Can Jamel Mclean Make The Legendary Name Ewing Forgotten In Bonn?

Fraport Skyliner forward Danilo Barthel may never forget October 27th, 2012 as this was the day where is flight to the hoop and nickname white MAN can jump was born as he made an explosive, nasty and posterizing slam dunk over Patrick Ewing jr that had the American not shaken up, but searching for his jock strap on the Fraport arena floor. Ewing Jr played a total of 12 Beko BBL games averaging 11,5ppg and 6,1rpg and in his last two games shinned scoring 18 points against FC Bayern Munich and grabbing a double double against Wurzburg, but then was released. He just didn´t seem to fit into the plans of head coach Michael Koch. Bonn looked for that replacement and thought they had had it with American Marquis Blakely, but after all the internet chat and media, the American landed in Ludwigsburg. The team finally found American Jamel Mclean who hails from Virginia and like Ewing is the same height at 203cm. The biggest difference is that he is four years younger and only in his second professional season. Mclean had some well known company at Xavier playing with Beko BBL players like Stanley Burrell and gum chewer Kenny Frease and NBA players like Derrick Brown and Jordan Crawford. He had his success in the NCAA reaching the Elite 8 and Sweet 16 with Xavier. Last season as a rookie he played for  Stella Artois Leuven Bears (Belgium-D1): 36 games: 9.3ppg, 6.8rpg, FGP: 51.5%, 3PT: 18.2%, FT: 62.8%. This season, he started with  Givova Scafati Basket (Italy-Lega2, starting five), in Oct.’12 moved to Telenet Oostende (Belgium-Ethias League), left in Dec.’12: Eurocup: 6 games: 4.7ppg, 4.8rpg; Belgian Ethias League: 5 games: 7.0ppg, 6.2rpg, 1.8spg, 2FGP: 52.0%, FT: 42.9%. He came to the Telekom Baskets Bonn in january and currently averaging 10,0ppg, 5,4rpg and 1,0. He also played solid in Eurochallenge action averaging 10,0ppg and 6,6rpg. He is slowly getting used to the Beko BBL style and had a strong game against TBB Trier scoring 16 points and hauling down 10 rebounds. His teammate Andrej mangold sees a distinct difference between Ewing and Mclean. “Both are excellent players, but the biggest difference is that Mclean is more of an inside presence and not so form the perimeter the way Ewing is. Mclean is more of a zone player”, stressed Andrej Magold.

This season Michael Koch was back at the drawing board and was able to construct another very interesting team that will be fighting for the playoffs. As it is every season, there is always the difficulty of keeping talented players that had good seasons and get tempted by the big money. One of these players was Tony Gaffney who went to the ACB in Spain. The combination of Jared Jordan to Tony Gaffney ally-ops were about as usual at least each game as a Konstantin Klein to Johannes Voigtmann give and go play is with the Fraport Skyliners. The team also said farewell to mini microwave Taylor Battle and Simonas Serapinas and little used German Daniel Hain.  The team was able to keep dinosaur Chris Ensminger that is turning 39, but always seems to stay at the age of 28 in body on the court and top playmaker Jared Jordan who will be the key to the success of the team. Benas Veikalas was also kept as well as Germans Andrej Mangold,  Fabian Thulig and Jonas Wohlfarth-Bottermann. The team picked up four new players with three Americans and one German. The most famous name is Patrick Ewing jr who has NBA experience and is played his first season in Europe and the club hoped that he would be even a bigger presence under the boards than Tony Gaffney was, but that proved to be wrong as he left the team months ago.  Robert Vaden also has NBA experience as well as European experience. He is about as deadly a shooter as they come and will give the team a lot of depth from outside as well as from the mid distance where he hits a majority of his shots. Koch also brought in a rookie with Kyle Weems who is a power forward and played at Missouri State. He lost seven pounds during the summer and is agile enough to play the position three if needed. Finally Koch brought in David Mccray who had played in Ludwigsburg since 2007, but never was able to make the big breakthrough. He now has a new chance and is known as a rugged defender that can score when needed and runs around the court like the brother of Derrick Allen with his hectic play. He also is like an extra assistant coach on the court which can always be beneficial. The strength of the Telekom Baskets Bonn this season will be their quickness. With Jordan you have a passer that can find any teammate at any time. He will be the main force on keeping the offense going. The team also is looking forward to playing defense and have two pit bull dogs with Germans David Mccray and Andrej Mangold. A weakness could be the boards if the project isn´t done properly. Ensminger is turning 39 and one can never know if an injury will occur. The back up center is little used German Wolfarth-Bottermann. He will have to give stability and the team will have to pride team rebounding as a whole. Bonn will have to stay healthy if they want to have a chance of reaching the Beko BBL playoffs this season. “I like how Bonn play this season. They will play well. They have good gaurds and inside players. All in all a good mix of Indians and chiefs. They play disciplined basketball like bringing the ball to Ensminger and like to change the rhythm on defense. I think that Koch has done a good job this year with finding the right quality of players that will mesh together”, said basketball expert Steven Clauss.

In the last Six seasons, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners only have a 6-12 record. It doesn´t matter if Frankfurt played at the old gym or in the new arena, Frankfurt is 0-9 in this time. The last time, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners won in Bonn, New England patriot Tom Brady had not sipped champagne yet as a third Super Bowl winner, Jurgen Klinsmann was still coach of the German national soccer team, Paul Potts was still selling cell phones and singing in front of the mirror and the terrifying Tsunami was only a few days old as Frankfurt won in Bonn on January 1st 2005 with a 79-67 win as Chris Williams exploded with 27 points and 16 rebounds.In the 2010-2011 season the Skyliners lost a tight 92-89 game shortly before the new year as Nic wise took control in crunch time.The 20 point, eight rebound and seven assist performance didn´t help in the losing cause from Dashaun Wood. Frankfurt got revenge in the return date in the Ballsporthalle as they took apart Bonn 78-60 as Dashaun Wood led all scorers with 20 points and no Bonn player scored in double figures. In their first meeting last season, the Telekom Baskets Bonn won 79-64 as Bonn was leading 41-34 at halftime and had a strong 22-12 third quarter that iced the cake for the win. Simonas Serapinas Led Bonn with 20 points, while the two ex Skyliners Justin Gray contributed 21 points and Jon Leuer 16 points. Frankfurt shot under 40% and were out rebounded badly. In the return game in Bonn, Frankfurt lost 81-62 not reaching the Beko BBL playoffs. The Skyliners had no method of stoping Chris Ensminger that had 24 points. Jermareo Davidosn added 18 points and Jimmy Mckinney had 13 points in his last game as a Skyliner. The Fraport Skyliners won the first game this season in Frankfurt 78-53 displaying the typical Katzurian defense and containing top point guard Jared Jordan to nine points and only two assists. Frankfurt was led by ex Skyliner Dion Dowell who had 17 points and Zach Peacock chipped in with 14 points. The Fraport Skyliners come into the Bonn game resting in 14th place with a record of 13-17 and two wins more than 17th placed Ludwigsburg and will play their last road game of the season in Bonn. With a win in Bonn, Frankfurt should be safe to be able to return to the Beko BBL next season. The Telekom Baskets Bonn are looking for a return trip to the playoffs something the yhave done each season under Michael Koch since he took over in 2005 except one time. Currently Bonn ha sthe last playoff spot at eight having a record of 16-14, but have stiff competition from Wurzburg who also have 16 wins and are in ninth place. Bonn is coming off a 80-74 loss in Tuebingen, but have won three of the last four games.

The club did a fantastic job complementing the team with 38 year old 209cm center veteran Chris Ensminger in 2009-2010 and has returned for a fourth season and just keeps going  is as known in the BEKO BBL as jiffy popcorn in the states. He is a BBL statesman that has won two BBL titles with Bamberg in 2005 and 2007, had season double double averages in the BBL with ppg and rpg from 2001-2005. He always gives 100% with relentless hard work under the hoop and one has to look closely for him to sneak a smile during a game. He is a strong center with fantastic rebound-skills, can score from the low-post. He is right handed, but shoots FTs with the left hand. His biggest success was with Bamberg, but he also played in Paderborn and MBC. Before he came to Germany, he played in the NCAA with Valparaiso from 1992-1996. Then he got his first experience as a professional basketball player in Portugal, France and New Zealand. In 2010-2011 for Bonn, he played EuroCup: 5 games: 16.0ppg, 10.0rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 50.0%, FT: 75.0%; German League: 35 games: 12.8ppg, Reb-2(8.5rpg), 1.1apg, FGP: 54.9%, FT: 74.0%. Ensminger may be 37, but his intelligence may out weigh his talent. “Ensminger plays so hard and is always in the right position on the boards. He won´t out jump anyone, but he is pretty smart”, stressed Quentin Pryor. Former teammate Steve Wright has fond memories of the native from Ohio as they were played together in Paderborn. “Chris is smarter than his opponents and always puts himself in the right position. He is extremely disciplined and is a leader. I don´t think there is really a way to stop him as he is very consistent. He was like a big brother for me and when he gave me advice I listened”, added ex New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig guard Steven Wright. The game of Ensminger also seems to have a special taste as he is always a joy to watch. “His hook shot at the 2010 BEKO BBL Allstar game was very nice. He has an old school game so I wasn´t shocked when I saw it. He seems to have a bag of shots like that”, commented Quentin Pryor. Alex King played two seasons with the veteran that plays like a 28 year old. “He is one of the best centers in the league and can do it all under the hoop, pass, and use both hands. He is just a complete player. Of the court he is a quiet player, but one that you can talk to. I have a lot of respect for him”, expressed Alex King. Last season, he played EuroChallenge: 11 games: 12.0ppg, 6.2rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 60.6%, FT: 70.6%; German League: 37 games: 14.8ppg, Reb-4(7.3rpg), 1.4apg, FGP: 57.3%, FT: 75.4%

The team also brought back Jared Jordan who is a 28 year old 188cm point guard from Hartford that understands how to run a team. Has great court vision and leadership. He played at Marist from 2003-2007 and finished his last two seasons as the top assist man in the NCAA with 8,5a nd 8,7apg. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round in 2007. He never played in the NBA, but was always very close as he visited training camps with The New York Knicks in 2007 and New Orleans Hornets in 2008. Before coming to Bonn in 2009, he played for top team Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius (Lithuania-LKL) and had a stint in the D-league for Rio Grande Valley Vipers (D-League): 36 games: 10.9ppg, 3.8rpg, Assists-2(9.0apg), 2.0spg, FGP: 45.9%, 3PT: 28.0%, FT: 70.3%. In his first season with Bonn, he played EuroCup: 5 games: 6.4ppg, 3.4rpg, 4.4apg, FGP: 37.9%, 3PT: 10.5%, FT: 80.0%; German League: 37 games: 9.0ppg, 4.2rpg, Assists-4(5.3apg), FGP: 43.4%, 3PT: 32.1%, FT: 76.8%. In 2010-2011, he played for VAP Kolossos Rodou (Greece-A1, starting five): 27 games: 6.3ppg, 2.6rpg, Assists-1(5.5apg), FGP: 52.3%, 3PT: 23.2%, FT: 56.0%. Last season for Bonn, he played German League: 36 games: 10.7ppg, 3.8rpg, Assists-1(8.2apg), 1.0spg, FGP: 49.7%, 3PT: 38.4%, FT: 81.4%; EuroChallenge: 12 games: 10.6ppg, 4.6rpg, Assists-1(8.8apg), FGP: 56.5%, 3PT: 36.1%, FT: 55.6%. The team also returns Benas Veikalas for a second season as he is a 29 year old 192cm guard from Lituvania. He got experience playing for Metropolitan St. (NCAA2). He then came back to Europe and played for  Nevezis Kedainiai (LKL) and two seasons for BK Prostejov (Czech Rep) before coming to Bonn last season. Last season for Bonn, he played German League: 35 games: 13.5ppg, 3.4rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 61.4%, 3PT: 41.0%, FT-3(88.5%); EuroChallenge: 9 games: 11.3ppg, 3.1rpg, 2.9apg, FGP: 55.3%, 3PT: 34.3%, FT-3(93.3%).

The team also returns three Germans. The team also brought back 25 year old 190cm Andrej Magold, who might get his first real chance in Bonn. He has bounced around German yin the last years playing  regionalliga basketball with Hannover and TB Oldenburg and then playing second division ball with FC Bayern Munich from 2007-2009. In 2009-2010, he played for UBC Hannover Tigers (ProA, starting five): 25 games: 8.5ppg, 3.1rpg, 3.0apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 45.7%, 3PT: 35.7%, FT: 69.1%. last season, he played for the Artland Dragons Quakenbrueck (1.Bundesliga): 26 games: 0.5ppg; also a license to play for SC Rasta Vechta (ProB): 2 games: 1.5ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.5apg, 1.0spg. Last season, he played  EuroChallenge: 12 games: 1.8ppg; German League: 37 games: 3.1ppg, 1.3rpg. The team also return Fabian Thulig who is a 23 year old 196cm forward who has been with the club since 2006. He made his debut in the Beko BBL in 2008 at age 18. He has been brought along slowly, but has been developing well. In 2010-2011, he played 26 games Beko BBL games averaging 2.8ppg, 1.5rpg; EuroChallenge: 6 games: 4.5ppg; also played at Dragons Rhoendorf (ProA)15 games: 9.7ppg, 4.1rpg, 2.2apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 46.7%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 78.0%. Last season, he played EuroChallenge: 12 games: 4.4ppg, 1.5rpg; German League: 30 games: 1.2ppg Jonas Wolfarth-Botterman is a 21 year old 207cm center that has been with the club since 2007. In 2010-2011played 4 Beko BBL games averaging 1.5ppg, 1.8rpg; also have a license to play at Dragons Rhoendorf (ProA) playing 29 games: 12.8ppg, 7.9rpg, Blocks-1(2.1bpg), FGP: 54.9%, 3PT-1(50.0%), FT: 44.9%. Last season, he played EuroChallenge: 5 games: 2.0ppg, 1.0rpg; German League: 20

The team also brought in Robert Vaden is a 27 year old 196cm swingman from Indianapolis that is an great offensive player, who can read screens, find an open shot for himself and serve the open teammate. Shoots well from outside and can become deadly from behind the European 3pts arch. Also, even being not so athletic, he’s really strong and knows how to defend, even on taller opponents. He played together with Ewing at Indiana from 2004-2006 before transferring to the Univeristy of Alabama at Birmingham where he played until 2009. In 2009, he was drafted by the Charlotte Bobcats (NBA,2rd(54). In 2009-2010, he started his professional basketball career for Aget Imola (Lega2, starting five): 29 games: 16.9ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.9apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 43.7%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 75.4%. In 2001-2011, he played for the Tulsa 66ers (D-League, starting five): 48 games: 11.0ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 43.8%, 3PT: 40.5%, FT: 75.0%, in Apr.’11 moved to Oklahoma City Thunder (NBA), the same day assigned to Tulsa 66ers (D-League, starting five). Last season, he played for BK SPU Bemaco Nitra (Slovakia-Extraliga): EuroChallenge: 6 games: 16.8ppg, 4.2rpg, 1.7apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 43.2%, 3PT: 40.9%, FT: 75.0%; 18 games: 17.4ppg, 4.7rpg, 2.4apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 51.0%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 84.2% , in Dec.’11 moved to Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA), in Jan.’12 joined Tulsa 66ers (D-League, starting five): 36 games: 12.8ppg, 2.8rpg, 2.4apg, FGP: 42.1%, 3PT: 44.6%, FT: 78.6%. Kyle Weems is a 23 year old 198cm power forward from Topeka, Kansas that is a Beko BBL rookie. He played at Missouri State from 2007-2012 and in his senior year played 31 games: 15.4ppg, 7.1rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 41.4%, 3PT: 40.3%, FT: 78.0%. He played a total of 134 NCAA games. This past summer, he played nBA Summer league for the Warriors and Raptors. 26 year old 188cm guard German guard David Mccray is playing his firsts eason in Bonn. He already made his debut in the BBL as an 18 year old in 2004 with BG Karlsruhe where he played until 2007. He is very athletic that can put the ball in the hoop. He is tough to stop on one on one defense and he is secretly the teams energizer and coach on the court. He can be very efficient on the court as he showed in 2009-2010 as he  scored 13 points in 15 minutes against Bamberg and 11 points in 12 minutes against Ratiopharm Ulm. In 2009-2010, he played 33 games: 5.0ppg, 1.9rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 42.3%, 3PT: 37.2%, FT: 65.0%. In 2010-2011, he played 34 games: 5.7ppg, 1.4rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 57.4%, 3PT: 31.8%, FT: 64.2%. Last season, he played 32 games: 2.4ppg, 1.2rpg.

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