Keeping a successful trend alive in professional is always as present as FC Bayern Munich soccer team winning, winning and winning much in their illustrious history, the way Americans Jared Jordan and Tony Gaffney hooked up last season almost in every game with an eye popping ally-op, NBA center Kevin Love getting double doubles seemingly as if he were blindfolded sometimes or the way recording artist Rihanna has been able to be one of the hottest recording artists since 2005 selling worldwide 85 million albums. Beko BBL club BBC Bayreuth also had a successful trend going the last two seasons having brought in top centers that have played in the NBA with Americans Jared Reiner and Brandon Thomas. Reiner who was no unknown face to the Beko BBl had played with Bamberg and Bremerhaven came to the Bavarian city of Bayreuth in the 2010-2011 season was very consistent as he had that knack of creating havoc in the zone and grabbing rebounds and was third in the league that season with 7,8rpg. Last season BBC Bayreuth hauled in 203cm physical bull like Brandon Hunter who had had the honor of strapping on the green and white of the Boston Celtics for two seasons. Last season the Cincinnati native averaged 9,6ppg and 5,9rpg and had a solid season also and often brought fear to center opponents with his sneer like expression similar to the scene from Fast Times At Rindgemont where Forest Whitaker character Charles Jefferson tears apart the football opponent after thinking they had trashed his car. Three is a charm for BBC Bayreuth as this season, they got another potent center and even if he has never played in the NBA, he has made an impression so far this season and is keeping up that reputation of top centers alive in Bayreuth. He is a workhorse on offense and defense and understands his role. I am the big man in the zone and anchor on defense. I am the guy that rebounds and gets the ball down low that can produce, stressed Gary McGhee (208-C-88, college: Pittsburgh). Even if he didnt play in the NBA like Reiner or Hunter, he has one advantage over them in that he is athletic and more spectacular. I like to dunk and block shots, but like to dunk more, because this gets the crowd and bench going more, added Gray Mcghee. He also has a hidden talent that has been helping the team. My knowledge of the game, reading it and IQ is my hidden talent. I also am able to pass the ball to the open man out of the post, warned Gary McGhee. If the American that played at Pitt and in Turkey last season can lead the team to a better position in the standings than Reiner or Hunter did is unknown, but one thing is for sure, there will always be a lot of energy on the court when he is present and give an added noise level to an already bedlam atmosphere in the Bayreuth arena.
The last time BBC Bayreuth won the BEKO BBL title was in 1989 a few months before German tennis legends Boris Becker and Steffi Graf won Wimbledon together, Sebastian Vettel was only two years old and late Boston Celtic Reggie Lewis was slowly making a name for himself in the NBA. Back then the team was called Steiner Bayreuth and had German basketball legends like Michael Koch, Hansi Gnad and Calvin Oldham and success was as common in 88 and 89 for the club as winning was fr Rhein Energie Colonge was from 2004-2006. After being regulated in 1999 due to financial reasons, the team had to start at scratch in the Regionaliga and fought its way back up to the PRO A and finally landed back in the BEKO BBL in 2010
In 2010-2011, BBC Bayreuth were saved at the end of the season as MBC lost on the last game day and the Bavarian team finished with a record of 9-25 and a 16th place finish. The team started off with two losses against The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig and the Giessen 46ers before winning a big game at home against 2010 Eurochallenge champion BG Goettingen. However instead of continuing the winning streak, the club suffered a five game losing streak before recovering and going on a two game winning streak beating Phoenix Hagen and TBB Trier on the road. The team then finished the season with a record of 6-18. I think their guards were a big part of their success. But they had injuries as well that season. Gibson was a solid point, and Ginyard was a great player as well. Harris came in and was a solid back up. I think the guards but then you had Reiner in the middle as well and he gave them a guy on the block that could score", added John Bynum. It didnt help the team either that they lost five games by five or less points. If they had won at least three of those games, they would have had their ticket to the Beko BBL sooner for next season. They had all the pieces, but couldnt seem to put it together better. Their strength was that they had high quality players at each position. Our biggest problem when we played them was not being able to keep Danny Gibson in front of us on the press", warned ex Phoenix Hagen player Quentin Pryor. It also was surprising that the club wasnt able to have more success even with strong experienced players like Jared Reiner and Koko Archibong on the roster. I just think it has just been one of those seasons for them. It was their first year in the league but still on paper if you were to look at that team, they were a good team. I dont know what it was but they beat us twice so I cant really say nothing negative about them. I think their weakness is just playing consistent for 40 minutes, they played well at times and have let ups and at this level, you cant have too many let ups but like I said, they didnt have a let up against us either time", warned John Bynum. "I think chemistry had been their weakness", said Quentin Pryor. If the team hadnt had a big 86-79 win against The Deutsche Bank Skyliners at home at the end of the season and finished winning four of the last five games near the end of the season, they probably would be back to traveling to less exciting cities like Kirchheim and Cuxhaven Despite their poor record in their first season back in the Beko BBL, the organization was in high spirits last season and maintained head coach Andreas Wagner for a second season. However Andreas Wagner has had a steady rise as head coach and was coaching for the second time in the BEKO BBL. Wagner also has had a secret formula of how to help basketball clubs reach the next level as he brought FC Bayern Munich from the Regionaliga to the second Bundesliga in 2004, led the Nordlingen Giants from the PRO to the BEKO BBL in 2008 and had another trick up his sleeve bringing BBC Bayreuth from the PRO A into the BEKO BBL in 2010. Of course, the question was could he keep BBC Bayreuth in the BEKO BBL in 2011? The club made a pretty big house cleaning as seven players left. The team held forward and shot block ace Ibekwe Ekene and young Germans Simon Schmitz and Stefan Schmidt. The club brought in experienced point guard Kevin Hamilton who had led the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig into the playoffs twice in a row and is one of best defenders in the Beko BBL. Mr everything on the court Beckham Wyrick was added who won titles with Bamberg. The team brought also brought in ex NBA player Brandon Hunter for the dirty work under the boards, banger Maksym Shtein to give stability from the bench, versatile forward Tyler Smith, sharp shooter Osvaldo Jenaty who can give shooting clinics in any Beko BBL arena, Beko BBL rookie Corey Stokes who was Mr efficient and German Tom Spoler. Wagners motto was that he rather wanted a strong starting five then solid 12 man rotation. But if you look at the roster and record, one could see that the team has stability from top to bottom.
After a slow start last season where the club lost the first four games of the season, the team surprisingly let go of Andreas Wagner and brought in experienced Dutch coach Marco van Den Berg who coached in Holland from 1996-2011 winning two titles there. The team also brought back point guard Danny Gibson and since then the team has gone on a 5-2 record with big wins against EnBW Ludwigsburg and the Telekom Baskets Bonn. Van Den Berg had changed the team philosophy and brought success to the team quickly. Despite the Kevin Durant rumors and injury to Kevin Hamilton, BBC Bayreuth had brought a refreshing game to the Beko BBL in the first two months. Bayreuth was a good team. I believe that people had underestimated them. Defensively they did their home work on their opponents and had detailed game plans, warned Josh Young who saw BBC Bayreuth let up only 53 points in Tuebingen. In the first games BBC Bayreuth let up an average 83 points, but since Van Den Berg took over, the team had only let up an average 68 points per game in those six games. The team can score if needed and scored over 80 points twice and even if they were keeping teams to under 70 points, defense is still an area where the team could improve. Their outside shooting was their biggest strength. Gibson really got their offense going. He provided instant offense and is great in transition. He is the floor general that has been important for their success. If they had a weakness then their pick and roll defense and transition. The few points that we got, we got on transition. But it is hard to pinpoint it in one game since we looked so bad and made them look so good, added Josh Young. BBC Bayreuth probably could have had a better season ending place in the standings of they hadnt lost eight of their last nine games. In 2010-2011, The Frankfurt Skyliners split the game series winning in Frankfurt 83-75 as Dashaun Wood had 26 points, four rebounds and seven assists and in the return game had problems with the noise level in Bayreuth losing 86-79 despite 29 points from Dashaun Wood. They split the season series last season winning 79-71 in Frankfurt as Ekene Ibekwe had a strong game with 19 points. Danny Gibson added 18 points and five assists. The FRaport Skyliners were led by Tim Ohlbrecht with 27 points while Quantez Robertson chipped in with1 2 points and ex NBA player Jermareo Davidson had 10 points. In the return game, the Fraport Skyliners destroyed BBC Bayreuth on the road 90-57. Jimmy Mckinney led the Fraport Skyliners with 22 points and Jacob Burtschi and Michael Thompson produced 14 points each. BBC Bayreuth was led by Brandon Hunter with 12 points.
BBC Bayreuth finished in 13th place with a record of 12-22 last season. Despite Marco Van Den Berg bringing early success, not every player was able to fully identify with his philosophy of hard defense and a structured offense and thus it wasnt hard cleaning out the roster removing seven players. The team kept a small core of players with Germans Stefan Schmidt and Simon Schmitz guys that the club have believed in and want to continue to develop as best as possible. Germans Tom Spoler and Peter Zeis also were held. The team also held point guard Kevin Hamilton who has those strong leadership qualities, but had a lot of misfortune last year with injuries being only able to play four games. He started this season injured, but since has returned. The story of the year is the return of fan favorite in the making Beckham Wyrick. He recently was signed, but then through special campaigns where money was raised was held until the end of the season. A week later it was announced thanks to a new sponsor coming on board that the American from Cincinnati will remain in Bayreuth until 2014. BBC Bayreuth added seven new players to help build a strong roster that could compete for the Beko BBL playoffs. Van den Berg had a good idea what players he wanted and got the team built already in June. The team added experienced guard Bryan Bailey that adds spark to the guard rotation and will be a tough combo with Hamilton. Nate Rhonert is an American that will give added strength to the guard position and is a talented shooter. The team also hauled in German Nicolai Simon who is a developing combo guard that has had very good games already this season. Arvydas Siksnius also was brought in to help at the guard/forward position. Under the boards the team brought in Gary McGhee that had a strong rookie season in Turkey and Beko BBL veteran Jason Cain that can step out and fire away, dominate in the post and compete as best dunker against Gary McGhee. Joe Trapani also was acquired as he is a player that also has a fine inside out game and adds stability to the rotation. The strength of BBC Bayreuth is there deepness at each position. Also an advantage Is that the club was put together early which got the team chemistry going early and to the good start. The only negative in the team could be how well the team plays together over time and if injuries plays a role. The Fraport Skylinersenetr the game in a must win situation riding a four game winning streak while BBC Bayreuth is riding a five game winning streak. Both teams will be more than focused and want a special post Christmas present with a win. We have to defend well again. Defense is our calling card and and defense generates our offense, warned Johnathan Jones. Frankfurt cant get down on themselves and need to be hardnosed. They have to be physical on offense and defense and limit Bryan Bailey, stressed Walter Tigers Tuebingen guard Vaughn Duggins.
BBC Bayreuth is led by Bryan Bailey who a 32 year old 185cm guard who comes from New York and played in Quackenbruck from 2004-2007 and from 2010-2012. He is a team leader both on and off the court. He Possesses a diverse game, with an ability to stroke the long-range jumper, penetrate to the rim or distribute the ball and is solid on the defensive end of the floor as well. He is a fierce competitive drive rubs off on his teammates. Bailey played at Bucknell and has gained experience having played in Holland and Poland. He reached the playoffs three times with Artland form 2004-2007 and the cup final in 2007. In 2010-2011, the American played 41 games for Artland averaging 11.5ppg, 2.4rpg, 3.2apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 52.2%, 3PT: 34.9%, FT: 77.2%. Last season for BBC Bayreuth he played EuroChallenge: 7 games: 4.7ppg, 1.1rpg, 1.3apg; German League: 27 games: 6.8ppg, 1.2rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 18.9%, FT: 77.0%. Joe Trapani is a 24 year old 203cm forward from Madison, Connecticut that is playing his first season for Beko BBL team BBC Bayreuth. He started his NCAA career at Vermont (NCAA) in 2006 an dplayed 26 games: 11.4ppg, 4.4rpg, FGP: 44.0%, 3Pts: 40.0%, FT: 68.4%. He then completed his NCAA career at Boston College playing there form 2008-2011. In his senior year he played 34 games: 14.8ppg, 7.0rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 42.5%, 3PT: 35.7%, FT: 70.7%. In 2011, he turned professional playing at the e Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft): 3 games: 14.3ppg, 5.0rpg, 2.7apg, 1.0spg. He then came to Europe to play for Novipiu Casale Monferrato (Italy-SerieA, starting five): 3 games: 5.3ppg, 1.7rpg, left in Oct.'11, in Nov.'11 try-out at Scavolini Siviglia Pesaro (Italy-SerieA, starting five), then moved to MarcoPoloShop.it Forli (Italy-Lega2): 12 games: 9.4ppg, 5.1rpg, FGP: 44.0%, 3PT: 21.7%, FT: 78.0%; in Mar.'12 signed at Maine Red Claws (D-League): 6 games: 3.2ppg, 3.7rpg. Jason Cain is a 27 year old 208cm power forward from Philadelphia who is playing for his third Beko BBL team with BBC Bayreuth. He played for the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig from 2007-2011 reaching the playoffs twice. He played 142 games for Braunschweig and averaged 10.0ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 57.2%, 3PT: 37.6%, FT: 78.2. Last season he played for Eisbaeren Bremerhaven (Germany-1.Bundesliga): 32 games: 9.3ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 56.0%, 3PT: 18.8%, FT: 72.9%. Before coming to Germany, he played at Virginia. Gray Mcghee is a 24 year old 208cm center from Anderson, Indiana that is playing his first season in the Beko BBL for BBC Bayreuth. He played at Pittsburgh from 2007-2011 and played with future NBA players like Dejuan Blair and Sam Young. In his senior year, he played 34 games: 6.9ppg, 7.7rpg, 1.3bpg, FGP: 56.7%, FT: 48.5%. He played a total of 120 NCAA games. In the summer of 2011, he played at the well known : Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft): 2 games: 9.0ppg, Reb-5 (8.5rpg), 1.0bpg. Last season as a rookie he played KK Zagreb Croatia Osiguranje (Croatia-A1), only pre-season, then moved to Bandirma Kirmizi (Turkey-TBL: 30 games: 10.5ppg, Reb-4 (7.8rpg), FGP: 56.3%, FT: 45.6%. This past summer he played AirTran Orlando Summer League (Oklahoma City Thunder): 2 games: 2.5ppg, 2.0rpg and NBA Pro Summer League in Las Vegas (Los Angeles Clippers): 5 games: 4.8ppg, 5.0rpg. Nicolai Simon is a 24 year old 191 cm guard that is playing his first season in Bayreuth. He started his basketball career in 2002 with 2002-2003: TuS Urspring (Regionalliga). He then played withErdgas Ehingen until 2006. IN 2006-2007, he was able to play 33 games for Alba Berlin despite being on a team with a deep roster. In 2007-2008, he injured himself playing only five games. In 2008-2009 he went back to Erdgas Ehingen/Urspringschule (ProB): 28 games: 8.9ppg, 2.4rpg, 5.2apg, FGP: 49.0%, 3PT: 23.8%, FT: 85.7%. In 2009, he played at the World University games in Belgrad averaging 4,1ppg, 3,6rpg and 1,4apg. He also played for the Paderborn Baskets (1.Bundesliga): 31 games: 5.5ppg, 1.1rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 40.8%, 3PT: 35.7%, FT: 79.4%. He played for the Walter Tigers Tuebingen form 2010-2012. Last season he played Last season for Tuebingen, he played 29 games: 5.4ppg, 1.2rpg, FGP: 47.9%, 3PT-1 (52.0%), FT: 74.4%.
Beckham Wyrick is a 28 year old 198cm forward from Cincinnati, Ohio that has played in Germany since he was a rookie in 2006. Heis playing his second season for BBC Bayreuth. He played for NC-Wilmington (NCAA) from 2002-2006 together with Bamberg floor general John Goldsberry. Wyrick played for Bayer Giants Leverkusen from 2006-2008. He then had a successful stay with the Brose Baskets Bamberg from 2008-2010 winning a Beko BBL title and cup. In 2010-2011, he played for FC Bayern Muenchen (Germany-ProA) helping the team move to the Beko BBL and played 25 games: 8.8ppg, 4.7rpg, FGP: 52.8%, 3PT: 30.4%, FT: 68.4%. Last season for BBC Bayreuth he played 31 games: 6.3ppg, 3.8rpg, FGP: 38.4%, 3PT: 32.3%, FT: 62.2%. Peter Zeis is a 23 year old 196cm swingman that is playing his second season for BBC Bayreuth. Last season he got into four Beko BBL games.He started his career in 2005 with TSV Troester II Breitengussbach and played there until 2011. Nate Rohnert is a 25 year old 197cm guard from Colorado that is embarking on his third professional basketball season and first in Germany. He played at Denver (NCAA) from 2006-2010 playing a total of 100 NCAA games and in his senior year played 32 games: 14.5ppg, 5.7rpg, 3.8apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 32.5%, FT: 74.4%. He turned professional in 2010 and played for Tartu Ulikool/Rock (Estonia-KML): only pre-season, in Feb.'11 moved to Landstede Basketbal Zwolle (Holland-DBL, starting five): 11 games: 15.8ppg, 8.3rpg, 5.5apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 52.8%, 3PT: 44.4%, FT: 70.0%. Last season, he played for Denain ASC Voltaire (France-ProB, starting five): 34 games: 12.1ppg, 4.6rpg, 2.6apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 52.0%, 3PT: 41.9%, FT: 76.8%.
Simon Schmitz is a 22 year old 188cm point guard that is playing his third season with BBC Bayreuth and began his basketball career in 2005 with SG Bad Duerkheim/Speyer junior team. In 2008-2009, he played for BIS Baskets Speyer (ProB, starting five) where he played together with German national player Elias Harris. He played German League: 20 games: 14.1ppg, 4.0rpg, 3.7apg, FGP: 51.5%, 3PT: 33.6%, FT: 79.1%; also TV Bad Bergzabern (2.Regionalliga): 8 games: 14.5ppg. In 2009-2010, he played for Science City Jena (ProA): 29 games: 10.9ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.9apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 44.7%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 80.2%, in Mar.'10 also played at Mitteldeutscher BC Weissenfels (1.Bundesliga). He played at the European Championships U20 in Croatia -10: 9 games: 10.3ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 56.5%, 3PT: 38.6%, FT: 80.0%. Last season, the German played 29 games: 3.3ppg, 1.3rpg, 1.1apg. 23 year old 206cm center Stefan Schmidt was born in Schwandorf and is playing his fourth season with BBC Bayreuth. He started his basketball career with Franken Hexer (2.Regionalliga) in 2006. In 2007-2008, he played for SELLBYTEL Baskets Nuernberg (ProA, starting five): 20 games: 3.2ppg, 2.7rpg, FGP: 39.5%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 66.7%. In 2008-2009, he played for Franken Hexer (ProB, starting five): 29 games: 9.4ppg, 7.8rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 51.3%, 3PT: 25.3%, FT: 75.0%. Last season he had to fight injuries and played 17 games: 3.6ppg, 1.8rpg. Kevin Hamilton from New York is a 28 year old 193cm guard that is playing his second season in Bayreuth. He played at Holy Cross with ex Skyliner Keith Simmons from 2002-2006. He played in Poland the last few years and in the summers in Puerto Rico. He played under coach Sebastian Machowski in Poland and was made into a point guard even though he had been a shooting guard most of his career. He scored 17,9ppg in his last season at Holy Cross and in 2008-2009 he led the Polish league in assists. What makes him so dangerous is his scoring and his potential and ability to score are limitless. In college, I averaged almost 18 points per game. I have been a shooting guard for most of my career. Three seasons ago, I had to play point guard in Poland. I always thought that I was a good passer. I think passing has come naturally to me. I have enjoyed playing point guard, stressed Kevin Hamilton. The best thing that teams can do is to keep the ball out of Hamiltons hands, but that is about as impossible as doing the same to Lebron James. We tried to keep the ball out of his hands. We didnt want him to make plays. He is a true point guard. He is a great passer and makes things happen for them. When he gets going, it is hard to stop the team, warned ex Braunschweig guard Steven Wright. In 2009-2010 Hamilton played 39 games: 10.1ppg, 3.8rpg, Assists-3 (5.4apg), Steals-2 (1.9spg), FGP: 63.7%, 3PT: 33.9%, FT: 77.6%. He is one of those rare players that has triple double potential. In his last season for Braunschweig, he played 39 games: 9.0ppg, 4.1rpg, 4.3apg, Steals-1 (1.9spg), FGP: 53.9%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 67.0%. Last season for BBC Bayreuth he played only 4 games: 8.8ppg, 3.3rpg, 4.0apg, 1.3spg. Last summer, he played for Indios de Mayaguez (Puerto Rico-BSN) playing 23 games: 7.6ppg, 3.8rpg, 2.6apg, Steals-4 (1.6spg), FGP: 40.2%, 3PT: 38.7%, FT: 61.5%. . Arvydas Siksnius is a 25 year old 196cm forward from Lithuania that is playing his first season in the Beko BBL for BBC Bayreuth. He mostly played in his home country, but had a year of experience in the States playing for Weatherford JC (JUCO). Last season he played for Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius (LKL): DNP, moved to BC Siauliai (LKL): Lithuanian League: 31 games: 7.4ppg, 2.7rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 58.2%, 3PT: 25.6%, FT: 75.9%; Baltic League: 22 games: 9.2ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 65.2%, 3PT: 38.0%, FT: 77.8%; VTB League: 2 games: 8.5ppg, 2.0rpg, 2FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 30.8%, FT: 75.0%.
Darryl Watkins (211-C-84, college: Syracuse, agency: Inception Sports) is a 31 year old 211cm center from Patterson, New Jersey that is playing his 10th professional season and second with ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne Basket (France-ProA). He started his basketball career with Syracuse (NCAA) in 2003 playing a total of 106NCAA games and as a senior in 2007 played 33 games averaging 8.1ppg, 7.5rpg, 1.2spg, 3.4bpg, FGP: 54.4%, FT: 61.2%. As a rookie in 2007 he played 9 NBA games for the Sacramen... [read more]
Darryl Watkins (211-C-84, college: Syracuse, agency: Inception Sports) is a 31 year old 211cm center from Patterson, New Jersey that is playing his 10th professional season and second with ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne Basket (France-ProA). He started his basketball career with Syracuse (NCAA) in 2003 playing a total of 106NCAA games and as a senior in 2007 played 33 games averaging 8.1ppg, 7.5rpg, 1.2spg, 3.4bpg, FGP: 54.4%, FT: 61.2%. As a rookie in 2007 he played 9 NBA games for the Sacramento Kings and also spent time in the D-league with Los Angeles and Iowa. In the 2008-2009 season he played for TianJin Rongcheng (China-CBA) playing 43 games averaging 20.7ppg, 14.0rpg, 3.5apg, 1.7spg, 1.5bpg, FGP: 53.4%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 67.2%. In the 2009-2010 season he spent time with the Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA). In the 2010-2011 he played with Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut (Lebanon-Div.A) playing 27 games: 15.5ppg, 10.7rpg, 1.7apg, 1.9spg, Blocks-5 (1.4bpg), FGP: 57.8%, FT: 61.7%. Ion the 2011-2012 season he played with InterCollege Etha Engomis (Cyprus-Division A) playing Cyprus League: 14 games: 12.9ppg; EuroChallenge: 6 games: 11.8ppg, 6.8rpg, 1.3bpg, FGP: 40.3%, FT: 70.8%, in Apr.'12 signed a 10-day contract with New Orleans Hornets (NBA) playing 5 games: 4.6ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.2spg. In the 2012-2013 season he played with Lukoil Academik (Bulgaria-NBL): 37 games: 13.2ppg, 7.3rpg, 1.5apg, 1.0spg, Blocks-2 (1.3bpg), FGP: 58.8%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 68.0%; EuroCup: 6 games: 12.0ppg, 5.3rpg, 1.0apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 52.5%, FT: 50.0%; Euroleague Qualifying Round: 1 game: 18pts, 15reb, 2blk, 1stl. In the 2013-2014 season he played with Belgacom Spirou Charleroi (Belgium-Ethias League): Eurocup: 10 games: 11.2ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.0apg, 1.4spg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 51.2%, FT: 66.7%; Ethias League: 39 games: 10.5ppg, 5.9rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 53.4%, FT: 64.5%. In the 2014-2015 season he played with Champagne Chalons-Reims Basket (France-ProA) playing 34 games: 11.9ppg, 7.8rpg, 1.4apg, 1.1spg, Blocks-4 (1.2bpg), FGP: 54.5%, FT: 70.6%. Last season he played with ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne Basket (France-ProA): 45 games: 8.4ppg, 6.8rpg, FGP: 49.5%, FT: 72.6%; FIBA Europe Cup: 14 games: 6.5ppg, 5.6rpg, 1.2apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 48.5%, FT: 71.1%. He spoke to eurobasket after the exciting 81-79 win against the EWE Baskets Oldenburg in Champions league play.
Thanks Darryl for talking to eurobasket.com. Congrats on a wild 81-79 win in Oldenburg. How motivated was the team not to lose again by a slim margin like last week against Varese?
Yes we came out very focused in Oldenburg, because we didn't want to lose at the end again the way we did in Italy. We ended up getting a big win.
Did Asvel just want it more at the end showcasing effort and securing the Dragovic rebound and making the put back?
The loss last week in Italy was devastating so we tried to do anything possible to come out with a win against Oldenburg. I was very proud of our win in Oldenburg.
You are playing your second season with Asvel. Do you feel a lot of pressure having to defend your title from last season?
Anytime a team wins a title, they always have a harder time following it up the next season. We have a new team this season, but talented new players. We have to start to find a rhythm in the French Pro A and start winning more.
What made last season's team so special? It seemed like the club had a lot of special players that filled their role correctly from the bench?
I think that last season's team messed together well. We also liked to play together.
What an exciting 5 game series final against Strassburg. Strassburg was up 2-0, but Asvel came back and won the next three games. Was this the most exciting week that you ever had in your professional career? Yes it was for me. It was my second season in France and to win the title was amazing. I also made the allstar team. We plan to repeat this season.
You won titles in Cyprus and Bulgaria as well, but did the France pro A title top all the others?
The title in France topped those simply because the France Pro A gets more recognition. People respect the France Pro A and it's players more.
This season you are playing more minutes than last season. How is your role different this season from last season?
I have more of a focal point this season. I will try to fill my role as best as possible again.
You are known as a scorer, rebounder and shot blocker, but what do you feel has been something in your career that has not always been noticed much on the court?
I think my ability to come into a game and bring energy and to be able to change the momentum of the game gets overlooked.
Three seasons ago you played for Belgacom Spirou Charleroi (Belgium-Ethias League) with American Demond Mallet who finally retired at almost 40 years of age. Was he one of the biggest energy sparks that you ever played with?
Demond was a great guy and had great knowledge of the game which he helped me with. He also was able to let me comprehend what was expected me on the court at all times.
Were you and American Theron Smith the most dominant 4-5 duo during the season at TianJin Rongcheng (China-CBA) that you were ever involved with?
Yes he was. That was my first time overseas and I was still feeling my way around in a new environment. I came from being a big man on campus at Syracuse and now had a smaller role. Theorn motivated me to play and just to play what felt natural.
You had your time in the NBA with stints with the Kings and Hornets. What did you appreciate most about your short time in the NBA? Just having the opportunity to be in the NBA and learn from the head coaches and assistants. They helped me develop my game to another level.
In your last game with the Hornets you scored 13 points and had 10 rebounds in 42 minutes in a loss to the Houston Rockets. Was this the proof in your own mind that you had what it took to be an NBA player? I still think about this game. This game proved that I could do some things at the NBA level.
As a rookie you was with the Sacramento Kings. What was your wake up call to being in the NBA?
It was tough coming into a situation where I didn't know how to fit into the system and to a team that was trying to get wins. They are still in this type of state today.
Did you have to do any jobs or deeds for the players as a rookie?
I had to bring donuts or fruit for guys like Mike Bibby and Ron Artest.
What kind of character was Ron Artest?
He was a totally different dude off the court, but on the court he just played. The way he played back in 2008 shows that he still has it today as he got a roster spot with the Lakers.
You played two seasons at Syracuse with sniper Andy Rautins. What was the most amazing thing you remember him doing in a game or practice concerning his shot? Rautins made many ridiculous shots in my time there. I can't really pinpoint one, because there were so many. When we needed a sniper, he came through for us.
How did head coach Jim Boeheim prepare and groom you best for a professional basketball career?
He was successful teaching me how to play in a zone system. He was a big reason why I got a shot in the NBA.
What was your most memorable block in college that you can recollect?
I remember in my freshman year blocking a few guys from Pittsburgh who tried to dunk on me. I didn't play much that game, but I came in toward the end of the game and played well.
Who was the toughest player that you battled in the NCAA that made it to the NBA?
The toughest guy I battled was Emeka Okafor of UCONN. He was a beast and won an NCAA title.
If you had to construct an NBA Rushmore, which 4 NBA legends would you choose?
Jordan, Magic, Shaq, Duncan.
Now that Lebron won another title for the Cavs where does this win put him in the all-time best debate against Michael Jordan?
Lebron is incomparable to Jordan. Jordan did so much. He won titles then walked away and came back and still won titles and dominated. That is hard to duplicate or go above and beyond.
Kevin Garnett has retired. Where do you see his legacy with the best power forwards to have ever played the game?
Garnett will go down as one of the greatest. He is a future hall of famer.
Many players comment that Tim Duncan was better.
It really depends what type of game you like. Garnett was all about energy and heart. Duncan didn't show any emotion.
What was the last movie that you saw? Now you see me 2.
Walter Hodge(183-PG-86, college: Florida) is a 30 year old 183cm point guard from the US Virgin Islands playing his seventh professional season and first season with ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne Basket (France-ProA). He is one of those rare players that won two NCAA titles with Florida in 2006 and 2007. He started his professional career in 2010 with Zastal Zielona Gora (Poland-PLK) where he played three seasons winning the league title in 2013. In the 2013-2014 season he played for Laboral Ku... [read more]
Walter Hodge (183-PG-86, college: Florida) is a 30 year old 183cm point guard from the US Virgin Islands playing his seventh professional season and first season with ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne Basket (France-ProA). He is one of those rare players that won two NCAA titles with Florida in 2006 and 2007. He started his professional career in 2010 with Zastal Zielona Gora (Poland-PLK) where he played three seasons winning the league title in 2013. In the 2013-2014 season he played for Laboral Kutxa Vitoria (Spain-Liga Endesa) playing Euroleague: 15 games: 7.8ppg, 1.3rpg, 3.1apg, 2FGP: 50.0%, 3FGP: 30.0%, FT: 91.3%; Liga Endesa: 15 games: 6.5ppg, 1.6rpg, 2.2apg, 2FGP: 44.9%, 3FGP: 21.4%, FT: 85.0%. In the 2014-2015 season he played for Zenit Saint Petersburg (Russia-VTB) playing 33 games: Score-4 (16.4ppg), 2.3rpg, Assists-5 (6.3apg), 1.5spg, FGP: 47.1%, 3PT: 34.2%, FT: 84.9%; Eurocup: 18 games: 14.8ppg, 1.8rpg, Assists-4 (6.3apg), 1.7spg, FGP: 40.2%, 3PT: 39.0%, FT: 92.9%. Last season he played for Acqua Vitasnella Cantu (Italy-Serie A): 23 games: 11.9ppg, 3.2rpg, Assists-3 (5.5apg), 1.3spg, FGP: 53.8%, 3PT: 29.9%, FT: 84.5%; FIBA Europe Cup: 8 games: 12.3ppg, 2.6rpg, 8.3apg, 1.3spg, 2FGP: 47.5%, 3FGP: 33.3%, FT: 84.0%; Italian Serie A: 22 games: 11.7ppg, 3.3rpg, 5.5apg, 1.3spg, 2FGP: 53.1%, 3FGP: 29.7%, FT: 83.6%. He also stayed active during the summer playing five times in his home country league. He spoke to eurobasket before the Champions League clast against the EWE Baskets Oldenburg in Oldenburg.
Walter thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. Welcome to Germany. You have played in various international competitions in the last years, but never played against a German team. How excited are you to be in a new country playing the game that you love?
It is very exciting for me to be in Germany playing against Oldenburg. They are a very good team. I really like Germany and am enjoying my time as best as I can here.
Your playing your seventh professional season and have played in 8 countries. You have had the tendency to switch teams every season. Do you at times feel like a basketball globetrotter?
Well I played in Poland my first three years and then I played in Spain, Russia and Italy. Now I am in France. It is nice to travel a bit as a professional. Learn a new language and just enjoy your time there as best as possible.
Your playing your first season in France for ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne Basket (France-ProA). Your playing for the team of NBA superstar Tony Parker. How much dealings did you actually have with him during the contract negotiations?
Tony Parker was a big reason why I came to Asvel. He called me last summer and told me his plans for the team and me for the future. I liked what he said and decided that this was a great opportunity. He is a very serious guy and a great human being. I have a lot of respect for him.
Recently the Fraport Skyliners got your ex teammate Kwame Vaughn. What do you feel is his best asset on the court? Kwame is a very crafty guy, can score and is very good at changing speeds. He also is a very good defender. I think that overall he is a very good player.
Despite the team having much experience, do you still feel like one of the main leaders on the team? It seems like your play is guiding the team at the moment?
One of the main reasons why Asvel wanted me was for my leadership skills. They also need me to be able to create for others. We continue to get better as a team as we have added Demarcus Nelson.
You have played so many games in your career, but when you come to a new team and meet a guy like Darryl Watkins, can you remember playing him at Florida and beating him and Syracuse 75-70 or is remembering so many guys over time difficult?
I remembered Darryl from that game. The first time we met this season, I reminded him that we had beat him. I told him first that it was by 20, but then I remembered that Syracuse made a push at the end to come back. The game was my freshman year. We talk about that game every so often.
You just turned 30 and are having a very strong statistical season. Do you feel like that now you are in your prime and this could be one of your best seasons ever? I try to be my best every season. My main focus is too always keep working, stay healthy and not get hurt. I feel that we can have a huge season and win it all.
Last season you played in Italy with Cantu. Was the 4-5 combo of ex NBA players Jajuan Johnson and Kyrylo Fesenko the best front man that you have played with in your career?
Jajohn Johnson is one hell of a player and so athletic and Kyrylo Fesenko surely also one of the best that I ever played with, but I also played with two great players at Laboral with Tibor Pleiss and Andreas Nocioni.
After three strong seasons in Poland you made the jump in 2013 to Laboral Kutxa Vitoria (Spain-Liga Endesa). What was your most fondest Euroleague memory?
My sweetest Euroleague memory that season was beating Euroleague powerhouse Maccabi Tel Aviv twice with guys like Ricky Hickman and Tyrese Rice.
You played at Laboral Kutxa Vitoria (Spain-Liga Endesa) with French national player Thomas Huertel and German national player Tibor Pleiss. What memories did you have of the competition level with the Huertel and are you surprised Pleiss didn't last in the NBA? I really liked Thomas Huertel. He was a very tough guy on the court. We made each other work so hard every day in practice. We became great friends. He is such a competitor and I respect that very much. Tibor is a great kid, but still needs to learn a lot. I think that he could play many years in the NBA. He can be his own enemy. He just needs to be mentally strong and then he could play many years there.
You played three seasons with Stelmet Zielona Gora (Poland-PLK) and won the Polish title in your third. A team with few Americans and a dominant Turow, what made your team so special?
The bonding that we had as a team made it so special. We all clicked at the right time and as the playoffs came, we were rolling as a team and everyone knew their roles. We had so much confidence in each other. Now they are a Polish powerhouse. My evolution with them was crazy
What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Poland when you knew that you were far away from home?
The food and language a bit. I am a very picky eater and the first 4-5 months was difficult. It felt like I ate Mcdonalds every day. After then I found some restaurants and then all was perfect.
Stelmet Zielona Gora (Poland-PLK) retired your number in 2013. What exactly does this achievement mean to you in your career as a professional player?
It was crazy for me. When I arrived I said in an interview that I want to win the title. When I came there they had just advanced up to the first league and three years later we won the title. After my third year and title win, I decided to leave the team for Spain to have the opportunity to play Euroleague. They said they wanted to retire my jersey. At first I thought it was a joke, but it was true. This is a huge achievement for me.
You have played in Puerto Rico often the last summers like Kevin Hamilton always did. Are you more a game player in the summers getting good competition then having to do the tedious work outs without game practice?
Having a league like this at home is always great. I think playing in a league like this not only keeps me in shape, but also in rhythm. I did this for five years and it was perfect. Whenever I came back to Europe after playing in the Puerto Rico league, I had no adjustment time. If I only work out during the summers, I would have no rhythm when I came back. I remember many battles against Kevin Hamilton. We beat his team last summer in the semi-finals.
Any professional player would be happy to have one NCAA ring, but like German player Niels Giffey, you possess two rings. Is this a feat that you think about every day
Of course I do. The last time a team won back to back NCAA titles before we did with Florida was Duke in 1991 and 1992. Then we did it. It was just crazy.
When you look back at the two wins which one would you say was the more difficult to accomplish?
The most difficult was the first, because we were still learning how to win. The second one was so much more easy, because we knew how to do it. Our confidence the second time around was crazy.
Florida had so many amazing players that also later went to the NBA like Corey Brewer. Al Horford, Taurean Green, Joakim Noah or Marreese Speights. Which player in the two year NCAA run really had the most impact on you? Al Horford. Just how he pursued and played the game really impressed me. He was a beast.
How did head coach Billy Donovan groom and prepare you best for a professional career?
He is one of the best coaches that I ever had. His best assets was how he was always able to prepare us best for each opponent and his motivation.
Who was the toughest player that you played against in the NCAA that went to the NBA? The toughest player I fought against was Jodie Meeks. He was always strong against us and always gave us trouble.
If you had to construct an NBA Rushmore, which 4 NBA legends would you choose?
Jordan, Shaq, Bird and Magic
Now that Lebron won another title for the Cavs where does this win put him in the alltime best debate against Michael Jordan? He is number three for me. He isn't before Jordan or Kobe. He might pass Kobe, but to get past Jordan, he needs that killer instinct.
Kevin Garnett has retired. Where do you see his legacy with the best power forwards to have ever played the game? I never liked his game, but I liked his passion and I respect him as a player. He is one of the best. He comes after Tim Duncan.
MKS Dabrowa Gornicza inks Roderick Trice, ex Ludwigsburg - 18 hours ago
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MKS Dabrowa Gornicza (TBL) signed 32-year old American shooting guard Roderick Trice (185-82kg-84, college: S.Carolina). He played last season at MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg in German BBL league. In 29 games he had 11.9ppg, 4.3rpg, 3.6apg and 1.6spg (in top 2). A very impressive season as he was named to Eurobasket.com All-German Bundesliga Honorable Mention. Trice also played 15 games in Eurocup where he recorded 8.7ppg, 4.7rpg, 2.7apg and 2.2spg. The previous (14-15) season Trice played at S... [read more]
MKS Dabrowa Gornicza (TBL) signed 32-year old American shooting guard Roderick Trice (185-82kg-84, college: S.Carolina). He played last season at MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg in German BBL league. In 29 games he had 11.9ppg, 4.3rpg, 3.6apg and 1.6spg (in top 2). A very impressive season as he was named to Eurobasket.com All-German Bundesliga Honorable Mention. Trice also played 15 games in Eurocup where he recorded 8.7ppg, 4.7rpg, 2.7apg and 2.2spg. The previous (14-15) season Trice played at Slask. In 32 TBL games he averaged 13.0ppg, 5.4rpg, 2.4apg and 1.9spg (in top 5). He helped them to make it to the Supercup final. Quite impressive season as he was named to Eurobasket.com Polish League All-Imports Team and Honorable Mention. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others Trice's team was regular season runner-up in German 2.Bundesliga Pro A in 2008. He was also voted Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro A Player of the Year and Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro A Defensive Player of the Year back in 2008. Trice has played previously professionally in Poland (Energa Czarni). He attended University of South Carolina until 2006 and it will be his eleventh (!!!) season as a professional player.
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