The Deutsche Bank Skyliners Want to Dampen The Spec Of Alba Berlin Spirit With TBB Trier December 18th

When the Deutsche Bank Skyliners face off against TBB Trier on Saturday some players may be feeling déjà vu seeing coach Henrik Roedl and players Dragan Dojcin, Oskar Fassler and Phillip Zwiener on the floor again who all used to be on the luscious Alba Berlin pay role. Seeing all these faces in the green of TBB Trier and not Alba Berlin might be as weird as if ex Skyliners Travon Bryant, mate Milisa or Alex King were suddenly on the Skyliner bench again, if soccer god with the cigar Diego Maradona would reappear behind a SSC Neapel curtain and play a game again or if Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown would appear back in the news again as totally changed and sober people again. It is common to see white snow falling from the German sky, have Tom Brady finding the old magic with wide receiver Wes Welker, Bayern Munich losing at a regular basis or MBC guard Michael Jordan finding a new victim for his cam on road trips, but it is not every day that many players head to another team in the BEKO BBL, but concerning the spirited and solid play of TBB Trier this season, bringing in talent from Berlin hasn´t hurt. “ I think having these Alba Berlin guys on the team is an advantage, because they are familiar with each other. We are a young team, but if you have players that are familiar with each other, then it always helps out on and off the court”, warned TBB Trier guard John Bynum.
All these characters had success in Berlin, but no one more as a player than coach Henrik Roedl who won 10 BEKO BBL titles, was 1993 NCAA champion with North Carolina and only a short time later 1993 European champion with Germany. As a coach, it has been a steady road for him. He didn´t have it easy being pushed into the Alba Berlin job in January 2005. He finished the season losing in the semi final to the Opel Skyliners. The next season, he won the BEKO BBL cup in 2006. The next season, he was dismissed as coach. He had coached Alba Berlin 2 the last few years and was also the German U-20 coach. Coming to a team like TBB Trier who had been as far from the playoffs in the last years as Paris Hilton winning an Oscar, he has done a pretty good job in the first few months. “Roedl is a good coach, because he has the ability to get most out of his players. He teaches the game and everybody gets better individually. He has many strength, but you are seeing the biggest on the defensive end”, added California native John Bynum.

He has every player on the same page and gets the most out of each player”, added Quentin Pryor. Roedl has had an illustrious basketball career and  a lot of his success seems to be rubbing off on the players in the early going. “I think that what he has achieved as a player has influenced us somewhat on the court. He has been there and has done what no one of us ever has and he knows what it takes to get there. The team listens to what he says and hope to understand what we can do to get into a position to have success”, warned John Bynum. “I think that because Roedl has been so successful as a player and coach, his players will listen to what he says and follow what he says”, stated Phoenix Hagen American Quentin Pryor. Winning the NCAA title may have happened 17 years ago, but his past success seems to be something that people know about. “I know that the American players are aware of his NCAA title as well as the German players. He lets you know that he is a Tar Heel from time to time. However if I had gone to North Carolina, I would probably have let people know more. He doesn´t put it out there and is very humble about his success”, added John Bynum. “I think that many people may not even know he won the NCAA title with North Carolina. Ingo told us last season, so I knew what he did”, commented Quentin Pryor.

Despite bringing back nine players from the 2008-2009 season and getting help on the wing during the season with Miladen Pekovic, TBB Trier was a big disappointment last season as they finished with a record of 10-24 and finished in 15th place.. The club had some misfortune at the start. “TBB Trier had a lot of bad luck with the swine flu which broke their rhythm. They are trying to get back on track, but they are a bad road team”, stated Jerome Bridgewater. After a 3-3 start, TBB Trier then won four of five games and it seemed like they were on a healthy route, but then the team seemed to fall into a long winter sleep winning only one game game from December fifth until April 2010. In this span, they had a record of 1-17 “TBB Trier has good players and space the floor really well, but it is not logical for a team to be inconsistent after playing together for a while. However, the competition in the BEKO BBL is really high at the moment and it is tough for many teams at the moment”, stressed North Carolina native Ricky Hickman last season. Even though TBB Trier has defeated top clubs like The Artland Dragons and BG Goettingen, something seemed to be missing with the club. “TBB Trier had great scorers inside with Chris Copeland and George Evans and good shooting on the wing with Derek Raivio, Jamal Shuler and Miladin Pekovic. The team had chemistry, but I think that they lack the killer instinct. They were up by 15 points against us, but they couldn´t put us away. They seemed to be going through a tough stretch”, warned Phoenix Hagen American Quentin Pryor last season. The team had a lot of misfortune losing six of those 17 games by four or less points. After this long and seemingly unending winless drought, the team pulled together a bit finishing the season at 2-3. “TBB Trier was not a great rebounding team last season”, said Phoenix Hagen American Quentin Pryor.
With Alba Berlin legend Henrik Roedl on board and four ex Alba Berlin players, TBB Trier are quietly focusing on a playoff place. The club is starving for success again in the BEKO BBL. The team has won only two basketball titles which were BEKO BBL cups in 1998 and the last being in 2001. The last time the team reached the playoffs was 2004 where they finished the season in seventh place. Since then the team has been more in the middle field of the standings or at the end finishing 11th, 9th, 17th, 11th and in 15th. The team had large financial problems last season and this summer cleaned ship a bit by reforming the old TBB GmbH into a new TBB AG. The club parted ways with Americans Brian Brown, Chris Copeland, Jamal Shuler and Derek Raivio and Canadian James Gillingham and Maksym Shtein and Mladin Pekovic. The team kept a slim healthy core of players with George Evans, big German talent Mail Zirbes and Samy Picard. Besides bringing in the four ex Alba Berlin players, the club also brought in Americans Dru Joyce, Barry Stewart and John Bynum. When you look back and see TBB Trier winning only 10 games last season, then their start of 7-7 can be seen as a huge accomplishment this season. The club started strong winning two of the first three games against Tuebingen and MBC, but also had a losing streak of three games, but also a winning streak of three games beating the Telekom Baskets Bonn and current hot team EnBW Ludwigsburg. The club has been up and down, but the team has quickly established an identity on defense. “Our strength is our defense. We play hard and we have been in every game this season, because we play solid defense”, warned John Bynum. “Their strength is their defense”, warned Quentin Pryor. TBB Trier have given up an average of only 68 points this season and show that they pride their game on their defense. They held Bonn and Duesseldorf to under 50 points this season. The question this season is if TBB Trier can reach the playoffs? “I think that we are a playoff team. So far we have shown this season that we can play with any team even on the road. We feel that we let two games get away up north earlier this season, but at the same time, every player feels that we will make the playoffs”, stressed John Bynum. “I also think that they are a playoff team. They are playing like one”, warned Quentin Pryor. John Bynum couldn’t list a weakness but Quentin Pryor could. “They have  a lot of young and inexperienced players”, stressed Quentin Pryor.
In the last five years, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners have a record of 5-5 against TBB Trier with 2-2 at home and 2-2 on the road. Frankfurt lost the last two games in Trier 74-64 in 2008 on the last day of the season where teams were jockeying for playoff places and Frankfurt ended up getting The Bayer Giants Leverkusen in the quarterfinals. Last season, TBB Trier played a very energetic and spirited game winning 78-70 despite a monster game by American Derrick Allen who registered 29 points and 10 boards. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners lost the first game of the season in Trier 71-67 as Jimmy Mckinney and Qarraan Calhoun were missing due to injury. It was your typical season opening game as both teams were nervous and missing way too many shots. The game was tied at halftime 26 all. Frankfurt had fire power in the third quarter, but went down in the fourth quarter scoring only nine points as Frankfurt had no nerves in crunch time to win. Derrick Allen had 19 points and eight rebounds and despite TBB Trier was without top scorer Chrs Copeland, the team got needed production form Jamal Shuler, Brian Brown and George Evans to conserve the win. Last season, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners lost the first game ion Trier71-67 as Ex Skyliner Derrick Allen contributed 19 points and eight rebounds and Frankfurt won at home 71-69 winning the game with Pascal Roller free throws. Derrick Allen led Frankfurt with 17 points.
TBB Trier is led by 25 year old 198cm forward Phillip Zwiener who started his basketball career as a 17 year old in 2002 for TSV Lesum-Bremen (2Bundealiga). In 2004-2005, in his last season for TSV Lesum, he played 29 games averaging 14.4ppg, 4.7rpg, 1.6apg, 2FGP: 57%, 3FGP: 28.1%, FT: 77.3%. He then got rewarded by getting signed by German power house Alba Berlin. Zwiener didn´t take off like an Albatros as he played on the  Spree for five years playing only 114 BEKO BBL games, 15 ULEB Cup games, 4 Eurocup games and 2 Euroleague games. He never was able to develop into a important player because the club had so many talented players and always had the pressure to have to win. He was able to win 2 BEKO BBL cups and 1 BEKO BBL championship with Alba Berlin. Despite not playing so much in Berlin, German national coach Dirk Bauerman always had an eye on him and invited him to play at the 2008 Olympics in Bejing. With his superb play this season where he is averaging 14,6ppg, 5,9rpg and 1,1apg, he should get the nod from Bauerman to join again in the summer of 2011. “I am not surprised by the development of Phil. He just didn´t get much time in Berlin. He got valuable experience and now is getting his chance to shine in Trier. His time in Berlin was very valuable as he was playing for one of the most respected teams in Europe and was able to play behind some great players and learn from them and play Euroleague. He will only get better”, warned John Bynum. “Phil never had a real chance in Berlin, because there were so many talented players there. He is a good player and is proving it now with TBB Trier. If he keeps working then he will improve. I am sure his goal is to return back to the German national team”, warned Dru Joyce. “Zwiener is currently one of the best in the league. He is running the team and has done a good job. He just needed the chance to play which he didn´t get in Berlin and now he is getting that chnace”, commented Quentin Pryor.
TBB Trier signed Dru Joyce who is a 25 year old 183cm point guard. He is the typical floor general who supplies leadership, court vision and points when needed. He returns back to the BEKO BBL after playing for Ratiopharm Ulm from 2007-2009. Each season, he was the second best assist man in the BEKO BBL. His best season in Ulm was 2008-2009 as he led the club into the playoffs playing 34 games averaging 10.1ppg, 1.8rpg, Assists-2(4.5apg), FGP: 42.8%, 3PT: 34.8%, FT: 73.0%. He is best known for playing along side NBA superstar Lebron James at St Marys and winning three high school titles. He played at Akron from 2003-2007 as in his senior year, he played 33 games averaging 10.0ppg, 2.4rpg, 4.3apg, FGP: 41.3%, 3Pts: 39.6%, FT: 65.6%. Last season, he played in Poland forEnerga Czarni Slupsk (Poland-PLK, starting five), Polish League: 6 games: 4.5ppg, 1.5rpg, 3.0apg; in Nov.’09 moved to Anwil Wloclawek (Poland-PLK): 27 games: 7.5ppg, 1.6rpg, 3.4apg, FGP: 41.0%, 3PT: 39.1%, FT: 75.9%. “I played for two very good coaches. One was from Latvia and the other was from Belarius. It was a new situation for me since I had always played for American coaches. They both had different styles. I had some ups and downs in Poland, but I learned to always keep fighting when I was going through a rough time. You always have to be ready when called upon”, stressed Dru Joyce. This season, Joyce is averaging 11,3ppg, 3,1rpg and 4,5apg. “I believe that Joyce belongs to the top point guards this season. His quickness allows him to make a lot of plays and he is in the lane just about any time he wants to. He plays the pick and roll well and defends well. We need for him to play well to be in every game”, warned John Bynum.  39year old 202 cm center George Evans, who is a desert storm veteran and didn´t turn professional until he was 30 years old. He played at george Mason from 1998-2001. He then went to Belgium and did something very untypical for European basketball standards playing with one team for a long stretch. He played for Dexia Mons-Hainaut from 2001-2008. In this time, he played 228 Belgium league games and played 65 international games. In his 7 years in Belgium, he scored in double figurers each. He has been in Trier since 2008. In his first season, he averaged 13.5ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.1apg, 1.1spg, FGP-2(67.6%), FT: 56.9%. Last season, he averaged 9.4ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.0apg, 1.3spg, FGP-3(64.8%), FT: 55.9%. What catches the eye right away is that he belongs to the top shooters from the field in the BEKO BBL.The general as Evans is called is an important piece to the success of the club since he contributes in all phases of the game, including low-post scoring, rebounding, shot blocking and filling the lanes on the fast break.
The team signed 22 year old 191cm guard Barry Stewart who is from Shelbyville, Tennessee. He is a BEKO BBL rookie who played at Mississippi St. (NCAA) from 2006-2010. In his senior year, he played 36 games averaging 11.8ppg, 3.6rpg, 2.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 37.4%, 3PT: 35.1%, FT: 71.4%. His best season was 2008-2009 where he played 36 games: 12.4ppg, 3.8rpg, 1.8apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 36.7%, 3Pts: 36.5%, FT: 77.6%. He reached the NIT Final 4 in 2007. This season, he is averaging 7,4ppg and 3,1rpg and is still seeking his touch with ´his shot as he is hooting 30% from the field and 25% from the parking lot. The team also signed basketball veteran who is a 34 year old 205cm power forward from Serbia. He is playing his first season with TBB Trier and his fourth season in the BEKO BBL. He is a Left handed power forward that is very quick. He has a very good shoot from the distance and can play under the basket. He played in Slovenia and Serbia before going to Khimik-OPZ Yuzny (Ukraine-Superleague, starting five): EuroCup Challenge: 10 games: 10.0ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.1apg, FG: 50%, 3PT: 40%, FT: 82.1%; Ukrainian League: 30 games: 9.4ppg, 3.9rpg, 1.6apg, 2FGP: 54.4%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 76.7%. In 2006-2007, he played for Panionios Forthnet Athens (Greece-A1, starting five): FIBA EuroCup: 15 games: 8.1ppg, 3.8rpg, 1.3apg, 2FGP: 42.6%, 3FGP: 37.8%, FT: 64.3%; Greek League: 26 games: 8.6ppg, 3.2rpg, 1.1apg, 2FGP: 59.0%, 3FGP: 46.0%, FT: 56.0%. He played for Alba Berlin from 2007-2010. His best season was last year where he played EuroCup: 14 games: 4.6ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.5apg; German League: 36 games: 5.9ppg, 2.5rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 59.1%, 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 67.6%. He won the Slovenian cup in 2004, BEKO BBL title in 2008, BEKO BBL cup in 2009 and reached the Eurocup final in 2010 with Alba Berlin. This season with TBB Trier, he is averaging 6,9ppg, 3,6rpg and 1,3apg. He is shooting well at 46% from the field and 41% from the three point line.
The club also signed 22 year old 198cm guard Oskar Fassler who also comes from the Alba Berlin fraction. He played for TUS Lichterfelde Berlin (Regionalliga) from 2004-2006. He joined Alba Berlin in 2006 and played there until 2009. He also was a young player that didn’t get a real chance as he was sitting on the bench. He only played 22 BEKO BBL games. Last season, he started with Alba Berlin and then moved to Science City Jena (ProA, starting five): 12 games: 9.3ppg, 2.8rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 54.9%, 3PT: 27.5%, FT: 77.8%, also played at Mitteldeutscher BC Weissenfels (1.Bundesliga): 4 games: 4.3ppg, 2.0rpg. This season, he is averaging 6,1ppg, 2,4rpg and 1,4apg in 19 minutes a contest. He was a part of the German U-18 and U-20 teams and played at the European Championships U20 Division B in Targu Mures (Romania) -08:(Champion): 7 games: 3.1ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.4apg. 20 year old 205cm center German Maik Zirbes who was born in Traben-Trarbach  is a huge talent and has been able to increase his playing time this season. He started his basketball career in the TBB Trier youth programs and in 2008-2009 he played 12 games averaging 1.3ppg and in the summer of 2009 played at the World University Games in Belgrade (Serbia) playing 6 games averaging 5.5ppg, 5.7rpg, FGP: 44.0%, FT: 64.7%. “He is a big body with soft hands and will help them under the boards. He is very talented”, warned ex TBB Trier forward Chris Copeland. This season Zirbes is averaging 5.9ppg and 4,4rpg in 13 minutes per game. He has scored in double figurers in two games against Ludwigsburg and Bamberg.
The team also picked up 32 year old 191cm guard John Bynum who comes from Visalia, California. He is a good fighter, fast and good in offensive playing. He is great athlete who can shoot the ball with consistency from 3 and finish with authority on the break. He is tremendous defender on the ball and is looking (class act off the floor). He ha splayed in countries like England(All Star slam dunk winner 2002), Norway and Cyprus, but his heart has belonged to Germany the most as he is starting his seventh season in Germany. He has played for clubs like BSG Grevenbroich (Germany-Regionalliga), COOCOON Baskets Weiden (Germany-2.Bundesliga), USC Heidelberg (Germany-ProA) and Proveo Merlins Crailsheim (Germany-ProA). He also has had BEKO BBL experience playing for Bremerhaven and Paderborn where he played a total of 65 games before coming to TBB Trier. Last season, he played for Proveo Merlins Crailsheim (Germany-ProA, starting five): 27 games: 16.9ppg, 7.1rpg, Assists-3(5.4apg), 1.1spg, FGP: 51.8%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 62.8%. In Trier, Bynum is the back up to Joyce and is averaging 4,9ppg, 2,2rpg and 1,3apg.The team also signed Oliver Clay who is a 23 year old 205cm power forward from Germany. Clay played for ALBA Berlin II (Regionalliga) last season playing 13 games: 16.1ppg, 6.9rpg, 1.3spg, 1.2apg, 1.1bpg. Roedl promised that he would give the German playing time and he hasn´t disappointed as Clay is averaging 2,8ppg and 1,9rpg in 7,7 minutes per game. He would be sulking on the bench for most other teams and playing for the teams cooperation partner. The club also returns 21 year old 195 cm forward Samy Picard from Luxemberg. He played for the Musel Pikes the last four years. Last season in Trier, he was more a practice player as he got into only 8 games averaging 1,0ppg in four minutes per game. The team also brings back Kosta Karamatskos who is a 24 year old 197cm guard. He is playing his fourth season with TBB Trier. In his four years, he has only played 50 games. He started his career for BSG Ludwigsburg (Regionalliga). He then also gained experience playing for EnBW Ludwigsburg, USC Freiburg and the Kirchheim Knights.
The Deutsche Bank Skyliners are riding a two game winning streak in the BEKO BBL while TBB Trier is trying to rebound from their 69-56 loss at home against 2010 BEKO BBL champion Brose Baskets Bamberg. TBB Trier may have a few more days to prepare for Frankfurt, but The Deutsche Bank Skyliners are coming off a big win against BK Ventspils in the Eurochallenge and will take even extra self confidence into the BEKO BBL games. Despite a 7-7 record, TBB Trier is not a team that Frankfurt will take lightly. “TBB Trier is a very good defensive team and we will need to match their intensity for 40 minutes. It will be   a tough game where defense will play a big role. I played Dru Joyce in college and we will have to watch him. He is a great competitor that doesn´t take any plays off. He will make me work hard. We will have to be mentally and physically prepared for TBB Trier”, warned Dashaun Wood. TBB Trier have a 3-4 road record and have to go into the game with one thing on their mind. “We have to go to Frankfurt with a winning attitude. Frankfurt is a good team that is playing very well at the moment. We will have to be on top of our game and give 100%. We will have to be focused or it will be a long night for us”, stressed Lebron James friend Dru Joyce. It is not only Dashaun Wood that TBB Trier will have to worry about. “Beating Frankfurt will have to be a team effort. It will not really be about stopping one guy, but having our team defense working. Of course it will be very important to stop Wood from getting to the basket in the early offense. We cant let Wood run wild on us. If we can control him, it will give us a better chance to win, but there are so many other players that we have to worry about. Defense is at the top of our list and nthen rebounding. On offense we will have to take care of the ball”, stated John Bynum. For TBB Trier to win, they have to bring it every night. They can win if they control Wood and the boards. You have to give Wood a little cushion so he doesn’t just blow by you. Frankfurt has a good team so you have to control more than just him”, warned Quentin Pryor. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners host TBB Trier December 18th at 18:30.

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