Last weekend, Englewood New Jersey native Jordan Theodore was the happiest American in Munich as he was able to watch his alma mater Seton Hall win the 2016 Big East tournament in a tight 69-67 victory and rival Villanova as future NBA player in only his second year of school Isaiah Whitehead led his team with 26 points while all the excitement probably gave the Fraport Skyliner guard some flashbacks to his time in school. However 15 hours later, the win by his ex school wasn´t able to rub off on him and his German team Fraport Skyliners as they lost a very bitter game to FC Bayern Munich 78-76 as freak athlete Quantez Robertson was unable to hit a last second desperation shot. Even if the Fraport Skyliners have had misfortune in the last weeks against the big clubs in the Beko BBL losing to Alba Berlin and FC Bayern Munich on the last possession and in Bamberg, Jordan Theodore was able to hold his own against the top point guards. Even if ex Wisconsin guard Jordan Taylor of Alba Berlin had the last laugh in the cup semi-final winning the game on his last shot, statistically, Theodore outshone Taylor, Brad Wanamaker and Justin Cobbs in this time. This may be an unimportant consolation for Theodore, but what comes first is winning and in the Europe Cup, he has been perfect helping the Fraport Skyliners to a current perfect 14-0 record. With the focus being on team and winning, Theodore still continues to face top point guard competition every week and had his first meeting as a professional with upstate New York native Mark Lyons from Schenectady. Lyons played at Xavier reaching two NCAA Sweet 16 tournaments and played a season at Arizona(NCAA) where he hit Stanford for 25 points and Arizona State for 24 points. He has been a scorer all his life and never averaged more than three assists in his career until last season in Israel with Ironi Nahariya and this season is averaging five assists in the Israeli league and 4.8 in Europe Cup action. It was the duel between the penetrator Theodore and dangerous three point shooter Lyons as both guys were looking to help lead their respective teams to a 1-0 quarterfinal lead, but as usual it was the Fraport Skyliners who kept their amazing unbeaten streak in international competition alive at 15-0 with a big 92-57 win. The two point guards Theodore and Lyons were kept in the back-round which hurt the Israeli team more than Frankfurt since the German team has so many more weapons and a stronger bench and won with their potent presence of team basketball as everyone contributed in the offensive and defensive showcase. The Fraport Skyliners only need three more wins to win their third ever club title, while the alma mater of Theodore Seton Hall start their quest for an NCAA title today and have a chunk of work ahead needing seven wins. Just how much of Whitehead was on the mind of Theodore during the game is unknown, but after the win, the New Jersey native was in a talkative mood about his old school, Isaiah Whitehead and his current team Fraport Skyliners. “I think about my school Seton Hall a lot and they are doing a lot better than we ever did. I also think about Isaiah Whitehead, but I don´t know him too well, but know his coaches since they coached me. The coaching staff is doing a great job there. I will watch the Gonzaga game since we have no practice. Every player contributed tonight in our game. We didn´t always play well, but never gave up the lead. We can be a very dangerous team when all step up. I know that I have been getting a lot of hype recently, but it isn´t a one man show here. Anybody can step up at any-time”, stressed ex Seton Hall guard Jordan Theodore. S.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg guard Cameron Long was a neutral spectator watching his two ex teammates from George Mason Mike Morrison and Darryl Monroe and was impressed how Frankfurt wore down Maccabi Rischon. “It came down to the bench. Frankfurt outscored the opponents bench 44-17 and completely destroyed their bench. Everyone contributed and nobody for Frankfurt forces shots. Frankfurt has many good weapons. They are a hard team to guard when a different guy is scoring at will in each quarter”, added Cameron Long. The Israeli team had no answer how to stop the potent Frankfurt offense as they let up 92 points way above their average of 75 points per game, but also couldn´t do anything on the offensive end either. “One team came to play and we didn´t. We know that we are a lot better than this. It wasn´t about Frankfurt, but more about us. We didn´t play defense or execute on offense. I have to give credit to Frankfurt, because they played great”, said Maccabi Rischon Israeli Shawn Dawson.
In the first few minutes, both teams were showing some nervousness as shots weren´t falling and some early turnovers were matriculating as neither team could find their rhythm. After two minutes, both teams finally got on the board as it´s two big men hit as Virginia Beach native Darryl Monroe and German national player Johannes Voigtmann connected on a 15 footer. Dawson then hit a mid distance jumper giving the Israeli team the 4-2 advantage, but it was Heidelberg native Danilo Barthel that dropped a high rainbow three giving Frankfurt the 5-4 lead and they would never trail again. Frankfurt had found their rhythm and would heighten their play escaping on a 10-4 run to extend their lead to 15-8. In the run it was Voigtmann that continued to apply the pressure scoring in bunches hitting three consecutive times from all over the floor, Quantez Robertson nailed an off balance jumper and Barthel scored inside. Maccabi Rischon would have little flashes of offense, but just couldn´t keep pace with the well oiled Frankfurt machine. After Dawson who hit France at the 2015 European championships for 11 points in 27 minutes nailed a trey cutting the Frankfurt advantage to 15-11, Frankfurt then closed out the first quarter strong going on a 11-6 run to take a commanding 26-17 lead after 10 minutes. Voigtmann hit a step back and free throws, Scrubb finished with a pretty fingertip role putting his dangerous three pointer on the back burner and then found Mike Morrison all alone underneath for the dunk. “The Israeli team was defending the pick and role, so Frankfurt went to the pick and pop where Voigtmann got buckets. Frankfurt also took advantage of the opponents foul trouble and bench which led to easy buckets”, stressed ex George Mason guard Cameron Long. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting an astronomical 73% from the field and 50% from outside while Maccabi Rischon was shooting 55% from the field and 20% from outside. The Israeli team had the 6-5 rebound edge, but seven turnovers while Frankfurt had three turnovers.
In the second quarter, the Fraport Skyliners were able to keep their consistent offense going and five time CIS title winner with Carleton Phillip Scrubb was inserted as he gave his first real energy pack with his scoring. The Fraport Skyliners got on a rapid 5-0 run to extend their lead to 31-17 as Scrubb nailed an off balance shot which was followed by a pretty three pointer from 2010 Eurochallenge winner John Little. However Maccabi Rischon didn´t let this high fury of energy discourage them as they got some high energy buckets as well as 2004 Euroleague winner Avi Ben Chimol found ex Golden State Warrior Chris Wright for a beautiful alley-oop throw down which silenced the crowd and also key baskets from Nitzan Hanochi and 35 year old veteran Tony Younger that got his basketball training at Spring Hill(NAIA), but Frankfurt still led 32-23. After Morrison snuck inside for a lay in and Voigtmann connected on free throws it was two time D-league champion Chris Wright again that was fed perfectly by Ben Chimol for his second alley-oop stuff, but Frankfurt still led 36-25. Even with this big athletic play by Wright, it didn´t faze Frankfurt as it was Scrubb giving his first packet of energy with three consecutive baskets hitting two three pointers and a two point jumper as that put a huge dagger in the heart of the Israeli team as Frankfurt led more comfortably 44-27. The offensive production wasn´t as unforgettable as his 26 point offering against Turkish team Royal Hali Gazientep, but on this evening it was more than enough. Maccabi Rischon didn´t have much offense except for Monroe who kept being aggressive inside and drawing fouls making four free throws and cutting the Frankfurt lead to 44-31. Theodore had been rather quiet and just let the game come to him and he wasn´t forcing anything, but just looking for his spots and taking them and he finished twice in the paint down the stretch including a nifty reverse lay up taking the Fraport Skyliners into halftime with the comfortable 50-36 lead. “Frankfurt was struggling, but Scrubb came in and gave instant energy getting the Frankfurt offense back into flow. Frankfurt got more loose balls and did a good job with the 1-1 plays”, added ex ratiopharm Ulm guard Cameron Long. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 70% from the field and 50% from the three point line while Maccabi Rischon was shooting 57% from the field and 17% from the three point line. Frankfurt had the 12-11 rebound advantage and nine turnovers while the Israeli team had 12 turnovers.
In the third quarter, Maccabi Rischon came out strong from the halftime talk with head coach Sharon Drucker who won the 2004 Uleb Cup with Hapoel Jerusalem going on a 7-1 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 51-43. Mark Lyons who was teammates with Indiana Pacers Solomon Hill at Arizona(NCAA) had been limited to two points, came out roaring making free throws and then hitting a seemingly impossible step back three from the parking lot with a hand in his face and Monroe continued to stay his consistent self, scoring inside. The Israeli team stepped up their defense inserting their annoying double team all over the court forcing Voigtmann and Robertson to turnovers. However when Gordon Herbert is in need of an offensive spark, there is always Phillip Scrubb who presented his amazing game in the second quarter and was inserted again and got the sputtering Frankfurt offense going again giving his second energy pack of the night. It wasn´t a beautiful three pointer from him that got the team going, but his creativeness finding Quantez Robertson as he sunk a three pointer. “I think that Scrubb hardly missed a shot. He did a great job all game long finding his spots and staying within the game rhythm and just like always coming in and doing his job. He is a lot like me in that he always sees what the team needs”, stressed Fraport Skyliner guard Jordan Theodore. This jumper propelled Frankfurt on a 7-2 run to extend their lead to 61-45 as there was simply no way to put some kind of dent in the Frankfurt offense. Voigtmann hit a 20 footer, Robertson another trey and Theodore got a loose ball and went coast to coast for the lay in. Even if another Dawson three pointer stopped the run, Frankfurt still had more offense up their sleeve as Herbert now put in German national player Konstantin Klein who closed out the third quarter with a 8-2 run with back to back three pointers as Frankfurt led 69-50. “Scrubb was the energizer again and Robertson hit back to back three pointers which was big which took the Frankfurt from a lower to a higher level”, added Cameron Long. “We started strong making good plays on defensee and hitting shots, but as soon as they hit that first shot, it stopped our momentum and we couldn´t come back”, stressed Israeli national player Shawn Dawson. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 63% from the field and 44% from the parking lot while Maccabi Rischon was shooting 50% from the field and 30% from the parking lot. Frankfurt had the 22-18 rebounding edge and 13 turnovers while the Israeli team had 16 turnovers.
In the fourth quarter as the Fraport Skyliners do so often this season, they just wore down their opponent limiting them to only two points in the first seven minutes riding in the basketball sunset with an easy victory. Maccabi Rischon just didn´t have the energy anymore on both ends of the court as the Fraport Skyliners continued to execute and on defense forced more turnovers against the Israeli team. The Fraport Skyliners went on a 16-2 run to extend their lead to 85-52. In the run, it was the continued hot shooting of Klein that kept the Frankfurt offense riding on the freeway while the Maccabi Rischon offense was sputtering along in a 25 miles an hour zone. Scrubb continued to be a lethal offensive force hitting an off balance jumper while also finding Little for a back door lay in while Mike Morrison had some heavy competition for the Chris Wright alley-oop dunks with his own served on a beautiful platter by Canadian national player Aaron Doornekamp. In the last few minutes, Maccabi Rischon had their bench on the court and with the exception of getting five points form Hanochi and Ben Chimol also allowed further Frankfurt baskets as Baaken Bears honey robber Johannes Richter got in the scoring stat sheet with a lay in from Little and on the last possession with 17 seconds remaining, Klein tried to give German Max Merz the last shot, but as the Fraport Skyliners have proven so often this season, in an unselfish offense, he passed up a good shot giving Doornekamp a great shot as he dropped the trey ending the game on a nice team basketball note exclamation point 92-57. “Frankfurt wore them down in the fourth quarter. You could see that the Israeli team wasn´t going as hard anymore and Frankfurt outran them”, stressed Cameron Long. The Fraport Skyliners had five players in double figures and led by Johannes Voigtmann with 16 points and five rebounds. Phillip Scrubb and Konstantin added 14 points a piece and Jordan Theodore and Danilo Barthel chipped in with 10 points apiece. Maccabi Rischon were led by Darryl Monroe with 15 points. The Fraport Skyliners shot 63% from the field and 45% from outside while Maccabi Rischon shot 42% from the field and 23% from outside. Frankfurt had the 32-22 rebound edge and 19 turnovers while the Israeli team had 22 turnovers.