konstantin Klein is a great player. He can really do it all. He really has no weakness. He can shoot, is a great passer and plays hard defense. He will be a great player, warned Skyliner teammate Devin Gibson. As time goes by, the public and players will know who Konstantin Klein is. I didnt know who he was before today, but I like his game. He plays with a lot of snap. He is very aggressive on the ball defense and gets in the passing lanes. He also showed that he is a good ecision maker on offense. I sensed that he isnt afraid of nayone. He has a lot of potential. He also shows not too much respect of the opponent in a positive way, stressed Marco Buljevic. The Fraport Skyliners test against Dutch team Nijmegen today.
The Eurobasket Select Team came through to steal a win away from VfL AstroStars Bochum team 78-77. Yale's Jack Montague (183-PG, college: Yale) scored the final 8 points over the final two minutes for ESL to secure the win including the game winning floater with 34 seconds remaining. Montague finished his first professional game with a team high 16 points. Fellow starter Derrick Tony Seldon (196-F/C-93, college: W.Connecticut) and reserve Jeremiah Dunnings (183-PG, college: William Carey)... [read more]
The Eurobasket Select Team came through to steal a win away from VfL AstroStars Bochum team 78-77. Yale's Jack Montague (183-PG, college: Yale) scored the final 8 points over the final two minutes for ESL to secure the win including the game winning floater with 34 seconds remaining. Montague finished his first professional game with a team high 16 points. Fellow starter Derrick Tony Seldon (196-F/C-93, college: W.Connecticut) and reserve Jeremiah Dunnings (183-PG, college: William Carey) were the only others to reach double figures for ESL with 14 and 15 points respectively.
ESL marched out Montague, Seldon, Maurice Cole (182-PG-90, college: Dixie St.), Zack Leeper (193-G), and Bruce Marshall (208-C-94) to start the game against Bochum who were without American Clay Wilson (190-G-92, college: Princeton). 'I felt the first few minutes took some time to find our rhythm. This is the first time any of these players have played together before so I knew there would be an adjustment period,' ESL Head Coach Allen Mkrtychyan said. ESL did not get their first field goal to go down until Dominican's William Wise (206-F) knocked down a 3 point jump shot with 6 minutes to go in the first. ESL trailed 48-44 heading into halftime connecting on seven 3 point FG's in the first half (Leeper, Seldon, Wise, Ajani Santos (201-F/C-94), Dunnings, and Ethan Murray (188-G-93, college: Coll.of the Ozarks)).
The third quarter was a battle as the VfL AstroStars led by Ryon Howard (198-SF-84, college: Sacred Heart) and Michael Haucke (210-C-85) got into the bonus with 7 minutes left in the quarter. 'I thought we lacked the defensive energy we had in the first half and it resulted in unneeded fouls. We struggled to keep the tempo up and the amount of free points they had made it difficult to cut into their lead. However, the guys were able to make the adjustment in the 4th to get us back in the game', ESL Tour Manager Dustin Simcox said. ESL trailed by 12 heading into the 4th. Seldon knocked down his third 3 pointer of the game in the opening minutes to spark the rally.
Down 5 with 2:30 remaining in the game is when Montague took over to seal the game for ESL. He cut the lead to two with a three from the top the key, following a FG from Bochum, he came down and fired another three from the right wing to cut the lead to only one. Two timely defensive stops allowed him to knock down a little 12 foot floater to give ESL the lead with a little over 30 seconds remaining. It is a lead that ESL would not surrender as they escaped Bochum with a 78-77 win. ESL will play next tonight August 27th at Rot-Weiss Cuxhaven.
Notes: North Dakota's Josiah Coleman (196-F-94, college: N.Dakota), Wise, and Leeper led ESL in rebounds with 6. Cole led in assists with 4. Marshall led the team with 3 steals. Bochum out rebounded ESL 65-38. All 11 suited players scored for ESL.
Sixers expected to waive Tibor Pleiss after trade with Jazz - 4 hours ago
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On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss (7'2''-C-89) to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall(6'5''-PG-91, college: N.Carolina). The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia's Jessica Camerato. Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would... [read more]
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss (7'2''-C-89) to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall (6'5''-PG-91, college: N.Carolina). The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia's Jessica Camerato. Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it's unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season. Courtesy of: nbcsports.com
Lorenzo Williams(187-PG-84, college: Rice) is a 31 year old 187cm point guard that recently completed his second season with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven playing 22 games and averaging 5.6ppg, 1.6rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 32.8%, FT: 73.7%. He was born in Arkansas, but grew up in Texas. He played at Rice University from 2003-2007. In his senior year, he played 29 games averaging 9.1ppg, 2.5rpg, 5.0apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 45.7%, 3Pts: 34.6%, FT: 71.4%. He was drafted by the Anaheim Arsenal in 20... [read more]
Lorenzo Williams (187-PG-84, college: Rice) is a 31 year old 187cm point guard that recently completed his second season with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven playing 22 games and averaging 5.6ppg, 1.6rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 32.8%, FT: 73.7%. He was born in Arkansas, but grew up in Texas. He played at Rice University from 2003-2007. In his senior year, he played 29 games averaging 9.1ppg, 2.5rpg, 5.0apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 45.7%, 3Pts: 34.6%, FT: 71.4%. He was drafted by the Anaheim Arsenal in 2007, but decided to come to Europe and played in Germany for BC Groer Recycling Weissenhorn, but left during the season, in March 2008 and moved to Skanska Pezinok (Slovakia-Extraliga). In 2008-2009, he played in Slovakia for AB Cosmetics Pezinok playing 28 games: Score-2 (20.8ppg), 3.2rpg, Assists-2 (5.8apg), 1.8spg, 2FGP: 62.3%, 3PT: 39.8%, FT: 83.9%. In the 2009-2010 season, he came to Germany and played for the Giessen 46ers playing 25 games: 11.4ppg, 1.6rpg, 3.6apg, FGP: 58.7%, 3PT: 33.8%, FT: 67.2%. In the 2010-2011 season he played for Zalakeramia-ZTE KK (Hungary-A Division, starting five): 19 games: 15.6ppg, 3.3rpg, Assists-1 (7.3apg), 2.5spg, FGP: 65.2%, 3PT: 35.6%, FT: 70.4%, in Feb.'11 moved to Khimik-OPZ Yuzny (Ukraine-Superleague, starting five): 15 games: 9.1ppg, 2.6rpg, 3.9apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 50.6%, 3PT: 24.3%, FT: 87.5%. He then played two seasons for Atomeromu SE Paks (Hungary-A Division). In the 2013-2014 season he played for BK Ventspils (Latvia-LBL) winning the league championship playing 24 games: 11.6ppg, 2.8rpg, 3.9apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 41.0%, FT: 82.4%; EuroChallenge: 11 games: 10.4ppg, 3.1rpg, 4.4apg, FGP: 54.1%, 3PT: 22.6%, FT: 73.0%; Baltic League: 16 games: 9.8ppg, 3.4rpg, Assists-4 (4.4apg), 1.3spg, FGP: 50.6%, 3PT: 38.3%, FT: 72.7% In the 2014-2015 season he came to the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven (Germany-BBL) palying 28 games averaging 10.7ppg, 2.8rpg, Assists-3 (5.9apg), 1.3spg, FGP: 45.0%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 88.0%. He spoke to eurobasket about basketball.
Lorenzo thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
Im currently at home in Houston, Texas preparing for the upcoming season. My summer has been great. My wife and I recently bought a new home and we are enjoying time with our son and family.
Teams are filling up everywhere and your still unsigned. Are you getting a little nervous about finding a team for this season?
A little bit but I feel that over the course of my career I have shown that I can compete at a high level. So I just focus on the process which is Working out and preparing myself for the next opportunity.
You have gone into every professional season having found a club before the season starts except for last season. Is the transfer market more challenging this season than in past seasons?
I think the market for me could be a bit different this summer than in the past. I didn't have the best statistical season but I'm confident that I can still contribute a lot to several clubs around Europe.
Your turning 32 in November. Have you passed your prime or still in it? I feel that physically and mentally I'm the best I've ever been. I'm working harder and smarter every day. Being a veteran I know what it takes to prepare for the grind of a long season.
Last season was a season to forget with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven. You came in December as the boat was sinking. How did you experience this chaotic season? Last season was very tough for me, especially coming off of the season I had the previous year. I take every situation as a learning experience and try to use what I learned in the future. Things definitely did not go as I thought they would. But that's how the game works sometimes. I'm very thankful for my year and a half there and I wish them the best in the future.
In the 2014-2015 season you had a very solid season for the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven (Germany-BBL): 28 games: 10.7ppg, 2.8rpg, Assists-3 (5.9apg), 1.3spg, FGP: 45.0%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 88.0%. Did you feel it a bit disrespectful that they didn't resign you, but when they had injuries felt the need to get you back again? I didn't feel disrespected at all. It's a part of the business. I was thankful for the opportunity to be there.
You came to a team that had an influx of guards with Jerry Smith and Brandyn Curry. You played 22 games averaging 5.6ppg, 1.6rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 32.8%, FT: 73.7%. Was the team play something that effected your play? Our team had a lot of talent but unfortunately we were not able to put it all together on the floor. It was not easy having three point guards on the roster who could all impact the game in a different way. Unfortunately for me I was unable to find a rhythm and a significant role within the team. I think we all did whatever we could to make the best of the situation.
Last season was your worst of your professional career. What did you learn from this experience and what will you do better the next time if a situation like that presents itself again? I learned that you have to just focus on the things that you can control and continue to work hard and be positive.
How confident are you that at almost 32 years of age that you can get back to your stellar play of the 2014-2015 season where you averaged 10.7ppg, 2.8rpg, Assists-3 (5.9apg), 1.3spg, FGP: 45.0%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 88.0%? I'm very confident that I can have a major impact on a BBL team. My experience in the league and familiarity with the players and style of play would be a positive. I've improved as a player each year and I'm ready for the next opportunity to come.
How do you feel you can rebound from last season? You have proved time after time to be a consistent performer having done that in numerous different countries. Is your consistency something that will give you confidence going into that next situation? During the past 9 seasons I've gained the confidence to be unbothered by things in the past. I think my understanding of the European game over the years has improved each season so I can definitely rebound from last season. I take pride in being a consistent player and making my teammates better, which I believe will help with a transition to a new club.
The Fraport Skyliners are a team that will be rebuilding this season and have a lot of youth. With only one very experienced player Quantez Robertson and experienced Mike Morrison going into his fifth professional season, they mostly have kids at the moment. Would this situation with your experience be one that would be appealing to you? This certainly would be a situation that would interest me. They have a very good coach and are returning a few players that have made an impact in the BBL. I think my leadership would help the young guys a lot. I played in Bremerhaven with Garai Zeeb. He's a talented young player they have who is on the rise as well.
Coach Gordon Herbert has liked the scoring point guard types like Dashaun Wood, Justin Cobbs and Jordan Thedoore which he had in the past. Could you be that type of player if you had to be? I think I can do whatever a coach needs. I'm a very unselfish guy and I've improved my game each year. My game offensively is predicated on getting my teammates involved because that is the job of a point guard but I can score if needed. I've shown on several occasions that I'm capable throughout my career.
Describe in a few sentences as to why you could help any team at the moment with your play? I'm a hard working unselfish player who understands the European game. I believe a point guard should be the coach on the floor and I've developed the leadership qualities over the years to do that. Leading by example is key in every situation and I understand the importance of that.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore and chose 4 NBA heads which best four would you pick?
Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Lebron James and Shaq
Now that Lebron finally brought an NBA title to the Cavs where does this further NBA title put him against the best that ever played the game? I think Lebron has proved throughout his career that he is one of the best to ever do it. The title is just icing on the cake.
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