A Gordon Herbert has the gift of making the best out of the talent that he has and forming successful teams as he did with the Opel Skyliners in 2004 and Deutsche Bank Skyliners in 2010. Bamberg scout Brendan Rooney has the talent of finding exactly the right players for the Brose baskets Bamberg as he proved with Kyle Hines and Marcus Slaughter giving the needed push to help the five time champion win four additional titles in 2011 and 2012 or John Patrick finding no name NCAA players and shaping them into even better players helping them advance to better European teams as was witnessed with guys like Taylor Rochestie, Chris Oliver or Dwayne Anderson in the last years. He also was responsible for discovering the talent of a Jason Boone who flew from the Regionaliga to the Beko BBL in one swift motion in 2008. Artland Dragon head coach Stefan Koch has been known as being a top coach in the Beko BBL winning the cup with the Opel Skyliners in 2000, leading a lesser talented Giessen 46er team in 2005 to the semi finals getting American Chuck Eidson rolling on the way to becoming a Euroleague player and helping the Artland Dragons go to the playoffs the last two years. He is also heralded as a strategical mastermind on the court. In the last years he has also displayed a knack for bringing in the right young point guard who promt became one of the top offensive players that season. With Tyrese Rice and David Holston, his hunch was right. Can three be a charm with Demond Mallet (186-G-78, agency: Higher Vision Sports, college: McNeese St.). With Mallet, Koch didnt attempt any risk by bringing in an unknown, young and inexperienced point guard, but a well known European basketball player who won titles with Rhein Energy Cologne, winning the 2008 ULEB Cup with NBA player Rickey Rubio and playing for a team like Macabbi Tel Aviv. Koch didnt gamble with Mallet, but just relied on common sense, the right feeling and knowing what Mallet can do in the past. The question is can mallet bring a second title to Quackenbruck after their last title cup win in 2008 in Hamburg? One can only wonder where Stefan Koch gets this special feeling for finding that special point guard? Each coach has their own way of finding the right talent. Koch just has a good eye for quality. He just knows which players will make his team successful. I also think bringing in Kristaps Valters was the right choice. I like Valters. He plays bold and is always dangerous. You can never leave him out of your eyes, stressed basketball expert Steven Clauss.
After winning their first BEKO BBL title with the cup in 2008 against EnBW Luwdigsburg in Hamburg in 2008, it seemed like the Artland Dragons were on a positive way with possible future hardware, but instead the club might secretly have been dreaming of the glory day in Hamburg where Darius Hall was in the middle of a swarm of Artland fans celebrating the win, because ever since that big title, the team has been looking for another success and missed the playoffs two seasons in a row. The Artland Dragons have been about as unlucky not reaching the playoffs the two seasons as a Formula one driver is racing the race of their life and then dropping out because the engine dies in the last lap as German Sebastian Vettel recently had to accept or poor cute lovable polar bear Knut who is being shunned by three female bears including his mother who cant remember he is her kid. In 2009, they had to win the last game and did crushing Frankfurt 90-69, but not reaching the playoffs because Paderborn won on the last day against BG Goettingen and in 2010, they made a last comeback winning the last four games, but losing their last game 82-80 to the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven a game they had to win missing the playoffs again. "I think that in 2010, Artland was lacking a guard who could control the team until the end. Ross was more of a scoring guard and Price could of done job, but he came to late in season to turn it around. The chemistry was lacking too and it seemed like players had their own agenda", stressed Quentin Pryor.
In 2010-2011,The Artland Dragons finally reached the Beko BBL playoffs again after a two year drought where they should of made it finishing the season with a record of 23-11 and landing in fourth place. They went the distance in the Beko BBL playoffs in the quarters beating a feisty Braunschweig team where the yhad to come from 2-1 down to win and in the semi finals gave a very hard fight against 4 time Beko BBL champion Brose Baskets Bamberg bowing out 83-55 in game five. During the season, they had three three game winning streaks and one five game winning streak. They finished the season strong heading in to the Beko BBL playoffs winning eight of their last 10 games. They were unable to beat Bamberg in the regular season, but lost twice only by a combined score of 8 points. They were able to beat Alba Berlin once, the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven and BG Goettingen. One thing that The Artland Dragons improved on was not getting lost on defense. We didn't lose our defensive focus when we weren't scoring on the offensive end. Earlier in the year, when we would miss shots, our defensive intensity would go down. Later we are able to move on to the next play, without thinking about our past mistakes", stressed ex Artland Dragon guard Bryan Bailey. In that season their strength was their speed and ability to score at a high pace. If you allowed them to play this then they can score 80 points plus. A hidden strength is that they were a very confident team and feel and play as if they were the best team in the league", warned Kyle Hines. Another strength of the team was their depth, they were deep at each position and continued to get better. The weakness if there had to be one is just being consistent but they were doing that late in the season", said John Bynum.
Last season, the Artland Dragons reached the Beko BBL playoffs for a second straight season after missing them twice with successful ratiopharm Ulm head coach Thorsten Leibenath in 2009 and 2010. Last season the Artland Dragons finished in fourth place with a record of 24-10. They were led by David Holston who was only 167cm, but played with a huge heart and like he was a big 195cm guard not being intimidated by the bigger players. The club played pretty solid the whole season having two five games and four game winning streaks in the season. Their biggest wins of the season was against FC Bayern Munich at home 86-83 at home where David Holston had an eye to eye shooting clinic with Je kel Foster that was only out done by the famous Larry Bird-Dominique Wilkins shoot out in the 1988 NBA playoffs. The Artland Dragons also swept the season series with the EWE Baskets Oldenburg and the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg. Koch once again formed a very competitive team around Holston with guys like David Fenn, Nathan Peavy, Brandon Thomas, Adam Hess and Bryan Bailey. In the palyoffs, the Artland Dragons squashed the title dreams of FC Bayern Munich winning in five games. Who could forget the spectacular win in Munich where they had no David Holston who had been suspended for a game. In the semi finals, they lost 3-0 to the Brose Baskets Bamberg who just rolled over the Quackenbruck team winning by more than 74 points. It seemed like the spanking of the holy mighty FC Bayern Munich had been their highlight and they just ran out of gas against the Brose Baskets Bamberg in the playoffs.
After two consecutive seasons in the Beko BBL playoffs the only goal for the Artland Dragons is a return, annoying the other top teams and possibly sneaking into the Beko BBL final. The two biggest loses for the team were David Holston and Nathan Peavy. It is still difficult to understand why they didnt try to hold Holston who went back to Turkey where he had started his professional team, but Koch possibly already had mallet in mind to bring that extra needed experience to the team. Peavy left to join 8 time Beko BBL champion Alba Berlin. He had played consistently in his time with the Dragons and will be dearly missed. The club also lost players like Bryan Bailey, Adam Hess, Darren fenn and Brandon Thomas. Despite so many going, the Artland Dragons have presented the league another very strong team this season. Joining Mallet in a top basketball ensemble will be Bryce Taylor possibly the second most important signing after Mallet, because of his offensive and defensive versatility, unending energy and never losing mentality. Andrew Drevo is back in the Beko BBL and will present mismatches at the position four with his stretching the defense. Koch also brought in Kristaps Valters for the injured Mallet who played two seasons with Don Beck in Oldenburg and has been a consistent performer in Europes strongest league ACB in Spain. He also brought in talented youngsters Marquez Haynes who played in the ACB who will bring athletic power to the guard position and Sergio Kerusch who is starting his second professional season after having played in Greece last season. Petar Popovic is a rugged big man that has oodles of experience and will bring physical stability to the boards. The team also brought in German Ben Spoeler. The team kept ex Skyliner Anthony King, versatile guard Johannes Strasser and Germans Guido Grunheid and Acja Njei. The biggest strength of the 2008 cup winner again will be their deep roster and unlimited offensive power. If the Artland Dragons can combine that with a willingness to defend then they will be able to beat any team on any night. The only thing that could stand in the way of the Artland Dragons is underachieving. They are so talented, but will need to bring it to the table every night. Koch is known for forming formidable chemistry in his teams and will do it again with this gang. Stefan Koch has done a good job again finding the right players. He always finds the right players. He knows how to find well functioning teams. Bryce Taylor was a very important pick up. The Artland Dragons will be a top team and play at the top, stressed basketball expert Steven Klauss.
The Frankfurt Skyliners have had unfond memories to playing the Artland Dragons as both having a 7-7 record since 2005 and during 2005-2007 Frankfurtlosing all four games including being outscored in the Artland arena 172-129. However, the tide turned for the better from 2007-2009 as The Deutsche Bank Skyliners had a 3-1 record. Four years ago, they celebrated a very big emotional win 87-75 winning in overtime as captain Pascal Roller sparked Frankfurt to the win with 26 points. two seasons ago on the last day, Frankfurt lacked spirit and were beaten in every phase of the game losing 90-69. In 2009-2010, the team lost a thriller 77-76 in Artland as Frankfurt staged one of their famous comebacks despite a late Pascal Roller three pointer, it wasnt enough as they lost. Frankfurt was able to win at home 77-65 as Pascal Roller scored 20 points. Frankfurt won their first show down in 2010-2011 on the road winning 82-56 coming out of half time with a 24-8 run to easily win. Frankfurt was led by AJ Moye with 18 points and six rebounds and fans will remember a crashing dunk by ex NBA player Roger Powell. Frankfurt also won their home encounter 83-72 as Dashaun Wood had a Derrick Rose type of game making 29 points, 9 assists, five rebounds and four steals. The team lost a meaningless cup game in Bamberg against Artland where both teams played for third place and Frankfurt was without Dashaun Wood. Last season, both teams played a defensive classic in Frankfurt as Artland won 49-44. Frankfurt returned to Artland winning 66-60 as Jimmy Mckinney led the scoring with 15 points and ex NBA player Jermario Davidson had 13 points, six rebounds and six blocks.
In the second game of the season, both teams will have a lot to prove as both teams stunk up the house on the road. The Artland Dragons were routed in Berlin 94-62 as they shot only 21% from outside and had a whopping 21 turnovers. The Artland Dragons will be returning home and are always very difficult to beat there. They didnt show very much offensive power in Berlin and werent on the same defensive page as Stefan Koch. The Fraport Skyliners lost 74-56 and never found their offensive rhythm being stifled by the Ludwigsburg aggressive defense and also not showing their routine defense that they are accustomed to. We are all mad about this performance in Ludiwgsburg. We will go back to practice and see what we did wrong. We have to get Peacock integrated. We will have to play a way better game on offense and defense and let our defense spark our offense, stressed Fraport Skyliner guard Konstantin Klein. That will be a tough game in Artland. Frankfurt will have to play top defense and beat Artland with their quickness, warned Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg guard Wayne Bernard.
The Artland Dragons are led by Demond Mallet. Mallet is a 34 year old 186cm guard from Louisiana that has the distinction of being a cousin of Shaq. He played at Mcneese State and turned professional in 2001 and played for Braunschweig leading the team to the playoffs. With his scoring ability, he quickly went to Bamberg where he was able to become one of the top Americans playing in Germany at that time. He won the Beko BBL title with Bamberg in 2005. He then went to Cologne helping them win the cup in 2007. His biggets success was winning the 2008 ULEB Cup with Joventut Badalona with German Jan Jagla. In the last years, he has played in Turkey, Belgium and Israel. Last season he played for Belgacom Spirou (Belgium-D1, starting five): 26 games: Score-3 (15.1ppg), 2.7rpg, 2.8apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 51.5%, 3PT: 35.7%, FT: 84.0%; Euroleague: 12 games: Score-4 (16.6ppg), 2.3rpg, 3.1apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 36.3%, FT: 71.0%; in Dec.'11 moved to Maccabi Electra Tel-Aviv (Israel-Premier League): Israeli League: 4 games: 3.8ppg, 1.3rpg, 1.8apg, 1.3spg; Euroleague: 10 games: 4.6ppg; Adriatic League: 12 games: 6.3ppg, 1.2rpg, 1.8apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 31.7%, FT: 87.5%, He is a five time Beko BBL allstar winning the MVP in 2007. He was the Beko BBL player of the year in 2002 and 2003 and was the Belgium league MVP in 2011. The team also brought in 26 year old 196cm shooting guard Bryce Taylor last season who hails from San Diego, California. He is the son of former NBA player Brian Taylor. He is a great sharpshooter with an aggressive dribble drive and has a keen understanding of the game. He played at Oregon from 2004-2008. In his senior year at Oregon, he averaged 12.8ppg, 3.8rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 46.1%, 3Pts: 38.2%, FT: 82.3% in 30 games. Three seasons ago, he turned professional and played in Italy for Premiata Montegranaro playing 30 games: and averaging 13.0ppg, 2.4rpg, 1.6spg, FGP: 54.2%, 3PT: 36.9%, FT: 82.6%. In 2009-2010 in Bonn, he played 6 Eurocup games: 18.5ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.0apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 56.3%, 3PT: 36.4%; German League: 34 games: 12.5ppg, 2.6rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 46.8%, 3PT: 31.0%, FT: 81.4%. In 2010, he played NBA Summer league for the Indiana Pacers. In 2010-2011 for Alba Berlin Taylor played EuroCup: 11 games: 7.3ppg, 2.3rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 53.3%, 3PT: 16.7%, FT: 83.9%; Euroleague Qualifying Round: 5 games: 0.8ppg; German League: 49 games: 7.8ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 44.9%, 3PT: 27.5%, FT: 76.0%. Last season for Alba Berlin he played Euroleague Qualifying Round: 2 games: 9.5ppg, 5.5rpg, 1.0apg; EuroCup: 12 games: 9.8ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.4apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 45.9%, 3PT: 39.3%, FT: 80.0%; German League: 36 games: 11.8ppg, 3.9rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 53.5%, 3PT: 42.6%, FT: 82.4%.
The team also signed Andrew Drevo to a short term contract. Drevo is no unknown player in the Beko BBL as he has played three and a half seasons in the Beko BBL. Drevo is a 31 year old 202cm forward from Lincoln, Nebraska. He has good size and can run the floor while adding a solid presence in the paint. An all-around player, Drevo can pass well inside and has the ability to step outside the arc, which will create matchup problems for opposing defenses.He played at Nebraska (NCAA) from 2002-2004 and was a teammate of Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg center John Turek. Before coming to Germany to play, he gained experience in countries like Sweden and France. He played for the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig from 2007-2009. He then played for Sant Josep Girona (Spain-LEB Gold): 20 games: 10.0ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.5apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 39.6%, 3PT: 34.8%, FT: 65.2%,. He played for the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven helping them reach the 2010 semi finals before losing in five hard fought games to the Deutsch Bank Skyliners. Last season, he played for the Iowa Energy (D-League): 52 games: 11.3ppg, 6.3rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 52.6%, 3PT: 34.5%, FT: 87.3%. The team picked up Kristaps Valters who is a 31 year old 190cm guard from Latvia that is a good point guard. Quick and good ballhandler. Likes fast breaks. Can pass the ball and good court penetration. The Beko BBL remembers him best from his two seasons with the EWE Baskets Oldenburg from 2004-2006. In the 2005-2006 season, he played 34 games: 13.2ppg, 3.9rpg, 4.0apg, 1.4spg, 2FGP: 40.3%, 3PT: 35.4%, FT: 46.7%. He already played for Efes Pilsen Istanbul as a 19 year old. Since 2006, he has played two seasons in the top Italian league and the last four years in the ACB in Spain. Last season, he played for Unicaja Malaga (Spain-ACB, starting five): Euroleague: 13 games: 8.2ppg, 1.8rpg, 3.0apg, FGP: 41.4%, 3PT: 32.2%, FT: 72.2%; Spanish League: 29 games: 9.4ppg, 1.6rpg, 2.4apg, FGP: 51.8%, 3PT-3 (47.3%), FT: 81.9%. He has been a member of the Latvian national team and played at the European Championships in Belgrade -05: 3 games: 11.0ppg, 2.7rpg, 2.7apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 28.6%, 3FGP: 30%, FT: 91.7%. He also played at the European Championships in Poland -09: 8 games: 9.5ppg, 4.9rpg, 4.0apg, FGP: 36.7%, 3PT: 34.3%, FT: 62.1%. The team also brought in experienced 33 year old 211cm Petar Popovic from Serbia. He is a very experienced center, who knows ho to play back-to-the basket and has good fundamentals. He isn' t an explosive leaper, neither a shot-blocker, and probably he grabs less rebounds than expected, but he' s a good inside presence defensively and has enough soft hands to score in double digits any night.. He already got experience at age 22 joining top team Hemofarm Vrsac playing there for four years. In the last years he has played for teams like Benneton Treviso, MMT Estudiantes Madrid, and Spartak St.Petersburg. Last season, he played for Crvena Zvezda Beograd (A League, starting five): Adriatic League: 25 games: 11.2ppg, 5.3rpg, FGP: 54.4%, FT: 77.2%; Serbian League: 21 games: 11.1ppg, 4.0rpg, FGP: 55.0%, FT: 58.5%. He has won five titles in his career the biggest being the 2008 ULEB cup with Demond mallet at Badalona Joventut. He also played at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.
The club also signed 25 year old 191cm guard Marquez Haynes from Irving Texas. He played at Boston College from 2005-2007 and finished his NCAA career with Texas Arlington in 2010. In his senior year, he played 30 games: ScoreNCAA-3 (22.6ppg), 4.3rpg, 3.7apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 40.9%, FT: 74.6%. As a rookie he played together with ex Skyliner Ilian Evtimov for ES Chalon-Sur-Saone (France-ProA, starting five): 33 games: 14.3ppg, 2.2rpg, 3.9apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 50.3%, 3PT: 38.3%, FT: 73.1%. Last season, he played for C.B. Gran Canaria 2014 (Spain-ACB, starting five): EuroCup: 8 games: 11.1ppg, 2.1rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 47.6%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 50.0%; Spanish League: 34 games: 10.9ppg, 2.2rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 47.4%, 3PT: 28.5%, FT: 79.1%. Recently he played NBA Summer league with AirTran Orlando Summer League (Oklahoma City Thunder): 2 games: 2.0ppg, 1.0apg. He reached the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2006, won the French cup in 2011 with Chalon and is a member of the Georgian national team. Sergio Kerush is a 23 year old 195cm forward from Memphis, Tennessee that also has the German nationality. He played at Western Kentucky. As a senior he played 32 games: 15.6ppg, 7.9rpg, FGP: 48.5%, 3PT: 30.7%, FT: 64.4%. Last season as rookie he played for Aris Thessaloniki (Greece-A1): EuroCup: 12 games: 7.4ppg, 5.8rpg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 42.9%, FT: 66.7%; Greek League: 26 games: 7.5ppg, 4.4rpg, FGP: 55.0%, 3PT: 31.3%, FT: 61.2%. The team also brought in 24 year old 206cm German Ben Spoeler. He started his basketball career in 2oo3 with herten. He then played for the Bayer Giants Leverkusen from 2004-2010 getting into five Beko BBL games. He played two seasons in Paderborn and last season played 24 games: 6.1ppg, 2.6rpg, FGP: 54.4%, 3PT: 36.7%, FT: 65.6%.
Anthony King is a 27 year old 206cmpower forward/center from Durham, North Carolina. He is back in the Beko BBL after playing in Cyprus and Greece the last two years. This will be his second season for the Artland Dragons. He gives the team an additional scoring threat in the post as well as rebounding, is a physical performer who doesnt mind mixing it up down low and gives the team added toughness in the paint. He played at Miami, FL (NCAA) from 2003-2008 playing 34 games in his senior year averaging 7.1ppg, 7.0rpg, 1.3apg, 1.4bpg, FGP: 43.1%, FT: 68.9%. He played for the Deutsche Bank Skyliners in his rookie season. In 2009-2010, he played for InterCollege Etha Engomis (Cyprus-Division A, starting five): Score-5 (236 pts), Reb-1 (148 rbs), Blocks-2 (24 blocks). Last season, he remained with InterCollege Etha Engomis (Cyprus-Division A, starting five): Cypriot League: EuroChallenge: 8 games: 17.0ppg, 8.4rpg, 1.1apg, Blocks-1 (2.0bpg), FGP: 53.6%, FT: 76.2%; Cyprus League: 16 games: 14.3ppg, Reb-2 (10.0rpg), 1.1apg, 1.3spg, Blocks-2 (1.8bpg), FGP: 54.1%, 3PT-3 (50.0%), FT: 76.8%; Playoffs: 10 games: 14.2ppg, 10.4rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 51.4%, FT:80%, after winning the championship moved in Apr.'11 to Aris Thessaloniki (Greece-A1, starting five): 9 games: 8.1ppg, 5.8rpg, FGP: 50.8%, FT: 57.9%. He was won the double in Cyprus with InterCollege Etha Engomis. %. Last season, he played EuroCup Qualifications: 2 games: 3.0ppg, 4.0rpg, 1.0bpg; EuroChallenge: 14 games: 10.8ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 62.0%, FT: 81.8%; German League: 36 games: 9.9ppg, 5.9rpg, 1.1apg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 57.0%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 80.2% 30 year old 190cm combo guard Johannes Strasser is playing his third season with The Artland Dragons. He is a very strong point guard that can hit the open three pointer at any time, penetrate and finish or find the open guy and is a pest on defense. He started his basketball career at Rhondorf in 1999. He had a very successful time with Rhein Energy Cologne from 2001-2007 winning the 2006 BBL league title and three cup titles in 2004,2005 and 2007. He played with the Telekom Baskets Bonn from 2007-2010 reaching the BEKO BBL title twice. His job is to come from the bench and help out at the point or hurt opponents with his deadly three pointer. In 2010-2011, he played 40 games: 6.4ppg, 1.5rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 39.4%, FT: 87.2%. Last season, he played : EuroCup Qualifications: 2 games: 8.5ppg, 1.0rpg, 1.0spg; EuroChallenge: 14 games: 4.2ppg, 1.2rpg, 2.6apg; German League: 42 games: 5.9ppg, 1.2rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 51.6%, 3PT: 37.8%, FT: 84.1%
Guido Gruinheid is a 30 year old 209cm forward from Jena that is playing his second season for the Artland Dragons. He is an in-betweener forward with the height (but not the size) of a 4 and the quickness (but not the ball handling and the shot) of a 3. A good rebounder and a hustler. He played for Alba Berlin from 2001-2005 winning three BEKO BBL titles and two cup titles. He then moved to Rhein Energie Koln in 2005 where he won his fourth BEKO BBL title in 2006 and another cup in 2007. He got added experience playing in Holland for Hanzevast Capitals Groningen . He also has gained valuable experience playing for the German national team as he was a member playing at the 2006 World Championships in Japan and at the 2007 European Championships in Spain. In 2010-2011 for MBC, he played 33 games: 7.3ppg, 4.4rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 58.9%, 3PT: 23.0%, FT: 44.7%. Last season for Artland he played : EuroCup Qualifications: 2 games: 8.5ppg, 1.0rpg, 1.0spg; EuroChallenge: 14 games: 4.2ppg, 1.2rpg, 2.6apg; German League: 42 games: 5.9ppg, 1.2rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 51.6%, 3PT: 37.8%, FT: 84.1%. The team also retain Christian Hoffman and Acha Njei. Hoffmann is a 25 year old 187cm guard from the Tegernsee in Bavaria. He started his basketball career in 2003 for FC Bayern Munchen (Regionalliga) where he played until 2007. He then got some Beko BBL experience form 2007-2009 playing 44 Beko BBL games with TBB Trier. He then played another season with FC Bayern Munich and Science City Jena before coming to Artland last season. Acha Njei is a 27 year old 190cm guard that started his basketball career in 2004 with Vegesacker TV (2. Regionalliga). He then played fort eh Bremen Roosters from 2005-2009. He then played for 2009 Beko BBL champion EWE Baskets Oldenburg from 2009-2011 playing seven Beko BBL games and three Euroleague games. Last season for Artland he played EuroCup Qualifications: 1 game: 0pts; EuroChallenge: 9 games: 0.6ppg, 1.0rpg; German League: 15 games: 0.7ppg.
Elijah Allen (195-G/F-89, college: NW Missouri St.) is a 26 year old 195cm swing man from Columbus, Ohio that is playing his first season with Gotha in the Pro A. Ke played the last two seasons for Lich and last season played 27 games averaging 13.0ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.9apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 69.3%. He started his basketball career at NW Missouri St. (NCAA2) in 2007 where he played until 2011 playing a total of 103 NCAA games and as a senior played 26 games: 14.9ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.1apg [read more]
Elijah Allen (195-G/F-89, college: NW Missouri St.) is a 26 year old 195cm swing man from Columbus, Ohio that is playing his first season with Gotha in the Pro A. Ke played the last two seasons for Lich and last season played 27 games averaging 13.0ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.9apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 69.3%. He started his basketball career at NW Missouri St. (NCAA2) in 2007 where he played until 2011 playing a total of 103 NCAA games and as a senior played 26 games: 14.9ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.1apg, FG: 44.8%, 3Pts: 23.1%, FT: 74.8%. He came to Germany in 2012 and played his first two seasons for the VfB 1900 Giessen Pointers (Germany-Regionalliga) and in the 2013-2014 season played 26 games averaging 20.0ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.3apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 58.7%, 3PT: 30.7%, FT: 68.4%. In the 2014-2015 season for the Licher Basket Baeren he played 28 games: 10.4ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 54.9%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 72.2% He spoke to Eurobasket after the big 64-56 win against Heidelberg last weekend.
Elijah congrats on the 64-56 win in Heidelberg. How good did it feel to win on the road again after 4 straight loses on the road?
Thanks a lot. It was a good feeling. We must continue to build off this.
Despite being down 17-14 after 10 minutes, both teams did execute on offense, but did you think that the game would be a grind out game for 40 minutes?
Heidelberg did a good job offensive rebounding in the first half. We gave up way to many. They have a good team and have been playing well this season so we knew coming in that it would be a challenge.
There was a stretch where Gotha almost went 10 whole minutes midway through the third to the fourth without having a single field goal, but still had the 49-43 lead. How pleased were you that the defense became the back bone of the team in this phase?
I was very pleased. Defense is something we take pride in and it paid off last night when our shots were not falling. We need to keep bringing focus and energy on the defensive end to be successful.
Samuel Parker was hot in crunch-time connecting for 9 points and you added 4 points. What have you learned to appreciate most about the game of Parker this season.
Just being consistent. Every game you know exactly what you will get from him which is a great quality to have.
You only played 11 minutes, but contributed four points, one assists and a steal. How much of a challenge is it for you in general to be as efficient as possible in the minutes that you get? I don't feel like its much of a challenge- I know what I do well and I try to stick to that so that I can help my team in the best way.
Gotha currently is in seventh place with a record of 7-6 after 13 games. Is this a position that head coach Chris Ensminger and the team is happy with at this juncture of season?
We are not happy at all with our record but feel we are making the right steps to improve.
The season has been up and down as it has lost two games in a row twice and now has a two game winning streak. Why has the team not been able to have a big winning streak yet?
We gave away too many games. We have to be focused and ready every night we take the floor.
The team has such a good balance of many talented and versatile players. How well is the team coming along at the moment in their development in team chemistry?
We are coming along step by step. We just need to continue believing in each other.
How valuable has the addition of Dane Watts been. Obviously he is skilled, but what do you feel is his biggest asset in the offensive system of Gotha?
Experience. He has played at a high level and knows exactly what it takes to be successful. I think the team feels off that energy.
Your averaging 17 minutes per game and averaging 6,8ppg and 2,3rpg while shooting 45% before the Heidelberg game. Do you feel like you could be doing more in the minutes you are getting?
My minutes per game have been up and down so far this season- One game 20minutes and next maybe 10. My goal is to just be aggressive in the time that I get and find ways to help my team win.
You are averaging less minutes than with Lich. Have you been able to incorporate other parts of your game more with Gotha than you did with Lich?
I think defensively and basketball IQ I have made a huge step but offensively I feel I had a more all around game with Lich.
The next game is against the ETB Wohnbau Baskets Essen. They are coming off a tough loss against Chemnitz, but are playing better basketball in the last weeks. What do you feel will be key to getting the win?
We must be prepared for Essen. I think the key will be for us to concentrate defensively for 40 miutes.
The talk is usually about Lebron or Steph Curry, but one has to mention that Russell Westbrook is averaging triple double stats with points, rebounds and assists. Where do you rate him at the moment just with sheer stats and how he is doing it from the point guard position?
Westbrook is on a mission. As of now he is the MVP in my book.
What do you feel will be the journey of the Golden State Warriors this season? Will they be able to win the title again and with 65 plus games?
I can't see them winning 65 games again or winning the title. It will be interesting to watch!
Itzehoe Eagles (ProB) inked 30-year old American forward Qarraan Calhoun (203-86, college: Houston). He played most recently at New Jersey Thunder (APBL) in the U.S. Calhoun helped them to win the league title (twice) (also twice). The previous (14-15) season he played at ASS Sale (D1) in Moroccan league. Calhoun contributed to his team winning the Cup. He was selected to Polish League All-Star Game back in 2012. Calhoun is a very experienced player. He has quite traveled the world as his... [read more]
Itzehoe Eagles (ProB) inked 30-year old American forward Qarraan Calhoun (203-86, college: Houston). He played most recently at New Jersey Thunder (APBL) in the U.S. Calhoun helped them to win the league title (twice) (also twice). The previous (14-15) season he played at ASS Sale (D1) in Moroccan league. Calhoun contributed to his team winning the Cup. He was selected to Polish League All-Star Game back in 2012. Calhoun is a very experienced player. He has quite traveled the world as his pro career brought him to four different continents (Europe, Latin America, Africa and of course North America). Calhoun has played previously professionally in Holland (ABC Amsterdam), Romania (Ploiesti), Uruguay (Hebraica) and Poland (Slask and Kotwica). He attended University of Houston until 2009 and it will be his eighth season in pro basketball. Calhoun's game is described as:
A dynamic forward who had triple-double capabilities. boasts an inside and outside game. at 6-foot-8 and 215 pounds, has ideal athleticism and length to play on the wing or down low.
Norm Roberts on Calhoun: 'Qa'rraan Calhoun is a guy that is really going to allow us to spread the floor more. He is a perimeter four-man that can step out away from the basket and shoot the ball for three and also put it on the floor to create for himself as well as others. He is a terrific offensive rebounder who may be one of the best athletes on our team, and he does a great job of running in transition. I think he will add a lot to our team.'.
There was an instance in Danilo Barthel(208-PF-91)'s third season with the Fraport Skyliners where a rumor was leaked that the big man who had found a liking to facial hair in his tenure with Frankfurt was not remotely amused by having any kind of confrontation with the insect that has eight legs and at times franticly moves about as nervously as a Paris Hilton does at home in her walk through closet when she doesn't find the matching outfit for her nightly engagement at some kind of fund... [read more]
There was an instance in Danilo Barthel (208-PF-91)'s third season with the Fraport Skyliners where a rumor was leaked that the big man who had found a liking to facial hair in his tenure with Frankfurt was not remotely amused by having any kind of confrontation with the insect that has eight legs and at times franticly moves about as nervously as a Paris Hilton does at home in her walk through closet when she doesn't find the matching outfit for her nightly engagement at some kind of fundraiser. Even if one would have to be very unlucky to meet a tarantula in the Nord west centrum mall where Barthel lived during his 5 year tenure, the little creature surely could of found bondage to the German's hairy beard. Sometime in the 2013-2014 season, the 207cm forward who has made dunking a normal daily occurrence as much as it is for an Anthony Davis to get a double double found a spider in his mail box, but it soon was revealed that it was a fake rubber spider and the secret of his dislike for the quick runners was slowly lifted. Who the prankster was that placed the spider in the mail box of Barthel was never revealed, but I would have bet my special George Gervin autograph on prankster Jacob Burtschi or the silent and innocent looking Johannes Voigtmann. One thing that Barthel was not scared to present was his sharp and improving basketball skills on the court as he continued to develop since coming to Frankfurt in 2011. Barthel may be the first guy that will be half way to Siberia by the sight of a spider before a Quantez Roberton can be on the break from Frankfurt to Auburn, but if Beko BBL teams came upon the idea to place a spider on a rim to keep Barthel away, they better think twice, because despite his fear of the little creature, the rim is the best friend of the German on the court. That is probably the only place where Barthel will forget how disgusting a spider really is because nothing in safe around the rim when the 25 year old German is on flight. Barthel has made some crashing dunks over his years as he continues his career with FC Bayern Munich this season, but before he could sign on the dotted line and be able to meet Uli Hoeness on a more regular basis and pick his brain about FC Bayern Munich basketball, one has to remember that there was a reason why he was able to move to the charming city of Munich and woo fans there with his skills and that was his development with the Fraport Skyliners from 2011-2016.
Since he came to the Fraport Skyliners in the 2011-2012 season nothing seems to have changed with the demeanor of Danilo Barthel even now with top German club FC Bayern Munich as he is still the calm quiet big man from Heidelberg that at times can glide past you in a hall way as if he was trying to avoid his house doctor from getting scolded for not having made that next checkup, but his appearance in no way is any disrespect, but just how he is. He may still come over as reserved as a person, but his game is anything but restrained, but became a real force on the court and a few years ago was among young Germans as one of the best candidates of making the big breakthrough as according to ex top Beko BBL rebounder Larry Gordon from ex team Phoenix Hagen. As a rookie in the 2011-2012 season, he had to play for Muli Katzurin who wasn't known for giving young Germans a chance as he had coached Alba Berlin to the 2011 Beko BBL final without ever really letting German national players Lucca Staiger get positioned in the corner to have fans chant 'bombs away' or letting Andreas Seiferth get nasty in the paint. However on a cool rainy autumn day in Tubingen in October 2011, Katzurin put Barthel into cold water as the club was hampered with injuries and attitude problems as his eight points were less remembered than ex NBA player Jermario Davidson sitting at the end of the bench having conversations with his mobile phone. 'I was very surprised. I played little minutes in the preseason and then to come in and score so well was like a dream for me', stressed Danilo Barthel. In his first year the Heidelberg native played 13 Beko BBL games and averaged a very respectable 8,33 minutes per game averaging 2,8ppg and 1,1rpg. It wasn't simple getting ample playing time that season as four man Jermario Davidson was the work horse of the team and one of the main factors why the team almost made the playoffs. As a rookie, he got valuable experience in Eurocup play playing four games and continued to be able to work on his game in the German Pro B playing 16 games averaging 13.1ppg, 7.2rpg, 2.7apg, Blocks-4 (1.6bpg), FGP: 57.4%, 3PT: 22.7%, FT: 71.4%. Having current NBA player Jon Leuer as a teammate for three months helped his game mature as well at the start. 'Playing against such a strong offensive player like Jon Leuer that is so versatile really helped my game. My 1-1 defense was helped with his play. I also remembered some of his spin moves to incorporate into my game', stressed Danilo Barthel.
In his second season with the Fraport Skyliners, management made it clear early with the arrival of further German wunder kids Konstantin Klein and Johannes Voigtmann that they would go a totally new route by taking advantage of the 6-6 rule and giving young Germans playing time. The concept of signing talented Americans and reaching the playoffs was first put on hold as rebuilding and looking to the future was first on the agenda. In the 2012-2013 season, Muli Katzurin noticed the talent level of the Germans and gave them minutes. The role of Barthel increased from his rookie season as he played 30 games and averaged 17,3 minutes per game. Just like in his rookie season he had a another work horse in front of him with Zach Peacock, but what better way than to learn from him the way he did from Davidson the year before. In the 2012-2013 season, Barthel averaged 4.3ppg, 2.9rpg. He scored in double figures four times with 15 points against Bayreuth being his best points effort In his second season in Frankfurt. He also found a new relationship to the rim besides just hitting shots, but getting a better feel for what they feel like and how soothing a dunk is when one rams the ball through the netting with authority. His dunking breakthrough came in the first month in a home game against the Telekom Baskets Bonn where he flew through the air making a fierce penetrating two handed dunk over Patrick Ewing junior and Johannes Wolfarth-Bottermann feeling the breeze of the German as he was too late on transition defense. That dunk seemed like that special basketball release for him. From then on dunking had become a big part of his basketball repertoire. If you were to have told NBA legend Larry Bird that he could jump, one would have been lying, because he grabbed rebounds more through effort than athletic ability and that white men can't jump is more of a cliche, because Danilo Barthel could star in his own movie called White men can jump. He proved that he was given that special jumping ability, He continued to play in the Pro B in his second season getting extra game time practice as well playing 12 games and averaging 12.7ppg, 5.6rpg, 2.3apg, 1.3bpg, FGP: 67.7%, 3PT: 30.6%, FT: 75.6%. He ended the season with massive back problems, but worked hard over the summer and came into this season fit.
Barthel who's favorite player is Dwight Howard and likes to mold his game around 63 point man Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks had his real BBL break out season in 2013-2014 playing 34 games averaging 11.3ppg, 4.9rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 57.4%, 3PT: 31.1%, FT: 78.4%; That season, ex Toronto Raptors assistant coach Gordon Herbert had given the big German three of Voigtmann, Klein and Barthel more responsibility and were inserted into the starting lineup each weekend. All three were averaging plus 20 minutes per game. If one had predicted this the season before that this could happen, many might not have thought it happening so quickly, but a lot of the credit goes to the Skyliner coaches of Gordon Herbert, Klaus Perwass and Eric Detlef who put in countless hours of teaching the kids how to get better. A big reason for his breakthrough season is the immense confidence that Gordon Herbert had given the German. Barthel showed more and more that season his unending killer instinct to want to get to the bucket whenever possible and just finish off the play with a monster dunk. However a criticism in his game that season at times had been his hesitation of taking the three ball. From a span from December first until January fifth, the German was 0/10 in six games including two games where he didn't even attempt a three pointer. But in the next two games, he took on more responsibility from downtown and with the absence of injured Andrew Rautins and Oklahoma native Jacob Burtschi, Barthel had to take more of the bulk of the shooting as he was 5/9 in two games making three against Alba Berlin and two in Artland. His passing gets underestimated, but there isn't a better passing combination of four and five men in the Beko BBL than with Johannes Voigtmann and Barthel as he had improved his passing with the daily practice with the German center. He worked on his one on one defense which improved from the previous season as blocks became more of a standard in each game for him. His mobility is a strong suit which has helped him mature better the last years on the defensive end. There was a span in his third season where he registered five blocks in four games and was getting less fouls as his timing and IQ on one on one defense continued to improve. His ex coach Thorsten Daume at USC Heidelberg always preached to give all he has in every minute on the floor and that is what Barthel has always done as he is that relentless fighter that never gives up and that is exactly what every coach wants from his player. He made his debut at the 2014 beko BBL allstar game in Bonn and held his own scoring eight points and showing his usual aggressive play and blocked ex Euroleague player David Logan. 1993 German European champion Henning Harnisch who won just about everything with Leverkusen in the 90s and was general manager of Alba Berlin had nothing but praise for Barthel after examining his play in Bonn at the Beko BBL allstar game.
Before starting the 2014-2015 season with the Fraport Skyliners, Barthel had the huge opportunity to play NBA Summer league with the Miami Heat in Orlando and Las Vegas. This was a grand opportunity to show his skills and test himself against the other rising stars of the world. He played NBA Pro Summer League in Orlando with Miami playing 4 games averaging 4.8ppg, 4.5rpg, 1.0apg, 0.5spg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 31.6%, 3PT: 9.1%, FT: 75%. He then moved west to Las Vegas with Miami and played 6 games averaging 4.7ppg, 2.7rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 39.1%, 3PT: 20%, FT: 69.2%. He had some stiff competition with guys like Larry Drew, James Ennis, Shabazz Napier or Justin Hamilton fighting for minutes, but he held his own and did the most out of minutes mixing it up from outside and as well as showing his game inside which had some GM heads turn in both locations. As time flies so does one's memory, but current Brooklyn Net Justin Hamilton remembered who Barthel was even a year and a half after they were shortly teammates. 'I remember Danilo having a very good shot and being very athletic for his size. He impressed the Miami Heat very much. He showed up and turned heads at the NBA Summer League. I didn't have much conversations with Danilo. In the Summer League you get thrown together for a couple of weeks and it's hard building relationships. I remember him telling me where he was from and where he played. He was a very good guy. He was very competitive and spirited', stressed Justin Hamilton. Another guy that was also his teammate was Larry Drew II who currently plays for Neptunas Klaipeda (Lithuania-LKL) couldn't quite recall his time with the German. Recently before a Champions League game in Oldenburg, the American had to think hard and long when hearing the name Danilo Barthel completely blanking his memory. 'Honestly I don't remember him. I would have to see his face. He must have been very skilled to have been invited by the Miami Heat', stressed Larry drew II. Barthel returned back to Germany and in the 2014-2015 season and played 30 games: 9.3ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 53.1%, 3PT: 41.5%, FT: 74.1%; EuroChallenge: 10 games: 10.4ppg, 4.6rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 55.6%, 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 81.0%. In the BBL he scored in double figures 12 times and had two double doubles and in the Eurochallenge scored in double figures in seven games. He had a serious injury that kept him out for two months at the start of 2015 and when he came back at the end of March put up some solid games in the BBL, but had misfortune in the Eurochallenge semi-final where Frankfurt met a very hungry and energy driven French team Naterre who had a superb day put up the big goose egg in 14 minutes. All in all the injury hindered his development a bit. At the end of the season he had racked up another BBL allstar game appearance and made the Eurochallenge Top 4. In his last season, Barthel won his first professional title with the Fiba Europe Cup and played 32 BBL games averaging 9.6ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 68.3%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 83.8%; and in the FIBA Europe Cup played 14 games averaging 8.6ppg, 5.1rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 56.5%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 78.6%. He had another injury at the start of 2016 that kept him out for a month, but overall it was another solid season for him. In the BBL he scored in double figures 17 times and in the Fiba Europe Cup scored in double figures five times. He probably could of improved his scoring and rebounding tremendously in his last two seasons with the Fraport Skyliners, but the club had added the perfect parts for success. Two seasons ago, the trio of Justin Cobbs, Sean Armand and Aaron Doornekamp combined for much points and last season Jordan Theodore and Aaron Doornekamp supplied much fire power. The German twin towers of Danilo Barthel and Johannes Voigtmann obviously were hindered more in their production. The Fraport Skyliners played team basketball and stats were put on the back burner. Barthel became more of an inside animal going to places where most wouldn't want to venture to. How many times Barthel got elbowed in the face, got his nose rearranged or had traces of a bloody nose are hard to pinpoint, but his mom who sat a few rows up behind the Frankfurt bench probably had a better recollection of her son's trauma under the hoop. Barthel's outside shot is still a work in progress, but his inside game definitely developed further in his last two seasons in Frankfurt. After winning the Fiba Europe Cup and standing high and mighty on the balcony of the Frankfurt council house during the celebrations, a big ugly spider could of found a new home on the trophy and Barthel may have forgot his spider phobia for at least a moment while holding the shiny silver award.
This season Barthel has moved on to FC Bayern Munich and has become part of a team that has a 12 man roster where each guy could be a starter for any other BBL team. He can be proud to call guys like Bryce Taylor, Maxi Kleber, Devin Booker, ex NBA player Nick Johnson and ex Bamberg sniper Anton Gavel his teammates. It is obvious that when you are on a team like this, minutes will be as desired by each guy as is that 5th Super Bowl ring that Tom Brady is striving for to finally be called the greatest quarter back of all-time. Even if some may call having German Maxi Kleber as his main competitor at the position four a tough pill to swallow, having battles in practice each day will make the German only better. So far this season, Barthel is averaging 15,6 minutes per game, 8,2ppg, 2,6rpg, 1,3apg and shooting 33,3% from outside. He has scored in double figures in four games and netted 15 points against Tuebingen and 14 points against Wurzburg. In Eurocup action is averaging 7,6ppg, 4,1rpg and 1,3apg. Barthel really has only two main goals on his mind which is winning to sooth the heart of Uli Hoeness and being as effective as possible in his minutes which will keep head coach Aleksandar Djordevic ready to keep penciling him in. FC Bayern Munich is definitely on paper and in their play so far in the BBL an upgrade from last season, but getting by Bamberg will be a giant hurdle and challenge. But Barthel knows that the season won't really start until May 2017. The sky is still the limit for Barthel at the age of 25 as his time with FC Bayern Munich will help him further in his development. When Barthel returns back to the Fraport arena on Sunday, he will surely take a look up at the rafters for a moment and look at the 2016 Fiba Europe cup banner and reflect on the closing moments in Chalon as the buzzer sounded and teammate Jordan Theodore took the ball and threw the ball to space and the German let out a fierce roar after the title win like a black bear in Colorado who needs his daily fish rations. Jacob Burtschi might not be around as a possible prankster this season but Barthel may just have to check his space in the visiting locker room especially closely on Sunday just in case a Quantez Robertson didn't enter early and place something very hairy and undesirable there for him to meet.
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