There are always those type of players in the Beko BBL that have that killer instinct and just dont show any fear when they are making an opponents defense look like a hapless antelope if it should go left, right or backwards with the ensuing stampede of jaguars approaching on the prarie in Senegal. Recently there was Brian Roberts who played for the Brose Baskets Bamberg and now has made the jump to the NBA New Orleans Hornets that could carry the Freak city team to wins in crucial situations with his scoring in bunches mentality. The Fraport Skyliners recently acquired candy lover Ted Scott that didnt waste anytime making 20 points in his debut in Trier and having TBB Trier head coach Henrik Rodl remembering his name. Scott has that all business killer instinct that would be extra lethal if he would play along side ex Skyliner Jimmy Mckinney that can devour defenses with the best of them. This season Alba Berlin have a new player with Nihad Djedovic (198-F-90, agency: Beo Basket) who is one of the most talented players in Europe from the 1990 birth year and hails from Bosnia. He can shoot in transition, off the dribble, off the catch and is absolutely fearless. Showed ability to put the ball on the floor and finish to the hoop or create for others. He already played in the ACB as a 19 year old for Xacobeo BluSens Obradoiro being loaned from FC Barcelona. He played for Acea Virtus Roma (Italy-SerieA) where he scored in double figures both seasons. So far this season, the youngster has shown no timidness being a very important role player in the Sasa Obradovic rotation. In an Alba Berlin roster that has enough scoring power to give a coach like Silvano Poropat jealousy attacks, the young Bosnian has shown that desire for taking responsibility and having that killer instinct in big crucial moments. When watching him on the court, he has that old school look with his uncommon moustache that makes him look more like a Bosnian butcher than a basketball player. On the court, he has been as focused as supermodel Gisele Bundchen recently was for letting her full blown baby bump get into the way of weekend plans with her hubby Tom Brady, singer Katy Perry not showing any ill will backing Barack Obama in a Milwaukee reelection rally or super funny Chris Rock using his unique comedic style making a special message to help persuade undecided white voters to reelect Barack Obama. At times, Djedovic makes some bad decisions, but that is normal for a young player and so far this season seems to have convinced the organization Alba Berlin of his talents on the court and has matured quickly to the grind and playing style of the Beko BBL. 2011 Beko BBL MVP Dashaun Wood has been more than impressed with his new teammate. I like his game a lot. At every practice I have amazed at what he can do. He can do so much on the offensive and defensive end. He is such a smart player as well. I am always telling him in practice how much I like a certain pass or move from him. He is so young, but has already played at such a high level. So far in my career there hasnt been a player where I could say that he has amazed me in practice until him. He does things where you really have say wow. He has a very high skill level, warned Detroit native Dashaun Wood.
Alba Berlin didnt waste anytime getting their most important order of business squared away as they hired Gordon Herbert very early in the summer of 2011 Alba Berlin see Herbert as being the man to get Alba Berlin back on the title road and not getting run over by teams like Bamberg and Munich. It was Herberts 5th season in the Beko BBL. He led Frankfurt to their first league title in 2004 and reached the cup final that year. In 2010, he was two points away to getting Frankfurt that 2nd league title as the Skyliners lost a bitter game 5 final in Bamberg. In 2010-2011, Frankfurt lost in 5 games to Alba Berlin. Herbert is known as getting the best out of his players, but also known in being able to build a strong and successful team even if talent and deepness is lacking. Herbert had a new type of challenge as the talent was even greater than usual for him.All eyes were focused on Herbert to see how he would make an already very talented club even better. However he was unable to as he never found that intact team chemistry that he wanted like he had with his Frankfurt teams.
Even after Alba Berlin had kicked out the Deutsche Bank Skyliners from the playoffs in their own living room, they still had no mercy as they stole Mr road runner Dashaun Wood from the heart of the fans. Despite that Wood had signed a contract to stay with Frankfurt, he did put some clauses in so that he could leave the club. One of those clauses was that he would go where Gordon Herbert would go. A heart of a player can be as big as Mount Everest for a team, but about as often as the sun shines in the Costa De Sol in south Spain, the green numbered paper that rules the world mostly keeps the heart of a player more green than red. Wood who was the leagues MVP in 2011 playing 42 games: Score-1 (19.0ppg), 4.6rpg, Assists-2 (5.9apg), 1.2spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 33.2%, FT: 80.3%, will more than likely not be able to post stats like that again with alba Berlin. He will have a different role in Berlin as he will be surrounded by many scorers and not have the burden on his shoulders having to score as he often did in Frankfurt. The question will be how well can his ego get used to his new role, but he has stated that winning is his biggest priority and not scoring 20 points a game. The team brought in European experience with American Torin Francis, athletic ex NBA player Kyle Weaver and a touch of Serbian fire with Marko Simonovic. The team kept a lot of last years success intact with Mr ballerina Derrick Allen, Mr everything on the court and more Bryce Taylor, Heiko I can hit even from the Berlin TV tower Schaffartzik, inside monster Yassin Idbihi, sharpshooter Lucca Staiger and the glue that holds the team together German national player Sven Schultze.
However despite all this unending talent on board, Alba Berlin GOT out of the wrong side of the bed last season as they started with a less than satisfactory 2-2 record. They werent given a good role of the dice either getting their first three games on the road. They started with a heartbreaking 71-69 loss in Bremerhaven that probably had Herbert and Wood in long discussions after analyzing ways they could of won the game. Alba Berlin then creamed potential playoff team New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig 87-68, only to go to Phoenix Hagen the next week and get their second loss in a row there. Last season 37 points by Derrick Allen couldnt get a win and this season it was Marc Carter that shot out the lights as Alba Berlin lost again 98-91. They returned to the O-2 World arena for their first home game and got a pesky fight from the Walter Tigers Tuebingen as they stayed close, but the eight time Beko BBL champion closed out the game in style with a 20-5 run to win 76-56. Except for the high scoring game in Hagen, they have defended well in the other three games letting up an average of only 71 points per game. With a new coach, players and system, Alba Berlin was just figuring each other out in the early going not too mention the building pressure to win each season. Yea it is pressure winning wherever you are at at any level and yea they have more pressure because the standard is higher in Berlin because of the tradition, but I thought all of their players could handle it or else they wouldn't be there, stressed TBB Trier guard John Bynum. They then won nine games in a row including an easy 83-57 win in Frankfurt who shot only 26% from the parking lot and were forced to 18 turnovers. In this big winning streak, they beat Oldenburg, Bamberg and Ulm at home and won in Munich. They then had their only weakness of the season going on a three game losing streak losing to Artland, Bonn and Wurzburg. The three game losing streak also took a toll on 2011 Beko BBL MVP Dashaun Wood. I have never experienced anything like that before, but one has to remember just how much I have played recently. We had games on the 18th, 20th, 23rd, 27th and 30th of December and the second, fifth and eighth of January. At the end of that game streak, it just showed that I was tired, expressed Dashaun Wood. Since the three game losing streak, they finished strong going on a 17-3 record losing in Bayreuth, a game they let slip away. But they had some big wins against Artland, Oldenburg and FC Bayern Munich. They came into the Beko BBL playoffs playing the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg. This was just a team that didnt fit their style. They lost the series 3-1. They won the first game in Berlin, but then lost the final three games including the crucial game three at home. Alba Berlin had huge problems getting used to the gym atmosphere in Wurzburg. The season ended unspectacular in mid May as Alba Berlin went home again with no titles. Alba Berlin finished in third place with a record of 26-8 in the regular season, but the only time that really counts is May and June when titles are won.
What does a traditional and respected Beko BBL team do that has won 8 titles to get back on track after last winning a title in 2009? It brings back a familiar face that is used to winning and has won with Alba Berlin before. No one better than sasa Obradovic who won the Korac cup in 1995 and the double in 1997 with Alba Berlin. As a player he won three world championships with the former Jugoslavia and as a coach won the title in 2006 with Cologne. His name stands for winning. He stands for unending passion. He burns for this team, stated Marco Baldi. Obradovic is a tough coach, but is also the type of coach that makes his players better. Obradovic brought something new to the spree with versatility that the new players have. He chose players that can play many different positions thus making it harder for opponents to read and defend. The team has only won one title in the last nine years and Sasa Obradovic did a house cleaning this past off season getting rid of seven players and hauling in eight new players. The team held Dashaun Wood, Heiko Schaffartzik, Yassin Idbihi and Sven Schultze to somewhat maintain a small collective in the team. Obrdovic did a good job bringing in a healthy mix of three Americans, a Bosnian, Serb and two young Germans. He brought in experienced Vule Avdalovic who he coached at BC Donetsk and has Euroleague experience and has played many years in the ACB and will make some competition for Dashaun Wood. Nihad Djedovic was brought in for giving that special versatility and all around good play. He brought in Nathan peavey who might be the most underrated power forward in the Beko BBL. A pity that he was injured and will miss most of the season. Zack Morley was brought in for toughness and can also score when needed. Further flexibility and power under the basket was brought in with Deon Thompson who played at the top NCAA school North Carolina. Obradovic brought in Spanish ACB veteran Albert Miralles recently to help bring muscle to the basket and help bang with the centers of the league. Young German David Herwig and Steven Monse also arrived to help round out the roster. The biggest strength of Alba Berlin likely is their guard rotation with Wood, Schaffartzik and Avdalovic who could be the best guard trio in the Beko BBL. Obradovic will be very flexible at this position often being able to play two at a time. Also at the forward position, he has players like Thompson, Miralles and Morley that can play different positions and will keep opponents guessing what the 8 time Beko BBL champion will do next in their offensive sets as they will be unpredictable. Alba Berlin has a very deep roster once again and if there are any problems that could arise then it is how well the team can respond to the coaching decisions of the coach as playing time will be reduced. Dashaun Wood that was the commander on the court in Frankfurt and Berlin doesnt have that big role this season with more offensive weapons, but has taken this reality in stride and showed his character of playing for the team and not for his stats. Obradovic will make Wood an even better player than what he already is. The team cant afford more injuries as they will need a full roster to make an impact in the Beko BBL playoffs as they also play Euroleague.
Since the climatic semi final win over Alba Berlin in 2005, where guys like Chris Williams and Tyrone Ellis led the then Opel Skyliners into the BBL final, Frankfurt has only a 9-16 record against the Albatros, but have built installed a special albatross cage in the Ballsporthalle which has rewarded them with a 5-3 record. One of the biggest and most emotional wins in the last years was the 81-67 trouncing in January 2006 as it was the debut of ex Skyliner coach Charles Barton. It was only a shame that the team was unable to take this big win and grow off it as they won little more that season and had to win on the last day at home against The EWE Baskets Oldenburg to stay in the BBL. Some nice wins in the last years was the 74-58 win in 2008 as American Derrick Allen added 19 points and six rebounds and in 2009, they won 73-66 as ex Skyliner Lorenzo Gordon chipped in with 15 points and six rebounds. Last season, the two teams split the season series 1-1 as Alba Berlin held Frankfurt to 53 points in the Ballsporthalle and winning. Frankfurt returned to Berlin to win 76-70 as Derrick Allen led the team with 18 points. Frankfurt then surprisingly kicked out Alba Berlin in the playoffs 3-1 winning game four at home 69-58 as Derrick Allen had 26 points. In the first meeting last season, Alba Berlin escaped the O-2 World arena with a 81-77 win. Frankfurt led for 36 minutes before Alba Berlin put on the turbo and went on a 8-2 run which sparked the win. Dashaun Wood led all players with 32 points and Derrick Allen chipped in with 17 points for Alba Berlin. Alba Berlin shot 57% from the field and 44% from the parking lot, but Frankfurt had control of the boards 31-21. In the second meeting last season, Alba Berlin prevailed 79-70 as Dashaun Wood led Frankfurt with 18 points, seven rebounds and seven assists and ex Skyliner Derrick Allen had 18 points. Frankfurt lost in the 2011 Beko BBL semi finals 3-2 . Last season the Fraport Skyliners stunk out their Fraport arena with a 83-57 loss where Dashaun Wood led all scorers with 21 points and also lost a close game 70-66 in Berlin. The Fraport Skyliners go to Berlin to meet Alba Berlin this Sunday. Alba Berlin is currently in eighth place with a record of 4-2. Alba Berlin has the double load with Euroleague play and are still trying to establish a team identity in the Beko BBL. After some tough loss against ratiopharm Ulm and in Ludwigsburg, the team is currently riding a two game winning streak and showed moral winning a tough road game in Trier in OT and then wining easy at MBC where it is never easy to play in the loud wolves den. The Fraport Sklyiners have won two of their last three games, but played their hearts out in Bambegr playing agreat first half, but losing steam in the second half. Frankfurt continues to defend very well having given up an average of 62 points in the last three games. The Fraport Skyliners know exactly what they will need to do to escape Berlin with a win. We have to take Alba Berlin out of their comfort zone. If we defend like we did in Bamberg and against Braunschweig then we will have good chances to win, warned Fraport Skyliner guard Devin Gibson. Its the same as in every game, just defend the way we know how and we have chnaces to win, added Fraport Sklyiner forward Zach Peacock.
Alba Berlin is led by Deon Thompson who is playing his first season in the Beko BBL. Thompson is a 24 year old 203cm forward from Torrnace, California. He played at North Carolina from 2006-2010, reaching a NCAA Final 4 and Elite 8. At North Carolina, he had the pleasure of playing with NBA players like Ty Lawson, Tyler Hansborough, Wayne Ellington and Danny Green. As a rookie in 2010-2011, he played for Ikaros Kallitheas (Greece-A1, starting five): 25 games: 14.1ppg, Reb-2 (8.8rpg), Blocks-3 (1.3bpg), FGP: 50.0%, FT: 70.7%. Last season, he played for Union Olimpija Ljubljana (Slovenia-Telemach League, starting five): Adriatic League: 24 games: 12.2ppg, 5.3rpg, FGP: 53.4%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 67.9%; Euroleague: 10 games: 8.8ppg, 4.1rpg, FGP: 48.1%, FT: 47.6%; Slovenian League: 16 games: 11.9ppg, 5.3rpg, 1.3spg, Blocks-5 (1.0bpg), FGP: 51.2%, FT: 72.5%. There he won the cup and was MVP as well as mVP of the Slovenian Allstar game. Dashaun Wood is a 27 year old 185cm point guard from Detroit, Michigan that is playing his second season for Alba Berlin. He has natural leadership abilities, who directs teammates on the floor and takes the ball in clutch moments. Loves to go inside to score, challenging the big guys, but has also shooting range from behind the 3pts arch. Despite lack of size, he can be effective even at the defensive side. He played at Wright State from 2003-2007. He then had a superb rookie season for Tisettanta Cantu (Italy-SerieA, starting five): 38 games: Score-5 (16.9ppg), 3.0rpg, Assists-4 (3.3apg), 2.7spg, 2FGP:52.1%, 3PT-2 (42.8%), FT:77.4%. In his second season he played for : Benetton Treviso (Italy-SerieA), injured in Oct.'08 and was off for 2 months: Eurocup: 12 games: 5.3ppg, 2.0rpg, 3.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 40.0%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 87.5%; Italian League: 17 games: 7.2ppg, 2.9rpg, 3.2apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 43.1%, 3PT: 35.6%, FT: 70.4%. He sat out the next season due to injuries and The Deutsche Bank Skyliners took a gamble signing him in 2010, but it paid off. Wood who was the leagues MVP in 2011 playing 42 games: Score-1 (19.0ppg), 4.6rpg, Assists-2 (5.9apg), 1.2spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 33.2%, FT: 80.3%. Last season for Alba Berlin he played German League: 37 games: Score-5 (15.0ppg), 3.7rpg, Assists-4 (4.8apg), 1.1spg, FGP: 47.7%, 3PT: 36.8%, FT: 79.2%; Euroleague Qualifying Round: 2 games: 9.5ppg, 1.5rpg, 4.0apg, 2.0spg; EuroCup: 12 games: 14.2ppg, 3.2rpg, Assists-1 (5.4apg), 1.1spg, FGP: 55.1%, 3PT: 38.8%, FT: 82.2%.
Nihad Djedovic is a 22 year old 198cm forward that can play the position one to three. He hails form Bosnia and started his basketball career at Bosna TH Telecom Sarajevo in 2006. He then played for WTC Cornella (Spain-LEB Silver) from 2007-2009. In 2009-2010, he played for Xacobeo BluSens Obradoiro (Spain-ACB, starting five): 27 games: 6.3ppg, 1.7rpg, FGP: 52.4%, 3PT: 31.6%, FT: 69.0%. Last season, he played for Acea Virtus Roma (Italy-SerieA, starting five): 25 games: 11.6ppg, 3.8rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 54.7%, 3PT: 34.5%, FT: 71.2%; in Jan.'12 loaned to UCAM Murcia (Spain-ACB, starting five), in Mar.'12 signed at Galatasaray Medical Park Istanbul (Turkey-TBL): 12 games: 11.4ppg, 2.9rpg, 2.3apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 55.4%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 63.6%. He recently played the Qualifications to European Championships 2013 -12: 8 games: 16.0ppg, 4.3rpg, 4.1apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 46.1%, 3PT: 29.4%, FT: 62.2%. The team brings back 29 year old 208cm forward/center Yassin Idbihi from Cologne for a tird season. He can score, but is not so fast, but has potent moves. He played at The University of Buffalo from 2003-2007 and finished as the schools fourth all time leading scorer with 1,514 points and the third all time leading rebounder with 844. He became the first player in school history to score 1,500 points and 800 rebounds. He played with the Cologne 99ers and had some experience playing in France for Limoges. In 2009-2010, he helped lead The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig into the BEKO BBL semi finals losing against The Brose Baskets Bamberg where he played games 39 games averaging 10.7ppg, 5.2rpg, FGP: 56.2%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 80.0%. In 2010-2011, he got better in the second half of the season playing German League: 43 games: 7.4ppg, 3.8rpg, FGP: 58.3%, FT: 73.4%; Euroleague Qualifying Round: 4 games: 3.3ppg, 3.3rpg; EuroCup: 11 games: 7.0ppg, 3.2rpg, FGP-1 (71.4%), FT: 73.9%. Last season, he played Euroleague Qualifying Round: 2 games: 3.0ppg, 2.5rpg, 1.5apg; EuroCup: 8 games: 9.6ppg, 3.3rpg, FGP: 63.0%, FT: 73.1%; German League: 30 games: 8.8ppg, 4.3rpg, FGP: 59.2%, FT: 83.3%. The team brought back Heiko Schaffartzik who is a 28 year old 182cm point guard who is a German National player who has been a BBL traveler who has played for many different BEKO BBL teams like Giessen, Oldenburg, Nurnberg, EnBW Ludwigsburg and Braunschweig. He had his big international breakthrough at the Euro Championships in 2009 averaging 12,7ppg, 2,0rpg, 3,8apg and shot 54% from the three point line. He shoots first and penetrates second. He is a great one on one player. His biggest weapon is his shooting as he loves the catch and pop and off the dribble shooting. He started the season with Turk telekom in Turkey, but never found his rhythm as he played 10 games averaging 3,8ppg, 1,6rpg and 2,3apg in 15 minutes per game. He had a strong playoff series against Frankfurt and in 2010-2011 played German League: 32 games: 4.1ppg, 1.7rpg, 1.8apg; EuroCup: 5 games: 6.2ppg, 1.6rpg, 2.0apg, FGP: 40.0%, 3PT: 30.4%, FT: 66.7%. Last season, he played Euroleague Qualifying Round: 2 games: 8.0ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.5apg; EuroCup: 11 games: 8.5ppg, 1.5rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 32.7%, FT: 80.0%; German League: 37 games: 9.3ppg, 2.1rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 33.3%, 3PT: 45.0%, FT: 85.7%. Last summer he played Qualifications to European Championships 2013 -12: 8 games: 12.0ppg, 3.4rpg, 4.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 48.1%, 3PT: 45.9%, FT: 82.6%.
The team also brought in 30 year old 208cm Spaniard Alberto Miralles who has much ACB experience. He is a good board fighter and an score from mid-range. He started his basketball career in 1999 with Juventut Badalona. He already played Euroleague as a 19 year old with Virtus Kinder Bologna . He was drafted in 2004 by the NBA team Toronto Raptors. In 2004-2005, he played for Vertical Vision Cantu (Italy-SerieA): ULEB Cup: 9 games: 7,3ppg, 4.7rpg, FGP: 51.9%, 3Pts: 00.0%; Italian League: 37 games: 11.3ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.3spg, 2FGP-1 ( 62.3%), 3FGP: 33.3%. He then had a long time playing for Pamesa Valencia (ACB) from 2005-2009. He then played for Lagun Aro Gipuzkoa BC (ACB) from 2009-2010. Last season, he played for Angelico Biella (Italy-SerieA, starting five): 32 games: 10.8ppg, 6.9rpg, 1.1spg, FGP: 64.4%, 3PT: 22.2%, FT: 55.8%. Zach Morley is a 29 year old 203cm forward that is playing his first season in the Beko BBL with Alba Berlin. He started his basketball career at Indian Hills Community College before finishing his college career at Wisconsin in 2005. He came to Europe in 2005 and played his first five seasons in Spain in the Leb Gold division. He played for Budivelnyk Kyiv (Ukraine-Superleague,) the last two seasons and last season played Ukrainian League: 50 games: 11.8ppg, 6.1rpg, 3.3apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 54.7%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 84.2%; VTB League: 15 games: 9.0ppg, Reb-4 (6.9rpg), 2.2apg, FGP: 38.9%, 3PT: 23.8%, FT: 76.7%. He won the Ukrainian cup last season. Vule Avdalovic is a 31 year old 189cm point guard from Serbia. He is a true point guard, good passer and organizer, who is able to run a team at any pace. Has leadership and court vision, and, like any ex-Yugo player, knows how to score if left open. He started his basketball career in 1999 for Partizan Beograd where he played until 2005. He then played with Albert Miralles at Pamesa Valencia until 2009. In 2009-2010, he played for : Lucentum Alicante Costablanca (Spain-ACB): 34 games: 7.2ppg, 1.1rpg, 3.0apg, FGP: 55.3%, 3PT: 31.5%, FT: 82.6%. In 2010-2011, he played for Cholet Basket (France-ProA): Euroleague: 10 games: 8.5ppg, 1.8rpg, 3.6apg, FGP: 41.0%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 80.6%; French League: 34 games: 10.6ppg, 1.9rpg, 3.3apg, FGP: 38.9%, 3PT: 42.1%, FT: 80.6%. Last season, he played for BC Donetsk (Ukraine-Superleague, starting five): Euroleague Qualifying Round: 1 game: 5pts, 2reb, 1ast; EuroCup: 14 games: 11.4ppg, 2.8rpg, 3.6apg, FGP: 42.3%, 3PT: 32.0%, FT: 81.3%; Ukrainian League: 49 games: 11.4ppg, 3.4rpg, 4.2apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 54.2%, 3PT: 33.7%, FT: 80.4%. Last season, he was Ukrainian Superleague Champion . He played the World Championships in Japan -06: 6 games: 6.7ppg, 1.3rpg, 1.7apg, 2FGP: 44.8%, 3FGP: 36.4%, FT: 76.9%. . The team also brought back a familiar face with very experienced Sven Schultze who played many years for The German national team. He is a 34 year old 206cm power forward that was born in Bamberg. He is a very strong player with a deadly shot. With his size, he will post up the opponents small forwards and outrun the opponents power forwards. He is able to defend bigger players, but also agile enough to defend smaller ones. He can drop the three pointer in a variety of ways which gave Luka Pavicevic so many more ways of using him. He also is very dangerous on the fast break as he can with the speed of a point guard and then dunk. He started his career with Bamberg and then played for Alba Berlin from 1998-2002 winning four BEKO BBL titles. He then played for the Bayer Giants Leverkusen until 2005 before going south to Play in Italy in Milian, Udine and Biella. he also played shortly in Greece for Larissa. He finished the 2009-2010 season playing for Ferrara (Italy-SerieA): 13 games: 8.8ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.2spg, FGP: 60.6%, 3PT: 41.5%, FT: 75.0%. He won a silver in Belgrad in 2005 at the European Championships and played at the Olympic games 2008 in Bejing. In 2010-2011 for Alba Berlin he played EuroCup: 12 games: 4.7ppg, 2.3rpg; Euroleague Qualifying Round: 2 games: 3.5ppg, 1.5rpg; German League: 43 games: 3.1ppg, 1.3rpg. Last season, he played Euroleague Qualifying Round: 1 game: 0pts, 1reb; EuroCup: 12 games: 2.6ppg, 1.2rpg; German League: 32 games: 4.0ppg, 1.2rpg. The team also has young Germans David Herwig, Steven Monse and Sebastian Fulle.
Brian Sullivan (180-PG-93, college: Davidson) is a 23 year old 180cm guard from Upper Arlington, Ohio that is playing his rookie season in Germany with the Hebeisen White Wings Hanau. He started his college basketball career in 2011 with Miami, OH (NCAA) playing 30 games averaging 10.3ppg, 1.9rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 35.7%, 3PT: 44.9%, FT: 70.0%. He then played at Davidson (NCAA) from 2013-2016 and as a senior played 30 games averaging 14.3ppg, 3.7rpg, 3.4apg, FGP: 32.7%, 3PT: 41.0%, FT: 83.1%.... [read more]
Brian Sullivan (180-PG-93, college: Davidson) is a 23 year old 180cm guard from Upper Arlington, Ohio that is playing his rookie season in Germany with the Hebeisen White Wings Hanau. He started his college basketball career in 2011 with Miami, OH (NCAA) playing 30 games averaging 10.3ppg, 1.9rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 35.7%, 3PT: 44.9%, FT: 70.0%. He then played at Davidson (NCAA) from 2013-2016 and as a senior played 30 games averaging 14.3ppg, 3.7rpg, 3.4apg, FGP: 32.7%, 3PT: 41.0%, FT: 83.1%. He spoke to eurobasket during the summer before signing with the Hebeisen White Wings.
Brian thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been? My pleasure. I am currently in Hanau, Germany preparing for the season with my teammates and coaching staff. My summer was excellent, it was the most productive and efficient summer I have had as a basketball player.
After a stellar college basketball career where you played the last three seasons with Davidson, with what expectations were you going into this summer's transfer market? You signed very late with German team Hebeisen White Wings. Did you not have as many offers as one may have thought or was the right opportunity not there earlier in the summer? The biggest thing I wanted was a good fit. I felt that Hanau was a great situation for me because of the coaching staff and player development they offer. I wanted to go to a good opportunity where I would be able to improve the most and I felt Hanau was the best place for me to do that.
Congrats on signing with German Pro A team Hebeisen White Wings. What do you know in general about the country Germany and it's basketball? I studied German for about 8 years growing up so I know a bit of German (not as much as I thought I did) and I know a little about the culture. As far as basketball, I know that it has a very good reputation and the coaches do a great job here.
Did you get some timely advice from Luke Loucks who played with the Hebeisen White Wings last season. How vital was his input on helping making your decision easier? I did not speak with Luke.
What were the main reasons for picking the Hebeisen White Wings Hanau as your first destination as a professional?
I wanted the best opportunity for me to grow and improve while still being able to compete for a winning team. I felt like the White Wings coaching staff would give me the best growth in player development while competing at a high level.
Did you have talks with head coach Simon Cote? What was your first impression of him and did you notice quickly that you speak the same basketball language in talks? Yes, I was really impressed after talking to Coach Cote, he is passionate about the game and ask for his players to compete and improve which I really appreciated. He was a big factor in my decision.
You will be entering the very competitive German Pro A and could advance to one of the top point guards in the league. How confident are you that you can make an impact as a rookie? I am confident that I am able to make an impact for my team. I feel like the A10 and coach McKillop prepared me very well to be a professional and I am excited to continue to learn and improve.
Let's talk a bit about your game. You seem not to be a pass first guard, but more of a scoring point guard. What other strength do you have in your game? I have the reputation of being more of a scorer, which is certainly a big part of my game. I feel like much of that is from playing more as a combo guard at Davidson so I was asked to score the ball more. I think a strength of my game is being able to handle the basketball and find teammates for open shots.
If you had to compare your game to an NBA player to what player would your game resemble the most?
I would compare my style of play to Damian Lillard
You can fill up the stat sheet, but what is a hidden strength in your game that doesn't get noticed right away on the court?
I think one thing that doesn't always get noticed is that I like to play the right way. I always try to help my teammates on either end of the floor and just try to bring energy to the game.
You started your college career in 2011 with Miami, OH (NCAA) playing 30 games averaging 10.3ppg, 1.9rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 35.7%, 3PT: 44.9%, FT: 70.0%. You were the first freshman since 1996 to score in double figures as well as other fine achievements. How much of an impact did Charlie Coles have on you which prompted you to transfer to Davidson? Charlie Coles was great for me during my freshman year. He trusted me and I gained valuable experience as a freshman. He ultimately retired after my freshman year when I did decide to transfer. So I did not transfer because of Coach Coles, it was just a better situation for me on and off the court at Davidson.
Do ever think about how your school career might have gone had you played all four years at Miami, Ohio? Do you feel like you could have been better with your development then how it went with Davidson? No, I don't like to look back in the rear view mirror like that. I confidently made my decision to transfer to Davidson and loved my experience there.
You once said in an article 'I've really stopped trying to please others,' 'Basketball is not who I am, it's what I do. When did you realize that you had to change this outlook? I realized this when I felt the expectation of others driving me more than my own expectations were. I wanted to make others happy to the point where I became miserable and tired, and so I just started to be myself and play the way I knew how to. That was a big moment in my career and has allowed me to find a lot more joy and peace in playing the game.
How do you feel did you prosper from having very talented guard Jack Gibbs in the back court with you on a daily basis? Jack is a great player and we would go against each other so it was good for both of us to be competing like that. He draws so much attention from defenses that it opened up things for other players. Moving forward I am excited about being able to have the ball in my hands more and be a decision maker on the court.
You had many amazing games, but also games to forget like the 98-65 loss to North Carolina. When you remember games like this and the talent you faced, do you see a big difference in the level of play of these future NBA players or do you sense that these guys aren't really better than me?
We played against a lot of good players over my four years at Davidson, so what I saw was obviously great talent, but I noticed most all of them had great confidence. Personally, I don't back down and so I feel that I can play with anyone.
How did head coach Bob Mckillop groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
He has taught me so much that has prepared me, whether its on or off the court he has prepared us. He taught me to respect my teammates, to have fun and attack while I am playing and those are all things I will take with me.
You hung out a lot with head coach Bob McKillop. What was your favorite Steph Curry story where you learned something that you didn't know about the NBA superstar? A story coach loves to tell about Steph is that during one of his first games as a freshman he had about 6 or 7 turnovers in the first half and that would typically rattle a freshman but coach McKillop stuck with him and he ended up having a great second half. It speaks to his ability to stay in the moment.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Jack Gibbs? Jack is my little brother, I wouldn't let him beat me.
Who was the toughest player that you battled on the court face to face that is in the NBA now?
We played Jabari Parker his freshman year, his size and skill set were very impressive for a freshman.
If you had to construct your NBA Rushmore with the 4 best heads ever who would you choose? I can only speak on players that I have actually seen video of, so I will say MJ, LeBron, Kobe, Shaq
Lebron finally won an NBA title with the Cavs. Where does he stand now with the all-time greatest that ever played? I haven't seen enough film of the older plays to compare them against each other but he is very high up there on my list.
What was the last movie that you saw? I watched Zoolander 2 on my flight over here.
Brandon Lockhart (185-G-90, college: Drury) is a 26 year old 185cm guard from St Louis, Missouri that is playing his third professional season and first with the ScanPlus Baskets Elchingen (Germany-ProB). Last season he played for the Giants TSV 1861 Noerdlingen (Germany-Pro B) playing 29 games averaging 16.8ppg, 4.1rpg, 5.7apg, 2.5spg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 26.8%, FT: 81.1% As a rookie he played for BK Levicki Patrioti (Slovakia-Extraliga) playing 34 games: Score-5 (16.7ppg), 3.8rpg, Assists-... [read more]
Brandon Lockhart (185-G-90, college: Drury) is a 26 year old 185cm guard from St Louis, Missouri that is playing his third professional season and first with the ScanPlus Baskets Elchingen (Germany-ProB). Last season he played for the Giants TSV 1861 Noerdlingen (Germany-Pro B) playing 29 games averaging 16.8ppg, 4.1rpg, 5.7apg, 2.5spg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 26.8%, FT: 81.1% As a rookie he played for BK Levicki Patrioti (Slovakia-Extraliga) playing 34 games: Score-5 (16.7ppg), 3.8rpg, Assists-5 (4.3apg), Steals-1 (3.0spg), FGP: 50.2%, 3PT: 28.5%, FT: 78.9%. He played at Drury (NCAA2) from 2009-2013 and as a senior played 35 games averaging 12.5ppg, 3.9rpg, 6.1apg, 2.9spg, FGP: 50.9%, 3PT: 48.3%, FT: 77.1%. He spoke to eurobasket after the season opening 105-74 win against Wurzburg.
Brandon congrats on the overpowering 105-74 win against Wurzburg. After the preseason and all the hard work did you expect to come out with such a good result before the game started? Danke Miles! Starting the season with a win is all we really had in mind. I do not think any of us believed the game would have a result as such.
Wurzburg had the narrow 22-19 lead after one quarter, but in the second quarter the ScanPlus baskets got their offense going with 33 points and gave up only 8 points to have the overwhelming 52-30 lead at the break. What did head coach Dario Jerkic want the team do change up in the second frame?
We were lacking focus on the defensive side of the ball and allowed them a bunch of second chances. So in the 2nd quarter, we wanted to make it harder for them to score and really focus on grabbing rebounds when they missed.
The Elchingen offense kept scoring,scoring and scoring adding 31 points in the third quarter. What makes the squad so dangerous on the offensive end? We have a good number of players that can score the ball in a variety of ways. Therefore the defense cannot just lock in on 1 or 2 players. They have to be worried about all 5 players on the court because anyone can score at any time.
But it isn't just the offensive end, but on the defensive end you had 14 team steals and forced Wurzburg to 23 turnovers. What has been key for getting so many on the same page so early on the defensive end?
We still have a long way to go but it's something we work on daily at practice. We really want the defensive side of the ball to carry us because we know there will be games when shots are not going in.
Would the score have been closer if Wurzburg had had some Americans. They played with only one import last season and this season recently added a new American, but he didn't play. Wurzburg is a good team that has talent so I believe the score would be closer if we played the same roster today or tomorrow. Lucky for us, we were clicking on both sides of the ball which contributed to the score being as such.
The ScanPlus baskets had five guys in double figures. Does this team make your job a bit easier than last season where Nordlingen needed you to score much every game with it's non deep scoring roster?
I don't know if it makes my job easier, but it does change it some. I might not have to score as much, but I still have to go out each game and give it my all. So my approach to the game is still the same.
What has been your early impression of rookie Taevaunn Prince. Is this a guy that will be able to make a consistent impact week in and week out? I would characterize Taevaunn as a "walking bucket" because he can get you a basket however you want it whenever you need it. He led all of NCAA DII last year in scoring and that just doesn't happen easily. I hope and believe that he will put up big numbers for us this season.
How important is the fact that the ScanPlus Baskets have a nice mix of imports and not only Americans. Has this reality had an early impact on the healthy growing team chemistry?
It's still early in the season and chemistry on/off the court is still developing. We are at a good point for this part of the season and I hope positive chemistry continues to happen within the club!
You had a very solid game with 14 points, six rebounds, nine assists and three steals. How is your role different this season to last? As the point guard, I feel my role is still the same no matter my stat lines. I still have to lead vocally and by example.
What is your main goal as a player this season besides winning. You obviously are not depended to score as much as last season. Could this be a season where your playmaking goes to a new dimension? With the amount of players we have this season that can score, having high assist totals are definitely in reach. I've always been a fan of passing more than scoring, so it should be a really fun year!
Defense is also a big part of your game. In a team that has many athletes, how is your defensive game able to grow this season which it might not have been last season? Haha coaches are not really a fan unless I get it, but it allows me to take a few more chances on defense. But it also allows me to pressure the ball more, which coaches like, without the fear of getting beat because help side can arrive quicker.
Jordan Talbert is in Karlsruhe and Janek Schmidtkunz in Gotha. How much do you miss these guys and how sure are you that both guys will be checking your box score each weekend to see how well you are doing?
I definitely miss those guys! They are like brothers to me. The three of us had a tremendous connection on/off the court. We are all in contact a couple times a week and have already told each other we will be keeping up with games and even try to catch a couple in person.
What does a football fan do in St Louis now without the Rams during the winter? Do you still follow them now even though they are home in Los Angeles now? Luckily for me, I was never really attached to the Rams. It would hurt more if the Cardinals were to leave the StL. So I'm not sure what a Rams' fan does during football season.
The great Kevin Garnett has retired. Where is his legacy now with the alltime great that have played in the NBA?
He is definitely one of the best to ever do it! I think basketball people could sit around for days and debate whether or not he is a top 5 PF of all time. But no debate about whether or not he will end up in the Hall of Fame!
Julian Scott (203-F/C-90, college: Adams St.) is a 26 year old 203cm forward from Sacramento, California that completed his second professional season and first with the Uni Riesen Leipzig playing 23 games: Score-5 (20.4ppg), Reb-2 (10.5rpg), 1.7apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 50.3%, 3PT: 17.9%, FT: 66.7%. He picked up Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro B Forward of the Year -16, Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro B 1st Team -16, and Eurobasket.com German 2.Bundesliga Pro B All-Imports... [read more]
Julian Scott (203-F/C-90, college: Adams St.) is a 26 year old 203cm forward from Sacramento, California that completed his second professional season and first with the Uni Riesen Leipzig playing 23 games: Score-5 (20.4ppg), Reb-2 (10.5rpg), 1.7apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 50.3%, 3PT: 17.9%, FT: 66.7%. He picked up Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro B Forward of the Year -16, Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro B 1st Team -16, and Eurobasket.com German 2.Bundesliga Pro B All-Imports Team -16. As a rookie, he played for TSV Quakenbrueck (Germany-2.Regionalliga) playing 16 games averaging 29.7ppg. He started his basketball career at Yuba junior college and then played two years at S.Utah (NCAA). He finished at Adams St. (NCAA2) playing 27 games: 10.8ppg, 4.0rpg, FGP: 58.5%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 70.2%. He spoke to eurobasket about the departure From Pro A team Ehingen.
Julian thanks for talking to eurobasket. Com. Where are you at the moment and what are momentarily most in your thoughts now? Hey Miles I'm currently in Ehingen looking for a new situation to come up. My thoughts are more reflecting on everything that's happened up to now.
Recently this summer we talked about your future season Ehingen and you were very motivated about the new opportunity. You must of never thought in your wildest dreams that your stay would be so short? Not at all but it was a mutual understanding with the manager as well as the coach.
You had been in pre-season with Pro A team Ehingen. How would you summarize your stay there?
Definitely took dedication and focus to come in and work so hard every single day and wake up sore as hell and get right back to work. I definitely can say my body benefited from the process.
Would you agree that it was more a problem with getting used to the system of head coach Domenik Reiboth then it was a matter of adjusting to the level of the Pro A? Yes definitely and that's what it came down to and in the end a decision had to be made so you live and you learn
What did 't fit with the system of Reinboth and combining the strength's of your game? I can't really sit here and complain about his structure they won the Pro B championship with that structure. I just wasn't able to adapt in the time frame he needed me to.
Was their possibly less room at the big positions with Danny Berger and Tobias Jahn and you became the odd man out? Not at all I was their starting 4/5 man Danny and Tobias just knew his system and were very comfortable with it. I was still learning but it wasn't quick enough for the coach to trust in me to be his leader in that system and position.
How comfortable did you feel playing in the Pro A? How confident are you still that you can be a productive player in this league? I was completely comfortable. I have no doubt in my mind I can do well in Pro A it just depends on the next club who is willing to give me the opportunity.
I guess you have left with no hard feelings? What kind of farewell did you get from coach? Yeah no hard feelings it's nothing personal and sometimes you got to remember this is a business I'm doing what I love but it is also my job and I didn't do it well enough for them to have confidence in me. Nothing special just good luck on a new situation for me and that's was it.
What have you learned from this experience that will help you in the future in this kind of situation. I would say just remember this is your job as well so meaning I need to be professional as well as being 100% every practice.
What is the next step for Julian Scott (203-F/C-90, college: Adams St.)? Will you stay in Germany and wait for a new opportunity? The next step for me will be to find a new club quickly to put this all behind me. I will stay in Europe yes in order to stay prepared for the next possible opportunity.
If a Pro B team opened their door tomorrow and the situation was good, would you go that route? I would speak with my agent and we would make a decision together if that's a route were interested in taking.
Your ex teammate Brandon Shingles is also without a team. How weird is it for both of you to be without a team despite your success from last season?
Not weird to me at all its a business and there are millions of athletes competing for jobs everyday so we're just trying to get in where we fit in and try to move up from there.
What is one thing that you would like to see happen in the NBA this season? See the Sacramento Kings be playoff contenders.
What was the last movie that you saw? Above the rim is the last movie I saw.
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