Can three be a charm this season for head coach John Patrick and the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg? It really doesn´t matter where MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg head coach John Patrick has coached in the last nine years in Germany, whatever team he was in charge of, he made better a feat which isn´t necessarily self-evident. With BG Goettingen, he made a second division team into a genuine Beko BBL team that made the playoffs on a regular basis and crowned his existence there with the 2010 Eurchallenge win. In all his time there, he had lesser known players and NCAA players that he groomed and one into a Euroleague player with Taylor Rochestie. He also discovered current Fraport Skyliner John Little and brought him to Goettingen as a rookie and today is the only player to have won two German international club titles. Next he moved to Bavaria and coached the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg which was a huge project at the time made it into another playoff team that defeated top team Alba Berlin in the 2011 playoffs and gave him in a short time legendary status. His possibly biggest challenge was saving the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in the 2012-2013 season keeping them in the Beko BBL coming in as a fireman and then in the last two years forming playoff teams that annoyed FC Bayern Munich and the Brose Baskets Bamberg. With Ludwigsburg, the experienced coach has had the best talent ever far eclipsing what he had to work with in Goettingen and Wurzburg the last two seasons as having an NBA player on the floor at all times like with Coby Karl, DJ Kennedy and Mustafa Shakur was about as typical in any game as seeing Jon Brockman hauling down an offensive rebound with his undeniable physicality. However in the last two seasons, the club just didn´t have that extra piece to the puzzle to get over the hump against FC Bayern Munich losing 3-1 in the quarterfinals two years ago and last year being swept by the Brose Baskets Bamberg, but playing them tough losing by eight points twice and once with five points. Now Patrick and co have that rematch again with FC Bayern Munich that at times are like night and day as they can stink up the arena and lose to a poor team like the Mitteldeutscher BC and on the next game manhandle the Brose Baskets Bamberg. Ludwigsburg played FC Bayern Munich very tough two seasons ago and Patrick surely can still remember that series where they had to replay a game. Can the MHP Riesen seek revenge and make the upset this season with the personal and character on the team?
It isn´t always easy to shift gears going from one extreme to the other, but some teams have that ability to go from being at the top to having to refocus and get mentally ready for the next task at hand. A team like the Brose Baskets Bamberg for a time a few years ago were able to win cup and league titles in the same season with ease the way Fraport Skyliner MIke Morrison can erupt in the paint area with dunks like a lost Lion from the Tampa, Florida Zoo does when his evening meal is a few minutes late. From a span from 2009-2012 the Brose Baskets Bamberg were able to accomplish this feat with bravery winning the double league and cup and always being able to hold that unbelievable hungriness that you only see with top teams. The Fraport Skyliners don´t have that club history like Bamberg has as it took them 12 years to win that next title after their last one in 2004, whereas Bamberg has won 10 titles in that span which could make even the most calm Freak city fan a bit full. However with the Fraport Skyliners just having won the 2016 Fiba Europe Cup title in Chalon, France over Italian team Varese, they didn´t have a few months to recover and then have to play the playoffs, but actually had only 6 days to get off their momentary peak and be ready to be plucking mode as next on the menu are the Albatross bird or otherwise known as top team Alba Berlin. Of course when a team like the Fraport Skyliners have fought and played a superb season in the Fiba cup Europe Cup where they went 18-1, it is only normal that they celebrate with style. Celebrating the high class way started with the normal post game clowning around with the trophy and medals and Frankfurt might have even started a new trend with posing the selfie´s not only with the hardware, but also being caught in the netting of the rim the way a flounder is in a fiserman´s net off the coast of Cape Cod. The partying went on in the the night until morning where it continued with the train ride home where the last thing that was on anybody´s mind at that juncture was how to control Jordan Taylor the following weekend. Upon arrival in Frankfurt, the team had a gathering at a local TV station in the evening where they could tell for the 100th time what it felt like to have won an international title. The next day followed further team appointments and an official party at night with the fans where they all met and marched to city hall together. After two days of doing the title rounds, Fraport Skyliners head coach Gordon Herbert had the first scheduled practice on tap for Wednesday giving the team three days to prepare for the very hungry Alba Berlin team that had scheduled a short training camp during the time where Frankfurt was telling stories how they wrote history while a Jordan Taylor might have been studying film on how to control a Jordan Theodore when he makes his almost unstoppable speeding to the rim. The question is now can the Fraport Skyliners be able to get back to the basketball office again on the ground instead of being in basketball heaven sipping champagne from the Fiba Europe Cup trophy? If Gordon Herbert needed advice, he probably could have dialed up Chris Fleming in Denver or Jordan Theodore who seems to know every living basketball player or at least someone who knows a guy that could give him the number of ex Bamberg guard Casey Jacobsen in Phoenix. At least these two Bamberg legends should be able to give the guiding words for them How to refocus successfully again.