It is no secret that in the Beko BBL, you have a distinct array of different sizes of arenas to the overwhelming NBA like palace of the O2 World arena in Berlin to middle class type arenas like the Stechert arena in Bamberg, Volkswagon Halle in Braunschweig, Telekom Dome in Bonn or the Fraport arena which at times is as quiet as a quiet corner on the Ammer lake in Bavaria and then again bedlam in crunch time in a close battle against the Brose Baskets Bamberg. Then again there are very tiny places to play that cant really be called arenas, but as Duesseldorf Giants poo bah Murat Didin likes to say gyms like the Ost Halle in Giessen, Artland arena or the now defunct Kuhberg halle which was the old stomping ground of ratiopharm Ulm. Since December 2011, the team no longer plays there having moved into the new more modern ratiopharm Ulm arena that holds 6000 patrons. The Kuhberg Halle was a tiny like gym that always came to life when they played. The ratiopharm Ulm fans were often seen as the sixth man, because they were so close to the floor and at times on account of the noise level seemed like they were hanging on the backs of the opponent because they seemed so close. In the Kuhberg arena, the Frankfurt Skyliners often had to put up with the feistiness of the smallest/biggets center of all times in the Beko BBL Jeff Gibbs, the nonstop aggressiveness on offense and defense of German national player Per Guenther or the three point bombs from 2006 NCAA champion Lee Humphrey who probably could have scored from the Ulm minster on any day. Last season, the club played early in the season in Ulm and still played in the Kuhberg Halle and had to wait more than a year to get their crack at playing in the new arena. This weekend Muli Katzurin and his gang will try to upset the 2012 Beko BBL finalist in the first ever game in the ratiopharm Ulm arena
Since ratiopharm Ulm entered the Beko BBL in 2006, the Frankfurt Skyliners have a positive record against them. They won in overtime 87-83 in 2007 with Murat Didin. The Eric Chadfield buzzer beater will for some reason always be stuck in the minds of people, which had an eerie similarity to the buzzer beater of Justin Gray against the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg this season. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners have a positive 2-1 record in the Ballsporthalle. In 2009-2010, Frankfurt lost 74-69, but got a strong game form ex Skyliner Lorenzo Gordon who scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. In the first meeting last season, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners dominated the game and put on a scoring display led by 23 points by Seth Doliboa as the club prevailed 95-82.Frankfurt shot an astronomical 57% from the field and easily won the rebounding fight 34-25. Ratiopharm Ulm did a great job only having seven turnovers. In the return game in Frankfurt last season, Ratiopharm Ulm lost 84-77 as Skyliner American Seth Doliboa had another monster game pouring home 18 points and 15 rebounds. Last season, Frankfurt lost a 87-82 nail bitter in the Kuhberg arena, but returned home to win 74-67 as Dashaun Wood poured in 17 points and 12 assists. In the first meeting of last season, the Fraport Skyliners lost a winnable game 81-75 in the old Kuhberg Halle where Dane Watts made the two big buckets at the end showing NBA player Jon Leuer that guys from Missouri can play basketball. Ratiopharm Ulm had five guys in double figures, shot better and rebounded better. Frankfurt was led by Justin Gray with 14 points. The Fraport Skyliners got revenge in the return game in Frankfurt winning 77-64 in their strong second half of the season. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Michael Thompson with 16 points while Jacob Burtschi had 15 points. In the first meeting this season, the Fraport Skyliners pulled off a massive upset in their living room winning 78-62 as they were able to control the game and play a solid effort for 40 minutes. Frankfurt was led by Zach peacock with 18 points and American Devin Gibson played his best game of the season producing 17 points and dishing out six assists. Ratiopharm Ulm won the rebounding duel, but the Frankfurt defense was at their best forcing Ulm to cough up the ball 23 times. Since the brutal loss in Frankfurt, Ratiopharm Ulm have been up and down having a 7-6 record and have lost three of the last four games. They have been very vulnerable on the road losing to weak teams like Giessen and Ludwigsburg. However they still remain a tough team to pinch at home as they have a 7-3 record. Ulm is led by John Bryant and even if you can contain him somewhat, they still have enough weapons to beat you otherwise. Ulm is a good team and this will be a tough test for Frankfurt. Rebounding will be key for Frankfurt as John Bryant is always crashing the boards, stressed Alba Berlin guard Je Kel Foster. Quantez Robertson (189-G-84, college: Auburn) remembers the big win in Frankfurt and wants to sweep the season series. Defense will be most important as well as rebounding. We have to limit them to one shot, execute our offense and make them play our pace, warned Quantez Robertson.
Last season the team brought in a healthy core of Americans with double double candidate Dane Watts, scorer Isiah Swann, Beko BBL veteran Steven Esterkamp that got another chance after sitting out a year and playing in the PRO A with Essen last season and Skyliner Jon Leuer teammate at Wisconsin Keaton Nankivil. On paper the club looked like a playoff team, but ratiopharm Ulm manager Thomas Stoll was careful not to get too excited at the start last season. The league is stronger this year. Of course the fans can dream of the playoffs, but we just want to finish better than 14th place last season, stressed Thomas Stoll. We want to win more games than we lose. Maybe we can be near the playoffs, added ratiopharm Ulm head coach Thorsten Leibenath at the start of the season. The Ulm fans were dreaming of the playoffs after the strong 3-1 start. The club started the season with an impressive win in Bayreuth possibly the loudest arena in the league, then came home and beat playoff candidate Artland Dragons, then lost by a slim margin of 64-59 showing that they already have understood how to play strong defense early in the season against the leagues best Bamberg and then beat the always tough defensive minded TBB Trier on the road getting a monster game from John Bryant with 27 points, 16 rebounds and five assists. Instead of suffering a tail spin the team was strong all season having winning streaks of seven, six and five games. They were a solid team with some great players at each position. They will be a team in my opinion that will be in the playoffs if they continue to get better and work together as a team. I wouldnt call them a sleeper anymore but I am sure no one expected a lot from them this season. I do think they can make a push for the playoffs and I think they have great guard play and solid back ups at each position. They have guys who can shoot the ball and a great inside game with Bryant in the middle. As far as weaknesses the only thing I see would be what would happen if Bryant or Watts both got into foul trouble at the same time, warned John Bynum last season. The secret to the success has been a combination of coach Leibentah who found the right mix to follow his system and a group of non selfish players that play for each other and always want to win. Before the season, Leibenath was humble suggesting he wanted to win more games than he lost. However at the end of the season he proved all doubters wrong as the team finished in second place with a record of 27-7.They had an impressive playoff run routing the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig 3-0 scoring an average of 94 games in the three game series. Next they swept the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg 3-0 stopping their impressive season, but then ran out of gas against the Brose Baskets Bamberg finding out what it is like being swept 3-0. They had no real chance in the first two games, but lost a bitter 97-95 game three as Bamberg won their fifth league championship.
After such an impressive season, the question is can one top last season. The only step up is winning the league championship this season, but that is never easy considering the league gets more competitive each season. One can take the famous Bill Shankly phrase never change a winning team and apply it perfectly to ratiopharm Ulm as they did their best keeping important components like 2012 Beko BBL MVP John Bryant who can serve up a double double as well as Jared Jordan can an ally-op pass. The team also kept hard working Dane Watts who gives Bryant a lot of support on the boards, allrounder Steven Esterkamp, best German Per Guenther who has progressed as a player each season since 2008, role player Keaton Nankivil who can hurt you with his annoying three point shooting and oldest active Ulmer there since 2007 Sebastian Betz. The team lost scoring ace Isaiah Swann and Rocky Trice, but got more than sufficient compensation with ex NBA player Allan Ray, American guard Lance Jeter coming for the injured Tommy Mason-Griffin, German national player Philipp Schwethelm on loan from FC Bayern Munich who is starting to shine under Leibenath and bug German talent Daniel Theis who has already been inserted into the starting rotation despite little Beko BBL experience. The biggest strength of ratiopharm Ulm this season is the huge euphoric atmosphere that the team got last season that so far this season has held on as the team is near the top of the Beko BBL standings. Another strength is the deep roster and that many players were kept keeping some team chemistry form last season and the brand of players that they have where each plays for each other and where egos arent the most important thing despite stars like Brayant, Guenther and Ray. Important is also that the roster of players have many different qualities that help make this one of the more balanced teams in the Beko BBl with each player able of doing much on the court. Ratiopharm Ulm can only beat themselves this season. The question will be can they hold up against the pressure of continuing to win over a whole season. The double game function of Eurocup and injuries could take a toll on the team in the second half of the season and an injury to John Bryant could really hurt the club since his game fuels ratiopharm Ulm. The defense also could be a factor as the team is still finding a defensive identity as they gave up an average of 88 points in the first nine games. If they were only an average scoring team, then they would be near the cellar of the Beko BBL standings. But one thing is clear and Thorsten Leibenath can have more room to joke this season after the strong season last season. I dont think anyone will predict us as a team being in the cellar this season, said Thorsten Leibenath.Ulm has made another step forward. They found the right players once again this season. They can hit three pointers each second. Ulm is showing stability and when all players think the same then they are able to improve. They deserve to be at the top of the league now, stressed Fraport Skyliner head coach Muli Katzurin. With the Eurocup stress, the team has been steady, but at 7-5 since their loss in Frankfurt.their defense continues to be up and down having held Bayreuth and TBB Trier under 60 points, but giving up 90 points or more to Oldenburg, Bonn and Hagen. The team recently brought in big man Omar Samhan and Pro B player Myles Hesson from Weissenhorn. The team has lost American Dane Watts for the season.
ratiopharm Ulm is led by John Bryant who is a 25 year old 208cm center that is playing his third season in Ulm and was born in Berkeley, California and grew up in San Pablo. He played at Santa Clara university coming in in 2005 as well known players Doron Perkins and Kyle Bailey had just graduated. He played 124 NCAA games getting WCC Player of the Year in 2009. In his last three years, he was able to average double figures in points. In his senior year, he tore up the NCAA playing 33 games: 18.1ppg, 14.2rpg, 1.1apg, 2.5bpg, FGP: 59.6%, FT: 78.7%. In 2009 he was drafted by the Erie BayHawks (D-League,2rd (31) and played 48 games: 13.2ppg, 9.5rpg, 1.6apg, 1.5bpg, FGP: 49.3%, FT: 77.6%. In the summer 2010, he played NBA Summer League in Las Vegas (Milwaukee Bucks). He has a great feel for the game. This is his first season and who would of thought that he would play so well? He stays with his strength and takes high percentage shots. He has a very high basketball IQ with scoring and rebounding. I think that he could compete at any level in the world., stressed ex teammate Travis Walton. In 2010-2011 for Ulm he played 34 games: 14.6ppg, Reb-1 (10.9rpg), 1.1apg, Blocks-2 (1.5bpg), FGP: 60.4%, FT: 74.2%. Last season, he played 42 games: 14.1ppg, Reb-1 (9.4rpg), 1.3apg, 1.3bpg, FGP: 57.3%, 3PT: 40.7%, FT: 71.7%. . Per Guenther is a 24 year old 185cm point guard that was born in Giessen and grew up in Hagen and is playing his fifth season with ratiopharm Ulm. He has very good speed and can dribble with both his hands he is very good in shooting from the arc and he has very good organizational skills, he watches the court with one glance and can assist his team-mates on a blind method pretending that he will shoot. He has an inborn charisma of a leader from a young age so he leads his team without having any problem. He played for BBV Hagen from 2003-2006 and with Phoenix Hagen from 2006-2008. In his last season in Hagen, he raised eyebrows with his play playing 29 games: 14.5ppg, 1.9rpg, 2.4apg, 2FGP: 55.8%, 3FGP: 35.7%, FT: 80.1%. He has improved his play each season as in 2009-2010 he played 34 games: 6.6ppg, 1.8rpg, 2.5apg, FGP: 48.5%, 3PT: 33.8%, FT: 80.3%. Last season, he became into a real scoring option, but still keeping his playmaking qualities in front of him. He got into three games at the World Championships in Turkey in 2010. In 2010-2011 the German national player played 34 games: 12.4ppg, 1.2rpg, 3.2apg, FGP: 50.3%, 3PT: 27.9%, FT: 84.2%. Last season, he played 41 games: 10.5ppg, 1.8rpg, 3.0apg, FGP: 53.7%, 3PT: 39.4%, FT: 83.1%.
Allan Ray played at Villanova from 2002-2006 playing a total of 120 NCAA games. In his senior year, he played 32 games: 18.5ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.4apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 38.9%, 3PT: 37.2%, FT: 88.9%. He reached the final eight and sweet 16 for Villanova. In 2007, he came to Europe and played in Italy for teams like Lottomatica Virtus Roma, Carife Ferrara and Fabi Shoes Montegranaro until 2011. Last season he played for Krka Novo Mesto (Slovenia-Telemach League, starting five): Adriatic League: 1 game: 10pts, 1reb; EuroCup: 2 games: 18.5ppg, 1.5rpg, 4.0apg, 1.5spg, later that month moved to Elan Bearnais Pau-Lacq-Orthez (France-ProA, starting five): French League: 22 games: 15.2ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.5apg, FGP: 50.4%, 3PT: 39.5%, FT: 89.6%; EuroChallenge: 3 games: 14.3ppg, 6.3rpg, 1.0apg. Keaton Nakivil is a 23 year old 203cm forward from Madison Wisconsin that is playing his second season with ratiopharm Ulm. At Wisconsin he played together with Skyliner Jon Leuer and played a total of 107 NCAA games. In his senior year, he played 34 games: 9.7ppg, 4.2rpg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 45.7%, FT: 83.8%. He reached the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2008 and 2011. Keaton "The Anvil" Nankivil is going to play a big role in Ulm's success this season. He is a rookie but has been picking up on the European game quickly. He is a team player with high basketball IQ and is automatic from 3pt land. He might drop an anvil on somebody's head in transition this year if they are not careful, stressed teammate Dane Watts. Last season, he played 42 games: 8.1ppg, 4.3rpg, FGP: 47.3%, 3PT: 42.9%, FT: 78.6%. Phillip Schwethelm is a 23 year old 201cm forward that is playing his first season in Ulm being loaned from FC Bayern Munich. He started his basketball career with Cologne in 2004, where he played until 2009. He played Euroleague at the age of 17. He helped Cologne win the Beko BBL title in 2006. He played for the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven from 2009-2011 and in 2010-2011played 36 games: 10.0ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 49.1%, 3PT: 44.9%, FT: 72.9%. He has been a member of the German national team since 2010. Last season he played EuroCup: 6 games: 1.3ppg, 1.7rpg, 1.3apg; German League: 30 games: 3.2ppg, 2.2rpg. This past summer, he played Qualifications to European Championships 2013 - 7 games: 4.1ppg, 2.7rpg. Steve Esterkamp is a 31 year old 198cm forward from Cincinnati, Ohio that is playing his tenth season in Germany and second in Ulm. He is a great shooter and great competitor, has also a very solid mid-range shot, brings a lot of toughness to his team, is a solid rebounder from the wing position, is a excellent free throw shooter throughout his career, plays always extremely hard and to win, not afraid to take the big shots at the end of the game and always finds ways to get the job done. He is probably best remembered for playing with the Paderborn Baskets from 2004-2009 helping the team reach the beko BBL in 2006 winning 50 games in a row in the second Bundesliga. In Paderborn, he was part of the three Muskeeters with Marius Nolte and Tim Black. Esterkamp played a total of 159 games for Paderborn. In 2009, he helped force Alba Berlin to a 5 game playoff series that they eventually lost. He then went to Bremerhaven in 2009, but got hurt and never played a game there. In 2010-2011, he got his career back on track playing for ETB Wohnbau Baskets Essen (Germany-ProA, starting five): 13 games: 16.2ppg, 5.2rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 54.1%, 3PT: 39.6%, FT: 73.2%. Last season for Ulm he played 42 games: 10.2ppg, 3.4rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 44.0%, FT: 76.1%.
Dane Watts who is a 26 year old 203 cm who is playing his fourth season in Germany and who is a modern day forward doing the job inside and outside. He played at Creighton from 2004-2008 playing with NBA player Anthony Tolliver. In his senior year, he averaged 11,3ppg, 6,4rpg and 1,0apg. Last season, he quietly had a very solid BBL rookie season in Ludwigsburg averaging in 20 minutes averaging 8.9ppg, 3.8rpg, FGP-1 (68.4%), 3PT: 30.8%, FT: 68.7% in 32 games. It wouldnt be a surprise if most followers of German basketball didnt even know that he led the BBL in field goal percentage at 68%. in 2008-2009 as a rookie. He is a team player that still has a lot of potential and could become a scoring option in Tuebingen. Dane has a lot of potential and has all the qualities that a big player of today needs. He can shoot, is athletic, has good ball handling and defends well, joked Jay Thomas. In 2009-2010, Watts played 34 games: 10.2ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 57.1%, 3PT: 37.6%, FT: 71.0%. In 2010-2011 for Tuebingen he played 33 games: 13.7ppg, Reb-4 (7.6rpg), 1.1apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 57.9%, 3PT: 36.7%, FT: 54.5%; in May'11 moved to Hyeres-Toulon Var Basket (France-ProA): 3 games: 7.0ppg, 6.3rpg, 1.7apg, 1.0spg. Last season, he played 38 games: 9.6ppg, 6.7rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 24.6%, FT: 58.1%. Lance Jeter is a 24 year old 190cm guard from Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania that is 32 games: 11.7ppg, 4.4rpg, 4.5apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 47.3%, 3PT: 35.2%, FT: 72.8% playing his first season in Germany and ratiopharm Ulm. He played at Nebraska (NCAA) and in his senior year played 32 games: 11.7ppg, 4.4rpg, 4.5apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 47.3%, 3PT: 35.2%, FT: 72.8%. Last season he turned professional and played for Lasaulec Aris Leeuwarden (Holland-Eredivisie): 32 games: Score-2 (16.8ppg), 3.8rpg, Assists-5 (3.4apg), 1.3spg, FGP: 59.6%, 3PT: 36.7%, FT: 73.0%. 27 year old 200cm forward Sebastian Betz is hardworking wing who provides energy, defensive effort and consistent three point shooting. He started his professional basketball career in 2003 with Bamberg playing there until 2007. In five years, he was only able to play four games never being able to shake the Dirk Bauermann rotation. Mike Taylor scooped him up in 2007 and the German is playing his sixth season in Ulm. His best season so far has been 2008-2009 as he played 36 games: 5.2ppg, 1.5rpg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 35.6%, FT: 54.9%. Last season the German played 42 games: 3.3ppg, 1.5rpg. The team also picked up German Daniel Theis that is a 20 year old 203cm power forward. He started his basketball career in 2009 for the Spot Up Medien Baskets Braunschweig (ProB). He already played a game for the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig in the 2010-2011 season as he had a double license. Last season he played : 21 games for the Phantoms: 3.4ppg, 1.9rpg; played also at Spot Up Medien Baskets Braunschweig (ProB): 25 games: 18.4ppg, 8.9rpg, 1.3apg, 1.1spg, Blocks-1 (2.2bpg), FGP: 61.4%, 3PT: 30.3%, FT: 72.4%. The team also has young Germans Marcel Heberlein and Till Joscha- Jonke.
Jeremy Black(203-C-85, college: Tampa, agency: Court Side) is a 30 year old 203cm forward from Tampa, Florida that is playing his sixth season for BG Karlsruhe. He played at Tampa (NCAA2) from 2004-2008 and in his senior year played 30 games: 18.7ppg, 11.0rpg, 1.6apg, 1.1bpg, 1.5spg, FG: 49.3%, 3Pts: 30.8%, FT: 72.1%. He turned professional in 2008 and since then has always played in Germany except two seasons ago where he played for AB Contern (Luxembourg-Total League) 4 games: 12.8ppg,... [read more]
Jeremy Black (203-C-85, college: Tampa, agency: Court Side) is a 30 year old 203cm forward from Tampa, Florida that is playing his sixth season for BG Karlsruhe. He played at Tampa (NCAA2) from 2004-2008 and in his senior year played 30 games: 18.7ppg, 11.0rpg, 1.6apg, 1.1bpg, 1.5spg, FG: 49.3%, 3Pts: 30.8%, FT: 72.1%. He turned professional in 2008 and since then has always played in Germany except two seasons ago where he played for AB Contern (Luxembourg-Total League) 4 games: 12.8ppg, 10.3rpg, 1.8apg, in Nov.'14 moved to BCKE Wallabies (Switzerland-LNB). He also played two seasons for Science City Jena. Last season with BG Karlsruhe he played 21 games averaging 11.4ppg, 8.3rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 56.2%, 3PT: 17.6%, FT: 61.5%. He spoke to eurobasket before the season opener in Rhondorf against the Dragons.
Thanks Jeremy for talking to eurobasket.com. You are playing your sixth season for BG Karlsruhe. What is missing most in Karlsruhe that could almost substitute it with Tampa as home? Karlsruhe is my new home base. I can always go back home but what I miss most is my family and the food!
Except for a short stay in Luxemburg two seasons ago, you seem to always come back to Karlsruhe. What is most appealing about the organization and city that makes you want to return? Yeah, Karlsruhe is and always will be special to me. I came here not expecting much but I got way more than I can bargain for. The city is awesome besides the never ending construction. The people who I've came in contact with while being here have been nothing short of amazing.
When looking back at this season's roster, for me BG Karlsruhe seems just a tad weaker than last season. How do you summarize this seasons roster in comparison to last season? I think last year's team we had more veterans who led the team, while this year's team we have a few vets and will rely more on our younger German players.
BG Karlsruhe lost key guys like Marcus Smallwood, Rouven Roessler and Hayden Lescault, but gained top Pro B player Ricky Easterling, center Anton Kvarnoski and Kenny Fluellen. How will this season's team be different in playing style in comparison to last season?
I don't think it would be much of a difference! We will still let our defense dictate our offense! We will push the tempo for quick easy baskets, when we can and when we can't, we will run our plays.
How much will you miss big man Marcus Smallwood and how is the game of Anton Kavarnoski different than of Smallwood?
Marcus was a great teammate and a competitor. He was one of the key reasons why we were successful last year and we played really well together. Anton is more than capable of replacing him. Anton I think is the best shooting big man in the league and he is capable of posting up and putting the ball on the floor and attacking the basket.
What do you see as being BG Karlsruhe's biggest strength on the court this season? I think our defense will be our focus and let that dictate our offense and how we control the game.
What BG Karlsruhe German do you see as having the biggest chance of having his breakthrough season? Aaron Schmitz or Andrej Schmidt
Ricky Easterling is considered the best Pro B player. How thrilled are you to have him on your side and will he continue to be as dominating or perhaps become more of a playmaker?
How can you not be excited to have a player like Ricky join your team? I think you will see him doing both. He knows the game and our team well. He has the experience to know what our team needs him to be at a given time.
Have you ever seen a more deadly mid distance shot than his? Will the day come when he can blindly hit that shot? Haha in this league honestly not; I think its no different than having multiple defenders contesting his shot and him being capable of consistently knocking it down.
You have had very consistent stats throughout your career. Now at 30 where do you see your game going as you get older?
I think I'm still improving. At this point in my career, everybody knows what I can and can't do. I strive each day to get better. I have the experience to know how best I can help my team achieve success.
The next opponent are the Dragons Rhondorf. They are back in the Pro B after a horrible Pro A season where they only mustered two wins. What kind of game can we await in the season opener? The first game of the season is always tough to measure. Rhondorf and my team both want to start the season on the right track. I think both teams have a lot to prove so I think it will be a defensive battle.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore and chose 4 NBA heads which best four would you pick? Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant and Lebron James
Now that Lebron finally brought an NBA title to the Cavs where does this further NBA title put him against the best that ever played the game?
LeBron is definitely a top five player in the history of the game. Players and game itself has changed a lot over the years. LeBron still has years to play and I think his point in history should be judged when he is done playing the game or he gets three rings in a row just make his case while still playing
What was the last movie that you saw? The Good Neighbor.
Virgil Matthews (188-PG-83, college: Montana) is a 33 year old 188cm guard from Federal Way, Washington that is playing his tenth professional season and third with BV Chemnitz. Last season for BV Chemnitz he played 33 games averaging 12.6ppg, 6.1rpg, Assists-2 (7.6apg), 1.6spg, FGP: 55.5%, 3PT: 34.5%, FT: 75.2%. He played at Montana (NCAA) and in his senior year played 31 games averaging 10.1ppg, 4.6rpg, 4.0apg, 1.7spg, FG: 49.8%, 3PT: 48.4%, FT: 76.1%. In 2006-2007, he turned profession... [read more]
Virgil Matthews (188-PG-83, college: Montana) is a 33 year old 188cm guard from Federal Way, Washington that is playing his tenth professional season and third with BV Chemnitz. Last season for BV Chemnitz he played 33 games averaging 12.6ppg, 6.1rpg, Assists-2 (7.6apg), 1.6spg, FGP: 55.5%, 3PT: 34.5%, FT: 75.2%. He played at Montana (NCAA) and in his senior year played 31 games averaging 10.1ppg, 4.6rpg, 4.0apg, 1.7spg, FG: 49.8%, 3PT: 48.4%, FT: 76.1%. In 2006-2007, he turned professional and came to Germany and played for KICKZ Muenchen Basket (Germany-2.Bundesliga) playing 29 games averaging 18.0ppg, 6.1rpg, 5.2apg, 2.6spg, 2FGP: 57.3%, 3FGP: 31.8%, FT: 66.5%. In 2007-2008, he played for Tacoma Jazz (IBL). In 2008-2009, he returned back to Germany and played for Schwelmer Baskets (Germany-Regionalliga). In 2009-2010, he played for Olympia Reign (IBL) playing 28 games averaging 23.1ppg, 7.2rpg and for Seattle Aviators (NABL).In 2010-2011, he played his first season for Erdgas Ehingen playing 32 games: 11.6ppg, 5.3rpg, 3.6apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 57.6%, 3PT: 29.4%, FT: 71.3%. He would play until 2014 with Ehingen playing 126 games with three seasons in the Pro A and one in the Pro B. He spoke to eurobasket after the season opening win in Erfurt against Gotha.
Virgil thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. The new season kicked off tonight with a road win against Gotha. What do you believe is most fascinating about this derby? Gotha fans have their own way of supporting their team and they are very loud and do a good job. Combining that with the great fans of Chemnitz makes a great derby.
Congrats on the exciting 74-72 victory. What a great start to the new season with such a close finish. Is this a further token how competitive the German pro A will continue to be this season? I think the Pro A is always pretty competitive it doesn't get the credit it deserves I think, but yes I think this season will be very competitive.
Gotha scored 21 points in the first quarter, but Chemnitz came roaring back heightening their point production with 22 and defended better letting Gotha only 14 points. What do you believe was the biggest difference at halftime between the two scores besides the 40-35 score? I think we just got settled in a bit the big stage is always something new for guys and it takes a minute to get back to being who you are and I think we did that after going down early.
BV Chemnitz had started off very well in the third quarter and had a double digit lead , but led only 58-52 after three quarters due to being held scoreless in the last three minutes. Are these the type of phases that can be avoided as the season carries on and the team knows it's self even better on the court? There will always be runs in games we have to make sure to continue to make good plays when teams make runs, which will in turn get us good shots and hopefully help us set up defense on the other end which should help make an 8-0 run to an 8-4 run which is a big difference.
You had 11 of the 17 BV Chemnitz points in the third quarter. Did coach Pastore give you more of the green light or did you feel the need to step up more? Coach never tells anyone not to shoot. I just made my first shot out the half and so I felt good and was open so I shot. Everyone on our team can help in multiple ways at that time I guess scoring just fell my way, not usually my thing to score big but it happens.
After Sam Parker hit a huge three pointer to cut the BV Chemnitz lead to 71-70,BV Chemnitz held their nerves and won the game with Carter and Ziegenhagen free throws, What biggest asset on the defensive end got you the win in crunch time? Just sticking to the game plan and they missed shots, I mean they had an open look to win the game sometimes you just got to be lucky.
What was your overall impression of team Gotha that reached the semi-finals last season. They have big ambitions in Gotha. In what direction is this team going and where will their journey end on the court?
They are a good team, but so are we so I hope that showed last night, we have our own aspirations and goals too we just focus on us.
BV Chemnitz Kept Gotha to 72 points. Do you see BV Chemnitz being able to win many games this season when you keep opponents to 75 points or under? Is Chemnitz a team that offensively will be able to score 80 points a game?
I think 70 is always a good defensive goal so they were over that. We have a talented team though so we will see how many teams hold us under 70 so we feel good when we hold teams to 70.
You led BV Chemnitz with 22 points and was the most effective player on the court. Your obviously a veteran that has known for years when you need to score and when playmaking is needed mostly, but could scoring be needed more this season from you in the BV Chemnitz offense? I felt I was playing awful in the preseason so it just felt good to see the ball go in. I think some games the team will need me to score, others just to lead, others to facilitate, I just do whatever is necessary.
Your 33 now. Is your biggest goal this season to win the Pro A title? Haha my goal is just to make it through the season. Kidding the goal is always a title.
Last season you had a triple double against the Bayer Giants Leverkusen and just missed one with 11,9,17 against Nurnberg. Do you think that you might get one this season with the continued style that you play on the court? Its always possible, but I hope we won't need me to do that much, because our team is very good.
What has been your impression of American Chris Carter who was always a scorer at Florida Tech (NCAA2) and last season in the Ukraine. Do you see him continuing to be a scorer and carrying the team as a scorer? Chris has been great I think we play well together and I think the sky is the limit for him and he will definitely be one of the people carrying the team this season.
Talk a bit on new Germans Malte Zigenhagen who played in the BBL and Stefan Wess that won 2 Pro B titles with Oldenburg. Will these guy be consistent contributors in the Pro A this season? We expect them to they both are more than capable of being contributors to BBL teams so we expect them to have significant roles here in the Pro A.
Now that Lebron finally won the NBA title with his home twon team Cavs, where does he stand in the debate with Michael Jordan as the alltime best? He's right there with him. Lebron is something we will never see again the way basketball is going.
What was the last movie that you saw? Last movie I saw was War Dogs.
Eisbaeren Bremerhaven (BBL) agreed terms with 25-year old American guard Karvel Anderson (188-86kg-91, college: Robert Morris). The last season Anderson played at Andrea Costa Imola in Serie A. In 39 games he had very impressive stats: 17.3ppg, 3.8rpg and 2.0apg. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others his team won NEC Regular Season for two years in a row (2013 and 2014). Anderson was also voted All-NEC Player of the Year and NABC Division I All-District 18 1st Te... [read more]
Eisbaeren Bremerhaven (BBL) agreed terms with 25-year old American guard Karvel Anderson (188-86kg-91, college: Robert Morris). The last season Anderson played at Andrea Costa Imola in Serie A. In 39 games he had very impressive stats: 17.3ppg, 3.8rpg and 2.0apg. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others his team won NEC Regular Season for two years in a row (2013 and 2014). Anderson was also voted All-NEC Player of the Year and NABC Division I All-District 18 1st Team in 2014 at his college time. Anderson graduated from Robert Morris University in 2014 and it is his third season as a professional player. On Anderson:
Possesses an uncanny ability to score. Owns a natural ability to knock down the three-point shot.
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