When coming into the Fraport arena, a real basketball fanatic doesnt only come to see a smorgasbord of amazing Fraport Skyliner players like hoping to see a Quantez Robertson finally catch a ball at the rim and dunk over two players something that is still missing in his play arsenal, Devin Gibson moving his hands quicker than Edward Scissor hands in the defense or Columbus Ohio sharp shooter Ted Scott (188-G-85, college: W.Virginia St.) getting a pass in the corner and releasing the ball quicker than Bret Favre does a football and dropping a bomb over the double team and then winking to the opposing coach as if it was the most natural thing. However each week, there is always at least one player from the opposing team that gets the basketball heart of the fans thumping as they do their incredible hoop magic on the court. One of these players is soft spoken American Immanuel Mcelroy from Texas who has been coming into the Fraport arena the last nine seasons. He is known as having one of the widest grins in the Beko BBL only matched by retired Michael hakim Jordan. In his first seasons, he showed his sizzling athletic ability with Rhine Energy Cologne where he won his first titles with the cup and league championship in 2006. In the years to follow, he rode into the Fraport arena on his high horse with Alba Berlin always competiting in exciting games and winning the league title in 2008 and cup in 2009. Who could forget the breathtaking 2010 semi finals series where the Deutsche Bank Skyliners prevailed in four games or the 2011 semi finals where Alba Berlin snuck to the final in five games all with Mcelroy on the floor. Despite his 32 years of age, the friendly American still has the capability to have big games on offense and defense. In the 61-59 loss, Mcelroy played 25 minutes registering zero points, but grabbing four rebounds and dishing out and assist and getting a steal. Despite these unspectacular stats, Imac is still a jewel for Phantoms manager Oliver Braun. He is still one of the best defenders in the league. Not many can hustle around the blocks as well as he does on defense. There arent many in this league that have achieved as much as he has. What I like about his game is that when his shots arent falling, he will try and concentrate on something else like passing which he did against Trier. He remains a very important player for us, stressed Oliver Braun. Imac is so important for us, because he always has to stop the opponents best player. He is so present on the floor and is a very good passer. He is always talking with me and helping my game get better. I have learned so much from him, added 19 year old Phantoms German guard Dennis Schroeder.
The Fraport Skyliners came into the game in 16th place while the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig were hovering in 15th place. That there was some immense history between these two teams seemed to be only a side note as MUli Katzurin had stressed that the game would start at 0-0 and anything else was irrelevant even if the Fraport Skyliners had won the last nine games in a row in Frankfurt dating back to 2002. Frankfurt last lost to Braunschweig 80 months ago in 2006 and had a 14-1 record since. Guys like captan Nils Mittman had lost many hard battles against Frankfurt since his return back to Braunschweig in 2008 and young German Dennis Schroeder had unpleasant memories to the game in Frankfurt last season as they lost a 81-80 nail bitter in OT where the German almost had won the game by himself. Braunschweig also had lost many close games this season and 2012 Olympian Eric Boateng didnt see this as a mental problem. We have lost some close games, but I dont see it as a mental thing. Each game is different and we always prepare the best we can. We have to find a way to be able to close out games to our advantage, expressed the ex teammate at Arizona State of NBA player James Harden Eric Boateng. The Fraport Skyliners were able to get their biggest lead to 11 points in the third quarter, but allowed Braunschweig back into the game. This was not a pretty win. It was a crazy game and got more crazy down the stretch. We will take any win we can. We didnt execute well in the end and got lax on defense. We should not have Casey Mitchell get hot like that, stressed 2012 Portugal league champion with Benfica Lisabon Ted Scott. Ex Phantom Leo Niebuhr who is playing for Gotha was in the stands watching his ex team and friend Konstain Klein play and was disappointed of how they played and had a suggestion to Fraport Skyliners head coach Muli Katzurin. They way the Phantoms played at the end, there is no wonder that they lost. There was too much guard play and egos involved. Basketball is a team game, but Braunschweig didnt play as a team. Frankfurt will have to battle hard this season to win games. The young Germans have to play more. The more experience that they get, the more they will help during the season. Klein played great defense, but unfortunately missed some open shots, said ex Artland Dragon Leo Niehbuhr.
4,400 fans wanted to see the second home win of the season for the Fraport Skyliners. Many had predicted a hard fought defensive battle and that is exactly what was given by both teams. The first two buckets were fade away jumpers from Miah Davis and Zach Peacock. After the trading of baskets, both teams went through a difficult phase where no offense could establish a healthy rhythm as missed shots were about as prevalent as apples falling from a tree through a gusty wind period. Both teams had problems finding a rhythm and also seemed a bit nervous and not as calm as both coaches would have wanted, stressed basketball expert Steven Clauss. Shots had to fall sooner or later and did as Harding nana hit a three pointer for the 5-2 lead. Peacock then hit a fade away jumper over Eric Boateng and seemed to be on a roll. Braunschweig then scored in bunches as Thaddeus Mcfadden hit a runner in the lane and Miah Davis showed his explosiveness scoring on a penetration and tear drop lay in and 10-4 lead. Muli katzurin then took a timeout and seemed to find the right words and personal changes inserting Dion Dowell. Sometimes leads can evaporate as quickly as the wink of the eye as Dowell showed again as he has so often this season scoring in bunches nailing two three pointers tying the game at 10-10. Schroeder then made two free throws and Devin Gibson made a big bucket at the end getting an offensive rebound and getting a lay in. After one quarter the game was dead locked 12-12. The game was even. Both teams were fighting hard and not giving the opponent any real option on offense. Both teams were trying to get their shooting established while there was little play down low, stressed basketball expert Steven Clauss.
The second quarter remained a defensive duel as no team was able to get away on a run. The Fraport Skyliners started the second quarter on a quick 5-0 run as Dion Dowell hit his third three pointer of the game and Fraport Skyliner captain Marius Nolte scored on the pick and roll getting a nice feed from Devin Gibson for the 17-12 advantage. However not only Frankfurt was able to produce a run, but the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig escaped on a 8-0 run to take the 20-17 lead. 2010 Eurochallenge winner Robert Kulawick may have a very unorthodox shot, but it can be effective as he nailed a three pointer, Davis then showed his most dangerous side faking left and going right and scoring high off the glass and Kulawick then scored again off the catch and pop. Braunschweig stepped up their defense a bit more causing some turnovers from Nolte and Dowell. There was only one microwave in the NBA with ex Detroit Piston Vinny Johnson, but Ted Scott can heat up like a mini microwave as he hit consecutive shots giving the Fraport Skyliners the 21-20 lead. He showed how dangerous he can be not only from outside, but also penetrating and making the right shot. The swapping of runs continued as now it was time again for Braunschweig to take control as they went on a 7-0 run to lead 27-21. British national player Eric Boateng was giving Frankfurt difficulty and wrecking havoc as he scored inside twice and was a bit too active on the offensive glass. Davis also scored again with a floater. The Fraport Skyliners kept pace as Devin Gibson hit a three pointer where the club stayed patient getting the prefect shot and Quantez Robertson ended the second quarter with a lay in, but Braunschweig still led 29-26. It was a very exciting first half with both teams remaining very aggressive on defense. Frankfurt had problems giving up offensive rebounds and couldnt contain Eric Boateng. Both teams were very disciplined on offense with only three turnovers per team, stressed basketball expert Steven Clauss. The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig were shooting 35% from the field and 25% from outside while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 35% from the field and 29% form outside. Braunschweig had the 22-19 rebound edge.
The third quarter started out with a bang as Davis made a steal fed Mcfadden who was blocked by Quantez Robertson who gave the ball out on transition to Johnathan Jones who found Zach Peacock for the monster dunk over Eric Boateng. After a free throw by Davis, Gibson tied the score at 30-30 with one of his typical penetration plays that either result in a bucket or trip to the foul line. It is so hard to keep Gibson out of the middle. He presents so much problems to the opponents defense and getting to the free throw line, stressed Ted Scott. The game remained tight as Super Tez made an easy dunk as Braunschweig were caught napping on an inbounds pass under their own basket with Gibson making the pass. Braunschweig then went on a mini 5-0 run as Boateng dunked being set up by a no look Schroeder pass and Harding Nana hit a three pointer for the 35-32 Phantoms lead. However the turning point of the game came now as the Fraport Skyliners cruised out on a 11-2 run to end the third quarter 43-37 having the momentum. Peacock and Nana exchanged buckets as Braunschweig still led 37-35. However Frankfurt closed out the third quarter with a banging 8-0 run as Scott connected for a three pointer, Dowell got to the line making three free throws and Robertson closed out the quarter with a dunk. The Phantoms lost their rhythm as they were forcing up too many shots. Frankfurtw as playing with a lot of emotion and had their best quarter letting up only eight points, stressed Steven Clauss. The third quarter is where we lost the game. It made it so much harder having to come back in the fourth quarter, added Phantoms captain Nils Mittmann.
It seemed like the Fraport Skyliners were on there way to deciding the game quickly at the start of the fourth quarter going on a 5-0 run to get their biggest lead of 48-37, but New Yorker Phantoms head coach Kostas Flevakaris still had American Casey Mitchell dangling from his sleeve as he hadnt done much in the first thirty minutes. Just like at the start of the third quarter, the Fraport Skyliners started out the run with a Super Tez explosion as Jones fed him for a crushing ally-op dunk which then on the next six plays, the teammates of Scott and Mitchell took a back seat and watched their shooting clinic as they nailed six consecutive consecutive three pointers, but Frankfurt still had the 54-48 lead. Coach got on me on my turnover in the third quarter and I had something to prove. I was just in the flow and was feeling well. I didnt force anything. Mitchell looks so lax and relaxed on the court, but he is real dangerous with the ball, stressed Ted Scott. I didnt do anything in the first three quarters, but I am more a guy that hits his shots in the second half. I always feel confident hitting shots when we are down. I am not the kind of guy looking to be the leading scorer, but that is just how the game is going and I am just trying to help my team the best way I can, warned 2010 NCAA final 4 player with west Virginia Casey Mitchell. Braunschweig kept giving the ball to the hot hand of Mitchell as he nailed another three pointer as Braunschweig suddenly only trailed 55-53. Frankfurt showed grit staying calm on offense as Gibson found Robertson cutting into the lane and dishing him the ball for an easy lay up and the 59-53 advantage. In this phase, the Phantoms were forcing many shots, but somehow were still staying in the game. With crunch time arrived, the Phantoms never let up and continued to keep on hand against the door from letting it slam in their faces. The Phantoms gave their last gasp going on a 6-0 run as Nana and Mittmann hit consecutive three pointer as they trailed only 60-59. These buckets were helped with no execution on offense by Frankfurt. The fortunes of the Phantoms seemed to rise with 30 seconds to play as Texas native Dowell lost the ball out of bounds, but he raced back and blocked Mitchell conserving the lead . Dowell got us going off the bench. His big shots got our motor going. His block and end was huge. After his turnover, it would have been normal to hang his head, but he went back and got the block, said Ted Scott. Scott closed out the win with 1,1 seconds to play with a free throw. This was a tough loss. A couple more plays and possessions and we could of won. It wasnt just at the end where the game was decided, but many little plays throughout the game where we were unable to be consistent, warned Eric Boateng. The third quarter decided this game. Frankfurt got the momentum and despite a hot Mitchell could change the game in the fourth quarter and get the lead back, added Steven Clauss.
The Fraport Skyliners were led by Ted Scott with 17 points. Dion Dowell had a strong game with 12 points and ten rebounds and Quantez Robertson also steered 12 points and eight rebounds to the victory. Devin Gibson added 10 points, five rebounds and two assists. The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig were led by Casey Mitchell with 14 points. Miah Davis contributed 13 points and Harding Nana 11 points. With this being a defensive battle, it was no surprise that the shooting percentages of both teams would be down. The Fraport Skyliners shot 39% from the field and only 29% from down town while the New Yorker Phantoms shot 34% from the field and 36% from downtown. The Phantoms won the rebounding 38-37 and Frankfurt can still improve on offensive rebounds given up as they allowed 13. Both teams did a decent job not turning the ball over as Frankfurt had nine turnovers and Braunschweig had 11. The big strength remained the consistent defense of Frankfurt that got many big plays from Devin Gibson and Dion Dowell in the fourth quarter. We cant take the credit, because it was team defense that helped us make the big plays. Team defense gave us the extra edge to make those plays. Our defense also trusted each other at the end. I made a mistake on the pick and roll, but all the other four guys knew it and just reacted making the stop. We had good stops at the end to help get this win, stressed Devin Gibson. The Fraport Skyliners next journey to Alba Berlin November 18th for a 17:00 game.
Every season there are always numerous new players that arrive in the Pro B to show their extraordinary basketball abilities with the hope of being able to showcase their talent to a vast array of people and hoping to continue to develop and make the next step at a higher level. The Dragons Rhondorf and Bayer Giants Leverkusen have three of these players that squared off against each other in the Dragon Dome with the one player big dawg Aaron Nelson that stands 203cm that cleans up in the... [read more]
Every season there are always numerous new players that arrive in the Pro B to show their extraordinary basketball abilities with the hope of being able to showcase their talent to a vast array of people and hoping to continue to develop and make the next step at a higher level. The Dragons Rhondorf and Bayer Giants Leverkusen have three of these players that squared off against each other in the Dragon Dome with the one player big dawg Aaron Nelson that stands 203cm that cleans up in the paint area and at times is unstoppable and only content when he gets a double double as he averaged double double stats as a senior at S. Indiana and as a rookie in Chile with Los Leones de Quilpue. The other two players stood on the other side as one guy is a pure scorer and has the same last name as an ex American president. Kerry Carter who played at St Mary (NCAA) and last season had a 5 game stint in Europe's best league in Spain Endesa with Iberostar Tenerife CB Canarias and racked up 9 points in 10 minutes against top club Real Madrid. The last player in this trio is an American that like Nelson loves to get physical inside and post double doubles and loves Manchester United. Brandon Nazione played at Eastern Michigan and has mixed it up in the Pro B this season and had his first very tough match up against Nelson. This game not only matched up three top players who wanted to do as much as possible to help lead their club to victory, but was also the homecoming of German Tim Schonborn who played three seasons with the Dragons amassing 78 games. With so many interesting side stories to the contest, one had the tendency to forget that the most important aspect to the evening was two teams battling for a win as the 2-2 Dragons Rhondorf were looking to keep their home record spotless while the Bayer Giants Leverkusen also 2-2 were still looking for their first road victory of the season, but that still had to wait as they lost their fourth game in a row in Rhondorf since 2008 92-87 in OT. In the head to head battle Kerry Carter finished with 31 points having a 27 efficiency rate while Aaron Nelson finished with 26 points and nine boards and also a 27 efficiency rate, but the Rhondorf American won the game. After the game, Nelson was torn and tattered as Leverkusen had really made him work hard for his pay check. 'I take every game the same. We knew that Carter was a good scorer and we had to try to focus on him more, but also take away the rest of the team. He had a very good game and I am just glad we came away with the win', stressed Illinois native Aaron Nelson. Carter didn't show it with his game face still on after the game, but one could see that he was very peeved at the loss. 'I never caught up in these type of matchups. Some players get overhyped while others are off the radar. Nelson is a great player and had a great game. I go into every game the same way no matter who we play', warned Bayer Giants Leverkusen scoring ace Kerry Carter.
The Bayer Giants Leverkusen were unable to connect in their first three possessions, but then got some buckets from ex Dragon Tim Schonborn and 31 year old German Gotz Twiehof scored for the early 4-2 advantage, but then it was time for the Canadian sensation Mike Lucier who gave the word scoring a new special meaning as he rattled off seven unanswered points giving Rhondorf the 9-4 lead. He can always dazzle you with his trey, but he got aggressive early in the paint as he scored twice and then made a steal and went coast to coast for the dunk. Rhondorf continued to carry the momentum upping their lead to 13-6 as Aaron Nelson scored as did Thomas Michel. However one can only control a guy like Kerry Carter so long as he had been stifled by Rhondorf in the first five minutes, but then got his motor going as he carried the Bayer Giants on a 13-4 run giving them the 19-17 lead as he nailed three trey's. Leverkusen had found their offensive rhythm and closed out the first quarter strong with the fourth three pointer of Carter and an Alexander Blessing lay in. New York native Will Trawick finished the first quarter with a timely three pointer cutting the Leverkusen lead to 23-22. 'I was really happy with how Patrick Reusch (185-G-93) played. It wasn't easy for him to come in and replace Viktor Frankl-Maus. He did a good job on offense and finding the open man. You can never really control a Carter. Take away his 10 points and we would have given up 13 points and the game would have looked a lot different', stressed Dragons Rhondorf CEO Boris Kaminski. The Bayer Giants Leverkusen were shooting 47% from the field and 50% from outside while the Dragons Rhondorf were shooting 40% from the field and 20% from outside. Rhondorf had the slim 12-10 rebound edge, but five turnovers while Leverkusen had four turnovers.
In the second quarter, the Bayer Giants Leverkusen got off to a rough start once again not executing on their first three possessions, while Rhondorf went on a 10-1 run to extend their lead to 32-24. In the run, Rhondorf got solid production from Aaron 'big dawg' Nelson scoring inside twice, Will Trawick also got aggressive finishing in the paint and Sascha Tratnjek scored. The Bayer Giants Leverkusen were just careless in their sets and pulled off two quick possessions without really getting settled. But then came the turning point of the second quarter as the Bayer Giants Leverkusen switched to zone propelling them on a 9-0 run as Carter once again got going again scoring seven points getting the guests the 33-32 advantage. Carter scored twice in the lane and once from the parking lot. 17 year old German Anton Geretzki stopped the run connecting on a pretty high rainbow giving Rhondorf the 35-33 lead which didn't hold up long as American rookie Brandon Nazione controlled an offensive rebound and made the put back tying the game at 35-35. Trawick made a free throw and lay in sending Rhondorf into halftime with the tight 39-36 lead. 'We started well, but they came back when they went to zone taking away our strength with Nelson and Lucier. We gave up an open three pointer to Carter which should never happen', added Dragons Rhondorf CEO Boris Kaminski. The Dragons Rhondorf were shooting 31% from the field and 23% from the three point line while the Bayer Giants Leverkusen were shooting 41% from the field and 33% from the three point line. Rhondorf had the 27-22 rebound edge and eight turnovers while Leverkusen had nine turnovers.
In the third quarter, the Dragons Rhondorf got off to another good start which was benefited by their two opening stops which led to an 8-2 run lifting their lead to 47-38. Geretzki started the run with his second trey and Nelson scored in bunches making it look so easy. But basketball always remains a game of runs as Rhondorf didn't execute on the next few possessions which enabled Leverkusen to tie the game at 47-47 benefited by an overwhelming 9-0 run. In the run the ex BBL team got some free throws, a reverse lay up by Carter, and a Schonborn lay in and trey. The game now was a dog fight as a team would take the lead and then the other would match them. Nazione made a massive dunk and Schonborn continued to be aggressive from all areas of the court and made an acrobatic lay in tying the game at 52-52. The Bayer Giants Leverkusen closed out the third quarter with the 61-57 lead as they got some instant offense from Blessing who dropped a three and made a steal and went coast to coast for the lay in. Carter and Nazione finished with two lay ins. 'We got more stops and let our defense dictate our offense instead of the other way around. I just wish that we could of done that more throughout the game', said ex St Mary's guard Kerry Carter. 'We turned the ball over too much and they hit shots. That is when basketball becomes a game of runs. They saw the ball go in and automatically they played better offense and defense. That always feels good', added Dragons Rhondorf forward Will Trawick. The Bayer Giants Leverkusen were shooting 47% from the field and 35% from the parking lot while the Dragons Rhondorf were shooting 35% from the field and 29% from the parking lot. Rhondorf had the 34-31 rebound advantage, but 16 turnovers while Leverkusen had 14 turnovers.
In the fourth quarter, despite not executing on their first two possessions, the Bayer Giants Leverkusen soon got going taking a healthy lead and it seemed like they would carry it back home, but let the game slip away in the last four minutes letting Rhondorf sneak back and force OT. Rhondorf started off on a 4-0 run as German Patrick Reusch (185-G-93) nailed free throws and Lucier scored inside to dead lock the game at 61-61. Then Leverkusen upped their defensive intensity and rushed out on a stellar 7-2run to lead 69-63. In the run, Leverkusen was fortified by Carter with two lay ups, a Nazione reverse lay up showing on more than one occasion during the game that he can play like a guard at the 203cm frame, and a Michael Kuczmann jumper. Rhondorf continued to battle back with Nelson free throws and a Reusch lay in to cut the Leverkusen lead to 69-67. However then it seemed like the Bayer Giants Leverkusen would slam the door on Rhondorf with a timely 9-0 run as crunch-time was approaching. In the run, Leverkusen was aided by a Carter trey and Nazione lay in off a second chance and then a hard dunk off a steal and coast to coast run. Leverkusen was aided by their two best American imports and it seemed like they couldn't falter now with three minutes remaining. However behind the massive support of their fans, Rhondorf continued to chip away at the lead and come back. Rhondorf made the game dramatic going on an unbelievable 11-0 run to retake the lead 78-77 with a minute to play. In the run, Rhondorf got potent production from Aaron Nelson who got to the free throw line three times and helped the team come back. 'Leverkusen made it tough for me all night. They made me work for every bucket. I knew at this time that I had to assert my dominance and get to the free throw line, get buckets and rebounds', added Aaron Nelson. The Dragon Dome went out of control when Will Trawick nailed the go ahead three for the 78-77 Rhondorf lead. 'My shot was huge. It felt amazing when it went in. We came from being down despite them having control. I sucked the momentum out of them and gave some energy to our fans while we took the momentum into OT. I never think about shooting, because the more you do the more you tend to miss. My coach and teammates always give me the confidence to keep shooting', stressed ex Emory (NCAA3) guard Will Trawick. The Bayer Giants Leverkusen had the chance to win the game down the stretch, but Carter attempted an air ball and then missed a lay up. 'I should of made those two shots regardless if I was tired or not', warned Kerry Carter. Bastian Winterhalter then connected on free throws and Nazione put the game into OT with two free throws tying the game at 79-79. The Dragons Rhondorf were shooting 34% from the field and 30% from outside while the Bayer Giants Leverkusen were shooting 46% from the field and 27% from outside. Rhondorf had the 42-37 rebound edge, but 20 turnovers while Leverksuen had 19 turnovers.
In the OT it was the Rhondorf German kid's show of Reusch and Falkenstein that led the club past the Bayer Giants Leverkusen. The Dragons Rhondorf went on a quick 5-2 run to lead 84-81. The run was sparked by the clever play by Patrick Reusch (185-G-93) who showed a lot of responsibility scoring inside, then drawing a foul and nailing free throws and then making a steal. Lucier added free throws. The Bayer Giants Leverkusen made one last push going on a 6-2 run to cut the Rhondorf advantage to 85-84. In the run, Leverkusen was sparked by a Blessing fingertip roll in and two buckets in the paint by Brandon 'the beast' Nazione. After a Michel free throw came the closing dagger into the heart of Leverkusen as 18 year German David Falkenstein who only practices once a week with the team stepped into a passing lane made the steal and went coast to coast for the lay in and 88-85 lead. Lucier and Reusch closed out the game with free throws as Rhondorf stayed unbeaten at home. 'The kids played great. Reusch played with a lot of confidence and Falkenstein doesn't practice much with us, but still knows all the plays was huge. Our focus was too make it tough on Carter at the end and we did a good job', stressed Aaron Nelson. 'We should of played tougher and smarter in OT. A few turnovers at the end cost us the game. We played good defense, but they just scored a little more', added ex eastern Michigan forward Brandon Nazione. 'Every guy on our team can give good minutes. Falkenstein and Reuch played good defense and had good drives. They were huge for us', warned Will Trawick. The Dragons Rhondorf were led by Aaron nelson with 26 points and nine rebounds. Will Trawick added 18 points and Mike Lucier 16 points while Patrick Reusch (185-G-93) scored 10 points. The Bayer Giants Leverkusen were led by Kerry Carter with 31 points, four rebounds, six assists and five steals. Brandon Nazione added 21 points and 12 rebounds. Tim Schonborn supplied 12 points and nine rebounds. The Dragons Rhondorf shot 34% from the field and 29% from the three point line while the Bayer Giants Leverkusen shot 46% from the field and 23% from the three point line. Rhondorf had the 46-43 rebound edge and 22 turnovers and Leverkusen coughed up the ball 24 times.
Brendan Lane(206-C-90, college: Pepperdine) is a 25 year old 206cm center from Rocklin, California playing his third professional season and second in Germany in the Beko BBL with the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg. As a rookie he played with Mitsubishi Diamond Dolphins (Japan-NBL): 52 games: 12.8ppg, 7.9rpg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 53.0%, 3PT: 35.4%, FT: 73.4%. He started his basketball career in 2009 with UCLA (NCAA) where he played until 2012 playing a total of 79 NCAA games. He finished his college b... [read more]
Brendan Lane (206-C-90, college: Pepperdine) is a 25 year old 206cm center from Rocklin, California playing his third professional season and second in Germany in the Beko BBL with the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg. As a rookie he played with Mitsubishi Diamond Dolphins (Japan-NBL): 52 games: 12.8ppg, 7.9rpg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 53.0%, 3PT: 35.4%, FT: 73.4%. He started his basketball career in 2009 with UCLA (NCAA) where he played until 2012 playing a total of 79 NCAA games. He finished his college basketball career at : Pepperdine (NCAA, starting five) playing 29 games averaging 13.2ppg, 7.4rpg, 1.2apg, 2.4bpg, FGP: 56.6%, 3PT: 38.5%, FT: 62.4%. Last season with Wurzburg he played 37 games averaging 13.7ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 59.6%, 3PT: 14.8%, FT: 73.6%. He belongs to the top centers in the Beko BBL He spoke to eurobasket after the big 73-64 win against the Fraport Skyliners.
Brendan thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. Congrats on the two game winning streak. Is this years team finally figuring out how to win games? Yeah I think we finally got that confidence back after that tough start. Getting that first win was big for us and hopefully we can keep it going now.
s.Wurzburg assistant coach Stephan Voelkl had a busy weekend last week scouting both Frankfurt games against the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg and ratiopharm Ulm. Nevertheless, the Fraport Skyliners crushed you and was leading 40-22 at halftime. Did Frankfurt do anything out of the ordinary that Wurzburg didn't know going into the game which made it so difficult to keep them in check? No they weren't doing anything that we didn't prepare for, we just didn't show up to play that first half and we really struggled.
The 0/12 three point woes of the s.oliver Wurzburg didn't help either. How frustrating were the first 20 minutes and was it at that point just one of those days where nothing was falling? Yeah that was tough, but I think it was more of just settling for threes and not attacking. We were being passive and just shooting rather than attacking and setting up good shots.
I can imagine that the atmosphere was tense at halftime in the locker room. What magic words of wisdom did head coach Doug Spradley find to help get the team back on track?
At halftime he basically just said we were playing soft and not fighting at all. He just challenged us to come out in the second half and fight and do anything we could to get back into the game.
The s.Oliver Wurzburg finally got on track in the third quarter going on a 16-2 run. What adjustments did the club make to get back into the game?
I think we just started being more aggressive on defense and we were able to get some steals or rebounds and speed up the tempo of the game.
You really got going in the third quarter getting your share of buckets. Did you feel the need to have to step up? Yeah we weren't creating much offensively, especially inside, so it was important that we started rolling harder to the basket and being more aggressive and my teammates did a great job finding me when I was open.
The s.Oliver Wurzburg continued to play masterful basketball going on a 22-5 run to decide the game. What was key for keeping up the defensive consistency in the last frame? We just kept up the pressure. We knew they had played a lot of games in the past week so they probably had tired legs at the end so we had to keep being the aggressor and not let up.
So far no BBL teams have had any clue how to slow down rookie Shavon Shields who scored 18 points. Why is this guy so dominant at the moment?
He is a very versatile 4 man who can create his own shots which can be very difficult for teams to guard and he's playing with a lot of confidence.
Do you believe as time goes on that teams will figure out Shavon Shields or will he continue to hurt opponents with his quickness and pretty moves?
I think he's going to be dangerous all season. Teams will definitely focus on him more as he continues to produce, but he's still a very good player that will cause a lot of problems for teams.
The s.Oliver Wurzburg have had a slow start losing it's first four games, but have a two game winning streak now. What assets does the tam have this season they didn't have last season that will enable the club to have a another good season?
I think we are much deeper this season, but right now we are just learning how to play with each other. Last year we had great chemistry from the start and that showed with our start last year. But this year it's taken us a little longer and we had to face some adversity with the 0-4 start. Hopefully this will help us in the long term and we can get back to where we think we can finish in this league.
Jake Odum might be one of the most underrated point guards in the BBL. How is his game different from Dru Joyce and how fierce is his killer instinct?
Jake and Dru are both great point guards. Jake brings a little more size to the point guard position which will help against teams with bigger guards. But both guys are fierce competitors who want to win. Jake is still early in his career and his really hungry to prove himself in Europe and to win at every level and that is great to have in a teammate.
You battled against German national player Johannes Voigtmann last season and now you have his little brother Georg as a teammate. How have you been helping him in practice most and does he have the game to become a solid BBL player. For his size he is one of the most skilled big men I've seen. The one big key for him is just the physicality at the BBL level. It's great for him to battle every day in practice especially against a veteran like Kreso who challenges him physically. I think he will definitely be a solid BBL player at some point.
This was with the game against FC Bayern Munich your best game of the season as you gave the word efficient a new meaning once again. Do you feel any pressure at all when you know the three isn't6 falling for the team that you have to produce well quickly at a consistent rate?
I don't really feel any extra pressure when that happens, but I do look to be more aggressive and put some pressure on the other team inside.
After having a very good first season in the BBL, you are looking to take the next step as a player this season. What do you believe helped your game last season that will enable you to take it to the next level this season?
Last season I was very successful in getting good position inside and creating easy shots for myself. I think having the experience in this league now will only make me better at finding those openings in the defense.
Besides having a successful season, what is your main goal to achieve on the court this season in your game that will help you make the next step in your grooming as a player?
My main goal is to be consistent the whole season. Last year we tapered off at the end of the season and this year I want to continue playing well all the way through the end of the season.
Kevin Garnett has retired. Where do you believe does his legacy stand when comparing him to the greatest power forwards of all-time?
He is definitely one of the greatest power forwards. He was dominant for so long and was always a winner. One of the fiercest competitors ever.
What was the last movie that you saw? The last movie I saw was Secret in their eyes.
Eugene Harris (185-PG-86, college: High Point) is a 29 year old 193cm point guard from Pittsburgh and is playing his sixth professional season and first in Germany with the Hebeisen White Wings Hanau. Last season he played for Siarka Tarnobrzeg (Poland-TBL): 13 games: 6.9ppg, 2.0rpg, 2.2apg, 2FGP: 32.6%, 3FGP: 25.4%, left in Jan.'16, later that month moved to KTE-Duna Aszfalt (Hungary-A Division): 11 games: 6.4ppg, 1.4rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 57.9%, 3PT: 28.3%, FT: 75.0%. He started his basketba... [read more]
Eugene Harris (185-PG-86, college: High Point) is a 29 year old 193cm point guard from Pittsburgh and is playing his sixth professional season and first in Germany with the Hebeisen White Wings Hanau. Last season he played for Siarka Tarnobrzeg (Poland-TBL): 13 games: 6.9ppg, 2.0rpg, 2.2apg, 2FGP: 32.6%, 3FGP: 25.4%, left in Jan.'16, later that month moved to KTE-Duna Aszfalt (Hungary-A Division): 11 games: 6.4ppg, 1.4rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 57.9%, 3PT: 28.3%, FT: 75.0%. He started his basketball career in 2006 with High Point (NCAA) where he played until 2010 playing a total of 121 NCAA games. As a senior he played 30 games averaging 14.0ppg, 2.6rpg, 2.0apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 38.7%, 3PT: 34.1%, FT: 87.5%.In his first five professional seasons, he has gained vast experience having played in countries like Lithuania, Georgia, Cyprus, Macedonia, and Ukraine. He spoke to eurobasket shortly after signing with Hanau last summer.
Eugene thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. Welcome to Germany. Congrats on signing with Pro A team Hebeisen White Wings. You have played in many countries in Europe, but this will be your first season in Germany. What ties do you to Germany in general and what do you know about the country and it's basketball? I actually know a couple of guys that played in this country so I'm pretty familiar with what to expect here
You are going to play your fifth professional country and Germany is your eighth country. Do you at times feel like a basketball globetrotter? Yes sometimes I do feel that way but it has its advantages I've had great experiences and met great people along the way on and off the court!
How did the contact come about to the Hebeisen White Wings Hanau? You stated that I am glad to be around dynamic people that are working for a goal and seeking success. How vital was the professionalism of the club for you signing on the dotted line?
My agent and Head coach of Hanau being in contact with each other in which interest was shown in me It was extremely vital one of the most important components in having a successful season, this team has a very motivated head coach and coaching staff that emphasizes the importance of improving my overall skills to the smallest details which was important to me.
You have played for seven professional teams in seven different countries, but what do the Hebeisen White Wings have as an organization that you haven't experienced yet as a professional? I think a coaching staff that loves the game of basketball along with a player development coach that really is committed to getting the individual better
What do you respect most about head coach Simon Cote in the short time that you have been with the club? His willingness to maximize the potential of the group of guys he signed this year. That is the biggest aspect I've notice so far along with the communication that he requires with every player on and off the court "small details matter"
You have belonged to the top import players in many countries where you have played, but that first professional title has still eluded you. Does that desire to win that chip grow with every passing year? Yes it does because of the opportunity it creates for my teammates and organization so winning that 'chip' this year is vital
In the past with other professional teams you often were the main offensive force, but with Hanau there will be more scoring weapons. Do you see yourself being more of a playmaker this season than in the past and do you see yourself becoming more of an assist man this season? Yes I see myself playing a bigger role doing both and finding that balance between finding my guys and scoring.
Let's talk a little about your game. You're an All around guard, who can do everything on the court- handle the ball, assist to his teammates, run the fast break, penetrate inside, shoot from the perimeter or off the dribble and are a good defender. What do you consider your biggest asset on the court? I think it varies based of situation being able to shoot the ball and read the game pick n roll etc.
If you had to compare your style of game to a NBA player which player would you pick? I like to study the game and different players from NBA to Europe I will let you guys make the comparisons
You can fill up the stat sheet, but what do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn't get noticed right away on the court? Interesting question I think being a vocal leader getting players in the right spot
Last season you played in Poland and Hungary and it was kind of a season to forget. Your stats were down and you had to change clubs. What did you learn from last season that will help you with future decisions?
No I will always remember it. I want to remember it. I learned a lot from last year the main thing is learning how to adapt to any situation regardless of circumstances is the main thing!
As a rookie you played with Naglis-Adakris Palangos (Lithuania-LKL) and Sokhumi Tbilisi (Georgia-Superleague). What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Europe where you knew that you were very far away from home Pittsburgh?
Being a professional in all aspects eating the right things, watching film, stretching just a few things you have to do all by yourself unlike in college where you had coaches making you do it.
You had possibly your best offensive season two years ago with SK Dnipro Azot Dniprodzerzhynsk (Ukraine-Superleague) playing 29 games: Score-3 (16.8ppg), 3.0rpg, 5.4apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 47.1%, 3PT: 36.5%, FT: 77.0%. Did this season give you the satisfaction that you could be a top player in probably the strongest league that you had played in as a professional? I played well but my focus was winning games and continuing to prove myself in the years ahead was my main focus honestly
You had a great college career at High Point finishing career ranked 13th in all-time scoring at HPU, with 1,411 points in 121 career games, an average of 11.7 ... HPU's all-time leader in three-pointers made (283) and attempted (777), ranked second all-time in career games (121) and starts (93), fifth in career assists (263) and steals (129). What is your most cherished moment that you had in your four year career there? Hitting Game winners on the road in hostile environments and also winning! at the time we were the all time winningest team and that was big for the university!
How did head coach Bart Lundy groom and prepare you best for a professional career at High Point? Very tough nose coach who gave me a lot of responsibility as soon as I stepped on campus as a freshmen and that motivated me every day to not let only him down but my teammates also, which helped me grow into a leader on the floor.
Your ex teammate Arizona Reid is still going strong and is more of a globetrotter than you as he has played in 10 countries throughout his professional career. When you look at his career do you ever wonder how strange the basketball business can be. He was one of the top players in the Big South with 23/11 stats as a senior, but never played for top level teams in Europe. Knowing Arizona Personally I have a better understanding of the direction he wants to take and how he views Europe etc He is one of the best players I've ever played with and He's been extremely successful everywhere he's played producing relatively close to the same stats you mentioned above. It will happen in due time for him! In the mean time he's having a lot of financial success in other markets as well!
Who was the toughest player that you battled against in the NCAA that went to the NBA?
Ty Lawson played well against us
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore and chose 4 NBA heads which best four would you pick? Mike Jordan, Magic Johnson, Wilt Chamberlin , Hakeem Olajuwon
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? Right now maybe top 10
What was the last movie that you saw? Purge "Election Year.
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