Who could forget Darius Hall partying with the 3000 fans in Hamburg after the big 74-60 cup win against ENbW Ludwigsburg in 2008 looking like rapper Joseph Bruce of Detroit rap group Dark Lotus giving a concert. That was the first and last title of the Artland Dragons. That 2007-2008 team was simply so special as Chris fleming finally was rewarded with his hard work and dedication with his first title, American John Goldsberry continued to develop as a point guard and by leading the Dragons to that title helped pave the road to joining Euroleague team Brose baskets Bamberg where he has been since 2008 or American EJ Rowland who after playing in lower leagues in Australia and Latvia was able to continue to chip away at his game then landing in Bonn and almost helping them to a title in 2009 and then moving up to top leagues in Italy and Spain. Every season the club is able to bring in top talented players, but in return are incapable of bringing extended pandemonium to the small 12,000 village with hardware. The list of top players having played in the Artland has been as unending as the Cleveland Cavaliers losing streak of 26 games in 2010-2011 or Psy having to utter the magic words of Gangnam Style since the innovative track became a world wide hit in 2012. Guys that have played there the last four years have been ex NBA player Toby Bailey, NCAA Final 4 player Hollis Price, top European point guard Tyrese Rice, diminutive point guard David Holston who has the heart of Simba in the Lion King, or Nathan Peavy. Especially this season the team was cherished with ex NBA player Dennis Horner and now Ryan Gomes. The team recently made a coup picking up Ryan Gomes (481 NBA games) who was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 2005 and his claim to fame is being shipped to Minnesota for Kevin Garnett in 2007 and the rest is history.Horner didnt stay long in Artland and is now of dreaming of getting back to the NBA displaying his skills with the Springfield Armour. He didnt have much to mention about his short stay in Quackenbruck, but didn remember some one one duels with American Anthony King in practice. This seasons team may be the most talented team ever and Stefan Koch has the chance to win his second title in Germany. It continues to be a mystery why titles seem as rare there as a traffic light in Quackenbruck, but if there is one guy who can bring a title then its Koch. He has to shape the roles and chemistry the way Svetislav Pesic has in Munich. Maybe Toby the dragon should heat up his dungeon more under the arena so the team has more of an advantage to win big games at home. The guard play of Mallett, Haynes and Taylor are an excellent guard combo. However I think that their inside game doesnt fit together. Maybe they will get a new big man to make it work better. I think that the Artland Dragons have underachieved so far this season. Sometimes players chosen for a season just dont fit together, but I feel that Stefan Koch can turn the season around. If this team clicks then they can be very dangerous. I think that they will finish around 6th or 7th place. They can be a very dangerous opponent in the playoffs, warned basketball expert Steven Clauss. It seems like basketball expert Steven Clauss had some kind of premonition as Gomes returned back to the States and the team picked up ex Skyliner Bradley Buckman (203-F-84, college: Texas). The Texas native has played superbly in Turkey the last two seasons at times averaging double double stats and will help the team. Buckman may not be a star, but sometimes non stars can get the job done better than those who all are talking about. After winning their first BEKO BBL title with the cup in 2008 against EnBW Luwdigsburg in Hamburg in 2008, it seemed like the Artland Dragons were on a positive way with possible future hardware, but instead the club might secretly have been dreaming of the glory day in Hamburg where Darius Hall was in the middle of a swarm of Artland fans celebrating the win, because ever since that big title, the team has been looking for another success and missed the playoffs two seasons in a row. The Artland Dragons have been about as unlucky not reaching the playoffs the two seasons as a Formula one driver is racing the race of their life and then dropping out because the engine dies in the last lap as German Sebastian Vettel recently had to accept or poor cute lovable polar bear Knut who is being shunned by three female bears including his mother who cant remember he is her kid. In 2009, they had to win the last game and did crushing Frankfurt 90-69, but not reaching the playoffs because Paderborn won on the last day against BG Goettingen and in 2010, they made a last comeback winning the last four games, but losing their last game 82-80 to the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven a game they had to win missing the playoffs again. "I think that in 2010, Artland was lacking a guard who could control the team until the end. Ross was more of a scoring guard and Price could of done job, but he came to late in season to turn it around. The chemistry was lacking too and it seemed like players had their own agenda", stressed Quentin Pryor.
Last season, the Artland Dragons reached the Beko BBL playoffs for a second straight season after missing them twice with successful ratiopharm Ulm head coach Thorsten Leibenath in 2009 and 2010. Last season the Artland Dragons finished in fourth place with a record of 24-10. They were led by David Holston who was only 167cm, but played with a huge heart and like he was a big 195cm guard not being intimidated by the bigger players. The club played pretty solid the whole season having two five games and four game winning streaks in the season. Their biggest wins of the season was against FC Bayern Munich at home 86-83 at home where David Holston had an eye to eye shooting clinic with Je kel Foster that was only out done by the famous Larry Bird-Dominique Wilkins shoot out in the 1988 NBA playoffs. The Artland Dragons also swept the season series with the EWE Baskets Oldenburg and the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg. Koch once again formed a very competitive team around Holston with guys like David Fenn, Nathan Peavy, Brandon Thomas, Adam Hess and Bryan Bailey. In the palyoffs, the Artland Dragons squashed the title dreams of FC Bayern Munich winning in five games. Who could forget the spectacular win in Munich where they had no David Holston who had been suspended for a game. In the semi finals, they lost 3-0 to the Brose Baskets Bamberg who just rolled over the Quackenbruck team winning by more than 74 points. It seemed like the spanking of the holy mighty FC Bayern Munich had been their highlight and they just ran out of gas against the Brose Baskets Bamberg in the playoffs. After two consecutive seasons in the Beko BBL playoffs the only goal for the Artland Dragons is a return, annoying the other top teams and possibly sneaking into the Beko BBL final. The two biggest loses for the team were David Holston and Nathan Peavy. It is still difficult to understand why they didnt try to hold Holston who went back to Turkey where he had started his professional team, but Koch possibly already had mallet in mind to bring that extra needed experience to the team. Peavy left to join 8 time Beko BBL champion Alba Berlin. He had played consistently in his time with the Dragons and will be dearly missed. The club also lost players like Bryan Bailey, Adam Hess, Darren fenn and Brandon Thomas. Despite so many going, the Artland Dragons have presented the league another very strong team this season. Joining Mallet in a top basketball ensemble will be Bryce Taylor possibly the second most important signing after Mallet, because of his offensive and defensive versatility, unending energy and never losing mentality. Andrew Drevo is back in the Beko BBL and will present mismatches at the position four with his stretching the defense. Koch also brought in Kristaps Valters for the injured Mallet who played two seasons with Don Beck in Oldenburg and has been a consistent performer in Europes strongest league ACB in Spain. He also brought in talented youngsters Marquez Haynes who played in the ACB who will bring athletic power to the guard position and Sergio Kerusch who is starting his second professional season after having played in Greece last season. Petar Popovic is a rugged big man that has oodles of experience and will bring physical stability to the boards. The team also brought in German Ben Spoeler. The team kept ex Skyliner Anthony King, versatile guard Johannes Strasser and Germans Guido Grunheid and Acja Njei. The biggest strength of the 2008 cup winner again will be their deep roster and unlimited offensive power. If the Artland Dragons can combine that with a willingness to defend then they will be able to beat any team on any night. The only thing that could stand in the way of the Artland Dragons is underachieving. They are so talented, but will need to bring it to the table every night. Koch is known for forming formidable chemistry in his teams and will do it again with this gang. Stefan Koch has done a good job again finding the right players. He always finds the right players. He knows how to find well functioning teams. Bryce Taylor was a very important pick up. The Artland Dragons will be a top team and play at the top, stressed basketball expert Steven Klauss. The Frankfurt Skyliners have had unfond memories to playing the Artland Dragons as both having a 7-7 record since 2005 and during 2005-2007 Frankfurtlosing all four games including being outscored in the Artland arena 172-129. However, the tide turned for the better from 2007-2009 as The Deutsche Bank Skyliners had a 3-1 record. Four years ago, they celebrated a very big emotional win 87-75 winning in overtime as captain Pascal Roller sparked Frankfurt to the win with 26 points. two seasons ago on the last day, Frankfurt lacked spirit and were beaten in every phase of the game losing 90-69. In 2009-2010, the team lost a thriller 77-76 in Artland as Frankfurt staged one of their famous comebacks despite a late Pascal Roller three pointer, it wasnt enough as they lost. Frankfurt was able to win at home 77-65 as Pascal Roller scored 20 points. Frankfurt won their first show down in 2010-2011 on the road winning 82-56 coming out of half time with a 24-8 run to easily win. Frankfurt was led by AJ Moye with 18 points and six rebounds and fans will remember a crashing dunk by ex NBA player Roger Powell. Frankfurt also won their home encounter 83-72 as Dashaun Wood had a Derrick Rose type of game making 29 points, 9 assists, five rebounds and four steals. The team lost a meaningless cup game in Bamberg against Artland where both teams played for third place and Frankfurt was without Dashaun Wood. Last season, both teams played a defensive classic in Frankfurt as Artland won 49-44. Frankfurt returned to Artland winning 66-60 as Jimmy Mckinney led the scoring with 15 points and ex NBA player Jermario Davidson had 13 points, six rebounds and six blocks. The Artland Dragons have been up and down and in the last 12 games have had two three game winning streaks and three game losing streaks and the Fraport Skyliners have nice memories to their first meeting of the season in Artland winning 89-80 as the Larry Wright cindrella story continued as he led the team with 21 points showing that the PRO B player can play in the Beko BBL. The Fraport Skyliners got a lot of support from Dion Dowell, Quantez Robertson, Zach Peacock and Johnathan Jones. It was the best offensive game of the team in the season. The Fraport Skyliners are looking to start the second half of the season with a win. After a six day training camp in Tenerifa the team will have to make some changes in their game to be successful. Frankfurt will always have a chance to win if they defend well and can get their offense going and score more than 70 points. Ou never know how offense will be if they defend well. The problem is that Frankfurt doesnt have a dominat five man. It is fine if Frankfurt plays small ball, but if they dont rebound well or play defense then it will always be tough to win, stressed basketball expert Steven Clauss. The Artland Dragons are led by Demond Mallet. Mallet is a 34 year old 186cm guard from Louisiana that has the distinction of being a cousin of Shaq. He played at Mcneese State and turned professional in 2001 and played for Braunschweig leading the team to the playoffs. With his scoring ability, he quickly went to Bamberg where he was able to become one of the top Americans playing in Germany at that time. He won the Beko BBL title with Bamberg in 2005. He then went to Cologne helping them win the cup in 2007. His biggets success was winning the 2008 ULEB Cup with Joventut Badalona with German Jan Jagla. In the last years, he has played in Turkey, Belgium and Israel. Last season he played for Belgacom Spirou (Belgium-D1, starting five): 26 games: Score-3 (15.1ppg), 2.7rpg, 2.8apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 51.5%, 3PT: 35.7%, FT: 84.0%; Euroleague: 12 games: Score-4 (16.6ppg), 2.3rpg, 3.1apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 36.3%, FT: 71.0%; in Dec.'11 moved to Maccabi Electra Tel-Aviv (Israel-Premier League): Israeli League: 4 games: 3.8ppg, 1.3rpg, 1.8apg, 1.3spg; Euroleague: 10 games: 4.6ppg; Adriatic League: 12 games: 6.3ppg, 1.2rpg, 1.8apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 31.7%, FT: 87.5%, He is a five time Beko BBL allstar winning the MVP in 2007. He was the Beko BBL player of the year in 2002 and 2003 and was the Belgium league MVP in 2011. The team also brought in 26 year old 196cm shooting guard Bryce Taylor last season who hails from San Diego, California. He is the son of former NBA player Brian Taylor. He is a great sharpshooter with an aggressive dribble drive and has a keen understanding of the game. He played at Oregon from 2004-2008. In his senior year at Oregon, he averaged 12.8ppg, 3.8rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 46.1%, 3Pts: 38.2%, FT: 82.3% in 30 games. Three seasons ago, he turned professional and played in Italy for Premiata Montegranaro playing 30 games: and averaging 13.0ppg, 2.4rpg, 1.6spg, FGP: 54.2%, 3PT: 36.9%, FT: 82.6%. In 2009-2010 in Bonn, he played 6 Eurocup games: 18.5ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.0apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 56.3%, 3PT: 36.4%; German League: 34 games: 12.5ppg, 2.6rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 46.8%, 3PT: 31.0%, FT: 81.4%. In 2010, he played NBA Summer league for the Indiana Pacers. In 2010-2011 for Alba Berlin Taylor played EuroCup: 11 games: 7.3ppg, 2.3rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 53.3%, 3PT: 16.7%, FT: 83.9%; Euroleague Qualifying Round: 5 games: 0.8ppg; German League: 49 games: 7.8ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 44.9%, 3PT: 27.5%, FT: 76.0%. Last season for Alba Berlin he played Euroleague Qualifying Round: 2 games: 9.5ppg, 5.5rpg, 1.0apg; EuroCup: 12 games: 9.8ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.4apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 45.9%, 3PT: 39.3%, FT: 80.0%; German League: 36 games: 11.8ppg, 3.9rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 53.5%, 3PT: 42.6%, FT: 82.4%. The team also brought in experienced 33 year old 211cm Petar Popovic from Serbia. He is a very experienced center, who knows ho to play back-to-the basket and has good fundamentals. He isn' t an explosive leaper, neither a shot-blocker, and probably he grabs less rebounds than expected, but he' s a good inside presence defensively and has enough soft hands to score in double digits any night.. He already got experience at age 22 joining top team Hemofarm Vrsac playing there for four years. In the last years he has played for teams like Benneton Treviso, MMT Estudiantes Madrid, and Spartak St.Petersburg. Last season, he played for Crvena Zvezda Beograd (A League, starting five): Adriatic League: 25 games: 11.2ppg, 5.3rpg, FGP: 54.4%, FT: 77.2%; Serbian League: 21 games: 11.1ppg, 4.0rpg, FGP: 55.0%, FT: 58.5%. He has won five titles in his career the biggest being the 2008 ULEB cup with Demond mallet at Badalona Joventut. He also played at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. The club also signed 25 year old 191cm guard Marquez Haynes from Irving Texas. He played at Boston College from 2005-2007 and finished his NCAA career with Texas Arlington in 2010. In his senior year, he played 30 games: ScoreNCAA-3 (22.6ppg), 4.3rpg, 3.7apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 40.9%, FT: 74.6%. As a rookie he played together with ex Skyliner Ilian Evtimov for ES Chalon-Sur-Saone (France-ProA, starting five): 33 games: 14.3ppg, 2.2rpg, 3.9apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 50.3%, 3PT: 38.3%, FT: 73.1%. Last season, he played for C.B. Gran Canaria 2014 (Spain-ACB, starting five): EuroCup: 8 games: 11.1ppg, 2.1rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 47.6%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 50.0%; Spanish League: 34 games: 10.9ppg, 2.2rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 47.4%, 3PT: 28.5%, FT: 79.1%. Recently he played NBA Summer league with AirTran Orlando Summer League (Oklahoma City Thunder): 2 games: 2.0ppg, 1.0apg. He reached the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2006, won the French cup in 2011 with Chalon and is a member of the Georgian national team. Sergio Kerush is a 23 year old 195cm forward from Memphis, Tennessee that also has the German nationality. He played at Western Kentucky. As a senior he played 32 games: 15.6ppg, 7.9rpg, FGP: 48.5%, 3PT: 30.7%, FT: 64.4%. Last season as rookie he played for Aris Thessaloniki (Greece-A1): EuroCup: 12 games: 7.4ppg, 5.8rpg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 42.9%, FT: 66.7%; Greek League: 26 games: 7.5ppg, 4.4rpg, FGP: 55.0%, 3PT: 31.3%, FT: 61.2%. The team also brought in 24 year old 206cm German Ben Spoeler. He started his basketball career in 2oo3 with herten. He then played for the Bayer Giants Leverkusen from 2004-2010 getting into five Beko BBL games. He played two seasons in Paderborn and last season played 24 games: 6.1ppg, 2.6rpg, FGP: 54.4%, 3PT: 36.7%, FT: 65.6%. Anthony King is a 27 year old 206cmpower forward/center from Durham, North Carolina. He is back in the Beko BBL after playing in Cyprus and Greece the last two years. This will be his second season for the Artland Dragons. He gives the team an additional scoring threat in the post as well as rebounding, is a physical performer who doesnt mind mixing it up down low and gives the team added toughness in the paint. He played at Miami, FL (NCAA) from 2003-2008 playing 34 games in his senior year averaging 7.1ppg, 7.0rpg, 1.3apg, 1.4bpg, FGP: 43.1%, FT: 68.9%. He played for the Deutsche Bank Skyliners in his rookie season. In 2009-2010, he played for InterCollege Etha Engomis (Cyprus-Division A, starting five): Score-5 (236 pts), Reb-1 (148 rbs), Blocks-2 (24 blocks). Last season, he remained with InterCollege Etha Engomis (Cyprus-Division A, starting five): Cypriot League: EuroChallenge: 8 games: 17.0ppg, 8.4rpg, 1.1apg, Blocks-1 (2.0bpg), FGP: 53.6%, FT: 76.2%; Cyprus League: 16 games: 14.3ppg, Reb-2 (10.0rpg), 1.1apg, 1.3spg, Blocks-2 (1.8bpg), FGP: 54.1%, 3PT-3 (50.0%), FT: 76.8%; Playoffs: 10 games: 14.2ppg, 10.4rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 51.4%, FT:80%, after winning the championship moved in Apr.'11 to Aris Thessaloniki (Greece-A1, starting five): 9 games: 8.1ppg, 5.8rpg, FGP: 50.8%, FT: 57.9%. He was won the double in Cyprus with InterCollege Etha Engomis. %. Last season, he played EuroCup Qualifications: 2 games: 3.0ppg, 4.0rpg, 1.0bpg; EuroChallenge: 14 games: 10.8ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 62.0%, FT: 81.8%; German League: 36 games: 9.9ppg, 5.9rpg, 1.1apg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 57.0%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 80.2% 30 year old 190cm combo guard Johannes Strasser is playing his third season with The Artland Dragons. He is a very strong point guard that can hit the open three pointer at any time, penetrate and finish or find the open guy and is a pest on defense. He started his basketball career at Rhondorf in 1999. He had a very successful time with Rhein Energy Cologne from 2001-2007 winning the 2006 BBL league title and three cup titles in 2004,2005 and 2007. He played with the Telekom Baskets Bonn from 2007-2010 reaching the BEKO BBL title twice. His job is to come from the bench and help out at the point or hurt opponents with his deadly three pointer. In 2010-2011, he played 40 games: 6.4ppg, 1.5rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 39.4%, FT: 87.2%. Last season, he played : EuroCup Qualifications: 2 games: 8.5ppg, 1.0rpg, 1.0spg; EuroChallenge: 14 games: 4.2ppg, 1.2rpg, 2.6apg; German League: 42 games: 5.9ppg, 1.2rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 51.6%, 3PT: 37.8%, FT: 84.1% Guido Gruinheid is a 30 year old 209cm forward from Jena that is playing his second season for the Artland Dragons. He is an in-betweener forward with the height (but not the size) of a 4 and the quickness (but not the ball handling and the shot) of a 3. A good rebounder and a hustler. He played for Alba Berlin from 2001-2005 winning three BEKO BBL titles and two cup titles. He then moved to Rhein Energie Koln in 2005 where he won his fourth BEKO BBL title in 2006 and another cup in 2007. He got added experience playing in Holland for Hanzevast Capitals Groningen . He also has gained valuable experience playing for the German national team as he was a member playing at the 2006 World Championships in Japan and at the 2007 European Championships in Spain. In 2010-2011 for MBC, he played 33 games: 7.3ppg, 4.4rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 58.9%, 3PT: 23.0%, FT: 44.7%. Last season for Artland he played : EuroCup Qualifications: 2 games: 8.5ppg, 1.0rpg, 1.0spg; EuroChallenge: 14 games: 4.2ppg, 1.2rpg, 2.6apg; German League: 42 games: 5.9ppg, 1.2rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 51.6%, 3PT: 37.8%, FT: 84.1%. The team also retain Christian Hoffman and Acha Njei. Hoffmann is a 25 year old 187cm guard from the Tegernsee in Bavaria. He started his basketball career in 2003 for FC Bayern Munchen (Regionalliga) where he played until 2007. He then got some Beko BBL experience form 2007-2009 playing 44 Beko BBL games with TBB Trier. He then played another season with FC Bayern Munich and Science City Jena before coming to Artland last season. Acha Njei is a 27 year old 190cm guard that started his basketball career in 2004 with Vegesacker TV (2. Regionalliga). He then played fort eh Bremen Roosters from 2005-2009. He then played for 2009 Beko BBL champion EWE Baskets Oldenburg from 2009-2011 playing seven Beko BBL games and three Euroleague games. Last season for Artland he played EuroCup Qualifications: 1 game: 0pts; EuroChallenge: 9 games: 0.6ppg, 1.0rpg; German League: 15 games: 0.7ppg.
Brandon Lockhart (185-G-90, college: Drury) is a 26 year old 185cm guard from St Louis, Missouri that is playing his third professional season and first with German team ScanPlus Baskets Elchingen (Germany-ProB) As a rookie he played for BK Levicki Patrioti (Slovakia-Extraliga) playing 34 games: Score-5 (16.7ppg), 3.8rpg, Assists-5 (4.3apg), Steals-1 (3.0spg), FGP: 50.2%, 3PT: 28.5%, FT: 78.9%. He played at Drury (NCAA2) from 2009-2013 and as a senior played 35 games averaging 12.5ppg, 3.... [read more]
Brandon Lockhart (185-G-90, college: Drury) is a 26 year old 185cm guard from St Louis, Missouri that is playing his third professional season and first with German team ScanPlus Baskets Elchingen (Germany-ProB) As a rookie he played for BK Levicki Patrioti (Slovakia-Extraliga) playing 34 games: Score-5 (16.7ppg), 3.8rpg, Assists-5 (4.3apg), Steals-1 (3.0spg), FGP: 50.2%, 3PT: 28.5%, FT: 78.9%. He played at Drury (NCAA2) from 2009-2013 and as a senior played 35 games averaging 12.5ppg, 3.9rpg, 6.1apg, 2.9spg, FGP: 50.9%, 3PT: 48.3%, FT: 77.1%. Last season he played for the Giants TSV 1861 Noerdlingen (Germany-ProB) playing 29 game averaging 16.8ppg, 4.1rpg, 5.7apg, 2.5spg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 26.8%, FT: 81.1%He spoke to eurobasket after the tight 95-92 victory against his ex team Nordlingen..
Brandon congrats on the 95-92 win against your ex team Nordlingen. Did this game have any meaning for you since most guys were gone from last season?
Danke Miles! It was a special game since I played for the Giants last season. Since most of the guys from last year are also playing for new teams, I was able to approach it like it was just another team in the league.
This game was tight all throughout. When you compare this year's team with last seasons team, do you feel like you and last seasons team would have won?
That is tough to say because last year in Nordlingen at this point we were just really starting to find our groove. So I don't know what would happen if the two teams matched up.
Elchlingen isn't far away from Nordlingen, but how is it different for you living there and enjoying life in your second season in Germany?
Since it's my second season in Germany, adjusting to life here was not difficult. Being in the same area pretty much also helped to make things easier. Life is good.
The game continued to be tight, but Nordlingen gained a 6 point lead half way through the fourth quarter, but the ScanPlus Baskets came back. You were the deciding factor at the end getting a bucket for the lead and sealing the win with free throws. Was it one of those games where you really picked your spots very well on offense?
I always just try and help my team in whatever way possible. Other players were playing well so it made it easier for me to pick my spots to attack because they were more focused on them.
The ScanPlus Baskets have many scoring options, but did you feel the need to have to take over in the last minute?
With the high number of scoring options we have, I don't think any of us ever feel the need to. In the next game that is close, someone else could be the one to close the game for us. It makes it tougher on the opponent when they have to try and key in on everyone on the court.
Do you feel at times more comfortable in crunch-time with the ScanPlus Baskets, because you have more options to run the offense than last season with Nordlingen?
I love close games! So my level of comfort here is the same as it was last season in Nordlingen.
You currently have a 4 game winning streak and sitting a top the Pro B south with PS Karlsruhe with a 9-2 record. Are you content with the start of the team?
Of course 11-0 would be better, but 9-2 is not a bad place to be with the second half of the season starting this weekend.
One of the two losses came at the hands of PS Karlsruhe 90-64. How excited are you for the rematch in the second half of the season and do you feel that you will be able to heighten your game as a team?
Hopefully the rematch will be a better played game for us. I believe we will be able to put forth a good effort when they visit Elchingen. They protected their home court and now we must do the same.
The team is ranked first in points at 90, but 22nd in defense letting up 96 on average. That is a risky way to live on the basketball court. Why can't the team defend better for 40 minutes? It is extremely risky to give up such a high number of points nightly. That puts a ton of pressure on ourselves to be great on offense nightly. I believe we can defend better, we just have too many mental breakdowns throughout the game.
How much of a pleasure has it been playing with American Taevaunn Prince who put up monster stats at Misouri SO where your ex teammate Jordan Talbert played. Is Prince still getting warmed up in the Pro B?
Playing with Prince has been good so far. He has the ability to get a bucket whenever your team needs one. So it's always nice to have someone like that on your team.
You're having a very solid season averaging seven assists a game. Are you happy with that with the many scoring options or do you feel like you could get it up to 8-9 assists per game?
It would be nice to get it closer to 10 with the number of scorers I have around me. Maybe that can happen in the second half of the season. But the most important thing is that we continue to grow as a team and win games.
Do you feel like you could get your TO rate below three this season. How much do you hate those hands in passing lanes when you create?
I believe I can. Averaging 3+ turnovers is too much and not acceptable.
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 form the point guard position?
I believe Russ is a top 5 player in the world! The argument can be made for him being the top PG in the league also. He definitely has the numbers to back it up.
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 believe they have a greater chance at winning 65+ games than winning another title. Getting out of the west during the playoffs is no easy task.
Guard Leon Friederici (190-PG-95) has left Crailsheim to join Pro B side Giants TSV 1861 Noerdlingen. Friederici most recently played for the Merlins second team in the Regionalliga and spent the season before in 2.Regionalliga for Braunschweig's second team, but will now jump up to Pro B in a consistent role for the injury-ravaged Giants. New Giants TSV 1861 Noerdlingen coach Daniel Nelson hasn't had the start he wanted, but the short-handed Giants have remained extremely competitive... [read more]
Friederici most recently played for the Merlins second team in the Regionalliga and spent the season before in 2.Regionalliga for Braunschweig's second team, but will now jump up to Pro B in a consistent role for the injury-ravaged Giants.
New Giants TSV 1861 Noerdlingen coach Daniel Nelson hasn't had the start he wanted, but the short-handed Giants have remained extremely competitive in losing six games by an astounding five points or less. Four of the team's games have been decided by three or less points.
Friederici played seven games of Pro B basketball in 2014-15 for Braunschweig and also appeared in a BBL game for the Merlins last season. He had appeared in just one Pro A game for the Merlins this season.
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!
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