What do you get if you can hear the two names Demond Mallet and former Super bowl champion of the New England Patriots Kevin Falk mentioned in one sentence? You most likely will have MBC swing man Patrick Richard standing in front of you with a huge smile and the utmost respect for two guys that have been in his thoughts since a young age. Richard is a 24 year old 196cm swing man from Carenco, Louisiana that is playing his third professional season and first in Germany with 2004 Fiba cup winner MBC. 2008 ULEB cup winner and former Bamberg star Demond Mallet played at Mcneese State where Richard also played and left a legacy behind him as did Richard and Kevin Falk is from his town. “One can say that I know Kevin very well. We speak often and he is a legend here. I’ve been knowing him since I was a young kid”, stressed Patrick Richard. At Mcneese State, Richard who lists Marcus Thornton and Isaiah Thomas as his toughest opponents in the NCAA was able to improve his scoring and rebounding each season and as a senior averaged 18.1ppg, 6.3rpg, 3.2apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 27.9%, FT: 76.9%. Like so many talented players coming from college he had pre draft work outs with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers, Detroit Pistons, and Golden State Warriors (NBA). He then also got the opportunity to play NBA Summer league in 2012 with the Detroit Pistons playing 3 games and averaging 3.3ppg, 1.3rpg, 3PT: 40.0%. Instead of making his dream come through and balling against the best of the best, he found himself in the D-league and got injured and missed the whole season. So like so many players before him, he had to make a new start from the bottom with the Sandringham Sabres (Australia-SEABL-East) playing 24 games and averaging 18.5ppg, 6.4rpg, 2.1apg, 2FGP: 42.7%, 3PT: 38.2%, FT: 80.7%. Last season he made the jump to Europe and played for Matrixx Magixx Wijchen (Holland-Eredivisie) playing 38 games Score-4(15.3ppg), 4.9rpg, 2.7apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 54.1%, 3PT: 37.1%, FT: 78.9%. Each season as a professional he has made the next jump up a level and now is performing at a very high standard with MBC averaging 13,3ppg, 3,7rpg and 2,9apg and is shooting the highest percentage from downtown ever in his career at 48%. On top of that he is a key figure in the success of MBC as they reside in fifth place in the BBL with a record of 6-2. Of course its his scoring and shooting that really has stood out, but he has other great qualities on the court.” A hidden strength is probably my vision on the court and passing. And also I can slash to the goal as well”, added Patrick Richard. The hard work ethic and belief that he can always get better is never diminishing. “I believe I can always play better. It’s never about me I’m a team guy but of course I can step it up. And I plan to do so throughout the season in any areas I can for us to win. In the next weeks just continue my leadership vocally. Also rebounding more. I think anything positive can help us as a whole to win”, warned Patrick Richard. Winning a BBL title may be a bit early this season with MBC, but with the desire to win and always get better, the determination of Richard surely will get him big success down the road so that one day he can rap alongside a Demond Mallet or Kevin Falk about his titles and history that he has built.
For just about every basketball player battling against FC Bayern Munich is the season highlight and seemingly as exciting as having the opportunity of going on a spectacular trip to Africa on safari or getting the rare chance of going one on one against uncle Drew in Kyre Irving mode. For other player competing against a club like the Walter Tigers Tuebingen it is just another day at the office with nothing really to look forward to except not getting color blinded by the pink of the Paul Horn arena or witnessing a shooting clinic by American Jonathan Wallace which isn´t out of the ordinary. However when a player has to go up against the Mittledeutscher BC, it is never a normal or boring occurrence, but something extraordinary that often can get the nerves escalating to new proportions of desperation because of their fighting wolf mentality. With absolutely no disrespect to the Mitteldeutscher BC as it is led superbly by manager Martin Geissler, but with the lowest budget in the league, one can really give the club the three L´s to what an opponent gets when they enter the wolf den. The three L´s stand for little names, little experience and always a loathsome experience against them. The Mitteldeutscher BC is a club that no one really wants to meet, because one never really knows what to expect except an annoying, uncomfortable and nasty 40 minute experience on the court as the team just fights fights until the bitter end with the only thing missing being a real bite into the butt by a real live wolf that is let loose from the cage under the arena. This is the case this season and was last season as they just missed reaching the playoffs finishing the season in ninth place. They started their season slow losing six of their first seven games and finally found their rhythm in December where they won four games in a row including Oldenburg. They had another four game winning streak in March beating Oldenburg again and playoff team Ludwigsburg. MBC played very strong team basketball last season where each guy played for the other. It also helped that American Angelo Caloiaro had an MVP type year and American Josh Parker made the jump from the German Pro B to the Beko BBL and becoming a durable player even if he at times was a scratch due to the amount of import players that one can use per game.
Often with a limited budget and players having big seasons, it is difficult to hold guys as Angelo Caloiaro, Josh Parker(third league Turkey) and Marcus Hatten all left. Silvano Poropat who has a strong ability of making the best out of what he has to offer kept only three players and made a face lift of his roster. The etam held 30 year old 204cm forward veteran Djordje Pantelic who has played in countries like France, Cyprus, Greece Romania, and Serbia, but never three seasons for one club as he is doing now with MBC. Last season for MBC he played 33 games averaging 6.5ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.5apg, Blocks-4(1.3bpg), FGP: 53.8%, 3PT: 26.9%, FT: 66.2%. he is a solid offensive player, but shines on defense where he is the anchor on defense being second and fourth in blocks in the BBL the last two years and currently leads the league in that category. The oldest standing player on the roster is captain Malte Schwarz who is a 25 year old 188cm guard who is playing his foruth season in Weissenfels. He is a fierce three point shooter and brings the team that extra energy each day on the court. Last season he played 34 games averaging 7.4ppg, 1.1apg, FGP: 36.6%, 3PT: 31.4%, FT: 81.1%. He also will always be able to tell his grandchildren about the famous Michael Jordan tirade in Frankfurt in 2010. The club also held 27 year old 205cm forward Oliver Clay. He started his basketball in the Alba Berlin organization and also got valuable experience in Trier and Wurzburg. He is playing his second season in Weissenfels and is a durable role player inside. Last season he caught the injury bug and played only 14 games averaging 3.1ppg, 2.0rpg.
The team brought in nine new players with the biggest surprise being German Christian Standhardinger who is a 25 year old 203cm forward from Munich. He started his basketball career in 2004 with DJK SB Muenchen. He then played three seasons for Ralph Junge at Ehningen before going to the States. He played at Nebraska(NCAA) for two seasons, but ha doff court problems and transferred to Hawaii (NCAA) where he put up amazing stats and improved his scoring, rebounding and assists each season and as a senior played 29 games averaging 17.9ppg, 8.4rpg, 1.5apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 51.0%, 3PT: 25.6%, FT: 76.7%. Despite the good stats the conference he played in didn´t attract the NBA scouts. Besides bringing in Patrick Richard, the team also signed Simonas Serapinas who is the other 30 plus player on the team that gives valuable experience. He is a 32 year old 197cm swing man from Lithuania that has played in countries like Greece, Ukraine and Italy and top teams like B.C. Zalgiris Kaunas, Aris Thessaloniki and Azovmash Mariupol. His shooting and 64 Euroleague experience should be his most valuable asset to the young kids. The
team also brought back Hoerdur Vilhjalmsson who is a 26 year old 190cm point guard from Iceland. He played from MBC from 2011-2013 helping MBC move back up to the Beko BBL. His off the dribble shooting and defense ability has welcomed him back after he went for the money last season with Blancos de Rueda Valladolid (Spain-Liga Endesa), but didn´t get the minutes he wanted playing 27 games and averaging only 3.7ppg, 1.0rpg, 1.1apg. MBC also brought in two Americans with Frantz Masssenat and Ryan Nicolas. Massenat is a 193cm guard from Ewing, New Jersey that is a rookie in the Beko BBL. He played at Drexel(NCAA) form 2010-2104 helping the club reach the NIT Elite 8 in 2012 and was able to improve his scoring each season. As a senior he played 30 games: 17.5ppg, 3.8rpg, 4.7apg, FGP: 40.5%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 72.1%. He is a point guard that likes to penetrate and set up his teammates, but also has a solid shot. Ryan Nicholas is a 23 year old 201cm forward from Spokane, Washington that is also a rookie who played at Portland(NCAA). He also improved his scoring nd rebounding each season and as a senior played 30 games: 13.0ppg, 8.9rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 51.1%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 76.9%. His biggest asset is his rebounding and dirty work mentality which someone has to do. Marc Liyanage is a 24 year old 198cm guard that is playing his first season for MBC. He started his basketball career in 2007 with Bramfelder SV Hamburg (2.Regionalliga). Since then he played one season in the States with Delta(NCAA2) playing 25 games and 108 Pro A games with Nordlingen, Duesseldorf and BG Goettingen. His shooting and aggressive defense should earn him some minutes this season. Kristian Kuhn is a 27 year old 208cm center that started his basketball career in 2004 with SC Bergstrasse (Landesliga). He also had experience in the States playing for Trinity Valley JC (JUCO) and N Arizona(NCAA). In Germany he played for teams like TV Langen, Ehingen, Cuxhaven, Heidelberg and last season Science City Jena where he played 35 games averaging 7.6ppg, 5.5rpg, FGP: 60.3%, FT: 46.9%. Robert Zinn is a 19 year old 196cm shooting guard that started his basketball career in the Ludwigsburg system. Last season he moved to Bike-Cafe Messingschlager Baunach (ProB) 14 games: 1.7ppg, 1.0rpg, 1.0apg, played also at TSV Troester Breitenguessbach (Regionalliga) 17 games: 10.5ppg, 4.4rpg, 4.8apg. This season he also has a license to play for the BSW Sixers(PRO B). He is a big German talent that Poropat should try to give minutes for his development.
When comparing this seasons team with last, one wouldn´t necessarily be able to say this seasons is stronger or more talented. But their record of 7-2 speaks volumes as it is sitting in fourth place before teams like Bamberg, Artland and Ulm. One could say the club pretty much beat the teams they had and lost to the ones they weren’t expected to beat like Munich and Bamberg, but they did beat Artland. They have shown an unbelievable early season ability of keeping their nerves and winning tight games as they beat TBB Trier by three points and Tuebingen and Phoenix Hagen by one point and Braunschweig in overtime. There are many reasons why the 2004 Fiba cup winner has started so well. For starters they have found a rhythm quickly and the preseason preparation was meticulous. The club surely would have lost a few more games had Standhardinger not been on the team. Also their home court advantage is something that hurts opponents who come in awaiting to find an easy game. The strong team mentality and character is another asset to the success. The club has many players wanting to prove themselves which ups the motivation a tick more each game. Last but not least to add to all these points is the superb coach Silvano Poropat who is one of those coaches that lives basketball and deserves a lot of credit for the success. “I believe our success is credited to our coach on how hard he is on us and also everyone is playing together as a team. We focus on sharing the ball and also communication each game. We also focus on taking each game at a time. Coach definitely deserves a lot of credit. His will do win is very high and I believe that shows by how hard we play each game. He wants to win sometimes as bad as we do which is great. He also has a system that fits the type of players we have. As far as crunch time goes each time it’s been different people. I believe that for opposing teams that is hard to defend if a game comes down to the end like that. I believe we as a team can accomplish anything this season, but the key is to focus on one game and each week at a time. We can’t think ahead, “ warned Patrick Richard
In the short two year tenure that the Mitteldeutscher BC had from 2009-2011, the Frankfurt Skyliners were able to leave the floor each time as the winner and have a positive 4-0 record in that time. In the 2009-2010 season who could forget the exciting 76-74 win in MBC as Frankfurt was down 10 points and made a big comeback in the last minutes as American guard Aubrey Reese won the game with a shot. Frankfurt won the game at home 77-65 as American Jimmy Mckinney led Frankfurt with 17 points, Derrick Allen added 12 points and Skyliner legend Pascal Roller 11 points. In the 2010-2011 season, the Deutsche Bank Skyliners had an easier time winning as they routed the Wolves 83-52 at home as Dashaun Wood had a type of Derrick Rose performance with 16 points, six rebounds and six assists. Dominik Bahiense De Mello added 13 points and KImmo Muurinen 11 points. Frankfurt won in Weissenfels 70-58 as Dashaun Wood poured in 26 points and Quantez Robertson steered 11 points. In the 2012-2013 season, the Fraport Skyliners were swept in the season series and were surprised at home losing to the Mitteldeutscher BC 71-68 as MBC had the better nerves in crunch time. MBC was led by American Morris Curry with 20 points who could penetrate at ease all night long and American Kelly Beidler streered 17 points and 10 rebounds in the victory. Steve Wachalski contributed 11 points and Chad Timberlake 10 points. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Zack Peacock with 24 points and nine rebounds and Quantez Robertson had 12 points. In Weissenfels, MBC won 73-65 and were led by Hoerdur Vilhjalmsson and Chad Timberlake with 16 points a piece. Devin Uskoski chipped in with 14 points and Osvaldo Jeanty with 12 points. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Zack Peacock with 19 points. Ted Scott added 13 points and Quantez Robertson 10 points. Last season the Mitteldeutscher BC won the season series clobbering Frankfurt at home 87-57 as Josh Parker had 19 points and Marcus Hatten 15 points and 10 assists. Malte Schwarz contributed 14 points and four three pointers for insurance. The Fraport Skyliners were led by JarredDubois with 14 points and Andrew Rautins added 12 points. In the return game, Frankfurt lost one of their many crunch time games in the second half of the season 66-64. Angelo Caloiaro had 13 points and Michael Cufee 12 points. Frankfurt was led by Johannes Voigtmann with 15 points. The MItteldeutscher BC welcome the Fraport Skyliners on November 29th in Leipzig.