Artland win shoot-out; Bamberg finally conquer road; MVP beats Benzing
In this section, we break out our English language skills and inform you about the latest news from the German Beko 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 Beko BBL short and sweet:
Bamberg finally win road game
Brose Baskets from Bamberg hadn’t won a competitive game on the road this season – not against ALBA BERLIN in the Beko BBL Champions Cup or in the Beko BBL at Bayern Munich or Artland Dragons. After grabbing a huge home victory in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague over Strasbourg, the four-time reigning Beko BBL champs finally got the job done away from home with an 86-74 win at Eisbären Bremerhaven. Bamberg took control of the game in the third quarter and eased to the win. Anton Gavel paced five Bamberg players in double figures with 16 points. At least Bremerhavens Brian Harper won the first spot in the Top 10 Plays of the Week
Artland win derby shoot-out at Vechta
Phew! Artland Dragons fans definitely can check their pulse. What a shoot-out at local rivals RASTA Vechta. Brandon Thomas poured in 28 points to lead five Dragons in double figures in a 102-101 win at Vechta. Dirk Mädrich scored 24 points and Richard Williams had 19 points and 13 assists for Vechta. Williams had a chance to win the game going the length of the court after a rebound but missed a shot at the buzzer.
Chikoko on rise for Trier
Of course this Weekly News column features a section called Young Guns, focusing on up-and-coming players. One player who made the segment a couple of times the past two seasons was Weekly News personal cheeseball Vitalis Chikoko. The 22-year-old TBB Trier power forward is in his third season in the Beko BBL after coming to Germany from Zimbabwe. After showing glimpses of stardom the last two years, Chikoko has stepped up his game the last two contests. Against EWE Baskets Oldenburg, he collected 12 points, 11 rebounds and one assist. This past weekend went 10-of-15 from the field in scoring 23 points and collecting six rebounds in Trier’s 79-71 win over Tübingen. It was Chikoko’s fourth game this with at least six points and six rebounds. Watch out for this youngster.
Ulm’s Tommy Mason-Griffin: “Want to return this season”
One of the saddest storylines of the pre-season was ratiopharm ulm’s Tommy Mason-Griffin going down with a ruptured Achilles tendon just days before the start of the season. Mason-Griffin had missed all of the 2012-13 season with a knee issue and was so looking forward to paying back Ulm for their loyalty. TMG was interviewed this week and the 23-year-old said all he’s thinking about is coming back. “I still want to return this season. That’s not really a plan right now but it’s really important for me mentally,” said Mason-Griffin, who will be in his walking boot and on crutches for about another five weeks. He said he will remain in Germany for most of the time during his rehab, but it’s “too hard” for him to come to ratiopharm arena to watch his team play. When asked if he’s thought at all about retiring, he said: “No, never. That’s out of the question for me.”
And please check out the eurocup blog from Ulm's Adam Hess - here in english: The sweet nectar of "mustache moments"
Is Schröder on way out at winless Würzburg?
s.Oliver Baskets Würzburg lost 75-67 at home to ALBA BERLIN to drop to 0-5 on the season. And Würzburg head coach Marcel Schröder is clearly on the hot seat. After the loss on Saturday, Schröder told SPORT1: “I know how sports works … Let’s wait and see.” Würzburg general manager Steffen Lieber offered up the following statement on Saturday: “I really assume that Marcel Schröder will also be on the sidelines next weekend (at Artland). We got into this crisis together, now we have to master it together as well.” On Sunday, Lieber said: “Before the Berlin game I said it’s depends on how the team plays. It was good to see that the team didn’t give up and fought back. But that is not the answer long term.” As if things weren’t bad enough, Würzburg center Jason Boone went down with a torn ankle ligament and will miss six weeks. Good to see that Boone and his long-time friend and teammate Ben Jacobsen nevertheless had time for some small fun at the hospital.
Player of the Week
It shouldn’t be a surprise that the Player of the Week honor goes to someone from that wild Vechta-Artland game. Vechta’s Richard Williams collected 19 points, 13 assists, six rebounds and two steals for an efficiency of 34. Oh, if he had made that buzzer-beater though!
Stats Center: Swann goose-eggs against Ludwigsburg
Just days after torching Bremerhaven for 32 points and improving his scoring average to 18.8 points per game, Isaiah Swann threw up a goose-egg at MPH RIESEN Ludwigsburg. Swann missed all six of his shots – including 0-for-5 from long range – while turning the ball over four times and committing four fouls. Only three rebounds and two assists got Swann to an efficiency rating of -5 for the game … and he turned the ball over at the last possession.
Video of the week
John Bryant and Robin Benzing going against each other again. Last time it was H.O.R.S.E., this time - Video games:
Johannes Voigtmann, 21, C, FRAPORT SKYLINERS
Frankfurt’s youngsters continue to get big playing time and are producing. The 21-year-old Voigtmann collected 13 points, five rebounds, three assists and two blocks against Bayern Munich.
Daniel Theis, PF; Kay Gausa SF; Till-Joschka Jönke PG; all 21, all ratiopharm ulm
Ulm are another team giving youngsters playing time and they are coming through as well in Ulm. Theis has been a regular Young Gun and has averaged 10 points and seven rebounds the last two games. In Ulm’s blowout win over MBC, Gausa collected career highs in points (7), offensive rebounds (3) and assists (3) in 8:04 minutes. And Jönke had eight points, one rebound, one assist and one steal in 7:07 minutes.
Ole Wendt, 21, PG, Phoenix Hagen
Another quasi-regular on Young Guns last season was Wendt, who put together a strong game against Telekom Baskets Bonn with one points, eight rebounds – five of them offensive – and five assists.
Honorable Mention – Welcome to the Beko BBL
There were also two Beko BBL debuts in the Bonn-Hagen game. The 19-year-old Niklas Geske had two points, one rebound and one assist in 4:54 minutes in his debut for Hagen while teammate Moritz Krume, a 19-year-old power forward, played 1:42 minutes but didn’t pick up any stats.
Meat and Potatoes
The Beko BBL has two undefeated teams left as Bayern Munich are 5-0 and EWE Baskets Oldenburg are 4-0. Hagen dropped their first game of the season against Bonn as Bonn improved to 4-1 – along with Artland Dragons – and Hagen are 3-1. Würzburg and Bremerhaven are the only two winless teams at 0-5. Frankfurt’s Andrew Rautins leads the league in scoring at 19.2 ppg while Ryan Brooks from Bonn and Trier’s Trevon Hughes both are averaging 18.2 points a game. Hagen’s Larry Gordon took over the rebounding lead with 9.25 boards per game while Johannes Lischka from Tübingen has 8.8 rpg. The leading assist man is Bonn’s Jared Jordan with 7.8 apg after 11 dimes against Hagen. Vechta’s Richard Williams is second with 7.2 apg. Williams leads the efficiency rankings with 19.8 per game with Brooks second at 18.8. Here are the highlights of Game Day Five: