Fans in Pittsburg will only have had two weeks to dream and get ready for The Super Bowl, while fans of the Northsiders Chicago Cubs have been waiting and waiting and waiting for 103 years to hoist a World Series crown and Mr Spiderman actor James Franco only has 30 days to prepare an imagery acceptance speech and wait to possibly hear his name called as the 2011 Oscar winner for best actor for the flick 127 hours, but the Deutsche Bank Skyliners also have been waiting for some sweet revenge after their early season loss in Bamberg and have been plowing by BEKO BBL teams in the Ballsporthalle as if they have been slush rather than heavy compact crust snow, but February 5th has been marked on many calendars as Frankfurt attempts to defend their home unbeaten streak and seek payback against the three time BEKO BBL champion Brose Baskets Bamberg. This game is the highlight of the current season as the two top teams of the BEKO BBL will battle and see who has made more strides on the court in the last months. A game like this has to bring out a tad more extra energy for the players. “It is always tough coming into top games and you always come out a bit more hyped. As a player you try to settle down a bit and just go in and do what you always did, because at the end of the day you have been doing it for so long and it should be natural once you step on the court and the ball is thrown up. My most difficult game had to be the national championship game that I played my senior year at Metropolitan St. (NCAA2). It seemed like the night of the game would never come. Even when I was warming up it seemed like time was standing still. As for the anxiety, once the ball went up, it was all gone, but it was tough waiting”, stressed TBB Trier guard John Bynum. The game against Bamberg will showcase the one millionth patron in the Ballsporthalle since the birth of the club in 1999 and possibly will that lucky million person be a Skyliner fan and give the team luck.
The Brose Baskets Bamberg have a huge advantage over most of the other 17 BEKO BBL teams in that they have kept a core of their team. This season Bamberg has kept 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 Brose Baskets Bamberg started off the season so hot winning their first 17 games in a row that it seemed like talk of an undefeated season was not a far fetched idea. However the Gloria Giants Duesseldorf proved that anything is possible in the BEKO BBL as they upset Bamberg 72-69. “A season is long and tough and it is really tough to go undefeated at anything. One should not forget that Bamberg played very many games already”, stated John Bynum. They have blown away most of the competition with ease holding teams to under 70 teams 17 times. They average 83 points per game and have only built on the strong team chemistry that was already present early in the season. “Bamberg seem to get better with each game that they have played. The Euroleague games also have helped them get better”, added John Bynum. Despite the strong play of Bamberg and that teh second half of the season is always tougher than the first half, this could still be an advantage for some more upsets. “In the second half of the season, teams are able to see more of a pattern of play of their opponents and know more about each individual player by film and other things that they didnt have in the first half. After playing a team once, you are better at evaluating things better and you can also see them play against teams before you as well”, said John Bynum.
The Brose Baskets Bamberg are led by ex NBA player Casey Jacobsen. The 29 year old 198cm shooting guard/small forward is playing his third season with Bamberg after winning the BEKO BBL title with the team in 2007 and 2010 and Cup in 2010. The American from Glendora California is an outstanding player, a great competitor, both a scorer and a shooter. He can defend, take the charge, and he’ll get a rebound in a crowd because he’s tough. A complete player who plays hard, and plays smart. He played 287 NBA games for The Phoenix Suns, New Orleans Hornets and Memphis Grizzlies. He played at Stanford from 1998-2002 and in his senior year averaged 21.9ppg, 4.5rpg, 3.5apg, FGP: 44.1%, 3PT: 37.2%, FT: 77.6%; Finished career ranked 3rd in all time points (1723), 6th in points per game (18.1), 2nd in three point field goals (22) and 4th in three point percentage (.427). Left Stanford as the sole or co-owner of 49 school records. He was drafted by the Phoenix Suns (from Boston) (NBA,1rd(22). He played In Spain for in 2005-2006 for Ceramica Vitoria (Spain-ACB): Euroleague: 25 games: 9.0ppg, 1.6rpg, 2FGP: 55.5%, 3PT: 44.5%, FT: 76.7%; Spanish League: 44 games: 7.0ppg, 2.3rpg, 2FGP: 57.0%, FT: 77.0%. In 2008-2009 he played for Alba Berlin playing Euroleague: 16 games: 6.6ppg, 2.5rpg, 1.1apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 38.7%, 3PT: 37.1%, FT: 68.4%; German League: 43 games: 9.3ppg, 2.6rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 53.0%, 3PT: 44.6%, FT: 76.8%. Last season for Bamberg, he played EuroCup: 14 games: 10.5ppg, 2.9rpg, 2.0apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 39.2%, FT: 79.6%; German League: 40 games: 11.4ppg, 3.7rpg, 2.9apg, FGP: 50.7%, 3PT: 38.5%, FT: 77.0%. Currently, he is averaging 12,0ppg, 3,5rpg and 3,4apg. he is shooting very well at 44% from the field and 45% from the parking lot.
Predrag Suput is a 32 year old 200cm power forward from Serbia. he is playing for The Brose baskets Bamberg since 2007. He is a strong player(could play 3-2-4 position) good defender, excellent shot from outside. Strong penetration under the basket. Before coming to Bamberg, he played for top European teams like Partizan Belgrad and Hemofarm Vrsac. Last season, he played Eurocup playing 13 games: 13.1ppg, 4.2rpg, 2.2apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 55.8%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 88.5%; German League: 45 games: Score-4(14.9ppg), 4.7rpg, 1.9apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 53.7%, 3PT: 41.6%, FT: 84.6%. Suput belongs to the top power forwards in the BEKO BBL and can score in so many ways that even when he kills a team with a seemingly impossible shot in traffic, you just have to smile and sigh in astonishment. Currently he is averaging 10,9ppg, 3,7rpg and 1,5apg. Anton Gavel is a 26 year old 189cm combo guard from Slovakia that has experience and can score quickly and in bunches when needed. He started his basketball career for BG Karlsruhe and then played for Giessen from 2004-2006. In 2004-2005, he was a big factor in almost kicking out Bamberg out of the playoffs. That season he played 39 games: 12.7ppg, 2.9rpg, 2.5apg, 1.7spg, Blocks-3(1.5bpg), 2FGP: 53.2%, 3FGP: 35.7%. The next season, he was even better as he played 30 games: 16.0ppg, 2.7rpg, 3.0apg, 1.8spg, 2FGP: 46.3%, 3PT: 38.5%, FT: 52.4%. he then got valuable experience playing in Spain in the ACB for PolarWorld Murcia from 2006-2008. In 2008-2009, he played for Aris Thessaloniki (Greece-A1). Last season he played for Svit (Extraliga, starting five), Slovakian League: 2 games: 22.5ppg, 5.0rpg, 3.5apg, 1.5spg; in Nov.’09 moved to Brose Baskets Bamberg (Germany-1.Bundesliga, starting five): German League: 36 games: 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%. Currently, Gavel is averaging 10,7ppg, 2,6rpg and 1,8apg. He is shooting well at 44% from the field and 41% from downtown.
Brian Roberts is a 25 year old 188cm combo guard from Toldeo, Ohio who is playing his second season in Bamberg. He played at Dayton from 2004-2008 and reached the NIT Elite 8 in 2008. In 2008-2009, he played for Saham Galil Gilboa (Israel-Premier League, starting five): 28 games: 15.5ppg, 2.3rpg, 2.4apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 56.3%, 3PT: 32.1%, FT: 88.5%. Last season for Bamberg he played 14 games: 10.5ppg, 2.6rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 52.4%, 3PT: 41.3%, FT: 80.0%; German League: 43 games: 11.8ppg, 1.7rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 52.0%, 3PT: 44.4%, FT-2(88.4%). Currently Roberts is averaging 10,7ppg, 2,0rpg and 3,2apg. He is shooting 47% from the field and 41% from outside. 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 Chuck Hayes or Paul Millsap”, added 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%. Currently Hines is averaging 10,3ppg and 4,8rpg. 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). Currently Terry is avergaing 9,9ppg, and 5,6rpg.
German national player Tibor Pleiss is playing his second season for The Brose Baskets Bamberg. He is a 21 year old 214cm center that was born in Bergisch Gladbach. He started his basketball career for Rhein Energie Cologne in 2006-2007. In Cologne he played 39 BEKO BBL games and two ULEB cup games. He won the BEKO BBL cup in 2007 with Cologne. He started his German national team career at the European championships in 2009 in Poland. Last summer, he played at the World Championships in Turkey playing 5 games: 8.2ppg, 6.0rpg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 44.1%, FT: 91.7%. Last season for Bamberg he played 14 games: 8.1ppg, 5.4rpg, FGP: 54.4%, FT: 77.1%; German League: 45 games: 8.0ppg, 5.9rpg, Blocks-2(1.3bpg), FGP: 56.9%, 3PT: 44.4%, FT: 70.8%. Last summer he was drafted at #31 in the second round of the 2010 NBA draft by the New Jersey Nets and then traded to the Oklahoma Thunder. Currently the long German is averaging 9,3ppg and 6,6rpg. John Goldsberry is a 28y ear old 191cm point guard from Vandalia, Ohio that is playing his third season in Bamberg. He played at North Carolina-Wilmington from 2002-2006. He played his rookie season for the Bayer Giants Leverkusen in 2006-2007. In 2007-2008, he played for the Dragons Quakenbrueck (Germany-1.Bundesliga, starting five): ULEB Cup: 14 games: 8.0ppg, 1.9rpg, 4.1apg, 1.6spg, 2FGP: 75%, 3FGP: 48.8%, FT: 70.4%; German League: 38 games: 7.8ppg, 1.6rpg, 4.0apg, 1.4spg, 2FGP: 53.4%, 3PT: 39.4%, FT: 85.2%. He won the BEKO BBL Cup in 2008 for the Dragons. Last season for Bamberg he played 11 games: 5.3ppg, 1.9rpg, 2.5apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 40.0%, 3PT: 35.5%, FT: 76.5%; German League: 39 games: 6.4ppg, 1.9rpg, 3.1apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 59.3%, 3PT: 36.7%, FT: 71.1%. Currently he is averaging 5,1ppg, 1,9rpg and 4,2apgand is shooting very well at 49% from the field and 42% from the three point line.
The team is also filled with talented young Germans led by Kartsen Tadda who is a 22 year old 189cm guard. He has been with Bamberg since 2007. He started his basketball career at Troester Breitenguessbach in 2005. Last season for Bamberg he played Eurocup 14 games: 4.1ppg, 1.4rpg; German League: 45 games: 3.2ppg, 1.2rpg, 1.0apg. This season he is averaging 3,6ppg and 1,4rpg. He played 10 Euroleague games this season. he is known as an aggressive and relentless defender. Maurice Stuckey is a 20 year old 187cm guard that was born in Augsburg. He started his basketball career in 2005 for BG Leitershofen. He then moved to Ehingen/Urspringschule (ProB), where he played from 2007-2009. Last season he played for Troester Breitenguessbach (ProB): 20 games: 17.6ppg, 3.8rpg, 2.2apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 62.4%, 3PT: 31.8%, FT: 85.3%, played also at Brose Baskets Bamberg (1.Bundesliga): 4 games: 1.3ppg. At the last European Championships U20 in Croatia he played 9 games: 8.0ppg, 2.9rpg, 1.7apg, Steals-5(2.2spg), FGP: 34.6%, 3PT: 29.2%, FT: 75.0%. Currently he is averaging 2,9ppg and 1,1rpg. Phillip Neumann is a 18 year old 210cm center that was born in Cologne Germany. He started his basketball career for SSKC Aschaffenburg / TV Langen U16 team in 2007. In 2008 he played for Franken Hexer (ProB): 21 games: 4.5ppg, 4.1rpg, Blocks-5(1.0bpg). Last season, he played for Baskets Bamberg junior team: 21.0ppg, 12.8rpg, had also license to play at TSV Troester Breitenguessbach (ProB): 20 games: 8.4ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 56.6%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 61.0%. Recently he played at the European Championships U18 in Vilnius (Lithuania) -10: 9 games: 12.1ppg, 8.4rpg, 1.4bpg, FGP: 47.4%, 3PT: 26.3%, FT: 62.9%. Currently he is averaging 1,4ppg in limited time. The team also have 20 year old 203cmcenter Erik Land who grew up in the Bamberg youth system and started for Troester II Breitengussbach (Regionalliga) in 2005. He came to the Baskets Bamberg (1.Bundesliga) last seaosn playing 4 games: 0.3ppg, in Dec.’09 moved to TSV Troester Breitenguessbach (ProB, starting five): 26 games: 15.8ppg, 6.7rpg, FGP: 57.7%, 3PT: 35.6%, FT: 69.4%. Currently he is averaging 1,3ppg. The team also brought in German/American Michael Crowell who is a 25 year old 203cm forward that was born in Pensacola, Florida. he played at Idaho(NCAA) from 2006-2008 and in his senior year played 28 games: 10.9ppg, 5.3rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 44.1%, 3Pts: 45.9%, FT: 79.1%. In 2008-2009, he played for Cantabria Lobos (Spain-LEB Bronze, starting five), Spanish League: 11 games: 2.1ppg; in Jan.’09 moved to BC Scholz Recycling Weissenhorn (Germany-Regionalliga): 11 games: 12.0ppg. Last season, he played for the Verve Scottish Rocks (United Kingdom-BBL): 32 games: 8.7ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 52.6%, 3PT: 42.8%, FT: 65.2%.
The Deutsche Bank Skyliners have a massive negative record on the road in Bamberg going six years without a win until last summer where the club of Gordon Herbert won in game one 65-63. In the Ballsporthalle, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners have a 2-6 record since the 2005-2006 season. Who could forget the embarrassing 81-48 loss in 2007 which was the last game for Skyliner coach Charles Barton. Last season, the club won twice winning in the regular season 84-80 as the team was led by American point guard Aubrey Reese with 18 points. They won a second time last season in game four with a 69-56 win sending the 2010 BEKO BBL finals back to Bamberg as Alba Berlin American Derrick Allen led the charge with 19 points and seven rebounds. In the first meeting this season, The Brose Baskets Bamberg were able to pull out a hard fought 71-62 win as they rallied from being down 60-55 and ended the game with a 16-2 run. Anton Gavel led alls corers with 19 points and Reyshawn Terry added 15 points. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were led by Dashaun Wood with 15 points, but he steered only two assists. Brad Buckman and Jimmy Mckinney chipped in with 10 points a piece. Bamberg was able to shoot over 40% from the field and outside while Frankfurt didnt have the touch from the three point line at only 29%.
So far every team in the BEKO BBL except for The Gloria Giants Duesseldorf have prepared somehow for The Brose Baskets Bamberg, but come up short. Bamberg have so many positives in their game, but do they have any visible flaws? Bamberg is such a deep team that they can bring in anyone at anytime an dnot loose much at any position. If I had to pick a spot and by no means are they weak, I would have to say that they have a lot of tweeners at the 3-4 spot and not a true four man and size down low for bigger bodies, but as everyone can see, they are doing fine”, stressed John Bynum. The number one focus for every opponent of Frankfurt is Dashaun Wood which is no different than teams that run into the Lakers and Heat and need to annoy Kobe and Lebron. “Bamberg has to control Wood in transition and in the early offense. Frankfurt has a lot of weapons, but you need to make another player make the plays and keep the ball out of the hands of Wood and have other players do things that they arent comfortable of doing”, added John Bynum. Frankfurt will have to find success against the uncomfortable Bamberg defense. “Frankfurt has to play their game and not let Bamberg take them out of their sets and start from 25 feet and out. Bamberg pressures the ball so well and deny the lanes all the way out to the half court. Frankfurt needs to execute on offense and take Bamberg out of their offensive sets”, warned John Bynum. Jacobsen, Hines and Suput might be their most important players, but never underestimate their guards. “Frankfurt has to attack them at all times because they are very tough. They have to be aggressive and attack their guards at all times. Dont let them get in a flow, but disrupt them”, warned Phoenix Hagen guard Mark Dorris. The players for both teams will be in game mode on February 5th, but it never hurts to bring in some pre game humor from a neutral party. “Frankfurt needs to use a baseball bat to beat them so it hurts”, laughed Erdgas Ehingen German Ruben Spoden. Frankfurt wil have to play without ex NBA player Roger Powell who suffered an injury in practice this week. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners host three time BEKO BBL champion Brose Baskets Bamberg on February 5th at 17:05.