Göttingen shines / Blowout city / Katzurin takes over in Bremerhaven / Another Bayern injury
— David Hein
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:
Week of blowouts
After loads of nail-biters and last-second wins in the previous two weeks, this past week of Beko BBL games saw a bunch of blowouts. Only two games (MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg’s 74-69 victory over TBB Trier and Brose Baskets’ 89-82 defeat of EWE Baskets Oldenburg) were decided by fewer than 12 points and there were three victories by 30 or more points. The average winning margin of 19.77 points was only topped by the 21.0 point winning margin from the sixth round of games. Let’s hope this weekend has more close games.
El-Amin leads Göttingen to impressive win over SKYLINERS
Khalid El-Amin showed he’s still a winner as the veteran guided BG Göttingen to a 74-62 victory at home over FRAPORT SKYLINERS. He also showed he’s good for some highlights.
A baker’s dozen! Holston dishes 13 assists
David Holston made sure his teammates were well fed in leading Artland Dragons to an 88-69 victory over Eisbären Bremerhaven as he collected 13 points and a career-high 13 assists.
Welcome Back Part I: Katzurin comes back as Oldham replacement in Bremerhaven
While Mitteldeutscher BC currently have the longest losing streak at 10 games, Eisbären Bremerhaven have the second-longest at seven and they have lost 12 of their last 13 games since beating last placed Crailsheim Merlins on November 2. That led management to fire head coach Calvin Oldham and replace him with Muli Katzurin, who returns to the Beko BBL for his third club following stops with ALBA BERLIN and FRAPORT SKYLINERS. Katzurin has a tough first task in facing Brose Baskets this weekend.
Welcome Back Part II: Robin, Vasilije and Kevin back on court
This week saw three comebacks to the court as Bayern Munich’s Robin Benzing (12 points, four rebounds and two assists vs. Phoenix Hagen) played for the first time since December 7 while Munich’s Vasilije Micic (11 points, three rebounds and eight assists) returned after last playing on November 23. Kevin Bright (three points in 14:28 minutes) made his season debut in FRAPORT SKYLINERS’ 74-62 loss against BG Göttingen.
Welcome Back Part III: Burtschi and Dorris back in Beko BBL
FRAPORT SKYLINERS power forward Danilo Barthel will miss multiple weeks with a foot problem and Frankfurt reacted by bringing back Jacob Burtschi on a contract for one month and an option until the end of the season. Burtschi played last season with SKYLINERS until a back surgery, averaging 7.2 points and 4.9 rebounds while hitting nearly 42 percent of his three-pointers in 26 games.
While Frankfurt are fighting for a spot in the playoffs, Mitteldeutscher BC are just looking for a victory. After starting the season with a 7-2 record and being picked as the surprise team of the season, MBC have lost 10 straight games, dropping them to 7-12 and just two games from a relegation spot. Coach Silvano Poropat went out and added a new player – and a familiar face to Beko BBL fans – in Mark Dorris. MBC signed the 29-year-old, who played from 2010-2014 for Phoenix Hagen, on a deal until the end of February with an option for the rest of the season. Check out his game winner from last season:
Bayern bit again by injury bug
There was no injury news for Bayern Munich for a while. Players were only coming back. But the injury bug bit again as Nihad Djedovic injured his elbow in Munich’s mid-week Eurocup game against JDA Dijon and guard is expected to miss 10 weeks.
Chikoko stepping up play
Readers of Weekly News and those who know me know that I am a huge fan of TBB Trier’s Vitalis Chikoko. And the Zimbabwean big man, who turns 24 on February 11, has really stepped up his game since the beginning of December. In the last nine games, Chikoko has averaged 14.2 points while shooting 66 percent from the field and 71 percent from the free throw line, as well as 6.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.8 steals and 2.1 blocks. He had five blocks against Ludwigsburg:
Player(s) of the Week: Adam Chubb and Brandon Thomas
Once again there are two winners this week. EWE Baskets Oldenburg center Adam Chubb collected 24 points on 9-of-11 shots and 6-of-6 free throws, six rebounds, two assists and two turnovers for an efficiency of 28 against Brose Baskets. That figure was matched by Artland Dragons forward Brandon Thomas, who torched Eisbären Bremerhaven for 27 points on 11-of-15 shots including three three-pointers while also picking up two rebounds and three steals – and one alley-oop.
Stats Corner – “You know”
Hand it to the video guys at the Beko BBL on this gem! All of those “You know” came in 57 seconds:
With Danilo Barthel out injured, Johannes Voigtmann stepped up against Göttingen to score 22 points on 10-of-14 shots including both of his three-point attempts while collecting eight rebounds and one block.
German Top Five of the Week
Here are the top five German players, including another strong performance by Jonathan Moore.
G: Per Günther, ratiopharm ulm
Günther nearly had a double-double versus Crailsheim Merlins with 11 points on 4-of-10 shots while adding up two rebounds, nine assists and two steals.
G: Niels Giffey, ALBA BERLIN
Giffey scored a team-high 14 points against medi bayreuth on 5-of-9 shots while grabbing six rebounds, two assists and one steal.
F: Elias Harris, Brose Baskets
Harris had a very efficient game against Oldenburg with 10 points on 4-of-4 shots and 2-of-3 free throws as well as five rebounds.
F: Jonathan Moore, Crailsheim Merlins
Moore scored 13 points on 5-of-10 shots and 2-of-2 free throws to go with three rebounds. The 32-year-old has scored in double digits in four of his last five games.
C: Chris McNaughton, MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg
Tim Ohlbrecht’s 13 points and six rebounds would usually be enough but McNaughton deserved some recognition for his performance against Trier as he picked up eight points, two rebounds and one assist in just 8:53 minutes as starting center Jon Brockman came up injured.
Paul Zipser, 20, SG, Bayern Munich
Zipser got a chance to play 17:39 minutes in the blowout win over Hagen and scored nine points on 3-of-7 shots and 3-of-4 free throws to go with one rebound, four assists, one steal and three blocks.
Ismet Akpinar, 19, PG, ALBA BERLIN
After scoring five points last week vs MBC, Akpinar scored a career-high six points vs. Bayreuth, making 1-of-6 shots and 4-of-4 free throws to go with one rebound.
Isaiah Hartenstein, 16, PF, Artland Dragons
What will likely be a long, successful professional career began for 16-year-old star prospect Hartenstein, who made his Beko BBL debut with 1:12 minutes against Bremerhaven, missing his one three-point attempt to go with one rebound.
Germans Overseas Watch
Let’s go back to Spain – no, we’re not going to talk about Tibor Pleiß or Maxi Kleber. Sebastian Koch played four seasons at Elon University in North Carolina and is playing his first professional season with Penas Huesca of the Spanish second league LEB Gold. The 2.03m guard is averaging 11.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in four games.