In the last game of the regular season of the PRO B south, the Dresden Titans visited the Fraport Skyliners as it was a more or less a meaningless game for both as the Saxony team already had a birth in the play downs while the Frankfurt club had already secured a date in the playoffs and the Titans were able to be only the second team in the league together with Weissenhorn to sweep the season series with a solid 88-80 victory. After a very tight first half, the Dresden Titans gave the green light to Andrew Jones (191-SG-83, college: Miles) who accepted and after netting eight points in the first halft totally crushed the Fraport Skyliners like ripe Grape fruit pouring in 30 points in the second half to stifle the Fraport Skyliners as they had absolutely no cure of how to stop the 29 American that was scoring from everywhere as if he had been put in a microwave. We finally played some defense which hasnt always been the case this season. The game was back and fourth in the first half and we had way too many turnovers. In the second half it was the Andrew Jones show who carried us and we did a good job getting him shots, stressed Dresden Titans captain Jason Boucher. The Fraport Skyliners were without out their three German license players Konstantin Klein, Danilo Barthel and Johannes Voigtmann and Larry Wright who is with the Beko BBL team Skyliners until the end of the season, but despite being very undermanned, the club gave a very spirited effort never giving up. I thought that despite missing many players, we played very well for the guys we had. I saw some good things on offense, but we lost the game on defense. We had problems with our one on one and help defense. I think that if we could of made more stops on defesne at the end, then the game could of gone down to the wire, expressed American Taylor Brown.
Ex ratiopharm Ulm forward Alexander Heide who palyed four Beko BBL games in the 2007-2008 season hit a fade away jumper, but Nikolai Vukovic got going eraly testing his 48% three point shooting with a bomb and 3-2 frankfurt lead. Dresden Titans center Jared Bensen also got into groove fast making a turn around jumper and testing his 43% shooting form the parking lot as Frankfurt trailed 7-3. After a Falko Thelig free throw, Bensen took advantage of little help defense scoring inside as Dresden led 9-4. However the Fraport Skyliners juniors were on their game early as Vukovic hit his second three pointer of the game and Jan Novak iced two free throws dead locking the game at 9-9. However Dresden then jumped out on a lightening 8-0 run to lead 17-10 as young 19 year old German Daniel Pollrich and American Andrew Jones nailed three pointers and Patrick Ruelke scored inside. After a Tim Oldenburg and Falko Thelig free throws, Brown scored again inside cutting the Dresden lead to 17-15. Dresden closed out the first quarter with a mini 4-0 run as they continued to take advantage of the Frankfurt weak inside defense and Thomas Lienhard and Robert Zobel scored. Dresden led 21-15 after one quarter. Both teams were still getting a feel for each other and we did a better job adapting to them than they did to us, stressed Dresden guard Jason Boucher. Dresden was shooting very hot 75% from the two point range and 60% from outside while Frankfurt was shooting poorly at 13% from the two point range and 29% from outside. Dresden had the 11-5 rebound edge, but seven turnovers while Frankfurt had two turnovers only.
The game remained tight in the second quarter as no team led by more than six points. Taylor Brown got Frankfurt on the board first with a fade away jumper, but Jones responded with an easy lay in after he glided into the zone like a mal nourished golden bear from Miles (NCAA). German Benedikt Nikolay then dropped a much needed three pointer to cut the Dresden lead to 23-20. Boucher and Max Merz then traded three pointers and Brown scored again inside as Dresden led only 26-25. After a Ruelke jumper, it was Brown that hit a jumper after getting a fancy behind the back pass from Max Merz as Frankfurt trailed 28-27. After Boucher nailed a three pointer, the FRaport Skyliners stormed back as Max Merz found the hole and penetrated with his usual quickness finishing with a finger tip roll and Vukovic tied the game with another three point bomb 33-33. Boucher then made a steam and scored while Novak scored and Brown made a free throw and Frankfurt led 36-35. Dresden then escaped out on a 5-0 run as Ruelke and Jones scored, but Brown closed out the scoring in the second quarter as the Dresden Titans led 40-38. We had a hard time on the boards as they rebounded better. Brown was very aggressive and they were always crashing the boards, added Jason Boucher. Frankfurt was shooting 50% from the two point range and 31% from the three point line, while Dresden was shooting 63% from the two point range 63% and 38% from the three point line. Frankfurt rebounded a lot better as it was 16-16 on the boards and Dresden had eight turnovers and Frankfurt only four turnovers.
The third quarter stayed tight until the end where the Dresden Titans could break away. Jones started the third quarter with scoring a pull up jumper, but Brown also was on his game as he scored being set up nicely by German Falko Thelig as Frankfurt trailed 43-41. After Heide made free throws, it was Brown again who this time scored shortly before the shot clock sounded as Dresden still led 45-43. The scoring makeup of the third quarter seemed more like a Jones-Brown show as both guys were keeping their respective teams close. After Jones made a steal and went coast to coast scoring where he really looked like a man weaving in and out of kids, it was Brown again keeping his part making a dunk as Dresden led 48-46, but then it was Jones again hitting a jumper as nobody could keep him in check. Next it wasnt Brown again, but ales likely player in German Lennant Okeke who is an NBBL player for Eintracht Frankfurt was left open in the corner and drooped a beautiful three pointer in best Jimmy Mckinney manner as Dresden led 50-49, but the next time down it was Jones again nailing a three pointer as Frankfurt trailed 53-49. After an Oldenburg lay in and Brown free throw where Frankfurt trailed 53-52, the game turned as Andrew Jones where there was once a baseball player under the same name that could turn games around with his hot hitting, the basketball player took Dresden on a back crushing 9-1 run scoring all points scoring a three pointer and three lay ins as Frankfurt trailed62-53. Jason Boucher closed out the third quarter with a bitter three pointer at the buzzer as the Dresden Titans led 67-55. We gave Andrew Jones the green light and he was hot. Sometimes its him and sometimes its me. If he is feeling it then I run the point and sometimes when I am feeling it he runs the point. We did a good job getting him the ball, added Jason Boucher. The Dresden Titans were shooting 63% from the two point range and 44% from the parking lot while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 50% from the two point range and 36% from the parking lot. Frankfurt was leading the rebound duel 23-21 and both teams coughed up the ball 12 times.
The Fraport Skyliners open up the fourth quarter with a quick 5-0 run to cut the Dresden lead to 67-60 as Oldenburg made a lay in and Merz connected on a three pointer. Merz played very aggressive and played very hard. When he plays hard, he gives his team a chance. He has a bright future, warned Jason Boucher. The Fraport Skyliners continued to fight, but they just couldnt get over the hump to cut the Dresden lead under six points. After an Oldenburg layup, it was Jones again that dropped a three pointer for the 72-63 Dresden lead. Oldenburg then cut the Dresden lead to 71-66 with a massive dunk, but Boucher scored inside and Novak hit a jumper as Frankfurt trailed 74-68. Jared Bensen who had been quiet for some time scored inside and Brown answered again inside as Frankfurt trailed 76-70. Jones and Heide then hit free throws something Frankfurt had difficulty doing consistently as Dresden led 81-73. Frankfurt made one last gasp as Novak hit a three pointer cutting the Dresden lead to 83-76. However with time running out, Jones made the last six points for Dresden from the free throw line helping seal the win. I have to give Frankfurt credit, because they played hard for 40 minutes. It was a weird feeling tonight, because it seems like this season there were too many games where we forgot how to win. We played too much this season not too lose instead of playing to win. Tonight we did a better job playing to win, stressed Jason Boucher.
The Dresden Titans were led by Andrew Jones with 38 points. Jason Boucher produced 15 points and five assists. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Taylor Brown with 28 points, 12 rebounds and three assists. Tim Oldenburg added 11 points and Nikola Vukovic contributed 10 points. Max Merz hahd nine points and six assists, Jan Novak nine points and Falko Thelig eight points and nine assists. Dresden shot 53% from the field and 37% from outside while the Fraport Skyliners shot 46% from the field and 35% from outside. Frankfurt won the rebound duel 31-30 and 18 turnovers while Dresden had 19 turnovers. It was Jones that decided the game in the second half for the Dresden Titans. I was in the zone in the second half. I had been frustrated with my turnovers early, so I got more aggressive attacking the basket, added Andrew Jones. Jones got going and we let him get a groove. It seemed like there was no shot that he couldnt make. He was very good at breaking down our one on one defense. He was simply deadly tonight, added Taylor Brown. Brown seemed in the shadow of Jones, but had a strong game and had to produce more. I have to protect the paint more when the Germans arent playing. I keep the fort down and get much needed points. All I have to do is get open, because I know that my teammates will find me, warned Taylor Brown.
When Shavon Shields (201-G-94) was born in 1994, his dad Will had just started his professional football career which would span 13 years and an amazing 12 pro Bowl appearances, but now 22 years later, his dad will be able to sit back and watch his son Shavon embark on a professional basketball career in Germany with the Fraport Skyliners. The club gave him a one year deal. His dad Will did the dirty work in the Kansas City Cheifs offense blocking and producing holes for the running backs... [read more]
When Shavon Shields (201-G-94) was born in 1994, his dad Will had just started his professional football career which would span 13 years and an amazing 12 pro Bowl appearances, but now 22 years later, his dad will be able to sit back and watch his son Shavon embark on a professional basketball career in Germany with the Fraport Skyliners. The club gave him a one year deal. His dad Will did the dirty work in the Kansas City Cheifs offense blocking and producing holes for the running backs like Marcus Allen, Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson to weave and gain yardage successfully while son Shavon will be responsible for scoring production as a rookie in Frankfurt. Shavon Shields (201-G-94) is a 22 year old 201cm forward from Olathe, Kansas that also has the Danish citzenship as his mother is Danish and had an illustrious college basketball career at Nebraska (NCAA) from 2012-2016 playing a total of 118 NCAA games and as a senior played 29 games averaging 16.9ppg, 5.1rpg, 2.6apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 49.2%, 3PT: 36.0%, FT: 79.0%."Shavon was a 4 year starter at Nebraska in one of best divisions. He was captain there and comes from a big sports family. His play and academics are witness to a good charachter. He is an allrounder and tough. He does many small things not seen on the floor", expressed Fraport Skyliners head coach Gordon Herbert. Shields was very consistent as a senior scoring in double figures in 26 of 29 games. He had some monster games against Purdue with 32 points, 28 points against powerhouse Michigan State and 28 points against ex Fraport Skyliner Anthony King's school Miami.
Shields started his basketball career at Nebraska in 2012 and as a freshman played 28 games averaging 8.6ppg, 5.1rpg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 35.9%, FT: 67.6%. In his second season he played 30 games averaging 12.4ppg, 5.9rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 46.9%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 72.0%. In his junior season he played 31 games averaging 15.4ppg, 6.0rpg, 2.1apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 51.6%, 3PT: 19.5%, FT: 82.7%. After finishing at Nebraska, he played at the well known Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft) in April playing 3 games averaging13.7ppg, 2.7rpg, 1.7apg, 2.3spg. Recently he played at the NBA Pro Summer League in Orlando (Orlando Blue): 2 games: 2.5ppg, 1.5rpg. "I spoke to coach Herbert about the program in Frankfurt. He said it was their goal to make players better and develop them further. He was overjoyed with everything happening in Frankfurt and I am looking forward to it. My task in college was to score and get to the basket. With Frankfurt I will do all that coach demands from me and what the team needs. I will give my best", stressed Shavon Shields.
Awards and achievements in his basketball career have been Danish U20 National Team -13, All-Big Ten Honorable Mention -14, Big Ten All-Sportsmanship Team -14, Capital One NCAA Division I Academic All-District 7 1st Team -15, Capital One NCAA Division I Academic All-America 1st Team -15, Danish National Team -15, CoSIDA NCAA Division I Academic All-District 7 1st Team -16, CoSIDA NCAA Division I Academic All-America 1st Team -16, All-Big Ten 2nd Team -16, and Big Ten All-Tournament Team -16.
Alex Foster(203-F-92, college: Emory) is a 23 year old 203cm forward that grew up in Portland, Oregon and also has the German citizenship and will be playing his second professional season with the RheinStars (Germany-ProA). Last season as a rookie with the RheinStars he played 29 games averaging 9.6ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 41.3%, 3PT: 33.5%, FT: 78.4%He played at Emory (NCAA3) from 2011-2015 playing a total of 108 NCAA3 games and as a senior played 20.1ppg, 7.9rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 44.6%, 3... [read more]
Alex Foster (203-F-92, college: Emory) is a 23 year old 203cm forward that grew up in Portland, Oregon and also has the German citizenship and will be playing his second professional season with the RheinStars (Germany-ProA). Last season as a rookie with the RheinStars he played 29 games averaging 9.6ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 41.3%, 3PT: 33.5%, FT: 78.4%He played at Emory (NCAA3) from 2011-2015 playing a total of 108 NCAA3 games and as a senior played 20.1ppg, 7.9rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 44.6%, 3PT: 39.9%, FT: 79.8%. He was able to improve his scoring and rebounding average each season. He spoke to eurobasket before the exhibition game August 25th against the Fraport Skyliners at Wiesbaden Airbase with all proceeds goingto the Basketball Aid foundation.
Alex thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. You are playing your second season now with the RheinStars. When you look back at your rookie season and progression of your German, what was your most used German sentence? I always say 'eben so,' after someone wishes me 'ein schoenen Tag' at the grocery or bakery. A lot of my German teammates tease me for using that phrase, because I guess it's more formal than what they're used to. Or maybe it's because it's a Southern-German thing. My mom's family is Schwabisch.
Last season you were a rookie and new to a new culture and new club. Now in your second season what have been the biggest advantages that you have in comparison to last season around this time?
It's really nice coming back to the same surroundings in Cologne. I'm in the same apartment as last season and feel more like home than last season. The biggest advantage, however, are the relationships I'm coming back to. Especially with Coach Woltmann.
The club has been together for some weeks now. How has the preparation gone from your stand point? The club brought in four new players. How is the current team shaping up? Our preseason has been going really well. The club organized a new practice facility for us, in which we've been putting in the time and effort to take the club to the next level. The new guys have fit in seamlessly and we've spending lots of time together on and off the court.
In comparison to last season's team is this team as strong as last season's on paper? Stronger.
You played your first pre season game recently against Schwelm. How pleased were you with the team and on what areas does the new team still need to work on?
We still have lots of room for improvement, but it felt good to suit up together for the first time. There were some segments where we played really well, but going forward, I'd like to see us assert ourselves for the entire 40 minutes.
Last season Lakeem Jackson was a key point of the offense and this season the club got Hugh Robertson. What does he bring to the table that will help the team most? Hugh is a talented player and a natural leader. He's got all the skills to take over a game, but he also knows how to elevate the level of the team as a whole.
Amric Fields has come in to replace Aaron Jones. Fields had 16/7 stats last season in Slovenia. What has been your early impression of him and can he be a dominating Pro A player with consistency?
Amric is one of the most talented players I've played with. He's got athleticism to go with a smooth stroke, which makes him a nightmare matchup in practice and for the rest of the league for sure.
The club also brought in 202cm forward Robin Christen who has established himself in the Pro A with Essen and Hanau. How challenging has it been battling him in practice on a daily basis?
Robin can do it all. We definitely push each other in practice, but we have the most fun when we're put on the same team. We have a natural sense for finding scoring opportunities for each other.
216cm center German Dennis Heinzmann is a big German talent and project. How has his development been coming a long. Dennis is the guy on the team that everybody gravitates towards. He brings tremendous energy every day. You can't even compare where he's at now to the beginning of last season, when we matched up with him in Leverkusen. He's gotten so much better and I know will continue to develop into a dominant force in German basketball.
You and David Downs will lead the team this season. Do you feel any pressure that you have to step up your game a bit at the start to get the team and new players going?
I felt the pressure to get better all summer, which I did. Now back in Cologne, I feel confident enough to where I can worry less about my own game and focus on bringing the team together.
What has been your main focus in the preseason. What parts of your game are you working especially hard on? Defense. I always try to keep my matchup from scoring, along with helping my teammates within our defensive concept.
How confident are you that you will be able to raise your game even higher from last season? I improved my game this summer and have better players around me, so I'm very confident that I'll be able to play at a higher level. I feel that way about all my teammates too.
How excited are you about playing an exhibition game against the Fraport Skyliners on the Wiesbaden Army Airbase which is the headquarters of the United States Army Europe. Will this be one of the more unusual places that you have played a game before? I look forward to any chance to match up with a BBL opponent. Ultimately, that's the level our team wants to play at, so I'm excited to show that we can hang with those guys. I've also been hearing a lot of good thigs about the Army base and I hope we can show the service members our best. It's going to be a special game for sure.
The proceeds of this special game will go to the Basketball Aid which supports kids effected by cancer. The RheinStars jumped in for Northeastern who dropped out. How important is it for you to be a part of this important cause?
It's a personally important cause for me. My grandfather is currently battling cancer. I also lost a teammate to cancer in the 6th grade. I think what Basketball Aid is doing is great and I'm excited to be a part of it.
Your good friend from Emory Will Trawick will play for Rhondorf this season. Recently you showed him Cologne city. What has made this friendship so special? We've been through a lot together, so it's fitting that he's starting his professional playing career only 50 km away. I plan on watching him play as much as I can and I know we'll find time to hang out away from basketball too. He's a super smart dude so we can talk about anything and the conversation is always interesting.
Now that Lebron finally brought an NBA title home, where does this further ring put him in the debate against Michael Jordan as the all-time best ever?
That's a tough question that I don't think can really be answered, but I will say that Lebron has won me over again. After 'The Decision' I was pretty critical of his self-indulgence, but I respect him as a player and leader again.
If you had to construct an NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you choose? I'd make it my favorite players from my childhood: T-Mac, Nash, Dirk, and B-Roy.
What was the last movie that you saw? Captain Fantastic. You gotta see it!
BK Astana (D1) agreed terms with 29-year old American point guard Robert Lowery (188-87, college: Dayton). He played last season at ALBA Berlin in German BBL league. Lowery managed to play in three leagues in two countries last year. In 12 BBL games he had 10.6ppg, 3.8rpg, 2.2apg and 1.3spg. He also played 3 games in Eurocup where he recorded 13.7ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.7apg and 2.0spg. The other team Lowery played shortly was Nea Kifisia in A1. In 6 games he averaged impressive 16.2ppg, 5.2rpg, 2.8apg [read more]
BK Astana (D1) agreed terms with 29-year old American point guard Robert Lowery (188-87, college: Dayton). He played last season at ALBA Berlin in German BBL league. Lowery managed to play in three leagues in two countries last year. In 12 BBL games he had 10.6ppg, 3.8rpg, 2.2apg and 1.3spg. He also played 3 games in Eurocup where he recorded 13.7ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.7apg and 2.0spg. The other team Lowery played shortly was Nea Kifisia in A1. In 6 games he averaged impressive 16.2ppg, 5.2rpg, 2.8apg and 1.3spg. He is quite experienced player. Lowery has played also professionally in Italy (Lighthouse Conad Trapani), Latvia (VEF Riga), Turkey (Balikesir), Greece (Koroivos) and Czech Republic (Levharti Chomutov). He attended University of Dayton until 2010 and it will be his seventh season as a professional player.
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