In every basketball game there are so many exciting and detailed things that one can observe like how a team reacts to the words of their head coach after a timeout, if the dance team is dancing insych during a timeout, the certain delicate procedures at the foul line of players concentrating, who has the better advantage of the mismatches, which team has better time management during time outs or how a mascot goes about its business during a game. There are so many more things to observe on the court, but one thing that is always present during games is the matchups on the floor. It is always interesting to see who Quantez Robertson will guard, if ex NBA player Jermareo Davidson was in the mood to defend last season or how intensive the Edward scissor hands of Devin Gibson will be functioning on the court. One interesting duel in this game was the center duel between Zachery Peacock (203-F-87, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Georgia Tech) and Johannes Voigtmann against John big country Bryant. It wasnt even sure if the American from Miami Peacock was going to play because of injury, but he did play. Peacocok is more a position four player, but has had to fill in at the five in Frankfurt this season. Bryant is a 208cm center who is as physically difficult to move from the zone as it is David Ortiz is from the batters box. But it wasnt only Peacocok who had to battle Bryant, but also young German Voigtmann who was inserted into the starting five because Marius Nolte was suffering from a shoulder injury. Bryant consistently brings good stats and Peacock and Voigtman had to be at the top of their games to somewhat get Bryant out of his game and they did helping lead the Fraport Skyliners to a surprising, but also very convincing 78-62 win. Bryant finished with 10 points and six rebounds in 22 minutes which is about half his average. Peacocok came from the bench and amassed amazing 18 points in 16 minutes despite not being 100% and hitting a good percentage of his shots and didnt have to guard Bryant too much. In his days in Giessen he was known as the mad baller because as a rookie he was so focused and didnt want to make any mistakes. In the game against ratiopharm Ulm, he was all business and had that game face on with make no mistakes written all over his face. I was the mad baller today. The only difficult thing today for me was that I was a bit winded. I am a professional and one week of not practicing wont change how I play. I only really had one possession where I guarded him and he passed the ball out. The other times, he was more outside which was more my advantage. We caught him at the wrong spots which helped, stressed Zach Pecocok. Voigtmann played a superb game against the 2012 Beko BBL MVP making eight points and five rebounds and was happy for the match up against Byrant. It was a great experience playing against Byrant. I like playing against the more massive players than the shorter quicker players. Our help defense really helped me and it was key keeping him far from the basket. It was just a great challenge playing against him today, added Johannes Voigtmann. It was especially the play of Peacock which was lauded by his teammates after the game. He was in his special zone. He is just tough as nails. Once he hit that first shot, it was over. He just played big, stressed American Ted Scott. Zach played very aggressive which had been seen all week in practice. He knew that we were short at the big position and he just thought I will try to play and everybody saw what he did after 40 minutes, commented Fraport Skyliner captain Marius Nolte.
Ratiopharm Ulm had come into the game into the game in Frankfurt off a huge 96-66 win against the EWE Baskets Oldenburg and were looking to keep their position at the top of the Beko BBL standings, but were rudely awaken to a tough as nails Skyliner defense that gave the ratiopharm Ulm offense fits all day long. At halftime the team already had 13 turnovers and after 40 minutes it was 23 turnovers as the team was never able to find a consistent rhythm in their offense. At times one could sense astonishment on the faces of ratiopharm Ulm as they had absolute no cure of the Skyliner mix of traps and full court presses. I dont have any good memories of Frankfurt the last two years as I have lost each time. Frankfurt played very aggressive forcing us to too many turnovers. They made us do things that we didnt want to do in our offense. Frankfurt simply played spectacular, stressed Ohio native Steve Esterkamp. For the Fraport Skyliners, each game is a survival act of 40 minutes as they were sitting near the bottom in 15th place with an unsatisfactory 3-5 record and were coming off a miserable performance in Berlin where they had only given a 40% effort according to head coach Muli Katzurin. But like it is so often, when a team is the big underdog, special strength and energy is often exerted as the Fraport Skyliners held ratiopharm Ulm to 27 points under their average as they showed the Katzurian school of defense driving the opponent crazy for 40 minutes. Frankfurt gave a great team effort. The best team in the league came in and we stepped up the defense and our defensive intensity helped us win the game. The team knows that they can compete with any team in the league. If the team defends like that then they can beat anyone, warned Larry Wright. The Fraport Skyliners entered the game giving up 72 points a game and will have to continue to defend like this if they want to achieve further success. Defense wins championships. Defense will be key for us in every game if we want to win, warned Zachery Peacock.
There are always interesting things to observe before a game and against ratiopharm Ulm it was no different. One could watch small compact American Lance Jeter who from a distance could pass for a Jeff Gibbs clone practicing his dribbling against John Bryant who displayed suitable footwork, German U-20 national players Danilo Barthel and Daniel Thies catching up before the game and German national player Per Guenther dropping jumper after jumper in warm ups as if Skyliner legend Pascal Roller was magically in his shoes. When the game finally did start, 4220 person were in attendance and the Fraport Skyliners were without top scorer Ted Scott and Marius Nolte who were out due to injuries. Ratiopharm Ulm jumped out on a quick 5-0 lead as ex NBA player Allan Ray hit a three pointer and then used his quickness to get by Dion Dowell for an easy lay up. However the Fraport Skyliners then stepped up their defense as they came back as Devin Gibson hit a off balance jumper in the lane and Voigtmann a mid distance jumper. The score was knotted at 5-5 as ratiopharm Ulm was getting an early taste of the aggressive Frankfurt defense as Bryant had some easy misses inside and the club was making hurried decisions. However Ulm recovered and raced out again on a run of 7-0 as Ray and Guenther scored inside as Frankfurt trailed 12-5. However the Fraport Skyliners were slowly finding their offensive rhythm as they went on a 10-1 run to lead 15-13. Barthel fought for an offensive rebound and put back, Gibson did what he does best with a penetrration lay in and Johnathan Jones nailed a three pointer. The spectacular run was somewhat dampened by a last second three pointer from Dane Watts as ratiopharm Ulm led 16-15 after one quarter. Frankfurt did a good job taking Ulm out of their offense with their aggressive defense. They also did a good job making it hard for John Bryant to get the ball. I thought the Ulm defense was ok, stressed ex ratiopharm Ulm player Emeka Erege. Ratiopharm Ulm was shooting 42% from the field and 50% from outside while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 40% from the field and 14% from outside. Ulm had the narrow nine to eight rebound edge, but seven turnovers while Frankfurt had four turnovers.
In the second quarter, there were a few lead changes, but the Fraport Skyliners then were able to take the lead and keep it until halftime. Devin Gibson locked the score at 16-16 with a free throw. Dane Watts then made a tip in giving ratiopharm Ulm the 18-16 lead. The Fraport Skyliners continued to do a great job making ratiopharm Ulm work for every shot. Peacock and German Sebastian Betz then traded baskets as Frankfurt trailed 20-19. German Danilo Barthel then got Frankfurt going on a 10-0 run and the 21-20 lead with a nice pick and roll with Gibson and an easy lay up. Jones then sunk a three pointer, followed by a Dowell three pointer and a Voigtman ally-op tip in as the Fraport Skyliners led 30-20. Sooner or later a strong scoring team like ratiopharm Ulm will have success on the offensive end and did with a 5-0 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 30-25. German Per Guenther who had been kept quiet then exploded finding that open space and using his weapon his quickness getting an easy bucket. Bryant than got an offensive rebound and put back. Both teams traded some free throws before American Dion Dowell connected from downtown again giving Frankfurt the 35-28 advantage. Missouri native Dane Watts then followed up his own miss with a reverse lay up as the Fraport Skyliners led at the break 35-31. Ulm continued to be very surprised by the pressure defense by Frankfurt which continued to force Ulm to easy turnovers. Frankfurt capitalized on the mistakes with transition baskets. The three guard system by Frankfurt worked well as did their help defense, stressed Emeka Erege. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 41% from the field and 27% from the three point line while ratiopharm Ulm was shooting 40% from the field and 33% from the three point line. Ulm had the 20-14 rebound advantage, but had 13 turnovers while Frankfurt only had six turnovers.
A team will very rarely be able to totally dominate a John Bryant as sooner or later he will get going some way and did in the third quarter helping keep his team in the game. The Fraport Sklyiners also made three difficult shots at the start with hands in the face which kept their lead going despite the Bryant better play. Bryant and Voigtmann exchanged baskets as Frankfurt still led 37-33. Quantez Robertson then hit a tough three pointer over Steve Esterkamp and Ray once again was able to score inside as ratopharm Ulm trailed 40-35. Gibson then nailed a difficult three pointer giving Frankfurt the 43-35 lead. Ratiopharm Ulm then went on a sudden 7-0 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 43-42. Bryant was able to score consecutive buckets inside using the pick and role once with Guenther. German national player Philipp Schwethelm then dropped a three pointer. However this sudden Ulm attack didnt ruffle the feathers of the Fraport Skyliners as they exploded out on a 12-0 run to lead 55-42 as it was Zach the mad baller Peacock who what ever he touched turned to gold as he hit three shots. Dowell also made a three pointer. Watts and Peacock then traded buckets at the end of the third quarter and the Fraport Skyliners led 59-44 after three quarters. We had too many turnovers in the third quarter. Frankfurt hit five or six shots in a row to help get the big lead while we hit nothing, expressed ex Bremerhaven forward Steve Esterkamp. We didnt lose our focus in the third quarter, kept up our composure and just continued to pressure them, stated Larry Wright. We spread it up good in the third quarter. It wasnt so much our offense, but we just had good traps which led to the fast break and easy lay ups, added Devin Gibson.
In the fourth quarter, the Fraport Skyliners kept up the pressure on defense continued to score at their leisure on offense and never let ratiopharm Ulm get closer than eight points. Robertson got the Fraport Skyliners on the board first with a step back jumper, but ratiopharm Ulm had some instant energy going on a 5-0 run to trail only 61-49 as Bryant made a tip in dunk and Ray hit another three pointer. Despite some nice dunks by Robertson and Barthel, ratiopharm Ulm just didnt want to disappear as they continued to stick with them as ultimate role player German Sebastian Betz got some extra playing time from Thorsten Leibenath scoring inside twice as ratiopharm Ulm trailed only 65-54. Ratiopharm Ulm made one more run at a comeback cutting the Skyliners lead to 69-61 as Lance Jeter hit a three pointer and Ray made a pretty cross over and scored with his left hand. However that was the end of the ratiopharm Ulm comeback as the Fraport Skyliners closed out the game with a 9-1 run to easily win against ratiopharm Ulm. In the last few minutes, the Fraport Skyliners continued to play offense with a lot of cleverness, uniqueness and lust. Peacock found Gibson with a pretty back door pass, Barthel scored inside as did Peacock with a second effort. Ulm had a little run, but we kept our composure, didnt let up and stuck to the game plan. The German kids really helped a lot, added Larry Wright. We tried to make adjustment, but were unable to. We had many options, but Frankfurt just got into us. We played too much individual basketball. We are team orientated, but Frankfurt didnt allow us to play like that today, expressed Steve Esterkamp. We got outplayed. Frankfurt played harder and were more aggressive, stressed ex Boston Celtic Allan ray.
The Fraport Skyliners were led by Zachery Peacock with 18 points and six rebounds. Devin Gibson contributed 17 points, three rebounds and six assists. Dion Dowell and Quantez Robertson chipped in with 10 points a piece. Ratiopharm Ulm was led by Allan Ray with 18 points. Dane Watts mustered 11 points and eight rebounds and John Bryant contributed 10 points and six rebounds. The Fraport shot 48% from the field and 30% from the parking lot while ratopharm Ulm shot 43% from the field and 29% from the parking lot. Ratiopharm Ulm won the rebound battle 35-30, but had no cure against the aggressive Frankfurt defense coughing up the ball 23 times while Frankfurt did 12 times. One of the sore points this season for ratiopharm Ulm continue to be their defense. They were giving up close to 85 points a game in the first five games, but had cut it down to 76 points the last games. If they had been able to be around their game average of 89 points in scoring then they would of won, but if they cant score, then the defense should be able to keep the team in games, but that wasnt the case in Frankfurt. Our defense is inconsistent. When we have break downs on our help or ball screens then we have problems. It is the little things which good teams take advantage of, stressed ratiopharm Ulm forward Keaton Nankivill. Fraport Skyliner Ted Scott didnt play, but had a good view of the game form the bench and was able to break down the 40 minutes well. We executed our offense well, moved the ball well, made the extra pass and just played good team basketball. Our pressure and trapping defense was key to getting the win. But the biggest plus was just that we were all together on the court, added Ohio native Ted Scott. The Fraport Skyliners host the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg December second at 15:00.
According to eurobasket sources Pro A team Hebesien White Wings have added Isaiah Sykes(198-G-91, college: Cent.Florida) to the roster to help bolster their rotation in the scoring and rebounding categories.Isaiah Sykes is a 25 year od 198cm guard from Detroit, Michigan playing his third professional season. He started the season in Israel with Hapoel Gilboa Afula (Israel-National League) where he played four games averaging 11,5ppg, 11,5rpg and 2,8apg. Last season he played for Maccabi H... [read more]
According to eurobasket sources Pro A team Hebesien White Wings have added Isaiah Sykes (198-G-91, college: Cent.Florida) to the roster to help bolster their rotation in the scoring and rebounding categories. Isaiah Sykes is a 25 year od 198cm guard from Detroit, Michigan playing his third professional season. He started the season in Israel with Hapoel Gilboa Afula (Israel-National League) where he played four games averaging 11,5ppg, 11,5rpg and 2,8apg. Last season he played for Maccabi Hod Hasharon (Israel-National League) playing 25 games: 19.9ppg, Reb-2 (14.3rpg), 4.9apg, 2.2spg, FGP: 59.9%, 3PT: 21.4%, FT: 34.5%.
Skyes started his basketball career in 2010 with Cent.Florida (NCAA) playing 32 games: 4.0ppg, 3.2rpg. In his second season he played 32 games: 12.5ppg, 6.6rpg, 2.0apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 56.4%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 54.3%. As a junior he played 31 games: 16.0ppg, 7.5rpg, 4.5apg, 2.3spg, FGP: 47.7%, 3PT: 32.0%, FT: 61.7%. As a senior in 2013-2014 he played 30 games: 17.2ppg, 7.2rpg, 3.5apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 54.0%. He started his professional career in 2014 with U.S. Basket Recanati (Italy-A2 Silver) playing 28 games: 17.2ppg, 8.2rpg, 3.6apg, FGP: 55.0%, 3PT: 12.5%, FT: 55.2%; A2 Gold Playoffs: 3 games: 17.3ppg, 7.0rpg, 3.0apg. Awards and achievements in his basketball career have been C-USA Tournament Semifinals -12, All-C-USA 1st Team -13
C-USA All-Defensive Team -13, NABC Division I All-District 11 1st Team -13, All-AAC 2nd Team -14, AAC All-Tournament Team -14, Eurobasket.com All-Italian LNP Silver 2nd Team -15, and Eurobasket.com All-Israeli National League Honorable Mention -16.
CSKA - Brose Baskets 85:64 CSKA celebrated the 14th victory in EuroLeague regular season. The defending champions overcame the absence of Milos Teodosic (195-PG-87) to edge Brose Baskets in Moscow. Nando De Colo (196-SG-87) scored 26 points to lead the winners. CSKA jumped to a 21:17 lead ten minutes into the game. CSKA stretched the lead to double digits in the second term. The hosts piled up a 44:33 halftime lead. CSKA followed with a 25:15 run in the third quarter to clear off for go... [read more]
CSKA - Brose Baskets 85:64
CSKA celebrated the 14th victory in EuroLeague regular season. The defending champions overcame the absence of Milos Teodosic (195-PG-87) to edge Brose Baskets in Moscow. Nando De Colo (196-SG-87) scored 26 points to lead the winners. CSKA jumped to a 21:17 lead ten minutes into the game. CSKA stretched the lead to double digits in the second term. The hosts piled up a 44:33 halftime lead. CSKA followed with a 25:15 run in the third quarter to clear off for good. CSKA held Brose Baskets to just 16 points in the fourth quarter and cruised to the win. Kyle Hines (198-F/C-86, agency: BeoBasket) chipped in 13 points, while Vitaliy Fridzon (195-G-85, agency: Alti Sport) and Nikita Kurbanov (202-F-86) delivered 10 points each in the victory. Daniel Theis (204-PF-92, agency: Octagon Europe) responded with 16 points for Brose Baskets. Nicolo Melli (205-PF-91) had 15 points in the defeat.
Preston Medlin (193-G-91, college: Utah St.) is a 25 year old 193cm guard that is playing his third professional season and first with the Kirchheim Knights in the German Pro A. He started his basketball career in 2009 with Utah St. (NCAA) where he played until 2014 playinga total of 102 NCAA games. As a senior he played 32 games averaging 12.4ppg, 2.7rpg, 4.1apg, FGP: 41.1%, 3PT: 42.4%, FT: 78.0%. He started his professional basketball career in 2014 with BK Saldus (Latvia-LBL): 29 games... [read more]
Preston Medlin (193-G-91, college: Utah St.) is a 25 year old 193cm guard that is playing his third professional season and first with the Kirchheim Knights in the German Pro A. He started his basketball career in 2009 with Utah St. (NCAA) where he played until 2014 playinga total of 102 NCAA games. As a senior he played 32 games averaging 12.4ppg, 2.7rpg, 4.1apg, FGP: 41.1%, 3PT: 42.4%, FT: 78.0%. He started his professional basketball career in 2014 with BK Saldus (Latvia-LBL): 29 games: Score-4 (14.7ppg), 3.1rpg, 3.0apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 42.7%, FT: 75.8%. Last season he had limited duty with Enosi Kalathosfairisis Kavalas (Greece-A1): 3 games: 3.7ppg, 1.0rpg, 1.3apg. Eurobasket talked to Preston after the big win against the Hamburg Towers.
Preston thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. 2017 has come and did you make any new years resolutions or is that something that you don't bother with?
No problem thanks for interviewing me. My wife and I always make little new years resolutions together but never anything to crazy, Just the normal stuff like eating better and being healthy.
The Kirchheim Knights went into 2017 riding a 4 game losing streak. What do you believe did the team get away from in this period that hindered you from getting victories?
That was a tough stretch for us, part of it was we played 4 playoff teams and 3 of the 4 games on the road. I think we got away from playing team basketball and got a little selfish. Also I think it was good for us to lose a few games (I am not sure it was good to lose 4 but) I think we were getting a little complacent and not working as hard as were should be.
A big worry in this 4 game losing streak was the offense that couldn't get 70 points in three of the four games. Do you feel like the team will continue to be able to score well in the second half of the season as its averaging 90 points in the two game winning streak?
I think if we can play as a team and to our strengths we should have no problem with our offense. But like any team we need to keep working and playing together so we can achieve our goals.
Congrats on the huge 87-86 win against the Hamburg Towers. Kirchheim was down39-33. It was able to pick up it's offense in the second half. Was there any adjustments that the team made to be able to score better?
To be honest we didn't really make any changes on the offense end we just kept playing hard and shots started to fall for us.
The Hamburg Towers went on a huge run in the fourth quarter and led as much as 14 points with four minutes to go. Was that amazing Mexico State come back and win form last week on your mind?
That's funny that you mention that because after the game my teammates and I were talking about the game and how we were all thinking that no matter the score the game is not over till the last buzzer.
The Kirchheim Knights then went on a 14-0 run to regain the lead at 84-83. How proud were of the team being able to make this instant comeback and what was key in having this happen?
Oh man I was so proud we fought hard for 5 minutes straight pressing and running up and down the court like mad men. And when we took the lead I was so happy.
You hit the game winning shot with three seconds left in the game. What experiences have you had with last second shots. How special was this one?
In my life I have maybe had 4 of 5 game winning shots but every time it happens it feels amazing. This on in particular was amazing because of the comeback that my teammates and I made in the minutes leading up to the shot.
You had had a pretty quiet night before making the shot as nothing was falling from downtown until the one that counted most. How thankful were you of the trust in your teammates in your abilities?
Yes up to that shot I was 0 for 4 and my shot was just not falling for me but if you want to be a good shooter you always have to have the mind set that the next one is going in. I am thankful that my teammates had the trust in me to shot the ball when the game is on the line.
With American Carrington Love out of the game with his fifth foul did you feel the need to step up on that last play?
The be honest the last play just kind of happened we got the rebound with about 10 seconds left and just went down the court and I was just trying to get the best shot possible for our team.
The team also showed it can win without Seth Hinrichs. Was this another good indication of how much heart this club has?
Missing Seth really hurts us because of the depth he give us plus he is a great shooter and does most of the dirty work for us. we need him to get healthy and on the court as soon as possible.
The Pro A continues to be very competitive as the Kirchheim Knights are only 3 wins behind number one team MBC. Does the team have more on their minds then just solidifying home court in the playoffs or is one looking at the possibility of finishing the regular season at the top?
I think every team has the goal to finish on top but we are just trying to take it game by game and worry about what we can control and that is our effort and heart on the court.
You stated in the last interview that the biggest challenge is being a consistent scorer. How can a player in general become a consistent scorer on a game basis?
That is a great question but I think it starts with having the mindset of a scorer. You have to do it in practice, you have to get that rhythm with your teammates and then it has to carry over to the game.
What in general have you learned to enjoy the most about playing in the competitive German Pro A?
I have learned that you have to bring your best every night because for the most part any team can beat any team so that makes the league really fun because you never know who is going to win.
Russell Westbrook obviously has gotten a lot of attention with his constant triple doubles, but James Harden is doing the same thing with the Houston Rockets. Where do you see him head to head against Westbrook as best point guard at the moment in the NBA?
I think they are both great players but in my eyes they are both not true point guards. But you have to give the edge right now to Westbrook I mean any guy that can average a triple double in the NBA is amazing.
Which 2 clubs will make the Superbowl and who will win it all?
I think the Patriots will play the Packers and the Patriots will win.