Jacob Burtschi (198-F-84, college: Air Force) is a 28 year old 198cm forward from Chickasha, Oklahoma who is playing his first season with the Bremerhaven Eisbaeren. He played as a rookie for Phoenix Hagen in 2010-2011 averaging 14.2ppg, 6.9rpg, 2.5apg, Steals-3 (1.5spg), FGP: 56.0%, 3PT: 44.2%, FT: 82.2%. He played at the Air Force from 2003-2007. In his senior year, he played 35 games averaging 13.5ppg, 6.0rpg, 2.3apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 49.7%, 3Pts: 39.0%, FT: 77.3%. He had offers to play in the NBA, but served in the Air Force the last three years and could only play club ball. Some achievements that he got in the NCAA were All-MWC Honorable Mention -05, MWC Regular Season Runner-Up -06, All-MWC 2nd Team -06, 07, NABC All-NCAA District 13 2nd Team -07, and NIT Final Four -07. Last season he played for CAI Zaragoza (Spain-ACB, starting five): 9 games: 2.6ppg, 2.4rpg; left in Nov.'11, in Dec.'11 moved to Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt (Germany-BBL): German League: 22 games: 8.2ppg, 4.5rpg, 1.4apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 36.3%, FT: 87.5%; EuroCup: 2 games: 5.5ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.0apg, 1.0spg. He spoke to Eurobasket after the soothing 114-80 win in Giessen.
Congrats on the 114-80 win in Giessen. How tough has the three game losing streak been?
It was tough to sleep at night. We finally played some good basketball against Giessen. We played a lot better tonight, but there are still things that we need to work on on defense.
It was very hard to believe that the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven were 0-3 before the win in Giessen. What was different tonight?
It had a lot to do with the way we started this game. We lost the first three games because we were unable to come out with energy. We came out with energy in Giessen instead of waiting five minutes to get started like we did in the first three games.
The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven were shooting 71% from the field and from outside at halftime. After 40 minutes it was 72% from the field and 59% from outside. Was that shooting practice tonight? I would have to say yes. However many guys hit tough shots, but we finally also started knocking down open shots which we didnt do in the past.
Scott Morrison controlled the first quarter inside. Would you agree that he is a type of player that you can throw the ball anywhere near the rim and he will be able to capitalize on making points?
Yes he can. It is funny,that he broke his nose, because he has a good nose for the ball. He has very good hands and we know that we can make difficult passes and we know that he will come up with it.
What was key in the second quarter for opening up the game and getting a big lead? We kept pushing the ball and bringing pressure. We also did a good job containing the top scorer of the Beko BBL Ryan Brooks which was high on our to do list in Giessen.
Small Giessen point guard Dijuan Harris gave Bremerhaven problems all night long ending as game top scorer with 23 points. He seems like a pest. Who does he remind you of?
It is hard to say who he reminds me of, but not a pest. He is more like a jack Russell terror. He is a guy with much energy and never quits. I give my hat off to him for a great game.
You made two nice steals in one quarter and on one coming between a pass and going coast to coast for a dunk. How much did that play remind you of a Tez steal? Yes that was like Tez. I wish he had been here to see that. If Frankfurt would have been on the court, I would have pointed my finger at him and said that is how it is done.
Stanley Burrell played a solid game, but there were two plays where he showed his one on one talent making two difficult contested fade away jumpers from the corner. I am sure that head coach Doug Spradley doesnt like to see too much of that from his point guard?
Coach doesnt like to see too much of that, but Stan can make those plays. Coach lets him take advantage of that, because there are times when he can do that.
When observing Stan ley Burrell, you can see that he likes to talk with his eyes. Is that a way how he motivates the team?
Yes he can motivate like that. Stan is a very outgoing, outspoken guy. He is able to get us going, but that is his job as a point guard. Sometimes he doesnt need to talk, but just look at him and see the fire in his eyes.
Have you ever had two steals in one quarter where you went coast to coast in the Beko BBL?
I think I did it with Phoenix Hagen.
You said prior to the Giessen game that Bremerhaven still needed to tweak things on defense. Was that done despite giving up 80 points?
We did a good job communicating, rotating and boxing out. We did let up 80 points and still have a lot to tweak on defense.
Do you remember winning games with Hagen or Frankfurt with 7 guys scoring in double figures?
No I dont. Every one shot well. We almost had nine guys in double figures with Anthony Canty who was close.
Will Jermaine Raffington by beer for the players since he made the 100th point?
He will have to and we wont let him forget it.
What advice can you give Fraport Skyliner captain Marius Nolte for playing against Eisbaeren center Scott Morrison?
All I can say for Marius is Alter. That is locker room talk and he knows what I mean.
Vaughn Duggins (190-SG-87, college: Wright St.) is a 29 year old 190cm guard from Pendleton, Indiana that is playing his sixth professional season, fourth in Germany and second with the EWE Baskets Oldenburg. Last season with Oldenburg he played 36 games: 14.7ppg, 3.1rpg, 3.3apg, FGP: 49.8%, 3PT: 35.0%, FT: 83.5%; Eurocup: 18 games: 11.9ppg, 1.7rpg, 2.4apg, FGP: 46.9%, 3PT: 36.7%, FT: 83.7%. He started his basketball career in 2006 with Wright St. (NCAA) where he played until 2011 paying... [read more]
Vaughn Duggins (190-SG-87, college: Wright St.) is a 29 year old 190cm guard from Pendleton, Indiana that is playing his sixth professional season, fourth in Germany and second with the EWE Baskets Oldenburg. Last season with Oldenburg he played 36 games: 14.7ppg, 3.1rpg, 3.3apg, FGP: 49.8%, 3PT: 35.0%, FT: 83.5%; Eurocup: 18 games: 11.9ppg, 1.7rpg, 2.4apg, FGP: 46.9%, 3PT: 36.7%, FT: 83.7%. He started his basketball career in 2006 with Wright St. (NCAA) where he played until 2011 paying a total of 130 NCAA games and as a senior played 33 games averaging 18.0ppg, 3.8rpg, 2.2apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 44.7%, 3PT: 31.1%, FT: 82.2%. In 2011, he started his professional basketball career in Germany with the Walter Tigers Tuebingen where he played until 2013 and in his second season played 33 games averaging 14.0ppg, 2.6rpg, 2.1apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 52.8%, 3PT: 32.0%, FT: 82.0%. He then played two seasons in France with Le Mans Sarthe Basket (France-ProA): 31 games: 10.5ppg, 2.8rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 48.4%, 3PT: 31.0%, FT: 85.9%; Eurocup: 10 games: 10.5ppg, 2.9rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 43.1%, 3PT: 31.6%, FT: 79.2% and Sluc Nancy Basket Pro (France-ProA, starting five): 32 games: 14.5ppg, 2.8rpg, 3.0apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 36.0%, FT: 79.3%; Eurocup: 12 games: 11.1ppg, 1.6rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 49.3%, 3PT: 35.6%, FT: 78.6%. He spoke to eurobasket about basketball recently during holiday time..
Vaughn thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. Where are you and how have you enjoyed the Christmas time in Germany this season?
I'm currently at my apartment in Oldenburg. The Holiday season in Germany is always amazing. Now that I'm able to share it with my wife and son, it makes it even more special. My mom, Paula, came to visit as well so I have gotten to spend a lot of time with all of them.
You have experienced some Christmas markets over the years in Germany, but where did the Christmas market rank in my all-time favorite city of Hamburg?
The Hamburg Christmas market is high level, and it is always great to experience what each city does differently. It is definitely in my top 3, but Tuebingen's Christmas market has always had a special place in my heart and, together with Oldenburg's, is my favorite.
You had surgery on your ankle recently. How did that go and how has it been the last weeks not being able to play?
Surgery went amazingly well. I was in great hands with foot/ankle specialist Dr. Preis in Wiesbaden. I am feeling better every day and God-willing, I will be on the court faster than anticipated. The last few weeks not playing has not been fun. I am very competitive and not being able to be on the court with my teammates hurts.
You have been pretty injury free your whole career except your junior career with Wright State. With time and experience does a player gain the ability to know how to play wiser knowing how to get around sustaining dumb injuries that could have been avoided on the court?
Haha I wish that were the case. The longer you play, you get to know the 'dirtier' players and you try not to get caught in a situation where a dumb injury can occur. Injuries are going to happen regardless of how wise you become, and sometimes, if you actively try to avoid injuries, the more likely they happen.
Up until your last game in Frankfurt, you were playing very consistently averaging 13,0ppg,3,3rpg and 3,0apg. How much of a pain was it physically playing on a bad ankle?
I have been in pain almost all season and it has definitely affected my play, and it even affected my mentality at times. I wasn't as aggressive and did not have the explosiveness and power that my game commands. I could not help the team like I was used to and It was very frustrating at times.
Last season you averaged 14.7ppg, 3.1rpg, 3.3apg, FGP: 49.8%, 3PT: 35.0%, FT: 83.5%; Eurocup: 18 games: 11.9ppg, 1.7rpg, 2.4apg, FGP: 46.9%, 3PT: 36.7%, FT: 83.7%. Your scoring is down this season. Has your role changed a bit this season with more scoring options?
No, my role has
not changed at all. Up to my last game at the end of November, I have not
played to the level I played at last season. I do believe I can play a lot
better and will try to prove that when I get back on the court.
How much fun is it playing possibly with the best small forward Rickey Paulding and best center Brian Qvale in the BBL? How much easier do they make your job on the court?
I love playing with Rickey and Brian. I have gotten to know them over the last year and a half of being teammates and as good a players as they are, they are even better people off the court. They do so much for the team. Rickey is our leader and and sets a great example for everyone. Brian is an unstoppable force on the block and our defensive anchor.
The EWE Baskets Oldenburg have been up and down with a 8-8 record. How confident are you that the club will have a big turn around in the second half of the season?
I am 100% confident that we will turn up the heat and start playing how we did the second half of last year. We have too many good players and our team chemistry is too good for us not to make a second half push and a deep playoff run.
The club had some good defensive games against Braunschweig, Tuebingen and BG Goettingen earlier in the season. But overall the team has been allowing too many points. What area on the defensive end does the team need to make improvements in the second half of the season?
We just have to execute the defensive plan a little bit better. Our defense could be a lot worse, but if we want to challenge the Top 4, we need to have the same focus every defensive possession and to have constant communication. Just a little bit of talking on that end would fix a lot mistakes we make by having each other's backs.
The club is 6-4 in Champions League play and holding it's own, but it could be 8-2 having lost some close games. What has been the biggest challenge the team has had being successful in this competition?
The Champions league has proved to be a very competitive league in only its first year in existence. The challenge has been in bringing the focus and motivation to every game. We don't have as many fans attending the games home or away as in the BBL and the travel is much more intense also. It is important that we control only what we can control and that is our effort, focus, and mentality every night.
Last season Olden burg had an unwanted departure in the quarterfinals against a very nasty but potent Ulm team. Do the EWE Baskets Oldenburg have the character to be a championship team or just be a strong team that will make the playoffs, but not do damage?
Ulm has not looked back since that series. They are showing their class with their amazing start this year. Of course we believe we have the character, talent, and team chemistry to win a BBL championship. Why else do we play the game? We can beat anyone at any given time, but we have to take it one practice and one game at a time if we want to make it to that level.
I was impressed by the 16 point game by Belgium national player Maxime Zeeuw in Frankfurt. Has he been the solid role player from the bench that you envisioned when he was picked up?
I played against Maxime in Eurocup when I was in Nancy and he was in Rome, so I knew him as a player and his athletic ability and intensity still surprised me. He has high work ethic and can affect the game in many different ways on the court.
Chris Kramer once scored a bucket sitting on the floor at Purdue. You have seen him now everyday for the second season. What has been the most amazing thing you have seen him do on the court in a game or practice?
Chris is the definition of 'machine'. He is a work-horse that is always making amazing plays on both ends of the court. As many tomahawk dunks as he's had in his career, the most incredible things I've seen from him are his chase down blocks. He comes flying out of nowhere when you least expect it.
You are 29 years old and in your sixth season. Would you say that you are in your prime now? Do you see yourself heightening your game in the next few seasons?
Yes, I believe I am in my prime physically, but I always feel there is room to improve, especially from a mental perspective. I have no idea what God's plans are for me and my game, but I am always striving to get better and I want to play the best basketball I can for as long as possible. I will control what I can, but I am just along for the ride.
You played two seasons with the Walter Tigers Tuebingen.and Reggie Redding. Did you know then that he would become a Euroleague player with Alba Berlin and Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul (Turkey-BSL)?
I knew Reggie was incredibly talented and could play at a very high level, but you never know what is going to happen. He definitely belongs at that level and proves that day-in and day-out. He is a great guy and I want nothing but the best for him.
You also played a season with American point guard Cameron Wells. How refreshing is it for you to have seen his development with the Giessen 46ers into a very fine BBL player?
It is awesome to see the way Cam is playing. The situation in Tuebingen was a tough one for him. He has reinvented himself in Giessen as a leader and a go-to guy and he has really thrived in that role. He has a bright future.
As a rookie, you told me this about Dashaun Wood. '! Dashaun beat me 9 out of 10 times on one on one. I was a young puppy out of high school and he was the horizon league player of the year. I don't remember him having any weaknesses other than he was smaller than me so I could post him up. How would that older puppy do against him today?
Haha well Dashaun will for sure disagree with me,, but I think I could take him now. He is one of those guys that is best in a competitive trash talk situation. He raises his level and can play with ANYONE, but I think my strength and athleticism would outlast him. It would be interesting to see that go down. We might have to schedule a closed 1 on 1 game soon.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore, which 4 heads would you choose?
Michael, Magic, Larry and Wilt. And there is no debate!
Lebron finally brought an NBA title to the Cavs. Where does he stand at the moment in the never ending debate with where he stands as the best of all-time?
That is a great question and I'm sure many fist fights have been started by it. I could argue that the last Championship was his greatest of the 3 and it puts him into the top 5 all-time greats. His resume needs a lot more work to crack the top 3, but he is definitely capable of that.
Where do you rank Kevin Garnett with the best power forwards that ever played the game? He is number 4 in my personal opinion. Tim Duncan is #1, Karl Malone, is 2, James Worthy is 3 and then KG, but that sure is debatable too.
Klay Thompson recently hit 60 points in 29 minutes touching the ball for only 90 seconds. Where does this performance rank with you?
It is one of the most amazing scoring displays of all-time. It is close behind Wilt's 100 and Kobe's 81. I was very surprised that he didn't demand to stay in the game. He was 'en fuego' and who knows how many times that type of feeling will happen throughout his career.
One always talks about Lebron and Curry, but one has to mention Russell Westbrook. He is averaging triple double stats at the moment. Is he stat wise the best player in the world right now?
Yes, he absolutely is. The numbers he puts up on a nightly bases are out of this world. He is responsible for almost every creative decision on that team and its crazy that he has that high of efficiency with the speed and intensity he plays with.
What was your most memorable Christmas experience in Indiana when you were a kid?
Our family had a long tradition of driving to Fort Wayne, Indiana and going to (what we thought) was the best Mexican restaurant in the U.S. We would eat there Christmas Eve with my Grandparents and then drive to their house, which was 30 minutes away, to stay and open of presents Christmas morning. We did that for 15+ straight years and it always puts a smile on my face when I think of those times.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Disney's Moana with my wife, Maria, and my 18 month old son, Gianni.
Giesen 46ers head coach Denis Wucherer is battling week by week in presenting the best prepared team for every new EasyCredit BBL opponent, but he does have some space in his basketball mind concerning next season and upholding the potent team chemistry and has kept the German boys Benjamin Lischka (204-F-89) and Marco Voeller together as they have agreed to contract extenstions. Lischka will stay until 2019 and Voeller until 2018. Lischka is a 27 year old 204cm forward that is currently... [read more]
Giesen 46ers head coach Denis Wucherer is battling week by week in presenting the best prepared team for every new EasyCredit BBL opponent, but he does have some space in his basketball mind concerning next season and upholding the potent team chemistry and has kept the German boys Benjamin Lischka (204-F-89) and Marco Voeller together as they have agreed to contract extenstions. Lischka will stay until 2019 and Voeller until 2018. Lischka is a 27 year old 204cm forward that is currently playing his fourth season with the Hessen team and made a fine debut in the BBL last season playing 31 games: 5.1ppg, 2.3rpg, FGP: 51.3%, 3PT: 40.7%, FT: 78.7%. This season he has played 18 games averaging 3,6ppg, and 2,1rpg while shooting 38,9% from outside. He recently had a 14 point game in 15 minutes in a win against SC Rasta Vechta. The German who also gained experience with Crailsheim and Kirchheim in the Pro A is elated about staying in Giessen. "I am looking forward to the next years. It is a great feeling that I can play in my home. I want to thank Heiko Schelberg that allowed this to happen", stressed Benjamin Lischka.
Marco Voeller is a 28 year old 199cm forward that celebrated his birthdayrecently and is playing his first season in Giessen. It took him a while in his career until he was able to make his debut in the EasyCredit BBL as he was 27 years old with Giessen. The German who is the son of German football legend Rudi Voeller played in locations like TV Langen, Hanau and Gotha where he developed slowly, but also stuck to his trade and now is playing in the best league in Germany. This season Voeller has seen action in 17 games averaging 3,2ppg, and 1,4rpg. The German is also content about remaining in Giessen. "I am looking forward to playing anotehr season in Giessen. I feel comfortable here and it is fun to play in this environment, so making this decision was easy", added Marco Voeller.
According to eurobasket sources Pro A team Hebesien White Wings have added Isaiah Sykes(198-G-91, college: Cent.Florida) to the roster to help bolster their rotation in the scoring and rebounding categories.Isaiah Sykes is a 25 year od 198cm guard from Detroit, Michigan playing his third professional season. He started the season in Israel with Hapoel Gilboa Afula (Israel-National League) where he played four games averaging 11,5ppg, 11,5rpg and 2,8apg. Last season he played for Maccabi H... [read more]
According to eurobasket sources Pro A team Hebesien White Wings have added Isaiah Sykes (198-G-91, college: Cent.Florida) to the roster to help bolster their rotation in the scoring and rebounding categories. Isaiah Sykes is a 25 year od 198cm guard from Detroit, Michigan playing his third professional season. He started the season in Israel with Hapoel Gilboa Afula (Israel-National League) where he played four games averaging 11,5ppg, 11,5rpg and 2,8apg. Last season he played for Maccabi Hod Hasharon (Israel-National League) playing 25 games: 19.9ppg, Reb-2 (14.3rpg), 4.9apg, 2.2spg, FGP: 59.9%, 3PT: 21.4%, FT: 34.5%.
Skyes started his basketball career in 2010 with Cent.Florida (NCAA) playing 32 games: 4.0ppg, 3.2rpg. In his second season he played 32 games: 12.5ppg, 6.6rpg, 2.0apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 56.4%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 54.3%. As a junior he played 31 games: 16.0ppg, 7.5rpg, 4.5apg, 2.3spg, FGP: 47.7%, 3PT: 32.0%, FT: 61.7%. As a senior in 2013-2014 he played 30 games: 17.2ppg, 7.2rpg, 3.5apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 54.0%. He started his professional career in 2014 with U.S. Basket Recanati (Italy-A2 Silver) playing 28 games: 17.2ppg, 8.2rpg, 3.6apg, FGP: 55.0%, 3PT: 12.5%, FT: 55.2%; A2 Gold Playoffs: 3 games: 17.3ppg, 7.0rpg, 3.0apg. Awards and achievements in his basketball career have been C-USA Tournament Semifinals -12, All-C-USA 1st Team -13
C-USA All-Defensive Team -13, NABC Division I All-District 11 1st Team -13, All-AAC 2nd Team -14, AAC All-Tournament Team -14, Eurobasket.com All-Italian LNP Silver 2nd Team -15, and Eurobasket.com All-Israeli National League Honorable Mention -16.