It only seems like yesterday that a boyish, tall, inexperienced lanky 17 year old RRobin Benzing (209-SF-89) played his first season with second Bundesliga club TV Langen. The year was 2006 as he was already displaying his talent with American teammate Ty Shaw who now coaches that team or Igor Starcevic who know coaches PRO B team Licher Basket Baeren. Benzing developed nicely in Langen the first two seasons and then really exploded in his third year 2008-2009 where put up 18,7ppg, 4,4rpg, 1,1apg, 1,0spg and 1,1bpg and was also playing with the big boys with the Deutsche Bank Skyliners 15 kilometers north in Frankfurt and was dreaming of the Beko BBL. He had a game that looked like that of German national player Jan Jagla, but in appearance looked totally different with his short cut army type haircut and looked like the friendly kid next door. He had the height of a power forward, but could play like a small forward that would create numerous mismatches during games. He could already hurt you with his shot at a young age and penetrate like a mal nourished bear as he demonstrated during the 2009 European championships in Poland putting up sweet stats without ever having played a game in the Beko BBL. Many Frankfurt fans had hoped that he might make the jump to the Deutsche Bank Skyliners, but instead went south to ratiopharm Ulm where D league head coach Mike Taylor of the Maine Red Claws gave him freedom and sufficient playing time and was able to develop further. Benzing was top German scorer in the 2010-2011 season with 15,1ppg. After that potent season, it was only obvious that he would make the next step and did moving to famous German name team FC Bayern Munich. In his first season, his production slipped dramatically, but he was packed into a stronger and deeper roster. However he seemed to have received some fortune with the move bringing legendary head coach Svetislav Pesic to the Isar as he has improved and been in the starting lineup and there is no more talk about his development stalling, but he now seems headed into becoming a leading player in a club staked with top American players. His potential is unending and talk of getting to the NBA is present again. Benzing returned back to Frankfurt with Bayern Munich after losing last season there with FC Bayern Munich for a fourth time and led the most famous German team in Germany to a 73-59 victory. That Benzing is a much liked player there is no surprise. I coached Robin in the Hessen team when he was 15 and in the A-2 German national team. I said many years ago that he has much potential and was a bit surprised that he wasnt drafted. What I like about his game that he is never afraid and has that killer instinct. I see him making the NBA. In Treviso where top players play for a chance for the NBA, he was over motivated. In Treviso, it can be tough for a player to get noticed since the play is so crazy as it is difficult to observe the strength of a player. He didnt shoot so well in Treviso which hurt his rating. Robin shoots so well for his height at the position three. He really has the right head on his shoulder. His summer program helped him a lot get more self confidence and I think that he has made a big step in the last months. The arrival of Pesic has helped him as he has more confidence and gets the green light. Pesic is perfect coach for him as he will improve and gain more experience, stressed basketball expert Steven Clauss. Benzing finished the game with a team high 21 points and eight rebounds on six for nine shooting in 30 minutes. After the win Benzing was humble and taking his performance in stride like a real professional. I really looked forward to this game since I am from here and my family was here, but I was concentrated on my work and the win was most important. My teammates found me and I hit my shots. But this was a team win, stressed RRobin Benzing. Fraport Skyliner Ted Scott was impressed with the German national player. I liked the game of Benzing. He played a heck of a game made his shots and could also put it to the floor. I am sure if he could find the right system that he could bring it in the NBA, stressed Ted Scott. It is no secret that Benzing is a new player under head coach Svetislav Pesic. I am playing a lot better under Pesic. I think my game suits his system. But I think as a whole, the whole team is playing better under Pesic not only me, added RRobin Benzing,
FC Bayern Munich came into the game riding on a four game winning streak and had impressively averaged 109 points in those four wins. With only having scored 36 points at halftime, it was rather apparent that the team wouldnt be able to reach that whopping average, but in the end trends are to be broken and a win is a win no matter if you score 123 points or only 73 points. We arent Bamberg that can come in here and all are afraid and they depart with a 20 point win. After the win FC Bayern Munich sport director Marko Pesic didnt smile, but had a serious demeanour and one could sense that he was relieved that they won. We didnt go into the game with the right intensity. Frankfurt never gave up and didnt make it easy for us. We played good defense and that is why we won. In the past we would have lost games like this, so this was a very important win for us, warned FC Bayern sport director Marko Pesic. Lasts eason, FC Bayern Munich stunk up the Fraport arena losing and fleeing from the arena wanting to forget the embarrassment as quickly as possible. For the players that remained from last season, there was a huge revenge factor on their minds. That was a tough loss last season. We didnt want to lose here again like that. It was important to remember that loss, but not too much, added Marko Pesic. This season is different than last season. I didnt have that revenge factor on my mind. A win is a win and it is important to keep the confidence on the road, stressed Iowa native Jared Homan. After averaging giving up 86 points in the last five games, but averaging scoring 109 points in the last four games, FC Bayern Munich did a role reversal with their offense and defense and made an important experience that will help them for the future. This was a good win. It was good not too win by 30 points or make more than a 100 points. We werent hitting our shots so we had to rely on defense. We learned today that if we defend well and play average offense that we can still win, warned Iowa native Jared Homan.
The Fraport Skyliners entered the game with a lot of momentum after their big win 72 hours earlier against BBC Bayreuth. With the Fraport Skyliners resting in 16th place and every win as necessary as it is for the LTi Giessen 46ers for the fight to stay in the league, the team had a tough opponent with FC Bayern Munich and played well, but just couldnt keep the level of the opponent for 40 minutes or match their talent level. We had a good first half sticking with them, but they came out with even more intensity in the second half and just wore us down using their size and we couldnt keep up. It wasnt like they had one big man like BBC Bayreuth did, but they had four big men. They just knew how to use their size and it took a toll on us. It gets tring going against a Homan or Troutman who goes so hard on every play. We also didnt have some plays go in our favor" stressed Fraport Skyliner guard Dawan Robinson. Even if the Fraport Skyliners seemed to get tired in the second half, they continued to give their all one trait that has never eluded the team this season. We fought fought and fought, but in the end were unable to make the little plays. They capitalized on it on offense and defense. They defended very well and took us out of our rhythm, added Fraport Skyliner guard Devin Gibson.
It isnt only in soccer that wherever FC Bayern Munich is that there is a full house, but also in the Beko BBL. 5,002 people wanted to see the game and didnt see a quick run by FC Bayern Munich, but a very exciting and pretty even game in the first half. Ted Scott got the Fraport Sklyiners on the board first with his patent quick release from his holster and burying a three pointer. FC Bayern Munich center Jared Homan responded with a dunk after freeing himself from Zach Peacock and getting a nifty pass from Tyrese Rice. Peacock then got going hitting a mid distance shot and getting down the floor like a 100 meter sprinter and catching the opponent napping getting an easy lay up as FC Bayern Munich trailed 7-4. The Fraport Skyliners continued to be in a special basketball offense trance as they were hitting on a consistent rate. Quantez Robertson split the defense making a reverse lay up and Devin Gibson then found Ted Scott running the floor and f ed him for the dunk as the Fraport Skyliners led 11-6. The Fraport Skyliners were playing very intelligent knowing when to make the game fast and playing hard nosed defense as Munich was still looking for their rhythm. RRobin Benzing kept FC Bayern Munich in the game with an open jumper, but Ted Scott connected with a three pointer over Benzing as the Fraport Skyliners led 14-9. RRobin Benzing continued to have the soft touch as he drilled another three pointer this time over Dion Dowell as FC Bayern Munich trailed 14-13. Dowell then connected for a three pointer, but it was Benzing again hitting his third three pointer of the game as FC Bayern Munich led 18-17 after one quarter. Frankfurt was playing good defense, rebounding well and eliminating second chances. Frankfurt also did a good job getting out on the fast break. They also tried to get Zach Peacock going early which worked, stressed ex Bradley forward Taylor Brown. FC Bayern Munich was shooting 33% from the field and 50% from outside while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 37% from the field and 30% from outside. FC Bayern Munich led the rebound duel 12-9, but had three turnovers while Frankfurt had one turnover.
In the second quarter, the game continued to be dominated by defense as scoring presented a problem especially for FC Bayern Munich who had been scoring so at ease in the last four games averaging 109 points per game. After only coughing up the ball one time in the first quarter, The Fraport Skyliners registered eight turnovers in the second quarter as FC Bayern Munich upped their defense. Chevon Troutman who reached three NCAA Sweet 16 games with Pittsburgh open the scoring with a lay in as FC Bayern Munich led 20-17. Quantez Robertson then tested his 29% three point shooting percentage dropping a big three pointer dead locking the game at 20-20. Troutman then scored again inside and Peacock made a beautiful spin move on the base line around Benzing as the Fraport Skyliners got the lead back 23-22. FC Bayern Munich then went on a mini 4-0 run continuing to power the ball inside as Troutman got his third lay in and Homan battled for the offensive rebound and registered a put back as FC Bayern Munich led 26-23. Peacock continued to be in the zone scoring inside getting fed perfectly from Robinson as the game was tied again at 26-26. Scott then beat Yotam Halperin one on one giving Frankfurt the 29-28 advantage. It didnt take the veteran of 140 Euroleague games make good of his mistake on Scott as he connected on a three pointer as FC Bayern led 31-29. Peacock then hit two free throws as the game was knotted 31-31. With a minute to go, FC Bayern capitalized on a Dowell miss and Gibson turnover as 2008 ULEB cup winner Jan Jagla nailed a three pointer and Benzing made a tip in as FC Bayern Munich led 36-31. Munich started to hit three pointers and got more second chances. We missed more shots and didnt get as many shots up. We needed to get out quicker on the shooters and know where they were, but Frankfurt wasnt doing that, stressed Taylor Brown. FC Bayern Munich was shooting 35% from the field and 42% from the three point line while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 44% from the field and 36% from the three point line. Frankfurt still trailed on the boards 22-14 and had nine turnovers while FC Bayern Munich had six turnovers.
In the third quarter FC Bayern Munich came out with more intensity than the Fraport Skyliners and were rewarded with a 7-2 run as they led 43-33. The positive thing about FC Bayern Munich is that even if a RRobin Benzing is hot and their inside players Homan and Troutman are scalding, then there are still other guys that will produce as did Brandon Thomas who played at Umass with ex Bonn forward Tony Gaffney. Thomas was very active on offense scoring inside and hitting a three pointer. Jared Homan also scored as he battled for position got the ball and threw the ball hard into the basket like an angry farmer throwing a spoiled corn on the cob into a barrel after a down pour. Scott interrupted the run with a pretty runner of the glass. Despite the Munich run and momentary momentum, it didnt hinder Frankfurt from sneaking on a 5-0 run to cut the Munich lead to 43-38. Frankfurt played aggressive defense in this run forcing FC Bayern Munich to three consecutive turnovers and Robertson and captain Marius Nolte scoring. However, FC Bayern Munich was able to halt this run and close out the third quarter with a 13-5 run to lead comfortably 56-43 after three quarters. In the run, FC Bayern Munich got good production from many players as Brandon Thomas dunked furiously over Dowell, Benzing and Halperin nailed three pointers and Steffan Hamann made free throws FC Bayern Munich led 56-43. We didnt have the same intensity on defense as in the first half. We had break downs in our execution on offense. We let them get too many transition buckets and second chances, stressed Ted Scott. FC Bayern Munich was shooting 48% from the two point area and 25% from the parking lot while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting34% from the two point area and 50% from the parking lot. Munich still had the rebound edge 31-23 and 12 turnovers while Frankfurt had 13 turnovers.
The Fraport Skyliners didnt throw in the towel yet as they struck back with a huge 8-2 run to cut the FC Bayern Munich lead to 58-51 as there still seemed to be hope in the Fraport arena for the 2004 Beko BBL champion. Devin Gibson hit a pull up jumper, Dowell from downtown and Robertson from the parking lot. However instead of keeping the run going and getting consistent stops on defense, they allowed FC Bayern Munich to go on a 6-0 run to up their lead to 64-51. Benzing who had hurt Frankfurt all night long with his outside shooting open up his trick basket and pull out his other strength the penetration as he scored with his quick first step with his left hand. Rice also showed how quick he can find the open space in the lane scoring. If Benzing and Homan had hit their free throws better than they would have led by more. After Robertson scored inside to cut the FC Bayern Munich lead to 64-53 it was Rice again drawing a foul and hitting free thorws for the 66-53 lead. Dawan Robinson gave the Fraport Skyliners one last gasp of hope nailing consecutive three pointers as Frankfurt trailed 67-59, but time was running out and Tyrese Rice closed out the game with a own 6-0 run making two shots and free throws as FC Bayern Munich won their fifth in a row 73-59. We did too little too late in the fourth quarter. Despite our run, they controlled the pace. We played with desperation, added Dawan Robinson.
FC Bayern Munich was led by RRobin Benzing with 21 points. Tyrese Rice added 14 points and five assists. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Zach Peacock with 15 points. Quantez Robertson added 14 points and Ted Scott 12 points. The Fraport Skyliners shot only 39% from the field and 31% from outside while FC Bayern Munich was solid at 40% from the field and 42% from outside. FC Bayern Munich dominated the boards 43-28. It wasnt a finesse game, but a physical game. We got tired and just didnt bring the intensity that we should have on the rebound, added Ted Scott. There was one positive aspect to the loss for the Fraport Skyliners. We fought and never gave up. We really showed a lot of desire to win, stressed Dawan Robinson. For FC Bayern Munich it was the fifth win in a row and it is clear that head coach Svetislav Pesic has been a big reason for the stellar play of the club. The atmosphere is a lot different with Pesic. He knows when to be serious and when to laugh. We know what to do on the court so we just do it and it has worked, warned Jared Homan. My dad has found the roles for all the players. The players have understood that and transformed it into the plays on the court, stressed Marko Pesic.
Every season there are always numerous new players that arrive in the Pro B to show their extraordinary basketball abilities with the hope of being able to showcase their talent to a vast array of people and hoping to continue to develop and make the next step at a higher level. The Dragons Rhondorf and Bayer Giants Leverkusen have three of these players that squared off against each other in the Dragon Dome with the one player big dawg Aaron Nelson that stands 203cm that cleans up in the... [read more]
Every season there are always numerous new players that arrive in the Pro B to show their extraordinary basketball abilities with the hope of being able to showcase their talent to a vast array of people and hoping to continue to develop and make the next step at a higher level. The Dragons Rhondorf and Bayer Giants Leverkusen have three of these players that squared off against each other in the Dragon Dome with the one player big dawg Aaron Nelson that stands 203cm that cleans up in the paint area and at times is unstoppable and only content when he gets a double double as he averaged double double stats as a senior at S. Indiana and as a rookie in Chile with Los Leones de Quilpue. The other two players stood on the other side as one guy is a pure scorer and has the same last name as an ex American president. Kerry Carter who played at St Mary (NCAA) and last season had a 5 game stint in Europe's best league in Spain Endesa with Iberostar Tenerife CB Canarias and racked up 9 points in 10 minutes against top club Real Madrid. The last player in this trio is an American that like Nelson loves to get physical inside and post double doubles and loves Manchester United. Brandon Nazione played at Eastern Michigan and has mixed it up in the Pro B this season and had his first very tough match up against Nelson. This game not only matched up three top players who wanted to do as much as possible to help lead their club to victory, but was also the homecoming of German Tim Schonborn who played three seasons with the Dragons amassing 78 games. With so many interesting side stories to the contest, one had the tendency to forget that the most important aspect to the evening was two teams battling for a win as the 2-2 Dragons Rhondorf were looking to keep their home record spotless while the Bayer Giants Leverkusen also 2-2 were still looking for their first road victory of the season, but that still had to wait as they lost their fourth game in a row in Rhondorf since 2008 92-87 in OT. In the head to head battle Kerry Carter finished with 31 points having a 27 efficiency rate while Aaron Nelson finished with 26 points and nine boards and also a 27 efficiency rate, but the Rhondorf American won the game. After the game, Nelson was torn and tattered as Leverkusen had really made him work hard for his pay check. 'I take every game the same. We knew that Carter was a good scorer and we had to try to focus on him more, but also take away the rest of the team. He had a very good game and I am just glad we came away with the win', stressed Illinois native Aaron Nelson. Carter didn't show it with his game face still on after the game, but one could see that he was very peeved at the loss. 'I never caught up in these type of matchups. Some players get overhyped while others are off the radar. Nelson is a great player and had a great game. I go into every game the same way no matter who we play', warned Bayer Giants Leverkusen scoring ace Kerry Carter.
The Bayer Giants Leverkusen were unable to connect in their first three possessions, but then got some buckets from ex Dragon Tim Schonborn and 31 year old German Gotz Twiehof scored for the early 4-2 advantage, but then it was time for the Canadian sensation Mike Lucier who gave the word scoring a new special meaning as he rattled off seven unanswered points giving Rhondorf the 9-4 lead. He can always dazzle you with his trey, but he got aggressive early in the paint as he scored twice and then made a steal and went coast to coast for the dunk. Rhondorf continued to carry the momentum upping their lead to 13-6 as Aaron Nelson scored as did Thomas Michel. However one can only control a guy like Kerry Carter so long as he had been stifled by Rhondorf in the first five minutes, but then got his motor going as he carried the Bayer Giants on a 13-4 run giving them the 19-17 lead as he nailed three trey's. Leverkusen had found their offensive rhythm and closed out the first quarter strong with the fourth three pointer of Carter and an Alexander Blessing lay in. New York native Will Trawick finished the first quarter with a timely three pointer cutting the Leverkusen lead to 23-22. 'I was really happy with how Patrick Reusch (185-G-93) played. It wasn't easy for him to come in and replace Viktor Frankl-Maus. He did a good job on offense and finding the open man. You can never really control a Carter. Take away his 10 points and we would have given up 13 points and the game would have looked a lot different', stressed Dragons Rhondorf CEO Boris Kaminski. The Bayer Giants Leverkusen were shooting 47% from the field and 50% from outside while the Dragons Rhondorf were shooting 40% from the field and 20% from outside. Rhondorf had the slim 12-10 rebound edge, but five turnovers while Leverkusen had four turnovers.
In the second quarter, the Bayer Giants Leverkusen got off to a rough start once again not executing on their first three possessions, while Rhondorf went on a 10-1 run to extend their lead to 32-24. In the run, Rhondorf got solid production from Aaron 'big dawg' Nelson scoring inside twice, Will Trawick also got aggressive finishing in the paint and Sascha Tratnjek scored. The Bayer Giants Leverkusen were just careless in their sets and pulled off two quick possessions without really getting settled. But then came the turning point of the second quarter as the Bayer Giants Leverkusen switched to zone propelling them on a 9-0 run as Carter once again got going again scoring seven points getting the guests the 33-32 advantage. Carter scored twice in the lane and once from the parking lot. 17 year old German Anton Geretzki stopped the run connecting on a pretty high rainbow giving Rhondorf the 35-33 lead which didn't hold up long as American rookie Brandon Nazione controlled an offensive rebound and made the put back tying the game at 35-35. Trawick made a free throw and lay in sending Rhondorf into halftime with the tight 39-36 lead. 'We started well, but they came back when they went to zone taking away our strength with Nelson and Lucier. We gave up an open three pointer to Carter which should never happen', added Dragons Rhondorf CEO Boris Kaminski. The Dragons Rhondorf were shooting 31% from the field and 23% from the three point line while the Bayer Giants Leverkusen were shooting 41% from the field and 33% from the three point line. Rhondorf had the 27-22 rebound edge and eight turnovers while Leverkusen had nine turnovers.
In the third quarter, the Dragons Rhondorf got off to another good start which was benefited by their two opening stops which led to an 8-2 run lifting their lead to 47-38. Geretzki started the run with his second trey and Nelson scored in bunches making it look so easy. But basketball always remains a game of runs as Rhondorf didn't execute on the next few possessions which enabled Leverkusen to tie the game at 47-47 benefited by an overwhelming 9-0 run. In the run the ex BBL team got some free throws, a reverse lay up by Carter, and a Schonborn lay in and trey. The game now was a dog fight as a team would take the lead and then the other would match them. Nazione made a massive dunk and Schonborn continued to be aggressive from all areas of the court and made an acrobatic lay in tying the game at 52-52. The Bayer Giants Leverkusen closed out the third quarter with the 61-57 lead as they got some instant offense from Blessing who dropped a three and made a steal and went coast to coast for the lay in. Carter and Nazione finished with two lay ins. 'We got more stops and let our defense dictate our offense instead of the other way around. I just wish that we could of done that more throughout the game', said ex St Mary's guard Kerry Carter. 'We turned the ball over too much and they hit shots. That is when basketball becomes a game of runs. They saw the ball go in and automatically they played better offense and defense. That always feels good', added Dragons Rhondorf forward Will Trawick. The Bayer Giants Leverkusen were shooting 47% from the field and 35% from the parking lot while the Dragons Rhondorf were shooting 35% from the field and 29% from the parking lot. Rhondorf had the 34-31 rebound advantage, but 16 turnovers while Leverkusen had 14 turnovers.
In the fourth quarter, despite not executing on their first two possessions, the Bayer Giants Leverkusen soon got going taking a healthy lead and it seemed like they would carry it back home, but let the game slip away in the last four minutes letting Rhondorf sneak back and force OT. Rhondorf started off on a 4-0 run as German Patrick Reusch (185-G-93) nailed free throws and Lucier scored inside to dead lock the game at 61-61. Then Leverkusen upped their defensive intensity and rushed out on a stellar 7-2run to lead 69-63. In the run, Leverkusen was fortified by Carter with two lay ups, a Nazione reverse lay up showing on more than one occasion during the game that he can play like a guard at the 203cm frame, and a Michael Kuczmann jumper. Rhondorf continued to battle back with Nelson free throws and a Reusch lay in to cut the Leverkusen lead to 69-67. However then it seemed like the Bayer Giants Leverkusen would slam the door on Rhondorf with a timely 9-0 run as crunch-time was approaching. In the run, Leverkusen was aided by a Carter trey and Nazione lay in off a second chance and then a hard dunk off a steal and coast to coast run. Leverkusen was aided by their two best American imports and it seemed like they couldn't falter now with three minutes remaining. However behind the massive support of their fans, Rhondorf continued to chip away at the lead and come back. Rhondorf made the game dramatic going on an unbelievable 11-0 run to retake the lead 78-77 with a minute to play. In the run, Rhondorf got potent production from Aaron Nelson who got to the free throw line three times and helped the team come back. 'Leverkusen made it tough for me all night. They made me work for every bucket. I knew at this time that I had to assert my dominance and get to the free throw line, get buckets and rebounds', added Aaron Nelson. The Dragon Dome went out of control when Will Trawick nailed the go ahead three for the 78-77 Rhondorf lead. 'My shot was huge. It felt amazing when it went in. We came from being down despite them having control. I sucked the momentum out of them and gave some energy to our fans while we took the momentum into OT. I never think about shooting, because the more you do the more you tend to miss. My coach and teammates always give me the confidence to keep shooting', stressed ex Emory (NCAA3) guard Will Trawick. The Bayer Giants Leverkusen had the chance to win the game down the stretch, but Carter attempted an air ball and then missed a lay up. 'I should of made those two shots regardless if I was tired or not', warned Kerry Carter. Bastian Winterhalter then connected on free throws and Nazione put the game into OT with two free throws tying the game at 79-79. The Dragons Rhondorf were shooting 34% from the field and 30% from outside while the Bayer Giants Leverkusen were shooting 46% from the field and 27% from outside. Rhondorf had the 42-37 rebound edge, but 20 turnovers while Leverksuen had 19 turnovers.
In the OT it was the Rhondorf German kid's show of Reusch and Falkenstein that led the club past the Bayer Giants Leverkusen. The Dragons Rhondorf went on a quick 5-2 run to lead 84-81. The run was sparked by the clever play by Patrick Reusch (185-G-93) who showed a lot of responsibility scoring inside, then drawing a foul and nailing free throws and then making a steal. Lucier added free throws. The Bayer Giants Leverkusen made one last push going on a 6-2 run to cut the Rhondorf advantage to 85-84. In the run, Leverkusen was sparked by a Blessing fingertip roll in and two buckets in the paint by Brandon 'the beast' Nazione. After a Michel free throw came the closing dagger into the heart of Leverkusen as 18 year German David Falkenstein who only practices once a week with the team stepped into a passing lane made the steal and went coast to coast for the lay in and 88-85 lead. Lucier and Reusch closed out the game with free throws as Rhondorf stayed unbeaten at home. 'The kids played great. Reusch played with a lot of confidence and Falkenstein doesn't practice much with us, but still knows all the plays was huge. Our focus was too make it tough on Carter at the end and we did a good job', stressed Aaron Nelson. 'We should of played tougher and smarter in OT. A few turnovers at the end cost us the game. We played good defense, but they just scored a little more', added ex eastern Michigan forward Brandon Nazione. 'Every guy on our team can give good minutes. Falkenstein and Reuch played good defense and had good drives. They were huge for us', warned Will Trawick. The Dragons Rhondorf were led by Aaron nelson with 26 points and nine rebounds. Will Trawick added 18 points and Mike Lucier 16 points while Patrick Reusch (185-G-93) scored 10 points. The Bayer Giants Leverkusen were led by Kerry Carter with 31 points, four rebounds, six assists and five steals. Brandon Nazione added 21 points and 12 rebounds. Tim Schonborn supplied 12 points and nine rebounds. The Dragons Rhondorf shot 34% from the field and 29% from the three point line while the Bayer Giants Leverkusen shot 46% from the field and 23% from the three point line. Rhondorf had the 46-43 rebound edge and 22 turnovers and Leverkusen coughed up the ball 24 times.
Brendan Lane(206-C-90, college: Pepperdine) is a 25 year old 206cm center from Rocklin, California playing his third professional season and second in Germany in the Beko BBL with the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg. As a rookie he played with Mitsubishi Diamond Dolphins (Japan-NBL): 52 games: 12.8ppg, 7.9rpg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 53.0%, 3PT: 35.4%, FT: 73.4%. He started his basketball career in 2009 with UCLA (NCAA) where he played until 2012 playing a total of 79 NCAA games. He finished his college b... [read more]
Brendan Lane (206-C-90, college: Pepperdine) is a 25 year old 206cm center from Rocklin, California playing his third professional season and second in Germany in the Beko BBL with the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg. As a rookie he played with Mitsubishi Diamond Dolphins (Japan-NBL): 52 games: 12.8ppg, 7.9rpg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 53.0%, 3PT: 35.4%, FT: 73.4%. He started his basketball career in 2009 with UCLA (NCAA) where he played until 2012 playing a total of 79 NCAA games. He finished his college basketball career at : Pepperdine (NCAA, starting five) playing 29 games averaging 13.2ppg, 7.4rpg, 1.2apg, 2.4bpg, FGP: 56.6%, 3PT: 38.5%, FT: 62.4%. Last season with Wurzburg he played 37 games averaging 13.7ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 59.6%, 3PT: 14.8%, FT: 73.6%. He belongs to the top centers in the Beko BBL He spoke to eurobasket after the big 73-64 win against the Fraport Skyliners.
Brendan thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. Congrats on the two game winning streak. Is this years team finally figuring out how to win games? Yeah I think we finally got that confidence back after that tough start. Getting that first win was big for us and hopefully we can keep it going now.
s.Wurzburg assistant coach Stephan Voelkl had a busy weekend last week scouting both Frankfurt games against the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg and ratiopharm Ulm. Nevertheless, the Fraport Skyliners crushed you and was leading 40-22 at halftime. Did Frankfurt do anything out of the ordinary that Wurzburg didn't know going into the game which made it so difficult to keep them in check? No they weren't doing anything that we didn't prepare for, we just didn't show up to play that first half and we really struggled.
The 0/12 three point woes of the s.oliver Wurzburg didn't help either. How frustrating were the first 20 minutes and was it at that point just one of those days where nothing was falling? Yeah that was tough, but I think it was more of just settling for threes and not attacking. We were being passive and just shooting rather than attacking and setting up good shots.
I can imagine that the atmosphere was tense at halftime in the locker room. What magic words of wisdom did head coach Doug Spradley find to help get the team back on track?
At halftime he basically just said we were playing soft and not fighting at all. He just challenged us to come out in the second half and fight and do anything we could to get back into the game.
The s.Oliver Wurzburg finally got on track in the third quarter going on a 16-2 run. What adjustments did the club make to get back into the game?
I think we just started being more aggressive on defense and we were able to get some steals or rebounds and speed up the tempo of the game.
You really got going in the third quarter getting your share of buckets. Did you feel the need to have to step up? Yeah we weren't creating much offensively, especially inside, so it was important that we started rolling harder to the basket and being more aggressive and my teammates did a great job finding me when I was open.
The s.Oliver Wurzburg continued to play masterful basketball going on a 22-5 run to decide the game. What was key for keeping up the defensive consistency in the last frame? We just kept up the pressure. We knew they had played a lot of games in the past week so they probably had tired legs at the end so we had to keep being the aggressor and not let up.
So far no BBL teams have had any clue how to slow down rookie Shavon Shields who scored 18 points. Why is this guy so dominant at the moment?
He is a very versatile 4 man who can create his own shots which can be very difficult for teams to guard and he's playing with a lot of confidence.
Do you believe as time goes on that teams will figure out Shavon Shields or will he continue to hurt opponents with his quickness and pretty moves?
I think he's going to be dangerous all season. Teams will definitely focus on him more as he continues to produce, but he's still a very good player that will cause a lot of problems for teams.
The s.Oliver Wurzburg have had a slow start losing it's first four games, but have a two game winning streak now. What assets does the tam have this season they didn't have last season that will enable the club to have a another good season?
I think we are much deeper this season, but right now we are just learning how to play with each other. Last year we had great chemistry from the start and that showed with our start last year. But this year it's taken us a little longer and we had to face some adversity with the 0-4 start. Hopefully this will help us in the long term and we can get back to where we think we can finish in this league.
Jake Odum might be one of the most underrated point guards in the BBL. How is his game different from Dru Joyce and how fierce is his killer instinct?
Jake and Dru are both great point guards. Jake brings a little more size to the point guard position which will help against teams with bigger guards. But both guys are fierce competitors who want to win. Jake is still early in his career and his really hungry to prove himself in Europe and to win at every level and that is great to have in a teammate.
You battled against German national player Johannes Voigtmann last season and now you have his little brother Georg as a teammate. How have you been helping him in practice most and does he have the game to become a solid BBL player. For his size he is one of the most skilled big men I've seen. The one big key for him is just the physicality at the BBL level. It's great for him to battle every day in practice especially against a veteran like Kreso who challenges him physically. I think he will definitely be a solid BBL player at some point.
This was with the game against FC Bayern Munich your best game of the season as you gave the word efficient a new meaning once again. Do you feel any pressure at all when you know the three isn't6 falling for the team that you have to produce well quickly at a consistent rate?
I don't really feel any extra pressure when that happens, but I do look to be more aggressive and put some pressure on the other team inside.
After having a very good first season in the BBL, you are looking to take the next step as a player this season. What do you believe helped your game last season that will enable you to take it to the next level this season?
Last season I was very successful in getting good position inside and creating easy shots for myself. I think having the experience in this league now will only make me better at finding those openings in the defense.
Besides having a successful season, what is your main goal to achieve on the court this season in your game that will help you make the next step in your grooming as a player?
My main goal is to be consistent the whole season. Last year we tapered off at the end of the season and this year I want to continue playing well all the way through the end of the season.
Kevin Garnett has retired. Where do you believe does his legacy stand when comparing him to the greatest power forwards of all-time?
He is definitely one of the greatest power forwards. He was dominant for so long and was always a winner. One of the fiercest competitors ever.
What was the last movie that you saw? The last movie I saw was Secret in their eyes.
Eugene Harris (185-PG-86, college: High Point) is a 29 year old 193cm point guard from Pittsburgh and is playing his sixth professional season and first in Germany with the Hebeisen White Wings Hanau. Last season he played for Siarka Tarnobrzeg (Poland-TBL): 13 games: 6.9ppg, 2.0rpg, 2.2apg, 2FGP: 32.6%, 3FGP: 25.4%, left in Jan.'16, later that month moved to KTE-Duna Aszfalt (Hungary-A Division): 11 games: 6.4ppg, 1.4rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 57.9%, 3PT: 28.3%, FT: 75.0%. He started his basketba... [read more]
Eugene Harris (185-PG-86, college: High Point) is a 29 year old 193cm point guard from Pittsburgh and is playing his sixth professional season and first in Germany with the Hebeisen White Wings Hanau. Last season he played for Siarka Tarnobrzeg (Poland-TBL): 13 games: 6.9ppg, 2.0rpg, 2.2apg, 2FGP: 32.6%, 3FGP: 25.4%, left in Jan.'16, later that month moved to KTE-Duna Aszfalt (Hungary-A Division): 11 games: 6.4ppg, 1.4rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 57.9%, 3PT: 28.3%, FT: 75.0%. He started his basketball career in 2006 with High Point (NCAA) where he played until 2010 playing a total of 121 NCAA games. As a senior he played 30 games averaging 14.0ppg, 2.6rpg, 2.0apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 38.7%, 3PT: 34.1%, FT: 87.5%.In his first five professional seasons, he has gained vast experience having played in countries like Lithuania, Georgia, Cyprus, Macedonia, and Ukraine. He spoke to eurobasket shortly after signing with Hanau last summer.
Eugene thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. Welcome to Germany. Congrats on signing with Pro A team Hebeisen White Wings. You have played in many countries in Europe, but this will be your first season in Germany. What ties do you to Germany in general and what do you know about the country and it's basketball? I actually know a couple of guys that played in this country so I'm pretty familiar with what to expect here
You are going to play your fifth professional country and Germany is your eighth country. Do you at times feel like a basketball globetrotter? Yes sometimes I do feel that way but it has its advantages I've had great experiences and met great people along the way on and off the court!
How did the contact come about to the Hebeisen White Wings Hanau? You stated that I am glad to be around dynamic people that are working for a goal and seeking success. How vital was the professionalism of the club for you signing on the dotted line?
My agent and Head coach of Hanau being in contact with each other in which interest was shown in me It was extremely vital one of the most important components in having a successful season, this team has a very motivated head coach and coaching staff that emphasizes the importance of improving my overall skills to the smallest details which was important to me.
You have played for seven professional teams in seven different countries, but what do the Hebeisen White Wings have as an organization that you haven't experienced yet as a professional? I think a coaching staff that loves the game of basketball along with a player development coach that really is committed to getting the individual better
What do you respect most about head coach Simon Cote in the short time that you have been with the club? His willingness to maximize the potential of the group of guys he signed this year. That is the biggest aspect I've notice so far along with the communication that he requires with every player on and off the court "small details matter"
You have belonged to the top import players in many countries where you have played, but that first professional title has still eluded you. Does that desire to win that chip grow with every passing year? Yes it does because of the opportunity it creates for my teammates and organization so winning that 'chip' this year is vital
In the past with other professional teams you often were the main offensive force, but with Hanau there will be more scoring weapons. Do you see yourself being more of a playmaker this season than in the past and do you see yourself becoming more of an assist man this season? Yes I see myself playing a bigger role doing both and finding that balance between finding my guys and scoring.
Let's talk a little about your game. You're an All around guard, who can do everything on the court- handle the ball, assist to his teammates, run the fast break, penetrate inside, shoot from the perimeter or off the dribble and are a good defender. What do you consider your biggest asset on the court? I think it varies based of situation being able to shoot the ball and read the game pick n roll etc.
If you had to compare your style of game to a NBA player which player would you pick? I like to study the game and different players from NBA to Europe I will let you guys make the comparisons
You can fill up the stat sheet, but what do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn't get noticed right away on the court? Interesting question I think being a vocal leader getting players in the right spot
Last season you played in Poland and Hungary and it was kind of a season to forget. Your stats were down and you had to change clubs. What did you learn from last season that will help you with future decisions?
No I will always remember it. I want to remember it. I learned a lot from last year the main thing is learning how to adapt to any situation regardless of circumstances is the main thing!
As a rookie you played with Naglis-Adakris Palangos (Lithuania-LKL) and Sokhumi Tbilisi (Georgia-Superleague). What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Europe where you knew that you were very far away from home Pittsburgh?
Being a professional in all aspects eating the right things, watching film, stretching just a few things you have to do all by yourself unlike in college where you had coaches making you do it.
You had possibly your best offensive season two years ago with SK Dnipro Azot Dniprodzerzhynsk (Ukraine-Superleague) playing 29 games: Score-3 (16.8ppg), 3.0rpg, 5.4apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 47.1%, 3PT: 36.5%, FT: 77.0%. Did this season give you the satisfaction that you could be a top player in probably the strongest league that you had played in as a professional? I played well but my focus was winning games and continuing to prove myself in the years ahead was my main focus honestly
You had a great college career at High Point finishing career ranked 13th in all-time scoring at HPU, with 1,411 points in 121 career games, an average of 11.7 ... HPU's all-time leader in three-pointers made (283) and attempted (777), ranked second all-time in career games (121) and starts (93), fifth in career assists (263) and steals (129). What is your most cherished moment that you had in your four year career there? Hitting Game winners on the road in hostile environments and also winning! at the time we were the all time winningest team and that was big for the university!
How did head coach Bart Lundy groom and prepare you best for a professional career at High Point? Very tough nose coach who gave me a lot of responsibility as soon as I stepped on campus as a freshmen and that motivated me every day to not let only him down but my teammates also, which helped me grow into a leader on the floor.
Your ex teammate Arizona Reid is still going strong and is more of a globetrotter than you as he has played in 10 countries throughout his professional career. When you look at his career do you ever wonder how strange the basketball business can be. He was one of the top players in the Big South with 23/11 stats as a senior, but never played for top level teams in Europe. Knowing Arizona Personally I have a better understanding of the direction he wants to take and how he views Europe etc He is one of the best players I've ever played with and He's been extremely successful everywhere he's played producing relatively close to the same stats you mentioned above. It will happen in due time for him! In the mean time he's having a lot of financial success in other markets as well!
Who was the toughest player that you battled against in the NCAA that went to the NBA?
Ty Lawson played well against us
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore and chose 4 NBA heads which best four would you pick? Mike Jordan, Magic Johnson, Wilt Chamberlin , Hakeem Olajuwon
Now that Lebron finally brought an NBA title to the Cavs where does this further NBA title put him against the best that ever played the game? Right now maybe top 10
What was the last movie that you saw? Purge "Election Year.
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