Can The Deutsche Bank Skyliners Win Their First Title In Bamberg After Failing In 2005 And 2010?

A fifth game final two point loss compared to a Champions Cup final game is about as different in meaning as Lebron James playing in a Lakers uniform than in a Heat uniform, The USA mens national team winning against a team with five Kobe Bryants than against the Turkish national team or Paris Hilton taking an Iberia commercial flight from Los Angeles to Madrid rather than lear private jet, but a game is a game and for The Deutsche Bank Skyliners winning anytime in Bamberg is like winning a lottery even if it is only a meaningless preseason game. Frankfurt play Bamberg in the Champions Cup on Saturday and enter the game with an 8 game winning streak and with their confidence as sky high as 20 Sears towers in Chicago staked on top of each other. Frankfurt lost two finals to Bamberg last season including a bitter fifth game final by two points and a cup final and some players like Pascal Roller, Dominik Bahiense De Mello and Grayson Moyer may have the two games in the back of their heads, but for the new players like Carlos Powell, Dashaun Wood or Kimmo Muurinen, it will just be another game. “Game 5 was a very tough loss for the players. One or two free throws made and the game might have been different. I think this is a game that no player will ever forget. I wont forget it. Frankfurt must win the Champions Cup”, stressed ex Skyliner Dragan Labovic.

One can´t dwell on the past, but look ahead as the 2010-2011 BEKO BBL season is just around the corner and The Deutsche Bank Skyliners go into the season with question marks a few months ago, but now with the preseason almost completed seem to have a very interesting roster that could surprise a lot of people. It is no secret that the club had to cut their players budget for this season and it was no surprise that key players like Derrick Allen, Aubrey Reese and Seth Doliboa went elsewhere where there was more bread growing on trees. Despite the lack of funds, it seems like coach Gordon Herbert has done a fine job finding solid players that already seem to have a special chemistry brewing in preseason. “Frankfurt is a talented and well coached team with a healthy mix of youth and experience. Frankfurt looks very balanced and they had a big challenge getting good players for less money and they seem to have done the maximum. The team looks pretty good so far”, warned Giessen 46er center Jannik Freese.

The team has brought back captain Pascal Roller who will be playing his 11th season in Frankfurt. Last season, he played 46 games averaging 8.5ppg, 2.0rpg, 2.7apg, FGP: 44.3%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT-1(90.8%). As the older he gets, the less of a role he has, but he is still the first option in crunch time for that big shot. This season, he can play the position two again and work on swishing shots since Dashaun Wood will carry the bulk at the point guard position. Dominik Bahiense De Mello is back for his 6th season and last year played 43 games averaging 2.6ppg. The shooting guard position always seems to be filled and that wont be any different this season, but with age and experience playing time could still rise. “It seems like this years team is differently coached than the end of last season despite the same coach. I think that De Mello will get his chance this year and show the good quality that he has”, added ex Braunschweig center Jannik Freese. The team also brought back Marius Nolte who will be playing his second season in Frankfurt. Last season in a reduced role, he played 28 games: 2.5ppg, 1.0rpg. Already in preseason, he has shown that he wants to play more with very good results including 11 points in the final in Trier. Nolte will get his chance in the next weeks since new center Joe Dabbert is injured and will return in 3-4 weeks. Nolte has a big heart and has the confidence of colleagues as well. “He can become a factor if he can fullfill his role. He can definitely help Frankfurt with his spirit and fighting mentality”, stated Jannik Freese. The team received a shock as Quantez Robertson was injured and will miss 6-8 weeks. The spark plug on defense played 48 games last season averaging 6.0ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.1apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 49.3%, 3PT: 35.6%, FT: 60.0%. Last week, the club also brought back Grayson Moyer who is  a very versatile player with the deadly pass, shot and will dive into the third row even if there is a bee hive there. Last season, he played 44 games averaging 5.2ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 49.4%, 3PT: 34.4%, FT: 63.0%. Jimmy Mckinney will be playing his 5th s eason with The Deutsche Bank Skyliners. Last season, he played 39 games: 5.7ppg, 1.4rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 53.0%, 3PT: 40.3%, FT: 71.4%. He has been plagued with injuries the last years and is still trying to find the form of his rookie season where he averaged 12.3ppg, 3.2rpg, 1.6apg, 2FGP: 44.9%, 3FGP: 38.5%, FT: 77.2%. He came to life at the end of las tseason as coach Gordon Herbert arrived. Since his arrival last season, Mckinney scored in double figures 8 times in the last 18 games. His confidence is as strong as ever and this could be his breakout season.

The Deutsche Bank Skyliners added five new players. The first signing was experienced BEKO BBL player AJ Moye who played in Finland last season for Kouvot Kouvola (Finland-Korisliiga, starting five): 52 games: 18.6ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 52.4%, 3PT: 35.2%, FT: 87.7%. He played for the Walter Tigers Tuebingen from 2006-2009. He is a great player who can do it all. Can score in a variety of ways and is a very spectacular Player. Makes everybody around him better, is a fantastic defender, great 1-1 Player and a team leader on and off the Court. He is a guy when the going gets tough will get vocal on and off the court to get the team going. The team than proceeded to sign 24 year old 185cm guard Dashaun Wood who is from Detroit, Michigan. He had a healthy college career at Wright state from 2003-2007. In his first two seasons as a pro, he played in Italy and showed his qualities at Tisettanta Cantu (Italy-SerieA, starting five): 38 games: Score-5(16.9ppg), 3.0rpg, Assists-4(3.3apg), 2.7spg, 2FGP:52.1%, 3PT-2(42.8%), FT:77.4%. He has natural leadership abilities, who directs teammates on the floor and takes the ball in clutch moments. Loves to go inside to score, challenging the big guys, but has also shooting range from behind the 3 point arch. Despite lack of size, he can be effective even at the defensive side.

The team then signed Kimmo Muurinen who is a 29 year old 202cm forward from Finland. He is playing hiss econd season away from his home country. Last season, he played in Italy for Martos Napoli (Italy-SerieA, starting five): 12 games: 7.3ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.0spg, FGP: 51.7%, 3PT: 42.9%, FT: 56.3%, in Jan.’10 moved to Scafati Basket (Italy-Lega2): 18 games: 4.4ppg, 3.3rpg. He is a swingman with great athletic ability, agility and versatility. The team then signed Joe Dabbert who is a 29 year old 210cm center from Bailey, Colorado. He played at Cfreighton(NCAA) from 2000-2004. Most of his career was spent in the States in the D-League, CBA and USBL league. He also played in Spain and Korea. Up until his injury, he has left a fine impression with his play under the boards being leading scorer in some preseason games. The team recently added American Carlos Powell who is a 27 year old 199cm forward. He is an athletic player who has good vision on the court … Team plays off his energy. He played at South Carolina from 2001-2005. He has played in Portugal, China, Ukraine and in the D-league and wherever he has played he has been a scorer. Last  season he played for the Albuquerque Thunderbirds (D-League, starting five): 33 games: 22.1ppg, 5.0rpg, 5.0apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 53.3%, 3PT: 31.0%, FT. With stats like that it is surprising that no NBA team picked him up. This past summer he played NBA Summer League in Las Vegas (New York Knicks).

The Brose Baskets Bamberg are seeking their fourth BEKO BBL title in 2010-2011 after winning the coveted trophy in 2005, 2007 and 2010. Bamberg management did a good job keeping a core of players and adding a few key players to help fill small holes. The motto don’t change a winning team too much stuck with coach Chris Fleming as he was able to hold key players like Casey Jacobsen(11.4ppg, 3.7rpg, 2.9apg, FGP: 50.7%, 3PT: 38.5%, FT: 77.0%), Brian Roberts(11.8ppg, 1.7rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 52.0%, 3PT: 44.4%, FT-2(88.4%)), Predrag Suput(14.9ppg, 4.7rpg, 1.9apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 53.7%, 3PT: 41.6%, FT: 84.6%), John Goldsberry(6.4ppg, 1.9rpg, 3.1apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 59.3%, 3PT: 36.7%, FT: 71.1%), Anton gavel(10.0ppg, 2.3rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 50.5%, 3PT: 44.1%, FT: 71.7%; EuroCup: 12 games: 6.8ppg, 1.8apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 54.5%, 3PT: 41.4%, FT: 84.0%), 8.0ppg, 5.9rpg, Blocks-2(1.3bpg), FGP: 56.9%, 3PT: 44.4%, FT: 70.8%) and Karsten Tadda(3.2ppg, 1.2rpg, 1.0apg). The team added Reyshawn Terry who is a 26 year old 203cm forward from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He is a solid small forward who can hit a long jumper and has the size to be a good defender. He’s very versatile and athletic, gives his best in transition. Has the ideal frame for a three, but can easily adapt to play at the PF if needed. He played at the well known North Carolina university from 2003-2007 reaching the NCAA Elite Eight in 2007. Last season, he played for Xacobeo BluSens Obradoiro (Spain-ACB, starting five): 34 games: 12.1ppg, 4.9rpg, FGP: 40.3%, 3PT: 33.6%, FT: 84.6%. This past summer, he played NBA Summer League in Las Vegas (Portland Trail Blazers). The club also signed Kyle Hines who is a 24 year old 198cm power forward/center from Sicklerville, New Jersey. He is a powerful player who loves to attack the basket. Has a good 1-vs-1 game and likes to go inside. He is undersized to play the power forward, but his great wingspan (7-1) allows him to guard taller players and to intimidate. He’s also a great leaper and reads the opponent’s game well “My game is similar to that of Chuck Hayes or Paul Millsap”, commented Kyle Hines.He played at NC-Greensboro (NCAA) from 2004-2008. In his senior year, he played 31 games: 19.2ppg, 9.1rpg, 1.4apg, 1.8spg, 3.1bpg, FGP: 55.6%, 3Pts: 12.5%, FT: 62.8%. Lasts eason, he played for Prima Veroli (Italy-Lega2, starting five): 40 games: 18.5ppg, 8.1rpg, Steals-2(3.5spg), Blocks-4(1.6bpg), FGP-3(64.0%), 3PT: 18.8%, FT: 57.8%. “I am excitedabout every game we play. The Champions Cup is another game where we can get better. It’s a new season, new team, new atmosphere and a new chance for me and the team to get better especially against a competitive team like Frankfurt”, stressed Kyle Hines.

The Brose Baskets Bamberg already have a huge advantage over most of the other 17 BEKO BBL teams in that they have kept a core of their team. It seems as if Bamberg will keep many teams off guard with not just one style of play. “We can play a multitude of different styles. We have players on our roster that can do everything. The style we play depends on our opponent and style of game they play. We will always be able to tailor our game to match the opponent”, added Bamberg forward Kyle Hines. It seems like Bamberg have no weak spot at any position. “We are a strong team and have depth at every position with a number of players being able to play multiple positions”, said Kyle Hines. But the biggest strength of the Brose Baskets Bamberg is something that every team in basketball any where on earth strive to have. “We simply play team basketball. We have developed a chemistry in a short time. There is no player on this team that is looking for individual stats. Each guy is interested in trying to do what is best for the team to have success”, warned Kyle Hines.

The Deutsche Bank Skyliners would love nothing more than to depart from the Jako Arena and win their third title of the preseason and go into the important Eurocup qualifying game against Besiktas Cola Turka Istanbul with self confidence. Frankfurt is weakened inside with the injury to Joe Dabbert and will have to find a solution to stopping Bamberg easy points inside anyway possible. Frankfurt have many offensive weapons and Bamberg understand what part of their game will have to shine. “The key to beating Frankfurt will be on defense. If we can get stops and get rebounds then we have enough talent on offense that that part of our game will take care of its self”, warned Kyle Hines. Bamberg is the favourite on paper, but as soon as the players are on the court, it is a game of 40 minutes where anything is possible as Frankfurt showed last season in the finals. “Frankfurt has to find an even bigger hunger than what they had last season losing the two finals. Perhaps this time the hunger will carry them to victory”, stressed Jannik Freese. The Brose Baskets Bamberg host The Deutsche Bank Skyliners in the Champions Cup on Saturday Septmeber 25th.

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