Bamberg complete three-peat, Causeur MVP / Ulm rebuilding / German Top Five of the Season
— David Hein
In this section, we break out our English language skills and inform you about the latest news from the German easyCredit Basketball Bundesliga. If you’re short on time but still want your fill of Germany’s top basketball league then you are in the right place. Every week David Hein (www.heinnews.com) brings you up-to-date in German basketball – the easyCredit BBL short and sweet:
Bamberg complete three-peat, win ninth league title
Brose Bamberg’s reign over the easyCredit BBL continues as Freak City was sent into celebrations again with a comfortable 3-0 sweep of EWE Baskets Oldenburg for their third straight league title. Bamberg lost just one game in the post-season in capturing their ninth championship in club history - those crowns all coming within the last 13 years. Congrats to Bamberg on another title and a superb 2016-17 season.
Bamberg turn it on late to finish sweep - Causeur Finals MVP
Brose Bamberg turned a tight game in the third quarter into a blowout and a celebration with a 76-58 victory over EWE Baskets Oldenburg to complete the 3-0 sweep. With the game knotted at 49-49 with three minutes left in the third quarter, Bamberg put together a 15-0 run to blow the game open. Maodo Lo led the way with 15 points while Daniel Theis collected 8 points and 13 rebounds with the Bamberg offense turning it over just six times. The Bamberg defense was rock solid, holding Oldenburg to just 34 percent from the field. French playmaker Fabien Causeur was crowned as the Finals MVP.
Bamberg sharpshooters on target in taking 2-0 lead
Brose Bamberg once again used their three-point attack to take control of the easyCredit BBL Finals with an 88-76 win at EWE Baskets Oldenburg for a 2-0 lead in the series. After hitting 52 percent from three-point range in a Game 1 rout, Bamberg’s sharpshooters were even deadlier in Game 2 on the road, knocking down 15-of-25 three-pointers for 60 percent. Fabien Causeur paced Bamberg with 21 points while Nicolo Melli nailed all five of his three-point attempts for 18 points and Darius Miller hit 4-of-5 three-balls for 12 points to lead the attack.
What will Bamberg look like next season?
Brose Bamberg now have their three-peat complete and it’s time to see what the champions will look like next season. Nicolo Melli seems all but certain to leave the club while Darius Miller will be sought after as will Janis Strelnieks. And it remains to be seen what Daniel Theis does as he would love to try to make an NBA team. As far as possible additions to the club, read Rumor Central below.
Ulm bring in Thompson, Akpinar on two-year deals; Tadda let go
ratiopharm ulm have started in earnest their rebuilding process for the next season as they locked up two highly-regarded easyCredit BBL players on two-year deals. Ryan Thompson has played with Brose Bamberg and Telekom Baskets Bonn and now arrives in Ulm with a two-year contract. The 29-year-old small forward won the German title in 2015 with Bamberg and would love to help Ulm finally win their first. Also there to help now is Germany’s top youth player from this past season Ismet Akpinar. The Hamburg native, who also signed for two years in Ulm, moved to ALBA BERLIN in 2013 and this season played a solid role for Berlin after having the won the MVP title in guiding the club to the 2014 NBBL crown. He averaged 4.4 points in more than 14 minutes per game with 15 starts for Berlin this season. Akpinar’s arrival means that Karsten Tadda will not return to the club next season after averaging 4.7 points in 17 minutes a game.
Bayern Munich extend deal with Lucic to 2019
FC Bayern Munich also locked up a major piece of their efforts to win the German crown as they extended their deal with Vladimir Lucic for two years until 2019. The 27-year-old former Serbian international arrived at Bayern from Valencia last off-season and averaged 9.4 points and 3.6 rebounds in 39 German games. He averaged 8.5 points for Bayern in the EuroCup.
Tübingen make second German addition with Sid-Marlon Theis
WALTER Tigers Tübingen added their second German player for next season as they signed forward Sid-Marlon Theis on a one-year deal. Theis arrives in Tübingen after playing last season with Basketball Löwen Braunschweig, where the 24-year-old averaged 5.0 points and 1.9 rebounds in nearly 17 minutes a game. Tübingen have already signed on Philipp Heyden for next season.
Bonn keep Mayo, lose Pohl and Koch
Telekom Baskets Bonn also began the process of re-forming their team for next season and kept one leading player while watching a long-time coach and player walk out the door. Bonn gave eventual champions Brose Bamberg a tough test in the playoffs, including a Game 1 loss in Bamberg thanks to Josh Mayo, who had 25 points and 10 assists. Bonn have decided to keep their captain and playmaker, signing the 29-year-old Mayo for two years until 2019. Out in Bonn is Carsten Pohl, who will be looking for a new challenge after more than seven years with the club as head of amateur sports and interim head coach during the 2015-16 season. Players such as Fabian Thülig, Jonas Wohlfarth-Bottermann and Florian Koch developed into Bundesliga level players under Pohl’s watch. Koch meanwhile will also leave the club after 12 years and 204 Bundesliga games for Bonn.
New Giessen coach Freyer adds three Americans
New GIESSEN 46ers head coach Ingo Freyer is quickly putting together his team for next season, signing a trio of Americans without easyCredit BBL experience in Jamar Abrams, Dee Davis and Austin Hollins. The 27-year-old athletic wing Abrams played last season in the Romanian top flight with SCM CSU Craiova. The 24-year-old Davis lined up the last two campaigns for Slovenian top flight side Rogaska Crystal. And the 25-year-old Hollins, whose father is the former long-time NBA coach Lionel Hollins, led his Finnish team Kauhajoki Karhu in scoring last season.
A2 international Max Ugrai looks for new start with Jena
German A2 international Max Ugrai will be looking for a new start as he signed a one-year contract with Science City Jena. The 21-year-old power forward, who had been with s.Oliver Würzburg since he was 13 years old, played 30 games last season for Würzburg, starting 19 of them and averaging 4.3 points and 2.5 rebounds.
With the off-season just officially beginning now that Bamberg won the crown, there are plenty of rumors floating around. Here are just the biggest ones. Bryce Taylor is reportedly close to joining Brose Bamberg on a deal until 2020 and perhaps even as a German as he is reportedly going for a German passport. Bamberg are also said to be after Luka Mitrovic from Crvena Zvezda Belgrade as the replacement for Nicolo Melli. And one more piece of news for Bamberg as Leon Radosevic is close to getting a German passport as well according to report.
Wucherer brings Max DiLeo to Cologne
Denis Wucherer’s attack on the ProA can begin and the new RheinStars Cologne head coach brought in Max DiLeo from promoted side Oettinger Rockets. The 24-year-old DiLeo was the captain of the ProA finalists.
German Top Five of the Season
Now that the season is over let’s name the German Top Five of the season - and for this we decided on non-naturalized Germans and those who played the whole season. So no Tim Ohlbrecht or Nihad Djedovic for example.
G: Maodo Lo, Brose Bamberg
Sure, you could argue Per Günther here from ratiopharm ulm but he had his ups and downs while Lo was a steady improvement to a legitimate weapon all season. He averaged 7.5 points, 2.6 assists and 1.9 rebounds in nearly 19 minutes while shooting 43 percent from three-point range. And that for the championship winners.
G: Niels Giffey, ALBA BERLIN
Okay, gonna cheat just a little and call the Berlin small forward a guard. But Giffey was solid all season with 7.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists while shooting 37 percent from long range for an efficiency of 10.1.
F: Maxi Kleber, FC Bayern Munich
Kleber was the top German in efficiency with 14.1 as he averaged 9.3 points on 53 percent shooting including nearly 40 percent on three-pointers to go with 5.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.1 blocks in less than 22 minutes per game for Bayern.
F: Steve Wachalski, medi bayreuth
Some people might be surprised with this selection - over the likes of Danilo Barthel, Johannes Thiemann, Isaiah Philmore or Christian Standhardinger - but Wachalski was a serious game changer as Bayreuth fans can attest to. Sure he averaged only 6.7 points with 3.1 rebounds in almost 18 minutes a game. But he was the best three-pointer shooter in the league at a blistering 53 percent. He made at least two three-pointers in 13 games and knocked down four triples in four games.
C: Daniel Theis, Brose Bamberg
This pick really isn’t a surprise as Theis was one of the top players for the league winners Bamberg. Theis averaged 9.6 points and 5.3 rebounds while also collecting 1.2 blocks a game for an efficiency of 12.9.