Can A New Name And Team Facelift Bring The Beko BBL Playoffs To The Neckar Riesen Ludwisgburg?

For some Beko BBL teams like the Brose Baskets Bamberg or Alba Berlin, reaching the playoffs is as normal as Patrick Ewing jr getting asked daily about his famous dad Patrick Ewing, or New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady losing to close for comfort games in the past, but for the Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg who used to go under the name of ENbW Ludwigsburg, the last time the Schwaben team was around during May in the Beko BBL playoffs, the New England Patriots had not experienced their two last minute Super Bowl loses to the New York Giants, Skyliner legend Pascal roller was just ending his sabbatical in Italy with Biela and Eisbaeren Bremerhaven forward Jacob Burtschi was just ending his NCAA career with Phoenix hagen and still three years away from starting his professional basketball career with Phoenix Hagen. The last time that Ludwigsburg was in the Beko BBL playoffs was 2007 where they lost in the semi finals to Bamberg. From 2004-2007, the club reached the playoffs three times led by Jerry Green. After bringing back Jerry Green a second time in 2010, the team was unable to take the Green magic and transform it into playoff appearances missing them twice including on the last game day in 2011 finishing the season in ninth place. Now the team has a new name Neckar Riesen, no Jerry Green and a lot of new hope for the coming season with many new player components ready to attack an even more competitive Beko BBL. “It is very tough to put behind a tough season when expectations are higher but at the end of the day it is a new season and with new players all that is out the window and a fresh start can help in so many ways. When you have tradition with a club it does rise because of outside factors such as what the management and fans may expect. But you have to find a way to stay together as a team and take each game one at a time”, stressed BV Chemnitz guard John Bynum.

It has been a while since the wins for EnBW Ludwigsburg were as frequent as they have been for the Brose Baskets Bamberg in the last years. There was one season, where the team was winning, winning, winning and Who could forget the 2006-2007 EnBW Ludwigsburg  Cinderella team that started the season on a seven game winning streak, winning the first 11 of 12 games and dominating the BBL the whole season until losing in the semi finals against The Brose Baskets Bamberg who would later win the BBL title. There was something so fresh with this team as team basketball had been taught by coach Silvano Propat and his players had learned it as quickly as first graders do their a,b,c´s. However the last two seasons were a downgrade as the playoffs were missed. In the 2007-2008 season, the team reached the BBL cup final losing to The Artland Dragons, but management somehow had their differences with coach Silvano Poropat as he had to pack his bags and go. In 2008-2009, management brought in ex Bamberg player Rick Stafford as the team missed the playoffs again and were searching for an identity all season long, but never found one. After December 14th, 2008, the team would not win more than one game at a time before losing again. It was a very disappointing and weird season as the biggest highlights were the three B wins against Berlin, Bonn and Bamberg, and then the strange 1-0 win as The Giessen 46ers were unable to get to Ludwigsburg on time as they were stuck in traffic. It also marked the last professional season of all rounder and likeable American Brandon Woudstra who decided to hang up his sneakers and return back to the States to start  a new life with his family. The 2009-2010 season marked a rebirth as a new arena was introduced, a new coach with Tolga Ongoren and many new Americans that would hopefully lead the club back to the playoffs. Many fans had to get used to watching basketball in a new state of the art arena as the club said goodbye to the old, but comfy Rundsporthalle that had been alive for 37 years. The goal last season could only be the playoffs as the club has a lot of pressure from their sponsor to perform in the new arena, but this important goal was missed as the team missed the playoffs for the third consecutive season finishing the season in 11th place with a record 17-17. In the last three seasons, the club had a dismal record of 48-54. Two years ago, the club started well last season winning seven of their first nine games including a six game winning streak, but then lost nine of 11 games. The team had the problem of being consistent and was unable to beat the big teams. Their two biggest wins of the season was against Oldenburg and BG Goettingen. The team was strong on paper, with players like Kyle Bailey, Michael King, Quadre Lollis, Kyle Visser, Michael Haynes, Domonic Jones and Richard Chaney, but coach Tolga Ongoren was unable to produce a chemistry on the court and something else was missing as well. “It seemed that winning wasn´t as important to some guys as their selves. They definitely were talented enough for the playoffs, but they lost some games that they should of won”, stressed ex Paderborn guard Steven Wright.

Last season despite having a talented roster, one can describe the season two ways. It was a catastrophe of a season and one where one could only shake their head in disbelief about how such a collection of players could only land in 16th place with a record of 10-24. The team was just too inconsistent and losing nine of ten games in the first half of the season didn´t help much either. They also had the misfortune of losing five games with less than four points. With a new name, the club decided to make a huge facelift saying goodbye to nine players. When reading the list of guys like Alex Harris, John Bowler, Mark Dorris, Matt Howard(2 time NCAA finaklist with Butler), Jeff Greer or a Johannes Lischka, one has to ask the question how a team like this was battling to stay in the Beko BBL for months instead of hanging around the playoff door. Management has continued to give trust to American head coach Steven key who will remain as head coach. His way of keeping his team focused in the big games at the end of the season and not moving down gave him a lot of credit. Despite the new name, the club did experience a few negative things this past summer concerning Kurt Looby and Jerry Green. Looby left to play in Puerto Rico despite not getting the clearance from the German team. The team and Looby seem to have solved their differences, but the big man wont be returning. Recently, the club and Jerry Green parted ways. Green who had been a fan favorite in Ludwigsburg for years after bringing the team much success wasn´t asked back on account of his fitness. Apparently Green still had a valid deal, but the court will solve this problem. Green had been practicing with PRO A team Kirchheim Knights.

With the team budget only reduced by 200,000, the club was still able to bring in an interesting core of players from Beko BBL players too newcomers in the Beko BBL.The club brought in five ex Beko BBL players and three newcomers. The most interesting signing has to be German national player Lucca Staiger who is hoping for his breakthrough. The club also brought back experienced Wayne Bernard who will be playing for this third Beko BBL team. Ivan Elliot remains in the Beko BBL who will bring much on court versatility. John Turek is also back after having played in Hagen a few years ago and has made a name for himself in the Dutch league. Max Weber enjoyed a strong individual season in Goettingen and could play a big role for the team with his hustle play on the court. The three newcomers are Kammron Taylor, David Weaver and Darryl Jackson. Taylor will take the role of Jerry Green at the point guard position. David Weaver is a young player who will be banging inside and could be on some highlight films this season giving a Quantez Robertson competition and Darryl Jackson brings scoring routine from lower leagues. The question will be how well he can adjust to a stronger league in Germany. The strength of the team is the Beko BBL experience that many of the new players bring as well as the new hope that the roster has. The team had little consistency in their chemistry last season and it will be the job of head coach Steven key to develop something early. The team will need to find a new type of identity. A weakness could be not having that one or two identity figures early on. The team will need to establish one or two leaders early, so when the team has a tough stretch that there will be guys that can lead the team. Guys like John Bowler and Jerry Green aren´t around anymore to bark the needed commands. The team will need a good start, because they begin with a tough schedule and the first game against the Fraport Skyliners could be their easiest game so a win in the home debut of the season will be more than necessary to get their confidence sky high for the games against Ulm, Oldenburg, Munich and Alba Berlin. “ I like Steven keys as a coach for sure. He is a great coach. I like Bernard as a veteran leader and Ivan Elliot brings an inside outside match problem. Also the addition of staiger will stretch out the defense but there are still question marks with players that are new to the BBL. time will tell in which direction they are heading adore the first couple of weeks”, added ex TBB Trier guard John Bynum.

The Fraport Skyliners have nice memories of the last 14 games against EnBW Ludwigsburg having a 9-5 record. They have a 4-1 record in the Ballsporthalle. One player who has fond memories of playing EnBW Ludwigsburg is ex Skyliner Derrick Allen who was the top scorer of Frankfurt in four of the last six games including a 37 point performance in a 96-87 win in 2008. In 2008-2009, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners split the season series 1-1 winning 68-64 at home getting 19 points from Aubrey Reese and losing the last game of the season 71-62 on the road getting 18 points from Derrick Allen. In 2010-2011 The Deutsche Bank Skyliners beat EnBW Ludwigsburg 74-67 in a low scoring affair. Frankfurt was led by Roger Powell with 16 points and six rebounds while current beko BBL top scorer Dashaun Wood chipped in with 13 points and eight assists. EnBW Ludwigsburg was led by Alex Harris with 18 points and ex Telekom Baskets Bonn center John Bowler was tough with 13 points and nine rebounds. In the last game of the season in Ludwigsburg, the Skyliners whipped EnBW Ludwigsburg 94-79 as ex NBA player Roger Powell had his best game as a Skyliner pouring in 28 points and Dashaun Wood added a double double with 19 points and 10 assists. Last season, the teams split the season series. The Fraport Skyliners played a horrible game in Ludwigsburg where nothing went their way losing 82-57, but won at home 76-72 as Jermario Davidson led the team with 21 points and Michael Thompson chipped in with 17 points.

The Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg are led by Kammron Taylor. Taylor is a 28 year old 188cm guard that was born in Chicago and grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He played at Wisconsin from 2003-2007 reaching the NCAA tournament elite 8 in 2005 and winning the Big Ten tournament in 2004. He is starting his fifth professional season and Germany will be his ninth country where he has played. He has played in countries like Turkey, Spain, France, Hungry, Ukraine, Columbia, Venzeula and Cyprus. Last season he played for SK Dnipro Azot Dniprodzerzhynsk (Ukraine-Superleague, starting five): 13 games: 14.6ppg, 2.2rpg, 3.6apg, FGP: 37.8%, 3PT: 40.4%, FT: 84.1%. He played NBA Summer league this past summer  in Las Vegas (Minnesota Timberwolves): 4 games: 10.0ppg, 2.8rpg, 2.3apg. The club also brought in David Weaver who is a 24 year old 209cm center from Black Mountain, North Carolina. Versatile big man who possesses a defensive-minded game. An excellent shot blocker and post defender. Powerful dunker who finished with 45 dunks in his NCAA career. Can play at both the power forward and center positions. He played at wake Forest from 2005-2010 with NBA players Jeff Teague and Al Farouq Aminu. In 2010-2011, he started his professional basketball career for Ilysiakos Athens (Greece-A1), only preseason, in Nov.’10 joined BC Siauliai (Lithuania-LKL): Lithuanian League: : 23 games: 11.5ppg, 5.5rpg, FGP: 62.8%, 3PT: 22.2%, FT: 68.4%; EuroCup: 6 games: 11.5ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 60.4%, FT: 64.7%; Baltic League: 17 games: 9.2ppg, 4.0rpg, FGP: 60.8%, FT:62.3%. Last season, he played for Energa Czarni Slupsk (Poland-PLK): 36 games: 9.2ppg, 4.3rpg, FGP: 66.1%, 3PT-2(50.0%), FT: 75.0%.

The team also hauled in John Turek who is a 29 year old power forward/center from Council Bluffs, Iowa. He is a very effective front court player, who improved his performing year after year and seems now ready for the higher level. Bangs well inside, can score from outside and defends hard. Hesn’ t so athletic, but knows how to do and where to stay in almost any moment of the game. Great attitude and team mentality. He played at Nebraska(NCAA) from 2001-2005. In his first four seasons, he played twice in Holland and in Belgium and Poland. In 2009-2010, he played for Phoenix Hagen (Germany-1.Bundesliga, starting five): 28 games: 12.4ppg, Reb-5(6.6rpg), 1.0apg, Blocks-1(1.4bpg), FGP: 52.8%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 61.8%. Last season, he played for  Trefl Sopot (Poland) winning the cup and playing 48 games: 14.1ppg, 7.4rpg, FGP: 58.0%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 62.5%. The last new addition that will be making his Beko BBL debut will be Darryl Jackson. Jackson is a 26 year old 189 cm guard from Oregon that also has the Malta citzenship. He played at Warner Pacific(NAIA) before turning professional in 2008. In his first three seasons, he made a name for himself in Romania. He got experience playing eight Eurochallenge games. Last season, he played for  InterCollege Etha Engomis (Cyprus-Division A): Greek League: 13 games: 10.0ppg; EuroCup Qualifications: 2 games: 6.0ppg, 1.5apg; EuroChallenge: 5 games: 11.4ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.2spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 76.5%, in May’12 joined Sokhumi Tbilisi (Georgia-Superleague, starting five): 5 games: 13.2ppg, 2.6rpg, 3.4apg, FGP: 59.3%, 3PT: 34.8%, FT: 83.3%. He won the super cup and league title in Cyprus last season.

Wayne Bernard who was the 2009 PRO A player of the year is a 31 year old 190cm combo guard from Poway, California who is playing his first season for the Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg. He has displayed a knack for knocking down clutch baskets in key situations and is a player that performs at his best in pressure situations. He has superb range on his jumper, and can also drive to the hoop with slashing moves. He is also a capable ball handler. He played at Davidson(NCAA) from 2000-2003. Bernard has very much experience having played in countries like Israel, Greece, France, Sweden and Finland It doesn´´t matter where Bernard has played, he has always been a scorer. in the 2008-2009 season where MBC moved up to the BEKO BBL, he played 30 games: 14.4ppg, 2.3rpg, 2.6apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 56.9%, 3PT: 43.2%, FT: 80.4%. In 2009-2010 for MBC, he played 34 games: 8.6ppg, 1.9rpg, 1.7apg, Steals-5(1.5spg), FGP: 41.6%, 3PT: 33.6%, FT: 80.8%. In 2010-2011 for MBC, he played 34 games: 11.1ppg, 3.1rpg, 1.8apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 46.9%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 85.7%. Last season for the LTi Giessen 46ers, he played 34 games: 9.5ppg, 2.6rpg, 1.9apg, Steals-5(1.4spg), FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 35.0%, FT: 85.2%. The team also added Ivan Elliot who is a 25 year old 203cm power forward/center from San Francisco, California that played at UCSB. He is a very versatile on the offensive end, able to shoot the 3-pointer with confidence, slash to the basket, and play underneath the basket with his physical strength and overall skills, is the ultimate team player who always gives everything he has in every practice and game, highly motivated and willing to do the extra work to become the best player. He has experience having played for SK Valmiera (Latvia) as a rookie and two years ago for MBC. In 2010-2011 for the s. Oliver Baskets Wurzburg, he played 30 games: 10.6ppg, 6.0rpg, FGP: 59.3%, 3PT: 41.0%, FT: 77.8%. Last season for the  s Oliver Baskets Wuerzburg (Germany-1.Bundesliga) he played  34 games: 8.6ppg, 4.7rpg, FGP: 43.1%, 3PT: 32.5%, FT: 74.0%

The team also brought in Americans Lucca Staiger and Max Weber. Staiger is a 24 year old 195cm shooting guard that was born in Ulm. He started his basketball career with TSG Ehingen in 2003. He once scored 106 points in a youth game at age 16. He played at Iowa State from 2007 until January 2010 where he moved to Alba Berlin. At Iowa State, he played a total of 49 NCAA games. In his senior year, he played  17 games: 9.4ppg, 1.8rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 42.5%, 3PT: 42.5%, FT: 75.0%,. He played for Alba Berlin from 2010-2012, but never really got a chance to get sufficient minutes. He played a total of 69 NCAA games. Last season for Alba Berlin, he played  German League: 21 games: 2.2ppg; EuroCup: 8 games: 0.9ppg; Euroleague Qualifying Round: 2 games: 7.5ppg, also played at ALBA Berlin II (ProB): 8 games: 14.5ppg, 5.4rpg, 5.5apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 40.0%, 3PT: 27.9%, FT: 83.3%. Staiger played at the World Championships in Turkey -10: 4 games: 7.3ppg, 1.0rpg, FGP: 66.7%, 3PT: 37.5% and European Championships in Lithuania -11: 6 games: 2.7ppg, 1.2apg. This past summer, Staiger played eight games at the 2012 European qualification games averaging 9,9ppg, 1,9rpg and 1,4apg.

Max Weber also has joined the team. Weber is a Weber who is a 201cm small forward and be only 27, but he has much experience having played in Peru and winning a Beko BBL title with Bamberg in 2005 at the age of 20. He started his basketball career with BBC Bayreuth (2.Bundesliga) in 2003 and then played for GHP Bamberg and TSV Troester II Breitengussbach from 2004-2oo6. He then played for TV Langen (2.Bundesliga) and the Deutsche Bank Skyliners from 2006-2009. He played a total of 19beko BBL games and seven Eurochallenge games. In 2009-2010, he played for the  LTi Giessen 46ers playing 28 games: 2.6ppg, 1.4rpg. In 2010-2011, he played for the Saar-Pfalz Braves (ProA, starting five): 27 games: 11.5ppg, 3.3rpg, 2.2apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 46.6%, 3PT: 27.0%, FT: 60.0%. He was a member of the German U-16, U-18, and U-20 national teams and played at World University Championships in Bangkoki n 2007. Last season for BG Goettingen, he played EuroChallenge: 6 games: 4.5ppg, 2.7rpg, 1.2apg; German League: 33 games: 6.4ppg, 2.3rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 48.4%, 3PT: 27.1%, FT: 59.6%. The club also has The club also has big german/Albanian talent Besnik Bekteshi who is a 19 year old 188cm guard. In 2009-2010, he played for BSG Ludwigsburg (Germany-Regionalliga): 19 games: 12.6ppg, played also for BBA Ludwigsburg (NBBL): 11 games: 16.0ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.4apg, 3.7spg. He made an early name for himself in the summer of 2010 at the European Championships U17 in Hamburg (Germany) -10: 8 games: 15.5ppg, 4.8rpg, 2.9apg, Steals-4(2.3spg), FGP: 47.1%, 3PT: 40.7%, FT-3(87.0%). He won  a bronze at the 2010 Albert Schweitezr tournament in Mannheim. He played at the European Championships U18 in Wroclaw (Poland) -11: 8 games: 9.1ppg, 1.8rpg, 1.4apg, Steals-5(2.4spg), FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 41.7%, FT-3(87.5%). Last season he played for  EnBW Ludwigsburg (1.Bundesliga): 2 games: 1.5ppg; had also a license to play for VfL Kirchheim Knights (Germany-ProA): 33 games: 4.9ppg, 1.9rpg. The team also kept Tim Koch who is a 23 year old 196cm forward that has been in the Ludwigsburg system since 2006. He has only been able to play a total of 32 Beko BBL games as he has moved between BSG Ludwigsburg(Regionaliga) and Kirchheim Knights(PRO A). The team also has young German talent Johnathan Maier who is a 19 year old 211cm center. Last season he played for  EnBW Ludwigsburg (1.Bundesliga): 2 games: 1.0ppg, 1.0rpg; had also a license to play for VfL Kirchheim Knights (ProA): 15 games: 2.3ppg, 1.3rpg.

Life as a Fraport Skyliner fan has been easy in the last year. After losing the 2010 Beko BBL final to the Brose Baskets Bamberg in five hard fought games, the club has been in a gradual down swing. In 2010-2011, the team lost in the semi finals to Alba Berlin and last season after a slow start where they were in 17th place in December 2011, the team had a spirited second half of the season rocking the world of teams like Bamberg, Ulm, Munich, Oldenburg and Artland, but having misfortune and losing in Bonn on the last game day and their ticket to the final spot in the Beko BBL playoffs. This past summer, the transfer market was very quiet for the Fraport Skyliners. They did haul in young German talents Konstantin klein and Johannes Voigtman early, but took their time signing their import players. With a limited budget the team had to give try out contracts to Americans Johnathon Jones, Anthony Jones and Alexander Franklin. Anthony Jones and Alexander Franklin didn´t make the try out phase while Johnathon jones did. The team brought in help on the forward position with dion Dowell, but are still looking for a shooting guard and big man. The announcement that ex German national player Johannes Herber retired didn´t make the season planning for the first game in Ludwigsburg on October third an easier. “It was tough losing Joe. I know that he had big pain. We have to forget this fast and now it is time for other people to step up. We have to concentrate on basketball. I know that we still will have a good team without Joe”, warned Skyliner captain Marius Nolte. A positive aspect of the 2012-2013 Fraport Skyliners will be the continued focus of their youth program where they invest much money. The team will aslo continue to develop talents like Danilo Barthel, Konstantin Klein and Johannes Voigtman who will see their minutes in the Beko BBL. The team has no superstar and will need to establish a type of scoring identity figure as guys like Jimmy Mckinney and Jacob Burtschi are grazing now on greener pastures in Wurzburg and Bremerhaven. Last season, the team had one of the leagues best defense in the second half and head coach Muli katzurin will focus on that again this season. They will have to have a strong and consistent defense this season to survive, because they wont be scoring 80 points every night. The Fraport Skyliners will need to have a strong start this season, because they might not be able to escape their hole as well as they did last season. With players still missing, finding the team rythem and roles within the team will take longer and wont be beneficial with the tough start where seven of the first ten games are on the road.

The team is led by captain Marius Nolte and Quantez Robertson who both have been in Frankfurt since 2009. Nolte is a 31 year old 206cm center who started his career at Salzkothen. He played with the Paderborn Baskets from 2001-2009 playing a total of 223 games and 103 Beko BBL games. Who could forget the three musketeers with Tim Black, Steven esterkamp and Nolte. Last season for Frankfurt he played  EuroCup: 6 games: 2.8ppg, 2.5rpg; German League: 31 games: 3.4ppg, 2.1rpg. Quantez Robertson will start his third season in Frankfurt. He belongs to the top defenders in the Beko BBl after learning his trade at Auburn from 2005-2009. Last season for Frankfurt, he played EuroCup: 6 games: 6.5ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.2apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 59.1%, 3PT: 23.1%, FT: 66.7%; German League: 34 games: 7.5ppg, 4.4rpg, 2.3apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 17.7%, FT: 75.3%. Devin Gibson will start his second season for the Fraport Skyliners. Gibson played at the University of Texas at San Antonio playing a total of 119 NCAA games. In hiss enior year, he played  34 games: 17.0ppg, 5.2rpg, 5.4apg, 2.7spg, FGP: 42.3%, 3PT: 30.3%, FT: 78.1%. Lasts eason for Frankfurt he palyed  18 games: 8.4ppg, 2.7rpg, 2.7apg, Steals-5(1.4spg), FGP: 42.4%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 72.8%. The team also brings back Danilo Barthel. Barthel is a 20 year old 207cm forward from Heidelberg. He played at USC Heidelberg from 2007-2011. Last season for the Fraport Skyliners he played  German League: 13 games: 2.8ppg, 1.1rpg; EuroCup: 4 games: 0.8ppg, 1.0rpg, also has a license to play for Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt II (ProB): 16 games: 13.1ppg, 7.2rpg, 2.7apg, Blocks-4(1.6bpg), FGP: 57.4%, 3PT: 22.7%, FT: 71.4%. He has been a member of the German U-18 and U-20 teams.

The team added young Germans Konstantin Klein and Johannes Voigtman. Klein is a 20 year old 185cm guard from Berlin. He started his basketball career with Alba Berlin(regionaliga) in 2008 where he played until 2011. Alba Berlin were never convinced of his abilities and he left for the BiG Oettinger Rockets Gotha (ProB) last season playing28 games: 9.9ppg, 1.9rpg, 3.7apg, FGP: 52.5%, 3PT: 32.7%, FT: 73.2%. Klein has made a good figure in pre season especially with his give and go play with Voigtman and Nolte that he runs to perfection. Johannes Voigtman is a 20 year old 210cm center that is a former handball player and started to play basketball at age 15. He has quick feet and is agile and mobile for his size, is a big and versatile talent that can play both inside spots with efficiency, is tough and strong and has good lateral mobility. He can face the basket and put the ball on the floor, has good vision of the court, excellent passer for his size and position. He has a soft touch up to 3-point range, good attitude and stays always under control, not afraid of contact, has good control of his body when driving to the basket. Against pick and rolls he is always ready and has the quickness to step out and double. He started his basketball career at TUS Jena in 2008. Last season in the PRO A he averaged 4,1ppg and 3,1rpg.

The team brought in Americans Johnathon Jones and Dion Dowell. Jones is a 24 year old 183cm guard that was born in Magic jOhnson land Lansing, Michigan. He played at Oakland(NCAA) from 2006-2010 and in his senior year was a teammate of Sklyiner Larry Wright.In his  senior year, he played  35 games: 12.2ppg, 2.2rpg, 6.4apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 43.1%, 3PT: 32.5%, FT: 84.8%. He  set school record in minutes played (4,846) and tied school record as the all-time winningest player over four-year career, 85 wins. Ranks third all-time in school history in steals (196) and 11th in league history. Stands 10th all-time in OU history in points (1,674) and 18th on the league all-time scoring list. His career .816 free throw percentage ranks 10th in league history and T4 in school history. First OU player to surpass 1,300 points and 800 assists. The last two seasons as a professional he played for  MBK Rieker Komarno (Slovakia-Extraliga). Last season he played 42 games: 16.3ppg, 3.7rpg, Assists-4(5.3apg), 1.8spg, FGP: 52.6%, 3PT: 41.4%, FT: 80.2%. This past summer he played in the IBL for the Lansing Capitals. Dowell is a 27 year old 200cm swing man that was born in Berlin, but grew up in texas. As a freshman he played at Texas(NCAA) in 2005-2006 missing Kevin Durant by one year who came a year later. He finished his NCAA career in 2008 at Houston. He reached the NCAA last 8 in 2006 with Texas. In 2008, he started his basketball career for the Golden State Warriors (NBA), left in Oct.’08, in Nov.’08 signed at Dexia Mons-Hainaut (Belgium-D1): Belgian League: 6 games: 9.2ppg, 3.0rpg, FGP: 60.0%, 3PT: 63.6%, FT: 16.7%; EuroChallenge: 4 games: 6.3ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.0bpg, in Jan.’09 moved to Altshuler Saham Galil Gilboa (Israel-Premier League, starting five): 19 games: 6.9ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.2spg, FGP: 43.6%, 3PT: 32.5%, FT: 67.6%. In the last three seasons he ha splayed in israel and has had top teammates like Brian Roberts, Isaiah Swann, Tony Gaffney and ex NBA player Danilo Pinnock. Last season, he played for  B.C. Habikaa (Israel-Premier League, starting five): 27 games: 12.3ppg, 7.3rpg, 1.8apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 53.3%, 3PT: 37.4%, FT: 72.0%.

The Fraport Skyliners open up their season in Ludwigsburg on October 3rd. Both teams are looking to get off on the right foot as both have difficult start schedules. For the Fraport Skyliners, they might not belive literally in the Pat Riley saying that defense wins championships as they are fra from that, but possibly that defense wins games. “Defense will be the key for success. I have told the team already that defense brought us success this season. We have shown good results in pre season concerning our defense. We will have to defend well in Ludwigsburg. I am happy the season is finally starting. Maybe we can make some early surprises”, warned Marius Nolte. “ I think ludwigsburg has to establish a tone from the beginning and use some of there experience as an advantage. Frankfurt is a young team and will need young players to step up. Each time has to establish some kind of consistentcy and find themselves”, expressed John Bynum. The Fraport Skyliners held the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg to only 56 points and hope that this is a good omen for the defensive work in the first games.



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