When the last Hansbrough Watch was published, details on Je’kel Foster’s injury were still sketchy. Since then, however, FC Bayern has announced that Foster has suffered a severe high-ankle sprain and will be sidelined for the rest of 2011 – at least. Bad news for Foster and the team, but if there’s a silver lining, then it’s that Ben Hansbrough will now see increased playing time.
If Jonathan Wallace’s injury forces him to sit out tomorrow’s game against Gießen (and it looks like it will), Ben will likely see 20+ minutes of floor time. He won’t be in the starting five (Demond Greene will, in all likelihood), but he will see plenty of action.
The media have also picked up on this. The two Munich-based tabloids AZ and TZ have both put articles on their websites about Foster’s injury and what it means to Ben’s playing time (not until after I blogged about it on my German blog korbleser.de, however).
TZ quotes Coach Bauermann as saying that the injury means that “others, such as Philipp Schwethelm, Demond Greene and Ben Hansbrough can now assume more responsibility, get more minutes on the floor. It will do them good.” Hansbrough himself is quoted as saying that the adjustment from US basketball to European basketball hasn’t been easy for him – but that he has worked hard and is ready to make the most of his increased minutes.
AZ offers even more on the topic. It claims that Hansbrough was feeling lonely and homesick when he first came to Germany. His teammates helped him get over that, however, and his Mom is coming to visit soon. He also has a better understanding now of what Coach Bauermann expects from him. Bauermann: “Ben has improved immensely. He’s not yet ready to be a leader, but he will help the team with good performances.” Bauermann is looking for Ben to keep a cool head on the floor and to take it slow instead of wanting to do everything at once.
AZ then brings up a few of the points I made in my initial article on Ben: When he first came to Munich, Ben wanted too much, wanted to take the game into his own hands instead of playing Bauermann’s controlled style of basketball. But that’s in the past, he says: “I’ve learned from my mistakes.” AZ also touches on the fact that Greene and (most of all) Steffen Hamann had a head-start on Ben because they have been playing for Coach Bauermann for years. “But I never quit fighting. It’s great to finally be playing again.”
He’ll get his next chance to prove that he has gained ground on Hamann and Greene tomorrow. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend the game due to an unfavorable “Sick Children / Endlessly Patient Wifes”* ratio in my household, but I’ll be posting an update on how Ben did anyway – based on the boxscore and hopefully some eyewitness reports. Look for the next edition of Hansbrough Watch to be published tomorrow night or Sunday.
*In case anyone is interested: In my experience, things start to get itchy once the ratio nears 2/1. Ours is currently at 2.5/1 and trending upwards, so nothing doing, I’m afraid.