Keeping a successful trend alive in professional is always as present as FC Bayern Munich soccer team winning, winning and winning much in their illustrious history, the way Americans Jared Jordan and Tony Gaffney hooked up last season almost in every game with an eye popping ally-op, NBA center Kevin Love getting double doubles seemingly as if he were blindfolded sometimes or the way recording artist Rihanna has been able to be one of the hottest recording artists since 2005 selling worldwide 85 million albums. Beko BBL club BBC Bayreuth also had a successful trend going the last two seasons having brought in top centers that have played in the NBA with Americans Jared Reiner and Brandon Thomas. Reiner who was no unknown face to the Beko BBl had played with Bamberg and Bremerhaven came to the Bavarian city of Bayreuth in the 2010-2011 season was very consistent as he had that knack of creating havoc in the zone and grabbing rebounds and was third in the league that season with 7,8rpg. Last season BBC Bayreuth hauled in 203cm physical bull like Brandon Hunter who had had the honor of strapping on the green and white of the Boston Celtics for two seasons. Last season the Cincinnati native averaged 9,6ppg and 5,9rpg and had a solid season also and often brought fear to center opponents with his sneer like expression similar to the scene from Fast Times At Rindgemont where Forest Whitaker character Charles Jefferson tears apart the football opponent after thinking they had trashed his car. Three is a charm for BBC Bayreuth as this season, they got another potent center and even if he has never played in the NBA, he has made an impression so far this season and is keeping up that reputation of top centers alive in Bayreuth. He is a workhorse on offense and defense and understands his role. “I am the big man in the zone and anchor on defense. I am the guy that rebounds and gets the ball down low that can produce”, stressed Gary Mcghee. Even if he didn´t play in the NBA like Reiner or Hunter, he has one advantage over them in that he is athletic and more spectacular. I like to dunk and block shots, but like to dunk more, because this gets the crowd and bench going more”, added Gray Mcghee. He also has a hidden talent that has been helping the team. “My knowledge of the game, reading it and IQ is my hidden talent. I also am able to pass the ball to the open man out of the post”, warned Gary Mcghee. If the American that played at Pitt and in Turkey last season can lead the team to a better position in the standings than Reiner or Hunter did is unknown, but one thing is for sure, there will always be a lot of energy on the court when he is present and give an added noise level to an already bedlam atmosphere in the Bayreuth arena.
The last time BBC Bayreuth won the BEKO BBL title was in 1989 a few months before German tennis legends Boris Becker and Steffi Graf won Wimbledon together, Sebastian Vettel was only two years old and late Boston Celtic Reggie Lewis was slowly making a name for himself in the NBA. Back then the team was called Steiner Bayreuth and had German basketball legends like Michael Koch, Hansi Gnad and Calvin Oldham and success was as common in 88 and 89 for the club as winning was für Rhein Energie Colonge was from 2004-2006. After being regulated in 1999 due to financial reasons, the team had to start at scratch in the Regionaliga and fought its way back up to the PRO A and finally landed back in the BEKO BBL in 2010
In 2010-2011, BBC Bayreuth were saved at the end of the season as MBC lost on the last game day and the Bavarian team finished with a record of 9-25 and a 16th place finish. The team started off with two losses against The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig and the Giessen 46ers before winning a big game at home against 2010 Eurochallenge champion BG Goettingen. However instead of continuing the winning streak, the club suffered a five game losing streak before recovering and going on a two game winning streak beating Phoenix Hagen and TBB Trier on the road. The team then finished the season with a record of 6-18. “I think their guards were a big part of their success. But they had injuries as well that season. Gibson was a solid point, and Ginyard was a great player as well. Harris came in and was a solid back up. I think the guards but then you had Reiner in the middle as well and he gave them a guy on the block that could score”, added John Bynum. It didn´t help the team either that they lost five games by five or less points. “If they had won at least three of those games, they would have had their ticket to the Beko BBL sooner for next season. They had all the pieces, but couldn´t seem to put it together better. Their strength was that they had high quality players at each position. Our biggest problem when we played them was not being able to keep Danny Gibson in front of us on the press”, warned ex Phoenix Hagen player Quentin Pryor. It also was surprising that the club wasn´t able to have more success even with strong experienced players like Jared Reiner and Koko Archibong on the roster. “I just think it has just been one of those seasons for them. It was their first year in the league but still on paper if you were to look at that team, they were a good team. I dont know what it was but they beat us twice so I cant really say nothing negative about them. I think their weakness is just playing consistent for 40 minutes, they played well at times and have let ups and at this level, you cant have too many let ups but like I said, they didnt have a let up against us either time”, warned John Bynum. “I think chemistry had been their weakness”, said Quentin Pryor. If the team hadn´t had a big 86-79 win against The Deutsche Bank Skyliners at home at the end of the season and finished winning four of the last five games near the end of the season, they probably would be back to traveling to less exciting cities like Kirchheim and Cuxhaven
Despite their poor record in their first season back in the Beko BBL, the organization was in high spirits last season and maintained head coach Andreas Wagner for a second season. However Andreas Wagner has had a steady rise as head coach and was coaching for the second time in the BEKO BBL. Wagner also has had a secret formula of how to help basketball clubs reach the next level as he brought FC Bayern Munich from the Regionaliga to the second Bundesliga in 2004, led the Nordlingen Giants from the PRO to the BEKO BBL in 2008 and had another trick up his sleeve bringing BBC Bayreuth from the PRO A into the BEKO BBL in 2010. Of course, the question was could he keep BBC Bayreuth in the BEKO BBL in 2011? The club made a pretty big house cleaning as seven players left. The team held forward and shot block ace Ibekwe Ekene and young Germans Simon Schmitz and Stefan Schmidt. The club brought in experienced point guard Kevin Hamilton who had led the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig into the playoffs twice in a row and is one of best defenders in the Beko BBL. Mr everything on the court Beckham Wyrick was added who won titles with Bamberg. The team brought also brought in ex NBA player Brandon Hunter for the dirty work under the boards, banger Maksym Shtein to give stability from the bench, versatile forward Tyler Smith, sharp shooter Osvaldo Jenaty who can give shooting clinics in any Beko BBL arena, Beko BBL rookie Corey Stokes who was Mr efficient and German Tom Spoler. Wagner´s motto was that he rather wanted a strong starting five then solid 12 man rotation. But if you look at the roster and record, one could see that the team has stability from top to bottom.
After a slow start last season where the club lost the first four games of the season, the team surprisingly let go of Andreas Wagner and brought in experienced Dutch coach Marco van Den Berg who coached in Holland from 1996-2011 winning two titles there. The team also brought back point guard Danny Gibson and since then the team has gone on a 5-2 record with big wins against EnBW Ludwigsburg and the Telekom Baskets Bonn. Van Den Berg had changed the team philosophy and brought success to the team quickly. Despite the Kevin Durant rumors and injury to Kevin Hamilton, BBC Bayreuth had brought a refreshing game to the Beko BBL in the first two months. “Bayreuth was a good team. I believe that people had underestimated them. Defensively they did their home work on their opponents and had detailed game plans”, warned Josh Young who saw BBC Bayreuth let up only 53 points in Tuebingen. In the first games BBC Bayreuth let up an average 83 points, but since Van Den Berg took over, the team had only let up an average 68 points per game in those six games. The team can score if needed and scored over 80 points twice and even if they were keeping teams to under 70 points, defense is still an area where the team could improve. “Their outside shooting was their biggest strength. Gibson really got their offense going. He provided instant offense and is great in transition. He is the floor general that has been important for their success. If they had a weakness then their pick and roll defense and transition. The few points that we got, we got on transition. But it is hard to pinpoint it in one game since we looked so bad and made them look so good”, added Josh Young. BBC Bayreuth probably could have had a better season ending place in the standings of they hadn´t lost eight of their last nine games. In 2010-2011, The Frankfurt Skyliners split the game series winning in Frankfurt 83-75 as Dashaun Wood had 26 points, four rebounds and seven assists and in the return game had problems with the noise level in Bayreuth losing 86-79 despite 29 points from Dashaun Wood.
BBC Bayreuth finished in 13th place with a record of 12-22 last season. Despite Marco Van Den Berg bringing early success, not every player was able to fully identify with his philosophy of hard defense and a structured offense and thus it wasn´t hard cleaning out the roster removing seven players. The team kept a small core of players with Germans Stefan Schmidt and Simon Schmitz guys that the club have believed in and want to continue to develop as best as possible. Germans Tom Spoler and Peter Zeis also were held. The team also held point guard Kevin Hamilton who has those strong leadership qualities, but had a lot of misfortune last year with injuries being only able to play four games. He started this season injured, but since has returned. The story of the year is the return of fan favorite in the making Beckham Wyrick. He recently was signed, but then through special campaigns where money was raised was held until the end of the season. A week later it was announced thanks to a new sponsor coming on board that the American from Cincinnati will remain in Bayreuth until 2014. BBC Bayreuth added seven new players to help build a strong roster that could compete for the Beko BBL playoffs. Van den Berg had a good idea what players he wanted and got the team built already in June. The team added experienced guard Bryan Bailey that adds spark to the guard rotation and will be a tough combo with Hamilton. Nate Rhonert is an American that will give added strength to the guard position and is a talented shooter. The team also hauled in German Nicolai Simon who is a developing combo guard that has had very good games already this season. Arvydas Siksnius also was brought in to help at the guard/forward position. Under the boards the team brought in Gary Mcghee that had a strong rookie season in Turkey and Beko BBL veteran Jason Cain that can step out and fire away, dominate in the post and compete as best dunker against Gary Mcghee. Joe Trapani also was acquired as he is a player that also has a fine inside out game and adds stability to the rotation. The strength of BBC Bayreuth is there deepness at each position. Also an advantage Is that the club was put together early which got the team chemistry going early and to the good start. The only negative in the team could be how well the team plays together over time and if injuries plays a role. The Fraport Skylinersenetr the game in a must win situation riding a four game winning streak while BBC Bayreuth is riding a five game winning streak. Both teams will be more than focused and want a special post Christmas present with a win. “We have to defend well again. Defense is our calling card and and defense generates our offense”, warned Johnathan Jones. “Frankfurt can´t get down on themselves and need to be hardnosed. They have to be physical on offense and defense and limit Bryan Bailey”, stressed Walter Tigers Tuebingen guard Vaughn Duggins. The FRaport Skyliners have split the season series the last two seasons. In 2010-2011, they won at home 83-75 getting 26 points from Dashaun Wood, but losing on the orad 86-79 despite 29 points form Wood. Last season, they lost at home 79-71 despite 27 points form Tim Ohlbrecht, but won in Bayreuth 90-57 getting 22 points from Jimmy Mckinney.
BBC Bayreuth is led by Bryan Bailey who a 32 year old 185cm guard who comes from New York and played in Quackenbruck from 2004-2007 and from 2010-2012. He is a team leader both on and off the court. He Possesses a diverse game, with an ability to stroke the long-range jumper, penetrate to the rim or distribute the ball and is solid on the defensive end of the floor as well. He is a fierce competitive drive rubs off on his teammates. Bailey played at Bucknell and has gained experience having played in Holland and Poland. He reached the playoffs three times with Artland form 2004-2007 and the cup final in 2007. In 2010-2011, the American played 41 games for Artland averaging 11.5ppg, 2.4rpg, 3.2apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 52.2%, 3PT: 34.9%, FT: 77.2%. Last season for BBC Bayreuth he played EuroChallenge: 7 games: 4.7ppg, 1.1rpg, 1.3apg; German League: 27 games: 6.8ppg, 1.2rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 18.9%, FT: 77.0%. Joe Trapani is a 24 year old 203cm forward from Madison, Connecticut that is playing his first season for Beko BBL team BBC Bayreuth. He started his NCAA career at Vermont (NCAA) in 2006 an dplayed 26 games: 11.4ppg, 4.4rpg, FGP: 44.0%, 3Pts: 40.0%, FT: 68.4%. He then completed his NCAA career at Boston College playing there form 2008-2011. In his senior year he played 34 games: 14.8ppg, 7.0rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 42.5%, 3PT: 35.7%, FT: 70.7%. In 2011, he turned professional playing at the e Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft): 3 games: 14.3ppg, 5.0rpg, 2.7apg, 1.0spg. He then came to Europe to play for Novipiu Casale Monferrato (Italy-SerieA, starting five): 3 games: 5.3ppg, 1.7rpg, left in Oct.’11, in Nov.’11 try-out at Scavolini Siviglia Pesaro (Italy-SerieA, starting five), then moved to MarcoPoloShop.it Forli (Italy-Lega2): 12 games: 9.4ppg, 5.1rpg, FGP: 44.0%, 3PT: 21.7%, FT: 78.0%; in Mar.’12 signed at Maine Red Claws (D-League): 6 games: 3.2ppg, 3.7rpg.
Jason Cain is a 27 year old 208cm power forward from Philadelphia who is playing for his third Beko BBL team with BBC Bayreuth. He played for the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig from 2007-2011 reaching the playoffs twice. He played 142 games for Braunschweig and averaged 10.0ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 57.2%, 3PT: 37.6%, FT: 78.2. Last season he played for Eisbaeren Bremerhaven (Germany-1.Bundesliga): 32 games: 9.3ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 56.0%, 3PT: 18.8%, FT: 72.9%. Before coming to Germany, he played at Virginia. Gray Mcghee is a 24 year old 208cm center from Anderson, Indiana that is playing his first season in the Beko BBL for BBC Bayreuth. He played at Pittsburgh from 2007-2011 and played with future NBA players like Dejuan Blair and Sam Young. In his senior year, he played 34 games: 6.9ppg, 7.7rpg, 1.3bpg, FGP: 56.7%, FT: 48.5%. He played a total of 120 NCAA games. In the summer of 2011, he played at the well known : Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft): 2 games: 9.0ppg, Reb-5(8.5rpg), 1.0bpg. Last season as a rookie he played KK Zagreb Croatia Osiguranje (Croatia-A1), only pre-season, then moved to Bandirma Kirmizi (Turkey-TBL: 30 games: 10.5ppg, Reb-4(7.8rpg), FGP: 56.3%, FT: 45.6%. This past summer he played AirTran Orlando Summer League (Oklahoma City Thunder): 2 games: 2.5ppg, 2.0rpg and NBA Pro Summer League in Las Vegas (Los Angeles Clippers): 5 games: 4.8ppg, 5.0rpg. Nicolai Simon is a 24 year old 191 cm guard that is playing his first season in Bayreuth. He started his basketball career in 2002 with 2002-2003: TuS Urspring (Regionalliga). He then played withErdgas Ehingen until 2006. IN 2006-2007, he was able to play 33 games for Alba Berlin despite being on a team with a deep roster. In 2007-2008, he injured himself playing only five games. In 2008-2009 he went back to Erdgas Ehingen/Urspringschule (ProB): 28 games: 8.9ppg, 2.4rpg, 5.2apg, FGP: 49.0%, 3PT: 23.8%, FT: 85.7%. In 2009, he played at the World University games in Belgrad averaging 4,1ppg, 3,6rpg and 1,4apg. He also played for the Paderborn Baskets (1.Bundesliga): 31 games: 5.5ppg, 1.1rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 40.8%, 3PT: 35.7%, FT: 79.4%. He played for the Walter Tigers Tuebingen form 2010-2012. Last season he played Last season for Tuebingen, he played 29 games: 5.4ppg, 1.2rpg, FGP: 47.9%, 3PT-1(52.0%), FT: 74.4%.
Beckham Wyrick is a 28 year old 198cm forward from Cincinnati, Ohio that has played in Germany since he was a rookie in 2006. Heis playing his second season for BBC Bayreuth. He played for NC-Wilmington (NCAA) from 2002-2006 together with Bamberg floor general John Goldsberry. Wyrick played for Bayer Giants Leverkusen from 2006-2008. He then had a successful stay with the Brose Baskets Bamberg from 2008-2010 winning a Beko BBL title and cup. In 2010-2011, he played for FC Bayern Muenchen (Germany-ProA) helping the team move to the Beko BBL and played 25 games: 8.8ppg, 4.7rpg, FGP: 52.8%, 3PT: 30.4%, FT: 68.4%. Last season for BBC Bayreuth he played 31 games: 6.3ppg, 3.8rpg, FGP: 38.4%, 3PT: 32.3%, FT: 62.2%. Peter Zeis is a 23 year old 196cm swingman that is playing his second season for BBC Bayreuth. Last season he got into four Beko BBL games.He started his career in 2005 with TSV Troester II Breitengussbach and played there until 2011. Nate Rohnert is a 25 year old 197cm guard from Colorado that is embarking on his third professional basketball season and first in Germany. He played at Denver (NCAA) from 2006-2010 playing a total of 100 NCAA games and in his senior year played 32 games: 14.5ppg, 5.7rpg, 3.8apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 32.5%, FT: 74.4%. He turned professional in 2010 and played for Tartu Ulikool/Rock (Estonia-KML): only pre-season, in Feb.’11 moved to Landstede Basketbal Zwolle (Holland-DBL, starting five): 11 games: 15.8ppg, 8.3rpg, 5.5apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 52.8%, 3PT: 44.4%, FT: 70.0%. Last season, he played for Denain ASC Voltaire (France-ProB, starting five): 34 games: 12.1ppg, 4.6rpg, 2.6apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 52.0%, 3PT: 41.9%, FT: 76.8%.
Simon Schmitz is a 22 year old 188cm point guard that is playing his third season with BBC Bayreuth and began his basketball career in 2005 with SG Bad Duerkheim/Speyer junior team. In 2008-2009, he played for BIS Baskets Speyer (ProB, starting five) where he played together with German national player Elias Harris. He played German League: 20 games: 14.1ppg, 4.0rpg, 3.7apg, FGP: 51.5%, 3PT: 33.6%, FT: 79.1%; also TV Bad Bergzabern (2.Regionalliga): 8 games: 14.5ppg. In 2009-2010, he played for Science City Jena (ProA): 29 games: 10.9ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.9apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 44.7%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 80.2%, in Mar.’10 also played at Mitteldeutscher BC Weissenfels (1.Bundesliga). He played at the European Championships U20 in Croatia -10: 9 games: 10.3ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 56.5%, 3PT: 38.6%, FT: 80.0%. Last season, the German played 29 games: 3.3ppg, 1.3rpg, 1.1apg. 23 year old 206cm center Stefan Schmidt was born in Schwandorf and is playing his fourth season with BBC Bayreuth. He started his basketball career with Franken Hexer (2.Regionalliga) in 2006. In 2007-2008, he played for SELLBYTEL Baskets Nuernberg (ProA, starting five): 20 games: 3.2ppg, 2.7rpg, FGP: 39.5%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 66.7%. In 2008-2009, he played for Franken Hexer (ProB, starting five): 29 games: 9.4ppg, 7.8rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 51.3%, 3PT: 25.3%, FT: 75.0%. Last season he had to fight injuries and played 17 games: 3.6ppg, 1.8rpg. Kevin Hamilton from New York is a 28 year old 193cm guard that is playing his second season in Bayreuth. He played at Holy Cross with ex Skyliner Keith Simmons from 2002-2006. He played in Poland the last few years and in the summers in Puerto Rico. He played under coach Sebastian Machowski in Poland and was made into a point guard even though he had been a shooting guard most of his career. He scored 17,9ppg in his last season at Holy Cross and in 2008-2009 he led the Polish league in assists. What makes him so dangerous is his scoring and his potential and ability to score are limitless. “In college, I averaged almost 18 points per game. I have been a shooting guard for most of my career. Three seasons ago, I had to play point guard in Poland. I always thought that I was a good passer. I think passing has come naturally to me. I have enjoyed playing point guard”, stressed Kevin Hamilton. The best thing that teams can do is to keep the ball out of Hamiltons hands, but that is about as impossible as doing the same to Lebron James. “We tried to keep the ball out of his hands. We didn´t want him to make plays. He is a true point guard. He is a great passer and makes things happen for them. When he gets going, it is hard to stop the team”, warned ex Braunschweig guard Steven Wright. In 2009-2010 Hamilton played 39 games: 10.1ppg, 3.8rpg, Assists-3(5.4apg), Steals-2(1.9spg), FGP: 63.7%, 3PT: 33.9%, FT: 77.6%. He is one of those rare players that has triple double potential. In his last season for Braunschweig, he played 39 games: 9.0ppg, 4.1rpg, 4.3apg, Steals-1(1.9spg), FGP: 53.9%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 67.0%. Last season for BBC Bayreuth he played only 4 games: 8.8ppg, 3.3rpg, 4.0apg, 1.3spg. Last summer, he played for Indios de Mayaguez (Puerto Rico-BSN) playing 23 games: 7.6ppg, 3.8rpg, 2.6apg, Steals-4(1.6spg), FGP: 40.2%, 3PT: 38.7%, FT: 61.5%. . Arvydas Siksnius is a 25 year old 196cm forward from Lithuania that is playing his first season in the Beko BBL for BBC Bayreuth. He mostly played in his home country, but had a year of experience in the States playing for Weatherford JC (JUCO). Last season he played for Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius (LKL): DNP, moved to BC Siauliai (LKL): Lithuanian League: 31 games: 7.4ppg, 2.7rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 58.2%, 3PT: 25.6%, FT: 75.9%; Baltic League: 22 games: 9.2ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 65.2%, 3PT: 38.0%, FT: 77.8%; VTB League: 2 games: 8.5ppg, 2.0rpg, 2FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 30.8%, FT: 75.0%.