Can The Deutsche Bank Skyliners Feel The June 3 2010 Court Vibe Again As They Face Off Against The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven February 12th

June 3, 2010 might seem like any date in late spring, but for The Deutsche Bank Skyliners, this date might not be plastered in their memory banks like June 17th which was their game 5 final loss in Bamberg, but that date should remain a sweet retrospective as Frankfurt had won an emotional tear jerking game five 56-52 in the semi finals of the 2010 BEKO BBL playoffs. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners return to the Stadthalle this weekend for a regular season showdown as some Skyliners like Quantez Robertson, Pascal Roller, Domonic Bahiense De Mello or Jimmy Mckinney could have the memories of 7 lead changes in the fourth quarter, a gigantic mouth watering three point bomb from the Bremerhaven harbor from Super Tez or the two nail bitting clutch free throws from Alabama native Derrick Allen with five seconds to play to seal a final playoff ticket with the Brose Baskets Bamberg. Despite this monumental win last season in game five, June 3 will be far away as February 12th will be like any other regular season game with two teams just fighting for a win to help secure that playoff spot way down the long and winding BEKO BBL road as it will be a normal day at the office for both teams the same it is for actors Boston born and bred Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson going to work on the movie “We bought a zoo, American author John Grisham putting pen to paper or fingers to key board on a new book or singer Jay Z taking his net worth over 450 million into the studio for work on a new track. Despite the memories of the game five win, the team should be focused 100% and it wasnt like Paris Hilton or Rihanna had interrupted the game with a squabble and cat fight on the floor which would probably never escape anyone had they witnessed that. “I dont think that game 5 is in their mind at all, I think that they are just going out and trying to get a win. That was last season and they are just going to go out and try to solidify a good seed for the playoffs and play hard. Yes for sure you cant help but think about times that were successful for you as a player. I think about Bremerhaven still to this day but I’m here now and when you step on the court to represent your new team all of that is out the window”, stressed TBB Trier guard John Bynum.

Last season, two important figures in the success of the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven Bremerhaven besides coach Doug Spradley were Americans Lou Campbell and little big man Mr Ulm/Incredible Jeff Gibbs. Gibbs departed for Japan and more money. Whereas Gibbs was important for the dirty work under the boards and just his never stop fighting mentality, it was probably Campbell that was really the most important piece as he was the playmaker, glue that kept the team together and guy that could decide a game in the last minutes. Last season, the New Jersey native Campbell played 43 games averaging 13.0ppg, 3.6rpg, Assists-2(5.7apg), 1.1spg, FGP: 48.7%, 3PT: 35.2%, FT: 81.6%. “I feel that Bremerhaven can be good without Campbell. I think season could be a year of transition. Campbell was leader last season. It might be tough for a while without Campbell, but it will take time and I hope everything works well”, stated ex Bremerhaven guard Giordan Watson. It was no easy task for ex Paderborn coach Doug Spradley to find the adequate replacement for such an important player like Campbell. Spradley showed in preseason that he wouldn´t settle for anything but the best as he brought in a few point guards with Americans Jamar Butler and Dominic Waters, but wasn´t totally pleased or overwhelmed with their skills that he sent them away again. Shortly before the season started he got American Donald Copeland who seems to have struck the right Spradley taste buds and has taken over for Campbell. “I think that Copeland is a solid point guard. Doug Spradley seems to always pick the right playmakers. He can shoot and organize the game”, warned Gloria Giants Duesseldorf guard Steven Wright.
Copeland is a 26 year old 177cm guard like Campbell from the State of New Jersey. He is a first-shot-then-look-to-teammates kind of player, with a so-so accuracy from long distance and good skills to score in penetration. He played at Seton Hall from 2002-2006 and has four years of valuable experience having played in countries like Poland, Bosnia and Puerto Rico. Recently he played for Atleticos de San German (Puerto Rico-BSN): 21 games: 14.0ppg, 3.0rpg, 4.7apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 51.4%, 3PT: 29.8%, FT-2(87.6%). Currently Copeland is averaging 7,8ppg, 4,3apg and 1,7rpg. “Copeland is good. He shoots well off the dribble and knows how to run the team and is a decent passer”, said Duesseldorf guard Jamaal Tatum. Ex Artland Dragons assistant coach Jamie Duncan observed Copeland this season and was impressed. “Copeland is a different type of player than Campbell. He is small, but just as quick. He is a scoring point guard, but can organize the game. You can´t leave him open, because he is a deadly three point shooter”, said Jamie Duncan. For some reasons, the point guard taste buds of coach Doug Spradley continue to erode as he said farewell to American Jermaine Thomas. Spradley didnt waste much time bringing in Tyrone Brazelton who is a 24 year old 185cm guard from Norcross, Georgia. He played at Western Kentucky from 2006-2008 and in his senior year played 36 games: 14.4ppg, 2.8rpg, 3.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 44.7%, 3Pts: 42.9%, FT: 67.3%. He reached the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2008. He turned professional in 2008 and played for Ventspils (Latvia-LBL, starting five): LBL: 9 games: 10.6ppg, 3.4rpg, 3.8apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 38.2%, 3PT: 27.8%, FT: 71.9%, Baltic League (Elite Group): 11 games 13.2ppg 2.8rpg 2.7apg 1.2spg; EuroChallenge: 4 games: 16.3ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.3apg, 1.3spg, in Jan.’09 moved to Asseco Prokom Sopot (Poland-PLK): Polish League: 27 games: 4.9ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.9apg; Euroleague: 6 games: 3.7ppg, 1.5rpg, 1.7apg. Last season, he played for Asseco Prokom Gdynia (Poland-PLK): Polish League: 6 games: 7.3ppg, 2.2rpg, 2.7apg, FGP: 30.0%, 3PT: 47.1%, FT: 53.3%; Euroleague: 3 games: 4.7ppg, 1.0rpg, in Nov.’09 moved to Energa Czarni Slupsk (Poland-PLK, starting five): 21 games: 13.4ppg, 2.6rpg, Assists-5(4.8apg), 1.1spg, FGP: 44.0%, 3PT: 30.4%, FT: 80.8%. He won the Polish league in 2009. Despite all the point guards coming and going like the women in the life of actor George Clooney, saying that there is a point guard problem in Bremerhaven is not plausible. “I’m not too familiar with Brazelton and I’m not sure if you would call it a point guard problem. I just think they had early injuries at that position but the guys in there are there for a reason and they will be okay at the point guard spot”, warned John Bynum. Can Bremerhaven make a run in the playoffs without a Lou Campbell? . I think they can go far with the point guards that they have. They have a talented team and I think they will be okay from the point guard position”, stressed John Bynum. Brazelton has played two games and is averaging 4,0ppg, 2,0apg and 1,5rpg.
Besides losing dangerous weapons and top players Lou Campbell and Jeff Gibbs the team also said goodbye to Americans Brandon Brooks, Kevin Lyde and Norman Richardson. Coach Doug Spradley Spradley was able to keep a core of guys together by keeping Torrell Martin, Andrew Drevo, Phillip Schwethelm, Jan Lipke. The team enforced the team and added Craig Callahan, Sean Denison, Richard Chaney,Jermaine Thomas, Maksym Shtein and Andy Buechert. Despite not having Campbell and Gibbs, The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven have had a solid season so far with a record of 11-10 and resting in 8th place and securing a date with The Brose Baskets Bamberg if the playoffs started tomorrow. The record seems a bit deceiving since the team is loaded with talent, but have lost 10 games. ”    They have been up and down this season, but they have a talented team that could compete with anyone in the league”, stated John Bynum. The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven have been up and down this season having one four game winning streak and two three game losing streaks. The club seems to be one of those teams that can serve up a basketball masterpeice and the next day stink up the arena with rotten basketballs. “I just think they have to find consistency like other teams in the league as well. They have a lot of talent on the team but they cant seem to put on a run but you cant underestimate a team of there caliber either”, commented John Bynum. Bremerhaven has had some big wins against The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig, Artland Dragons and TBB Trier, but are unable to put a dent in the games of the top three teams Bamberg, Frankfurt and Berlin. “I’m not sure what it is but I think it could be experience but at the same time, if a couple of balls bounce their way they could easily have a different record as well. They obviously miss guys like Campbell and Gibbs but I’m sure they miss other guys who helped them achieve there success last season as well”, said John Bynum.
It will be interesting how well the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven big men play and continue to mature on the boards throughout the season. With Drevo, Callahan and Denison, Spradley has picked a trio that could do damage inside on a regular basis. “I think that Doug has done a good job with the inside players. Denison is a banger that grabs defense and can play good defense. With Drevo/Callahan, you have two guys that can score and play the five. Plus you have Shtein who is a good German player. They have a very strong rotation”, warned Jamie Duncan. Callahan will make an impact not only with his game on the court, but also with the players. “Callahan is a hard worker on the court and his teammates will respect that a lot”, added ex Callahan teammate Giordan Watson. Ex Braunschweig guard Steve Wright is also confident that the Bremerhaven inside game will present headaches for teams. “Drevo/Callahan can shoot from outside and post up under the rim. They can carry team inside and Denison is solid on the boards”, said Steve Wright.
Torrell Martin is a 25 year old 196cm forward. He is from Columbia, South Carolina and played at Winthrop from 2003-2007. He is a very athletic competitor that brings a lot of energy to the court. He has a keen basketball I.Q, can shoot and defend well. In 2007-2008, he took part in the Orlando Magic preseason camp before playing in Poland. In 2009-2010, he played in Turkey for Antalya averaging 13,0ppg, 6,7rpg, 1,2apg, 1,9spg and shot 49% from the field. He finished the season in Greece with Kavala Panorama averaging 10,4ppg, 5,5rpg and 1,4apg. Last season for Bremerhaven, he played 41 games: 11.3ppg, 5.3rpg, 2.0apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 52.3%, 3PT: 36.7%, FT: 65.0%.  Currently Martin is averaging 15,8ppg, 7,0rpg, 3,0 apg and 1,8spg. Bremerhaven was very fortunate that Andrew Drevo came back, because no one had really estimated that he would return, but did late in preseason. Drevo is a 29 year old 202cm power forward/center from Lincoln, Nebraska. He has good size and can run the floor while adding a solid presence in the paint. He is an all-around player, can pass well inside and has the ability to step outside the arc, which will create matchup problems for opposing defenses. He has played in Spain and France and will be playing his fourth season in Germany. He played for Braunschweig from 2007-2009. Last season for Bremerhaven, he played 24 games averaging 12.3ppg, 4.7rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 57.0%, 3PT-3(46.8%), FT: 72.3% after having started in Spain for Sant Josep Girona 20 games: 10.0ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.5apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 39.6%, 3PT: 34.8%, FT: 65.2%. This season, he is averaging 10,1ppg, 5,1rpg and 1,5apg.
21 year old 201cm forward Philip Schwethelm is playing his second season with Bremerhaven playing 44 games: 7.0ppg, 2.1rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 51.6%, 3PT: 38.0%, FT: 67.8%. This past summer he got further experience with the German national team playing at the World Championships in Turkey playing 5 games: 4.4ppg, 1.0apg. He played with Cologne from 2004-2009 and despite his youth, he brings a lot of experience playing three Fiba Europe Cup games as a 16 year old in 2005 and two Euroleague games as a 17 year old in 2006. He played 61 BBL games with Cologne winning the BBL title in 2006 with experienced guys like Michael Jordan and Titus Ivory. Schwethelm is averaging 8,6ppg, 3,4rpg and 2,2apg this season. 27 year old 193cm guard Jan Lipke is playing his fourth season in Bremerhaven and last season played 43 games averaging 2,9ppg. He is a very talented German player that might not necessarily be helping his chances for The German National team playing for the Eisbaeren, because playing time is sparse, but he can always be good for a big game as he poured in 18 points in a road win at Hagen. He played six years in Braunschweig and one season for Leuven in Belgium. “Lipke is an athletic combo guard, who strives in the open floor and is aggressive going to the basket with either hand. He is a decent three point shooter, but he usually wants to get in the painted area and if he does he will hurt you. His favourite move is a cross over hesitation step to the basket. On defense, he has a tendency to lose his man. So whoever is being guarded has to move without the ball so he can get his open shot”, warned Omari Westley. Thiss eason, he is averaging 3,4ppg.
The club welcomed back American Craig Callahan who is a 29 year old 203cm forward from Cascade, Iowa. He played NCAA ball at North Carolina Wilmington with Bamberg guard John Goldsberry. He has hat experience playing ball in the Czech Republic, Spain and Belgium. In 2008-2009, he had his first tour of duty for Bremerhaven playing 24 games: Score-4(14.9ppg), 7.0rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 52.7%, 3PT: 31.1%, FT: 58.5%. Last season, he played for Dexia Mons-Hainaut (Belgium-D1): EuroChallenge: 5 games: 9.0ppg, 3.2rpg, FGP: 57.1%, 3PT: 26.7%, FT: 64.3%; Belgian League: 32 games: 10.8ppg, 4.6rpg, 1.2spg, FGP: 53.9%, 3PT: 27.7%, FT: 64.6%. This season, he is averaging 14,9ppg and 4,4rpg. The team signed big man Sean Denison who is a 25 year old 210cm power forward/center from Nelson, British Columbia. He has a great post-up game, runs like a deer and has a tremendous shooting touch for a big man. He started his basketball carer at Santa Clara playing with players like Doran Perkins and Kyle Bailey. He is starting his fourth professional season after having played three seasons in Turkey for Tofas Bursa (Turkey-TBL). Last season, he played 30 games: 12.2ppg, 4.9rpg, 1.4apg, 1.1spg, Blocks-5(1.2bpg), FGP: 53.6%, 3PT: 17.6%, FT: 55.8%. This season, he is averaging 7,9ppg, 4,0rpg and 1,0apg
The club also brought in American Richard Chaney who is a distant cousin of Don Chaney and came for the injured Steve Esterkamp. However after the short term contract of Chaney expired the club decided to bring in some added experience with John Allen who is back in the BEKO BBL for the third time. Allen is a 28 year old 194cm shooting guard/small forward that is a swingman who can be a huge problem for lots of defenses; can deliver some driving dunks and also display a deft shooting touch from the perimeter; this double dimension make him a very tough player to guard. He played at Seton Hall from 2001-2005. In his senior year, he played 28 games averaging 11,5ppg 4.9rpg, 2.6apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 40.3%, 3PT: 34.0%, FT: 79.3%. He came to Europe and turned professional and played in Finland in 2005 and in Israel in 2006. In 2007-2008, he played in the BEKO BBL for the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig (Germany-1.Bundesliga, starting five): 34 games: 13.2ppg, 4.2rpg, 3.7apg, 1.4spg, 2FGP: 47.4%, 3PT: 28.3%, FT: 75.4%. In 2008-2009, he played in France for Strassburg IG (France-ProA, starting five): 31 games: 8.5ppg, 3.7rpg, 2.6apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 45.9%, 3PT: 30.6%, FT: 84.7%. Last season, Allen returned back to Germany to the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig (Germany-1.Bundesliga): 32 games: 6.3ppg, 2.4rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 56.6%, 3PT: 22.0%, FT: 67.9%. Currently Allen is averaging 13,3ppg, 4,3rpg and 2,5apg.

The team also signed reliable big man Maksym Shtein who is a 30 year old 206cm center who has the Ukrainian/German citizenship. This will be his 13th season playing in Germany as he has played for clubs like MTV Stuttgart, Ludwigsburg, Ratiopharm Ulm, Deutsche Bank Skyliners and TBB Trier. He is a big guy who  runs the floor extremely well. He is able to play both inside positions defensively because of his mobility and speed. He likes to play physical and with contact. He has nice post-up moves underneath the basket and good hands cutting through the zone. His good shooting skills enable him to play also minutes offensively on Position four. He is a confident and fearless player who will produce at any level. Last season for TBB Trier he played 33 games: 5.9ppg, 3.5rpg, FGP: 62.6%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 47.6%. Currently he is averaging 2,8ppg and 2,2rpg.
Since The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven entered the BBL in 2005-2006, they have had some interesting battles with The Deutsche Bank Skyliners. Bremerhaven have had the number of Frankfurt in the last four season posting a 6-3 record. In the first two seasons, Bremerhaven totally dominated Frankfurt with a 4-0 record. Who could forget the stunning 89-88 Bremerhaven win in their first meeting ever in the fall of 2005 as Brian Jones won the game with a buzzer beater. The Eisbaeren won the return date in Bremerhaven 94-78 as ex Skyliner Nino Garris played one of his few good games for Frankfurt dropping 20 points. However in the 2007-2009 seasons, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners have had a positive record of 3-2 and were 2-2 at home. The curious thing is that the two games at home were decided by one point. In the 2007-2008 season, Frankfurt lost 82-81 in the Ballsporthalle and last season Frankfurt nipped Bremerhaven 66-65 with 16 points and 11 rebounds from ex Skyliner Lorenzo Gordon. Last season, both clubs played seven games including five games in the playoffs. Frankfurt won the season series 4-3 last season posting a 2-1 record in the Ballsporthalle and posting a 2-2 record in Bremerhaven. The two wins at home remain unforgettable as Frankfurt won the season game 70-69 as Pascal Roller led the charge with 15 points and game two 84-83 as Aubrey Reese poured in 18 points. Since the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven entered the BEKO BBL in 2005, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners have a negative 8-9 record. In the first meeting this season, between the two clubs, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners had little problems getting past the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven dismantling them 81-66. AJ Moye and Dashaun Wood led all scorers with 19 points a piece while Bremerhaven was led by Torell Martin with 15 points. Frankfurt outshined their opponents with 43 rebounds and only 9 turnovers despite shooting under 40%.
The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven are a team that like and know how to light up the scoreboard in BEKO BBL arenas, but at times take too many coffee breaks during games as they tend to give up many points as well. The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven have allowed 80 points or more in 9 games including 107 points to Phoenix Hagen and 100 points to Ratiopharm Ulm. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners should have no problem putting points on the board so if they can play the type of defense that they displayed in their first meeting where Bremerhaven only produced 66 points then they will have good chances to win. The two key players to stop with be Mr everything Torrell Martin and Craig Callahan. It is no secret who the ex factor is and that this American is slowly getting more attention and very near the top ranks with guys like Julius Jenkins, Immanuel Mcelroy, Derrick Allen and Casey Jacobsen. “I think the ex factor is obviously Torrell Martin. They need him to play big no matter what. He is one of the top players in the league easily. He can do it all and he is one of the key players for Bremerhaven. He is a MVP type player for sure. He is one of the most exciting players to watch in the BBL”, warned John Bynum. Everything in the offense evolves around Dashaun Wood and Bremerhaven knows it, but will they be able to stop him? Dashaun Wood has to do what he does best and create and make everyone better if he is not finishing himself”, added John Bynum. Besides keeping Wood in check, The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven will need to pay attention to some details. “Bremerhaven needs to control the tempo and make Frankfurt play defense for the whole shot clock and just play their game”, warned John Bynum. “I think that if we can bring the same energy that we had on defense against Bonn, then we will have a good chnace to win in Bremerhaven. We have to watch Torrell Martin. If he scores 20-30 points then we could be in trouble. If we can control him then we will have a good chnace to win”, warned current BEKO BBL top scorer Dashaun Wood. The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven host The Deutsche Bank Skyliners on February 12th at 17:50.

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