For most Beko BBL teams going to the Stechert arena in Bamberg to getting 40 minutes of torturing basketball from the Brose Baskets Bamberg is as difficult as seeing singer Miley Cyrus with her short Justin Bieber cut, Lindsay Lohan going from an aspiring young actress to living in the tabloids with absurb stories like clogging toilets at movie sets, or ex Terminator cute kid Edward Furlong being accused of hitting his girlfriend in a domestic violence attack. Not only is it tough to play in Bamberg, but also in Giessen where the fans can be as hostel as a hungry lion who has just had his super snatched away. Many teams are able to depart the Ost Halle in Giessen with a victory on account of their better talent and decision making in crunch time, but there are seldom teams that have had such an amazing run like the Fraport Skyliners have had recently. The last time that the Frankfurt Skyliners left the living room of mascot Fabius as losers was 121 months ago on December 7th, 2002 as guys like Kai Nurnberger, ex Orlando Magic Mario Kasun and ex German national player Robert Maras were still roaming the floor with the Skyliners. In the last 10 wins for the Fraport Skyliners, it wasnt always a team effort that got the win, but there were always certain players that stepped up on a big basis creating their own magic getting the team over the hump. Who could forget ex NBA player Desmond Ferguson dropping seven three pointers in a win in 2005 or Alex King having one of his best games as a Skyliner netting 13 points in 2008 or current Skyliner captain Marius Nolte who used his special force last season in Giessen in crunch time to help secure the win with big plays or Skyliner legend Pascal Roller winning a game with 13 seconds to play in 2010 with free throws in a 69-68 win. The Fraport Skyliners were looking for their 11th win in a row in Giessen and were as focused to keep the streak alive as Mr Gangnam style Psy is when he performs, the way Minnesota Viking Adrian Peterson motors down the field or how FC Bayern Munich soccer team is playing at the moment to win the triple as they won comfortably 79-59 to move to 16th place in the standings. It was the fourth win in a row for Skyliner captain Marius Nolte who had no real explanation for the domination just looking into the Giessen air. I always feel good playing here. We have always played interesting games here where there was a lot of fight from both teams. I think possibly the dominance lies in the Giessen air, smiled Marius Nolte. Skyliner guard Ted Scott had another strong performance netting 16 points with the only thing missing was a holster and pistol, but he was amazed at the rivalry atmosphere in the Osthalle. I knew coming into the game about this big rivalry and how important the game was. I remember back at West Virginia State that we also had intense games against our rival Alderson. The atmosphere was intense here and with the gym being so small, it felt like fans were on your shoulders. I was impressed how the Giessen fans stuck behind their team, added Ted Scott. Sometimes math plays a factor, but sometimes it just takes longer for reality to set in. Giessen-Frankfurt is a very strong rivalry. I remember winning here with Frankfurt and Ludwigsburg. Mathematically the odds keep getting bigger that a team will finally win after so many loses, commented basketball expert Steven Clauss. After their 11th loss in a row, the odds will be even be bigger next season that they will win again if the team is still in the Beko BBL.
Zachery Peacock (203-F-87, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Georgia Tech) returned back to Giessen, the stomping ground in his rookie season. Now in his third year as a professional, he had a short road trip of 65 kilometers from Frankfurt and had no nervousness coming into the game, but got going early and never let up finishing the game with 23 points shooting 64% from the field, grabbing nine rebounds and getting two steals. Peacock who recently stated in an interview that he likes to visit pet stores to see piranha live their life in the fish bowl treated his ex team as if they had had them for dinner, but felt that his performance had nothing to do with extra motivation. I knew how important this game was and I just prepared myself very well for this game which might have showed my extra motivation on the court. I credit my game to my teammates who made it easy for me to score. They set screens and got me the ball. I had the easy part of scoring. Me visiting piranhas at the pet store has nothing to do with what I do on the court, but if you want to describe me having my opponent to eat then go ahead, joked Zachery Peacock. Teammate Ted Scott was impressed again by the strong game of Peacock and knew the worth of this game. Zach is usually quiet, but he explained this is a big rival and the way he said I knew that he didnt need to say more. He played a heck of a game, shot well, and controlled the boards, stressed Ted Scott. The LTi Giessen 46ers had no way of stopping and Peacock and gained another shred of respect from his opponent. I played against Zach when he played at Georgia tech and I was at Charlotte. He really hurt us with his quickness. He is a big four that plays the five. He was automatic from 15 feet out, explained North Carolina native Dijuan Harris.
The Fraport Skyliners won their second game out of their last three games and continue to gain more and more self confidence which will be important for another big road game next weekend in Weissenfels. The Fraport Skyliners once again showed that playing hard edged defense is the key to success as they never allowed the LTi Giessen 46ers to get a rhythm and as a result their offense was fueled as they shot very well for most phases of the game. I think key was that we controlled the boards and Quantez Robertson did a good job on Ryan Brooks. It is obvious that you cant control both a Brooks and Prowell as he got hot in the second half, added Fraport Skyliner guard Ted Scott. The hard times keep to continue for the LTi Giessen 46ers as they lost their fifth game out of their last seven games and continue to rot in the Beko BBL cellar. On top of their poor play, the future of the team is uncertain as the team could be history faster than Ted Scott can inhale a Hersey bar. Agents were seen talking with players after the game as some are already looking for a new team. On the court, the LTI Giessen 46ers stayed with the Fraport Skyliners until a 9-2 run at the end and never recovered playing catch up basketball until the end trailing by as much as 27 points. The Skyliners out hustled, out manned and outplayed us. I dont think that they really did anything special. They ran their offense and executed and we couldnt get them out of what they do well. They got us out of our offense and it made us look like we were playing selfish, expressed Giessen guard Dijuan Harris.
Some interesting things seen before the game in warm ups was Dion Dowell hitting nine three pointers from the corner, but during the game he remained scoreless. Skyliner assistant coach Klaus Perwass had a long chat with Giessen head coach Mathias Fischer, Quantez Robertson and Laquan Prowell had a long chat possibly catching up on the good old days at Auburn (NCAA) where they were teammates and Danilo Barthel and Oskar Fassler also had basketball talk on their minds. When the game finally did start, the fans saw a very energetic game that had six lead changes until the Fraport Skyliners went on a 9-2 run to get momentum in the game. Devin Gibson gave the Fraport Skyliners the lead with a lay in, but the LTi Giessen 46ers took the lead with a Achmadschah Zazai three pointer who is more known for creating havoc with his penetration game. Zachery Peacock then got going hitting three of his first four shots as the Fraport Skyliners led 8-5. Prowell then hit a jumper cutting the Frankfurt lead to 8-7. Both teams were very nervous and werent being calm. Both teams were wild and playing quick doesnt mean one should play wild, stressed basketball expert Steven Clauss. The Fraport Skyliners then closed out the first quarter with a 9-2 run to lead soundly 17-9. The Fraport Skyliners got versatile production form many hands as Super Tez hit a three pointer, Dawan Robinson scored inside, Peacock hit free throws and Gibson made a beautiful lay up over Jasmin Perkovic. Giessen had nine turnovers which is way too much.. They were very nervous, but playing with a lot of fight. The Skyliners were defending well and very aggressive, stated Steven Clauss. Both teams were very nervous. Frankfurt did a good job with much trappings and got easy buckets, added Dijuan Harris. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 37% from the field and 14% from outside while the LTi Giessen 46ers were shooting 33% from the field and 50% from outside. Frankfurt had the 11-9 rebound edge and four trunovers while Giessen had nine turnovers.
The LTI Giessen 46ers got a huge push from American Dijuan Harris in the first minutes of the second quarter as he did his best Devin Gibson impression by getting two buckets inside with one a give and go with Perkovic as Giessen trailed only 19-13. Harris would leave the game shortly after as he injured his shoulder. Marius Nolte then made a pretty side step past Perkovic with a lay up as Frankfurt led 21-13. Giessen stayed on the back door of the Skyliners getting big points from big men Perkovic and a three pointer from 1996 NCAA finalist with Syracuse Elvir Ovcina trailing only 23-18. However the Fraport Skyliners then broke the game open with a 12-0 run to lead 35-18 which broke the back of Giessen early and they could never recover. Quantez Robertsons cored three consecutive baskets dropping a three pointer, then getting a steal and getting the lay in and then getting an ally-op pass from Ted Scott banking it in off the galss. Scott then nailed a shot from downtown and Peacock scored inside. Giessen was unable to break the Skyliners rhythm. Frankfurt was playing great help defense and getting in the passing lanes, added Steven Clauss. The Fraport Skyliners continued to be very consistent on offense as Peacock got to the foul line and Robinson scored inside. German Danilo Barthel had been present, but not as visible, but then all of a sudden he made a flight in the direction of the basket and slammed home a blistering dunk as the Bonn dunk over Patrick Ewing jr became very visible again. Frankfurt led 42-23 and the German was on the minds of all again with his basketball artistry. The dunk of Danilo was better than my dunk, but I think his dunk against Bonn was still better because he dunked over Ewing there, smiled Quantez Robertson. It is amazing how good Danilo is for his age. You always have to expect him to bring something like that in a game, warned Ted Scott. Ovcina and Peacock then traded baskets as Frankfurt still led 44-25. Zazi then got to the free throw line twice and Ted Scott ended the second quarter with a hard shot form the wing with a tough angle as the Fraport Skyliners led 48-29. Frankfurt broke open the game with 31 points. Giessen had problems on defense and had 12 less shots than Frankfurt. It is tough to get back into the agme when you have 12 less shots and Frankfurt is hitting well, added Steven Clauss. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 53% from the field and 27% from the three point line while the LTi Giessen 46ers were shooting 41% from the field and 33% from the three point line. Frankfurt had the 18-16 rebound edge. Giessen had 11 turnovers and Frankfurt only five turnovers.
The Fraport Skyliners were able to keep their commanding lead in the third quarter as Zachery Peacock hit two jumpers as the Fraport Skyliners led 52-30. Giessen then managed a 4-0 run with Brooks free throws and a Prowell lay in over Dion Dowell. Giessen then tried to slow the game down by going to zone, but it didnt slow up Ted Scott as he hit a three pointer. Giessen then went on a 6-2 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 57-40. Zazi made a free throw, Brooks who had been very quiet a pull up jumper and Prowell free throws. Even the insertion of little used Andreas Buechert who scored twice in the zone and was a presence inside didnt help Giessen slow down Frankfurt anymore as Frankfurt ended the third quarter with a 9-2 run as Scott nailed a three pointer, free throw, Gibson jumper and Gibson fed Super Tez with a no look pass that the American slammed home with authority. After three quarters not much changed in the score as the Fraport Skyliners still led easily 68-42. Giessen continued to shoot very poorly from outside. Brooks was kept in check and Giessen was giving up too many points, added Steven Clauss. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 54% from the field and 31% from the parking lot while the LTi Giessen 46ers were shooting 36% from the field and 18% from the parking lot. Frankfurt led the rebound duel 30-22, but had 12 turnovers while Giessen had 11 turnovers.
With such a huge lead, The Fraport Skyliners were able to digest four minutes of nos coring and a 8-0 run by the LTi Giessen 46ers to start the fourth quarter cutting the Skyliners lead to 68-50. Prowell got hot hitting two consecutive three pointers and Winthrop (NCAA) alumnist Buechert made a pretty reverse lay up. Scoring was put a bit on the back burner in the last quarter as Giessen was without their American point guard Dijuan Harris and gave more minutes to little used 19 year old German Jonas Weiser. After a Scott three pointer, it was Prowell again that hit his third three pointer of the quarter as Giessen still trailed 71-53. Frankfurt with a big lead just did enough on offense to keep getting points to keep their big lead at ease. American guard Dawan Robinson that was a spark again in his third game made an off balance shot and then a huge dunk as Gibson dove for a lose ball and while on the floor made a blind pass behind his head catching Robinson on the go. Robinson played like a veteran and had a great feel for the game. He was a big factor in the game. He calmed the game down and when a team has a catalyst like him, he makes every ones job around him easier, stressed Dijuan Harris. Little used Robin Pflugler also scored and Devin Gibson scored again inside. Brooks was able to score in double figures for the game as he connected on his last shot as the game ended. We let Frankfurt play their style and not ours. We had a good mood before the game, but everything went wrong in the game. They defended very well and seemed to know all of our plays. They did a good job defending our pick and role, stressed Andreas Buechert. We played good defense. We did a good job on their two quick point guards, added Ted Scott.
The Fraport Skyliners were led by Zach peacock with 23 points and nine rebounds. Ted Scott added 16 points as did Dawan Robinson. Quantez Robertson had 10 points, eight rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks. The LTi Giessen 46ers were led by Laquan Prowell with 19 points. Ryan Brooks contributed 10 points. The Fraport Skyliners did a super job on the boards with 40 rebounds which hasnt been their strong point this season and dominated the points in the paint with 38-28. Just like last season, the key to success is through their defense. After averaging giving up 94 points in the losses to Hagen and Tuebingen, the Fraport Sklyiners are back to their strong defensive play as they have let up only 63 points in the last three games against BBC Bayreuth, FC Bayern Munich and Giessen. Our biggest strength on defense was the pick and role. We also got big bodies in the lane not letting them get in the lane, added Zachery Peacock. The most interesting quote of the night was from Andreas Buechert who compared the Skyliners style to Phoenix Hagen. It seems like they changed their style. They played a lot of up and down like street ball, stressed Andreas Buechert. Dijaun Harris didnt see the same way as Buechert. Phoenix Hagen just want to score much. The Sklyiners style is that their defense forces many turnovers and that is why they could run a lot, said Dijuan Harris. The Fraport Skyliners meet MBC January 12th.
Amin Stevens (ex Braunschweig) joins Keflavik - 8 hours ago
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Keflavik (Dominos League) added to their roster 26-year old American forward Amin Stevens (203-104kg-90, college: Florida A&M). He played last season at Basketball Loewen Braunschweig in German BBL league. In 34 games he had 7.8ppg and 4.2rpg. The previous (14-15) season Stevens played at Vienna in A Bundesliga where in 46 games he was third best scorer with impressive 18.2ppg and averaged 9.1rpg (#3 in the league), 1.0apg and 1.7spg (in top 5). Stevens helped them to win the regular seas... [read more]
Keflavik (Dominos League) added to their roster 26-year old American forward Amin Stevens (203-104kg-90, college: Florida A&M). He played last season at Basketball Loewen Braunschweig in German BBL league. In 34 games he had 7.8ppg and 4.2rpg. The previous (14-15) season Stevens played at Vienna in A Bundesliga where in 46 games he was third best scorer with impressive 18.2ppg and averaged 9.1rpg (#3 in the league), 1.0apg and 1.7spg (in top 5). Stevens helped them to win the regular season and make it to the final. A very spectacular season in his career as he was selected Eurobasket.com All-Austrian League Forward of the Year, named to 1st Team and named to All-Imports Team. He has played previously professionally in Slovakia (MBK Rieker Com Therm Komarno) and Austria (Furstenfeld Panthers). Stevens attended Florida A&M University until 2012 and it will be his fifth season as a professional player.
Marcellus Barksdale(196-G-93, college: IUPUI) is a 23 year old 196cm guard from Lexington, Kentucky that is playing his first professional season in Germany with TG s.Oliver Wuerzburg (Germany-ProB) and will start his professional career against the Fraport Skyliners Juniors. He played at IUPUI (NCAA) form 2011-2016 playing a total of 131 NCAA games. As a senior he played 31 games averaging 8.7ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.6apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 28.1%, FT: 73.1%. He spoke to eurobasket before th... [read more]
Marcellus Barksdale (196-G-93, college: IUPUI) is a 23 year old 196cm guard from Lexington, Kentucky that is playing his first professional season in Germany with TG s.Oliver Wuerzburg (Germany-ProB) and will start his professional career against the Fraport Skyliners Juniors. He played at IUPUI (NCAA) form 2011-2016 playing a total of 131 NCAA games. As a senior he played 31 games averaging 8.7ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.6apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 28.1%, FT: 73.1%. He spoke to eurobasket before the Frankfurt contest.
Marcellus thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. You are playing your first season with TG s.Oliver Wuerzburg (Germany-ProB). You signed very late in the summer. How was your first experience with looking for clubs and finding that right situation?
It was a nerve wrecking process to say the least! It really tested my patience. It was a situation that was out of my control. All I could do was continually improve and work on my game so that when my moment came, I would be ready.
You finally found a team with the TG s.Oliver Wuerzburg (Germany-ProB). What were then main reasons for joining the club and what was really sold you on making your professional start in Germany? Honestly, I believed Germany would be a great place for me to start my career. All of the pros I talked to, both former and current, listed Germany as one of their top places to live and play basketball. My agent, Gerrit Kersten-Thiele, is also from Germany so it was an easy decision for me when he told me they were interested in signing me.
Just like last season the club has relied on one American. What has been your experience playing with only German players?
It has been a very easy transition. Although my teammates are all German, they each speak English very well and have done a great job of including me in the team's chemistry. Practicing the last couple of weeks and watching the season opener have allowed me to understand each of my teammates strengths and capabilities. I'm excited to finally get on the court with them.
Have you noticed early on that the team looks up to you or do sense it is trust in the making? I feel the team really looks up to me and is looking for me to help lead. We have a lot of talent but we are a young team. As one of the older guys, it is my responsibility to lead by example and bring energy and intensity to every practice and game.
How excited are you to be making your professional debut in Frankfurt. Can you remember your NCAA debut in 2011 against Anderson? I'm pumped up for my professional debut! It's finally starting to feel real. All of the countless hours in the gym have begun to pay off and I have a great opportunity in front of me. And yes, I still remember my first college game as well. I had so much energy and adrenaline that it was hard to be nervous!
The name might not say anything now, but you will be making your debut against 16 year 203cm point guard Isaac Bonga who is the biggest German prospect since NBA player Dennis Schroeder. Is this something that will add to your adrenaline for your first professional game? I've watched a little bit of film on him. I think he has a very bright future ahead but for now, he's my opponent and I'm treating him no differently than any other player on the Frankfurt roster. He has no effect on my adrenaline or excitement for my first game as a pro. I did not even know who he was until this week.
Besides winning what are your main goals as a rookie on the court?
From my effort and defensive intensity, to my communication and aggressiveness, my main goal on the court is to be the hardest worker on the floor and to set an example for my teammates at all times. All of these goals are completely intangible and things I have control over every game. I feel if I'm able to do these to the best of my ability every night, wins will follow.
Do you see yourself as having to carry the team and being the main scoring option?
I see myself as having to do whatever is necessary for my team to win each game. One game it may be scoring, one game it may be defending, another game it may be both. Either way, I'm going to do what is needed to get a win for my team.
If you had to describe your game to an NBA player who would you describe your game too?
Tough question! But if there was one NBA player who I feel my game mimics most I would have to say Andre Miller in his younger years. Miller was a very versatile and strong combo guard who was a heck of a leader. He could play on the wing or PG and was very effective at both. I also liked how he had the strength to take smaller guards to the block and go to work. He was also a pest on the defensive end and had a great basketball IQ.
How proud were you to be part of the success and breakout season of Darell Combs?
Watching Darell grow for the past two-and-a-half years was great. He's one of the best guards I've ever played with and really began to mature on and off the court last season. He's been working hard all summer and I really feel he will have a breakout season this year.
How far can he still go and develop in his last two years of school? Darell has always been a talented scorer but his ball handling and passing ability have allowed him to take his game to the next level. Add that with his new leadership role at IUPUI and he has a chance to lead this team to a conference championship and NCAA tournament.
You are a very energetic and active forward with your biggest strength at rebounding. What other assets would you add to your player profile? I'm very versatile. I feel there is nothing on the court that I can't particularly do. I feel passing is one of my best assets. I have very good court vision and an understanding of when and where to get my teammates the ball.
You are a guy that can fill up the stat sheet, but what would you say is a hidden strength in your game? A hidden strength in my game is my scoring ability. My last season of college, the dynamics of the team changed and my scoring was not needed as much. I've worked hard all summer to improve my outside shooting and midrange game. This season I plan to utilize these strengths much more.
You had many good games at IUPUI, but would you say that your back to back games of 21 points against South Dakota and 25 points against Western Illinois were your two best games? I played a lot of games at IUPUI. It's hard to single out any one performance as my best. Those were great games for me scoring the ball but I do not think I would count that as my best game.
How did Jason Gardner groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career in your senior year? Coach Gardner challenged me. He challenged my leadership and also gave me a clearer reality of what to expect playing professional basketball in Europe. He also continually helps me in whatever way he can, and it's always good knowing somebody like that is in your corner.
Gardner had his successful years in Germany with the EWE Baskets Oldenburg. Do you remember him telling any stories about his time in Germany? When I found out that Coach Gardner was going to be my head coach I immediately began watching all of his pro highlights on YouTube. He's told me a few stories but I know he had a great career in Germany and was loved and hated by many fans!
Who was the toughest player you battled in the NBA that is in the NBA now?
The toughest player that I've played in college that is in the NBA now is Nate Wolters. I've played against many NBA talents but Wolters was always tough at South Dakota St. His game was always solid and he played at his own pace. I've always respected his game.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Mason Archie?
Me and Mase had many battles. We would go back and forth many practices and open gyms. We always had an unspoken battle. We never talked about it much but we both were trying to beat each other at everything--sprints, weights, one-on-one drills, defending Darell, grades. It really pushed us to become better both on and off the court.
If you had to construct your NBA Rushmore with the 4 best heads ever who would you choose? I would go with MJ, Kareem, Kobe, and LeBron (I have to give him his proper respect.)
Lebron finally won an NBA title with the Cavs. Where does he stand now with the all-time greatest that ever played? After his most recent championship, I believe LeBron solidified himself as a top-5 all-time great NBA player.
Melsahn Basabe (ex Goettingen) agreed terms with Doxa Lefkadas - 1 day ago
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Newly promoted AE Doxa Lefkadas (A1) inked 24-year old American power forward Melsahn Basabe (201-100kg-92, college: Iowa). He was about to sign at BG Goettingen in German BBL league. The last season Basabe played at Antwerp Giants (Scooore League) in Belgium where in 13 games he recorded very impressive stats: 16.5ppg, 7.2rpg, 1.2spg and 1.0bpg. A very good season in his career as he was voted to Eurobasket.com All-Belgian League Honorable Mention. Basabe also played 9 games in FIBA Euro... [read more]
Newly promoted AE Doxa Lefkadas (A1) inked 24-year old American power forward Melsahn Basabe (201-100kg-92, college: Iowa). He was about to sign at BG Goettingen in German BBL league. The last season Basabe played at Antwerp Giants (Scooore League) in Belgium where in 13 games he recorded very impressive stats: 16.5ppg, 7.2rpg, 1.2spg and 1.0bpg. A very good season in his career as he was voted to Eurobasket.com All-Belgian League Honorable Mention. Basabe also played 9 games in FIBA Europe Cup where he averaged 12.8ppg, 5.8rpg and 1.0bpg. He helped them to make it to the quarterfinals. Basabe played in the final of NIT in 2013. He has played previously professionally in Finland (Helsinki Seagulls) and Poland (Stabill). Basabe attended University of Iowa until 2014 and it is his third season in pro basketball.
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