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.
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 tough 90-72 loss in Trier.
Preston thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. You came into the game with Trier with a 11-1 record and had won 8 times. As a professional basketball player does a time come when one has won a lot that you just think it will go on and on? Going into the Trier game we felt like we were rolling and nothing could touch us and we got a reality check, which I think in the long run, will be good for us.
A tough 90-72 loss to Trier who had lost four of their last five games and were reeling for a win and got it. Did this game and result give you another reality check that the German Pro A is a very competitive league?
I think we know how competitive this league is; we got complacent and Trier played a great game and took advantage of that situation.
After the third quarter, Trier was only up by five points, but really opened up the game in the fourth quarter pounding home 28 points. What was key for Trier ending Kirchheim's eight game winning streak?
Trier just came out and wanted the game more than we did, you could tell their backs were up against a wall and they were fighting for their lives. They out played us and that's why we lost.
Kirchheim shot 26 more free throws, but otherwise shot poorly while Trier shot out the lights. Was it just one of those days that happen or was the team defense more than suspect?
I think it was a combination of both we let their shooters get going early and then they got hot and by then it was too late for us to do anything.
The team is still awaiting to play Crailsheim and the next opponent is MBC. They came down form the BBL and what to get back there. What will be key for getting the win?
Our next game we play against MBC who has a great team but we are looking forward to the challenge this week.
It has been a very strong season for Kirchheim so far as it is fourth in scoring averaging 80 points per game and ninth in defense giving up 76 points. Do you feel like Kirchheim could be a team that could keep teams to 70 points a game as the season progresses? What do you feel is still an area that needs to be improved on?
Yes it has been a good year for Kirchheim, I think it is the best start in the history of the club. That is all great but the season is not close to over so we have to stay focused and keep playing hard every day in practice and improving as a team so we are playing our best ball at the end of the season. I think we have the talent to keep teams to 70 points but we just need to make sure we bring our best effort every night. As a basketball team you should always be improving as the season goes on we just have to work on playing a full game of basketball for 40 minutes.
Kirchheim also play with a very thin rotation. Do you feel like the club will be able to withstand a long season like that and not get worn down?
We might not have the deepest rotation but when we need guys to step up they have and I think that is one of the biggest reasons we are having so much success.
The team is very young. Who has established himself as the leader in the early going? German Tim Koch probably has the most experience in Germany
We have some young guys on our team but we also have some guys with a lot of experience so we have a good balance. I feel like we have a lot leaders on the team and it seems to be a different guy from practice to practice.
How much fun has it been playing with rookie Carrington Love. What do you feel has been his secret for making the solid transition from the NCAA to the Pro A?
Love is great to play with, he makes the game a lot easier for everyone on the court because he is so quick and a great passer. I think his transition has been solid for him because he is a great defender and for the most part he plays his game and doesn't let anyone else make him doing something he is not comfortable with.
Your having a very solid third professional season in Germany averaging 8,8ppg, 1,9rpg and 3,0apg. What is the biggest challenge for you in general in each Pro A game that you play?
I feel I am having a solid year but most importantly my team is having a good year. The biggest challenge for me this year is being a consistent scorer every night.
Your shooting 39% from outside? Do you feel like you can develop into a solid 40% plus three point shooter this season?
I do feel that I can be a 40% threepoint shooter and I have been my whole career and I don't thing this year will be any different.
What have you learned to appreciate most about Germany so far in your first few months here?
I have learned to appreciate how friendly and helpful German people are. Also it is nice how well people can speak English here. But my experience in Germany has been amazing so far.
Kevin Garnett has retired. Where do you rate him with the best power forwards of all-time that played in the NBA?
t was a sad day when KG retired but not as sad as when Tim Duncan retired. Tim was my favorite player to ever play the game but KG was a monster and probably top 5 PF of all time.
The talk is usually about Lebron or Steph Curry, but one has to mention that Russell Westbrook is averaging triple double stats with points, rebounds and assists. Where do you rate him at the moment just with sheer stats and how he is doing it form the point guard position?
Russell Westbrook is a monster and he plays with everything he's got every night. If he ends the season averaging a triple double it will have to go down as one of the best seasons of all time.
What do you feel will be the journey of the Golden State Warriors this season? Will they be able to win the title again and with 65 plus games?
When you have the players that Golden State has you will always have a chance to win the NBA finals but we will see if they can beat Cleveland this year.
Struggling Pro A club Dresden Titans have reacted to the injury of American Jervohn Pressley and brought in Tafari Toney (202-C/F-86) Toney is a 30 year old 202cm forward that was born in New York, but has an english mother. He has much experience having played in the NCAA with Houston and is playing his tenth professional season. The club announced that the big man will play the remaining three games in 2016 as Pressley will return to the court in January. Last season Toney split time wi... [read more]
Struggling Pro A club Dresden Titans have reacted to the injury of American Jervohn Pressley and brought in Tafari Toney (202-C/F-86) Toney is a 30 year old 202cm forward that was born in New York, but has an english mother. He has much experience having played in the NCAA with Houston and is playing his tenth professional season. The club announced that the big man will play the remaining three games in 2016 as Pressley will return to the court in January. Last season Toney split time with Abejas de Guanajuato (Mexico-LNBP): 16 games: 10.8ppg, 6.3rpg, 2.2apg, 2FGP: 48.8%, FT: 81.4%: 15 games: 10.8ppg, 6.3rpg, 2.3apg, 2FGP: 47.5%, FT: 80.7%, in Dec.'15 moved to Jean D'Arc Vichy Clermont Metropole (France-ProB): 7 games: 8.7ppg, 4.7rpg, 1.1spg, FGP: 51.2%, FT: 68.0%.
Dresden Titans head coach Liam Flynn is content about the vocal support that Toney will bring the team. "He is very loud on the court and that had been missing with us. Only when there is communication can one have success", added Fylnn. Toney started his basketball career in 2004 with San Jacinto College (NJCAA) and then played two seasons with Houston (NCAA) playing 61 NCAA games. He played his first three professional seasons in England with teams like Newcastle, Sheffield and Liverpool and six years in France in the third and second divisions and two in Mexico. Toney knows exactly what his duties will be with the Titans. "I am the oldest player in a young team and am supposed to lead them", expressed Tafari Toney
Awards and achievements in his basketball career has been Ranked among the Top 100 junior college players in the nation -06, JUCO Honorable-Mention, All-Region XIV selection -06, C-USA Tournament Finalist -07, British BBL Cup Semifinals -09, British BBL Regular Season Champion -09, 11, British BBL Champion -09, 11
British National Team -09, British BBL Cup Winner -10, Eurobasket.com All-British BBL Center of the Year -10, 11, Eurobasket.com All-British BBL Defensive Player of the Year -10, Eurobasket.com All-British BBL 2nd Team -10, Eurobasket.com British BBL All-Domestic Players Team -10, 11, Eurobasket.com British BBL All-Defensive Team -10, 11, British BBL Semifinals -10, British BBL Regular Season Runner-Up -10, British BBL Cup Finalist -11, Eurobasket.com All-British BBL 1st Team -11, French NM1 Play-Offs Champion -12, Eurobasket.com All-French NM1 2nd Team -12, Eurobasket.com French NM1 All-Bosmans Team -12, 14, Eurobasket.com All-French ProB Bosman Player of the Year -13, and French NM1 Play-Offs Semifinals -14
Chris Hass (ex Phoenix Hagen) signs at CEZ Nymburk - 19 hours ago
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Defending champion CEZ Basketball Nymburk (NBL) landed 22-year old American swingman Chris Hass (196-86kg-94, college: Bucknell). He already started the season at Phoenix Hagen in German BBL league. In 11 games he averaged 11.2ppg, 2.5rpg, 1.4apg and 1.2spg this season. He received All-Patriot League 1st Team award in 2015 and 2016 at his college time. The previous (12-13) season Hass played at another team Bisons in U.S. semi-pro league NCAA1. But in 11 games he had just 1.8ppg. He helpe... [read more]
Defending champion CEZ Basketball Nymburk (NBL) landed 22-year old American swingman Chris Hass (196-86kg-94, college: Bucknell). He already started the season at Phoenix Hagen in German BBL league. In 11 games he averaged 11.2ppg, 2.5rpg, 1.4apg and 1.2spg this season. He received All-Patriot League 1st Team award in 2015 and 2016 at his college time. The previous (12-13) season Hass played at another team Bisons in U.S. semi-pro league NCAA1. But in 11 games he had just 1.8ppg. He helped them to win Patriot League Tournament. Hass just graduated from Bucknell University and it is his first season in pro basketball.
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