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%.
Elijah Allen (195-G/F-89, college: NW Missouri St.) is a 26 year old 195cm swing man from Columbus, Ohio that is playing his first season with Gotha in the Pro A. Ke played the last two seasons for Lich and last season played 27 games averaging 13.0ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.9apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 69.3%. He started his basketball career at NW Missouri St. (NCAA2) in 2007 where he played until 2011 playing a total of 103 NCAA games and as a senior played 26 games: 14.9ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.1apg [read more]
Elijah Allen (195-G/F-89, college: NW Missouri St.) is a 26 year old 195cm swing man from Columbus, Ohio that is playing his first season with Gotha in the Pro A. Ke played the last two seasons for Lich and last season played 27 games averaging 13.0ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.9apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 69.3%. He started his basketball career at NW Missouri St. (NCAA2) in 2007 where he played until 2011 playing a total of 103 NCAA games and as a senior played 26 games: 14.9ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.1apg, FG: 44.8%, 3Pts: 23.1%, FT: 74.8%. He came to Germany in 2012 and played his first two seasons for the VfB 1900 Giessen Pointers (Germany-Regionalliga) and in the 2013-2014 season played 26 games averaging 20.0ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.3apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 58.7%, 3PT: 30.7%, FT: 68.4%. In the 2014-2015 season for the Licher Basket Baeren he played 28 games: 10.4ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 54.9%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 72.2% He spoke to Eurobasket after the big 64-56 win against Heidelberg last weekend.
Elijah congrats on the 64-56 win in Heidelberg. How good did it feel to win on the road again after 4 straight loses on the road?
Thanks a lot. It was a good feeling. We must continue to build off this.
Despite being down 17-14 after 10 minutes, both teams did execute on offense, but did you think that the game would be a grind out game for 40 minutes?
Heidelberg did a good job offensive rebounding in the first half. We gave up way to many. They have a good team and have been playing well this season so we knew coming in that it would be a challenge.
There was a stretch where Gotha almost went 10 whole minutes midway through the third to the fourth without having a single field goal, but still had the 49-43 lead. How pleased were you that the defense became the back bone of the team in this phase?
I was very pleased. Defense is something we take pride in and it paid off last night when our shots were not falling. We need to keep bringing focus and energy on the defensive end to be successful.
Samuel Parker was hot in crunch-time connecting for 9 points and you added 4 points. What have you learned to appreciate most about the game of Parker this season.
Just being consistent. Every game you know exactly what you will get from him which is a great quality to have.
You only played 11 minutes, but contributed four points, one assists and a steal. How much of a challenge is it for you in general to be as efficient as possible in the minutes that you get? I don't feel like its much of a challenge- I know what I do well and I try to stick to that so that I can help my team in the best way.
Gotha currently is in seventh place with a record of 7-6 after 13 games. Is this a position that head coach Chris Ensminger and the team is happy with at this juncture of season?
We are not happy at all with our record but feel we are making the right steps to improve.
The season has been up and down as it has lost two games in a row twice and now has a two game winning streak. Why has the team not been able to have a big winning streak yet?
We gave away too many games. We have to be focused and ready every night we take the floor.
The team has such a good balance of many talented and versatile players. How well is the team coming along at the moment in their development in team chemistry?
We are coming along step by step. We just need to continue believing in each other.
How valuable has the addition of Dane Watts been. Obviously he is skilled, but what do you feel is his biggest asset in the offensive system of Gotha?
Experience. He has played at a high level and knows exactly what it takes to be successful. I think the team feels off that energy.
Your averaging 17 minutes per game and averaging 6,8ppg and 2,3rpg while shooting 45% before the Heidelberg game. Do you feel like you could be doing more in the minutes you are getting?
My minutes per game have been up and down so far this season- One game 20minutes and next maybe 10. My goal is to just be aggressive in the time that I get and find ways to help my team win.
You are averaging less minutes than with Lich. Have you been able to incorporate other parts of your game more with Gotha than you did with Lich?
I think defensively and basketball IQ I have made a huge step but offensively I feel I had a more all around game with Lich.
The next game is against the ETB Wohnbau Baskets Essen. They are coming off a tough loss against Chemnitz, but are playing better basketball in the last weeks. What do you feel will be key to getting the win?
We must be prepared for Essen. I think the key will be for us to concentrate defensively for 40 miutes.
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 from the point guard position?
Westbrook is on a mission. As of now he is the MVP in my book.
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?
I can't see them winning 65 games again or winning the title. It will be interesting to watch!
Itzehoe Eagles (ProB) inked 30-year old American forward Qarraan Calhoun (203-86, college: Houston). He played most recently at New Jersey Thunder (APBL) in the U.S. Calhoun helped them to win the league title (twice) (also twice). The previous (14-15) season he played at ASS Sale (D1) in Moroccan league. Calhoun contributed to his team winning the Cup. He was selected to Polish League All-Star Game back in 2012. Calhoun is a very experienced player. He has quite traveled the world as his... [read more]
Itzehoe Eagles (ProB) inked 30-year old American forward Qarraan Calhoun (203-86, college: Houston). He played most recently at New Jersey Thunder (APBL) in the U.S. Calhoun helped them to win the league title (twice) (also twice). The previous (14-15) season he played at ASS Sale (D1) in Moroccan league. Calhoun contributed to his team winning the Cup. He was selected to Polish League All-Star Game back in 2012. Calhoun is a very experienced player. He has quite traveled the world as his pro career brought him to four different continents (Europe, Latin America, Africa and of course North America). Calhoun has played previously professionally in Holland (ABC Amsterdam), Romania (Ploiesti), Uruguay (Hebraica) and Poland (Slask and Kotwica). He attended University of Houston until 2009 and it will be his eighth season in pro basketball. Calhoun's game is described as:
A dynamic forward who had triple-double capabilities. boasts an inside and outside game. at 6-foot-8 and 215 pounds, has ideal athleticism and length to play on the wing or down low.
Norm Roberts on Calhoun: 'Qa'rraan Calhoun is a guy that is really going to allow us to spread the floor more. He is a perimeter four-man that can step out away from the basket and shoot the ball for three and also put it on the floor to create for himself as well as others. He is a terrific offensive rebounder who may be one of the best athletes on our team, and he does a great job of running in transition. I think he will add a lot to our team.'.
There was an instance in Danilo Barthel(208-PF-91)'s third season with the Fraport Skyliners where a rumor was leaked that the big man who had found a liking to facial hair in his tenure with Frankfurt was not remotely amused by having any kind of confrontation with the insect that has eight legs and at times franticly moves about as nervously as a Paris Hilton does at home in her walk through closet when she doesn't find the matching outfit for her nightly engagement at some kind of fund... [read more]
There was an instance in Danilo Barthel (208-PF-91)'s third season with the Fraport Skyliners where a rumor was leaked that the big man who had found a liking to facial hair in his tenure with Frankfurt was not remotely amused by having any kind of confrontation with the insect that has eight legs and at times franticly moves about as nervously as a Paris Hilton does at home in her walk through closet when she doesn't find the matching outfit for her nightly engagement at some kind of fundraiser. Even if one would have to be very unlucky to meet a tarantula in the Nord west centrum mall where Barthel lived during his 5 year tenure, the little creature surely could of found bondage to the German's hairy beard. Sometime in the 2013-2014 season, the 207cm forward who has made dunking a normal daily occurrence as much as it is for an Anthony Davis to get a double double found a spider in his mail box, but it soon was revealed that it was a fake rubber spider and the secret of his dislike for the quick runners was slowly lifted. Who the prankster was that placed the spider in the mail box of Barthel was never revealed, but I would have bet my special George Gervin autograph on prankster Jacob Burtschi or the silent and innocent looking Johannes Voigtmann. One thing that Barthel was not scared to present was his sharp and improving basketball skills on the court as he continued to develop since coming to Frankfurt in 2011. Barthel may be the first guy that will be half way to Siberia by the sight of a spider before a Quantez Roberton can be on the break from Frankfurt to Auburn, but if Beko BBL teams came upon the idea to place a spider on a rim to keep Barthel away, they better think twice, because despite his fear of the little creature, the rim is the best friend of the German on the court. That is probably the only place where Barthel will forget how disgusting a spider really is because nothing in safe around the rim when the 25 year old German is on flight. Barthel has made some crashing dunks over his years as he continues his career with FC Bayern Munich this season, but before he could sign on the dotted line and be able to meet Uli Hoeness on a more regular basis and pick his brain about FC Bayern Munich basketball, one has to remember that there was a reason why he was able to move to the charming city of Munich and woo fans there with his skills and that was his development with the Fraport Skyliners from 2011-2016.
Since he came to the Fraport Skyliners in the 2011-2012 season nothing seems to have changed with the demeanor of Danilo Barthel even now with top German club FC Bayern Munich as he is still the calm quiet big man from Heidelberg that at times can glide past you in a hall way as if he was trying to avoid his house doctor from getting scolded for not having made that next checkup, but his appearance in no way is any disrespect, but just how he is. He may still come over as reserved as a person, but his game is anything but restrained, but became a real force on the court and a few years ago was among young Germans as one of the best candidates of making the big breakthrough as according to ex top Beko BBL rebounder Larry Gordon from ex team Phoenix Hagen. As a rookie in the 2011-2012 season, he had to play for Muli Katzurin who wasn't known for giving young Germans a chance as he had coached Alba Berlin to the 2011 Beko BBL final without ever really letting German national players Lucca Staiger get positioned in the corner to have fans chant 'bombs away' or letting Andreas Seiferth get nasty in the paint. However on a cool rainy autumn day in Tubingen in October 2011, Katzurin put Barthel into cold water as the club was hampered with injuries and attitude problems as his eight points were less remembered than ex NBA player Jermario Davidson sitting at the end of the bench having conversations with his mobile phone. 'I was very surprised. I played little minutes in the preseason and then to come in and score so well was like a dream for me', stressed Danilo Barthel. In his first year the Heidelberg native played 13 Beko BBL games and averaged a very respectable 8,33 minutes per game averaging 2,8ppg and 1,1rpg. It wasn't simple getting ample playing time that season as four man Jermario Davidson was the work horse of the team and one of the main factors why the team almost made the playoffs. As a rookie, he got valuable experience in Eurocup play playing four games and continued to be able to work on his game in the German Pro B playing 16 games averaging 13.1ppg, 7.2rpg, 2.7apg, Blocks-4 (1.6bpg), FGP: 57.4%, 3PT: 22.7%, FT: 71.4%. Having current NBA player Jon Leuer as a teammate for three months helped his game mature as well at the start. 'Playing against such a strong offensive player like Jon Leuer that is so versatile really helped my game. My 1-1 defense was helped with his play. I also remembered some of his spin moves to incorporate into my game', stressed Danilo Barthel.
In his second season with the Fraport Skyliners, management made it clear early with the arrival of further German wunder kids Konstantin Klein and Johannes Voigtmann that they would go a totally new route by taking advantage of the 6-6 rule and giving young Germans playing time. The concept of signing talented Americans and reaching the playoffs was first put on hold as rebuilding and looking to the future was first on the agenda. In the 2012-2013 season, Muli Katzurin noticed the talent level of the Germans and gave them minutes. The role of Barthel increased from his rookie season as he played 30 games and averaged 17,3 minutes per game. Just like in his rookie season he had a another work horse in front of him with Zach Peacock, but what better way than to learn from him the way he did from Davidson the year before. In the 2012-2013 season, Barthel averaged 4.3ppg, 2.9rpg. He scored in double figures four times with 15 points against Bayreuth being his best points effort In his second season in Frankfurt. He also found a new relationship to the rim besides just hitting shots, but getting a better feel for what they feel like and how soothing a dunk is when one rams the ball through the netting with authority. His dunking breakthrough came in the first month in a home game against the Telekom Baskets Bonn where he flew through the air making a fierce penetrating two handed dunk over Patrick Ewing junior and Johannes Wolfarth-Bottermann feeling the breeze of the German as he was too late on transition defense. That dunk seemed like that special basketball release for him. From then on dunking had become a big part of his basketball repertoire. If you were to have told NBA legend Larry Bird that he could jump, one would have been lying, because he grabbed rebounds more through effort than athletic ability and that white men can't jump is more of a cliche, because Danilo Barthel could star in his own movie called White men can jump. He proved that he was given that special jumping ability, He continued to play in the Pro B in his second season getting extra game time practice as well playing 12 games and averaging 12.7ppg, 5.6rpg, 2.3apg, 1.3bpg, FGP: 67.7%, 3PT: 30.6%, FT: 75.6%. He ended the season with massive back problems, but worked hard over the summer and came into this season fit.
Barthel who's favorite player is Dwight Howard and likes to mold his game around 63 point man Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks had his real BBL break out season in 2013-2014 playing 34 games averaging 11.3ppg, 4.9rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 57.4%, 3PT: 31.1%, FT: 78.4%; That season, ex Toronto Raptors assistant coach Gordon Herbert had given the big German three of Voigtmann, Klein and Barthel more responsibility and were inserted into the starting lineup each weekend. All three were averaging plus 20 minutes per game. If one had predicted this the season before that this could happen, many might not have thought it happening so quickly, but a lot of the credit goes to the Skyliner coaches of Gordon Herbert, Klaus Perwass and Eric Detlef who put in countless hours of teaching the kids how to get better. A big reason for his breakthrough season is the immense confidence that Gordon Herbert had given the German. Barthel showed more and more that season his unending killer instinct to want to get to the bucket whenever possible and just finish off the play with a monster dunk. However a criticism in his game that season at times had been his hesitation of taking the three ball. From a span from December first until January fifth, the German was 0/10 in six games including two games where he didn't even attempt a three pointer. But in the next two games, he took on more responsibility from downtown and with the absence of injured Andrew Rautins and Oklahoma native Jacob Burtschi, Barthel had to take more of the bulk of the shooting as he was 5/9 in two games making three against Alba Berlin and two in Artland. His passing gets underestimated, but there isn't a better passing combination of four and five men in the Beko BBL than with Johannes Voigtmann and Barthel as he had improved his passing with the daily practice with the German center. He worked on his one on one defense which improved from the previous season as blocks became more of a standard in each game for him. His mobility is a strong suit which has helped him mature better the last years on the defensive end. There was a span in his third season where he registered five blocks in four games and was getting less fouls as his timing and IQ on one on one defense continued to improve. His ex coach Thorsten Daume at USC Heidelberg always preached to give all he has in every minute on the floor and that is what Barthel has always done as he is that relentless fighter that never gives up and that is exactly what every coach wants from his player. He made his debut at the 2014 beko BBL allstar game in Bonn and held his own scoring eight points and showing his usual aggressive play and blocked ex Euroleague player David Logan. 1993 German European champion Henning Harnisch who won just about everything with Leverkusen in the 90s and was general manager of Alba Berlin had nothing but praise for Barthel after examining his play in Bonn at the Beko BBL allstar game.
Before starting the 2014-2015 season with the Fraport Skyliners, Barthel had the huge opportunity to play NBA Summer league with the Miami Heat in Orlando and Las Vegas. This was a grand opportunity to show his skills and test himself against the other rising stars of the world. He played NBA Pro Summer League in Orlando with Miami playing 4 games averaging 4.8ppg, 4.5rpg, 1.0apg, 0.5spg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 31.6%, 3PT: 9.1%, FT: 75%. He then moved west to Las Vegas with Miami and played 6 games averaging 4.7ppg, 2.7rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 39.1%, 3PT: 20%, FT: 69.2%. He had some stiff competition with guys like Larry Drew, James Ennis, Shabazz Napier or Justin Hamilton fighting for minutes, but he held his own and did the most out of minutes mixing it up from outside and as well as showing his game inside which had some GM heads turn in both locations. As time flies so does one's memory, but current Brooklyn Net Justin Hamilton remembered who Barthel was even a year and a half after they were shortly teammates. 'I remember Danilo having a very good shot and being very athletic for his size. He impressed the Miami Heat very much. He showed up and turned heads at the NBA Summer League. I didn't have much conversations with Danilo. In the Summer League you get thrown together for a couple of weeks and it's hard building relationships. I remember him telling me where he was from and where he played. He was a very good guy. He was very competitive and spirited', stressed Justin Hamilton. Another guy that was also his teammate was Larry Drew II who currently plays for Neptunas Klaipeda (Lithuania-LKL) couldn't quite recall his time with the German. Recently before a Champions League game in Oldenburg, the American had to think hard and long when hearing the name Danilo Barthel completely blanking his memory. 'Honestly I don't remember him. I would have to see his face. He must have been very skilled to have been invited by the Miami Heat', stressed Larry drew II. Barthel returned back to Germany and in the 2014-2015 season and played 30 games: 9.3ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 53.1%, 3PT: 41.5%, FT: 74.1%; EuroChallenge: 10 games: 10.4ppg, 4.6rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 55.6%, 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 81.0%. In the BBL he scored in double figures 12 times and had two double doubles and in the Eurochallenge scored in double figures in seven games. He had a serious injury that kept him out for two months at the start of 2015 and when he came back at the end of March put up some solid games in the BBL, but had misfortune in the Eurochallenge semi-final where Frankfurt met a very hungry and energy driven French team Naterre who had a superb day put up the big goose egg in 14 minutes. All in all the injury hindered his development a bit. At the end of the season he had racked up another BBL allstar game appearance and made the Eurochallenge Top 4. In his last season, Barthel won his first professional title with the Fiba Europe Cup and played 32 BBL games averaging 9.6ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 68.3%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 83.8%; and in the FIBA Europe Cup played 14 games averaging 8.6ppg, 5.1rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 56.5%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 78.6%. He had another injury at the start of 2016 that kept him out for a month, but overall it was another solid season for him. In the BBL he scored in double figures 17 times and in the Fiba Europe Cup scored in double figures five times. He probably could of improved his scoring and rebounding tremendously in his last two seasons with the Fraport Skyliners, but the club had added the perfect parts for success. Two seasons ago, the trio of Justin Cobbs, Sean Armand and Aaron Doornekamp combined for much points and last season Jordan Theodore and Aaron Doornekamp supplied much fire power. The German twin towers of Danilo Barthel and Johannes Voigtmann obviously were hindered more in their production. The Fraport Skyliners played team basketball and stats were put on the back burner. Barthel became more of an inside animal going to places where most wouldn't want to venture to. How many times Barthel got elbowed in the face, got his nose rearranged or had traces of a bloody nose are hard to pinpoint, but his mom who sat a few rows up behind the Frankfurt bench probably had a better recollection of her son's trauma under the hoop. Barthel's outside shot is still a work in progress, but his inside game definitely developed further in his last two seasons in Frankfurt. After winning the Fiba Europe Cup and standing high and mighty on the balcony of the Frankfurt council house during the celebrations, a big ugly spider could of found a new home on the trophy and Barthel may have forgot his spider phobia for at least a moment while holding the shiny silver award.
This season Barthel has moved on to FC Bayern Munich and has become part of a team that has a 12 man roster where each guy could be a starter for any other BBL team. He can be proud to call guys like Bryce Taylor, Maxi Kleber, Devin Booker, ex NBA player Nick Johnson and ex Bamberg sniper Anton Gavel his teammates. It is obvious that when you are on a team like this, minutes will be as desired by each guy as is that 5th Super Bowl ring that Tom Brady is striving for to finally be called the greatest quarter back of all-time. Even if some may call having German Maxi Kleber as his main competitor at the position four a tough pill to swallow, having battles in practice each day will make the German only better. So far this season, Barthel is averaging 15,6 minutes per game, 8,2ppg, 2,6rpg, 1,3apg and shooting 33,3% from outside. He has scored in double figures in four games and netted 15 points against Tuebingen and 14 points against Wurzburg. In Eurocup action is averaging 7,6ppg, 4,1rpg and 1,3apg. Barthel really has only two main goals on his mind which is winning to sooth the heart of Uli Hoeness and being as effective as possible in his minutes which will keep head coach Aleksandar Djordevic ready to keep penciling him in. FC Bayern Munich is definitely on paper and in their play so far in the BBL an upgrade from last season, but getting by Bamberg will be a giant hurdle and challenge. But Barthel knows that the season won't really start until May 2017. The sky is still the limit for Barthel at the age of 25 as his time with FC Bayern Munich will help him further in his development. When Barthel returns back to the Fraport arena on Sunday, he will surely take a look up at the rafters for a moment and look at the 2016 Fiba Europe cup banner and reflect on the closing moments in Chalon as the buzzer sounded and teammate Jordan Theodore took the ball and threw the ball to space and the German let out a fierce roar after the title win like a black bear in Colorado who needs his daily fish rations. Jacob Burtschi might not be around as a possible prankster this season but Barthel may just have to check his space in the visiting locker room especially closely on Sunday just in case a Quantez Robertson didn't enter early and place something very hairy and undesirable there for him to meet.
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