After Brandt Hagen went bankrupt and had to close down shop on December 29th, 2003, not seeing BBL games from 2004-2009 for the most hardcore Hagen fans must have been as difficult for them as animal rights activists seeing Donald Trump junior slaughter some exotic animals on a safari in Africa or famous American fashion designer Dona Karan seeing a total fashion disaster with Rihanna who recently was seen wearing unflattering baggy men’s jeans, a pair of construction boots and a braless and see-through mesh top. Like a Phoenix out of the ashes that seemed lost, but reappears again, the team returned back to the Beko BBL in 2009. However since their return, the club has been struggling and after a poor 2009-2010 season where they were saved at the end of the season from regulation, the team could be filming a sequel of Phoenix in der asche part 2 this season as they are stuck in the relation fight. Who could forget the classic scene from the documentary phoenix in der asche where Michael hakim Jordan lets loose an Oscar worth tirade at a halftime locker room talk in Frankfurt in 2010. Maybe the team should fly in Jordan for a repeat performance to try to get the team going or get Adam Constatine his MR T mohawk back again so he could put some fear into his teammates. “Well maybe a guy like Michael Jordan is missing there who will open his mouth,but then again once that happens you get labeled as the bad boy”, stressed Lti Giessen 46ers Achmadscah Zazai. Alba Berlin rocked the world of Phoenix Hagen a few weeks ago scoring over 100 points and 2011 Beko BBL MVP Dashaun Wood was a gracious winner possibly not noticing the score at the end his 27 point performance not bashing the play of the opponent. “Phoenix Hagen didn´t play that bad and we just played very well”, warned Alba Berlin guard Dashaun Wood. This is the third season in the Beko BBL for Phoenix Hagen. They entered the German top league in 2009-2010 and Phoenix Hagen finished the year in 16th place just staying in the BEKO BBL by 0ne point as they had a record of 9-25. The two biggest problems of the team was a lack of defense and a thin rotation.
If the club had not gotten Michael hakim Jordan in the stretch run, then the club might be visiting towns like Kirchheim, Cuxhaven and Kaiserslautern in the PRO A. The club started solid with a 2-2record beating Giessen and Ratiopharm Ulm, but then went 1-8 and landing in the BEKO BBL cellar. The team lost by more than 20 points five times and the Artland Dragons poured in over 100 points. The club then reacted bringing in Jordan and the team prompt went on a three game winning streak beating TBB Trier, The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig and sweeping the season series at home against Giessen where Jordan was the hero with a game winning shot. However then as if Jordan had turned invisible, the team went on a 10 game losing streak. They finished the season with a 3-6 record beating Duesseldorf, EnBW Ludwigsburg and Paderborn, but were never able to beat a playoff team. In their second season in the Beko BBL, the club improved vastly finishing in 11th place with a 15-19 record. Phoenix Hagen started the season very well winning four of their first six games scoring 107 points against the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven, but then getting hit for 103 points the next weekend against the Telekom Baskets Bonn. The team was averaging 83 points in the first month a game in comparison to scoring only 72 points last season. Their up and down style can be a hazard to at times. “The way Phoenix Hagen plays, it can be a hit or miss. They are capable of going minutes scoring in buckets and then also minutes without getting buckets”, warned John Bynum. “We are an undersized team on the blocks. We just have to get back to defending like we been practicing for the last few months. Its on everyone to be accountable on that end because its more about heart than ability!, added Quentin Pryor. However since the strong start, Phoenix Hagen hit a slump losing nine of the next 10 games and were under 500 since the lightening start with a record of 9-15. Some people were whispering playoffs in the first weeks, but that dream was quickly doused. However they finished the season strong with a 6-4 record beating teams like ratiopharm Ulm and the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig. That the club could score was no surprise, but their biggest problem was their defense. Even if they were able to put up 80-85 points, they still lost by more points. In games where Phoenix Hagen scored 80 points or more and still lost happened 12 times. They gave up 80 or more points 24 times. Why did the team give up so many points on a consistent rate? “I think once again it had to do with there interior defense. They play at a fast pace and they are a team of runs, but even so they have the guards that can play defense, but if you made them play defense I dont think it was a high priority on their list”, added John Bynum. Teams also have hurt them much under the boards. “I think in the inside because I think the only down low defender is Eddie Seward and without him I think they struggle. They can put points up but he does so many little things for them”, warned John Bynum. This season, Phoenix Hagen were forced to do a sort of house cleaning simply because guys like Jacob Burtschi, Mark Dorris and Quentin Pryor were to expensive to hold. With costs on making more seating capacity possible in their old arena Ischeland arena, the team had hug expenses which didn´t help for the player budget for this season. It also isn´t easy when players see Hagen as a town where they can make a name for themselves and then get better offers from other teams the next season. Eight players left the club including scoring guard David Bell as well as young German talents Andreas Buchert and Malte Schwarz. Important was that the team was able to hold three important players with experienced German Bernd Kruel, versatile inside out player Zygimantas Jonusas and inside beast Edward Seward. The club knows the money is scarce, so they had a lot of home work to do last summer in getting the best possible players for the cheapest price. The team returned two ex Beko BBL players with Brandon Brooks who got his feet wet with the Eisbaeren playing a solid rookie season under Doug Spradley learning the ropes from stra point guard Louis Campbell and Marc Carter who had played in Duesseldorf and on any night can light up scoreboards in the Beko BBL with the best of them. The team also brought in Tristian Blackwood who made a name for himself in Holland, second year man Jordan Hasquet who is there to help under the boards and veteran Jason Crowe who is playing his 13th professional season and Germany is the 11th country where he has played. Crowe left the team earlier in the season. The team recently picked up Davin White who brings experience to the point guard position at 30 years old and 186cm. The team had ex Tuebingen player Patrick Sparks earlier, but released him as he couldn´t find his rhythm White who played preseason for the Phoenix Suns has shown in 7 games that he can play point guard averaging 16,4ppg and 5,4apg. He has shown that he can score in the weaker Mexican league where he averaged 28,0ppg recently for Mineros de Cananea (Mexico-CIBACOPA): This season hasn´t been pretty for Phoenix Hagen as they show glimpses of brilliance, but then again play horrible basketball. They had a 3-7 record as the two teams met for the first time in December and defense continued to be a problem as they allowed an average of 93 points in the first ten games. It seems, like the team is content just to outscore their opponents with defense being out on the back burner. Hagen seem to have a major focus on the offensive end and not so much on the defensive end. “There isn´t much help side and their pick and role defense isn´t great either“If their quick shots don´t fall, it can lead to easy fast break points for the opponent. Due to their athleticism, they should be able to get more steals”, warned Tiger guard Josh Young. Ingo Freyer prides offense and that is something that works most of the time for the team. “They are an extremely dangerous offensive team. They have so many weapons. They are great in transition and very good on one on one. Their biggest strength is their three point shooting, offensive rebounding and speeding up the game. You have to watch Carter and Jonusas very much”, warned Josh Young. Since the loss to Frankfurt in December, nothing has really gone right as the team They had a good span around Christmas winning three in a row including against the always tough s.Oliver baskets Wurzburg, but since then have a 2-12 record and in danger of being deregulated to the PRO A if they don´t produce some wins. Their biggest win was against Alba Berlin which they have beaten twice in a row at home in the last two seasons. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners swept the season series in 2009-2010 with Phoenix Hagen stomping all over them in Hagen 93-64 as Derrick Allen led all scorers with 22 points, Aubrey Resse chipped in with 18 points and Grayson Moyer had one of his best games as a Skyliner with 15 points and five assists. In the return game in Frankfurt, Phoenix Hagen lost 89-76. Skyliner captain Pascal Roller led Frankfurt with 18 points and five assists and Derrick Allen produced 17 points. Last season, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners outrebounded Phoenix Hagen 66-49 in both games. Last season, the Skyliners also won the season series with a 90-85 win as Jermaine Bucknor led the team with 19 points and six rebounds and 92-53 romp at home getting 24 points and eight rebounds from Roger Powell and only six points and seven assists from Dashaun Wood. In the first game this season, the Fraport Skyliners romped Phoenix Hagen 83-65 as fans saw the last Beko BBL game of Jon Leuer who erupted for 27 points and Jimmy Mckinney had 21 points. This is a must win for the Fraport Skyliners in their quest for the 2012 Beko BBL playoffs as they have never lost at home before against Phoenix Hagen“Frankfurt has to control the pace of the game. Hagen likes to run. Hagen is very good at getting offensive rebounds. Frankfurt can´t allow open looks and stop their strong dribble penetration”, stated Josh Young. Frankfurt hasn´t been able to play a solid game for 40 minutes and can´t afford not to in Hagen. “Hagen is the most fast paced team in league. Frankfurt has to play very good defense and stay with them until the final buzzer. It doesn´t matter if your up or down by 20 points. They always keep coming. Frankfurt has to stay consistent”, warned Lebron James friend Dru Joyce. Frankfurt might only be averaging a paltry 63 points per game, but they have the talent to outscore Phoenix Hagen. “Hagen is tough to beat at home, because they play with much confidence. Once Hagen makes shots, they really get going. But I believe that Frankfurt has the firepower to stay with them”, stressed EJ Gallup. “The tempo will be key for Frankfurt. They have to stop their transition and get them in a half court game”, stressed John Bynum. “It will be good to seeing the coaching staff again. Phoenix Hagen was my first pro family. This will be an emotional game. They are a run and gun team. We have to be sure not to be flat”, stressed Jacob Burtschi. “This will not be a pretty game. We will need to fight even more than in Oldenburg. They are a very unorthodox team that have many one on one players. We will have to keep them in front of us on defense”, stated German national player Tim Ohlbrecht. Phoenix Hagen is led by Marc Carter who is a 26 year old 191cm guard from Mechanicsville, Mary land. He played at NC-Wilmington (NCAA) from 2003-2007 playing 121 NCAA games. He started his professional basketball career in 2008 for the Duesseldorf Giants playing there until 2010. He played a total of 68 games for Duesseldorf. Last season, he played briefly for Proteas Danoi AEL (Cyprus-Division A). Despite not playing much last season, he has returned strong to the Beko BBL and is averaging 18,0ppg, 4.9rpg and 2,4apg. Zgyimantas Jonusas is playing his third season for Phoenix Hagen and sixth in the BEKO BBL. He is a 30 year old 200cm forward from Lithuania. He is a very dangerous three pointer that can beat his defender off the dribble. He can score in many ways and can get to the rim of make the deadly pass. He also knows how to get o the free throw line and is a very good free throw shooter. He already played professionally in Poland for MKS Pruszkow (Poland-PLK) at the age of 20. He played for the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven from 2006-2009. His best season was his first season as he played 38 games: 11.7ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.5apg, 2FGP: 52.7%, 3FGP: 40.1%, FT: 79.8%. In 2009-2010, he played 13 games for Phoenix Hagen averaging 12,8ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 48.4%, 3PT: 30.2%, FT: 69.0%. Last season, he played 32 games: 13.0ppg, 3.9rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 55.9%, 3PT: 38.3%, FT: 74.7%. Currently, he is averaging 15,1ppg, 5,3rpg and 2,4apg. Brandon Brooks is a 24 year old 188cm guard from Dallas, Texas that is playing his third professional season and second in the Beko BBL. He played at Alabama(NCAA) and in his senior year played 32 games: 13.7ppg, 4.2rpg, 6.6apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 50.2%, 3Pts: 36.9%, FT: 77.1%. In 2009-2010, he was a rookie for the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven playing 44 games: 7.4ppg, 1.8rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 53.2%, 3PT: 38.0%, FT: 72.8%. Last season he played for the Tulsa 66ers (D-League) playing 36 games: 4.7ppg, 1.8rpg, 3.3apg. “I was impressed by his play. He can score, penetrate and sets his teammates up well”, stressed Josh Young. Currently he is averaging 14,5ppg, 4.6rpg and 2,5apg. Jordan Hasquet is a 26 year old 206cm forward from Montana that is playing his first season with Phoenix Hagen. He played at Montana(NCAA) from 2005-2009 and in his senior year played 29 games: 11.0ppg, 6.0rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 43.8%, 3Pts: 39.2%, FT: 71.4%. In 2009-2010 as a rookie he played for Starwings Basket Regio Basel (Switzerland-LNA): 32 games: 10.8ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 58.1%, 3PT: 43.3%, FT: 71.4%. He won the Swiss cup with the Starwings. Last season, he played only preseason with Hasapis Omonia Nicosia (Cyprus-Division A). Despite being another player like Carter who didn´t play much last season, he has gotten used to the Beko BBL as he is averaging 11,3ppg, 2,9rpg and 1,7apg. 35 year old 210 cm center Bernd Kruel has played most of his career in Hagen starting with Brandt in 1993, but leaving in January 2004 as the team folded. He got rewarded by winning a BBL title with the Opel Skyliners. After playing some years in Frankfurt and Bonn, he came back to Hagen in 2008-2009 helping the team get back into the BEKO BBL. He may not be the youngest anymore, but he will bang with anyone and can still play at a very high level. In 2009-2010 he played 32 games averaging 7.4ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 53.4%, 3PT: 8.3%, FT: 69.0%.His quickness, leaping ability, shot selection and rebounding are his main strength. He is a good athlete, can shoot, can dribble and plays inside and outside. He played in the BEKO BBL Allstar game in 2000, reached the BEKO BBL Cup final in 2002 and 2004 and was a BEKO BBL finalist in 2005 and 2008 with The Telekom Baskets Bonn. Last season, he played 33 games: 6.3ppg, 3.2rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 57.2%, FT: 70.8%. Currently he is averaging 7,0ppg, 3,6rpg and 1,5apg. The glue that keeps Phoenix Hagen together under the basket is 33 year old 206cm center Eddie Seward. He played at Norfolk State and then started his professional basketball career in Germany. He toiled around in the German Regionaliga for Aschersleben Tigers BC from 2004-2007 before moving up to the PRO A playing for BG Karlsruhe, Cuxhaven and BBC Bayreuth. In the 2008-2009 season, he showed that he could play at the PRO A level playing for Cuxhaven and making great stats of 11.3ppg, Reb-1(10.4rpg), Blocks-4(1.4bpg), FGP-1(70.6%), FT: 56.9% in 30 games. In 2009-2010 for BBC Bayreuth, he played games 30 games averaging 8.2ppg, 7.4rpg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 60.9%, FT: 62.2. Last season for Phoenix Hagen he played 22 games: 4.2ppg, 5.0rpg, Blocks-5(1.1bpg). Currently, he is averaging 5,0ppg and 6,4rpg. Tristan Blackwood is a 27 year old 183cm guard from Toronto, Canada. He played at Cent.Conn.St. (NCAA) from 2004-2008. In his senior year, he played 30 games: 16.4ppg, 2.7rpg, 5.2apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 40.5%, 3PT: 37.0%, FT: 86.4%: Finished career at CCSU ranked sixth all-time in scoring (1,605), second in assists (506), and first in three-pointers made (328). In 2009-2010, he played in Holland for DeFriesland Aris Leeuwarden (Holland-Eredivisie, starting five): 25 games: 14.0ppg, 3.0rpg, 4.0apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT-3(42.9%), FT: 84.2%; in Feb.’10 moved to Eiffel Towers Den Bosch (Holland-Eredivisie, starting five): Dutch League: 13 games: 9.0ppg, 2.7rpg, 2.5apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 32.3%, 3PT: 40.6%, FT: 92.9%; EuroChallenge: 2 games: 13.5ppg, 3.5rpg, 5.5apg, 1.0spg. Last season, he played for JL Bourg Basket (France-ProB), in Dec.’10 moved to s Oliver Baskets Wuerzburg (Germany-ProA): 12 games: 3.3ppg, 1.5apg, in March’11 signed at GiroLive-Ballers Osnabrueck (Germany-ProA, starting five): 5 games: 11.6ppg, 1.2rpg, 5.8apg, 2.0spg, FGP: 52.6%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 80.0%. Currently he is averaging 4,9ppg, 1,7rpg and 1,0apg. The team also is supported by young Germans Dominik Spohr and Dominik Wilkins.