The EWE Baskets Oldenburg Title Aspirations Seem To Get Bigger Each Season Even If No One Notices

The last time the EWE Baskets Oldenburg sipped and enjoyed the taste of sweet champagne winning their first and only Beko BBl title, FC Bayern Munich hulk John Bryant was a house hold name at Santa Clara registering 18 and 14 stats in his senior year, Fraport Skyliner Lorenzo Gordon was active in his first tour of duty in the Beko BBL and it wasn´t always easy to see who could smile wider him or his cousin Jimmy Mckinney and Chris Fleming had just completed his rookie campaign in Bamberg with no titles and was at the start of building that four peat. Oldenburg did have some severe lady luck and basketball god looking over their shoulder beating the Telekom Baskets Bonn in a series that seemed almost lost in 2009. However basketball can be a weird sport at times and in the end all that matters is how the ball rolls. It took Predrag Krunic two years to build a champion after coming on board in 2007 for the departed Don Beck. In those two years, Krunic was able to bring continuity into the club rapidly by holding important players and practicing that great mix of American and Baltic basketball. After the title followed three less than satisfactory seasons where Oldenburg got worse each season. They were the best team in the 2009-2010 season finishing the regular season in first place, but couldn´t achieve anything in the playoffs losing unexpectedly to the future new Oldenburg head coach Sebastian Machowski and the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig. In 2010-2011, they finished in fifth place after the regular season, but lost early again in the playoffs and in 2012 didn´t even reach the playoffs. It seemed like the air in the Oldenburg balloon had left as quickly as do German national players under Joachim Low who don´t perform well and never return. It seemed like that last team under Krunic had been put together wrong, as team chemistry was never built and the fire in the thunderbird had been doused by a north sea rain fall that had fallen upon the city. After two season under Sebastian Machowski, it seems like Oldenburg CEO Herman Schuller has done everything correct. The success came a lot quicker than most might have thought as the team reached the Beko BBL final in the first season of the Sebastian Machowski era being swept by Bamberg, but in three hard fought games where a few possessions here and there could have given Oldenburg a win or two and then who knows what could of happened. One never wants to get too confident, but the team performance by Oldenburg two seasons was no fluke. Even if Machowski couldn’t follow Krunic in his second season and win the title as they bowed out against FC Bayern Munich, the club has a competitive roster each season and can annoy any team in the league. The Beko BBL gets more competitive each season, but why can´t Oldenburg get revenge this season in the playoffs against FC Bayern Munich? Machowski has done something that usually gives winning teams the edge in the playoffs by a majority of its players and keeping the team chemistry intact. Bamberg did it for years and the formula for titles kept giving additional hardware for Chris Fleming. Oldenburg have the talent on paper, experience and heart to win it all this season, but of course could use a little luck from other teams in the playoffs as VC Bayern Munich and Alba Berlin are still at another level, but the strangest things have happened in the world of basketball. Alba Berlin or FC Bayern Munich don’t have two players with the Beko BBL experience and heart that Oldenburg has with Detroit native Ricky Paulding and Julius Jenkins. Paulding may have the biggest basketball heart in the league and Jenkins the work ethic that many players strive to have. It will be interesting to see how the season develops for the club if they be will be able pull out some wins against Bamberg, Alba Berlin and FC Munich. So far they are 1-2 against these three teams as they bear Bamberg already. If many things do come together and the club is still playing basketball in June then anything is possible and they could possibly be the first team ever to win titles in two different buildings standing side by side.

This season the EWE Baskets Oldenburg were capable of keeping nine players and adding four new players. The team added American Ty Mckee and despite playing six Beko BBL games where he averaged 12,3ppg, 4,2rpg and 3,3apg, he left citing personal reasons. The club didn’t waste any time finding a suitable replacement with American Casper Ware. Ware is a 24 year old 178cm point that is an exciting player that can score, play defense and make each weeks highlight reel. He played at Long Beach State from 2008-2012 and has NBA experience. This is his third professional season and has played two years in Italy and played 9 NBA games for the Philadelphia 76ers. He just missed making the Brooklyn Nets and now is the missing guard link on the team. The club also added three Germans with veterans Philip Zwiener, Maurice Stuckey and Leo Niebuhr. Zwiener is a 29 year old 201cm forward from Bremen that is playing his first season for Oldenburg. He has valuable experience and has witnessed the highs and lows that a player can have. He played five seasons for Alba Berlin where he helped win a league title and two cups, but never became a dominant player. He then got a new chance with TBB Trier and got confidence back from 1993 NCAA champion and head coach Henrik Rodl and then played the last two seasons with Bremerhaven. The allrounder played at the 2008 Olympic games. Maurice Stuckey is a 24 year old 187cm guard that is very athletic and gets to the hole very quickly and began his career in 2005 with BG Leitershofen. He then played two years for Erdgas Ehingen and three seasons in the Bamberg organization playing 44 Beko BBL games. He played the last two seasons for the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg playing a total of 66 Beko BBL games and last season played 32 games: 7.3ppg, 2.2rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 47.6%, 3PT: 41.0%, FT: 75.8%. Leo Niebuhr is a 28 year old 208cm center that is playing for his seventh team with Oldenburg. He already played BBL and Fiba cup games at age 18 with Braunschweig. He only played three Beko BBL games for Braunschweig. He also played for the Artland Dragons playing 25 BBL games. He also got experience playing for BG Karlsruhe, Nordlingen and played for the BiG Oettinger Rockets Gotha (ProA) the last three seasons and last season played 27 games averaging 9.0ppg, 3.4rpg, FGP: 55.6%, FT: 77.5%.


The EWE Baskets Oldenburg were able to hold 9 players including captain Ricky Paulding. He is a 31 year old 196cm guard/forward that is playing his 8th season with Oldenburg and can be seen as Mr Oldenburg who played in Israel and France before coming to Oldenburg in 2007. If he doesn´t get his number retired and a statue when his career is over then something is wrong. With his age, with his biggest goal is winning titles and it is a shame that the yearly battles with his good friend Jimmy Mckinney on the court wont happen this season as the St Louis native has no current team. Last season he played  44 games: 12.2ppg, 3.2rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 52.3%, 3PT: 42.5%, FT: 82.2%; EuroChallenge: 16 games: 13.5ppg, 3.1rpg, 1.3apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 51.8%, 3PT: 44.6%, FT: 81.6%. The team also held crunch time scorer Julius Jenkins who is 32 and is playing his second season with Oldenburg. After leading the second Bundesliga in scoring with 27 points with Nurnberg in 2005, he then played ULEB cup with Bree and then played five seasons with Alba Berlin winning the league title in 2008 as MVP and cup in 2009 as MVP and won two titles with Bamberg in 2012. He may be 32 as like Paulding titles is what motivates him. Last season he played Eurocup 10 games: 14.7ppg, 3.2rpg, FGP: 43.4%, 3PT: 45.8%, FT: 87.0%; German League: 44 games: 13.2ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.0apg, FGP: 49.1%, 3PT: 40.4%, FT: 76.3

The club also kept their Mr everything Chris Kramer who is a 26 year old 188cm guard that is playing his fourth season in Germany and third with Oldenburg. Kramer who once scored a basket sitting down on the floor at Purdue could be the long lost brother of Wurzburg guard John Little, because he is a pest on the defensive end and just does everything to win. He could give Quantez Robertson a run for the money in a sprint coast to coast. Last season he played Eurocup: 10 games: 9.5ppg, 3.9rpg, 3.8apg, Steals-3(2.1spg), FGP: 64.9%, 3PT: 47.8%, FT: 60.9%; German League: 44 games: 10.0ppg, 4.7rpg, 3.3apg, Steals-4(1.8spg), FGP: 54.8%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 73.4%. Robin Smeulders is playing his fifth season with Oldenburg and is a 27 year old 208cm forward that continues to improve each season. He was a big force in Eurochallenge play scoring in double figures seven times and in Beko BBL play 11 times with 21 points against Phoenix Hagen two seasons ago and was clearly the most improved Oldenburg player and still has much potential to improve his inside out game. Last season he played Eurocup: 5 games: 8.4ppg, 4.4rpg, FGP: 53.8%, FT: 68.8%; German League: 37 games: 6.5ppg, 3.3rpg, FGP: 50.3%, 3PT: 46.7%, FT: 79.6% At the center position the club kept Adam Chubb as Germany is like a second home for the 33 year old American who has played in Giessen, Bremerhaven, Artland and Alba Berlin. He also has experience playing in the ACB. He belongs to the top centers in the league that nobody talks about. He has vastly improved his rebounding, has a nice touch around the basket and is the chef of the defense. Last season he had to battle injuries, but still played Eurocup: 1 game: 4pts, 3reb; German League: 15 games: 9.5ppg, 5.6rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 49.1%, FT: 76.6%. Nemanja Aleksandrov is a 27 year old 210cm forward that brings 230 pounds to the scale and shooting is his biggest strength and is a massive miss match problem.. Despite his body shape, he is a type of forward center that causes mismatches. Some injuries have slowed his career, but he still has potential to grow. He has experience having played in Slovenia and Italy and Belgium. Last season for Oldenburg he played Eurocup: 9 games: 9.9ppg, 5.4rpg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 35.7%, FT: 90.0%; German League: 43 games: 9.6ppg, 4.2rpg, FGP: 51.9%, 3PT: 34.3%, FT: 86.9%. The club also kept Philip Neumann who is a 22 year old 208cm center that started his basketball career with SSKC Aschaffenburg / TV Langen U16 team. H eplayed the last five seasons in the Bamberg organization playing a total of 98 Beko BBL games and came to Oldenburg halfway through last season. He was being groomed very slowly in Bamberg and after a while lost patience and was hauled in by Oldenburg. He is a very physical player that is tough to stop near the rim. Last season he played for Oldenburg Euroleaguen31 games: 6.9ppg, 3.3rpg, FGP: 52.9%, FT: 68.6%. The club also held double license players German Jan Niklas Wimberg and Dominic Lockhart

Since the 2005-2006 season, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners have a weak 7-13 record against The EWE Baskets Oldenburg. In the 2005-2006 season, there was a 98-75 loss in Oldenburg saw Malick Badiane get ejected after kicking a chair and in the last game of the season, Frankfurt had to win to stay in the league and did 70-58 thanks to 22 points from American Kavossy Franklin. In the 2006-2007 season, Frankfurt won the season series with a 80-70 win in Oldenburg and a 76-70 win at hom. In the 2007-2008 season, the teams split the season series as Derrick Allen combined for 48 points in the two games. In the 2008-2009 season, the teams split the season series as Frankfurt totally crushed Oldenburg 84-53 at home, but lost 66-58 on the road. Oldenburg got the last laugh in the quarterfinals of the playoffs winning the series 3-1. In 2009-2010, Frankfurt lost a nail bitter in Oldenburg 63-61 and 75-69 at home despite 26 points from Derrick Allen. In 2010-2011, The two teams split the season series with Frankfurt losing a bitter 70-67 game which they led for most of the game, but let it slip away at the end while they won at home 76-71 fueled by 24 points by Dashaun Wood. In the 2011-2012 season, the two also split the season series and both teams met in the first game of the season as Oldenburg jumped all over Frankfurt 72-53 as Frankfurt had a horrible shooting day as Oldenburg was led by 17 points by Ronald Burrell. In the return game in Oldenburg, the Fraport Skyliners were going through their euphoric second half of the season and rode into Oldenburg with a lot of confidence winning 75-67 as the team held on to win a nail bitter. Despite 22 points from Bobby Brown, Skyliner Jermario Davidson out did him scoring 25 points, getting seven rebounds and making two blocks while Jimmy Mckinney contributed 16 points. Two seasons ago Oldenburg swept the season series by a total of only 4 points as Oldenburg won a nail bitter 63-61 in Frankfurt as Adam Chubb contributed 13 points and 12 rebounds and Zach Peacock had 17 points for the winners. In the return game, the Fraport Skyliners played like a champion, but lost in crunch time again 75-63 as Ronnie Burrell found the hot hand with 20 points and Zach Peacock contributed 16 points and 11 rebounds. Last season the EWE Baskets Oldenburg swept the season series winning the first game in Frankfurt 72-63 as they were led by Rickey Paulding with 18 points while the Fraport Skyliners were led by Quantez Robertson with 14 points. In the return game in Oldenburg, Frankfurt lost another of so many second half season games in crunch time 68-66 as it was Paulding again leading all scorers with 21 points. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Dane Watts with 22 points. The Fraport Skyliners welcome the EWE Baskets Oldenburg on December 14th in Frankfurt.

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