ProA Round 20: Leader SC Rasta Vechta loses to NBC - Feb 3, 2013
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There were many interesting games last round. The round ended with defeat of the leader and favorites losing the games.
Top ranked SC Rasta Vechta (15-5) recorded its fifth loss at the home court on Saturday night. Hosts were edged by tenth ranked NBC (9-11) 85-84. It ended at the same time the ten-game winning streak of SC Rasta Vechta. The guests trailed by 3 points after three quarters before their 25-21 charge, which allowed them to win the game. The best player for the winners was American guard Ahmad Smith (194-84, college: St.Bonaventure) who had a double-double by scoring 19 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists. Naturalized Russian forward Nikita Khartchenkov (200-87) chipped in 22 points. The former international center Dirk Madrich (211-83, agency: Court Side) produced 20 points and 7 rebounds for the hosts. Both coaches used bench players in such tough game. NBC moved-up to eighth place, which they share with 3 other teams. Newly promoted SC Rasta Vechta still keeps top position with five games lost. They share it with Goettingen. NBC is looking forward to face Crailsheim Merlins (#15) at home in the next round and are hoping to win another game. SC Rasta Vechta will play against BV Chemnitz 99 (#6) and is hoping to win this game. Important game to mention about took place in Allmendingen. Seventh ranked Ehingen/Urspringschule (11-9) saved a 2-point victory at home edging 8th ranked MLP Academics Heidelberg (9-11) 73-71 on Sunday evening. The game was dominated by American players. Forward Andre Calvin (196-85, college: Drake) orchestrated the victory with a double-double by scoring 18 points and 10 rebounds. Garrett Williamson contributed with 11 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists for the winners. Forward Devin White (203-88, college: SUNO) replied with 17 points and 6 rebounds for MLP Academics Heidelberg. MLP Academics Heidelberg's coach rotated ten players in this game, but that didn't help. Ehingen/Urspringschule moved-up to sixth place, which they share with Chemnitz. MLP Academics Heidelberg at the other side keeps the eighth position with 11 games lost. They share it with 3 other teams. Ehingen/Urspringschule will play against league's second-placed BG Goettingen on the road in the next round and it may be quite challenging game. MLP Academics Heidelberg will play against Duesseldorf Baskets (#3) and hopes to get back on the winning track. Fourteenth-ranked Oettinger Rockets Gotha (7-13) made lots of trouble for third ranked Duesseldorf Baskets (14-6) on Sunday. Duesseldorf Baskets managed to secure only two-point victory 77-75. However their fans expected much easier game. Worth to mention a great performance of Adam Waleskowski who helped to win the game recording a double-double by scoring 17 points and 11 rebounds. Chase Griffin responded with 22 points and 5 rebounds. Both coaches tested many bench players in such tough game. Duesseldorf Baskets have a solid four-game winning streak. They maintain third position with 14-6 record behind leader Vechta. Newly promoted Oettinger Rockets Gotha keeps the fourteenth place with 13 games lost. They share the position with Crailsheim. Duesseldorf Baskets will meet MLP Academics Heidelberg (#8) on the road in the next round where they are favorite. Oettinger Rockets Gotha will play against Kirchheim Knights (#12) and it may be a tough game between close rivals. We should mention about the upset which took place in Jena, where higher ranked Science City Jena (9-11) lost at home to thirteenth ranked Finke Baskets (8-12) 73-83. The winners were led by Guy Aud who scored that evening 17 points and 6 assists. Finke Baskets moved-up to twelfth place, which they share with Kirchheim. Science City Jena at the other side dropped to the eighth position with 11 games lost. Finke Baskets' next round opponent will be higher ranked ETB Wohnbau (#11) in Essen and it may be quite challenging game. An interesting game took place in Essen, where higher ranked BV Chemnitz 99 (11-9) lost to eleventh ranked ETB Wohnbau (9-11) in a road game 81-93 on Saturday. The best player for the winners was Joey Henley who had a double-double by scoring 19 points and 13 rebounds (on 7-of-9 shooting from the field). ETB Wohnbau moved-up to eighth place, which they share with 3 other teams. Loser BV Chemnitz 99 keeps the sixth position with nine games lost. ETB Wohnbau will face Finke Baskets (#13) in Paderborn in the next round where they are favorite.
Rest of the games of round 20 were quite predictable and ended without any surprises. Here they are: Karlsruhe defeated Crailsheim in a road game 88-72. Kirchheim smashed Cuxhaven at home 107-77. Goettingen won against Leipzig on the opponent's court 92-80.
Important game to mention about took place in Allmendingen. Seventh ranked Ehingen/Urspringschule (11-9) saved a 2-point victory at home edging 8th ranked MLP Academics Heidelberg (9-11) 73-71 on Sunday evening. The hosts took control from the first minutes by winning the initial quarter 21-17. But MLP Academics Heidelberg won second period 17-16. However it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. Ehingen/Urspringschule made 26-of-30 charity shots (86.7 percent) during the game. Ehingen/Urspringschule outrebounded MLP Academics Heidelberg 43-28 including 30 on the defensive glass. MLP Academics Heidelberg was plagued by 26 personal fouls down the stretch. The game was dominated by American players. Forward Andre Calvin (196-85, college: Drake) orchestrated the victory with a double-double by scoring 18 points and 10 rebounds. Guard Garrett Williamson (196-88, college: St.Joseph's) contributed with 11 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists for the winners. Four Ehingen/Urspringschule players scored in double figures. Forward Devin White (203-88, college: SUNO) replied with 17 points and 6 rebounds and guard Clint Sargent (193, college: S.Dakota St.) added 15 points in the effort for MLP Academics Heidelberg. MLP Academics Heidelberg's coach rotated ten players in this game, but that didn't help. Ehingen/Urspringschule moved-up to sixth place, which they share with Chemnitz. MLP Academics Heidelberg at the other side keeps the eighth position with 11 games lost. They share it with 3 other teams. Ehingen/Urspringschule will play against league's second-placed BG Goettingen on the road in the next round and it may be quite challenging game. MLP Academics Heidelberg will play against Duesseldorf Baskets (#3) and hopes to get back on the winning track. Top scorers: Heidelberg: D.White 17+6reb+2ast, C.Sargent 15+1reb+1ast, T.Blackwood 11+3reb+2ast, K.Kuhn 9+2reb+1ast, A.Hardy 9+1reb, J.Heindel 5+5reb+1ast Ehingen: A.Calvin 18+10reb, T.Unterluggauer 12+8reb+2ast, G.Williamson 11+6reb+8ast, V.Matthews 10+4reb+1ast, T.Rohde 8+8reb, M.Mueller 7+1reb+1ast
We should mention about the upset which took place in Jena, where higher ranked Science City Jena (9-11) lost at home to thirteenth ranked Finke Baskets (8-12) 73-83. Science City Jena was ahead by 4 points after three quarters before a 21-7 charge of Finke Baskets, which allowed them to win the game. They dominated on the defensive end, holding Science City Jena to just 7 points in fourth quarter. The winners were led by naturalized Israeli guard Guy Aud (188-89) who scored that evening 17 points and 6 assists and American swingman Billy Rush (201-88, college: Robert Morris) supported him with 18 points and 6 rebounds. Aud is a former Eurobasket Summer League player, which is considered top international summer league in the market. Five Finke Baskets players scored in double figures. Even 17 points and 7 rebounds by power forward Christoph Roquette (203-82) did not help to save the game for Science City Jena. British-Australian guard Lee Jeka (187-83, agency: Limelight Hoops) added 20 points for the hosts. Finke Baskets moved-up to twelfth place, which they share with Kirchheim. Science City Jena at the other side dropped to the eighth position with 11 games lost. Finke Baskets' next round opponent will be higher ranked ETB Wohnbau (#11) in Essen and it may be quite challenging game. Top scorers: Jena: L.Jeka 20+1reb+2ast, C.Roquette 17+7reb+1ast, K.Barker 9+3reb+3ast, G.Sim 8+4reb+2ast, S.Watts 6+4reb+1ast, K.Wysocki 5+7reb+2ast Finke Baskets: B.Rush 18+6reb, G.Aud 17+3reb+6ast, R.Aquino 13+8reb+1ast, J.Jamerson 12+6reb+2ast, J.Adams 11+5reb+2ast, M.Fleischmann 9+4reb
Fourteenth-ranked Oettinger Rockets Gotha (7-13) made lots of trouble for third ranked Duesseldorf Baskets (14-6) on Sunday. Duesseldorf Baskets managed to secure only two-point victory 77-75. However their fans expected much easier game. The hosts trailed by 7 points after first quarter, but they rallied back to get the 8-point lead at the halftime and eventually won the game 77-75. Duesseldorf Baskets forced 20 Oettinger Rockets Gotha turnovers. Worth to mention a great performance of naturalized American forward Adam Waleskowski (204-82, college: Florida St., agency: Three Eye Sports) who helped to win the game recording a double-double by scoring 17 points and 11 rebounds and Greek-Australian guard Triantafillos Tzakopoulos (187-85) who added 17 points and 6 assists during the contest. Four Duesseldorf Baskets players scored in double figures. American guard Chase Griffin (188-83, college: Pepperdine) responded with 22 points and 5 rebounds and his fellow American import forward Torvoris Baker (203-83, college: Detroit Mercy) produced a double-double by scoring 13 points and 11 rebounds. Both coaches tested many bench players in such tough game. Duesseldorf Baskets have a solid four-game winning streak. They maintain third position with 14-6 record behind leader Vechta. Newly promoted Oettinger Rockets Gotha keeps the fourteenth place with 13 games lost. They share the position with Crailsheim. Duesseldorf Baskets will meet MLP Academics Heidelberg (#8) on the road in the next round where they are favorite. Oettinger Rockets Gotha will play against Kirchheim Knights (#12) and it may be a tough game between close rivals. Top scorers: Gotha: C.Griffin 22+5reb+2ast, T.Baker 13+11reb+1ast, L.Niebuhr 12+6reb+2ast, D.Mitchell 8+1reb+1ast, A.Kuppe 7+2reb+2ast, J.Person 4+3reb Duesseldorf: A.Waleskowski 17+11reb+2ast, T.Tzakopoulos 17+3reb+6ast, G.Johnson 11+3reb+5ast, M.Petric 11, C.Gadley 7+3reb, N.Adamczak 7+1reb+1ast
There was no surprise when 13th ranked Crailsheim Merlins (7-13) were defeated at home by fourth ranked BG Karlsruhe (13-7) 88-72 on Saturday. The best player for the winners was American forward Jeremy Black (203-85, college: Tampa, agency: Court Side) who scored 20 points and 6 rebounds (on 8-of-10 shooting from the field). The other American import point guard Michael Stockton (185-89, college: Westminster, UT, agency: Limelight Hoops) chipped in 14 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists. Four BG Karlsruhe players scored in double figures. Naturalized American swingman Jonathan Moore (203-82, college: N.C.Central) produced 15 points and 7 rebounds and American power forward Stevie Johnson (198-78, college: Iowa St.) added 12 points and 8 rebounds respectively for the hosts. Both coaches allowed to play bench players saving starting five for next games. BG Karlsruhe maintains fourth position with 13-7 record. Loser Crailsheim Merlins dropped to the fourteenth place with 13 games lost. BG Karlsruhe will face bottom-ranked USC Leipzig (#16) at home in the next round which should be an easy win for them. Crailsheim Merlins will play against NBC in Nurnberg. Top scorers: Crailsheim: J.Moore 15+7reb+2ast, S.Johnson 12+8reb+3ast, A.Sivorotka 11+6reb, K.Karamatskos 8+1reb+3ast, J.Crow 7+3reb, M.Rose 7+1reb Karlsruhe: J.Black 20+6reb+3ast, J.Harris 17+4reb+2ast, M.Stockton 14+5reb+7ast, E.Vierneisel 12+5reb+1ast, R.Roessler 9+7reb+3ast, D.Richardson 7+5reb
An interesting game took place in Essen, where higher ranked BV Chemnitz 99 (11-9) lost to eleventh ranked ETB Wohnbau (9-11) in a road game 81-93 on Saturday. The game was mostly controlled by ETB Wohnbau. BV Chemnitz 99 was better in third quarter 17-15. But it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. ETB Wohnbau made 16-of-21 free shots (76.2 percent) during the game. They looked well-organized offensively handing out 22 assists comparing to just 9 passes made by BV Chemnitz 99's players. The best player for the winners was American Joey Henley (196-85, college: Sacred Heart) who had a double-double by scoring 19 points and 13 rebounds (on 7-of-9 shooting from the field). The other American import forward Logan Stutz (205-88, college: Washburn) chipped in 19 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Four ETB Wohnbau players scored in double figures. American guard John Bynum (191-78, college: Metro St.) produced 18 points and 5 rebounds and Japanese point guard Takumi Ishizaki (188-84) added 16 points respectively for the guests. ETB Wohnbau moved-up to eighth place, which they share with 3 other teams. Loser BV Chemnitz 99 keeps the sixth position with nine games lost. ETB Wohnbau will face Finke Baskets (#13) in Paderborn in the next round where they are favorite. Top scorers: Chemnitz: J.Bynum 18+5reb+1ast, T.Ishizaki 16+3reb+3ast, R.Cardenas 11+2reb+1ast, D.Lawson 9+10reb+2ast, A.Rosenthal 9+4reb, J.Schmidt 9+3reb+2ast ETB Wohnbau: J.Henley 19+13reb, L.Stutz 19+7reb+4ast, F.Franke 13+1reb+1ast, M.Buljevic 11+1reb+3ast, T.Harbut 10+6reb, A.Cook 9+1reb+6ast
There was a surprise result when thirteenth ranked Kirchheim Knights (8-12) smashed at home higher ranked Cuxhaven BasCats (12-8) 107-77 on Saturday. The game without a history. Kirchheim Knights led from the first minutes and controlled entire game increasing their lead in each quarter. Kirchheim Knights outrebounded Cuxhaven BasCats 41-29 including a 27-15 advantage in defensive rebounds. They looked well-organized offensively handing out 22 assists. Cuxhaven BasCats were plagued by 25 personal fouls down the stretch. The best player for the winners was naturalized Serbian guard Radivoj Tomasevic (180-78) who scored 19 points and 9 assists. American forward Marcus Smallwood (198-82, college: N.Illinois, agency: Court Side) chipped in a double-double by scoring 10 points and 18 rebounds. Smallwood is a former Eurobasket Summer League player, which is considered top international summer league in the market. Kirchheim Knights' coach Branislav Ignjatovic felt very confident that he used 10 players which allowed the starters a little rest for the next games. American forward Scott Thomas (200-89, college: Bowling Green, agency: I.D.S. Law) produced 25 points and 9 rebounds and his fellow American import forward Monyea Pratt (195-85, college: Stillman) added 19 points and 6 rebounds respectively for the guests. Five Kirchheim Knights and four Cuxhaven BasCats players scored in double figures. Kirchheim Knights have a solid three-game winning streak. They moved-up to twelfth place, which they share with Finke Baskets. Loser Cuxhaven BasCats dropped to the fifth position with eight games lost. Kirchheim Knights will face Oettinger Rockets Gotha (#14) on the road in the next round. Cuxhaven BasCats will play against Science City Jena (#10). Top scorers: Cuxhaven: S.Thomas 25+9reb+3ast, M.Pratt 19+6reb+2ast, J.Kelly 11+1reb+7ast, J.Dunbar 10+3reb+1ast, M.Rockmann 8+5reb+1ast, O.Mackeldanz 4+3reb Kirchheim: R.Tomasevic 19+1reb+9ast, T.Burnette 15+3reb+3ast, S.Adeberg 14+2reb+1ast, C.Brooks 12+1reb+1ast, C.Alexander 10+2reb+5ast, M.Smallwood 10+18reb+1ast
Very expected game when 16th ranked USC Leipzig (3-17) was defeated at home by second ranked BG Goettingen (15-5) 92-80 on Saturday. The guests trailed by 3 points at the halftime before their 56-41 charge in the second half, which allowed them to win the game. BG Goettingen outrebounded USC Leipzig 38-25 including a 17-5 advantage in offensive rebounds. The best player for the winners was Greek-American guard Nicholas Livas (198-87, college: Ill.-Springfield) who had a double-double by scoring 16 points and 11 rebounds. British swingman Paul Guede (195-87, college: Portland St., agency: Interperformances) chipped in 21 points. BG Goettingen's coach Johannes Roijakkers used an eleven-player rotation which allowed the starters a little rest for the next games. American guard Adam Sollazzo (198-90, college: E.Tenn.St., agency: Edge Sports) produced 20 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists and forward Walter Simon (202-89, college: Cumberland) added 15 points and 8 rebounds respectively for the hosts. Five BG Goettingen and four USC Leipzig players scored in double figures. BG Goettingen used an opportunity after Vechta lost their game and moved up joining them at the top position. USC Leipzig lost ninth consecutive game. Newly promoted team stay at the bottom place with 17 games lost. BG Goettingen will face Ehingen/Urspringschule (#7) in Allmendingen in the next round where they are favorite. USC Leipzig will play on the road against BG Karlsruhe (#4). Top scorers: Leipzig: A.Sollazzo 20+5reb+7ast, K.Schaffartzik 19+3reb, W.Simon 15+8reb, N.Freer 10+2reb+2ast, J.Tyrna 7+4reb, G.McCammon 5+2reb Goettingen: P.Guede 21+3reb+2ast, N.Livas 16+11reb+3ast, M.Wenzl 15+7reb, S.Phillips 13+2reb+6ast, A.Vargas 11+3reb+3ast, R.Harris 7+3reb
Top ranked SC Rasta Vechta (15-5) recorded its fifth loss at the home court on Saturday night. Hosts were edged by tenth ranked NBC (9-11) 85-84. It ended at the same time the ten-game winning streak of SC Rasta Vechta. The guests trailed by 3 points after three quarters before their 25-21 charge, which allowed them to win the game. The best player for the winners was American guard Ahmad Smith (194-84, college: St.Bonaventure) who had a double-double by scoring 19 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists. Naturalized Russian forward Nikita Khartchenkov (200-87) chipped in 22 points. The former international center Dirk Madrich (211-83, agency: Court Side) produced 20 points and 7 rebounds and American swingman Corey Hassan (193-87, college: Sacred Heart) added 13 points and 5 rebounds respectively for the hosts. Four SC Rasta Vechta players scored in double figures. Both coaches used bench players in such tough game. NBC moved-up to eighth place, which they share with 3 other teams. Newly promoted SC Rasta Vechta still keeps top position with five games lost. They share it with Goettingen. NBC is looking forward to face Crailsheim Merlins (#15) at home in the next round and are hoping to win another game. SC Rasta Vechta will play against BV Chemnitz 99 (#6) and is hoping to win this game. Top scorers: Vechta: D.Madrich 20+7reb+1ast, C.Hassan 13+5reb+3ast, R.Williams 10+6reb+4ast, A.Rudowitz 10+4reb, J.Doerksen 9+3reb, F.Stuckemann 9+6reb+2ast NBC: N.Khartchenkov 22+1reb+2ast, A.Smith 19+11reb+4ast, Z.Nixon 15+3reb+6ast, M.Nunnally 8+10reb, D.McDaniel 7+5reb+1ast, R.Thompson 6+5reb
On the court, professional basketball players take the game very seriously because it's the game they love and it's also what pays some Las Vegas weekends, but off the court, the majority of players are able to take a step back from their hardnosed focus and can also be more relaxed and in more of a joking manner to help kick the time away. Ex Fraport Skyliner Anthony King played many times in the Telekom Dome and even as a BBL allstar in 2014 probably could of come up with a funny line f... [read more]
On the court, professional basketball players take the game very seriously because it's the game they love and it's also what pays some Las Vegas weekends, but off the court, the majority of players are able to take a step back from their hardnosed focus and can also be more relaxed and in more of a joking manner to help kick the time away. Ex Fraport Skyliner Anthony King played many times in the Telekom Dome and even as a BBL allstar in 2014 probably could of come up with a funny line for his ex teammate Julian Gamble (208-F/C-89, college: Miami, FL) from Miami (NCAA) after he had heard that he had signed with Bonn. Back in the 2007-2008 season, King was a senior and the Durham, North Carolina native didn't play his freshman year until the next season, but gained incredible valuable experience being able to practice with the squad. King who always seemed like a quiet fellow, but in reality knew exactly when and how to crack hilarious jokes, could have prepared Gamble for his new stomping ground as follows. 'Hey Julian, the next time your sitting on the bench during a break from a game day shoot around, attempt to count how many magenta seats are in the arena, I came up with 1,349'. Of course, one could always have that option if one was totally overcome by boredom, but a guy like Gamble would rather have the game in his thoughts and how he would help his team gain the next victory. Gamble does have fond memories of King. 'King was a mentor to me when I first stepped on campus. We also graduated from the same high school, so he knows what it was to make it out of where we came from. He definitely is a funny guy once you get to know him but very laid back at the same time', stressed Gamble. He had a solid career at Miami where he reached a NCAA Sweet 16 and NIT Sweet 16 and Elite eight, but as a player was groomed for a certain role where he was unable to show what he really had until he became a professional. 'Playing on a team where I had to play a role that wasn't to score was difficult at times. It was hard because I always knew I had the ability and I worked on my game constantly. I just continued to work and prayed that God would allow me the opportunity to show what I can truly do and I think it was a surprise to most people', warned Julian Gamble (208-F/C-89, college: Miami, FL). However that all changed when he became a professional and tore up the French Pro B with Saint Vallier Basket Drome and in Belgium with Basic-Fit Brussels. He was a top scorer each season and was third in rebounding twice and second once and was the top shot blocker each season. 'At Miami, my senior year especially, I was a good player on a great team. I took great pride in being whatever my team needed that night. That didn't always mean big numbers but I always knew I had the ability to be a big time player given the opportunity. Once I was given that chance, I never looked back', added Julian Gamble (208-F/C-89, college: Miami, FL). Now the American who compares his game to Blake Griffin and lists Harrison Barnes as his toughest opponent in college is ready to make the next step in the competitive and highest league that he will have played in the EasyCredit BBL. With Bonn, he has a very talented supporting cast and has his feet on the ground and mentality keen on winning first before worrying about that double double. 'My goal production wise will not change, but ultimately I want to win. Whatever it takes to win is what I will do, but my personal ambition as a player is to be the best I can be', warned Julian Gamble (208-F/C-89, college: Miami, FL). Gamble had a strong pre-season and is developing well and is on a good way of making the next step and so are the Telekom Baskets Bonn who want to wash away last season which was one to forget which was only their third time in 20 years where they failed to make the playoffs. He will be ready to erase his meager 4 point effort against Alba Berlin and get back on track against Frankfurt.
After finishing in 4th and 5th place in the regular season in 2014 and 2015, last season the Telekom Baskets Bonn slipped to 12th place and had an early summer vacation in early May getting an early jump on the summer cafe's and sun tanning along the Rhein river. The season actually started off with a bang as they won five of their first six games including huge wins against FC Bayern Munich and ratiopharm Ulm where they demonstrated just how lethal an offense they had averaging 94 points in the two games, but then everything just fell apart as if it was night and day. They then lost a combined 12 games in a row of BBL and Eurocup games and saved their Christmas by winning a shootout against the Walter Tigers Tuebingen on the day before Christmas. However no turn around occurred as the team lost seven of it's next nine games. One could see that consistency was a word absent from their vocabulary that one never knew what to expect from the club after despite winning two in a row against Tuebingen (twice 100 plus points) and Phoenix Hagen with 100 plus points, on the next weekend they had their biggest low point getting smacked around 78-48 in Frankfurt. During all of this head coach Matthias Fischer was dismissed as fans were as frustrated as a cat is when it outsmarted by a quicker mouse. Bonn knew how to put points on the board, but couldn't defend if their life depended on it. They gave up 80 points or more 26 times and if one examines their results closely would have come to the conclusion that they could really have struggled more and had issues concerning lower standings positions if they had not won the majority of their offensive shoot outs.
With the arrival of new head coach Silvano Poropat, the club hopes to bring some fresh new wind to the team. Poropat has displayed in the past that he knows how to put together teams and lead them to success. He did that unexpectedly with Ludwigsburg in the 2006-2007 season and led them to the top two teams in the BBL and a semi-final berth of the playoffs and also helped bring the Mitteldeutscher BC back to the BBL. The Croatian coach did a great job bringing in new basketball blood and the team showed in pre-season that a healthy team chemistry was in the starting block and prepared to grow. 'My first impression of Coach is that he very badly wants to win. I feel he knows the game well, in the ways he described to me things he liked I did. I also feel that family is important to him, which is important to me, because chemistry both on and off the court is what will make our time together something to remember', stressed Julian Gamble (208-F/C-89, college: Miami, FL). The club made a complete house cleaning keeping only Florian Koch. They were hoping that point guard Eugene Lawrence would remain, but didn't. This season the Telekom Baskets Bonn have put together a very versatile team that is stronger at each position than it was last season. After the disastrous defensive season last year, a big focus this season will be on reducing the number of points they give up. Offensively Bonn have the capability to light up the scoreboard again, but it will be their defensive performance with the combination of athleticism and hunger of showing effort that will determine between a playoff spot or not. The club should also be capable of making their transition game a strength as good defense should get them more easy points than in the past. A few days before the start of the EasyCredit season, the club released some very upsetting news that head coach Silvano Poropat had a bad sickness and will have to miss some months. The club did a good job reacting and getting ex coach Predrag Krunic who was surprisingly available. Krunic had his first coaching stint with Bonn from 2001-2005 and was then the youngest coach in the BBL. He won a BBL title with the EWE baskets Oldenburg in 2009 and then coached in Poland, Bayreuth and Weissenfels. Krunic is a great coach, but how well will the team perform now with all this new coaching drama bestowed upon them?
The team held on to German Florian Koch who is a 24 year old 197cm forward who is the absolute identity having been with the club since 2010 and has played a total of 113 BBL games and last season had his breakthrough playing 34 games averaging 7.0ppg, 2.6rpg, FGP: 56.9%, 3PT: 40.8%, FT: 81.4%; Eurocup: 10 games: 4.8ppg, 2.7rpg. His athleticism and outside shooting will continue to garner him minutes. The club hauled in nine new players including Josh Mayo. Mayo is a 29 year old 181cm point guard that looks closer to 176cm, but is lightening quick and can drain the three. He has valuable experience in Europe having played in France, Latvia, Ukraine, Italy and Spain. Last season he played for Givova Scafati Basket (Italy-Serie A2) playing 41 games averaging 15.7ppg, 3.2rpg, Assists-3 (5.2apg), FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 43.6%, FT: 85.2%. Konstantin Klein is a 25 year old 187cm point guard from Berlin that was Pro B champion with Gotha in 2012 and that last played for the Fraport Skyliners from 2012-2016. He developed soundly with the club, but was hampered with injuries the last two seasons. Last season he played 33 games averaging6.6ppg, 1.8rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 41.1%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 82.1%; FIBA Europe Cup: 17 games: 6.6ppg, 1.6rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 33.3%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 81.5%.He shot an overwhelming 52% from outside in the 2014-2015 Eurochallenge season. His self-confidence as a German is as typical as that of an American and his aggressive play and motivation is a big strength of his. Klein was demoted badly by Skyliner head coach Gordon Herbert in the playoffs against ratiopharm Ulm where he played only 48 minutes in four games. Klein is burning with basketball desire to show everyone he belongs to the top 5 best German guards. The club also reeled in TJ Di Leo who is a 26 year old 190cm guard that will be playing his fourth professional season after playing his first three seasons with the Giessen 46ers and helped them reach the BBL in 2015.. He is the son of Tony Di Leo who coached in Germany and was also the GM of the Philadelphia 76ers. Last season the guard suffered injury woes and played only 19 games averaging 5.7ppg, 2.4rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 38.7%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 73.3%. Theex Temple (NCAA) guard has the heart of gold, is an aggressive defender and when left open will hurt you with his shot. He will bring energy from the bench and at times help with the playmaking. The club brought in another ex Giessen player with Yormon Polas who is a Cuban/German that has lived the basketball cinderella story playing his first six seasons in Cuba and then coming to Germany and going from the Regionaliga with FC Bayern Munich via the Pro A with Crailsheim and Giessen to the BBL to Bonn. Last season with Giessen he played 32 games averaging 9.9ppg, 4.0rpg, 1.4apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 57.8%, 3PT: 40.3%, FT: 60.0%. He has unending athleticism, will make waves with his defense and is difficult to control in the paint with his quickness and on transition.
The club also hauled in Ryan Thompson who is a 28 year old 198cm forward from Mount Laurel, New Jersey and is the younger brother of NBA player Jason Thompson is playing his seventh professional season and has won 2 titles in Belguim and one in Germany with Bamberg. The ex Rider (NCAA) standout has European basketball experience in Italy, Belgium and Turkey. Last season was a season to forget as he split time with Trabzonspor Basketbol (Turkey-BSL): 5 games: 8.0ppg, 2.6rpg, 1.6apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 52.6%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 64.7%; Eurocup: 6 games: 6.5ppg, 3.8rpg, 1.0spg, FGP: 65.0%, 3PT: 6.7%, FT: 62.5%. His role will be too find his scoring touch again and lead the team in crunch time and amaze the home fans with unforgettable dunks. The team also added Ken Horton who is a 26 year old 199cm forward from Ossining, New York playing his fifth professional season that has experience in France, Mexico, Australia and Finland. Last season he played for medi Bayreuth playing 34 games averaging 12.4ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.1apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 61.1%, 3PT: 35.1%, FT: 89.5%. The Cent.Conn.St. (NCAA) stand out can look back to 2006 where he started his basketball career as a guy who has always scored in double figures showing his consistent basketball scoring trait. He is a very versatile guy that has a deadly three pointer, can play with the back to the basket and don't put him on the free throwline because he won't miss. Flip Barovic is a 26 year old 207cm center that hails from Montenegro. He has toiled around in leagues in Montenegro, Hungary and Romania and now is ready to make the next step in the higher league BBL. Last season he played for Lukoil Academic Sofia (Bulgaria-NBL) playing 35 games: 10.9ppg, 7.1rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 66.2%, 3PT-1 (50.0%), FT: 73.9%; FIBA Europe Cup: 12 games: 13.6ppg, 6.6rpg, FGP: 54.9%, FT: 67.2%. He is the classical post player that excels on the pick and roll, but also will hit the three. His experience will help the team as he knows how to win winning 5 titles in Montenegro and one in Bulgaria. Johannes Richter is a 22 year old 208cm power forward, but can also play center. He got his first BBL experience with Bamberg and played the last two and a half seasons with the Fraport Skyliners. He made his international breakthrough two seasons ago in the Eurochallenge hitting the Baaken Bears with 15 and 10 points. However in the BBL, it was tough getting playing time with the twin towers Voigtmann and Barthel in the way. Last season he played 25 games: 2.7ppg, 2.0rpg; FIBA Europe Cup: 9 games: 2.6ppg, 2.8rpg, played also at Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt II (ProB): 16 games: 17.3ppg, 8.3rpg, 3.0apg, FGP-3 (63.7%), 3PT: 41.8%, FT: 73.1%. He is a versatile big man with the modern game that is a relentless fighter under the rim and can drain the trey at his desire. Gordon Herbert called him his best offensive rebounder last season.
Despite some skeptics questioning how well the guard duo of Mayo/Klein will be, they will make the grade as they have shown incredible desire in the pre-season and have played well together and can also play at the same time on the court. The big man duo of Gamble/Barovic is very solid and the forward duo of Horton/Richter compliment each other well as both do things separately well. The bench of DI Leo, Polas and Koch are very solid. Oh and not to forget Ryan Thompson is on a mission to forget his season of last where he lost his scoring touch in Serbia and Turkey and get back to winning and playing ways he had two seasons ago with Bamberg. Head coach Poropat is a winner and wants to bring success as badly back to Bonn as the fans want to see it again. 'Year for year it gets more difficult for those last 1-2 playoff spots. Bonn has put together a very solid team. They get a Ryan Thompson who played at Bamberg and Mayo a very experienced player and some talented German players. The talent is there for a playoff team. They will have to see if the chemistry is good enough to make the jump back in the play offs', stressed Phoenix Hagen assistant coach Steven Wriedt. Last season, Frankfurt won 82-59 on the road as Johannes Voigtmann had 20 points and Konstantin Klein Netted 19 points. In the return game, Frankfurt creamed Bonn at home 78-48 and were led by Danilo Bathel with 18 points and Johannes Voigtmann had 17 points. Both teams come into the game today with an 0-1 record and looking to get that first win of the season. The Telekom Baskets Bonn were beat by Alba Berlin on the road where their offense was already in season mode, but their defense just couldn't handle the many weapons that head coach that Ahmet Caki threw at them. The Fraport Skyliners were rattled by the Brose Baskets Bamberg on the road 85-54. It was what most expected as Bamberg overwhelmed the guests with their potent roster and growing team chemistry while the Fraport Skyliners's new era had began with a new influx of young Germans learning to make the grade this season. In some way, it could have been advantageous to start with a very tough game like this, because they could see after the game exactly where the building blocks are for improvement. In Bonn, the Fraport Skyliners will meet ex players Konstantin Klein and Johannes Richer. Richter is as expected still finding his role and fighting for minutes while Klein has been integrated nicely and he quickly found his role in preseason and become a starter. Klein has a lot to prove, but won't be able to show his talent to Gordon Herbert who is out, but will gladly have Klaus Perwas witness what Frankfurt have missed in not keeping him. This will be a tough game for the Fraport Skyliners as Bonn is definitely farther at this point of the season in all aspects of the game.
Brian Sullivan (180-PG-93, college: Davidson) is a 23 year old 180cm guard from Upper Arlington, Ohio that is playing his rookie season in Germany with the Hebeisen White Wings Hanau. He started his college basketball career in 2011 with Miami, OH (NCAA) playing 30 games averaging 10.3ppg, 1.9rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 35.7%, 3PT: 44.9%, FT: 70.0%. He then played at Davidson (NCAA) from 2013-2016 and as a senior played 30 games averaging 14.3ppg, 3.7rpg, 3.4apg, FGP: 32.7%, 3PT: 41.0%, FT: 83.1%.... [read more]
Brian Sullivan (180-PG-93, college: Davidson) is a 23 year old 180cm guard from Upper Arlington, Ohio that is playing his rookie season in Germany with the Hebeisen White Wings Hanau. He started his college basketball career in 2011 with Miami, OH (NCAA) playing 30 games averaging 10.3ppg, 1.9rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 35.7%, 3PT: 44.9%, FT: 70.0%. He then played at Davidson (NCAA) from 2013-2016 and as a senior played 30 games averaging 14.3ppg, 3.7rpg, 3.4apg, FGP: 32.7%, 3PT: 41.0%, FT: 83.1%. He spoke to eurobasket during the summer before signing with the Hebeisen White Wings.
Brian thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been? My pleasure. I am currently in Hanau, Germany preparing for the season with my teammates and coaching staff. My summer was excellent, it was the most productive and efficient summer I have had as a basketball player.
After a stellar college basketball career where you played the last three seasons with Davidson, with what expectations were you going into this summer's transfer market? You signed very late with German team Hebeisen White Wings. Did you not have as many offers as one may have thought or was the right opportunity not there earlier in the summer? The biggest thing I wanted was a good fit. I felt that Hanau was a great situation for me because of the coaching staff and player development they offer. I wanted to go to a good opportunity where I would be able to improve the most and I felt Hanau was the best place for me to do that.
Congrats on signing with German Pro A team Hebeisen White Wings. What do you know in general about the country Germany and it's basketball? I studied German for about 8 years growing up so I know a bit of German (not as much as I thought I did) and I know a little about the culture. As far as basketball, I know that it has a very good reputation and the coaches do a great job here.
Did you get some timely advice from Luke Loucks who played with the Hebeisen White Wings last season. How vital was his input on helping making your decision easier? I did not speak with Luke.
What were the main reasons for picking the Hebeisen White Wings Hanau as your first destination as a professional?
I wanted the best opportunity for me to grow and improve while still being able to compete for a winning team. I felt like the White Wings coaching staff would give me the best growth in player development while competing at a high level.
Did you have talks with head coach Simon Cote? What was your first impression of him and did you notice quickly that you speak the same basketball language in talks? Yes, I was really impressed after talking to Coach Cote, he is passionate about the game and ask for his players to compete and improve which I really appreciated. He was a big factor in my decision.
You will be entering the very competitive German Pro A and could advance to one of the top point guards in the league. How confident are you that you can make an impact as a rookie? I am confident that I am able to make an impact for my team. I feel like the A10 and coach McKillop prepared me very well to be a professional and I am excited to continue to learn and improve.
Let's talk a bit about your game. You seem not to be a pass first guard, but more of a scoring point guard. What other strength do you have in your game? I have the reputation of being more of a scorer, which is certainly a big part of my game. I feel like much of that is from playing more as a combo guard at Davidson so I was asked to score the ball more. I think a strength of my game is being able to handle the basketball and find teammates for open shots.
If you had to compare your game to an NBA player to what player would your game resemble the most?
I would compare my style of play to Damian Lillard
You can fill up the stat sheet, but what is a hidden strength in your game that doesn't get noticed right away on the court?
I think one thing that doesn't always get noticed is that I like to play the right way. I always try to help my teammates on either end of the floor and just try to bring energy to the game.
You started your college career in 2011 with Miami, OH (NCAA) playing 30 games averaging 10.3ppg, 1.9rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 35.7%, 3PT: 44.9%, FT: 70.0%. You were the first freshman since 1996 to score in double figures as well as other fine achievements. How much of an impact did Charlie Coles have on you which prompted you to transfer to Davidson? Charlie Coles was great for me during my freshman year. He trusted me and I gained valuable experience as a freshman. He ultimately retired after my freshman year when I did decide to transfer. So I did not transfer because of Coach Coles, it was just a better situation for me on and off the court at Davidson.
Do ever think about how your school career might have gone had you played all four years at Miami, Ohio? Do you feel like you could have been better with your development then how it went with Davidson? No, I don't like to look back in the rear view mirror like that. I confidently made my decision to transfer to Davidson and loved my experience there.
You once said in an article 'I've really stopped trying to please others,' 'Basketball is not who I am, it's what I do. When did you realize that you had to change this outlook? I realized this when I felt the expectation of others driving me more than my own expectations were. I wanted to make others happy to the point where I became miserable and tired, and so I just started to be myself and play the way I knew how to. That was a big moment in my career and has allowed me to find a lot more joy and peace in playing the game.
How do you feel did you prosper from having very talented guard Jack Gibbs in the back court with you on a daily basis? Jack is a great player and we would go against each other so it was good for both of us to be competing like that. He draws so much attention from defenses that it opened up things for other players. Moving forward I am excited about being able to have the ball in my hands more and be a decision maker on the court.
You had many amazing games, but also games to forget like the 98-65 loss to North Carolina. When you remember games like this and the talent you faced, do you see a big difference in the level of play of these future NBA players or do you sense that these guys aren't really better than me?
We played against a lot of good players over my four years at Davidson, so what I saw was obviously great talent, but I noticed most all of them had great confidence. Personally, I don't back down and so I feel that I can play with anyone.
How did head coach Bob Mckillop groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
He has taught me so much that has prepared me, whether its on or off the court he has prepared us. He taught me to respect my teammates, to have fun and attack while I am playing and those are all things I will take with me.
You hung out a lot with head coach Bob McKillop. What was your favorite Steph Curry story where you learned something that you didn't know about the NBA superstar? A story coach loves to tell about Steph is that during one of his first games as a freshman he had about 6 or 7 turnovers in the first half and that would typically rattle a freshman but coach McKillop stuck with him and he ended up having a great second half. It speaks to his ability to stay in the moment.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Jack Gibbs? Jack is my little brother, I wouldn't let him beat me.
Who was the toughest player that you battled on the court face to face that is in the NBA now?
We played Jabari Parker his freshman year, his size and skill set were very impressive for a freshman.
If you had to construct your NBA Rushmore with the 4 best heads ever who would you choose? I can only speak on players that I have actually seen video of, so I will say MJ, LeBron, Kobe, Shaq
Lebron finally won an NBA title with the Cavs. Where does he stand now with the all-time greatest that ever played? I haven't seen enough film of the older plays to compare them against each other but he is very high up there on my list.
What was the last movie that you saw? I watched Zoolander 2 on my flight over here.
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 the ScanPlus Baskets Elchingen (Germany-ProB). Last season he played for the Giants TSV 1861 Noerdlingen (Germany-Pro B) playing 29 games averaging 16.8ppg, 4.1rpg, 5.7apg, 2.5spg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 26.8%, FT: 81.1% As a rookie he played for BK Levicki Patrioti (Slovakia-Extraliga) playing 34 games: Score-5 (16.7ppg), 3.8rpg, Assists-... [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 the ScanPlus Baskets Elchingen (Germany-ProB). Last season he played for the Giants TSV 1861 Noerdlingen (Germany-Pro B) playing 29 games averaging 16.8ppg, 4.1rpg, 5.7apg, 2.5spg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 26.8%, FT: 81.1% 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%. He spoke to eurobasket after the season opening 105-74 win against Wurzburg.
Brandon congrats on the overpowering 105-74 win against Wurzburg. After the preseason and all the hard work did you expect to come out with such a good result before the game started? Danke Miles! Starting the season with a win is all we really had in mind. I do not think any of us believed the game would have a result as such.
Wurzburg had the narrow 22-19 lead after one quarter, but in the second quarter the ScanPlus baskets got their offense going with 33 points and gave up only 8 points to have the overwhelming 52-30 lead at the break. What did head coach Dario Jerkic want the team do change up in the second frame?
We were lacking focus on the defensive side of the ball and allowed them a bunch of second chances. So in the 2nd quarter, we wanted to make it harder for them to score and really focus on grabbing rebounds when they missed.
The Elchingen offense kept scoring,scoring and scoring adding 31 points in the third quarter. What makes the squad so dangerous on the offensive end? We have a good number of players that can score the ball in a variety of ways. Therefore the defense cannot just lock in on 1 or 2 players. They have to be worried about all 5 players on the court because anyone can score at any time.
But it isn't just the offensive end, but on the defensive end you had 14 team steals and forced Wurzburg to 23 turnovers. What has been key for getting so many on the same page so early on the defensive end?
We still have a long way to go but it's something we work on daily at practice. We really want the defensive side of the ball to carry us because we know there will be games when shots are not going in.
Would the score have been closer if Wurzburg had had some Americans. They played with only one import last season and this season recently added a new American, but he didn't play. Wurzburg is a good team that has talent so I believe the score would be closer if we played the same roster today or tomorrow. Lucky for us, we were clicking on both sides of the ball which contributed to the score being as such.
The ScanPlus baskets had five guys in double figures. Does this team make your job a bit easier than last season where Nordlingen needed you to score much every game with it's non deep scoring roster?
I don't know if it makes my job easier, but it does change it some. I might not have to score as much, but I still have to go out each game and give it my all. So my approach to the game is still the same.
What has been your early impression of rookie Taevaunn Prince. Is this a guy that will be able to make a consistent impact week in and week out? I would characterize Taevaunn as a "walking bucket" because he can get you a basket however you want it whenever you need it. He led all of NCAA DII last year in scoring and that just doesn't happen easily. I hope and believe that he will put up big numbers for us this season.
How important is the fact that the ScanPlus Baskets have a nice mix of imports and not only Americans. Has this reality had an early impact on the healthy growing team chemistry?
It's still early in the season and chemistry on/off the court is still developing. We are at a good point for this part of the season and I hope positive chemistry continues to happen within the club!
You had a very solid game with 14 points, six rebounds, nine assists and three steals. How is your role different this season to last? As the point guard, I feel my role is still the same no matter my stat lines. I still have to lead vocally and by example.
What is your main goal as a player this season besides winning. You obviously are not depended to score as much as last season. Could this be a season where your playmaking goes to a new dimension? With the amount of players we have this season that can score, having high assist totals are definitely in reach. I've always been a fan of passing more than scoring, so it should be a really fun year!
Defense is also a big part of your game. In a team that has many athletes, how is your defensive game able to grow this season which it might not have been last season? Haha coaches are not really a fan unless I get it, but it allows me to take a few more chances on defense. But it also allows me to pressure the ball more, which coaches like, without the fear of getting beat because help side can arrive quicker.
Jordan Talbert is in Karlsruhe and Janek Schmidtkunz in Gotha. How much do you miss these guys and how sure are you that both guys will be checking your box score each weekend to see how well you are doing?
I definitely miss those guys! They are like brothers to me. The three of us had a tremendous connection on/off the court. We are all in contact a couple times a week and have already told each other we will be keeping up with games and even try to catch a couple in person.
What does a football fan do in St Louis now without the Rams during the winter? Do you still follow them now even though they are home in Los Angeles now? Luckily for me, I was never really attached to the Rams. It would hurt more if the Cardinals were to leave the StL. So I'm not sure what a Rams' fan does during football season.
The great Kevin Garnett has retired. Where is his legacy now with the alltime great that have played in the NBA?
He is definitely one of the best to ever do it! I think basketball people could sit around for days and debate whether or not he is a top 5 PF of all time. But no debate about whether or not he will end up in the Hall of Fame!
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