It is never a real pleasure to see a coach being the sixth man on the court as if he is just waiting to make an extra pass or getting in a passing lane to intercept an outlet pass as FC Bayern Munich head coach Svetislav practically lives on the court or a Sasa Obradovic who is making his hand gestures all night long during a game as if he has invented a new type of sign language and then there is Andrea Trinchieri who also can get loud and upset with a call, but somehow he is like an overgrown teddy bear that was just thrown out of a sports bar for having one beer too many and nobody really seems to mind when he gets a bit overexcited during a game. From these three coaches it has been Andrea Trinchieri who last season had the last laugh winning the Beko BBL final disposing of then defending champion FC Bayern Munich and Alba Berlin had already had had an early summer vacation losing in the semi-finals to Germany´s most famous sports team. Andrea Trinchieri came to Bamberg with a pizza truck full of expectations that not every coach would have been able to deal with, but the Italian did everything right from finding the right mix of players starting pretty much from scrap and just showing the Beko BBL that Italians don´t only have the right spices for pizza and produce amazing football players, but also possess basketball brains once in a while. In the summer of 2014 the Brose Baskets Bamberg took their time and brought in Italian coaching guru Andrea Trinchieri who is a 47 year old Italian that has a Croatian mother and American dad. Bamberg is his eighth coaching destination and he has mostly had experience in Italy, but coached in Russia and coached the Greek national team briefly. He is a guy with a lot of experience that won a cup with Prima Veroli (Lega2) in 2009, reached two cup finals in Italy and won a Russian cup with Unics Kazan in 2014. He has gained much respect from his basketball peers in Europe and especially in Italy is seen as a head coach that is always ready for duty. He has been described as a head coach that is always fully prepared for each game and gets 100% from his players. He is very charismatic and is always liked by all players. Trinchieri also was behind the bench leading Kyle Hines and Prima Veroli when the ex Bamberg player won his first title as a professional. Last season only a few months into the season his ex player Kyle Hines didn´t make a bold prediction, but just knew what his ex coach was capable of. “I think that he can lead Bamberg to a title this season. It doesn´t really matter where he has coached, because he has had success wherever he has played. He has a very strong work ethic, is very passionate for the game and highly intelligent concerning the game. I think he will have success there”, warned Kyle Hines. Now the question is can the Brose Baskets Bamberg keep winning titles with Andrea Trinchieri and possibly go in a dynasty route the next years as Chris Fleming did from 2010-2013? Of course Alba Berlin and FC Bayern Munich will be road blocks in May and June, but there is a new energy in Freak City again and that is simply undeniable and dangerous.
After finding their way back to hardware last season after taking a season break in 2014 when FC Bayern Munich won the crown, the Brose Baskets Bamberg don´t want their run to end now, but continue to be hungry and want more. However like in the summer of 2014 when the club had a massive player house cleaning and this past summer Andrea Trinchieri once again had to find the right missing pieces for many open spots as key players like Trevor Mbakwe, Josh Duncan, Ryan Thompson and Dawan Robinson all departed. He was very fortunate to keep playmaker and leader Brad Wanamaker, but also kept together a core of key players like Germans Elias Harris and Daniel Theis as well as ex NBA player Darius Miller and guard Janis Strelnieks. Instead of going the usual and safe route with finding top Americans, Bamberg decided to go with non American imports adding the experienced Greek national player Nikolaos Zisis, young Italian talent Nicolo Melli, English raw talent Gabriel Olaseni as well as German veterans Lucca Staiger and Yassin Idbihi as well as young German from Boston College Patrick Heckmann. The club has lost a bit of the physicality of last season, but have increased their shooting and the overall basketball IQ with the added European presence of new players has also been heightened. Bamberg beat every opponent in the Beko BBL with more than 10 points including ratiopharm Ulm and the EWE Baskets Oldenburg and even Crailsheim 93-49, but lost in Giessen 81-80 which can always happen since the Osthalle is always an annoying place to play as one feels the closeness of the fans as if it was their significant other in bed. Bamberg has found their rhythm on offense, but could still add on as they are averaging 86 points per game and on the defensive side continue to be a wall and team that average give up only 69 points per game. In the Euroleague, the Brose Baskets Bamberg should be able to reach the top 16, but will be battling Macabbi Tel Aviv for the remaining spots as they are both 1-2.
The Brose Baskets Bamberg held on to five players including their leader American Brad Wanamaker who is a 25 year old 190cm combo guard from Philadelphia that is playing his fifth professional season and second in Germany. He is a quick guard with great court vision that can score and rack in assists and gets in the passing lanes with his hands. He played at Pittsburgh(NCAA) from 2007-2011 playing with future NBA players like Sam Young and Dejuan Blair. Since turning professional he has played in Italy and France. Last season with Bamberg he played 42 games: 13.7ppg, 3.9rpg, 4.6apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 51.6%, 3PT: 42.4%, FT: 84.7%; Eurocup: 18 games: 12.4ppg, 3.8rpg, Assists-3(6.4apg), Steals-3(2.1spg), FGP: 56.5%, 3PT: 21.9%, FT: 82.1%. The club also held on to ex NBA player Darius Miller who is a 25 year old 203cm forward that won the 2012 NCAA title with Kentucky and is playing his fourth professional season. He played 102 NBA games with New Orleans and the Los Angeles Clippers. He came late to Bamberg in February 2015 playing 18 games averaging 9.4ppg, 2.3rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 55.6%, 3PT: 47.2%, FT: 82.4%. He was an important key to winning the title as his scoring and shooting really carried the team in many games. Janis Strelnieks is a 26 year old 191cm point guard from Latvia that is playing his second season with Bamberg and has vast European experience. He played for top Latvian club BK Ventspils. He is a very good PG, yet very experienced, who plays very well the pick and roll situations. Sees well the court and passes the ball at the right time, can change the tempo of the game and score if needed. He played two seasons in Russia and the Ukraine and two seasons ago for Budivelnyk Kyiv (Ukraine-Superleague, starting five): Euroleague: 10 games: 7.9ppg, 1.4rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 53.6%, 3PT: 46.4%; Ukrainian Superleague: 31 games: 11.6ppg, 2.5rpg, 5.5apg, FGP: 60.6%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 83.1%; Eurocup: 10 games: 10.9ppg, 3.4rpg, 4.1apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 29.0%, FT: 87.5%. Last season for Bamberg he played 42 games: 10.8ppg, 2.2rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 55.1%, 3PT: 42.3%, FT: 89.0%; Eurocup: 18 games: 12.6ppg, 2.2rpg, 3.4apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 45.1%, FT: 93.2%. At the Euro 2015 he played 9 games: 9.1ppg, 3.1rpg, 5.4apg, FGP: 55.8%, 3PT: 21.4%, FT: 80.0%. The team also kept Daniel Theis who is a 23 year old 204cm forward that started his career in Braunschweig playing ally-op basketball with Atlanta Hawk Dennis Schroeder. He played the two seasons with ratiopharm Ulm and two summers ago played NBA Pro Summer League in Las Vegas (Washington Wizards): 5 games: 6.6ppg, 6.0rpg, 1.8bpg, FGP: 60%, FT: 88.2%. He can shoot from the perimeter as well as from the 3 point line, take his opponent off the dribble and play a classic back to the basket game. Last season for Bamberg he played 42 games: 9.9ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.2apg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 58.3%, 3PT: 32.9%, FT: 83.5%; Eurocup: 18 games: 8.7ppg, 5.3rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 47.8%, 3PT: 36.1%, FT: 76.3%. The team also held Elias Harris who is a 26 year old 203cm power forward that had a stellar career at Gonzaga(senior stats 14.3ppg, 7.5rpg, 1.5apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 54.5%) remained undrafted, but fought his way through the NBA Summer league into the Los Angeles Lakers roster playing 2 NBA games in the 2013-2014 season. He came to Bamberg in January 2014 and last season played 41 games: 7.0ppg, 2.9rpg, FGP: 63.9%, 3PT: 42.5%, FT: 67.4%; Eurocup: 18 games: 5.2ppg, 2.2rpg, FGP: 49.2%, 3PT: 10.0%, FT: 76.9%. He is a modern four that likes physicality, can play with his back to the basket and shoot the three.
The Brose Baskets Bamberg brought in six new players including Nikolaos Zisis who is a 32 year old 197cm guard who brought 230 Euroleague game experience, 14 league titles in Greece, Russia and Italy and the 2005 Euro title to Freak city. His shooting, decision making and high IQ are his strong points in his game. Last season he played for Unics Kazan (Russia-VTB) played Euroleague: 13 games: 7.2ppg; VTB United League: 11 games: 8.5ppg, 2.5rpg, 4.1apg, 2FGP: 40.0%, 3FGP: 48.4%, FT: 88.9%, in Dec.’14 moved to Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul (Turkey-TBL) playing 24 games: 5.9ppg, 1.3rpg, 2.5apg, FGP: 46.6%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 81.3%, 2.0rpg, 3.6apg, FGP: 45.0%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 60.0%; Euroleague: 19 games: 5.4ppg, 2.3rpg, 3.6apg, 2FGP: 39.1%, 3FGP: 46.4%, FT: 90.0%. The team also added Nicolo Melli who is a 24 year old 205cm power forward and one of the top Italian talents from the year 1991. He has great quickness and ball handling and can step out and shoot the trey. He played the last five seasons with EA7 Emporio Armani Milano (Serie A) and last season played 39 games: 5.6ppg, 4.3rpg, FGP: 53.1%, 3PT: 31.9%, FT: 73.7%; Euroleague: 24 games: 5.3ppg, 3.5rpg, 1.0spg, FGP: 47.3%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 70.0%. He played 8 games at Euro 2015 averaging 3,0ppg and 2,4rpg. Gabriel Olaseni is a 23 year old 211cm center from London, England that is playing his rookie season with Bamberg. He played 119 NCAA games with Iowa (NCAA) reaching the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2012 and as a senior played 33 games: 7.9ppg, 4.7rpg, 1.6bpg, FGP: 51.8%, FT: 75.0%. He is a freak athlete that can jump to the sky, drain the mid distance shot and hit free throws at a consistent rate. The club also brought in German veteran Yassin Idbihi who is a 32 year old 208cm center that played at Buffalo from 2003-200t and finished his career as the Bulls’ fourth all-time leading scorer (1,514 points) and third all-time leading rebounder (844 rebounds). He became the first player in school history to score 1,500 points and pull down 800 rebounds. He started his professional basketball career in 2008 and played in France, Cologne, Braunschweig, three seasons with Alba Berlin and the last two with FC Bayern Munich and last season played 20 games: 3.4ppg, 2.0rpg; Eurocup: 2 games: 3.0ppg, 2.0rpg; Euroleague: 5 games: 2.8ppg, 1.2rpg. He is a three time Beko BB allstar. His mid distance shot and pick and roll game are his weapons in his game. Lucca Staiger is a 27 year old 195cm shooting guard that started his basketball career in 2003 at Urspring Basketball Academy and played at Iowa St. (NCAA). He also played with Alba Berlin and Ludwigsburg and last season with FC Bayern Muenchen (BBL): 30 games: 4.3ppg; Eurocup: 5 games: 2.2ppg, 1.2apg; Euroleague: 7 games: 3.0ppg, 1.6rpg. He is a sharp shooter that lives form his shot. Patrick Heckman is a 23 year old 198cm guard that started his basketball career at ASC Theresianum Mainz. He played at TV Langen and played at Boston Coll. (NCAA) playing a total of 116 NCAA games and as a senior played 32 games averaging 8.4ppg, 4.3rpg, 2.7apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 61.3%, 3PT: 28.7%, FT: 78.7%. He is a team player that likes to be present on the fast break.
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 5-20 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. In the 2012-2013 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 Robinson with19 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 in the 2013-2014 season, the Brose Baskets Bamberg took apart the Fraport Skyliners 73-43 as Frankfurt had many injuries and many young players that had to take responsibility which is never easy in the hostle 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. In the return game in Frankfurt, Frankfurt defended well keeping Bamberg to 64 points, but couldn´t muster anything on offense scoring only 54 points. The Brose Baskets Bamberg were led by Americans Jamar Smith with 18 points and Rakim Sanders with 16 points. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Johannes Voigtmann with 15 points and Ramon Galloway steered home 13 points. Last season the Brose Baskets Bamberg swept the season series winning 81-62 in Bamberg as they were led by Ryan Thompson with 14 points and Daniel Theis had 13 points while Frankfurt was led by Johannes Voigtmann with 18 points and Danilo Barthel had 11 points. Bamberg also won in Frankfurt 85-69 as they were led by Josh Duncan and Janis Strelnieks with 15 points a piece while Frankfurt was led by Danilo Barthel with 16 points and Johannes Voigtmann with 14 points. The Fraport Skyliners enter the game Sunday against Bamberg with a 7 game winning streak and have finally their offense going in a healthy direction after the instant offense flowing in the 89-81 victory against FC Porto in Europe Cup play. With the 6-1 Brose Baskets Bamberg, they meet a team that is a step above FC Bayern Munich in play so far this season and it will be another big test for Frankfurt. They have a current 5 game winning streak in the BBL and should be 7-0 had they not slipped 81-80 in Giessen. This could be a defensive battle should both teams decide to defend the way they know how, but key for Frankfurt will be having a potent Jordan Theodore again and somehow irritating the great ball movement of Bamberg so they don´t dictate the game right from the start.