Not only Beko BBL team Fraport Skyliners have had massive problems keeping a healthy point guard as Richard Williams, Konstantin Klein and Max Merz have been sidelined, but also their farm team Fraport Skyliners Juniors have had health issues as both Merz brothers haven’t been able to get the dog command from coach Eric Detlef “go sick em boy” which one tells a dog when he should go chase someone the same way the two Germans do their opponents with their ruthless and scrappy defense. In their absence, 18 year old German Armin Musovic has done a very respectable job leading the team with his playmaking skills, but the club recently got some insurance at the point guard position with 18 year old Jules Akodo from Great Britain that was born in London and has parents from Cameroun. Akodo is a 188cm point guard that has a great body and athletic skills for a point guard. He can drive to the lane and plays tough defense. He played the last four years in Slovenia with the Union Olimpija Ljubljana junior team. In the past he has played for the British U-16 and U 18 national teams and last summer played at the European Championships U18 in Konya (Turkey) -14: 6 games: 14.5ppg, 3.2rpg, 4.0apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 42.0%, 3PT: 34.6%, FT: 72.0%. He played in Schwelm and Karlsruhe the last two weeks, but came up short losing. He played solid in the two games and averaged 8,5ppg, 4,0rpg, 4,5apg, and 1,5spg. He is still looking for his first win in the Pro B and had to wait two weeks to make his home debut in the BCM against Schwelm and sought revenge after the loss two weeks ago and was all smiles after the massive 101-65 victory against the EN Baskets Schwelm especially next to his teammate Johannes Richter as they were doing post game stretching who was in the zone with 34 points and 12 rebounds. “I was excited to play my first home game and our great team chemistry led to the win. It hasn’t been difficult to get used to the style because I am used to it having played the last years in Slovenia. I feel very comfortable in Frankfurt as the club and teammates have made it easy for me and I feel at home here and as if I have been here a long time. Joe was a bull today and a real fighter”, stressed Fraport Skyliner guard Jules Akodo. The EN Baskets Schwelm came into the game having lost two of the last three games and two weeks ago defeated the Fraport Skyliners Juniors 77-58 as the Frankfurt Beko BBL license players were absent, but today the game level was like night and day as Beko BBL license player Johannes Richer, Stefan Ilzhoefer and Kyle Fossman were in the lineup and combined for 67 of the 101 points. “There was a huge difference today to our win two weeks ago. Frankfurt shared the ball well, capitalized on our mistakes and made many second chance points. They executed really well and clobbered us on the boards and when that happens you usually don’t win. Their bigs did a great job passing the ball finding gaps in our defense and finding the open shooters. Their big men are very skilled”, expressed Seattle Washington native Jody Johnson who played at Central Washington(NCAA2) before making the trek to Europe.
The match winner of the game was 21 year old 206cm German Johannes Richter who played 31 minutes scoring 34 points hauling down 12 rebounds and dishing out four assists. It took him about five minutes to get going, but it was then that the Fraport Skyliners got going ending the first quarter with a 22-5 run and never looking back. After playing only 19 minutes in the first five Beko BBL games, he had his breakout game in Bamberg in mid November scoring 10 points and grabbing nine rebounds including five offensive rebounds. Then he had his real break out game powering the Fraport Skyliners to their first win in Eurochallenge leading the team with 15 points and denying the Bakken Bears any honey on the bus ride home. Since then his minutes have risen and last week scored 10 points in the 94-61 rout against the Bakken Bears on the road. After the victory against EN Baskets Schwelm, the German big men seemed almost even more focused stretching and had that boyish smile where one may not have thought he just had a monster game denying the EN Baskets Schwelm of a sausage reward which is a delicacy in their region, but looked more like a kid that had just worked up a sweat getting the last Christmas gifts. ”I have got extra self confidence from my BBL experience and took it into this game and really wanted to get the Pro B game back on the winning track. It took me five minutes to get going, but once I got going I got even more self confidence which carried over to the end of the game. My biggest strength today was my inside out game”, stressed Johannes Richter. Fraport Skyliners head coach Gordon Herbert can always be seen at the Pro B games of the Juniors and he may have been penciling in some extra notes as to where he will play Richter against Oldenburg on Sunday. Herbert has been more than satisfied with the effort of Richter this season.”I felt that Johannes had a very good preseason, but he was still behind Danilo Barthel and Aaron Doornekamp on the depth chart. However we then got injuries and he got his opportunity. Even when he wasn’t getting minutes, he had a great attitude and worked hard. I am happy for him. Even last week against Braunschweig he saw minutes in the fourth quarter. He has shown that he can shoot and is a good offensive rebounder and competitor. I have to continue to find minutes for him. It is nice to see his dedication that he is able to combine school and basketball, because it isn’t easy as schooling in Germany makes it hard to combine sports”, stressed Fraport Skyliners head coach Gordon Herbert.
Under the watchful eyes of Fraport Skyliner captains Danilo Bartlel and Quantez Robertson, the Fraport Skylinedrs Juniors got off to a quick start taking a 6-2 lead as Stefan Ilzhoefer scored consecutive buckets showing his aggressiveness from the get go and 17 year old Paderborn native Niklas Kiel caught an air ball and made the lay in. Illzhoefer kept up the intensity scoring inside as Richter found him for the easy score. The EN Baskets Schwelm then stormed out on a 6-0 run to lead 11-8 and it seemed as the game could slightly change as ex Finke Baskets forward Leo Padberg who had been inserted into the starting line up for German veteran Sebastian Schroeter who wasn’t totally fit scored and ex Giessen 46er Matthias Perl who played 35 Beko BBL games for the Hessen team got aggressive scoring inside twice. However then out of the blue as if Gordon Herbert had had a secret Walkie Talkie in the stands to signal to Junior head coach Eric Detlef that it was time for his license players to do work, the Pro B team ended the first quarter with a back breaking 22-5 run to lead 30-16 and they would never look back again in the game. In the run, Johannes Richter got going with 11 points while Ilzhoefer ended the first quarter with 14 points. Richter displayed his inside out game to the finest with a couple of three pointers and damage inside with a hook shot and reverse lay up. Ilzhoefer hit a couple of three pointers as well and Paderborn native Marius Nolte contributed with four free throws. “Richter and Ilzhoefer were the main forces that really hurt us. The team shot very well and when you have a good young team that gets going like that, it is just difficult to stop”, stressed EN Baskets Schwelm CEO Omar Rahim. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 61% from the field and 57% from outside while the EN Baskets Schwelm were shooting 39% from the field and 0% from outside. Frankfurt had the 12-8 rebound edge and two turnovers while Schwelm had three turnovers.
In the second quarter, the Fraport Skyliners kept up the offensive pressure and the EN Baskets Schwelm showed some resistance cutting the Frankfurt lead to 10 points, but a 5-0 run to end the second quarter put a dent into the Schwelm comeback. The Fraport Skyliners started the second quarter with high intensity and getting two transition buckets from Alaska native Kyle Fossman and Armin Musovic to propel their lead to 34-16. This run was matched by a 11-4 run by Schwelm to trail 38-29 which was possibly their best few offensive minutes of the game. Ex Lich player Perl started the run scoring inside again and Leo Padberg sunk a three pointer as Frankfurt still led 34-21. Canadian Chris Johnson who played at St Bonaventure(NCAA) and last season as a rookie for Glasgow(UK) had a strong phase scoring some buckets including a beautiful cross over and finishing with a floater. However the Fraport Skyliners Juniors didn´t let this little spurt of offense by Schwelm get them out of their game plan as their offense got going again finishing the second quarter on a 10-4 run to lead 48-33 after two quarters. Richter helped his stat account scoring inside and getting to the free throw line and Fossman found a quick footed Ilzhoefer cutting to the hole for two points. Frankfurt led only 43-33 with a minute to play, but a Richter three pointer and Jules Akodo jumper slammed the door in the faces of the EN Baskets Schwelm. “The second quarter was the same picture as the first quarter where we couldn’t control Richer or Ilzhoefer. We had problems controlling their inside out game and we couldn’t get any easy points on offense”, added EN Baskets Schwelm CEO Omar Rahim. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 51% from the field and 38% from the three point line while the EN Baskets Schwelm were shooting 40% from the field and 11% from the three point line. Frankfurt had the 21-18 rebound advantage. Frankfurt had four turnovers and Schwelm five turnovers.
In the third quarter, The Fraport Skyliners were able to extend their lead to 20 plus points as the EN Baskets Schwelm had no cure on how to minimize the Frankfurt offensive flow and consistency. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors had many players on this day that contributed as Richter and Ilzhoefer did and in the third quarter it was the turn of Kyle Fossman that was born in Canada, but grew up in Alaska as he had the hot hand Hitting three consecutive jumpers upping the Frankfurt lead to 55-39. After ex Phoenix Hagen guard Max Kramer who played 8 Beko BBL games for Ingo Freyer hit some buckets, it was back to Richter demonstrating that he was a man among boys doing more damage making a massive two handed dunk after being fed quickly by Ilzhoefer and scoring inside as Frankfurt led 64-44. After Kramer nailed another three pointer, Frankfurt closed out the third quarter with a 8-2 run to lead 73-51.Nicolai Vuckovic and Fossman kept the high field goal percentage high with jumpers and Marius Nolte closed out the third quarters with what he does best getting put backs and having no mercy for anyone standing in his way. “We switched to zone defense and it worked well for the first three Skyliner possessions, but then it was Richter and Fossman who hit everything. When you have good shooters you can always take apart a zone which Frankfurt did”, added EN Baskets Schwelm CEO Omar Rahim. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 53% from the field and 37% from the parking lot while the EN Baskets Schwelm were shooting 43% from the field and 25% from the parking lot. Frankfurt led the rebounding duel 32-22 and had six turnovers while Schwelm had 10 turnovers.
The game was already decided after 30 minutes, but the Fraport Skyliners wanted to play a complete game and did outscoring the EN Baskets Schwelm 28-14 in the last 10 minutes. Marius Nolte started off the fourth quarter where he left the third quarter hitting two buckets as Frankfurt extended their lead to 77-51 thus making four baskets in a row something where one could pick his mind if he had ever done that before as a professional. Frankfurt kept working on getting to the 100 point mark as 18 year old Lennart Okeke who will play at the 2015 NBBL allstar game in Ulm together with teammates Niklas Kiel and Armin Musovic nailed a three pointer and Kiel and Richter combined scored six points from the free throw line as Frankfurt extended their lead to 86-55. Canadian Chris Johnson then made a beautiful dunk. “Schwelm made more beautiful baskets on this day, but overall Frankfurt made more baskets”, smiled Omar Rahim. Richter kept polishing his stat sheet with a three pointer, hook shot and free throws as Frankfurt led 96-57. Schwelm German Leo Padberg hit consecutive three pointers, but a bit too late as Frankfurt still led 99-63. After Niklas Lange hit a step back jumper, it was Kyle Fossman that ended the game with a lay in and the 101-65 win. “We weren´t awake going into the game. We had problems with matchups and Johannes Richter was the difference in this game”, added EN Baskets Schwelm CEO Omar Rahim
The Fraport Skyliners were led by Johannes Richter with 34 points and 12 rebounds. Stefan Ilzhoefer added 17 points and Kyle Fossman 16 points, eight rebounds, six assist and three steals. Marius Nolte added 11 points and six rebounds. The EN Baskets Schwelm were led by Mathias Perl with 14 points. Leo Padberg added 13 points. Christopher Johnson contributed 11 points and Max Kramer 10 points. The American/Canadian combination of Johnson and Johnson who averaged 27 points and 14 rebounds per game combined coming into the game had only 14 points and 7 rebounds and were more than slowed down by Frankfurt. “I am a defense first player while Chris is more of a scorer. When I am slacking on offense, then Chris usually makes up for it. We just didn’t have it today and were lazy and Frankfurt exploited it”, stressed American Jody Johnson. Frankfurt shot 51% from the field and 36% from outside while the EN Baskets Schwelm shot 39% from the field and 29% from outside. Frankfurt dominated the rebounding 49-26 and had 10 turnovers while Schwelm had 12 turnovers. Jules Akodo was very happy how the team played and especially having the BBL license players on board. “The BBL license players bring much energy and motivate everyone else on the team. We played as a team for 40 minutes, shared the ball, played together on defense and stopped their transition game. It was our goal to stop their transition game and did”, added Jules Akodo.