There are thousands of talented 201cm players in the United States, but only a small majority actually can call themselves a professional after having played college basketball. One of the biggest dreams of Augustine Rubit was too be able to earn a living playing professional ball even if that unwanted label of achieving all this was against all odds, but like some and so many not, he chose the right direction early in his life instead of going the wrong route and is now excelling in his sixth year of basketball after graduating from Christian Life Center Academy. The 26 year old from Houston, Texas came from a poor family and lived in a bad area of town, but thanks to a close knit family and friends that cared, the American was sheltered from making any wrong decisions and after his basketball talent was realized concentrated on focusing only on that. He played at S.Alabama (NCAA) from 2010-22014 playing a total of 117 NCAA games and in his first year won the All-Sun Belt Freshman of the Year averaging 13.1ppg, 11.0rpg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 55.9%, FT: 67.6%. He continued to put up huge numbers and had his finest statistical season as a junior averaging 19.0ppg, 10.7rpg, 1.1apg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 47.7%, FT: 79.3%. As a senior he averaged 17.0ppg, 9.4rpg, 1.4apg, 1.5bpg, FGP: 48.8%, 3PT: 32.8%, FT: 66.7%. Just to put into perspective how dominant he was as a junior he scored in double figures in 27 of 29 games and had 16 double doubles. He had monster games against LA-Lafayette scoring 34 points and hauling down 12 rebounds and had 31 points and 11 boards against Georgia State. He won numerous awards while playing at S.Alabama like being named first team twice in the All Sun Belt conference and as a junior was awarded the All-Sun Belt Player of the Year. He left the school having recorded 54 double doubles, was second in points scored and third in blocks. Another big achievement was adding a three pointer to his inside game making him more versatile as after going 0/11 in his first three years in the NCAA worked on his shot and averaged a respectable 32% in his senior year. As a rookie he came to the Walter Tigers Tuebingen and had no problems adjusting to the European game filling in for the departed Tyrone Nash and totally convincing all that he has major game. As a rookie he played 33 games averaging 14.0ppg, Reb-4(7.3rpg), 1.2apg, FGP: 57.2%, 3PT: 31.6%, FT: 77.3%. He scored in double figures in 26 of 33 games and had 4 double doubles. He had massive games against Artland with 27 points and had 24 points against Bremerhaven and Bonn. This season he moved to international club play with ratiopharm Ulm and once again had some odds against him how he would fit in to a team that had way more talent and scoring options than in Tuebingen, but in the first few months the American is the leading scorer, rebounder and blocker on the team in BBL play and in Eurocup second in scoring and rebounding behind Raymar Morgan. In a Ulm system that has less length under the hoop and likes to play fast, Rubit can use his athletic strength while still doing the dirty work inside and doing what he does best grabbing rebounds and scoring the mid distance shot. If Rubit can keep up the consistency and the club can keep moving further in the Eurocup play, the American will without a doubt keep developing and like ex Tuebingen alla round player Reggie Redding be an interesting option next season for a top team in the Beko BBL like Alba Berlin or other teams in Europe.
Ratiopharm Ulm has been one of those teams in the last 4-5 seasons that have made great strides, but still seem to have something missing to make that last needed push in the playoffs to upset a Berlin, Bamberg or Munich. Every season they have had a deep talented roster, and have reached the playoffs on a consistent rate the last 4 years since head coach Thorsten Leibenath took over finishing the regular season in 2nd, third, sixth and fifth place. In the playoffs, the club was a finalist in 2012, semi-finalist in 2013 and 2015. As always important will be if the right mix of players will get a good chemistry that will build as the season progresses and hopefully sparkle in the playoffs. However at the moment the team is very far from the playoffs. Coming into the season the team lost a lot of experience from last season and this season wants to improve their defense(83 points allowed last season) as scoring won´t be a problem. The club has experience with German national player Per Guenther, Raymar Morgan, Dasean Butler and Carlon Brown, also has many young guys like Augustine Rubit, Taylor Braun and Chris Babb and Germans like David Brembly and Philipp Neumann. However despite having a versatile roster with numerous players able to play many positions, the defense has stumbled early on giving up an average of 81 point per game while scoring an average of only 80 points. They have given up 90 points plus four times and once 80 plus points. The good news is coming into the Frankfurt game at home on the weekend, they are carrying a two game winning streak where their defense was on averaging 92,5 points per game and defense gave up only 71 points on average. However the season is still young and ratio Pharm Ulm still have time to find themselves. The club also has battled injuries and the release od Deandre Kane and arrival Chris Babb testing the team chemistry. Not to forget they also have had the Eurocup strain with double games per week and currently have a 3-5 record. On paper this team is a playoff team and will need to improve their defense to make the playoffs, but the club has to do more than just know this, but show it on the court on a consistent rate.
The most important player they held on to was Mr Ulm Per Guenther who is playing his eighth season in Ulm. He is a 27 year old 185cm point guard that was born in Giessen and grew up in Hagen. He has very good speed and can dribble with both his hands he is very good in shooting from the arc and he has very good organizational skills, he watches the court with one glance and can assist his team-mates on a blind method pretending that he will shoot. He has an inborn charisma of a leader from a young age so he leads his team without having any problem. He played for BBV Hagen from 2003-2006 and with Phoenix Hagen from 2006-2008. In his last season in Hagen, he raised eyebrows with his play playing 29 games: 14.5ppg, 1.9rpg, 2.4apg, 2FGP: 55.8%, 3FGP: 35.7%, FT: 80.1%. Last season for Ulm he played : 37 games: 12.7ppg, 1.5rpg, 4.8apg, FGP: 44.3%, 3PT: 46.2%, FT: 84.2%; EuroChallenge: 6 games: 5.8ppg, 1.8rpg, 6.0apg, FGP: 46.7%, 3PT: 26.3%. The team also held on to young Germans and BBL license players David Kramer and Joschka Ferner, but other than that did a massive house cleaning reeling in 8 new players. Besides Augustine Rubit, the team also added American Taylor Braun who is a 24 year old 201cm shooting guard playing his second professional season. As a rookie he played for Okapi Aalstar (Belgium-Scooore) 37 games: 15.2ppg, 4.7rpg, 3.0apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 63.1%, 3PT: 29.2%, FT: 73.8%; EuroChallenge: 12 games: 12.1ppg, 3.1rpg, 3.1apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 51.1%, 3PT: 28.9%, FT: 80.0%. He played at N.Dakota St. (NCAA) from 2010-2014 and is a player that likes to drive to the bucket and is a dangerous three point shooter. The team also added 27 year old 202cm forward Raymar Morgan who is playing his fifth professional season and second in Germany. Last season he belonged to the top power forwards in the Beko BBL as he played for BG Goettingen playing 33 games: Score-3(16.2ppg), 6.0rpg, FGP: 59.8%, 3PT: 18.8%, FT: 73.0%, then moved to Panathinaikos Athens (Greece-A1): 7 games: 5.7ppg, 3.1rpg, FGP: 54.2%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 78.6%. He played at Michigan State from 2006-2010 reaching the NCAA final 4 in 2010 and has played in Israel and Turkey. He is a scoring forward that is an efficient rebounder and can defend four positions.
Dasean Butler is a 27 year old 201cm forward from Newark, New Jersey playing his fourth professional season. Last season he played for Champagne Chalons-Reims Basket (France-ProA) playing 30 games: 10.6ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 48.9%, 3PT: 37.7%, FT: 66.7%. He played at W.Virginia (NCAA) from 2006-2010 reaching the NCAA Final 4 in 2010. He was drafted by Miami Heat (NBA,2rd(42) in 2011, but never fully made it to the NBA. He has played in the D-league winning the 2012 title with the Austin Toros and won the super cup in 2014 with Okapi Aalstar (Belgium-Ethias League). He is a player that is a powerful player that can score, but also create mismatches on defense with his 102 kilo´s. The club also brought in 26 year old 195cm guard from Riverside, California that is playing his fourth professional season and second in Germany. Last season he played for the Brose Baskets Bamberg (Germany-BBL), but was hampered with injuries and played only 3 games: 9.0ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.3apg; Eurocup: 1 game: 26pts, 4reb, 1steal. He started his basketball career at Utah(NCAA) and finished his college career at Colorado (NCAA) in 2012 playing 36 games: 12.6ppg, 3.8rpg, 2.0apg, FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 30.7%, FT: 72.3%. As a rookie he played in the D-league with Santa Cruz and Idaho and in 2013 came to Europe and played for Hapoel Tel-Aviv (Israel-Winner League). He is a dangerous scorer that can fill up the stat sheets with the best of them. The team recently added Chris Babb who is a 25 year old 196cm guard from Arlington, Texas that is playing his third professional season. He spent his first two seasons in the NBA with the Boston Celtics and D-League with Maine. Last season he played for the Maine Red Claws (D-League) playing 47 games: 15.4ppg, 5.6rpg, 2.8apg, FGP: 52.2%, 3PT: 36.9%, FT: 78.3%. He started his basketball career at Penn State and finished his school ball at Iowa St. (NCAA) and as a senior played 33 games: 9.1ppg, 3.4rpg, 2.2apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 47.8%, 3PT: 38.2%, FT: 74.5%. The club also added Germans Philipp Neumann and David Brembly. Neumann is a 23 year old 209cm German center that played 5 seasons with the Brose Baskets Bamberg winning six titles and moved to Oldenburg half way through the 2013-2014 season. Last season for the EWE Baskets Oldenburg he helped win the cup and played 34 games: 5.4ppg, 3.2rpg, FGP: 50.0%, FT: 82.8%; Eurocup: 10 games: 6.4ppg, 4.6rpg, FGP: 50.0%, FT: 59.3%. He is a physical center that brings a lot of energy and has the unending fighting mentality. David Brembly is a 22 year old 197cm swing man that has the German/Polish citizenship. He started his basketball career in Poland and played for 3 years with Trefl Sopot (Poland-TBL). Last season he made the jump to Germany to medi Bayreuth (Germany-BBL) playing 30 games: 8.2ppg, 3.1rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 56.0%, 3PT: 44.3%, FT: 75.0%. He is a dangerous shooter and can score on the drive and likes to dunk.
Since ratiopharm Ulm entered the Beko BBL in 2006, the Frankfurt Skyliners have a positive record against them. They won in overtime 87-83 in 2007 with Murat Didin as head coach. The Eric Chadfield buzzer beater will for some reason always be stuck in the minds of people, which had an eerie similarity to the buzzer beater of Justin Gray against the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg two seasons ago. In 2008-2009, Frankfurt lost 74-69, but got a strong game from ex Skyliner Lorenzo Gordon who scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. In the first meeting in 2009-2010, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners dominated the game and put on a scoring display led by 23 points by Seth Doliboa as the club prevailed 95-82.Frankfurt shot an astronomical 57% from the field and easily won the rebounding fight 34-25. Ratiopharm Ulm did a great job only having seven turnovers. In the return game in, ratiopharm Ulm lost 84-77 as Skyliner American Seth Doliboa had another monster game pouring home 18 points and 15 rebounds. In 2010-2011, Frankfurt lost a 87-82 nail bitter in the Kuhberg arena, but returned home to win 74-67 as Dashaun Wood poured in 17 points and 12 assists. In the first meeting of 2011-2012 the Fraport Skyliners lost a winnable game 81-75 in the old Kuhberg Halle where Dane Watts made the two big buckets at the end showing NBA player Jon Leuer that guys from Missouri can play basketball. Ratiopharm Ulm had five guys in double figures, shot better and rebounded better. Frankfurt was led by Justin Gray with 14 points. The Fraport Skyliners got revenge in the return game in Frankfurt winning 77-64 in their strong second half of the season. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Michael Thompson with 16 points while Jacob Burtschi had 15 points. In the first meeting in the 2012-2013 season, the Fraport Skyliners pulled off a massive upset in their living room winning 78-62 as they were able to control the game and play a solid effort for 40 minutes. Frankfurt was led by Zach Peacock with 18 points and American Devin Gibson played his best game of the season producing 17 points and dishing out six assists. Ratiopharm Ulm won the rebounding duel, but the Frankfurt defense was at their best forcing Ulm to cough up the ball 23 times. In the return game, the Fraport Skyliners made their debut in the new ratiopharm arena that fits 6000 people and lost a tight game 74-66. Ratiopharm ulm was led by John Bryant with 19 points and 12 rebounds and Per Guenther added 18 points. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Dawan Robinson with 21 points while Ryan Brooks added 12 points and Zach Peacock 10 points. In the 2013-2014 season Frankfurt swept the season series winning the classic triple OT game in Ulm 108-102. Frankfurt was led by Andrew Rautins with 24 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. Danilo Barthel chipped in with 18 points. Edgar Sosa led ratiopharm Ulm with 21 points while Adam Hess had 16 points. Frankfurt also won at home 71-67 as Ramon Galloway led Frankfurt while ratiopharm Ulm was led by Cameron Long with 18 points while Per Guenther contributed 16 points. Last season the Fraport Skyliners lost the first meeting against ratiopharm Ulm in Frankfurt 77-70. Ulm was led by Philipp Schwethelm with 22 points while Tim Ohlbrechta dded 17 points. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Danilo Barthel with 13 points and Richard Williams had 12 points. They came to Ulm winning 76-67 as they were led by Sean Armand with 16 points and Danilo Barthel had 15 points while ratiopharm Ulm was led by Tim Ohlbrecht with 15 points and Per Guenther with 14 points. This weekend the Fraport Skyliners want to get back to go defensive principles and getting that flow back in their game instead of letting the ball stick. Ratiopharm Ulm is on a high having a two game winning streak in the Beko BBL. If Frankfurt can have a consistent offensive flow, then Ulm will have problems if they don´t decide to defend. Ulm will need to match the physicality of Frankfurt and get their outside game going.