After reaching the Beko BBL playoffs year after year, it can quickly become a matter of course for a renowned organization like the EWE Baskets Oldenburg continuing to reach the post season each season as its is for NBA superstar Rajon Rondo to make at least one spectacular eyebrow raising pass each game. After four consecutive playoff appearances and winning the 2009 Beko BBL championship, the club missed the Beko BBL playoffs last season finishing in 10th place despite a very competitive roster. With the arrival of ex NBA player Bobby Brown last season, it seemed like a given that the team would not only reach the playoffs, but possibly reach the final, but the California native was unable to lead the club into the promised land in May. At the times the ex Sacramento King seemed more obsessed with his own scoring average than doing what was best for the team. His lethal scoring at times was so destructive it seemed that the best for the opponent could have been to blare out the famous Bobby Brown hit Dont be cruel in hopes that he might stop, but in the end his scoring wasnt even consistent enough to get the extra needed victories. Despite leading the Beko BBL in scoring last season and being in fifth place for best assist average, there were numerous games where his one on one play and ego got in the way in crunch time and he could have been wearing a Amare Stoudemire mask and no one would of noticed. This season new Oldenburg head coach Sebastian Machowski hauled in Lebron James friend Dru Joyce (183-PG-85, college: Akron) who is as much of a classical point guard as NBA legend John Stockton was back in the day. The Ohio native can score if needed, but in his four seasons in the Beko BBL with Ulm and Trier he has been second in assists twice and third once and would most likely choose the pass over a lay up on a 2-0. Oldenburg hopes that his non ego playmaking skills will lead the team back into the Beko BBL playoffs. Joyce knows what he can do and has the needed self confidence to be successful as a professional basketball player. I go out and try to be a good leader. I know that I am a pretty good playmaker that also likes to create and finish. Key for me also is to play good defense, warned Dru Joyce. One of the better and more underrated defenders in the Beko BBL is TBB Trier forward Nate Linhart who remembers Joyce well from Akron where they were teammates and from Trier. Dru has continued to develop his penetration and point guard skills the last years. He is a lot more physical and sees the court better. He has improved his pick and role play the most, stressed Nate Linhart. If the EWE Baskets Oldenburg reach the Beko BBL playoffs this season, then fans wont remember how cruel the offseason and long summer was.
Since their amazing 2009 Beko BBL title where they beat Bonn in a nail biting 5th game 71-70, the team has reached the playoffs the two following years, but missed them last year and for fans and critics have stayed behind their expectations losing in the quarterfinals of the playoffs each time. In 2010-2011, the EWE Baskets Oldenburg finished the season in sixth place with a record of 20-14. The teams biggest wins were sweeping the Artland Dragons and wins against Frankfurt, Bremerhaven and Goettingen, but were swept by Bamberg and Alba Berlin. Oldenburg had done a good job again with getting strong individual players, but had no real knowledge of team basketball. In the Beko BBL playoffs, the EWE Baskets Oldenburg showed a spirited fight against 8 time Beko BBL champion Alba Berlin coming back after being in the hole 0-2, they won the next two games including an exciting 80-79, win in game 4, but then had no power left in their thunderbird wings as they were destroyed 99-68 in the 0-2 arena.
After a serious house cleaning in 2010-2011, they were content to do it again last season as 10 players left. The first order of business was keeping 29 year old Rickey Paulding (12.8ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.4apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 53.6%, 3PT: 30.6%, FT: 79.5%)who will be playing his 5th season in Oldenburg, brought back 28 year old 207cm Serb Miljan Mastorovic who played in the ACB for Assignia Manresa playing 33 games: 6.9ppg, 4.3rpg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 49.2%, 3PT: 32.9%, FT: 64.9% who was the three point killer who was instrumental in the 2009 championship for Oldenburg and 24 year old 208cm German /Dutch Robin Schmeulders (: EuroCup: 6 games: 5.3ppg, 1.8rpg, FGP: 55.0%, FT: 83.3%; German League: 17 games: 2.6ppg, 1.6rpg. They have brought in strong players again led by Bobby Brown who brought 108 NBA games experience. The club hoped some of his albatross magic from the 2008 Beko BBL title would still be with him and rub off on the Thunderbirds team. But no such luck rubbed off on Oldenburg.
With so much hype before the season, the EWE Baskets simply werent a consistent force in the Beko BBL last season. After starting off the season with a two game winning streak, they then lost three games in a row. They had two three games winning streaks, but simply too little to be able to compete with the Bambergs, Berlins or Ulms this season One of their biggest problems was their lack of being able to beat any top playoff teams. They lost the season series to the Artland Dragons where David Holston was able to lead his team clearly over ex NBA player Bobby Brown. The club was unable to beat Bamberg or Alba Berlin or ratiopharm Ulm. Their biggest wins were against FC Bayern Munich and Bremerhaven. The team continued to be an enigma. Losing in Wurzburg can always happen, but only scoring 42 points when it was averaging 80 points a game just forces the basketball follower to say WOW. In the next game, they score 89 points against one of the top defensive teams in the league with the Brose Baskets Bamberg. They finished the season with a 3-4 record and missed the playoffs finishing in tenth place with a record of 16-18. Long time head coach Predrag Krunich was let go near the end of the season as he was unable to reach his players anymore.
The goal of the EWE Baskets Oldenburg this season is reach the Beko BBL playoffs and will need to help support the new 6000 seat arena which will be ready for use in the Spring of 2013. The first order of business was getting a strong coach and that was done with ex German national player Sebastian Machowski. Machowski has had a very consistent and strong short coaching career winning a cup in his second season in 2009 with SKK Kotwica Kolobrzeg. He then moved to the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig taking their program to the playoffs for three consecutive seasons. With Braunschweig he also understood how to find the right mix of players to have success. With Oldenburg, he has made the next step going to a potential playoff team that has a higher budget than the Phantoms. Machowski is different to Krunich in that he seeks more communication with his players and doesnt rely on a standard system, but allows his players more freedom and that each player always has many options to be able to make their own decisions. Machowski did a good job keeping possibly more players than one might have expected with seven and getting four new components for the building of the winning team. Only one player is left from the 2009 title win and that is American Rickey Paulding who is starting his sixth season for the team and is the heart and soul of the team and can still hurt you with his offense. Adam Chubb remains who has become more of a beast under the boards this season simply because he needs to do more there. Power Forward Ronald Burrell returns who can still battle with the best of them and can be a deadly player that can make the extra pass. Ex Skyliner Dominic Bahiense De Mello returns for a second season and is looking for more minutes. The team also Jannik Freese who is an animal in practice, but is still searching for his Beko BBL breakthrough. The team also returns Robin Smeulders who is a solid role player from the bench and German Kevin Schmit. The team signed experienced American Julius Jenkins who has the most hardware on the team and gives that deadly scoring touch. The team brought in classic point guard Dru Joyce who is still developing as a player. Konrad Wysocki also returns back to the Beko BBL after three seasons in Poland. Wysocki can play the three four position and will give the team energy on both ends of the court. American Chris Kramer was also added wo is a work horse on offense and defense and sometimes one may think he likes defense more than offense. He led Wurzburg in scoring and can penetrate with the best of them. The biggest strength of the team is their experience and guys that have won titles. The team also is very athletic and will defend better than last season due to guys like Kramer and Wysocki arriving. With more freedom on offense, the team should have more joy for creativity in the offense. The team is very talented and can really only defeat themselves and not think too much about having to get back to the Beko BBL playoffs. With Chubb, the team only has one strong dominant center, so team rebounding will have to be on the agenda during every game.
Since the 2005-2006 season, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners have a weak 7-9 record against The EWE Baskets Oldenburg. In the 2005-2006 season, even five years later stick in the minds of many as in the 98-75 loss in Oldenburg saw Malick Badiane get ejected after kicking a chair and in the last game of the season, Frankfurt had to win to stay in the league and did 70-58 thanks to 22 points from American Kavossy Franklin. In the 2006-2007 season, won the season series with a 80-70 win in Oldenburg and a 76-70 win at home despite 30 points from Ricky Paulding.In the 2007-2008 season, the teams split the season series as Derrick Allen combined for 48 points in the two games. In the 2008-2009 season, the teams split the season series as Frankfurt totally crushed Oldenburg 84-53 at home, but lost 66-58 on the road. Oldenburg got the last laugh in the quarterfinals of the playoffs winning the series 3-1. In 2009-2010, Frankfurt lost a nail bitter in Oldenburg 63-61 and 75-69 at home despite 26 points from Derrick Allen. In 2010-2011, The two teams split the season series with Frankfurt losing a bitter 70-67 game which they led for most of the game, but let it slip away at the end while they won at home 76-71 fueled by 24 points by Dashaun wood. Last season, the two also split the season series and both teams met in the first game of the season as Oldenburg jumped all over Frankfurt 72-53 as Frankfurt had a horrible shooting day as Oldenburg was led by 17 points by Ronald Burrell. In the return game in Oldenburg, the Fraport Skyliners were going through their euphoric second half of the season and rode into Oldenburg with a lot of confidence winning 75-67 as the team held on to win a nail bitter. Despite 22 points from Bobby Brown, Skyliner Jermario Davidson out did him scoring 25 points, getting seven rebounds and making two blocks while Jimmy Mckinney contributed 16 points. On Saturday The sixth in the standings with the EWE Baskets Oldenburg meet 14th placed Fraport Skyliners. The EWE Baskets started the season hot winning four of their first five games winning in Munich and in Wurzburg two very difficult places to win at, but since then have a 3-4 record seeming to be in a early season funk. There only big highlight this season so far has been their immaculate unbeaten record in Eurochallenge play. This will be another tough game for the Fraport Skyliners as every game is a game seven for them this season as they might be short handed again and Oldenburg is a stronger team than Wurzburg and rebound very well. Oldenburg is one of the quality teams in the league and made big changes from last season. They have a good roster with good inside out play. Oldenburg is more talented than Wurzburg and we will have to work hard. We have to dictate the game with our defense and not let them run and make easy points, stressed Fraport Skyliners head coach Muli Katzurin. We have to come out aggressive on defense and execute on offense, added Quantez Robertson.
The EWE Baskets Oldenburg are led by Adam Chubb who is a 31 year old 208cm power forward/center from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania that is a Very athletic big man, runs the floor extremely well. Sound fundamental player who has good hands, fine low-post presence and is a good passer to players who are open or cutting to the basket. Can defend a center in the low-post as well as a power forward perimeter player. He is playing his ninth professional season and seventh in Germany.After starting his professional basketball career in Korea in 2004, he then played in Germany for Giessen, Bremerhaven, Artland and Alba Berlin before getting some valuable experience in 2010-2011 for CAI Zaragoza (Spain-ACB): 34 games: 7.4ppg, 3.9rpg, FGP: 52.0%, FT: 69.4%. He won a Beko BBL cup for Artland and Alba Berlin. Last season for Oldenburg he played EuroChallenge: 12 games: 11.7ppg, 6.3rpg, FGP: 61.5%, FT: 73.7%; German League: 34 games: 12.4ppg, Reb-2 (8.5rpg), 1.7apg, FGP: 64.1%, FT: 77.2%. 31 year old 187 cm guard American Julius Jenkins is playing his first season in Oldenburg and has developed into one of the top players in the BBL after first being recognized in the 2004-2005 season as he averaged 27,1ppg in the second Bundesliga for Nurnberg. He played a season in Bree, Belgium getting ULEB Cup experience before coming to Berlin in 2006 where he since has become a household name. His best scoring season was 2007-2008 where he played 45 games: Score-3 (18.2ppg), 2.9rpg, 2.8apg, 1.2spg, 2FGP: 57.8%, 3FGP: 42.0%, FT: 81.4%. In 2009-2010, he played EuroCup: 14 games: 14.0ppg, 2.4rpg, 2.3apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 43.1%, 3PT: 39.1%, FT: 74.3%; German League: 35 games: Score-5 (14.8ppg), 1.7rpg, 2.5apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 50.4%, 3PT: 44.3%, FT: 80.2%. He is an explosive scorer from the point guard or the shooting guard position; possesses the ability to score and create his own shot at anytime; Has very long arms and great leaping ability; unlimited range on the jump shot, which allows him to stretch the defense. You have to pray that he misses. You have to be physical with him and make sure the bigs hedge hard on ball screens, warned Omari Westley. With Berlin, Jenkins has won a number of awards such as Bundesliga All-Star Game -08 (MVP), Bundesliga Champion -08 (Finals MVP), Eurocup finalist 2010 and German Bundesliga Cup Winner -09 (FinalFour MVP). Last season in Bamberg he played Euroleague: 10 games: 10.4ppg, 1.4apg, FGP: 44.8%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 95.0%; German League: 37 games: 9.7ppg, 1.5rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 51.6%, 3PT: 35.8%, FT: 63.9%.
Ronald Burrell is a 29 year old 204cm power forward from Montclair, New Jersey playing hiss econd season for Oldenburg. After an NCAA career at North Carolina-Greensboro, he came to Europe in 2005 to France to play for Levallois SCB. He then came to Germany and played for Rhein Energy Cologne and the Telekom Baskets Bonn. He then played for Polish Euroleague team Asseco Prokom Gdynia winning 3 Polish titles and amassing 45 Euroleague games. In 2010-2011 in Poland, he played Euroleague: 9 games: 3.7ppg, 3.4rpg; Polish League: 34 games: 5.8ppg, 4.3rpg, FGP: 52.8%, 3PT: 14.3%, FT: 73.8%. Last season for Oldenburg, he played EuroChallenge: 11 games: 12.5ppg, 5.5rpg, FGP: 50.7%, 3PT: 48.0%, FT: 84.2%; German League: 29 games: 12.4ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 54.3%, 3PT: 39.5%, FT: 80.5%. Chris Kramer is a 23 year old 191cm from Huntington, Indiana that is playing his first season for Oldenburg. Kramer had a solid career at Purdue and in his senior year played 35 games: 6.5ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.3apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 56.5%, 3PT: 27.3%, FT: 74.7%. At Purdue, he won the Big ten tournament in 2009 and reached the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2010. He also was the All-Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in 2010.In 2010-2011 as a professional rookie, he played for Fort Wayne Mad Ants (D-League, starting five): 41 games: 13.8ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.8apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 56.7%, 3PT: 36.7%, FT: 81.9%. In June 2011, he signed at Mets de Guaynabo (Puerto Rico-BSN, starting five): 12 games: 8.8ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.9apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 30.8%, FT: 69.8%. Last season for the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg he played 41 games: 11.2ppg, 4.1rpg, 2.0apg, Steals-2 (1.5spg), FGP: 55.3%, 3PT: 25.5%, FT: 73.9%. This past summer he played at the AirTran Orlando Summer League (Indiana Pacers): 3 games: 4.7ppg, 1.3rpg. Dru Joyce is a 27 year old 183cm point guard. He is the typical floor general who supplies leadership, court vision and points when needed. He returned back to the BEKO BBL last season to Trier after playing for Ratiopharm Ulm from 2007-2009. Each season, he was the second best assist man in the BEKO BBL. His best season in Ulm was 2008-2009 as he led the club into the playoffs playing 34 games averaging 10.1ppg, 1.8rpg, Assists-2 (4.5apg), FGP: 42.8%, 3PT: 34.8%, FT: 73.0%. He is best known for playing along side NBA superstar Lebron James at St Marys and winning three high school titles. He played at Akron from 2003-2007 as in his senior year, he played 33 games averaging 10.0ppg, 2.4rpg, 4.3apg, FGP: 41.3%, 3Pts: 39.6%, FT: 65.6%. In 2009-2010, he played in Poland forEnerga Czarni Slupsk (Poland-PLK, starting five), Polish League: 6 games: 4.5ppg, 1.5rpg, 3.0apg; in Nov.'09 moved to Anwil Wloclawek (Poland-PLK): 27 games: 7.5ppg, 1.6rpg, 3.4apg, FGP: 41.0%, 3PT: 39.1%, FT: 75.9%. I played for two very good coaches. One was from Latvia and the other was from Belarus. It was a new situation for me since I had always played for American coaches. They both had different styles. I had some ups and downs in Poland, but I learned to always keep fighting when I was going through a rough time. You always have to be ready when called upon, stressed Dru Joyce. Last season for TBB Trier, he played : 34 games: 11.6ppg, 2.9rpg, 4.4apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 40.6%, 3PT: 31.0%, FT: 69.2%.
Konrad Wysocki is a 30 year old 201cm forward that returns back to the Beko BBL after three seasons in Poland. He started his basketball career in 2000 for Ivy league school Princeton where he played until 2004. He then turned professional playing for BG Goettingen and Erdgas Ehingen for moving to ratiopharm Ulm in January 2006 where he played until 2008. He helped Mike Taylor and ratiopharm Ulm reach the Beko BBL in 2006. In 2008-2009 he played for the Deutsche Bank Skyliners. Last season for PGE Turow Zgorzelec (Poland-PLK) he played Euroleague Qualifying Round: 1 game: 14pts, 6reb, 1ast, 1steal; EuroCup: 6 games: 9.5ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 57.7%, 3PT: 42.9%, FT: 64.3%; Polish League: 43 games: 9.0ppg, 3.7rpg, FGP: 60.7%, 3PT: 41.1%, FT: 74.3%. Rickey Paulding returns for a sixth season to Oldenburg. Paulding is a 30 year old 196cm guard/forward from Detroit, Michigan that is a exciting wing player. Natural position is small forward. Can play the 2 spot. Excels in the transition game, and is arguably one of the nation's most explosive leapers who can finish a play with highlight-reel ability. He played at Missouri from 2000-2004 with good friend Jimmy Mckinney. He reached the NCAA Final 8 in 2002. He was drafted by the by Detroit Pistons (NBA,2rd (54) in 2004. As a rookie, he played for Hapoel Jerusalem (Israel-Premier L.): ULEB Cup: 10 games: 9,2ppg, 3.5rpg, 1.6spg, FGP: 64.7%, 3Pts: 25.0%; Israeli Premier League: 22 games: 12.5ppg, 4.4rpg, 1.9apg, 1.2spg, 2FGP: 58.5%, 3FGP: 51.9%. In 2005-2006, he played for Adecco ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne (France-ProA): ULEB Cup: 12 games: 10.8ppg, 2.7rpg, 2.3apg, 1.1spg, 2FGP: 58.5%, 3FGP: 32.7%, FT: 70.4%; French League: 24 games: 9.7ppg, 2.6rpg, 1.7apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 43.4%, 3PT: 32.3%, FT: 69.8%. In 2006-2007, he played for BCM Gravelines Dunkerque Grand Littoral (France-ProA): FIBA EuroCup: 6 games: 16.3ppg, 4.0rpg, 3.0apg, 1.5spg, 2FGP: 65.8%, 3FGP: 37.5%, FT: 53.8%; French League: 33 games: 13.2ppg, 3.3rpg, 2.5apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 47.3%, 3PT: 35.5%, FT: 69.7%. Last season for Oldenburg, he palyed EuroChallenge: 12 games: 10.1ppg, 4.3rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 53.3%, 3PT: 27.7%, FT: 78.3%; German League: 34 games: 12.4ppg, 3.8rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 53.9%, 3PT: 40.2%, FT: 83.6%. He is a four time Beko BBL Allstar. 25 year old 207cm forward/center Robin Smeulders who has the Dutch/German citizenship is playing his third season in Oldenburg. He started his basketball career in 2004 for SG FT/MTV Braunschweig (Germany-2.Bundesliga) where he played until 2006. He then played four seasons at Portland (NCAA) where he played a total of 95 NCAA games. Last season for Oldenburg, he played EuroChallenge: 7 games: 4.3ppg, 4.3rpg; German League: 25 games: 4.5ppg, 3.9rpg. He has been with the Dutch national team since 2010 and last summer played Qualifications to European Championships 2013 -12: 8 games: 14.3ppg, 8.3rpg, FGP: 54.9%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 76.7%. Dominic Bahiense De Mello is a 27 year old 190cm guard that is playing his second season for Oldenburg. He started his career in 1999 for the Telekom Bonn Cadet Team. He then played for Rhondorf from 2001-2005. He then played for the Frankfurt Skyliners from 2005-2011 playing a total of 188 Beko BBL games and 214 total games. Last season for Oldenburg he played EuroChallenge: 12 games: 7.3ppg, 1.0rpg, FGP: 47.1%, 3PT: 43.1%, FT: 83.3%; German League: 34 games: 4.2ppg, 1.5rpg. . Freese is a 26 year old 211cm center. .He played many years in Braunschweig, but never getting a real chance to showcase his talent until he got to Giessen in 2008. In the three years in Giessen, he played 76 beko BBL games. Last season for Oldenburg he played EuroChallenge: 6 games: 2.2ppg, 2.2rpg; German League: 17 games: 1.6ppg, 1.2rpg.
The last time that fans could depart the always loud Dragons Dome with a smile on their faces and still enough time to spare to get home and watch the ZDF Sportschau to catch the football scores was Janaury 2nd, 2016 as Rhondorf had smacked around Rent4Office 83-65 which was only one of two wins in a season to forget as the club stunk up the Pro A and crawled back to the Pro B with their heads in bags as the embarrassment was difficult to hide. The last home game was a little more than si... [read more]
The last time that fans could depart the always loud Dragons Dome with a smile on their faces and still enough time to spare to get home and watch the ZDF Sportschau to catch the football scores was Janaury 2nd, 2016 as Rhondorf had smacked around Rent4Office 83-65 which was only one of two wins in a season to forget as the club stunk up the Pro A and crawled back to the Pro B with their heads in bags as the embarrassment was difficult to hide. The last home game was a little more than six months ago where the Dragons lost a nail bitter to the RheinStars Cologne 78-76, but except for a tournament three weeks ago where they faced off against Pro B team AstroStars Bochum and BBL team Telekom Baskets Bonn, basketball had been missed in the Dragons Dome as the long summer seemed to drag on and on like a caterpillar does going through life. The 2016-2017 season finally started again as the Dragons Rhondorf hosted last season's best regular season team BG Karlsruhe who totally underachieved in the playoffs getting spanked and got swept by the Dresden Titans. The club lost some serious fire power in Rouven Roessler and double double input with Marcus Smallwood and all-rounder Hayden Lescault, but kept American routine veteran Jeremy Black and added the top scorer Ricky Easterling of the Pro B the last two seasons. It was already evident that Rhondorf head coach Matthias Sonnenschein had done his homework in the off season as his trio of imports Aaron the beast Nelson, Canadian Mike Lucier and American William Trawick had found a healthy chemistry already in pre-season, something that was lacking last season with their American imports. It was the battle of the top Pro B team of last season BG Karlsruhe against ex Pro A team Dragons Rhondorf and the home team was able to finally win a home game again after waiting almost 9 months after their last win destroying BG Karlsruhe 87-70. After the game two thirds of the import trio of Aaron Nelson (203-F-91, college: S.Indiana), Mike Lucier and Will Trawick were stretching as they combined for 54 of the team 87 points, but Canadian Mike Lucier quickly noted that the victory could be chalked up to a total team effort. 'We played well together and you can see we have team chemistry. The secret to this early working team chemistry is that we have character guys that all get along and want to succeed. We all moved well off the ball, had strong cuts and guys got open and we hit our shots. We did a pretty good job on defense, but it could have been better. We played with good intensity and everyone knows when to switch and we communicated well', added Dragons Rhondorf forward Mike Luicer. BG Karlsruhe had a tough time finding a healthy team rhythm and had to play catch up basketball all night long and just had no remedy how to slow down the Rhondorf offense. After the game, Baltimore native Ricky Easterling was reserved and low key about the loss, but knew that there is more to a season than just one game. 'We came in here wanting to win, but faced a tough Rhondorf team. We were too hesitant on defense and had bad rotations and no communication. The season is long. We have to look at this game again and correct our mistakes', stressed BG Karlsruhe guard Ricky Easterling. 'It was a team effort and we played well at all times during our highs and lows. Our chemistry is working well and everyone knows their roles and how they work', warned Dragons Rhondorf forward Aaron Nelson (203-F-91, college: S.Indiana).
The story of the game was Aaron 'BIG Dog' Nelson who came in and just destroyed BG Karlsruhe putting up incredible numbers of 26 points and 18 rebounds. His stellar play in the pre season also warned the league that Nelson is for real and should be a dominant player this season and he proved that in his first game doing absolutely everything on the court. The Illinois native scored inside at leisure against the one on one, double team or triple team and hauled down rebounds as if it was second nature. He played outstanding defense blocking Kwame Duku twice getting a steal as he snuck into a passing lane and picked off a ball and also proved why a hidden strength in his game is his passing as he dished out three assists including two touchdown passes that led to easy buckets on the transition. After the game the big man from Bloom Township, Illinois who had double double stats as a senior at S.Indiana and as a rookie in Chile was all smiles as he always is when he gets a double double, because only that way he is at peace in mind when he has helped his team best with his biggest strength scoring and rebounding. He was as humble as could be crediting the win less about his play, but more to his teammates finding him. 'It was another normal day at the office for me, but I always compete at a high level no matter what. I have to credit my team to getting me in good position to score so many times. The opponent made me work hard to get points, but I have always been a good finisher with contact', stressed Aaron Nelson (203-F-91, college: S.Indiana). BG Karlsruhe guard Ricky Easterling definitely will remember the big dog Nelson and surely will be checking his stats every weekend as he could have a real battle this season for the scoring crown with Aaron Nelson (203-F-91, college: S.Indiana). 'We see Aaron play like this every night. He is so big, skilled and can just do it all on the court. Teams will have a hard time this season, because nobody can stop him', stressed Mike Lucier.
The Dragons Rhondorf got off to a quick 4-0 lead as point guard Viktor Frankel-Maus scored on the alley-oop tap in as Aaron Nelson (203-F-91, college: S.Indiana) lofted up the perfect pass as fans saw a more untypical forward to guard combination, but one they have been doing in the preseason and Canadian Mike Lucier scored on transition as Frankl-Maus got his first of nine assists on the night. BG Karlsruhe struck back with a lightening 5-0 run as German ex BV Chemnitz guard Kenny Fluellen scored in bunches with a lay in and trey as BG Karlsruhe led 5-4. Both teams continued to exchange runs as now it was Rhondorf who jumped out on a 13-2 run to lead 17-7 as Nelson hit an uncharachteristic three, scored inside as hit over Jeremy Black. Rhondorf also got big production from German forward Bastian Winterhalder and Frankl-Maus scored again. BG Karlsruhe got production from Ricky Paulding who attempted a rare three as he only took 77 three's in the last two Pro B seasons. However Rhondorf played consistent offensive basketball and just kept pouring it on and got production from Bedford, New York native Will Trawick who nailed a three and Lucier remained hot hitting a 25 footer as the Dragons Rhondorf led 24-15 after one quarter. 'It was fun to watch Rhondorf and the fans were thankful for this good start. We played good defense, but it could have been a bit more aggressive. The help defense was always there', stressed Dragons Rhondorf CEO Boris Kaminski. The Dragons Rhondorf were shooting 65% from the field and 33% from outside while BG Karlsruhe was shooting 3% and 33% from outside. Rhondorf had the 12-7 rebound edge and two turnovers while BG Karlsruhe had one turnover.
In the second quarter halfway through, the Dragons Rhondorf had a small lull, but head coach Matthias Sonnenschein called a smart time out and his team came out and started to get their offense going again and extended their lead and went into halftime with a comfortable lead. Will Trawick got Rhondorf on the board first with a bucket, but then it was Russian Anton Kazarnonski who won the 2004 Euroleague as a kid with Maccabi Tel Aviv and would play 10 years in Israel and two in Germany with Giessen and FC Bayern Munich and a few others led BG Karlsruhe on a 5-0 run with free throws and a bucket inside cutting the Rhondorf lead to 27-20. However Rhondorf came out of the timeout refocused and had to face a BG Karlsruhe zone and beat it easily going on a 9-3 run to extend their lead to 36-23. In the run, it was ex Lambton standout Lucier who scored twice with a two handed dunk as Frankl-Maus found him back door and then hit a trey. 17 year old Anton Geretzki snuck inside for two points and Frankl-Maus completed free throws. Fluellen then hit a jumper, but Rhondorf kept the offensive pressure on as Trawick connected on another trey and Bastian Winterhalder made free throws as the Dragons Rhondorf went into halftime with the comfortable 41-28 lead. 'They went to zone after the time out and we got an easy basket and then a three pointer which opened up the game again. I was extremely happy with our three import players who were playing exactly how I had wanted', stated Dragons Rhondorf CEO Boris Kaminski. The Dragons Rhondorf were shooting 50% from the field and 27% from the three point line while BG Karlsruhe was shooting 29% from the field and 36% from the three point line. Rhondorf had the 23-18 rebound edge and both teams had five turnovers a piece.
In the third quarter, the Dragons Rhondorf were able to extend their lead to 20 points as they continued to wear down BG Karlsruhe as their comeback attempts continued to get squashed and their energy level also went down more. Both teams best players Aaron Nelson (203-F-91, college: S.Indiana) and Ricky Easterling went to work scoring four buckets. Nelson scored inside and continued to show his divine versatility as he knocked home a three and Easterling made his bread and butter 20 footer mid distance shot something he learned from his high school coach Kevin Peiser and continued to develop through his college and professional career and then scored coast to coast finishing with his left hand as Rhondorf led 46-32. Rhondorf then made a statement as to how the game would continue to develop going on a back breaking 13-4 run to extend their lead to 59-36. In the run, Rhondorf got all around good production from many components as Lucier hit a trey, Frankel-Maus scored twice as did Thomas Michel who also dropped a three. However BG Karlsruhe never gave up and quietly clawed their way back going on a 15-3 run to cut the Dragons Rhondorf lead to 62-51. In the run, it was the BG Karlsruhe big men duo of Black and Kazarnovski who combined for all 15 points and for 3-4 minutes were unstoppable getting easy buckets inside and to the free throw line. BG Karlsruhe had stopped the Dragons Rhondorf momentum, but then as is so often the case in basketball the opponent struck a basketball like dagger in their back racing out on a lightening 5-0 run killing their momentum which they had gained back. Rhondorf ended the third quarter with a 5-0 run as Lucier continued to hurt BG Karlsruhe with his hot hand draining a trey and Michel scored inside as the Dragons Rhondorf led 67-51. 'They had a little run, but we kept our head up. We could of gotten frustrated or pointed fingers, but we stayed in the flow of the game and knocked down shots', stressed Mike Lucier. The Dragons Rhondorf were shooting 55% from the field and 38% from the parking lot while BG Karlsruhe was shooting 33% from the field and 29% from the parking lot. Rhondorf had the 32-26 rebound advantage, but 10 turnovers while BG Karlsruhe had seven turnovers.
The Dragons Rhondorf had a nice big lead and got a little tired in the fourth quarter, but the last little push by Ricky Easterling couldn't change much as the home team would sail into their Saturday night happy and ready for an enjoyable Sunday. Nelson continued to tighten up his stats as he nailed the first three buckets for Rhondorf while Kazarnovski also scored twice, but Rhondorf still had the comfortable 73-55 advantage. After a Duku lay in came a curious play as BG Karlsruhe scored on the inbound play as Easterling found Kazarnovski, but Rhondorf didn't move on defense as they seemed not to have heard the whistle which led to a big boo concert in the Dragon Dome, but Rhondorf still led 73-59. Nelson kept getting to the free throw line and feeding his points stats as he made free throw after free throw extending the Rhondorf lead to 82-61. Rhondorf was a little fatigued now and BG Karlsruhe closed out the game with a 9-3 run as Easterling as usual finished strong netting three baskets and getting his 20 plus points. He scored 25 and 15 footers and a beautiful finger tip roll, but it wasn't enough as the Dragons Rhondorf won 87-70 as Winterhalder closed out the scoring with a lay in with two seconds remaining to play. 'We got a bit tired at the end. If guys are tired then they should go out. We need to be able to bring it better for 40 minutes. We need guys always giving 100%', warned Mike Lucier. The Dragons Rhondorf were led by Aaron Nelson (203-F-91, college: S.Indiana) with 26 points and 18 rebounds. Mike Lucier had 18 points while Viktor Frankl-Maus and Bastian Winterhalder combined for 11 points a piece. Will Trawick added 10 points. BG Karlsruhe was led by Anton Kazarnovski with 23 points while Ricky Easterling added 231 points. The Dragons Rhondorf shot 50% from the field and 36% from outside while BG Karlsruhe shot 37% from the field and 24% from outside. Rhondorf won the rebound battle 41-36, but had 13 turnovers while BG Karlsruhe had 12 turnovers. The Dragons Rhondorf got off to a good start, but know it's a long season. 'We are taking it one game at a time. We don't want to get big headed, but keep improving. We want to keep sticking together at all times and just leave it on the floor in every game', warned Aaron Nelson (203-F-91, college: S.Indiana).
B.Muenchen to sign Amar Gegic, ex Spars Sarajevo - 8 hours ago
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FC Bayern Muenchen (BBL) agreed on terms of contract with 18-year old Bosnian international shooting guard Amar Gegic (198-98). He has played for the last four seasons at Spars Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina Division I. In 23 games he had 4.0ppg, 1.7rpg and 1.3apg last season. Gegic helped them to make it to the Bosnia and Herzegovina Cup Semifinals. He has been also a member of Bosnia and Herzegovina international program for some years. Gegic played for Bosnia and Herzegovina senior... [read more]
FC Bayern Muenchen (BBL) agreed on terms of contract with 18-year old Bosnian international shooting guard Amar Gegic (198-98). He has played for the last four seasons at Spars Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina Division I. In 23 games he had 4.0ppg, 1.7rpg and 1.3apg last season. Gegic helped them to make it to the Bosnia and Herzegovina Cup Semifinals. He has been also a member of Bosnia and Herzegovina international program for some years. Gegic played for Bosnia and Herzegovina senior team this year and for U22 National Team last year. He represented Bosnia at the Qualifications to European Championships 2017 this year. His stats at that event were 2 games: 0pts.
Jeremy Black(203-C-85, college: Tampa, agency: Court Side) is a 30 year old 203cm forward from Tampa, Florida that is playing his sixth season for BG Karlsruhe. He played at Tampa (NCAA2) from 2004-2008 and in his senior year played 30 games: 18.7ppg, 11.0rpg, 1.6apg, 1.1bpg, 1.5spg, FG: 49.3%, 3Pts: 30.8%, FT: 72.1%. He turned professional in 2008 and since then has always played in Germany except two seasons ago where he played for AB Contern (Luxembourg-Total League) 4 games: 12.8ppg,... [read more]
Jeremy Black (203-C-85, college: Tampa, agency: Court Side) is a 30 year old 203cm forward from Tampa, Florida that is playing his sixth season for BG Karlsruhe. He played at Tampa (NCAA2) from 2004-2008 and in his senior year played 30 games: 18.7ppg, 11.0rpg, 1.6apg, 1.1bpg, 1.5spg, FG: 49.3%, 3Pts: 30.8%, FT: 72.1%. He turned professional in 2008 and since then has always played in Germany except two seasons ago where he played for AB Contern (Luxembourg-Total League) 4 games: 12.8ppg, 10.3rpg, 1.8apg, in Nov.'14 moved to BCKE Wallabies (Switzerland-LNB). He also played two seasons for Science City Jena. Last season with BG Karlsruhe he played 21 games averaging 11.4ppg, 8.3rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 56.2%, 3PT: 17.6%, FT: 61.5%. He spoke to eurobasket before the season opener in Rhondorf against the Dragons.
Thanks Jeremy for talking to eurobasket.com. You are playing your sixth season for BG Karlsruhe. What is missing most in Karlsruhe that could almost substitute it with Tampa as home? Karlsruhe is my new home base. I can always go back home but what I miss most is my family and the food!
Except for a short stay in Luxemburg two seasons ago, you seem to always come back to Karlsruhe. What is most appealing about the organization and city that makes you want to return? Yeah, Karlsruhe is and always will be special to me. I came here not expecting much but I got way more than I can bargain for. The city is awesome besides the never ending construction. The people who I've came in contact with while being here have been nothing short of amazing.
When looking back at this season's roster, for me BG Karlsruhe seems just a tad weaker than last season. How do you summarize this seasons roster in comparison to last season? I think last year's team we had more veterans who led the team, while this year's team we have a few vets and will rely more on our younger German players.
BG Karlsruhe lost key guys like Marcus Smallwood, Rouven Roessler and Hayden Lescault, but gained top Pro B player Ricky Easterling, center Anton Kvarnoski and Kenny Fluellen. How will this season's team be different in playing style in comparison to last season?
I don't think it would be much of a difference! We will still let our defense dictate our offense! We will push the tempo for quick easy baskets, when we can and when we can't, we will run our plays.
How much will you miss big man Marcus Smallwood and how is the game of Anton Kavarnoski different than of Smallwood?
Marcus was a great teammate and a competitor. He was one of the key reasons why we were successful last year and we played really well together. Anton is more than capable of replacing him. Anton I think is the best shooting big man in the league and he is capable of posting up and putting the ball on the floor and attacking the basket.
What do you see as being BG Karlsruhe's biggest strength on the court this season? I think our defense will be our focus and let that dictate our offense and how we control the game.
What BG Karlsruhe German do you see as having the biggest chance of having his breakthrough season? Aaron Schmitz or Andrej Schmidt
Ricky Easterling is considered the best Pro B player. How thrilled are you to have him on your side and will he continue to be as dominating or perhaps become more of a playmaker?
How can you not be excited to have a player like Ricky join your team? I think you will see him doing both. He knows the game and our team well. He has the experience to know what our team needs him to be at a given time.
Have you ever seen a more deadly mid distance shot than his? Will the day come when he can blindly hit that shot? Haha in this league honestly not; I think its no different than having multiple defenders contesting his shot and him being capable of consistently knocking it down.
You have had very consistent stats throughout your career. Now at 30 where do you see your game going as you get older?
I think I'm still improving. At this point in my career, everybody knows what I can and can't do. I strive each day to get better. I have the experience to know how best I can help my team achieve success.
The next opponent are the Dragons Rhondorf. They are back in the Pro B after a horrible Pro A season where they only mustered two wins. What kind of game can we await in the season opener? The first game of the season is always tough to measure. Rhondorf and my team both want to start the season on the right track. I think both teams have a lot to prove so I think it will be a defensive battle.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore and chose 4 NBA heads which best four would you pick? Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant and Lebron James
Now that Lebron finally brought an NBA title to the Cavs where does this further NBA title put him against the best that ever played the game?
LeBron is definitely a top five player in the history of the game. Players and game itself has changed a lot over the years. LeBron still has years to play and I think his point in history should be judged when he is done playing the game or he gets three rings in a row just make his case while still playing
What was the last movie that you saw? The Good Neighbor.
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