In the tactical game of Baseball, famous pitching duels between guys like Roger Clemens and Dwight Goodon in 1986, John Schmoltz vs Jack Morris in 1991, Kevin Brown vs Randy Johnson in 1998 or Tim Lincecum vs Roy Halladay have been as unforgetable like that first tender kiss or The New England Patriots showing the world a few days ago with their 45-3 rout of the New York Jets that even with a somewhat suspect and young defense all you really need is Tom Terrific Brady who is showing again that he really is the best quarterback on earth. However this upcoming Saturday will be the first meeting on the professional ranks between road runner Dashaun Wood and Flash Gordon/Mr fantastic Mark Dorris that might remain as memorable as the first meeting between Kobe Bryant and Lebron James in 2003. “I would see them both being a duel between two fast ball pitchers”, commented TBB Trier guard John Bynum. “I would be Tim Lincecum and Wood Cliff Lee”, joked Mark Dorris. Both Wood and Dorris played against each other in the NCAA when they were at Wright State and Marshall. “We beat Wood and Wright State. It was a long time ago and I played pretty well, but so did he. Wood was already that quick back then. You can´t teach quickness. Your either born with it or not”, warned Phoenix Hagen guard Mark Dorris. “I would say Mark is lightning. Its not too many people in this league that will be able to stay in front of him”, laughed Quentin Pryor.
It is no secret that they can do a lot on the basketball court like score, rebound and pass, but all eyes will be focusing on their flights and sprints across the floor. It might be so fast between the both of them that one might be wondering if both players had been substituted for world class sprinters Usain Bolt and Tyson Gay? “I agree with the comparison. I would be Usain Bolt and Wood would be Tyson Gay. These are the only two sprinters that matter. My buddy Quantez Robertson would be Asafa Powell. I wouldn´t be surprised if Tez steals the show from us. He is from Cincinnati so speed is in him”, joked Mark Dorris.
TBB Trier John Bynum will be watching from a far how this sprinters duel unfolds. “Dorris is definatley Flash Gordon and I see this duel as Ben Johnson vs Carl Lewis. It will go back and fourth not knowing what will happen”, stressed John Bynum. Quentin Pryor sees Dorris every day in practice and had no problem finding comparisons “Bolt vs. Gay and Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. Two dudes who use their speed at getting what they want on the floor”, warned Quentin Pryor.
One thing is for sure, there will be no bets going on this match up since its to tough to call. “I am not sure who is quicker, but both are really fast. It will be an exciting match up for both of them”, stressed Brose Baskets Bamberg forward Kyle Hines. “I can´´t comment either who will win since both have extrodinary speed”, warned John Bynum. “It will be a tough match up. Wood is fast, but I am quicker, or the other way around”, laughed Mark Dorris.”I got to go with my teammate Mark Dorris on winning”, said Quentin Pryor.
Last season, Phoenix Hagen finished the year in 16th place just staying in the BEKO BBL by 0ne point as they had a record of 9-25. The two biggest problems of the team was a lack of defense and a thin rotation. If the club had not gotten Michael hakim Jordan in the stretch run, then the club might be visiting towns like Kirchheim, Cuxhaven and Kaiserslautern in the PRO A. The club started solid with a 2-2record beating Giessen and Ratiopharm Ulm, but then went 1-8 and landing in the BEKO BBL cellar. The team lost by more than 20 points five times and the Artland Dragons poured in over 100 points. The club then reacted bringing in Jordan and the team prompt went on a three game winning streak beating TBB Trier, The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig and sweeping the season series at home against Giessen where Jordan was the hero with a game winning shot. However then as if Jordan had turned invisible, the team went on a 10 game losing streak. They finished the season with a 3-6 record beating Duesseldorf, EnBW Ludwigsburg and Paderborn, but were never able to beat a playoff team.
This season, the club kept a core of players with Quentin Pryor, Bernd Kruel and Zygimantas Jonusas and signed many new players with Mark Dorris, Jacob Burtschi, Matt Terwilliger, David Bell and Edward Seward. It is never easy to start with numerous new players, but Phoenix Hagen started the season very well winning four of their first six games scoring 107 points against the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven, but then getting hit for 103 points the next weekend against the Telekom Baskets Bonn. The team is scoring 83 points a game in comparison to scoring only 72 points last season. Phoenix Hagen will always be able to put points on the board, but will they able to defend on a consistent rate? “I think that their defesne will improve. Their style is up and down and at times their defense is on the same page. They will get better as a group, but they are going through a tough time now and need to figure things out”, stressed John Bynum. Their up and down style can be a hazard to at times. “The way Phoenix Hagen plays, it can be a hit or miss. They are capable of going minutes scoring in buckets and then also minutes without getting buckets”, warned John Bynum. “We are an undersized team on the blocks. We just have to get back to defending like we been practicing for the last few months. Its on everyone to be accountable on that end because its more about heart than ability!
, added Quentin Pryor.
However since the strong start, Phoenix Hagen has been in a sort of a slump losing five of the last six games. They got hammered the last two weeks to Duesseldorf and Bamberg losing by a combined score of 54 points to both teams. “They had a great start and I am not really sure what their problem is now, but with the style that they play, they are dangerous each night”, warned John Bynum. Despite their current dry spell, Phoenix Hagen is a team that one can not underestimate. “Phoenix Hagen is a fast paced team that bring a lot of energy each night. They can score in bunches and have a great scheme so far this season. Their strength is their guards. At times, the yhave three guards bringing the ball up the court. They are always dangerous on the transition, are all a threat at the three point line and are always attacking”, stressed John Bynum. “We have so many weapons on the offensive end which makes it hard to concentrate on stopping one player”, added Quentin Pryor. Phoenix Hagen might not have had anything to do with the BEKO BBL playoffs last season, but currently are in 11th position and are fighting to be near the playoff places. The Brose Baskets Bamberg already played them twice thiss eason and despite winning both games have a lot of respect for the gang of Ingo Fryer. “Phoenix hagen play a unique style of basketballand it is something that each opponent has to get adjusted to in order to be successful. They have a few injuries making things very difficult now, but they are a good and dangerous team and are definitly a playoff team”, warned Brose Baskets Bamberg American Kyle Hines. “I think they could make the playoffs. It is a wide open race for the bottom four playoff places”, expressed John Bynum. The goal of Mark Dorris is the playoffs just like for everyone else on the club. “Yes we can be a playoff team. I don’t see why not. We are going through a tough stretch right now but it doesn’t last forever”, commented Quentin Pryor.
Phoenix Hagen is led by Quentin Pryor who is a 27 year old 193cm shooting guard/small forward from Eupora, Mississippi and is playing his second season with Phoenix Hagen. He started his college basketball career at Jackson State, before finishing at Morehead State from 2005-2007. In his senior year, he played 30 games averaging11.4ppg, 4.6rpg, 2.1apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 46.3%, 3Pts: 36.8%, FT: 71.7%. In 2007, he started his professional basketball career in Germany with FC Schalke 04 playing 29 games and averaging 15.1ppg, 4.3rpg, 2.2apg, Steals-1(2.5spg), FGP: 55.8%, 3PT: 37.4%, FT: 75.2%. In 2008-2009 for Phoenix Hagen, he played 30 games averaging 14.7ppg, 3.8rpg, 3.0apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 60.5%, 3PT: 30.3%, FT: 75.2. Last season, he played 33 games: 8.8ppg, 3.1rpg, 1.4apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 40.9%, 3PT: 39.3%, FT: 72.9%“He is a good defender and very athletic on the wing”, added Will Chavis. This season, he is averaging 14,7ppg, 3,3rpg and 2,9apg. he has improved each season in Germany and is really becoming into a top BEKO BBL player that is ignited by his never want to lose mentality. Mark Dorris is a 188 cm guard playing in Germany in the BEKO BBL for Phoenix Hagen. He was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio and visited Princeton high school. He then attended St. Catharine College for a year before transfering to Marshall where he played from 2005-2008. In his senior year, he played 30 games averaging 13.6ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.4apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 39.1%, 3Pts: 34.3%, FT: 75.9%.For Cuxhaven, he played 29 games: 18.3ppg, 4.8rpg, 3.7apg, Steals-3(2.3spg), FGP: 55.4%, 3PT: 26.7%, FT: 77.3%. This season, Dorris has not had any difficulty adjusting to the BEKO BBL as he has led the league in scoring for a while and excited with his very athletic play. He has scored in double figurers in 10 of 12 games including 30 points against BBC Bayreuth. Currently he is averaging 14,4ppg, 2,8rpg and 4,4apg.
A big surprise this season has been Jacob Burtschi who is a 26 year old 198cm forward that is a BEKO BBL rookie. He is an American that comes from Chickasha, Oklahoma. He played at Air Force from 2003-2007 and in his senior year, he played 35 games avergaing13.5ppg, 6.0rpg, 2.3apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 49.7%, 3Pts: 39.0%, FT: 77.3%. He reached the NIT Final 4 in 2007. He stayed in the air force for three years before deciding to try the pro ranks. Considering that he came to Hagen on a try out and is averaging 13,3ppg; 6,0rpg and 2,1apg, he has been one of the biggest surprises so far in the BEKO BBL. He is shooting 52,3% from the field and 46,8% from outside and just dazzling the league so far. “It is definitely a little strange being a 26 year old rookie but im happy that I have the opportunity to play. I had a commitment to the Air Force, served my time, and now I have an opportunity to chase a childhood dream”, said Jacob Burtschi. Not playing three years since his senior year at Air Force has not been easy, but he hasn´t been a bust in anyway. “It’s definitely not the same, but you take what your given and work with it. I am putting a lot of pressure on myself. I left a good life in the Air Force to chase a dream and I always wonder if I am kidding myself trying to leave and come compete in such a tough league. I could surprise some people in this league or I could be a bust””, stressed Jacob Burtschi. A strength in the game of Burtschi is his ability to read defenses and put himself or his teammates in a position to score.
Phoenix Hagen might have gotten some luck in disguise as their first choice point guard Ryan Appleby became home sick and suddenly left, because they had to react and find another point guard and did with David Bell who has been a great addition for the club. Bell is a 29 year old 186cm combo guard from Oakland that can hit the three with ease. This season, he hit 9/10 three pointers against Bremerhaven. He assaults any game he plays in and can penetrate and dish with the best. Offensively can carry a team, also is a top defender. He played at Montana(NCAA) from 2001-2003. In his senior year, he averaged 17,6ppg, 2.6rpg, 2.7apg. In his career, he has played in Europe in countries like Switzerland, France and Finland. He also has played in various leagues in the States. The last two years, he played for the Dakota Wizards (D-League). Last season, he played 51 games averaging 12.5ppg, 2.4rpg, 2.7apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 36.4%, 3PT: 44.6%, FT: 87.1%. He was All-Star Game 2007 (3-Points Contest Winner) and D-League Central Division Champion in 2008. This season, he is averaging 12,8ppg, 1,8rpg and 2,6apg.
Zgyimantas Jonusas is playing his second season for Phoenix Hagen and third in the BEKO BBL. He is a 28 year old 200cm forward from Lithuania. He is a very dangerous three pointer that can beat his defender off the dribble. He can score in many ways and can get to the rim of make the deadly pass. He also knows how to get o the free throw line and is a very good free throw shooter. He already played professionally in Poland for MKS Pruszkow (Poland-PLK) at the age of 20. He played for the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven from 2006-2009. His best season was his first season as he played 38 games: 11.7ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.5apg, 2FGP: 52.7%, 3FGP: 40.1%, FT: 79.8%. Last season, he played games 13 games for Phoenix Hagen averaging 8.9ppg, 3.1rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 48.4%, 3PT: 30.2%, FT: 69.0%. Currently he is averaging 10,2ppg, 3,4rpg and 1,1apg. 34 year old 210 cm center Bernd Kruel has played most of his career in Hagen starting with Brandt in 1993, but leaving in January 2004 as the team folded. He got rewarded by winning a BBL title with the Opel Skyliners. After playing some years in Frankfurt and Bonn, he came back to Hagen in 2008-2009 helping the team get back into the BEKO BBL. He may not be the youngest anymore, but he will bang with anyone and can still play at a very high level. Last season, he played 32 games averaging 7.4ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 53.4%, 3PT: 8.3%, FT: 69.0%.His quickness, leaping ability, shot selection and rebounding are his main strength. He is a good athlete, can shoot, can dribble and plays inside and outside. He played in the BEKO BBL Allstar game in 2000, reached the BEKO BBL Cup final in 2002 and 2004 and was a BEKO BBL finalist in 2005 and 2008 with The Telekom Baskets Bonn. Currently, he is averaging 7,3ppg and 4,0rpg.
25 year old 206cm power forward/center Matt Terwilliger is playing his first season with Phoenix Hagen. His claim to fame was being back up to 2008 NBA #1 draft pick Greg Oden of the Portland Trailblazers at Ohio State from 2004-2008. He played for the Webmoebel baskets from 2008-2010 playing 66 games in the two years. Last season, he played 34 games averaging 8.0ppg, 5.3rpg, FGP: 52.6%, 3PT: 40.2%, FT: 74.1%. He reached the NCAA final in 2007 and won the NIT final in 2008. “Terwilliger is a great shooter from anywhere in the gym. He will attack you with pull up jumpers and with the pick and pop. I think that he learned a lot being the back up to Greg Oden. It really helped him to be around him. He has found his niche at the position four and the Paderborn system works well for him”, stressed David Teague. Terwilliger also was Big Ten Regular Season Champion in 2006, Big Ten Tournament Finalist 2006, Big Ten Regular Season Winner 2007 and Big Ten Tournament Winner 2007. This season, Terwilliger is 5,3ppg and 4,0rpg and is shooting 40% from the parking lot in 17 minutes per game. The glue that keeps Phoenix Hagen together under the basket is 32 year old 206cm center Eddie Seward. He played at Norfolk State and then started his professional basketball career in Germany. He toiled around in the German Regionaliga for Aschersleben Tigers BC from 2004-2007 before moving up to the PRO A playing for BG Karlsruhe, Cuxhaven and BBC Bayreuth. In teh 2008-209 season, he showed that he could play at the PRO A level playing for Cuxhaven and making great stats of 11.3ppg, Reb-1(10.4rpg), Blocks-4(1.4bpg), FGP-1(70.6%), FT: 56.9% in 30 games. Last season for BBC Bayreuth, he played games 30 games averaging 8.2ppg, 7.4rpg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 60.9%, FT: 62.2%. He got his big break this season to play in the BEKO BBL averaging 5,3ppg and 5,4rpg before getting injured.
Jamie Jones is a 22 year old 201cm forward from El Segundo, California that gave the baseball world George Brett. He has very quick feet and knows how to get to the basket and finish. He is a very good one on one player, who really competes hard and plays both sides of the ball at an extremely high level. He played at Portland St. (NCAA) and in his senior year played 32 games: 13.8ppg, 7.7rpg, 1.0apg, 2.3bpg, FGP: 58.3%, FT: 73.9%. He set the all time PSU record for blocked shots in his senior season with 75. Also, he led the Big Sky conference in rebounds, blocked shots and double doubles. He started the season for the Gloria Giants Duesseldorf playing six games averaging 1,3ppg and 1,7rpg in seven minutes per game, but was released and was signed by Phoenix Hagen. He played one game for Phoenix Hagen playing 11 minutes and scoring two points, but recently went to the States to seek help for an injury. The club also has talented Germans Malte Schwartz(1,2ppg) and Dominik Spohr(1,8ppg) who are both 21 years old fighting for playing time avergaing only five minutes per game.
Last season, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners swept the season series with Phoenix Hagen stomping all over them in Hagen 93-64 as Derrick Allen led alls corers with 22 points, Aubrey Resse chipped in with 18 points and Grayson Moyer had one of his best games as a Skyliner with 15 points and five assists. In the return game in Frankfurt, Phoenix Hagen lost 89-76. Skyliner captain Pascal Roller led Frankfurt with 18 points and five assists and Derrick Allen produced 17 points. Last season, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners outrebounded Phoenix Hagen 66-49 in both games. This season, Phoenix Hagen is averaging 33 rebounds per game. The team will be without Eddie Seward which should give Frankfurt teh signal to attack more inside. “The Seward injury hurt them very much. He brings a lot to the table rebounding an don defense. He also keeps a lot of balls alive on offense. He is a true banger and does the dirty work which often goes unnoticed. He will be missed”, warned John Bynum. “All of our big men bring something different to the table. They are not the same so we are satisfied with them”, warned Quentin Pryor. For Phoenix Hagen to be successful they have to do like Forrest Gump and run run run run! “Hagen has to keep game at high tempo. They play their best when they are running and pressing”, stressed Kyle Hines. “Hagen has to defend and turn the game into an up and down battle. They also have to control Dashaun Wood who has had his way the last games and make other players beat them”, warned John Bynum. Frankfurt can play transition with the best of them, but might want to let just Wood and Dorris do the running in their own little duel. “Frankfurt should slow down game and play more organized style of basketball, limit turnovers and take good shots. Frankfurt has the advantage down low, because Hagen is not as deep there and Seward is out. They also have to watch the three guards Dorris, Bell and Pryor, because they are a huge part of their success”, warned Kyle Hines. “Frankfurt has to stop the Hagen transition and make them play a half court game and control their pick and role”, warned John Bynum. “Frankfurt just has to keep playing like they have been lately. Hagen has to come into this game hungry and ready to prove that we belong again”, warned Quentin Pryor. Phoenix Hagen Host The Deutsche Bank Skyliners on December 11th at 20:05.