The Walter Tigers Tuebingen have been known in the past few years as being one of those Beko BBL teams that doesn´t have the biggest budgets, but still have the power to haul in talented and interesting players within their budget that offer themselves to better teams with strong seasons in the Swaben city. In the past years, players like AJ Moye, Michael Haynes, Branislav Ratkovica or Jermaine Anderson have used The Walter Tigers Tuebingen as a place to tone their skills while also enjoying some juicy meat at the OX US steakhouse after practice or games. Tigers ehad coach Igor Perovic came on board in 2009 and has done a fine job keeping the team in the middle pack of the standing and sometimes grazing on the boundry of the playoff places like a famished cow on the pasture always hungry for more while having talented players according to their budget. Perovic was responsible for bringing in somewhat established players like Romeo Travis, Michael Jenkins, Chris Oliver and Dane Watts who have all moved on to bigger and better things on the basketball map. Especially last season, the Serb head coach had the right feeling bringing in Josh Young from the PRO B, Vaughn Duggins and Tyrone Nash from the NCAA and Reggie Redding from Cyprus and all four players eclipsed expectations and didn´t follow the trend of past years and fleeing to snatch the bigger bucks somewhere else, but already got contract extensions during their rookie seasons. American boy Reggie Redding had his breakout season in Tuebingen after a stellar season at Villanova where he played with NBA player Dante Cunningham and Beko BBL players Dwayne Anderson and Corey Stokes. Before coming to Tuebingen last season, Redding played his rookie year in Cyprus for Intercollege Etha Engomis. He had a solid season in Cyprus, but there was no real guarantee that he would explode in the higher league Beko BBL. However the American had little difficulty being a force in the German league averaging 13,2ppg, 5,8rpg and 3,3apg while shooting 50% from the field and 41% from downtown. He was awarded three eurobasket.com awards and sent Igor Perovic into summer vacation with a smile and being able to whisper the words “I told you so” to possible critics. Redding has been fighting his whole career with failed recognition, but doesn´t let it bother you. “I have been dealing with this all my life being under the radar. Many people don´t know how good I can be, but that doesn´t matter. I just try to do whatever it takes to help my team win. People not knowing this isn´t going to change the way I play. I think that I am a lot better shooter for what people give me credit for. Last season opponents really let me shoot. I worked on my shot last summer. I think that I can do many things great and not just one. This has helped me become the complete player that I am today”, stressed Philadelphia native Reggie Redding. So far this season the American is on track to match last season or better it and it isn´t only offense that does the talking on the court, but his defense. “He is one of the best defenders that I ever played with”, warned ex BBC Bayreuth American Corey Stokes. His teammates know what his worth was last season. “He was so value to us with his defense, passing and rebounding”, stressed Indiana native Vaughn Duggins. Against Frankfurt last season, Redding had nine points and six rebounds in a loss in Tuebingen and then exploded in a win in Frankfurt with 24 points, eight rebounds and five assists. The Fraport Skyliners will need to be on their toes in Tuebingen and keep him in front of them.
Since coming into the BBL in 2004-2005, the Walter Tigers Tuebingen have been treading water in the BBL middle standings and at times scrapping around the deregulation area. The best finish of the club was 2006-2007 as they finished in 10th place. The Tigers have been more a harmless creature that seems to have their mouth sealed with little power escaping instead of showing their absolute unconquerable qualities of a tiger on the court. The team has been known for developing a healthy fan base and letting guys like Rasko Katic and AJ Moye(his first year) develop into top BBL players, but then again also have gone the usual BBL route of signing an abundance of Americans and closing an eye for further developing German players and the organization also has been prone to getting involved with minor scandals like in 2006 with Tamien Trent and Mike Moten who were banned by the German basketball federation following a drug test. Making the jump to the BBL is not easy and if one were to ask experts in the Tuebingen surrounding, one would always here two things. A slim budget and not getting the right mix of players seemed to be the most important reasons why the club has never been able to play games in May when it counts most. Since entering the Beko BBL in 2004, the team has always hovered between 10th and 15th place and their best finish was 2007 as they were in 10th place. However since Igor Perovic came on board in 2009 as head coach, a healthy and strong influx of players have played for the Walter Tigers Tuebingen.
In 2010-2011, The Walter Tigers Tuebingen finished in 12th place with a record of 15-19. Lacking more consistence at home in the Paul Horn arena showed with their 9-8 record.The team celebrated huge victories against The EWE Baskets Oldenburg, Alba Berlin and The Telekom Baskets Bonn before the Allstar break, but then again showed their inconsistency losing games to teams like the Mitteldeutscher BC or Phoenix Hagen. Just like the season before, The Walter Tigers Tuebingen made a dash for the Beko BBl playoffs in winter winning six games in a row and heightening the playoffs hopes for the fans with big wins against Bonn Oldenburg and Ulm. However then as if each player had seen a black cat and then walked under a ladder for so called bad luck went on an unlucky losing streak losing six games in a row and finishing the season 2-7 and once again not making the playoffs. A 40 point loss to Bamberg in the heat of their six game winning streak and an 18 point loss to the LTi Giessen 46ers just seemed uncharachteristic after their successful run. “It was an up and down season. The season started rough, then we had a nice winning streak, but then had a long losing streak, but closed out the season well. We hurt ourselves with our inconsistency. We were unable to bring the same effort night in and night out which killed us”, stressed ex Walter Tigers Tuebingen forward Chris Oliver.
Last season, The Walter Tigers Tuebingen might use a motto that German basketball player Christian Standhardinger might be using after a few miscues in the NCAA and always coming back to try his luck in the NCAA with “If you don´t succeed at first then try try again” in hopes of reaching the Beko BBL playoffs. However if a strong starting five in 2010-2011 with Bane Ratkovica, Johannes Herber, Chris Oliver, Dane Watts and Anatoly Kashirov wasn´t potent enough for May basketball, how does the team see making an impact last season in the even stronger Beko BBL and a new starting five? Guys like Dane Watts had a very strong season whereas other starters solid seasons, but were still able to double their market value and get better financial contracts with other teams. Some teams play for titles, while other teams play for the playoffs and in the last years , The Walter Tigers Tuebingen seem to be a team that brings in younger talented players guaranteeing them playing time so they can develop further and then go to more attractive and more lucrative teams. “You can expect a group of guys that play with a lot of passion and play extremely hard. We will defend well and can score with anybody in the Bundesliga”, warned Vaughn Duggins last season. In 2010-2011, Tuebingen already had established Beko BBL players like Dane Watts and Chris Oliver, but last season the team has their youngest team ever having six guys that were only 23 years old. With Beko BBL babies Vaughn Duggins, Tyrone Nash and Adnan Hodzic coming from the NCAA and Americans Reggie Redding and Josh Young coming off their rookie years in 2010-2011 and born in 1988, Igor Perovic speculated that these guys would have to perform right away getting their feet wet quickly. Perovic had much experience with thirty something players Lou Campbell and Velomir Radiovic and Nicolai Simon who has title experience with Alba Berlin, but still many young bucks that were inserted into a nasty shark infested basketball pool each weekend. “. I think if you have a good chemistry of players then it is a good thing. Experience is key in close games early in the season but once your out on the court all that age goes out the window in most cases. It is risky but if you got good chemistry it will help in a lot of ways. I think the team will play hard and will surprise a lot of teams. Young teams are usually hungry and they may struggle at times but just like most young teams we may not know which team may show up. But they will be a team that competes just like the rest of the BBL”, warned BV Chemnitz guard John Bynum last season. Still having so much youth can also be a positive thing. “I think their strength will be them playing hard, I didnt really get a chance to see them in preseason but on paper they have some solid individual players. I really dont know about weaknesses but I’m sure that will show up as the season goes along”, added John Bynum. “We just need to continue to get better as a whole. Our ceiling with how good we can be is so high because we are so young. If we get better every day we will be fine during the season”, added Walter Tigers Tuebingen guard Vaughn Duggins. The glue for the Walter Tigers Tuebingen was Lou Campbell and teams will learn quickly that keeping the American in check will make basketball life on the court very difficult for the Tigers. “I think that Campbell was the key but we had to see what the newcomers would bring to the table as well. To put so much pressure on one guy meaning Campbell isnt fair but I think they got some young guys who can make a difference as well”, stressed John Bynum last season. One Skyliner that was motivated to play against so many NCAA rookies was fellow rookie Michael Thompson. “I was great to be on the court with those three great players with Duggins, Nash and Hodzic. All three had great careers in the NCAA. I played against Nash. You always have to keep an eye on him. He can do it all, shoot the three, play with his back to the basket and play aggressive defense”, warned Michael Thompson.
The speculating really played dividends for head coach Igor Perovic despite starting with a six game losing streak, the team finished at the end of the 2011-2012 season with a record of 15-19 and in 12th place. Much like the Fraport Skyliners, the Walter Tigers Tuebingen didn´t have any luck with their draw at the start getting opponents like Bamberg, FC Bayern Munich, Artland, Alba Berlin and ratiopharm Ulm. However they finally got their first win in Bremerhaven and from then on slowly got going getting out of the Beko BBL cellar. After an unneeded loss at home against BBC Bayreuth followed a three game winning streak as they beat Phoenix Hagen and potential playoff teams Braunschweig and Bonn displaying that they are a talented team that can play with anyone. In February followed the highlight of the season where they went on a four game winning streak beating FC Bayern Munich and the EWE Baskets Oldenburg at home. It wasn´t quite enough for the Beko BBL playoffs, but the team showed a lot of grit and fighting power and already had many people speculating over the summer what would be possible in 2012-2013 with so many players staying on board and team chemistry staying intact.
Usually the job of a team is to try to keep key players over the summer, but the Walter Tigers Tuebingen did something very untraditional, but something that earns a lot of respect, but giving their four Americans contract extensions during last summer. Guys like Vaughn Duggins who had a solid rookie season often shining with his scoring, power forward Tyrone Nash that at times seems invisible, but at the same time so present under the basket, top 5 Beko BBL player Reggie Redding that could make the break to a top European team if his stats improve even more this season and solid Josh Young that made the jump from PRO B to the Beko BBL with flying colors and more often than not had guys searching for their jock straps on the baseline. The team also kept likeable German Ruben Spoden. Of course the high quality of living in Tuebingen may be a reason for players staying, but another reason is simply that everyone understands each other and like to be around each other including big brother type head coach Igor Perovic. Perovic still had the duty of getting some good pieces to fit the missing parts. A valuable acquisition was German Johannes Lischka who has developed into a fine Beko BBL player that can shoot, penetrate and play nasty under the court, but still hasn´t reached his full potential yet. The club also got two big men with American Kenny Frease who had a strong career at Xavier and can be the vocal leader on the court and bang on the boards and German Robert Ohle who is supposed to bring stability from the bench. Perovic has been very fortunate last season to get rookies that made an impact, but this season pulled a blank with Douglas Davis who was unable to fill the expectations. Perovic recently brought in a second year professional with Cameron Wells who has shown more progress than a Davis after playing a strong season in Holland. The biggest strength of the Tigers is that they kept a core of players and there is a healthy team chemistry already intact. The team also is more of a presence inside this season with Frease and Ohle which will make the team more flexible on both ends of the court. Weaknesses could be their youth and thin bench. If the team sustains one or two injuries then they will be reeling for some kind of help that just wont be there.
Since the 2005-2005 season, the Frankfurt Skyliners have a record of 10-4. After losing the season series in 2005-2006, the Frankfurt Skyliners had some glorious years winning seven games in a row. In the 2007-2008 season, Frankfurt won both games as Derrick Allen totally dominated both games scoring 27 and 21 points. Even in the third game in a row the next season, Allen was top scorer with 22 points. Who could forget the 25 point effort of Keith Simmons in 2009 in a 72-59 victory. Two seasons ago, the Frankfurt Skyliners swept the season series as 2011 Beko BBL MVP Dashaun Wood had 34 and 22 points to lead all scorers. In the first meeting of the season last year, the Tigers lost to the Fraport Sklyiners 73-66 in a game that was on the line in crunch time and a game they could of won. Duggins brought the Tigers to 66-69 with 1.13 to play, but a Jon Leuer bucket and Justin Gray free throws sealed the win for Frankfurt. In the return game in Frankfurt, Tuebingen got revenge winning 96-89 as Reggie Redding led all scorers with 25 points. Tuebingen in 13th place meets the Fraport Skyliners that are currently in 17th place. Both teams come into the game with something to prove. The Fraport Skyliners gave up 107 points to Phoenix hagen after averaging only 60 points at home prior to that game. Frankfurt has to play their game and get back to the Katzurin defense that has been successful this season. They should let the defense shine sparking their offense and not letting the Tigers run. Tuebingen has unfond memories of the loss to Alba Berlin where their big 14-0 run and lead 77-76 wasn´t rewarded as German national player heiko Schaffartzik won the game with a shot with two second to play. Tiger Josh Young knows what Frankfurt is capable of and how to stop Devin Gibson. “ Frankfurt is a solid team every year. I don’t think their record really tells how good of a team they are. Devin is a solid PG. He does a great job of getting to the rim and finishing. We will have to limit that as much as possible”, warned Josh Young.
The Walter Tigers Tuebingen are led by The team also brought in Reggie Redding who is playing his third professional season despite being only 24 years old. Redding is a 196cm guard from Philadelphia and possesses a great feel for the game, moves well without the ball, offers size and the ability to score from the guard position. He played at Villanova (NCAA) with ex BG Goettingen forward Dwayne Anderson and in his senior year played 23 games: 7.3ppg, 4.7rpg, 2.4apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 40.8%, 3PT: 39.5%, FT: 63.8%. he reached the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2008. As a rookie he played for InterCollege Etha Engomis (Cyprus-Division A) winning the league and cup title and played 16 games: 9.5ppg, 4.3rpg, 2.1apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 46.1%, 3PT: 44.4%, FT: 73.9%; EuroChallenge: 8 games: 7.0ppg, 3.4rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 40.0%, 3PT: 31.3%, FT: 62.5%. Last season for Tuebingen he played 34 games: 13.2ppg, 5.8rpg, 3.3apg, Steals-3(1.4spg), FGP: 50.6%, 3PT: 41.4%, FT: 69.0%. For his strong season in the Beko BBL, he received Eurobasket.com All-German Bundesliga 2nd Team -12, Eurobasket.com German Bundesliga All-Imports Team -12, and Eurobasket.com German Bundesliga All-Newcomers Team -12. Vaughn Duggins is playing his second season in the Beko BBL rookie and is a 25 year old 187cm guard from Pendelton, Indiana. He played at Wright State from 2006-2011 including his freshman season with 2011 Beko BBL MVP Dashaun Wood as has fond memories of the Alba Berlin guard on the court and their one on one battles. “Every once in a while at practice I’d be walking by Dashaun and he would stop me and tell me exactly how he was going to score on his opponent that next possession and sure enough he would go out there and do that exact thing and look at me and laugh while running down the court. Thats easy! Dashaun beat me 9 out of 10 times on one on one. I was a young puppy out of high school and he was the horizon league player of the year. I don’t remember him having any weaknesses other than he was smaller than me so I could post him up”, stressed Vaughn Duggins. In his senior year, the American played 33 games: 18.0ppg, 3.8rpg, 2.2apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 44.7%, 3PT: 31.1%, FT: 82.2%. Beko BBL teams will have to be aware of the dangerous game of the American. He is a scorer, but also has hidden attributes. “My jumping ability isn´t always noticed. I’ve surprised a lot people when I get up to block a shot or dunk”, warned Vaughn Duggins. Last season as a rookie, he played 34 games: 13.0ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.0apg, FGP: 50.9%, 3PT: 41.0%, FT: 77.8%Another. Tyrone Nash is a 23 year old 203cm forward from Queens, New York. He played together with FC Bayern Munich guard Ben Hansbrough at Notre Dame and in his senior year played Notre Dame 34 games: 9.5ppg, 5.9rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 48.7%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 68.9%. Last season with the Tigers he played 34 games: 9.1ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 55.1%, 3PT: 31.6%, FT: 56.6%. Josh Young is playing his second season with the Walter Tigers Tuebingen made the jump from the PRO B to the Beko BBL. Young is a 24 year old 185cm guard from Shawnee, Oklahoma. He played at Drake from 2006-2010 including two years with ex Skyliner Adam Emmenecker. In his senior year, he played 32 games: 14.4ppg, 3.9rpg, 2.7apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 44.0%, 3PT: 35.8%, FT: 73.0%. In 2010-2011 he came to Germany and played for Bayer Giants Leverkusen (Germany-ProB) tearing up the league playing 11 games averaging 26.7ppg, 6.4rpg, 3.0apg, 2.3spg, FGP: 45.2%, 3PT: 45.3%, FT: 79.0%. Last season for the Tigers he played 34 games: 10.3ppg, 2.9rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 52.5%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 76.0%.
25 year old 203cm power forward Johannes Lischka is playing his first season with the Walter Tigers Tuebingen. He can hurt you with his three pointer and has a very dangerous penetration into the lane where he can finish in many different ways He started his professional basketball career with TV Lich in 2004 and played for the Giessen 46ers from 2007-2010 while also playing for TV Lich. In 2008-2009 for TV Lich he led the PRO A in scoring with 23,7ppg, 8,8rpg, 2,2apg and 1,8spg. He was bitterly disappointed in 2009 not being invited to the Euro Championships in Poland. The next calamity happened in the second game of the season, as he injured his hand in Frankfurt missing seven games. In 2009-2010, he played games: 5.4ppg, 3.5rpg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 30.8%, FT: 56.1%. In three seasons for Giessen, he played 86 games. He was a member of the German A-2 national team in 2009 and then played at the University Games in Belgrade (Serbia) -09: 7 games: 10.6ppg, Reb-5(10.4rpg), 2.0spg, FGP: 41.0%, FT: 77.4%. He played for EnBW Ludwigsburg from 2010-2012. Last season he played 34 games: 8.5ppg, 4.7rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 46.4%, 3PT: 32.1%, FT: 66.2%. Kenny Frease is playing his first season for the Walter Tigers Tuebingen and is a Beko BBL rookie. He is 23 years ole and 213cm and hails from Massillion, Ohio. He played at Xavier from 2008-2012 playing atotal of 137 NCAA games and reaching the NCAA Sweet 16 three times. In his senior year, he played 36 games: 10.2ppg, 6.1rpg, 1.1apg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 51.4%, FT: 56.9%.Frease knows exactly what he has to do as a rookie. “I want to come in and be as much of a force as I can be down low. Rebound and score when its needed. Defensively, I could see myself becoming a vocal leader because I am in the back of the play and can see most of the court, so that is something I will have to focus on as we go through our preseason. Something that comes naturally to me and is one of the most fun parts of the game is being able to pass the ball out of the post. Finding open shooters and cutters from the post is something that is difficult to stop for a defense”, stressed Kenny Frease.
Cameron Wells is a 24 year old 185cm guard from Houston, Texas that is playing his second professional season. He played at Citadel(NCAA) from 2007-2011 playing a total of 137 NCAA games. In his senior year he played 32 games: 17.2ppg, 5.1rpg, 4.3apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 43.7%, 3PT: 24.7%, FT: 82.7%. Last season as a rookie he played for Landstede Basketbal Zwolle (Holland-Eredivisie, starting five): 36 games: 14.0ppg, 3.9rpg, Assists-4(3.6apg), Steals-1(2.4spg), FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 78.1%. Last summer he played NBA Pro Summer League in Las Vegas (Milwaukee Bucks): 4 games: 4.3ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.3apg. The team also signed 24 year old 209cm center Robert Ohle who started his basketball career in Paderborn playing together with Fraport Skyliners captain Marius Nolte. He already got Beko BBL experience from 2007-2010 playing a total of 35 beko BBL games and already played a Beko BBL game as a 19 year old. In 2010-2011, he played a year in the PRO A to sharpen his skills and get more playing time for the Saar-Pfalz Braves playing 26 games: 8.4ppg, 5.7rpg, FGP: 48.3%, FT: 64.6%. He played at the European Championships U20 Division B in Targu Mures (Romania) -08:(Champion): 6 games: 5.8ppg, 3.2rpg, 1.0bpg, 2FGP: 73.7%, FT: 77.8%. Last season with Giessen he played 34 games: 4.1ppg, 2.3rpg. Rueben Spoeden is a 23 year old 202cm forward from Frankfurt that is playing his third season in Tuebingen. He started his basketball career with Eintracht Frankfurt an dthen played for TV Langen where his teammate was Robin Benzing. He also has a license for Ergas Ehingen. Last season he with the Walter Tigers Tuebingen he played 8 games: 1.3ppg; also played at ErdgaEhingen/Urspringschule (ProB): 28 games: 7.4ppg, 3.8rpg, FGP: 50.4%, 3PT: 21.7%, FT: 60.7%. German American Akeem Vargas rounds out the roster. He is a 21 year old 190 cm guard that started his basketball career with the SG Urspringschule junior team in 2005. In 2009-2010, he got experience in the States playing for Iowa Lakes CC (JUCO): 31 games: 5.6ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.5apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 53.0%, FT: 94.0%. In 2010-2011with Tuebingen, he got into 12 games: 0.4ppg; and also had also a license to play for Erdgas Ehingen/Urspringschule (2. Bundesliga Pro B)playing 27 games: 8.6ppg, 3.7rpg, 1.9apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 50.4%, 3PT: 25.5%, FT: 77.6%. Last season he played 29 games: 2.4ppg, 1.5rpg