Finding that very classic pass first point guard in the Beko BBL has never been a common thing as a point guard knows how to pass the ball, but the majority of them still can score better on a game to game basis. In the last years in the BBL, if one hand to choose some of these classic pass first point guards that would rather pass than shoot, one could probably pick them off one hand. One guy who has always been at the top of the assist leaders in Germany has been Bane Ratkovica of Tuebingen who twice led the league in assists from 2009-2011 and currently is doing it again. One sometimes had to wonder how the Serb was able to go through a clogged lane with a few big men in traffic breathing him down and still be able to lay the perfect shovel pass to his teammate. Other classic point guards in the past were guys like John Goldsberry who shone more with his defense once having 10 steals as a rookie with Leverkusen, but with Bamberg he helped win 5 titles while being the perfect playmaker that rarely shot, but always found his teammates in the set offense. Another guy that thought first about getting his own teammates in a good position to score before himself was New York native Kevin Hamilton who never averaged less than four assists a game per season in five in Germany and saved his best for last season where he was third in the league with 5,8apg with bayreuth. Hamilton was one of those guys that had this flair of elegance on the court that no other player had and one often watched his movements more than his passing simply because it looked so graceful. The most classic pass first point guard that the Beko BBL ever saw was Jared Jordan who led the German league in assists in three of four years and in between also was the best assist man in the Greek league. From 2011-2013, he led the league in assists with 8,8apg and 7,6apg. Jordan has left Germany and is practicing his talent in Span now with Gipuzkoa BC San Sebastian where he is leading the league with 6,6apg. Jordan who is called Mr pass is like an ice cream man having as many different ways of passing the ball as there are ice cream flavors. With Trevon Hughes not making the cut in Bayreuth for Michael Koch who was seeking that classic point guard again like he had in Bonn with Jordan, he wheeled and dealed and presented a rookie recently with Jason Brickman who is supposed to bring some calmness and organization into the offense. Brickman is a 23 year old 181cm rookie from San Antonio, Texas that played at LIU Brooklyn (NCAA) from 2010-2014. He started the season with Dynamo Moscow (Russia-Superleague) never finding his groove there. “It was very difficult in Russia being the only American and having most of the team not speak English. I did not fit into their system there so it was tough”, stressed Jason Brickman. At LIU Brooklyn, he improved his assist rate each season including from 7,3 to 8,5 to 9,8 as a senior. That was better than what Jordan did his last two seasons at Marist(NCAA) where he averaged 8,6apg while Brickman averaged 9,1apg. Brickman who names Jason Kidd and Steve Nash as his favorite point guards is happy for the experience in college and playing for Jack Peri. “I have had a good sense of passing and pretty good court vision since I was younger. But playing at LIU really helped me to be an even better passer. I played for a great coach and the perfect system so it was a fun experience. Coach Perri was the guy who recruited me to go to LIU. He pushed me to get better every day and he had so much confidence in me so it was easy to play for a coach that really trusts in me. He let me grow as a player each year and gave me more responsibility every year. He challenged me to try and strengthen my weaknesses”, stressed Jason Brickman
Medi Bayreuth head coach Michael Koch once again had the right feeling for Brickman the same way he did in 2009 bringing Jordan to Bonn. It is never easy coming into a new situation in mid season especially to a team that is struggling like Bayreuth. “I feel a little bit of pressure since it is midway through the season. But I just want to go and play as hard as I can and try to help this team win games”, added Jason Brickman. So far in three games, the club has a 2-1 record with Brickman. He showed shades of Jared Jordan passing in his debut at home against Bonn dishing out 10 assists and last week in a victory against ratiopharm Ulm getting 10 assists. He had a tough time against Alba Berlin in a 91-60 loss where he had only two assists in 33 minutes. Every week he can match himself against top point guards and will this weekend against Justin Cobbs of the Fraport Skyliners. Even if the passing of Brickman stands out, he doesn´t have to hid behind the three point line this season as he is averaging 63% shooting 7/11 an extra offensive option that Koch can play around with. They may be calling him Brick in Bayreuth, but one thing is for sure, bricks aren´t on the menu of the Texas native as his passing and shooting have given medi Bayreuth a new breath of life in the second half of the season.
The club underwent a major house cleaning session as seven guys departed like Kevin Hamilton and Kyle Weems to France, Nico Simon to Braunschweig, Brian Qvale back to the States as well as guys like DJ Seeley, Tom Spoeler and Beckham Wyrick. Bayreuth kept five players from last season including American Ronald Burrell who played under Koch in Bonn and are on the same page basketball wise. Burrell will be playing his sixth season in Germany after having played also in Cologne and Oldenburg and still belongs to the top 5 power forwards in the Beko BBL. The club also held on to American Bryan Bailey that just doesn´t quit with age as is playing his 13th professional season and Germans Simon Schmitz who is a reliable back up point guard and is playing his fifth season with Bayreuth, Philipp Heyden who is a solid back up center and Peter Zeis who can give energy from the bench and hit three pointers. The team brought in four new players including two Americans, a Czech and a German/Polish player. The most important pick up was point guard Trevon Hughes. If Bayreuth will have success this season will rest quite a bit on his shoulders. The American has more talent to work with than last season in Trier. Already last season in a pretty weak team, he showed what he is capable of and this season could have that Darius Adams or Dashaun Wood type of seasons that they had in the Beko BBL. However the stay of Hughes was short as he was released recently. The club also brought in Brandon Bowmann who has had a solid basketball career and still has gas left to make another memorable season like in 2009 with Bonn. Bowman is a basketball junkie that eats and sleeps the sport. The team also hauled in rookie Javon Mccrea who seems eccentric from the first impression, but he is all business on the court. The guy improved his scoring and rebounding each season at Buffalo(NCAA) and could have been a NBA Draft pick had he played in a stronger conference. He could be the x-factor for the team. Michael Koch also brought in some youth that also will need to contribute in big ways for the club to be successful. With Lukas Palyza they have a young Czech national player that played the last 3 years for top team Nymburk and has international experience at the club level and is looking to make the next step in Germany and David Brembly who has German roots and last season played in Poland for Trefl Sopot (Poland-TBL) and in the German A-2 national team. He also is looking to make the next step at a higher level. The club recently brought in some real experience with Je kel Foster who has played in Ludwigsburg and Oldenburg and won a Beko BBl title in 2009. Bayreuth has been very inconsistent this season as they started losing three of their first four games and then won three of their next four games. They recently had a four game losing streak made the change bringing in Jason Brickman for Trevon Hughes and since have won tow of their last three games. Defense seems to be inconsistent has they have allowed 80 points or more nine times. Their best back to back defensive games happened early in the season as they held Frankfurt and Bremerhaven combined to 57 points as who could forget the record 22-0 first quarter against Bremerhaven. Their biggest wins of the season were recently against Bonn and Ulm which could be a good omen for the future. Medi Bayreuth next travel to Frankfurt to battle the FRaport Skyliners who are coming off a huge 87-80 win against Alba Berlin and 48 hours latter got a step closer to the Eurochallenge quarterfinal thanks to a 35 point fourth quarter burying Estonian team Tartu Rock. Frankfurt is playing with a lot of confidence as is Bayreuth and this could be the clash of the rookie point guards Justin Cobbs and Jason Brickman
The Fraport Skyliners have split the season series from 2010-2013, but last season got swept in the season series. In 2010-2011, they won at home 83-75 getting 26 points from Dashaun Wood, but losing on the road 86-79 despite 29 points form Wood. In 2011-2012, they lost at home 79-71 despite 27 points form Tim Ohlbrecht, but won in Bayreuth 90-57 getting 22 points from Jimmy Mckinney. In their first meeting in the 2012-2013 season, the Fraport Skyliners won 76-59 as they were led by Ted Scott and Danilo Barthel with 15 points a piece. In the return game in Bayreuth, the Fraport Skyliners lost 75-69 in a game that was tight in the last few minutes as Beckham Wyrick hit some big three pointers. Frankfurt was led by Ryan Brooks with 15 points and Dawan Robinson with 14 points. Last season the Fraport Skyliners lost the Bayreuth home opener 74-67 as they didn´t have the nerves in crunch time and got beat from Beckham Wyrick´s big shots. The FRaport Skyliners were led by Dawan Robinson with 19 points and 11 from Andrew Rautins while medi Bayreuth was led by Brian Qvale with 19 points and Ronald Burrell chipped in with 17 points. In the return game in Frankfurt, Bayreuth won again 72-64. Medi Bayreuth was led by Kyle Weems with 15 points and Ronald Burrell added 14 points. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Ramon Galloway with 17 points and Danilo Barthel added 15 points. In the first game this season medi Bayreuth disposed of the Fraport Skyliners 67-58 as they were led by Trevon Hughes who took control with 29 points. Frankfurt was led by German national player Johannes Voigtmann with 18 points and six rebounds. The Fraport Skyliners host medi Bayreuth February 14th.
Medi Bayreuth is led by Brandon Bowmann who is a 30 year old 204cm forward from Santa Monica, California that played at Georgetown from 2002-2006 reaching the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2006. He is a very versatile player who can spend time in either forward slot. Good shooter and quick runner, can score in traffic or create his shot from the dribble. Goes well to the offensive rebounds, has a great leaping ability. Above all, he’ s a very good defender on every kind of opponent, with a relentless mentality that makes him a very good player for the European leagues. He was very close reaching the NBA twice playing in NBA training camps with the New Jersey Nets and Philadelphia 76ers. He is no unknown face in the Beko BBL playing for Bonn in the 2008-2009 season reaching the Beko BBL final. He has much experience in the D-league and has played in countries like Italy, Bulgaria, France, Serbia and Israel. In 2012-2013 he played for Dongbu Promy (Korea-KBL): 4 games: 13.3ppg, 5.8rpg, 2.5apg, 1.0bpg, in Oct.’12 signed at Seoul Samsung Thunders (South Korea-KBL): 4 games: 13.3ppg, 5.8rpg, 2.5apg, 1.0bpg, in Jan.’13 moved to Altshuler Saham Galil Gilboa (Israel-Winner League): 4 games: 5.0ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.3spg; Balkan League: 2 games: 10.5ppg, 5.0rpg, 3.5apg, 1.0spg. Last season he played for SC Rasta Vechta playing 23 games: 13.0ppg, 6.0rpg, 1.7apg, 1.1spg, 2FGP: 42.5%, 3FGP: 39.5%, FT: 83.0%- Last summer he got further basketball experience playing for the Pacific Jewellers Saints (New Zealand-NBL, starting five): 10 games: 18.5ppg, 7.4rpg, 3.2apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 53.8%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 77.1%. Ronald Burrell is a 31 year old 204cm forward from New Jersey that will be playing his 10th professional season. He played at NC-Greensboro (NCAA) and as a professional also in countries like France and Poland. He played three seasons for top team Asseco Prokom Gdynia (Poland-PLK) winning the league title three times and playing 45 Euroleague games. Last season for Bayreuth he played 33 games: 11.4ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 49.4%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 69.9%.He can bang, hit consecutive three pointers and likes the extra pass. Trevon Hughes is a 27 year old 184cm point guard from Queens, New York that may have the best cross over in the Beko BBL this season. He played at Wisconsin from 2007-2011 and played with future nBA players like Jon Leuer, Marcus Landry or Greg Stiemsma. In his first three professional seasons he played in Slovenia and Lithuania and last season rocked the Beko BBL with TBB Trier (Germany-BBL) playing 31 games: 14.7ppg, 3.9rpg, 3.6apg, Steals-1(2.2spg), FGP: 42.9%, 3PT: 31.8%, FT: 74.0%.
Bryan Bailey is a 34 year old 185cm guard from New York that has played in 10 of 13 seasons in Germany. He has played in countries like Bosnia and Holland and in Germany for Wurzburg, Oldenburg and five seasons with the Artland Dragons. This will be his third season with Bayreuth. Last season he was injured for the most part and played only 4 games: 8.0ppg, 1.3rpg, 2.3apg, 1.5spg. He seems to get smarter with age and is still a powerful defender at 34 and can do it all as an aggressive guard. Philipp Heyden is a 26 year old 206cm center that is playing his third season with Bayreuth. He started his career with BSG Ludwigsburg and then stayed two seasons in the Alba Berlin organization playing 1 beko BBL game. He then got experience with Ludwigsburg playing 28 Beko BBL games. He then played with MBC from 2011-2013 playing 55 Beko BBL games. Last season for Bayreuth he played 28 games: 5.4ppg, 2.4rpg, FGP: 57.7%, FT: 76.0%. Simon Schmitz is a 24 year old 188cm guard that started his basketball career with SG Bad Duerkheim/Speyer junior team. He then played two seasons for BIS Baskets Speyer (ProB) before coming to Bayreuth in 2010 where he played a total of 127 Beko BBL games. Last season he played 33 games: 2.6ppg, 1.3rpg, 1.2apg. He is the team captain that can always nail the open three pointer and hardly misses from the free throw line. Peter Zeis is a 25 year old 196cm forward that is playing his fourth season for Bayreuth. In the last three seasons he has played 52 Beko BBL games. He started his basketball career in 2005 for TSV Troester II Breitengussbach (Regionalliga) where he played until 2011.
Javon Mccrea is a 21 year old 201cm forward from Newark, New York that likes Lebron james and his favorite show is the Fresh prince Of Bel Air and his personality is somewhere between Lebron James and Will Smith. He played at Buffalo(NCAA) from 2010-2013 and as a senior played 29 games: 18.5ppg, 9.9rpg, 2.2apg, 1.5spg, 2.2bpg, FGP: 56.1%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 66.7%. He was the All-MAC Player of the Year in 2014. This past summer he played NBA Pro Summer League in Las Vegas (Dallas Mavericks): 5 games: 4.8ppg, 1.4rpg, FGP: 62.5%, FT: 66.7%. Lukas Palyza is a 24 year old 202cm forward that was born in Ostrava. He is a classic modern player at position SF. A 204 cm tall athlete with a basketball body, with a very good range and a dangerous shot from a short and long distances. He understands the game, is a smart and hardened player, who likes the team-play, and is unselfish. He can work up his own shot position. He takes advantage of his quick penetration, has the opponents focus on him and passes the ball to the open teammate. Very hardworking and ambitious player. He started his basketball career in 2006 with BK Nova Hut Ostrava where he played until 2011. He played for CEZ Basketball Nymburk (NBL) the last three seasons playing 27 Eurocup games. Last season he played VTB United League: 15 games: 3.1ppg, 1.1rpg; Czech Rep. NBL: 28 games: 8.6ppg, 2.7rpg, FGP: 55.4%, 3PT: 42.5%, FT: 69.7%; Eurocup: 10 games: 1.6ppg, 1.0rpg. David Brembly is a 21 year old 197cm forward that started his basketball career with the Trefl Sopot junior team. Two seasons ago he played two Eurocup games for Trefl Sopot and last season for them played 40 games: 3.4ppg, 1.1rpg, played also at Trefl II Sopot (Poland-2Liga). In 2013 he was a German U-20 player playing the European Championships U20 in Tallinn (Estonia) -13: 9 games: 9.4ppg, 3.8rpg, FGP: 45.2%, 3PT: 38.2%, FT: 53.3%. Last summer he moved up to the German A-2 national team.