Will The Playoffs Always Be A Dream For The Walter Tigers Tuebingen?

Chicago Cub fans wish for a World Series win since 105 years, just about every little basketball crazied kid pretends to be Michael Jordan on the court, ex Dawson Creek star James Van Der Beek finally came out of the closet reveling that he dreams of being on the cover of People Magazine cover for the Sexiest man alive issue and 2013 Jungle camp winner Joey Heindle striving to be one of the few DSDS candidates to have a successful singing career. It is no secret that Walter Tiger Tuebingen have die hard fans and also have dreams of making the Beko BBL playoffs for the first time since arriving in the Beko BBL in 2004. It is no secret that the club has a limited budget and is more of a stepping stone for players showing their skill and then going to better teams with higher budgets. A tiger is regarded as a guardian that drives away evil spirit and a sacred creature that brings good luck – the symbol of courage and absolute power. There is no doubt that Tiger mascot Walter has the right attitude at games as do the players and this attitude determines your altitude and more than anything else, I believe, is a vitally important ingredient in seeing your dreams come to fruition. Of course many things have to come together concerning the other teams and how they play, but all teams are in the same boat. Currently there are seven teams that are as close to the playoffs as Quantez Robertson is to winning the Fraport Skyliner team rebound title as a small forward and as the Cincinnati native is like a middle big Jeff Gibbs on the boards. In the last years the Walter Tigers Tuebingen have had some late season runs, but then faltered in the last weeks not reaching the playoffs. The club has a pretty nice schedule until the end and so far no serious injury problems and could just sneak into the playoffs this season if many factors work in their favor including having six of their last 10 games in their own pink living room the Paul Horn arena. The Walter Tigers Tuebingen are always capable of making surprises or even being able to beat teams totally silencing their strength as they did with Phoenix Hagen last weekend taking their part of a high scoring tiger machine and scoring over 90 points while keeping them to under 70 points. Despite all this potential, the dream of the Beko BBL playoffs will seem to continue to be a dream that could be realized in a few years if certain components are met by the front office. “Tuebingen is a very young team and had some personal changes this season as they got  Cameron Wells who hasn´t been the dominant point guard. They are  atypical young team with potential. Igor Perovic and Robert Wintermantel have done a super job getting the right players the last years. They could defend a bit more. If they have good offense then they pick up their defense, but if their offense isn´t working then they have problems picking up their defense. They probably will not reach the playoffs this season, but if they can continue to find a way to keep the team together than they could be a playoff team in 1-2 years”, stressed basketball expert Steven Clauss. Currently the Walter Tigers Tuebingen are in ninth place and are as close to the playoffs as never before. They have been known for late season runs and running out of gas, but possibly this season the Tigers will be fortified with an extra helping of pigs to help keep their energy until the end.

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. The Walter Tigers Tuebingen have been playing very good basketball in the last weeks winning two of the last three games. They trounced the LTi Giessen 46ers 107-71, beat Phoenix Hagen at their own game 99-69 and showing when they do defend that they can easily beat an offensive machine. They lost a bitter 71-69 game in Berlin. The Fraport Skyliners continue to sink farther and farther into the basketball cellar having lost five games in a row. The offense continues to be lukewarm and just not ready to be hot. The biggest strength of the Fraport Skyliners is their defense and possibly that could finally spark the offense? “We have to as always start on defense and then execute on offense. We need to get some easy buckets from our bigs and just compete”, warned Quantez Robertson. The Fraport Skyliners know that its more than do or die Sunday against Tuebingen. “We can´t talk anymore now, but we just have to win. It is a duty to win. We have to defend and play fast break basketball like in the last quarter in BRaunschweig and just all play with heart”, warned Johannes Voigtmann.

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 Skyliners 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. In the first meeting this season, The Walter Tigers Tuebingen played an alla round solid game defeating Frankfurt 87-75 and had six players in double figures as Kenny Frease had 18 points, Vaughn Duggins chipped in with 17 points and Reggie Redding and Tyrone Nash contributed 12 points each. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Zach Peacock with 18 points and Ted Scott with 13 points. 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.







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