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.
The last time that fans could depart the always loud Dragons Dome with a smile on their faces and still enough time to spare to get home and watch the ZDF Sportschau to catch the football scores was Janaury 2nd, 2016 as Rhondorf had smacked around Rent4Office 83-65 which was only one of two wins in a season to forget as the club stunk up the Pro A and crawled back to the Pro B with their heads in bags as the embarrassment was difficult to hide. The last home game was a little more than si... [read more]
The last time that fans could depart the always loud Dragons Dome with a smile on their faces and still enough time to spare to get home and watch the ZDF Sportschau to catch the football scores was Janaury 2nd, 2016 as Rhondorf had smacked around Rent4Office 83-65 which was only one of two wins in a season to forget as the club stunk up the Pro A and crawled back to the Pro B with their heads in bags as the embarrassment was difficult to hide. The last home game was a little more than six months ago where the Dragons lost a nail bitter to the RheinStars Cologne 78-76, but except for a tournament three weeks ago where they faced off against Pro B team AstroStars Bochum and BBL team Telekom Baskets Bonn, basketball had been missed in the Dragons Dome as the long summer seemed to drag on and on like a caterpillar does going through life. The 2016-2017 season finally started again as the Dragons Rhondorf hosted last season's best regular season team BG Karlsruhe who totally underachieved in the playoffs getting spanked and got swept by the Dresden Titans. The club lost some serious fire power in Rouven Roessler and double double input with Marcus Smallwood and all-rounder Hayden Lescault, but kept American routine veteran Jeremy Black and added the top scorer Ricky Easterling of the Pro B the last two seasons. It was already evident that Rhondorf head coach Matthias Sonnenschein had done his homework in the off season as his trio of imports Aaron the beast Nelson, Canadian Mike Lucier and American William Trawick had found a healthy chemistry already in pre-season, something that was lacking last season with their American imports. It was the battle of the top Pro B team of last season BG Karlsruhe against ex Pro A team Dragons Rhondorf and the home team was able to finally win a home game again after waiting almost 9 months after their last win destroying BG Karlsruhe 87-70. After the game two thirds of the import trio of Aaron Nelson (203-F-91, college: S.Indiana), Mike Lucier and Will Trawick were stretching as they combined for 54 of the team 87 points, but Canadian Mike Lucier quickly noted that the victory could be chalked up to a total team effort. 'We played well together and you can see we have team chemistry. The secret to this early working team chemistry is that we have character guys that all get along and want to succeed. We all moved well off the ball, had strong cuts and guys got open and we hit our shots. We did a pretty good job on defense, but it could have been better. We played with good intensity and everyone knows when to switch and we communicated well', added Dragons Rhondorf forward Mike Luicer. BG Karlsruhe had a tough time finding a healthy team rhythm and had to play catch up basketball all night long and just had no remedy how to slow down the Rhondorf offense. After the game, Baltimore native Ricky Easterling was reserved and low key about the loss, but knew that there is more to a season than just one game. 'We came in here wanting to win, but faced a tough Rhondorf team. We were too hesitant on defense and had bad rotations and no communication. The season is long. We have to look at this game again and correct our mistakes', stressed BG Karlsruhe guard Ricky Easterling. 'It was a team effort and we played well at all times during our highs and lows. Our chemistry is working well and everyone knows their roles and how they work', warned Dragons Rhondorf forward Aaron Nelson (203-F-91, college: S.Indiana).
The story of the game was Aaron 'BIG Dog' Nelson who came in and just destroyed BG Karlsruhe putting up incredible numbers of 26 points and 18 rebounds. His stellar play in the pre season also warned the league that Nelson is for real and should be a dominant player this season and he proved that in his first game doing absolutely everything on the court. The Illinois native scored inside at leisure against the one on one, double team or triple team and hauled down rebounds as if it was second nature. He played outstanding defense blocking Kwame Duku twice getting a steal as he snuck into a passing lane and picked off a ball and also proved why a hidden strength in his game is his passing as he dished out three assists including two touchdown passes that led to easy buckets on the transition. After the game the big man from Bloom Township, Illinois who had double double stats as a senior at S.Indiana and as a rookie in Chile was all smiles as he always is when he gets a double double, because only that way he is at peace in mind when he has helped his team best with his biggest strength scoring and rebounding. He was as humble as could be crediting the win less about his play, but more to his teammates finding him. 'It was another normal day at the office for me, but I always compete at a high level no matter what. I have to credit my team to getting me in good position to score so many times. The opponent made me work hard to get points, but I have always been a good finisher with contact', stressed Aaron Nelson (203-F-91, college: S.Indiana). BG Karlsruhe guard Ricky Easterling definitely will remember the big dog Nelson and surely will be checking his stats every weekend as he could have a real battle this season for the scoring crown with Aaron Nelson (203-F-91, college: S.Indiana). 'We see Aaron play like this every night. He is so big, skilled and can just do it all on the court. Teams will have a hard time this season, because nobody can stop him', stressed Mike Lucier.
The Dragons Rhondorf got off to a quick 4-0 lead as point guard Viktor Frankel-Maus scored on the alley-oop tap in as Aaron Nelson (203-F-91, college: S.Indiana) lofted up the perfect pass as fans saw a more untypical forward to guard combination, but one they have been doing in the preseason and Canadian Mike Lucier scored on transition as Frankl-Maus got his first of nine assists on the night. BG Karlsruhe struck back with a lightening 5-0 run as German ex BV Chemnitz guard Kenny Fluellen scored in bunches with a lay in and trey as BG Karlsruhe led 5-4. Both teams continued to exchange runs as now it was Rhondorf who jumped out on a 13-2 run to lead 17-7 as Nelson hit an uncharachteristic three, scored inside as hit over Jeremy Black. Rhondorf also got big production from German forward Bastian Winterhalder and Frankl-Maus scored again. BG Karlsruhe got production from Ricky Paulding who attempted a rare three as he only took 77 three's in the last two Pro B seasons. However Rhondorf played consistent offensive basketball and just kept pouring it on and got production from Bedford, New York native Will Trawick who nailed a three and Lucier remained hot hitting a 25 footer as the Dragons Rhondorf led 24-15 after one quarter. 'It was fun to watch Rhondorf and the fans were thankful for this good start. We played good defense, but it could have been a bit more aggressive. The help defense was always there', stressed Dragons Rhondorf CEO Boris Kaminski. The Dragons Rhondorf were shooting 65% from the field and 33% from outside while BG Karlsruhe was shooting 3% and 33% from outside. Rhondorf had the 12-7 rebound edge and two turnovers while BG Karlsruhe had one turnover.
In the second quarter halfway through, the Dragons Rhondorf had a small lull, but head coach Matthias Sonnenschein called a smart time out and his team came out and started to get their offense going again and extended their lead and went into halftime with a comfortable lead. Will Trawick got Rhondorf on the board first with a bucket, but then it was Russian Anton Kazarnonski who won the 2004 Euroleague as a kid with Maccabi Tel Aviv and would play 10 years in Israel and two in Germany with Giessen and FC Bayern Munich and a few others led BG Karlsruhe on a 5-0 run with free throws and a bucket inside cutting the Rhondorf lead to 27-20. However Rhondorf came out of the timeout refocused and had to face a BG Karlsruhe zone and beat it easily going on a 9-3 run to extend their lead to 36-23. In the run, it was ex Lambton standout Lucier who scored twice with a two handed dunk as Frankl-Maus found him back door and then hit a trey. 17 year old Anton Geretzki snuck inside for two points and Frankl-Maus completed free throws. Fluellen then hit a jumper, but Rhondorf kept the offensive pressure on as Trawick connected on another trey and Bastian Winterhalder made free throws as the Dragons Rhondorf went into halftime with the comfortable 41-28 lead. 'They went to zone after the time out and we got an easy basket and then a three pointer which opened up the game again. I was extremely happy with our three import players who were playing exactly how I had wanted', stated Dragons Rhondorf CEO Boris Kaminski. The Dragons Rhondorf were shooting 50% from the field and 27% from the three point line while BG Karlsruhe was shooting 29% from the field and 36% from the three point line. Rhondorf had the 23-18 rebound edge and both teams had five turnovers a piece.
In the third quarter, the Dragons Rhondorf were able to extend their lead to 20 points as they continued to wear down BG Karlsruhe as their comeback attempts continued to get squashed and their energy level also went down more. Both teams best players Aaron Nelson (203-F-91, college: S.Indiana) and Ricky Easterling went to work scoring four buckets. Nelson scored inside and continued to show his divine versatility as he knocked home a three and Easterling made his bread and butter 20 footer mid distance shot something he learned from his high school coach Kevin Peiser and continued to develop through his college and professional career and then scored coast to coast finishing with his left hand as Rhondorf led 46-32. Rhondorf then made a statement as to how the game would continue to develop going on a back breaking 13-4 run to extend their lead to 59-36. In the run, Rhondorf got all around good production from many components as Lucier hit a trey, Frankel-Maus scored twice as did Thomas Michel who also dropped a three. However BG Karlsruhe never gave up and quietly clawed their way back going on a 15-3 run to cut the Dragons Rhondorf lead to 62-51. In the run, it was the BG Karlsruhe big men duo of Black and Kazarnovski who combined for all 15 points and for 3-4 minutes were unstoppable getting easy buckets inside and to the free throw line. BG Karlsruhe had stopped the Dragons Rhondorf momentum, but then as is so often the case in basketball the opponent struck a basketball like dagger in their back racing out on a lightening 5-0 run killing their momentum which they had gained back. Rhondorf ended the third quarter with a 5-0 run as Lucier continued to hurt BG Karlsruhe with his hot hand draining a trey and Michel scored inside as the Dragons Rhondorf led 67-51. 'They had a little run, but we kept our head up. We could of gotten frustrated or pointed fingers, but we stayed in the flow of the game and knocked down shots', stressed Mike Lucier. The Dragons Rhondorf were shooting 55% from the field and 38% from the parking lot while BG Karlsruhe was shooting 33% from the field and 29% from the parking lot. Rhondorf had the 32-26 rebound advantage, but 10 turnovers while BG Karlsruhe had seven turnovers.
The Dragons Rhondorf had a nice big lead and got a little tired in the fourth quarter, but the last little push by Ricky Easterling couldn't change much as the home team would sail into their Saturday night happy and ready for an enjoyable Sunday. Nelson continued to tighten up his stats as he nailed the first three buckets for Rhondorf while Kazarnovski also scored twice, but Rhondorf still had the comfortable 73-55 advantage. After a Duku lay in came a curious play as BG Karlsruhe scored on the inbound play as Easterling found Kazarnovski, but Rhondorf didn't move on defense as they seemed not to have heard the whistle which led to a big boo concert in the Dragon Dome, but Rhondorf still led 73-59. Nelson kept getting to the free throw line and feeding his points stats as he made free throw after free throw extending the Rhondorf lead to 82-61. Rhondorf was a little fatigued now and BG Karlsruhe closed out the game with a 9-3 run as Easterling as usual finished strong netting three baskets and getting his 20 plus points. He scored 25 and 15 footers and a beautiful finger tip roll, but it wasn't enough as the Dragons Rhondorf won 87-70 as Winterhalder closed out the scoring with a lay in with two seconds remaining to play. 'We got a bit tired at the end. If guys are tired then they should go out. We need to be able to bring it better for 40 minutes. We need guys always giving 100%', warned Mike Lucier. The Dragons Rhondorf were led by Aaron Nelson (203-F-91, college: S.Indiana) with 26 points and 18 rebounds. Mike Lucier had 18 points while Viktor Frankl-Maus and Bastian Winterhalder combined for 11 points a piece. Will Trawick added 10 points. BG Karlsruhe was led by Anton Kazarnovski with 23 points while Ricky Easterling added 231 points. The Dragons Rhondorf shot 50% from the field and 36% from outside while BG Karlsruhe shot 37% from the field and 24% from outside. Rhondorf won the rebound battle 41-36, but had 13 turnovers while BG Karlsruhe had 12 turnovers. The Dragons Rhondorf got off to a good start, but know it's a long season. 'We are taking it one game at a time. We don't want to get big headed, but keep improving. We want to keep sticking together at all times and just leave it on the floor in every game', warned Aaron Nelson (203-F-91, college: S.Indiana).
B.Muenchen to sign Amar Gegic, ex Spars Sarajevo - 6 hours ago
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FC Bayern Muenchen (BBL) agreed on terms of contract with 18-year old Bosnian international shooting guard Amar Gegic (198-98). He has played for the last four seasons at Spars Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina Division I. In 23 games he had 4.0ppg, 1.7rpg and 1.3apg last season. Gegic helped them to make it to the Bosnia and Herzegovina Cup Semifinals. He has been also a member of Bosnia and Herzegovina international program for some years. Gegic played for Bosnia and Herzegovina senior... [read more]
FC Bayern Muenchen (BBL) agreed on terms of contract with 18-year old Bosnian international shooting guard Amar Gegic (198-98). He has played for the last four seasons at Spars Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina Division I. In 23 games he had 4.0ppg, 1.7rpg and 1.3apg last season. Gegic helped them to make it to the Bosnia and Herzegovina Cup Semifinals. He has been also a member of Bosnia and Herzegovina international program for some years. Gegic played for Bosnia and Herzegovina senior team this year and for U22 National Team last year. He represented Bosnia at the Qualifications to European Championships 2017 this year. His stats at that event were 2 games: 0pts.
Jeremy Black(203-C-85, college: Tampa, agency: Court Side) is a 30 year old 203cm forward from Tampa, Florida that is playing his sixth season for BG Karlsruhe. He played at Tampa (NCAA2) from 2004-2008 and in his senior year played 30 games: 18.7ppg, 11.0rpg, 1.6apg, 1.1bpg, 1.5spg, FG: 49.3%, 3Pts: 30.8%, FT: 72.1%. He turned professional in 2008 and since then has always played in Germany except two seasons ago where he played for AB Contern (Luxembourg-Total League) 4 games: 12.8ppg,... [read more]
Jeremy Black (203-C-85, college: Tampa, agency: Court Side) is a 30 year old 203cm forward from Tampa, Florida that is playing his sixth season for BG Karlsruhe. He played at Tampa (NCAA2) from 2004-2008 and in his senior year played 30 games: 18.7ppg, 11.0rpg, 1.6apg, 1.1bpg, 1.5spg, FG: 49.3%, 3Pts: 30.8%, FT: 72.1%. He turned professional in 2008 and since then has always played in Germany except two seasons ago where he played for AB Contern (Luxembourg-Total League) 4 games: 12.8ppg, 10.3rpg, 1.8apg, in Nov.'14 moved to BCKE Wallabies (Switzerland-LNB). He also played two seasons for Science City Jena. Last season with BG Karlsruhe he played 21 games averaging 11.4ppg, 8.3rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 56.2%, 3PT: 17.6%, FT: 61.5%. He spoke to eurobasket before the season opener in Rhondorf against the Dragons.
Thanks Jeremy for talking to eurobasket.com. You are playing your sixth season for BG Karlsruhe. What is missing most in Karlsruhe that could almost substitute it with Tampa as home? Karlsruhe is my new home base. I can always go back home but what I miss most is my family and the food!
Except for a short stay in Luxemburg two seasons ago, you seem to always come back to Karlsruhe. What is most appealing about the organization and city that makes you want to return? Yeah, Karlsruhe is and always will be special to me. I came here not expecting much but I got way more than I can bargain for. The city is awesome besides the never ending construction. The people who I've came in contact with while being here have been nothing short of amazing.
When looking back at this season's roster, for me BG Karlsruhe seems just a tad weaker than last season. How do you summarize this seasons roster in comparison to last season? I think last year's team we had more veterans who led the team, while this year's team we have a few vets and will rely more on our younger German players.
BG Karlsruhe lost key guys like Marcus Smallwood, Rouven Roessler and Hayden Lescault, but gained top Pro B player Ricky Easterling, center Anton Kvarnoski and Kenny Fluellen. How will this season's team be different in playing style in comparison to last season?
I don't think it would be much of a difference! We will still let our defense dictate our offense! We will push the tempo for quick easy baskets, when we can and when we can't, we will run our plays.
How much will you miss big man Marcus Smallwood and how is the game of Anton Kavarnoski different than of Smallwood?
Marcus was a great teammate and a competitor. He was one of the key reasons why we were successful last year and we played really well together. Anton is more than capable of replacing him. Anton I think is the best shooting big man in the league and he is capable of posting up and putting the ball on the floor and attacking the basket.
What do you see as being BG Karlsruhe's biggest strength on the court this season? I think our defense will be our focus and let that dictate our offense and how we control the game.
What BG Karlsruhe German do you see as having the biggest chance of having his breakthrough season? Aaron Schmitz or Andrej Schmidt
Ricky Easterling is considered the best Pro B player. How thrilled are you to have him on your side and will he continue to be as dominating or perhaps become more of a playmaker?
How can you not be excited to have a player like Ricky join your team? I think you will see him doing both. He knows the game and our team well. He has the experience to know what our team needs him to be at a given time.
Have you ever seen a more deadly mid distance shot than his? Will the day come when he can blindly hit that shot? Haha in this league honestly not; I think its no different than having multiple defenders contesting his shot and him being capable of consistently knocking it down.
You have had very consistent stats throughout your career. Now at 30 where do you see your game going as you get older?
I think I'm still improving. At this point in my career, everybody knows what I can and can't do. I strive each day to get better. I have the experience to know how best I can help my team achieve success.
The next opponent are the Dragons Rhondorf. They are back in the Pro B after a horrible Pro A season where they only mustered two wins. What kind of game can we await in the season opener? The first game of the season is always tough to measure. Rhondorf and my team both want to start the season on the right track. I think both teams have a lot to prove so I think it will be a defensive battle.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore and chose 4 NBA heads which best four would you pick? Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant and Lebron James
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?
LeBron is definitely a top five player in the history of the game. Players and game itself has changed a lot over the years. LeBron still has years to play and I think his point in history should be judged when he is done playing the game or he gets three rings in a row just make his case while still playing
What was the last movie that you saw? The Good Neighbor.
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