Is Jared Jordan The Missing Piece To A Fifth Consecutive Bamberg Bundesliga Title?

In the first three seasons of the Brose Baskets Bamberg Title run, the rosters that had been put together were as intact and unmovable as a Dean Smith once was in North Carolina, a Kobe Bryant has been with the Los Angeles Lakers or a Tom Brady has been with the New England Patriots. Especially at the forward position team scout Brendan Rooney had the right touch finding guys like Kyle Hines, Marcus Slaughter, Reyshawn Terry and PJ Tucker that all had great seasons in the Beko BBL and were instrumental parts to the success of the team. However in the last two seasons, players coming and going during a season which seemed untypical when looking back at the last few years has been as rapid for Bamberg as a Coby Karl having the audacity to fall back near the end of the Fraport Skyliners loss in Ludwigsburg or how FC Bayern Munich head coach Svetislav Pesic visits the court during games. Last season, guys like Teddy Gipson and Latavious Williams didn´t fit into the style and this season the influx of changes seemed to increase as guys like Zach Wright and Damir Markota left. Especially this season that special Fear factor that teams always had in the last years was slowly starting to wane as did Winter in central Germany in mid February. There was a stretch in February where Bamberg was held very close three weeks in a row beating Bremerhaven, Tuebingen and Braunschweig by only a combined 10 points. However with the return home from Ulm last weekend without a cup title, one has to debate when Bamberg will find back to that level they once had before this season. The most important player on the floor is the point guard and the club let Zach Wright go to top Euroleague team Panathinaikos Athens and made the coup of the season swiping away Bonn fan favorite Jared Jordan. Jordan who was drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers in 2007 and decided to concentrate on a career in Europe in 2009 after being so close to the NBA has been one of the top 10 point guards in Europe over the last years winning an assist crown in Greece and twice in Germany. With Bamberg losing some of the focus this season with the rise and emergence of FC Bayern Munich, Bamberg manager Wolfgang Heyder made a big steal bringing in the ex Marist guard Jordan. Jordan who is the classical point guard and would rather pass the ball than shoot will give Bamberg a new dimension on offense and so many options. Jordan is such an experienced and smart player that it won´t take him long to shine in the Chris Fleming offense. The question is will Jordan be the missing link and the guarantee to a fifth consecutive championship? “I have seen two games, the first game live in Bamberg-Wurzburg and the television game against Artland. In both games he did very well and wasn’t even looking to score. Rebounded well, 8 against wurzburg, 13 assists against Artland. Jared does what he does no matter which team you put him on. He will lead and organize the team. Jared as everybody knows will find the shooters, cutters and Bigs because he has a gift that is difficult to teach, not too many true point guards in the game today. He will definitely help Bamberg, but there are other strong teams in league this season. I wouldn’t necessarily call Jared a saviour, Bamberg has won 4 straight titles and has a quality program, coaching staff and players. He is not saving them from dropping down, he is just a piece to the puzzle that Brose needed. Is he that piece time will tell, but I think they have a great chance with Jared. As a coach I would definitely take him on my team, he just makes everybody better, is unselfish, wants to win, but most of all a great teammate and person”, stressed Gotha and ex Jordan teammate Chris Ensminger.

From 2009-2012, winning for the Brose Baskets Bamberg in the Beko BBL has seemed as simple as it is for NBA player Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian to drown in the tabloids, The Boston Celtics to win games without Rajon Rondo or the way Alex King hit with ease one December night in Eurocup play dropping seven three pointers in a row. In these three years, Bamberg had a record of 111-25 in the Beko BBL. In 2009-2010, they even lost 12 games in the regular season, but showed their grit in playoffs winning a hard fought 5 games series vs Deutsche Bank Skyliners. The 2010-2011 regular season was their strongest going 30-4 and after winning the first 17 games and lost surprisingly in Duesseldorf. They needed five games series in the playoffs against Artland and Alba Berlin. In 2011-2012 season, they were 30-4 in the regular season and blew away the competition in the playoffs and only lost one time vs Bonn at home which was their only loss at home in two years. In this span they won six titles, but this season a dent was put into the quadruple losing in the cup to FC Bayern Munich. Last season the Brose Baskets Bamberg had a 26-8 record which was their second worst in their four year title run, but it was still good enough to end in first place after the regular season. In the playoffs, the Brose Baskets Bamberg let one game slip away to Phoenix Hagen, but were able to move on on account of more experience and the opponent running out of gas in May. In the semi finals, they had a real fight with FC Bayern Munich who were on their heels until the end winning in five games. In the final, they were able to sweep the 2009 Beko BBL champion EWE Baskets Oldenburg, but don’t let the broom attack fool you as it was one of the most exciting sweeps in BBL history as the whole three games were decided by only seven points. This series might have given the first real grey hair on the scalp of Bamberg head coach Chris Fleming, but Bamberg once again showed their true class of team basketball and togetherness in crunch time in three consecutive games.

This season, the Brose Baskets Bamberg defend their title again and want to win a fifth championship, but it wont be easy with the early dominance of FC Bayern Munich. The club did a good job keeping a healthy core of seven players from the last season and added six new players. The biggest strength this season of the Brose Baskets Bamberg remains their experience and chemistry that the team has held for years with the players that have won the last years. Their defense continues to be their staple and their big weapon when used properly will lead them to many wins this season. They held Oldenburg under 60 points and Alba Berlin under 70 points. They will always be dangerous on offense as they have many weapons and as always deep at every position. When they really get going than their ball movement belongs to the best in the league with all the experience and habit that has developed over the years. Bamberg lost to FC Bayern Munich and a close dog fight in Artland and surprisingly lost in Ulm. Their only weakness is the rebounding that can improve as a team and if they can keep their hungriness, but the leaders of the team Casey Jacobsen and Anton Gavel will be like hunting dogs in that if their teammates do lose focus, then they will be unleashed to bite some proper concentration into their heads. Since nkfurt lost in Bamberg in the first game in 2014, Bamberg has a 8-1 record in the Beko BBL losing only to Alba Berlin, but one thing has changed this season as Bamberg doesn´t win as easy as in the past. In four straight games in the last two months, Bamberg has won those four games against Bayreuth, Bremerhaven, Braunschweig, and Tuebingen  by a combined points total of only 11 points. The club brought in top Beko BBL point guard Jared Jordan, but so far the big change in the team hasn´t come yet.

The team kept Anton Gavel who is a 29 year old 189cm combo guard from Slovakia that has experience and can score quickly and in bunches when needed. He is playing his fifth season with Bamberg and started his basketball career for BG Karlsruhe and then played for Giessen from 2004-2006. In 2004-2005,  he was a big factor in almost kicking out Bamberg out of the playoffs. That season he played 39 games: 12.7ppg, 2.9rpg, 2.5apg, 1.7spg, Blocks-3(1.5bpg), 2FGP: 53.2%, 3FGP: 35.7%. The next season, he was even better as he played 30 games: 16.0ppg, 2.7rpg, 3.0apg, 1.8spg, 2FGP: 46.3%, 3PT: 38.5%, FT: 52.4%. he then got valuable experience playing in Spain in the ACB for PolarWorld Murcia from 2006-2008. In 2008-2009, he played for Aris Thessaloniki (Greece-A1). Last season he played for Svit (Extraliga, starting five), Slovakian League: 2 games: 22.5ppg, 5.0rpg, 3.5apg, 1.5spg; in Nov.’09 moved to Brose Baskets Bamberg (Germany-1.Bundesliga, starting five): German League: 36 games: 10.0ppg, 2.3rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 50.5%, 3PT: 44.1%, FT: 71.7%; EuroCup: 12 games: 6.8ppg, 1.8apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 54.5%, 3PT: 41.4%, FT: 84.0%. In 2010-2011, he played 10  Euroleague games: 12.8ppg, 2.3rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 49.1%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 92.7%; German League: 45 games: 10.7ppg, 2.1rpg, 3.4apg, FGP: 50.3%, 3PT: 41.9%, FT: 84.5%. Last season, he played 43 games: 14.8ppg, 2.7rpg, 3.3apg, FGP: 54.3%, 3PT: 44.2%, FT: 75.3%; Euroleague: 23 games: 12.3ppg, 2.1rpg, 3.0apg, FGP: 51.4%, 3PT: 36.7%, FT: 79.4%. Casey Jacobsen is a 32 year old 198cm shooting guard/small forward is playing his fifth season with Bamberg after winning the BEKO BBL title with the team in 2007 and 2010 and Cup in 2010. The American from Glendora California is an outstanding player, a great competitor, both a scorer and a shooter. He can defend, take the charge, and he’ll get a rebound in a crowd because he’s tough. A complete player who plays hard, and plays smart. He played 287 NBA games for The Phoenix Suns, New Orleans Hornets and Memphis Grizzlies. He played at Stanford from 1998-2002 and in his senior year averaged 21.9ppg, 4.5rpg, 3.5apg, FGP: 44.1%, 3PT: 37.2%, FT: 77.6%; Finished career ranked 3rd in all time points (1723), 6th in points per game (18.1), 2nd in three point field goals (22) and 4th in three point percentage (.427). Left Stanford as the sole or co-owner of 49 school records. He was drafted by the Phoenix Suns (from Boston) (NBA,1rd(22). He played In France for in 2005-2006 for Ceramica Vitoria (Spain-ACB): Euroleague: 25 games: 9.0ppg, 1.6rpg, 2FGP: 55.5%, 3PT: 44.5%, FT: 76.7%; Spanish League: 44 games: 7.0ppg, 2.3rpg, 2FGP: 57.0%, FT: 77.0%. In 2008-2009 he played for Alba Berlin winning the BEKO BBL cup playing Euroleague: 16 games: 6.6ppg, 2.5rpg, 1.1apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 38.7%, 3PT: 37.1%, FT: 68.4%; German League: 43 games: 9.3ppg, 2.6rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 53.0%, 3PT: 44.6%, FT: 76.8%. In 2010-2011 for Bamberg, he played Euroleague: 10 games: 9.1ppg, 4.1rpg, 2.5apg, FGP: 34.8%, 3PT: 42.6%, FT: 68.2%; German Bundesliga: 48 games: 11.8ppg, 3.5rpg, 2.9apg, FGP: 52.8%, 3PT: 43.6%, FT: 84.9%. Last season he played  46 games: 11.7ppg, 3.3rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 48.0%, 3PT: 43.3%, FT: 90.3%; Euroleague: 24 games: 9.3ppg, 2.8rpg, 2.4apg, FGP: 47.0%, 3PT: 39.6%, FT: 85.2%.

Maik Zirbes is a 23 year old 208cm center that has always been seen as a guy that could develop into one of the top German centers and currently can keep doing it with Bamberg after getting the chance with TBB Trier under Henrik Rodl. He was born in Traben-Trarbach  is a huge talent and has been able to increase his playing time each season in Trier. He started his basketball career in the TBB Trier youth programs and in 2008-2009 he played 12 games averaging 1.3ppg and in the summer of 2009 played at the World University Games in Belgrade (Serbia) playing 6 games averaging 5.5ppg, 5.7rpg, FGP: 44.0%, FT: 64.7%. In 2010-2011, he averaged 7.4ppg, 4.4rpg, FGP: 60.9%, FT: 73.3% “He is a big body with soft hands and will help them under the boards. He is very talented”, warned ex TBB Trier forward Chris Copeland. Twos easons ago, he improved his stats in Trier playing  34 games: 10.6ppg, Reb-5(7.1rpg), FGP: 57.3%, FT: 69.9%. Last season for Bamberg he played  43 games: 8.9ppg, 5.1rpg, FGP: 61.1%, FT: 66.7%; Euroleague: 23 games: 8.2ppg, 5.0rpg, FGP: 53.9%, FT: 78.6%. Sharod Ford is a 31 year old 206cm power forward/center from Washington D.C that is playing his season with Bamberg. He is a great intimidator  inside, thanks to great timing and leaping ability. His great athletic skills allow him to be good rebounder and a spectacular slasher, but he showed to be very good even in all the other parts of the game, like passing and ball-handling. He started his basketball career at Clemson in 2001 playing there until 2005. AS a rookie, he played three NBA games for the Phoenix Suns. He finished the season with Alba Berlin helping them win the Beko BBL title. He played a second season for Alba Berlin before moving to Italy. From 2008-2012, he played in Italy with a small four game career in Russia for St Petersburg. In Italy Ford established himself as the top rebounding player leading the league each year in rebounds. Last season, for Bamberg he played  44 games: 12.3ppg, 5.9rpg, Blocks-4(1.2bpg), FGP: 59.1%, 3PT: 37.7%, FT: 74.7%; Euroleague: 23 games: 8.0ppg, 4.3rpg, FGP: 53.6%, 3PT: 27.5%, FT: 64.9%.

The team is also kept talented young Germans led by Karsten Tadda who is a 25 year old 189cm guard. He has been with Bamberg since 2007. He started his basketball career at Troester Breitenguessbach in 2005. In 2009-2010 for Bamberg he played Eurocup 14 games: 4.1ppg, 1.4rpg; German League: 45 games: 3.2ppg, 1.2rpg, 1.0apg. In 2010-2011, he played German League: 47 games: 3.1ppg, 1.3rpg; Euroleague: 10 games: 0.8ppg; played also at TSV Troester Breitenguessbach (ProB, starting five): 2 games: 16.5ppg, 3.5rpg, 1.0apg, 1.0spg. He is known as an aggressive and relentless defender. Last season, he  played  45 games: 3.5ppg, 1.6rpg, 1.3apg; Euroleague: 24 games: 3.3ppg, 1.6rpg, 1.0apg. Not many German players can challenge his 47 Euroleague games experience. Goldsberry is a 31 year old 191cm guard from Ohio. He is playing his sixth season for Bamberg. He started his basketball career for  NC-Wilmington (NCAA) from 2002-2006. As a rookie, he played for the Bayer Giants Leverkusen (Germany-1.Bundesliga), injured in Oct.’06 and was sidelined for 8 weeks: 32 games: 8.1ppg, 2.2rpg, 4.2apg, Steals-1(2.6spg), 2FGP: 49.1%, 3FGP: 40.2%, FT: 73.6%. In 2007-2008, he played for the Artland Dragons helping them win the German cup in Hamburg against EnBW Ludwigsburg. After sitting out the 2011-2012 season due to injury, he had a full season last season playing 38 games: 3.7ppg, 2.1rpg, 3.0apg; Euroleague: 18 games: 4.4ppg, 2.0rpg, 2.6apg. Goldsberry is a classic point guard that is a harsh defender and usually does the right things in pressure situations.

Bamberg added six new players with American Jamar Smith who is a 26 year old 191cm guard that played at Illinois(NCAA) and S.Indiana(NCAA). Smith is playing his fourth professional season and is a calm player that can find his teammates and also is a very good distance shooter. As a rookie he played in the D-league and two seasons ago in the Czech Republic. He continues to be very close to getting to the NBA as last season he played for  Boston Celtics (NBA), only pre-season, in Oct.’12 signed at Altshuler Saham Galil Gilboa (Israel-Winner League): 26 games: 14.4ppg, 3.2rpg, 3.4apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 56.9%, 3PT: 41.3%, FT: 68.2%; Balkan League: 11 games: Score-4(16.5ppg), 3.1rpg, 3.7apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 60.0%, 3PT-2(58.1%), FT: 86.7%. Rakim Sanders is a 24 year old 193cm guard from Rhode Island that is playing his second professional season and first with Bamberg. The American has the complete package and will help combat the Bamberg rebound problem. He played at Boston College and  Fairfield (NCAA). He had a  Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft), but remained undrafted playing  3 games: Score-2(19.3ppg), 8.7rpg, 1.3apg, 1.0spgAs a rookie he played for  Maccabi Electra Tel-Aviv (Israel-Premier League); Balkan League: 15 games: 13.3ppg, in pre-season landed to Altshuler Saham Galil Gilboa (Israel-Premier League, starting five): 28 games: 12.7ppg, 3.9rpg, 1.7apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 59.0%, 3PT: 39.0%, FT: 64.7%, 6.3rpg, 1.6apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 60.9%, 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 73.2%. D or Fischer is a 32 year old 211c. center from Philadelphia that is playing his second season in Germany and first with Bamberg. He played at Northwestern State and West Virginia before turning professional in 2005. He paid his dues playing in Poland, Germany and Belgium before getting two fat contracts for top teams Macabbi Tel Aviv and Real Madrid. His 74 Euroleague games are priceless. He started the season with the Washington Wizards before getting released. Last season he played for  BC Donetsk (Ukraine-Superleague, starting five): VTB League: 18 games: 10.3ppg, 6.2rpg, 2.3apg, 1.3bpg, FGP-3(63.5%), FT: 73.5%; Ukrainian Superleague: 38 games: 11.0ppg, 7.4rpg, 2.8apg, Blocks-2(1.9bpg), FGP-2(62.3%), FT: 78.4%; EuroCup: 6 games: 10.3ppg, 5.7rpg, 1.5apg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 70.0%, 7reb, 2ast, 5blocks. Novica Velickovic is a 27 year old 205cm from Serbia He has played for top teams like Partitan Belgrad and Real Madrid and has much experience having played 116 Euroleague games. Last season he played for Mega Vizura (Serbia-A League): 13 games: 14.6ppg, 5.5rpg, 1.6apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 52.0%, 3PT: 38.1%, FT: 71.7%. The club recently added Elias Harris to make their roster another tic deeper. Harris is a 24 year old 203cm forward from Speyer Germany that made the dream to the NBA, but lasted only two games. He is a natural born power forward; he is a very strong kid with physical power who loves (of course) the Physical game. His ability in the shooting gives him another advantage in the court as he can play also at the small forward positions in case needed.He started his basketball career at SG TV Durkheim and first opened eyes afte rhis strong PRO B season in 2008-2009 with BIS Baskets Speyer playing 26 games: Score-4(20.9ppg), Reb-4(9.2rpg), 1.7apg, 1.6spg, Blocks-4(1.0bpg), FGP: 55.7%, 3PT: 22.8%, FT: 78.3%. He then had a stellar four year career at Gonzaga playing a total of 136 NCAA games and played  14.3ppg, 7.5rpg, 1.5apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 54.5%, 3PT: 16.7%, FT: 76.5%.He also played at the 2009 European championships and 2010 World championships.

The Skyliners have a massive negative record on the road in Bamberg going six years without a win until the Beko BBL playoffs 2010 where the club of Gordon Herbert won in game one 65-63. Who could forget the embarrassing 81-48 loss in 2007 which was the last game for Skyliner coach Charles Barton. In 2009-2010 the club won twice winning in the regular season 84-80 as the team was led by American point guard Aubrey Reese with 18 points. They won a second time in game four of the 2010 finalswith a 69-56 win sending the 2010 BEKO BBL finals back to Bamberg as Alba Berlin American Derrick Allen led the charge with 19 points and seven rebounds. In the first meeting in 2010-2011, The Brose Baskets Bamberg were able to pull out a hard fought 71-62 win as they rallied from being down 60-55 and ended the game with a 16-2 run. Anton Gavel led all scorers with 19 points and Reyshawn Terry added 15 points. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were led by Dashaun Wood with 15 points, but he steered only two assists. Brad Buckman and Jimmy Mckinney chipped in with 10 points a piece. Bamberg was able to shoot over 40% from the field and outside while Frankfurt didnt have the touch from the three point line at only 29%. In the second game at home, Bamberg won easily 81-63. Since the 2005-2006 season, the Skyliners have a miserable 5-18 record against the six time Beko BBL champion Brose Baskets Bamberg. In 2010-2011 they lost four times in Bamberg, in the Champions Cup, against Bamberg and twice in Cup play against Braunschweig and the Artland Dragons. In 2011-2012, the Fraport Skyliners stunk up the Stechert arena with a degrading 97-63 loss. Julius Jenkins led Bamberg with 20 points while Jon Leuer produced 17 points and 14 rebounds. In the return game, the Fraport Skyliners gave a spirited effort winning in sensational style 76-68. Frankfurt had a strong 16-7 third quarter leading the team to the win. Jimmy Mckinney had 19 points while Marcus Slaughter had 15 points. Last season in the first game, despite a strong first half by Frankfurt, Bamberg was able to prevail in the second half wining 76-67. Anton Gavel led Bamberg with 19 points and the ex NBA players Casey Jacobson and Bostjan Nachbar contributed 14 points a piece, while ex Skyliner Ted Scott produced 14 points. In the return game in Frankfurt, the Fraport Skyliners took apart Bamberg 77-64 as they were led by American Dawan Robinsonwith19 points, Ryan Brooks added 13 points and Zack Peacock 12 points. Bamberg was led by Anton Gavel with 22 points. Frankfurt did a superb job controlling the boards and showing their aggressive Katzurian defense. In their first meeting this season, the Brose Baskets Bamberg took apart the Fraport Skyliners had many injuries and many young players that had to take responsibility which is never easy in the hostile  Bamberg environment. Bamberg was led by Elias Harris with 13 points, while Anton Gavel and Casey Jacobsen had 12 points a piece. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Konstantin Klein with 14 points. Frankfurt might have caught Bamberg at a perfect time with their bitter loss to Alba Berlin in cup play in Ulm, but then again Bamberg is always capable of coming back and giving a perfect performance.  It is no secret what the Fraport Skyliners have to do to start a new winning streak. “We have to come out aggressive fighting and play good defense. On offense we have to take care of the ball and execute”, stressed Fraport Skyliner Quantez Robertson. FRaport Skyliner Ramon Galloway ha sthe perfect three step formula to get past the seemingly more and more vulnerable Bamberg club. “We have to play with the same intensity as against Munich and Ulm, take care of the ball and limit our mental errors”, warned Ramon Galloway. The Fraport Sklyiners welcome the Brose Baskets Bamberg April second.

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