A day before game 3 between the Brose Baskets Bamberg and FC Bayern Munich, CEO Marko Pesic was displaying a friendly, but somewhat cautious smile in the Fraport arena after he witnessed the blowout win of his NBBL team against the Young Rasta Dragons as he knew that getting too confident about possibly getting that only club title of the season at the youth level was too early since the BBL team had a do or die game 24 hours later in Bamberg in hopes of saving their season. Instead the next day Pesic witnessed the third playoff loss to their archrivals in three years and second sweep in a row as he possibly was hoping for the NBBL magic of Frankfurt in the final where they destroyed IBAM would somehow have miraculously carried over to Bamberg. Or if Devin Booker who had had a solid game of 13 points, six rebounds and four assists could have inherited that major beast mode game of NBBL player Marko Pecarski who averaged 26,9ppg and 15,6rpg at the European Championships U16 in Radom (Poland) which most likely would have got FC Bayern Munich over the hump and forced a game four in Munich. But then again maybe it wasn´t so much that beast mode that was needed, but moreover that deadly sniper as the club couldn´t muster anything from downtown in game one shooting 2/16 and 3/21 in game three. Kyle Kuric could be that sniper and more that FC Bayern Munich was missing to help have gotten them by Bamberg.
No season is fully satisfying for any FC Bayern Munich club if the league title isn´t achieved. Maybe it´s something extra special that the football players are being served for meals that has made them so successful winning the last 5 Bundesliga titles, but then again one can´t deny the fact that the budgets that both have and what kind of players they can reel in just isn´t comparable, because if the basketball department had the money that the football team had, then you would have a starting five of top Euroleague players.
The club had a very potent team this season and an excellent coach and teacher in Sasa Djordjevic who brought in a good mix of players and implemented a defensive philosophy that was understood and translated onto the court as it was the second best in the BBL giving up only 71 points per game. He was able to incorporate solid team basketball that led to the second best offense in the league registering 85 points on average per game. These are two major positive aspects of FC Bayern Munich basketball, but once again it wasn´t enough to get over the hump? There were some major deficiencies with the game that didn´t allow them to win another title after 2014 and the biggest was the point guard position. They tried many experiments that just didn´t work. Anton Gavel is a great player, but not fit to run the FC Bayern offense, but more a guy that will excel with his defensive pressure as well as his shooting. Nick Johnson was a rookie and seemed to be a bit overwhelmed by the whole situation and was too inconsistent and couldn´t bring the needed playmaking poise. Lebron James buddy Dru Joyce was brought in late, but couldn´t crack the system and possibly didn´t get a fair chance as he is a guy who is used to playing many minutes and couldn´t shine in only 14,8 minutes per game which slowed his confidence. The club has to get back to its roots and get that Malcolm Delaney type player back that led them to the title in 2014. However finding that perfect point guard for the system is easier said than done as Fraport Skyliners head coach Gordon Herbert could attest to.
FC Bayern Munich had solid personal at the 2-4 position, but besides the point guard position, the club could make adjustments at the center position. American Devin Booker had a solid season with the minutes he got, but at the back up position they might want to make changes. German Maik Zirbes was brought in to give the team added beast like physicality in the paint and he was able to make an impact on the offensive end, but on the defensive end the team lost some stability as they lacked consistency with switching. Generally finding the right German parts for some positions won´t be a cake walk, because finding good German players for Euroleague competition is difficult. A guy like Nils Giffey could be an interesting fit to help at the two-three position, but in general the club will have to evaluate their players and scope the market. There aren´t any suitable German players at the one and five positions, so they may want to stock up elsewhere. A Tibor Pleiss would be a refreshing welcome, but he is too expensive for FC Bayern Munich and more present in a dream of Marko Pesic or back in Cologne having a workout at the Nike Court in Grungurtel.
The 2016-2017 season ending for FC Bayern Munich is only 48 hours old, but BBL clubs are already looking to the future as getting that quick jump on the market is vital every summer. One player that could be in the easyCredit BBL next season is Kyle Kuric. According to Eurobasket sources FC Bayern Munich are heavily pursuing his services. Kuric is a 27 year old 193cm swingman from Evansville, Indiana that just completed his fifth professional season, fifth in Spain in the top league in Europe Endesa and third with Herbalife Gran Canaria where his season just ended losing in the playoffs to Baskona. The American who has Slovakian blood started his basketball career at Louisville(NCAA) and had a great 4 year run making the NCAA tournament each season and reaching the pinnacle in 2012 reaching the NCAA Final 4 and played with future NBA players like Chris Smith, Peyton Siva and Russ Smith. A memorable moment in his Louisville career where he played for legendary head coach Rick Pitino was his lay up with 4 seconds to go capping a 24-5 run in the last 5.44 to beat Marquette also later named the miracle on main street. He turned professional in 2012 and played his first two seasons with Tuenti Movil Estudiantes Madrid (Spain-Liga Endesa) and the last three seasons with Herbalife Gran Canaria (Spain-Liga Endesa) and with his stock always rising, now could be time for a possible change of scenery. He was in the news in 2015 when he suffered a brain tumor and on November 5th, had surgery to remove brain tumors that were diagnosed only a few days before He eventually underwent two additional surgeries to control brain swelling and got a skull implant. In addition he was in a coma for 48 hours and according to his agent then Guillermo Bermejo, his client could have died. However having had this unforgettable and frightening experience didn´t hinder him from getting back on the floor and finding his top level of performance again. Only two months after his surgery, he played in the Spanish league again and in the summer of 2016 gave a superb presentation in the NBA Summer league with the Phoenix Suns averaging 9,7ppg in six games and shot an astounding 56% from the parking lot. He was a successful player before and after as he helped bring success to his teams as he led Gran Canaria to the 2015 Eurocup final and was a Spanish Liga Endesa Supercup Winner this year and was named MVP.
So why should FC Bayern Munich sign a player like Kyle Kuric? The club does have superb players this season like Bryce Taylor who is Munich´s version of Oldenburg´s Rickey Paulding who shoots 48% from outside and Nihad Djedovic who is an impact player and has that valuable German citizenship shooting 44% from downtown and a Vladimir Lucic who gave suitable support with 40% from outside, but nowadays being as complete as possible is most valuable and these three players have all special qualities and are in no way one dimensional players. However Kyle Kuric also belongs into the category of being a special player that won´t only shoot out the lights, but brings many different good qualities to the floor that FC Bayern Munich would benefit from. He started his college career as a defensive specialist, but soon his biggest strength became his shot and that is what is the first thing that basketball experts mention when his name is heard. His stats don´t lie. He has been at around 40% from outside every season in Spain and this past season shot a ridiculous 50% from the three point line in Champions League play and in the Endesa league at 39,9% which shows just how much consistency is sprouting in his shot. On top of that, the guy has been around the 50/40/90 each season something that is very difficult to do and makes a player like him so much more worthwhile and desired by a club like FC Bayern Munich. However Kuric can do so much more than just fire away and annoy opponents with his sniper arsenal. What makes Kuric just as valuable is that thanks to his size and quick hands, he can play three positions and be very effective at both ends of the floor which is also very rare in modern basketball. He is a player that makes very good decisions and doesn´t force anything and sticks to what he does best. He can dunk with the best of them and gets up to the rim like no other and will always be remembered for his monster slam dunk against Notre Dame where he got the 2011 Papa John’s Dunk of the Year. The phrase that best describes him from the standpoint of any coach would be “He´s a hell of a player”. Walter Tigers Tuebingen head coach Tyron Mccoy attended the 2017 JBBL/NBBL Youth final 4 in Frankfurt and despite having his own thoughts on how he will build his roster this season, his eyes lit up when the name Kyle Kuric was mentioned a player that Tuebingen can only dream about as he is way out of their budget possibilities. “I saw Kuric play a few years ago when I was coaching the Artland Dragons in Eurocup play. You could see that he really fit the Gran Canaria system. He is a decent athlete and an excellent shooter. He is simply a very effective player that reads the screens well. I think he could fit into any team´s system, not only that of FC Bayern”, stressed Tyron Mccoy. Of course that shooting label once there, isn´t erased easily. “He was a real shooter at Louisville”, smiled ex Walter Tigers Tuebingen head coach Igor Perovic. Kuric isn´t that big scorer, but that isn´t what FC Bayern Munich needs, but a guy that is able to do so many good things for his team at a consistent rate. It obviously doesn´t hurt that he brings that amazing shooting ability to the table. It will be interesting to see where the basketball journey of Kyle Kuric will take him. Kuric is a guy that should have deserved an NBA chance last season after a strong summer league and after another potent Endesa season also would deserve to be on the shopping lists of Real Madrid and FC Barcelona now. A guy like Nihad Djedovic could be the odd man out should he arrive, but then again he has a German passport which may keep him on board. If FC Bayern Munich will land Kuric is the question, but if they do then they will have to fork over a lot of dough for him.