Not only do The Deutsche Bank Skyliners have to worry about injuries and sick players, but another obstacle could be the dark and mysterious Lokhalle. Frankfurt will need to keep an eye on BG Gottingen that they not become to mischevious on the court, otherwise Murat Didin (agency: Interperformances ) will have to make a special call to Scooby Doo and the gang to help foil the game puzzle on the court. Last season the list of the sick and walking wounded for The Deutsche Bank Skyliners leading up to the BG Gottingen game seemed about as long as the list of possible date candidates for a homecoming queen at an American high school, but somehow the team was able to pull out a victory still being able to play ten players. Even though ten players played, it seemed like only six players were really healthy and besides the Frankfurt doctors present, the only one missing at the end of the bench for positive moral support was doctor Doug Ross(George Clooney) from ER. 'This time, it seems like Frankfurt has little luck, but Skyliner coach Murat Didin (agency: Interperformances ) is never shy of bringing a little humor. 'Last season, we came from the hospital to the court. This time guys like Greg, Konrad, Evti and Max have not been able to practice, plus Titus and Pascal are coming back from sickness. I think in the future, we have to pay close attention when we play Gottingen about 1-2 weeks in advance and find a way to avoid these sickness and injuries. This is the second time in a row that we are sick/hurt for the game in Gottingen', joked Murat Didin (agency: Interperformances ).
The Deutsche Bank Skyliners will have had ten days to prepare for the Gottingen game and some critics fear that the heads of the players will already be focusing towards the ALBA Berlin game in the Top 4. 'I think that it is ok. Gottingen will be a good preparation for Berlin. It is great to stay in rhythm and play against top teams', stressed Skyliner forward Ilian Evtimov (201-F-83, agency: Interperformances, college: N.Carolina St.). Gottingen is trying to stay neutral apoun the question if it is an advantage or disadvantage that the game is so close before the Top 4. 'That is something you have to ask them. We are not going to change our preparation', warned Gottingen top scorer Kyle Bailey (188-G-82, college: Santa Clara). Frankfurt will play four games in eight days so they will need not only to be mentally ready, but also physically in top shape. 'This long break has been a good thing, because we have been practicing hard, staying in shape and working on offense and defense', added Skyliner guard Keith Simmons (196-G-85, college: Holy Cross). It might be a long wait until the Gottingen game, but as is so often the case in the BBL, the game will mark friendly reencounters.' It will be cool to see Rocky again after the slam dunk contest. I played against Charles Lee (192-G/F-84, college: Bucknell)(Bucknell) and Clif Brown (200-F-84, agency: Court Side, college: Niagara)(Niagra) in college, so it will be sort of a college reunion', joked American Keith Simmons. 'I am looking forward to playing against Clif Brown and Rocky Trice', added Skyliner American Derrick Allen (203-F-80, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Mississippi).
There are also other indirect obstacles that The Deutsche Bank Skyliners will need to keep an eye on. Gottingen is known as a University town and one of the finest addresses in Germany for the subject of Science. The town is known for rich learning and countless research facilities. Just when Murat Didin (agency: Interperformances ) thought that Einstein and Ulm were finally in the past, Science and other scientific geniuses and buddies of Einstein might create chaos for Frankfurt. 'Last week against Ulm, we were a bit unlucky with our injuries. We didnt have a proper offense against Ulm and Einstein. Now it is our turn. We had one struggle against Scientific Basketball and that was enough. We will not let it happen again in Gottingen' , warned Murat Didin (agency: Interperformances ).
Ratiopharm Ulm might have brought a trace of Einstein into the Ballsporthalle last week for luck, but besides Science, The Deutsche Bank need to be aware that other very famous scientists and physicists Like Max Planck and Max Weber (201-G/F-85) visited the Gottingen University and could bring some kind of special awe into the Lokhalle where BG Gottingen is riding a ten game winning streak. 'Planck was a good influence. Without Math, Science and Physics, you cant discover the facts of life. If you are cosmic without Science, then it can be chaotic. We will have to stay on the physical side and play very well planned/applied Cosmic Basketball', philosophied Murat Didin (agency: Interperformances ). The famous German sociologist Max Weber also attended the University in Gottingen and has the same name as Skyliner forward Max Weber. 'Our Max Weber is in his bed sick. I hope he will be able to stand up from his illness and present his name brother at the game in Gottingen', joked Murat Didin (agency: Interperformances ).
Another interesting and possibly little known fact about Gottingen is that between 1945-1960, 90 films were made in and around Gottingen. Skyliner coach Murat Didin (agency: Interperformances ) is never not curious not to use his famous camera movement posture that he made famous during the 2005 BBL final against Bamberg signalling his unhappiness about the Bamberg players acting trying to draw fouls. Didin knows about the movie history in Gottingen and wants to concentrate on the game and not on the acting skills of the players. 'This might have once been the German Hollywood. But let us leave the camera movement to the German Hollywood. We want to be more focused on the ball movement than on the camera movement against the aggressive defense', joked Murat Didin (agency: Interperformances ).
The return of BG Gttingen back to the big show last season in the BBL was a positive surprise as the team had not smelt BBL air for 19 years. Before the deregulation in the 80s, Gottingen had always had a top Basketball tradition that marked its climax in the 80s as they won three BBL titles in 1980, 1983 and 1984 under the legendary American coach Terry Schofield. In a country, where Soccer is by far the #1 sport, it is all the more curious when a sport like Basketball is still #1 in Gottingen after 19 years of not being in the BBL. 'It is great for me too see how much Basketball has developed in the last two seasons in Gottingen. When we won the second division north league two years ago, the people didnt really notice so much. Back then we played in a small gym, but now the support is so big in the Lokhalle. I get stopped all over the place for autographs. Now it is a big deal', said Kyle Bailey. 'Gottingen stands for tradition in Basketball. The way they have played so far this season, saying they are not a candidate to win the BBL title would be unrealistic', added Skyliner coach Murat Didin (agency: Interperformances ).
BG Gottingen finished last season in 14th place and could of ended a lot higher had the team not had a seven game losing streak at the beginning of season. Still they managed to beat top teams like Bonn and Leverkusen. The brain behind the success of team is coach John Patrick , who likes to overwhelm the enemy of quick run and gun Basketball. He adores small ball and is a very disciplined coach. 'We like to give the other team 40 minutes of hell', said John Patrick . 'It is definitely physically demanding and it is difficult to concentrate when you are tired. That is why we practice making decisions when you are tired. Every member of our defense is important, because if one guy stops rotating then we give up an easy shot', expressed BG Gottingen guard Kyle Bailey.
Patrick is a Basketball fanatic, who has a lot of experience having coached in Australia and in Japan, where he won the Japanese title in 2006 with Toyota Alvark. He quickly showed his coaching skills as he led Gottingen to the second division north title in 2007 dominating the competition, losing only twice to MBC and Schalke. BBL teams had success last season against Gottingen, when they slowed down the game and controlled the tempo. This season, Gottingen has tried to be even more unpredictable inside with two big American bangers Jason Miller (208-F/C-80, college: Oklahoma St.) and Chris Oliver (198-F-85, agency: Court Side, college: Radford). However Jason Miller was released a few months ago, and BG Gottingen continue to have success rebounding the ball despite not having a classic big man. John Patrick also has no shyness by playing his whole roster on a consistent rate. So far this season, he has rotated 12 guys and his quick substituting most likely wont change. 'Coach Patriks best characteristic is his desire to win. When someone wants to win like that, they are willing to do what it takes to be successful. He also really enjoys the game of basketball and that is very important when you have a season as long as ours. You have to be able to be excited everyday about what your goals are', said American Kyle Bailey.
It seems like each season, there is a surprise team in the BBL and this season without a doubt, it is BG Gottingen, who have for a long length of the season quietly been near the top of the BBL standings. Presently they are in second place with a 16-4 record and still have two games less than most other teams. After starting the season 1-2, they have rebounded knocking down a 15-2 record. They have had two six game winning streaks and at this point the word secret seems nonexistent. 'We have played 20 games so far and I don't think there are any secrets anymore. We are going to play extremely hard for 40 minutes and we have a lot of guys that can contribute in many different ways', stated American guard Kyle Bailey. 'Gottingen is the surprise team of the season. They are young, deep, play hard and are overall well balanced', stated Skyliner forward Derrick Allen. Besides knowing their roles, it seems like the unorthodox and aggressive play of Gottingen just keeps annoying the opponents and brings them out of their rhythm and flow. The season is only half way done, but it seems like the league has respect for Gottingen. 'It does surprise me a bit that they are so successful, but they deserve to be where they are. This game will be a big challenge and I hope we can go to Hamburg with a win', stated Skyliner captain Pascal Roller (180-G-76).
After a bitter loss in the season opener against TBB Trier 72-68 in the Lokhalle, the team has won ten games in a row. It really didnt matter, what team has entered the Lokhalle, most have gone home wondering if there is secretly a seventh man in the dark Lokhalle helping the team. They dismantled Bonn and Oldenburg and even had four games in a row in the Lokhalle winning each game. One interesting side note is that BG Gottingen must play ALBA Berlin twice after the Allstar break. 'Honestly, I think the loss to Trier was very important. Thinking back to that game right now I remember a few mistakes that could have won us that game. I am still upset we let that one get away! As for 'The Lok', it is the perfect place for our team and our identity. Our management puts a lot of work in to get it ready for each game,' warned Kyle Bailey.
BG Gottingen is led by American Kyle Bailey, who is back in Gottingen after leading the team into the BBL in 2007. He is averaging 14,7ppg, 4,5rpg and 3,5 apg. He is a very explosive point guard, who can score and be the playmaker. American Charles Lee is averaging 13,3ppg, 4,1rpg and 2,1apg this season. He is always a scoring threat having been top scorer for Gottingen six times this season and scored in double figures 15 times. He had two fine seasons in Israel(9,4 points) and Belgium(10,1 points). American Clif Brown started the season as being the go to guy then missed three games and has slowly been coming back having up and down games. He is averaging 12,7ppg, and 5,7 rpg. He has scored in double figures ten times this season. He furthered his experience last season by playing ULEB Cup for Hapoel Gali Eylon in Israel, where he had extremely good stats with 14,5 points and 3,7 rebounds in ten games. American Roderick Trice (191-F-84, agency: Rasmussen Services, college: S.Carolina), who celebrated cult status in Cuxhaven last season is a very dangerous rebounder at 188m with 8,1rpg last season in Cuxhaven. This season he is averaging 11,3ppg, 5,4rpg and 1,3apg. His nickname is Rocky and he might not challenge anyone into the boxing ring, but he wont shy away from anyone under the hoops. He recently took part in the 2009 BBL slam dunk contest.
All rounder American Ben Jacobson (201-F-82, agency: Gross Zeev ISA), who also played in France is averaging 7,9ppg, and 2,8rpg this season for Gottingen. He can create his own shot and is a respectable defender. American small forward Chris Oliver has been a pleasant surprise as he is averaging 7,7ppg and 5,1rpg. He has scored in double figures seven times and registered two double doubles and really stepped it up in many games helping his team to victory. The Gottingen bench is not deep, but coach Patrick can count on every player to play hard no matter if its for eight minutes or two minutes. Guys like John Little (180-G-84, college: N.Iowa), Jason Boone (198-F/C-85, college: New York U.), Robert Kulawick and German Marco Grimaldi (188-G-83) will be looming in the wings for a chance. Also coming off the bench is 26 year old German Robert Dill, who has a 17 hour work day. When he arrives to practice at night, he has already worked eight hours for a company. He is a role model for everyone showing his mind works overtime not only on the court.
The Deutsche Bank Skyliners lost the first game in the Ballsporthalle in a nail bitter 64-61. Gottingen shot horrible at 33%, including only 16% from the parking lot, but still ended up winning. Gottingen did a super job controlling the rebounds 47-40, but had had luck that big Skyliner Lorenzo Gordon had not played. He might be the difference this time. 'I have not seen Lorenzo play yet, but I heard good things about him, though. I am definitely excited for the game, because the last one was a good battle', added Kyle Bailey.
None of the regular Gottingen players who average more than ten minutes per game is bigger than 201 meters, but somehow Gottingen finds a way to mix it up under the boards and often win the rebounding battle like against the EWE baskets Oldenburg their last victm in the Lokhalle winning 79-66 and securing the rebounds 38 to 24. With Lorenzo Gordon playing and hopefully Wysocki, Jenkins and Evtimov back, Frankfurt should have no excuses for getting trampled al over under the glass. 'We have to play big and attack and go inside as often as possible. It also would help to get Brown and Boone in foul trouble', stressed Derrick Allen. Gottingen isnt about to drop any secrets to how they will play Frankfurt and has an old fashioned kind of thinking that whatever team has the higher number on the score board at the end of the game will laugh loudest. 'We just need to have more points at the end of the game, haha!!!Seriously, we just have to play our game to the best of our ability', warned Kyle Bailey. Gottingen only averages 9,9 assists per game and are shooting only 41,8% from the field. A strong defense could easily hurt the flow of the Gottingen offense and be a key to victory for the Deutsche Bank Skyliners. 'Gottingen has a lot of talent. We have to control the tempo of the game and slow it down every so often. We also will need to control the turnovers and not let them get easy baskets', stressed American Keith Simmons. BG Gottingen host The Deutsche Bank Skyliners on February 25th at 19:30.