A big trend this season for the Fraport Skyliners has been coming off a Fiba Europe cup victory and going into the next Beko BBL contest with a special added dip of self-confidence as just about everything the Fraport Skyliners touched in the international club basketball competition turned to gold, except for their bitter 88-84 OT loss against Maccabi Rishon in Israel last week where their more than impressive 15-0 record which brought them wins against teams from countries like Holland, Slovenia, Portugal, Sweden, Poland, Turkey and Cyprus was snapped. Now for the first time this season, the 2004 Beko BBL champion had to prepare for a league game with a loss in the back of their minds. The sign of a great team is always being able to forget the last game and perform big in the next game which they did winning in fine fashion in Tuebingen Frankfurt arrived in the game against BG Goettingen with a one game losing streak in the Fiba Europe Cup, but had won their last home game in the Beko BBL with a huge 78-48 romp against the Telekom Baskets Bonn while the 2010 Eurochallenge winner who was sitting in 16th place had a four game losing streak and had lost six of the last seven games. In the last three games between Frankfurt and Goettingen, there was no star point guard duel as in the last game last season, Fraport Skyliner Justin Cobbs was out with an injury as ex NBA player Khalid El Amin paced BG Goettingen with 17 points. In the first meeting this season in Goettingen, Frankfurt won 84-71 where Jordan Theodore led the visiting team with 28 points and 10 assists, but ex Chicago Bulls point guard El Amin was still with Sigal Prishtina (Kosovo-SuperLeague) so the big duel never took place and for the last meeting in Frankfurt, El Amin was injured so fans had to observe and enjoy other duels and match ups. Every game now is a game seven for BG Goettingen as they need to find a way to crawl out of the cellar while the Fraport Skyliners continue to look to the top to get the best standings position. El Amin was in the arena and acted like an extra assistant coach on the bench and experienced the great play of the Fraport Skyliners as well as the stellar conducting job of Jordan Theodore. After the easy 100-65 victory, a thrilled Theodore marveled about the game as well as what an impact an El Amin had on him as a player in the last 18 years. “Gottingen played hard, but when we are shooting and defending well and in the zone then we are hard to compete with. When we get stops and get out on transition, we are unstoppable. I watched El Amin when I was growing up. He was a player that made his teammates better and was a real winner. I remember matching his game to the other great point guards in the Big East and later also watched film on him. He won many titles and even played in the NBA. There aren´t many guys that have achieved what he did. I met him in Turkey when I played there. I was sad that I couldn´t play against him. I wanted to play well tonight, but also learn from him”, stated ex Seton Hall point guard Jordan Theodore. BG Goettingen had a good six minute spurt in the second quarter, but for the rest of the game they were dominated in all aspects of the game. EX Florida State standout Luke Loucks who is playing for the Hebeisen White Wings Hanau has caught a few games this season and left the arena impressed once again. “That was another routine win for the Fraport Skyliners. They exhibit real Skyliner basketball when they make great passes, hit open shots and play hard defense. There are so many examples in the game of their great ball movement like at the end where Klein and Doornekamp passed up shots for the totally open Mike Morrison underneath or near the end of the first half where Frankfurt had four guys had good shots, but all waited for the great shot that that fifth player had”, added Hebeisen White Wings guard Luke Loucks.
In the past, it has been quite untypical for Frankfurt teams to have complete blow outs, but this season the easy instead of the grind out wins have been more of the norm. Especially in the last two weeks, the Fraport Skyliners have blown out the Telekom Baskets Bonn and BG Goettingen by an average of 33 points per game. For anyone except for a Skyliner basketball fan, seeing more of these type of games can be boring, but that all depends on the beholder of this opinion. “When we get up 30 points, our opponent isn´t just letting us do that. Being able to execute on offense and play good defense is great basketball. Making the better pass and pick defenses apart is music. Coach talks about the San Antonio Spurs all the time. Good teams pride themselves on good basketball”, warned Englewood native Jordan Theodore. Not only Fraport Skyliners head coach Gordon Herbert see that similarity to the great NBA team from Texas. “If you enjoy good basketball and how it should be played, then seeing Frankfurt play like this isn´t boring. It is like watching the Spurs. Frankfurt has many high level IQ players. Some may say this domination is boring, but it´s art”, added Luke Loucks. Best friend of Fraport Skyliner John Little and 2010 Eurochallenge winner with BG Goettingen Jason Boone has watched many games this season in Frankfurt and adds that having the ample character guys is important as well. “If you want to be a champion team, you need to be consistent and beat the top level to bottom teams and Frankfurt is doing that. We had success with BG Goettingen in the past, because we had character guys like John Little or a Taylor Rochestie. BG Goettingen don´t seem to have those type of players that can impact the team. Good character teams reflect what is played on the court”, stressed MHP Riesen center Jason Boone.
With many folks off somewhere digesting their Easter Sunday eggs on the ski slopes or somewhere else, only 4,380 fans were in attendance for the newest great Fraport Skyliners performance. With El Amin injured and American veterans Terrell Everett and David Godbold taking a seat on the bench, BG Goettingen head coach Johan Roijakkers opted to start 19 year old youth player/ASC 46 Goettingen (Regionalliga) point guard Johannes Menzel. The confidence in the young German is commendable, but if it was the right choice to start a guy of this caliber against one of the best teams in the Beko BBL is questionable as his 9 turnovers most likely didn´t help his self-confidence. Just like a week ago against the Telekom Baskets Bonn, the Fraport Skyliners didn´t waste any time starting to play their feared Skyliner basketball racing out on a quick 13-3 run. At times when Canadian national player Aaron Doornekamp is on, he can be unstoppable as he scored the first eight points of Frankfurt with two three pointers and a one hand dunk as he finished the transition as German national player Johannes Voigtmann fired a one handed baseball pitch strike to ex Auburn guard Quantez Robertson who fed the Canadian for the easy bucket. Robertson then nailed a trey and Danilo Barthel registered his 1001 Beko BBL point with authority driving home a one handed dunk. Frankfurt was playing their masterful set play offense and their aggressive defense also led to transition baskets. BG Goettingen couldn´t get much going on offense, but got a three pointer from ex California(NCAA) forward Harper Kamp while Frankfurt got three straight points in the paint from Robertson, Morrison and Theodore to extend the Frankfurt lead to 19-10. Frankfurt kept up the intensity and consistent offense closing out the first quarter with a 10-5 run to lead 29-15 after one quarter. In the run, Frankfurt got two three point bombs from German national player Konstantin Klein and Philip Scrubb gave clutch support from the bench nailing 15 and 20 foot jumpers. “Doornekamp got hot early and when he is open it´s like target practice for him. A big success for them is their team chemistry and IQ. Theodore could finish every play on his own if he wanted to, but he doesn´t have to when he has a team like this where the ball movement is so great. It also was unfortunate for BG Goettingen that their motor El Amin was out”, stressed Luke Loucks. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 75% from the field and 63% from outside while BG Goettingen was shooting 40% from the field and 60% from outside. BG Goettingen had the 5-4 rebound edge, but had 11 turnovers while Frankfurt had five turnovers.
In the second quarter, the Fraport Skyliners experienced their only major lapse of the game as BG Goettingen could gain some ground, but their feisty play went unrewarded in the last four minutes as the Fraport Skyliners found their rhythm again closing out the second quarter with a forceful 19-5 run. The Fraport Skyliners started strong getting a three pointer from Mr Canada Philip Scrubb to extend their lead to 32-15, but then everything went downhill for Frankfurt. BG Goettingen went on a potent 11-0 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 32-26 as Frankfurt were unable to score on nine possessions in a row. BG Goettingen received solid production from four separate players as Harper Kamp scored inside and drained a free throw, American Ruben Boykin nailed a trey, ex MBC guard Malte Schwarz made a runner and ex Braunschweig sniper Robert Kulawick hit a three pointer. In the run Frankfurt totally lost their rhythm getting away from Skyliner basketball and playing slump basketball and fabricated unneeded turnovers as they couldn´t get some calmness into their game. Frankfurt then went on a 19-5 run, but their second field goal still took some time to happen as Theodore and Voigtmann hit free throws as Frankfurt extended their lead to 37-26. Frankfurt continued to get to the free throw line as Heidelberg native Danilo Barthel and Klein made free throws while BG Goettingen got support from Kulawick with a trey and Boykin with a lay in. Frankfurt really put salt into the BG Goettingen wound by nailing three pointers in a row in the last minute with two from Theodore and one from Doornekamp. “BG Goettingen did a good job at the start of the second quarter pressuring Frankfurt and being physical. The Skyliners took a step back and BG Goettingen took advantage of it. Why Frankfurt had a slump like this is hard to say. If I could explain it, I´d be Phil Jackson. The things Frankfurt usually did well, they couldn´t anymore. When Frankfurt moves the ball faster than their opponents help then they always find the open man, but in that phase it wasn´t happening”, said Luke Loucks. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 59% from the field and 53% from the three point line while BG Goettingen was shooting 40% from the field and 50% from the three point line. Frankfurt had the 16-10 rebound edge and 14 turnovers while Frankfurt had 12 turnovers.
In the third quarter, the Fraport Skyliners found their rhythm totally again scoring 28 points and having the overwhelming 79-48 advantage after 30 minutes. The Fraport Skyliners jumped over BG Goettingen at the start of the third quarter with a 8-3 run as Theodore and Barthel connected for back to back three pointers and Voigtmann was fed on the fast break by Theodore for the easy lay in as Frankfurt led 58-34. Even if Frankfurt continued their furious offensive pace, BG Goettingen found a solid rhythm on the offense as ex Gonzaga guard Mathis Monnighof drilled a three pointer, ex Princeton(NCAA) forward Ian Hummer scored over Barthel and Boykin hit a jumper as Frankfurt still had the huge 65-41 lead as BG Goettingen was executing better, but the big Frankfurt lead was their biggest fear factor with 15 minutes left to play. Frankfurt closed out the last five minutes with a solid 14-7 run as they got all their points form their bench. Ex Carleton guard Phillip Scrubb continued to show his versatile inside out game hitting a trey and making a fingertip roll lay in. Little and Klein made layins on the fast break and Mike Morrison was fed the perfect dime from Scrubb for the massive two handed dunk as Frankfurt led 79-48. “Once Frankfurt was able to separate themselves more from BG Goettingen with their run, their defense carried them the rest of the game. It is always hard to come back against a good defensive team”, added Luke Loucks. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 64% from the field and 52% from the parking lot while BG Goettingen was shooting 41% from the field and 41% from the parking lot. Frankfurt had the 22-17 rebound edge and 15 turnovers while BG Goettingen had 21 turnovers.
In the fourth quarter, the only question that remained was by how much Frankfurt would win by, if they would reach 100 points and when young 18 year old German Lennart Okeke would make his Beko BBL debut who surprisingly was in the lineup for the sick Germans Johannes Richter and Max Merz. Frankfurt got early support from Morrison free throws and another three pointer from Scrubb who had a very solid offensive game again as his non hesitation when shooting belongs to his game like the basketball conducting of teammate Jordan Theodore. BG Goettingen also got a bucket from ex Artland Dragon Terrell Everett and Boykin three pointer cutting the Frankfurt advantage to 88-55. Scrubb then powered Frankfurt on a quick 5-0 run with free throws and a clutch trey as the shot clock buzzer sounded giving Frankfurt the 93-55 lead. Kamp helped his personal stat sheet in the last minutes as he made a lay in and three pointer cutting the Frankfurt lead to 95-60. At the three minute and twenty second mark, Gordon Herbert inserted German Lennart Okeke who finished the game registering one rebound and after the win looked like a little kid that had just cleaned out a candy store. “My excitement was ok throughout the game, but it grew towards the end as the lead went up. At that point, I thought I would play. Then I came in and I was so excited. The game was quicker and more physical, but it was a great experience for me”, stated Lennart Okeke. Both teams scored twice in the last few minutes as Godbold and Kamp hit jumpers and Doornekamp nailed a three pointer and also found Morrison underneath for the overpowering dunk where Frankfurt showed their amazing unselfishness. “Goettingen was overmatched and it was good to see that some guys wanted to fight until the end like Harper Kamp. It is always good to see guys not give up when the game has already been decided”, said Luke Loucks. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Jordan Theodore with 20 points, six assists and three steals. Aaron Doornekamp added 18 points, Phillip Scrubb 17 points and Konstantin Klein 15 points. BG Goettingen were led by Harper Kamp with 17 points. Ruben Boykin produced 16 points and Robert Kulawick had 11 points. The Fraport Skyliners shot 60% from the field and 50% from outside while BG Goettingen was shot 44% from the field and 40% from outside. Frankfurt won the rebound duel 28-24 and had 19 turnovers while BG Goettingen coughed up the ball 25 times.