Can The Icy Weather Continue To Keep The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven Content At Home?

The last time the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven had a two game winning streak this season before their current two game wining streak against Braunschweig and Giessen, the St Louis Cardinals were just crowned MLB World Series champion, any kind of Kevin Durant rumor in Bayreuth would have been met with a startled look as they were still a month away and the New York Giants were a 6-2 team and still far away from being in the 2012 Superbowl. Since the big 86-83 win in Artland October 29th, the Eisbaeren  have been an up and down team at 7-7 spanning three months where they were unable to win two games in a row. Even if they continue to give up way too many points to the liking of ex Paderborn skipper Doug Spradley, the team seems to have used the huge  92-87 OT win at home against the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig as a spark plug where Philadelphia native Jason Cain made a jaw breaking buzzer beating three pointer to bring the game to extra minutes and then winning it in fine style in the extra time and the 102 point explosion in Giessen. It seems like the club is using the unbearable, nasty, Siberian ,freezing like temperatures to their liking as they are playing as focused as Madonna was in the Superbowl halftime show showing no signs of an old 53 year old woman with her moves, Kim Kardashian telling the world that she will never date another football player again and CEE LO throwing out his hard earned cash at a strip club at a pre super bowl party in Indianapolis recently. The Eisbaeren aren´t thawing out at the moment, but instead seeming to be using their natural habitat in the cold to their advantage. “It seems that Bremerhaven is getting more aggressive on the court while everyone else is hibernating. But if Bremerhaven would visit my team Wels in Austria, we would make sure to turn up the temperature in the gym, so they wouldn´t be able to play so well”, joked ex Phoenix Hagen American Quentin Pryor. “If the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven played us in the Paul Horn arena now during this cold weather, they would have the home court advantage, because it is so cold here, that we have to practice more with snow balls than with basketballs”, joked Walter Tiger Tuebingen forward Ruben Spoden. The good news for the Fraport Skyliners is that Bremerhaven has gotten back to plus Celsius temperatures which might just make the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven in the mood for a short 40 minute hibernation.

Last season the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven finished the season in eighth place with a record of 18-16 as they beat out EnBW Ludwigsburg on the last game day sneaking into the Beko BBL playoffs.. They were able to reach the playoffs thanks to winning 5 of their last seven games. The team had very talented players with fan favorite Torrell Martin, inside duo Craig Callahan and Andrew Drevo and strong role players like German national player Philipp Schwethelm, John Allen, Jan Lipke and Sean Denison. However they had two problems with lingering injuries all season long as Martin missed the last three months of the season and a point guard problem as coach Doug Spradley played a special playmaking lottery at the start of the season with many guys coming in and departing as quickly as the polar bears do when the first warm air comes. “We had very much disturbances last season as players came and went”, stressed Bremerhaven head coach Doug Spradley. It is not always easy to get a positive expression from Spradley since his closet friends might be the only ones to see him smile since he is always very focused during games, but one didn’t need a smile to know that his solution with Donald Copeland and Jermaine Thomas was what he was content with. The team did celebrate big wins against the Artland Dragons, BG Goettingen, Braunschweig and Oldenburg, but never was able to beat one of the big 3 teams with Bamberg, Berlin or Frankfurt. The season ended quickly as the Brose Baskets Bamberg swept them in three games.

Instead of making a summer cleaning session exchanging players for new players the same way Boston Celtic legend Larry Bird was able to always pick a new pigeon on defense to make look like raw meat when scoring baskets, Doug Spradley was able to identify that guys like Torrell Martin, ex NBA playmaker and big guard Jamison Brewer who left recently going back to the States and scoring guard Terrell Everett would be adequate for the foundation of the new team. Spradley brought in a strong trio for the front court with 2010 Eurochallenge winner Chris Mcnaughton, versatile forward and playoff experienced Jason Cain and second year man Zachery Peacock who had a solid rookie season in Giessen. German Jermaine Raffington was also hauled into help under the boards and Beko BBL rookie Mike Smith who is a fantastic rebounder at 198cm. Sharp shooter ex Giessen 46er Anthony Smith was also brought in to help strengthen the athleticism in the team. Due to the departure of Jamison, the team added experienced Alex Gordon at the guard spot. Gordon is a 26 year old 182 cm guard from Pensacola, Florida that Displays great speed and quickness along with tremendous range from the perimeter. Brings a competitive flavor to the floor. He played at Vanderbilt (NCAA) from 2004-2008. In his first three season as a professional, he has played in Turkey and France. Is the team better now with Gordon than before with Brewer. “I haven’t saw Gordon play,but looking at his numbers he is getting the job done”, stated John Bynum. The team looks solid on paper, but Doug Spradley knows that the Beko BBL gets stronger each season and the playoffs always more difficult to reach. “It will be very difficult to reach the top 8 teams. 12 -13 teams have realistic chances of making the playoffs”, warned Doug Spradley. “I think they are a team that could make the playoffs but a healthy Torrell Martin is the key. He does so much for them and they will need him as well if they make a push”, warned John Bynum. Last season, the team was known for its scoring, but less known for their defense as they averaged giving up 79 points per game. “We have to improve on defense”, added Doug Spradley. With Torrell Martin being possibly one of the most athletic players in the league, the club hopes to boost its output on defense with athleticism which will be bolstered with the new players. However Martin has been injured for some time. “They have had a lot of injuries and made some changes as well. It is tough when a key player gets injured and when you make constant changes all the time to a roster to find a rhythm”, stated TBB Trier guard John Bynum. Currently the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven are sitting comfortably in 6th place with a record of 11-9. Since the win in Frankfurt in November, the team is 6-6 and been up and down, but are riding on a two game winning streak. They had some big wins in Bonn and at home against FC Bayern Munich and the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg.

Since The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven entered the BBL in 2005-2006, they have had some interesting battles with The Skyliners. Bremerhaven have had the number of Frankfurt in the first 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. In the 2009-2010 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. Last season, Frankfurt won 81-66 at home as Dashaun Wood and AJ Moye led the charge with 19 points a piece and they also won in Bremerhaven 71-56 as Dashaun Wood had a Lebron James type game with 25 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Since the Eisbaeren entered the Beko BBL in 2005, the series between both teams is tied at 9-9. In the first meeting this season, the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven came to Frankfurt winning 63-55. Torrell Martin hit some big shots leading his team with 19 points. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Justin Gray and Jermareo Davidson with 14 points a piece.

The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven are led by Zachery Peacock who is a 24 year old 203cm power forward that is playing his second season in the Beko BBL and first with Bremerhaven. He is a big, strong frontcourt player who already is a tremendous rebounder and can shoot the basketball. He played at Georgia Tech (NCAA) from 2006-2010 and in his senior year played 35 games: 8.6ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.0apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 47.7%, 3PT: 37.3%, FT: 79.1%. Last season with the LTi Giessen 46ers, he played 34 games: 13.7ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.0spg, FGP: 56.4%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 68.0%. Currently for Bremerhaven, he is averaging 15,3ppg and 5,3rpg. He has started off shooting the ball well at 54,9% from the field and 89,5% from the free throw line. Torrell Martin is a 26 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. In his first season for Bremerhaven, he played 41 games: 11.3ppg, 5.3rpg, 2.0apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 52.3%, 3PT: 36.7%, FT: 65.0%. Last season, he got off to a big start, but was injured after 22 games and missed the rest of the season. He averaged 15.4ppg, Reb-5(7.1rpg), 3.0apg, Steals-2(1.7spg), FGP: 52.3%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 65.6%. Currently he is averaging 13,0ppg, 5,3rpg and 2,0apg. Hisathleticism is “off the charts” and knows how to use it to his advantage as teams witnessed too often the last two years of his sick traffic dunks.

Christopher Mcnaughton is a 28 year old 211cm center. He is a true back-to-the-basket big man, but does possess good mobility for his size. He started his basketball career in the Bamberg system in 2000 playing 35 games for TSV Troester Breitengrussbach in the second Bundesliga. He then played at Bucknell from 2003-2007. After getting valuable experience in the NCAA, he played two years in Spain before moving to BG Goettingen in 2009-2010. He helped the club win the Eurochallenge and scoring 22 points in the final. He played EuroChallenge: 15 games: 8.9ppg, 4.1rpg, FGP: 61.4%, FT: 71.1%; German League: 37 games: 7.4ppg, 2.9rpg, FGP: 62.2%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 71.4%. Last season, he played for the EWE Baskets Oldenburg playing EuroCup: 6 games: 5.8ppg, 2.8rpg, FGP: 55.6%, FT; German League: 39 games: 5.0ppg, 2.0rpg, FGP: 60.7%, FT: 80.7%. At the
World Championships in Turkey in 2010, he played 5 games: 5.4ppg, 2.6rpg, FGP: 58.8%, FT: 77.8%. Currently, he is averaging 10,3ppg and 5,6rpg. Anthony Smith is a 25 year old 196cm shooting guard from Plano, Texas. He is a scorer with great quickness and leaping ability, NBA body and athleticism. He is a phenomenal athlete with great range from the shooting guard position. He has the strength and athleticism to take advantage of smaller guards. Also, because of his strength, he can play the 3 spot at times. His quickness and ball handling skills give him the ability to take almost any defender to the rim. His 3 point range is phenomenal. has great ball handling skills and when he is leading the team up the court on a fast break, he has the quick explosion needed to take the ball all the way, or he can stop on a dime and nail the mid-range He is also a good free throw shooter and knows how to get to the free throw line. An excellent run and jump style player. Along with his offensive skills, he is also a great defender who is very long and very good vertically on the floor as well in defensive position. Anthony plays good on the ball defense and has shown that he can force his opponent into committing turnovers. Anthony is a complete player who knows how to win and creates major match-up problems for the opposition. His Strength and athleticism make him a very effective rebounder from the perimeter as he demonstrated in College and in the Orlando Summer League. He showed these qualities at Liberty(NCAA) where he played from 2005-2009. In his senior year, he played games: 17.6ppg, 6.5rpg, 2.1apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 49.8%, 3Pts: 37.1%, FT: 65.8%. In 2009-2010, he played for CB Cornella (Spain-LEB Gold, starting five): 33 games: 14.3ppg, 3.6rpg, 2.4apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 46.2%, 3PT: 39.4%, FT: 59.0%. Last season, for the Giessen 46ers, he played 28 games: 11.3ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 53.0%, 3PT: 32.8%, FT: 60.3%. Currently, he is averaging 9,6ppg, 2,3rpg and 1,7apg.

The club brought back American Terrell Everett who is a 27 year old 193 cm guard from Charleston, South Carolina. He is a A heady left-handed wing with solid ball skills , can play the point if the need arises, regarded as a slasher, excels at penetration and getting the ball to the rim, a savvy player who boasts tremendous court awareness and is an excellent passer and possesses a soft touch on his jump shot. He played NCAA ball at Oklahoma. He turned professional in 2006  and in his first five seasons, has gained much experience playing in France, Czech Republic, Greece and Croatia. He also had a stint in the D-league with the Bakersfield Jam. Last season, he played for Iraklis Thessaloniki (Greece-A1, starting five): 7 games: 13.9ppg, 4.4rpg, 4.4apg, 2.4spg, FGP: 39.7%, 3PT: 26.3%, FT: 65.1%; left in Dec.’10, next month moved to KK Cibona VIP Zagreb (Croatia-A1): Adriatic League: 3 games: 2.7ppg, 1.3rpg, 1.3apg, 1.7spg and then moved to the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven playing 13 games: 12.0ppg, 4.3rpg, 3.5apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 42.6%, 3PT: 26.5%, FT: 80.4%. Currently, he is averaging 9,6ppg, 3,9rpg and 2,9apg. Jason Cain is a 26 year old 208cm power forward from Philadelphia  who is playing for his second Beko BBL team. He played for the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig from 2007-2011 reaching the playoffs twice. He played 142 games for Braunschweig and last season averaged 10.0ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 57.2%, 3PT: 37.6%, FT: 78.2%. HBefore coming to Germany, he played at Virginia. Currently, he is averaging 7,6ppg, 2,1rpgand 1,7apg.

The team also brought in Mike Smith who is a 24 year old 198cm forward from Vandalia, Missouri. He played at E.Tenn.St. (NCAA) from 2006-2011 and in his senior year played 35 games: 17.9ppg, 6.8rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 46.9%, 3PT: 36.7%, FT: 78.9%. He took part at the 2011 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft): 3 games: 10.0ppg, 8.3rpg, 1.7apg, 1.3spg, 1.0bpg. He is a very efficient rebounder for his height and is currently averaging 3,3ppg and 2,4rpg. Jermaine Raffington is a 26year old 205cm power forward/center German. He played at TSG Ehingen from 2002-2005. He played at Southeastern CC from 2005-2007 and then returned back to Germany. He played at BV Chemnitz 99 (2.Bundesliga) in 2007-2008 playing 30 games: 12.6ppg, 5.7rpg, 2FGP: 53.4%, 3FGP: 31.8%, FT: 59.3%. He played for BBC Bayreuth from 2008-2010. In 2009-2010, he played 30  games: 10.2ppg, 4.6rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 45.8%, 3PT: 35.5%, FT: 72.7%. Last season for BG Goettingen, he played : EuroCup: 7 games: 3.4ppg, 1.1rpg; German League: 23 games: 2.5ppg, 1.2rpg. Currently he is averaging 2,1ppg and 1,6rpg. Anthony Canty returns for a third season to Bremerhaven. Canty is a 20 year old 183cm point guard from Germany. Last season he played 15 games for Bremerhaven averaging 2.2ppg and also played at Cuxhaven BasCats (ProA): 22 games: 5.6ppg, 1.5rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 42.4%, 3PT: 35.6%, FT: 74.3%. Who could forget his spirited game in Frankfurt last season where he had to play a bulk at the point showing his three point shooting savoy and playmaking skills.

The Fraport Skyliners return back to Bremerhaven and want to start a new winning streak on the road, because their five game winning streak on the road was snapped in Ludwigsburg 11 days ago.  Bamberg guard Julius Jenkins who hit Frankfurt with 20 points earlier in the season and was often standing all alone in the corner seeming lonely and not knowing if the lazy boy chair was being delivered or not, but when he caught the ball hit bombs. Jenkins didn´t need many words about how they could beat Bremerhaven. “Frankfurt needs to play some defense to beat Bremerhaven”, warned Julius Jenkins. Frankfurt have averaged giving up 80 points in the last three games and needs to defend extra hard being without Jermareo Davidson.  Marcus Slaughter got behind the Frankfurt defense a few times dunking like there was no tomorrow back in November. “Frankfurt needs to focus on defense, that is key to winning. They have to slow Bremerhaven down”, warned Marcus Slaughter. When looking at the team stats, the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven lead in almost every statistical category. Bremerhaven is a very good rebounding team where the focus isn´t primarly on one guy, but they are a team rebounding team. Frankfurt is without their two top scorers Gray and Davidson.  “We will have to be a lot more physical under the boards”, warned Skyliner guard Michael Thompson. “We need to build up our self confidence in practice. They have 3-4 guys that average double figures. We will have to play team basketball”, warned Skyliner guard Justin Gray. Bremerhaven actually have six guys in averaging in double figures, but who is counting?  “We have to focus most on defense. We are taking the next games one at a time. We have to play for four quarters and not three against Braunschweig. We have to continue to be aggressive”, added Jacob Burtschi. “Frankfurt has to have more than three guys step up and play solid. Defense will be the key getting key stops and so on. More than anything I think they have to make Bremerhaven play defense for stretches and not rush their offense”, stressed TBB Trier guard John Bynum. The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven host the Fraport Skyliners on February 15th at 19:30.

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