When one closely inspects the progress of the Walter Tigers Tuebingen in the last seasons under head coach Igor Perovic, one sees that the club has always gotten nearer to making the playoffs for the first time in the Beko BBL after finishing last season in 10th place. Croatian head coach Igor Perovic has been the heart and soul of the club as he has done a terrific job of finding the right mix the last years despite having one of the lowest budgets in the league. Fans and critics were edging toward even more success this season, but it has been a season to forget as the club has been in the cellar of the standings so deep that even the most agile rats would have problems scaling up the stairs out of the doom room. Despite picking up talented guys like Alex Harris, Jonathan Wallace and Bane Ratkovica, the mix coupled with last seasons team just hasn´t meshed well and the Johannes Lischka tumor was about the worst timing that ever could have happened with the misfortune on the court. Tuebingen on the brink of desperation made a real coup on January 29th, 2014 bringing in ex NBA player Daequan Cook who seems to be a sort of savior for the season. Cook is a 26 year old 196cm guard that is a flat out explosive scorer that played at Ohio State and six seasons in the NBA totaling 367 games for teams like Miami, Oklahoma State, Houston and Chicago. He came to Europe this season and played for Budivelnyk Kyiv (Ukraine-Superleague): Euroleague: 4 games: 9.0ppg, 1.8rpg, 1.0apg; Superleague: 4 games: 4.8ppg, 2.5rpg, 3.0apg, Even if Cook may be seen by some as a type of savior, so far the club has only won one game and is still entrenced at number 18. So it is simple to see that one player wont always make the difference unless maybe your Lebron James. “I don’t think that he is expected to be the Saviour but for sure he was brought in to help improve the situation. He has done well. We have been playing much better and now just have to translate that into wins”, stressed Tuebinge guard Josh Young. At the moment the American is averaging 11,2ppg, 5,2rpg and 1,2apg. For aplayer who is known for dropping bombs from the parking lot, he still has vast territory to improve from there as he is averaging 30%. His role isn´t just to light up the scoreboard, but to be a guy who makes his teammates better. “DC’s role is to make plays, whether that be scoring the basketball or making plays for others. He shoots it so well that defenses have to respect it”, added Josh Young. Even if the most important thing now for the Walter Tigers Tuebingen is to rack in wins, it seems like he will never shake the notion that he is a vicious shooter. “I remember him being the 3 point specialist in the NBA regardless of the team. When he played in OKC, he had some big games where he shot unconsciously. I was at some of those games live. I enjoy it. I’m impressed by his 3 point shot. He can get it off whenever he wants. When he gets going, it’s tough to stop and that opens up the court for the rest of us. The most amazing thing that I have seen him do is hit every shot he took in a 2 hour practice. Contested and uncontested, it didn’t matter. He was feeling it”, stressed Oklahoma native Josh Young. Even if the 2009 NBA three point shooting winner at the Allstar game won´t surprise you with his shooting, big men might have to be wary about is his knack to help out around the hoop. “A hidden strength in his game that doesn´t get noticed right away is his rebounding. He is an excellent rebounder”, commented Josh Young. The season is winding down, so a winning streak will need to be started soon by Tuebingen and if it does, one will surely see a Cook being hot from down town during it.
Last season the Walter Tigers Tuebingen had their best finish since 2007 in 10th place and the best under Igor Perovic. They finished the season with a record of 16-18 and were very close at the end in reaching their first ever playoffs in the Beko BBL. The Walter Tigers Tuebingen have never been as close to the playoffs as they were last season. It had been another very positive season for the Tigers as everybody saw them as a team that would be living in the middle of the standings last season. The team chemistry last season was heightened in that Perovic was able to keep many players from the season before. Perovic who has been known for having the right touch finding the correct players from the NCAA to help his team in the best way possible the same way a Rick Pitino does for his Louisville team. Perovic brought in Kenny Frease who gave more stability under the boards and possibly his unorthodox gum chewing may have been a secret weapon to intimidating opponents. He also had the right feeling bringing in talented German Johannes Lischka who carried the team and stepped up in many games last season. Perovic did have one misfire with Dale Douglas who was unable to make the jump from the NCAA to the Beko BBL being released early in the season, but he had another strike with American Cameron Wells who brought consistency to the guard position. With one game left in the regular season, the Beko BBL remained as exciting as ever with a bunch of teams seemingly wrapped together in sticky spaghetti trying to break free to get the last playoff places. It remained very exciting for Phoenix Hagen, the Telekom Baskets Bonn and s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg, and also for Tuebingen. The only way Tuebingen could have reached the playoffs was with a win in Ulm and getting much help from MBC, Bamberg and FC Bayern Munich. It was a pity for the diehard Tiger fans that it just didn´t want to be again as they lost in Ulm, but the Tigers are getting closer and closer each season. Everybody talks about the exceptional work of coaches like Sebastian Machwoski and Ingo Freyer, but a Igor Perovic deserves to be mentioned with them. Tuebingen would not be where it is now without the guidance of the Serb. The trend in Tuebingen is up and the next step is for the Tigers to munch on Beko BBL teams in the playoffs even if they have to keep playing a sort of basketball lottery each off season.
This season Igor Perovic had slighty more budget to work with, but he also had to find that right “I am going to grab the right players” instinct because he lost three key players with Vaughn Duggins who moved to le Mans, France to finally be teammates as a professional with ex college teammate Dashaun Wood. Reggie Redding who is one of the top 5 swing men in the Beko BBl moved to 8 time Beko BBl champion Alba Berlin and Kenny Frease opted to go to 2008 Beko BBL cup winner Artland Dragons to see if cows on pastures there chew gum differently than in Tuebingen. The first order of business was to keep a healthy portion of players from last season on board and he was able to do that with Americans Josh Young and Tyrone Nash and Germans Johannes Lischka and Robert Ohle. Young is playing his third Beko BBL season in Tuebingen. The Oklahoma native is a 25 year old 185cm point guard that played at Drake and is one of those rare players that made the jump from German pro B to German Beko BBL. Last season, Young played 34 games: 9.1ppg, 3.2rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 60.9%, 3PT: 34.5%, FT: 71.8%. Young is an all energy guy that controls the tempo well and can get hot from outside especially in the Paul horn arena when the fans get going. Tyrone Nash is a that is also playing his third season in Tuebingen. He played at Notre Dame with NBA players like Luke Harangody, Luke Zeller and Ben Hansborugh. Last season for Tuebingen he was able to improve in scoring and rebounding and played 32 games: 10.7ppg, 5.3rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 61.3%, 3PT: 28.9%, FT: 64.2%. He is a solid scorer that can help out at center if there are foul problems. The team also held onto German Johannes Lischka who is a 26 year old 203cm power forward from Giessen. After playing in Giesen and Ludwigsburg, he now is playing his second season in Tuebingen. Last season the work horse who will go where it hurts and at times looks as emotionless German actor Armin Rhode looked like on the couch of Wetten Das last season played 34 games: 11.2ppg, 6.3rpg, FGP: 54.8%, 3PT: 29.9%, FT: 67.2%. Lischka was recently diagnosed with pituitary gland tumor, but is confident that he will play again. Robert Ohle also remained who is a 25 year old 209cm center that will be playing his second season for Igor Perovic after stays in Paderborn, Kaiserslautern and Giessen. Last season, he played 33 games averaging 2,4ppg and 1,7rpg. He started many games last season and is still getting used to more playing time in the Beko BBL.
The club added seven players saying farewell to American Ben Simmons early as he only played six games averaging 1,5ppg and 1,5rpg. Simmons is now playing in Belgium for Port of Antwerp Giants. The biggest pick up for the team was sharp shooter Alex Harris who is a 27y ear old 196cm guard and is playing his fourth consecutive season in Germany and first in Tuebingen after two seasons in Ludwigsburg and one in Bremerhaven. Last season the California native played for the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven and had a season to forget as he was injured and played only 26 games: 7.7ppg, 2.3rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 39.6%, 3PT: 32.7%, FT: 79.0%. Harris is the go to guy and everyone is expecting a big season from him especially Perovic who is a big supporter of his play. Jonathan Wallace is a 27 year old 187cm point guard who returns back to Germany after playing in Belgium last season. The Alabama native who could tell stories on long bus rides to Oldenburg about his Georgetown days playing with guys like Patrick Ewing jr, Roy Hibbert or Dajuan Summers is a scoring guard that loves the one on on eplay. Last season he played for Belfius Mons-Hainaut (Belgium-Ethias League) playing 35 games: 10.7ppg, 1.9rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 47.7%, 3PT-3(48.2%), FT: 85.1%; EuroChallenge: 6 games: 13.5ppg, 2.2rpg, 3.5apg, FGP: 51.4%, 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 84.2%. His experience having played two seasons for FC Bayern Munich will help as well. Possibly the two most important pick ups were 30 plus players Alexsandar Nadjfeji and Nils Mittmann. Nadjfeji came to Tuebingen as an assistant coach, but during the pre season as the club was able to get an extra international spot on the roster, he was made into a player coach and at age 37 can still play with the best of them and is third in teams coring. His experience is priceless having won titles in Cologne and Berlin. His first station in Germany was Bonn back in 2001 and he played the last three seasons in Munich. Last season he played only eight games averaging 4,9ppg and 1,9rpg. He was for many years one of the best passing power forwards and thanks to his good condition can stills core in the paint. Nils Mittmann is a 34 year old 201cm forward that is playing his first season in Tuebingen after stations in Ulm, Wurzburg, Ludwigsburg and eight seasons in Braunschweig. He seems to be strolling in the twighlight of his basketball career, but can still hit the three pointer and defend aggressively and is the ultimate team player. Last season he played 28 games averaging 4,1ppg and 3,2rpg. The team also acquired Bogdan Radosavljevic who is a 20 year old 213cm center that has the German and Serb citizenship. He started his basketball career in 2008 with UBC St. Poelten junior team and then played for FC Bayern Munich from 2010-2013. In Munich he never got a real chance playing a total of 17 BEKO BBL games. He is one of the biggest talents in Europe and showed fine play at the 2013 European Championships U20 in Tallinn (Estonia) -13: 9 games: 15.4ppg, 5.2rpg, FGP: 58.9%, 3PT: 35.0%, FT: 71.1%. He will get his minutes in Tuebingen and now just needs to get experience and continue to work on his game. The club recently brought back Branislav Ratkovica who played in Tuebingen from 2008-2011 winning the assist title twice in the Beko BBL. He is a 28 year old 192cm point guard in the best basketball age. After leaving Tuebingen in 2011, he playedfor liaga Petkim two seasons ago and last season was a basketball globetrotter playing for three teams. Bane as everyone calls him is a A good defender on the perimeter, he’s a player with leadership and court vision that can play even the two position if needed, thanks to good scoring skills and size. He is just another one of many spectacular players that the Beko BBL won back. If he gets going, he could give Jared Jordan a run for the assist title.
The Walter Tigers Tubeingen are a team that is always good for s surprise, even in this disastrous season where you never know what to expect from them.Their biggest win of the season so far was in Braunschweig and against Wurzburg.. Loses to teams like Oldenburg and Bamberg where they were creamed didn´t surprise anyone, but mediocre games against TBB Trier and SC Rasta Vechta are teams they have to be competitive from the start to be able to win, because these are the games that they have to win. The club have very strong guards, but how long will fans keep bringing up names like Reggie Redding and Kenny Frease and to how missed they are. The club added some very solid players, but lack a big name center as Ohle and Radosavlevic aren´t in that category. The team needs much support under the boards from everyone as Johannes Lischka has been playing more like a center down low as the leading rebounder. In four games early in the season, the Tigers averaged only 61 ppg and with the arrival of Ratkovica, it seemed the the team would improve in their scoring as more creating will be added to the point guard spot, but the team chemistry was never developed form the start The team will have to shoot better than last season to be able to have a better chance against better rated Beko BBL teams. Tuebingen has a good mix of experienced players and key will be to keep that team focus which has been vital the last two seasons where the club has been near the playoff places. Very much will have to go right for Perovic to reach the first promised land, but nothing has gone right for Igor Perovic this season.
Since the 2005-2005 season, the Frankfurt Skyliners have a record of 11-4. 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 in 2011-2012, 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 last season, The Walter Tigers Tuebingen played an all around 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. In the return match in Frankfurt, The Fraport Skyliners took apart Tuebingen 92-78 as Frankfurt was led by Dawan sweet Philli Robinson with 21 points, while Zach peacock steered 20 points and Ryan Brooks 19 points to the victory. Tuebingen was led by Vaughn Duggins with 15 points and Kenny Frease with 13 points. In the first meeting in the 2013-2014 season, Frankfurt got by Tuebingen 76-67 led by Andrew Rautins with 17 points. Danilo Barthel added 13 points and Ramon Galloway with 11 points. The Fraport Skyliners come into the game in 11th place with a record of 11-13 and have a two game winning streak while the Walter Tigers Tuebingen are still the doormat of the league even if they have received company from SC Rasta Vechta with a record of 5-21. Tuebingen snapped their five game losing streak last weekend with a huge win against TBB Trier 74-67. The motto for the Fraport Skyliners is simple, don’t change anything on their winning recipe. “It is important that we continue to play like we did against ratiopharm Ulm and just keep sticking together”, stated Fraport Skyliner Ramon Galloway. “We made another step from the Munich win. We have to continue to take that energy from the Ulm game”, warned ex Tuebingen forward Dane Watts. The biggest hurdle will be not to underestimate them. “This game will be tougher than the last two. Tuebingen is fighting to stay in the league. WE can´t come out flat or we will get our butts kicked”, warned ex Phoenix Hagen forward Jacob Burtschi. The Fraport Skyliners greet the Walter Tigers Tuebingen October 29th at 15:00.