Mike Koch replaces Predrag Krunic, Andreas Seiferth becoming force
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:
First off, hope you and yours had a nice Christmas holiday. An unplanned trip within a vacation left Weekly News without internet access in the Egyptian desert. Hence the week off last week. But don’t fret, we’ll catch you up on all things Beko BBL.
Koch takes over after Bayreuth fire Krunic
With the team suffering a seventh straight loss to Mitteldeutscher BC and falling to 17th place in the Beko BBL, medi bayreuth reacted by parting ways with head coach Predrag Krunic and hiring Michael Koch as of January 1. The European champion Koch, who starred for Bayreuth during his playing days, most recently coached Telekom Baskets Bonn from 2005 to last season. Bayreuth – who some considered a darkhorse contender going into the season – dropped to 3-12 and are already six games away from the eighth and final playoff spot. Right now, Bayreuth aren’t thinking playoffs. Just a win and slowly getting out of relegation danger is goal number one. Good luck Mike. And good to see both Koch brothers back on the Beko BBL sidelines.
SKYLINERS, Ulm work overtime – Triple OT that is!
There’s something amazing about games that go into triple overtime – ratiopharm ulm and FRAPORT SKYLINERS fans got a real treat with the Skyliners prevailing 108-102 after three extra sessions. Before you watch the highlights, just a couple of notes – Andy Rautins was two assists short of a triple-double while SKYLINERS teammates Jacob Burtschi and Johannes Voigtmann both had double-doubles. And perhaps one of the most-outstanding stats of the season – the SKYLINERS made 32 of 33 free throws for 97 percent (!!!). So, after keeping you waiting, here the highlights:
European Adventures: Bayern into Top 16, Bamberg out
With the regular seasons of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague and Eurocup coming to a close, the Beko BBL is still well represented in Europe’s two top club competitions. Bayern Munich barely snuck their way into the Euroleague Top 16, finishing Group C in fourth place and will now take on the likes of Real Madrid, CSKA Moscow and Maccabi Tel Aviv. Brose Baskets Bamberg missed out on the Top 16 by losing to Zalgiris Kaunas on the final game day to finish fifth in Group B, dropping to the Eurocup where they are joined in the Last 32 by Ulm and ALBA BERLIN – the latter two who advanced from the first group stage.
Gaffney out until with injury
Telekom Baskets Bonn were hit with some bad injury news as star Tony Gaffney was ruled out until later in January with a double ligament tear in his foot. Get well soon Tony! It seems right now quite unlikely he will be part of the Dunk Contest at the Beko BBL ALLSTAR Day, but you will see some of these guys in Bonn:
ALLSTAR rosters completed
The rest of the ALLSTAR Game rosters were completed as Team National coach Thorsten Leibenath selected Heiko Schaffartzik, Lucca Staiger, Robin Benzing, Philip Zwiener, Danilo Barthel, Dirk Mädrich and Andreas Seiferth. Leibenath asked Johannes Lischka to play but the 26-year-old Tübingen player said he would rather work out individually. Team International coach Tyron McCoy added to his roster David Logan, Andrew Rautins, Isaiah Swann, Nihad Djedovic, Larry Gordon, Brandon Thomas and Anthony King. Tip-off of the ALLSTAR Game is 8:15 p.m. in Bonn on January 18, 2014.
Harris with huge debut, Neumann strong start for Oldenburg
German international Elias Harris had a strong Beko BBL debut for Brose Baskets Bamberg with 25 points, four rebounds, one steal and two blocks against Phoenix Hagen in his first game (check out his highlights below). The former Los Angeles Lakers forward had 11 points and two rebounds in his second game against Würzburg. The addition of Harris meant even less playing time for Philipp Neumann, who was eventually sent on loan to EWE Baskets Oldenburg until the end of the season with Oldenburg having an option to keep the 21-year-old German big man for the 2014-15 season. Neumann scored nine points in each of his first two games with last season’s finalists, making 7-of-9 shots combined to go with three rebounds, one assist and one block.
Ludwigsburg add Karl, Esterkamp heads to Würzburg
MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg added another son of a famous father as they signed Coby Karl, the 30-year-old son of former NBA coach George Karl. The guard’s arrival at the same time meant the departure of Tanner Smith. s.Oliver Baskets Würzburg also made a move as they added veteran Steve Esterkamp on a six-week contract to help out their injury problems. The former Ulm captain played in October and November with RASTA Vechta before being released. Würzburg, who received permission from the Beko BBL for the move, have an option to keep Esterkamp until the end of the season. Phoenix Hagen meanwhile were hoping to bring back a familiar face as well but last years Beko BBL top scorer Davin White decided to join Israeli side Maccabi Rishon LeZion instead of returning to his former club.
Maxi Kleber continues to have a strong season, though he is still struggling a bit with his shooting. He collected nine points on 3-of-10 shooting against Walter Tigers Tübingen to go with seven rebounds, two assists and zero turnovers in 25:49 minutes. He followed that with 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting and five rebounds against Bamberg.
Player(s) of the Week(s)
The magic number for Game Day 14 was 30 as no less than four players came up with an efficiency rating of 30 for their teams. Two of those performances came in the same game. Ludwigburg’s Shawn Huff collected 25 points on 8-of-11 shooting and 5-5 free throws to go along with six rebounds, two assists and one steal against Bonn, who saw Jamel McLean step up big in their first game without the injured Tony Gaffney by putting together 21 points on 6-of-8 shooting, 9-9 free throws, 10 rebounds, one assist and two blocks. Angelo Caloiaro of MBC continued his superb run with 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting, nine rebounds, one assist and four steals against Eisbären Bremerhaven. Rashard Bishop picked up the fourth 30 efficiency rating for Vechta in their loss against Berlin with 26 points on 9-of-12 shooting, 7-8 free throws, five rebounds, two steals and two blocks – 18 of his points coming in the third quarter. The Player of the Week for Game Day 15 went to TBB Trier’s Andreas Seiferth. The center picked up an efficiency rating of 34 as he had 25 points on 12-of-17 shooting, 13 rebounds, one assist and two blocks. MBC’s Caloiaro did his best to repeat his Player of the Week honor with a 30 efficiency rating as he scored 20 points for the third straight game.
Seiferth making huge strides
Seiferth’s dominating showing against Bonn was just the latest impressive game for the 2.09m center. The Berlin native, who won’t turn 25 years old until after the season, is averaging 17.4 points on 62 percent shooting, 7.14 rebounds (3.14 OR), 1.3 assists and just 2.14 turnovers in his last seven games. He did not foul out once in that stretch and played at least 25 minutes each game – three times going more than 28 minutes. NBA scouts will start being seen at Trier games in the near future if Seiferth keeps up this production.
Johannes Voigtmann, 21, C, FRAPORT SKYLINERS
Look who’s back again! JoVo is emerging as a legitimate force for the Skyliners, picking up double-doubles against Ulm and Vechta. In the triple-OT win over Ulm, he had 10 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and one steal. In Frankfurt’s sixth win in seven games against Vechta, Voigtmann collected 10 points, 10 rebounds, one assist and two blocks. This guy will be attracting more and more attention from NBA scouts.
Bogdan Radosavljevic, 20, C WALTER Tigers Tübingen
Radosavljevic is not playing a lot of minutes but the young center continues to be productive in that playing time. Against Würzburg, he collected nine points on 4-of-6 shooting to go with three rebounds and two assists in 14:18 minutes. Against Ludwigsburg, he had seven points on 2-of-3 shooting, 3-of-4 free throws, two rebounds and four fouls in 9:19 minutes. Radosavljevic has scored at least seven points in six of his last seven games.
Daniel Theis, 21, PF, ratiopharm ulm
Theis remains inconsistent this season, collecting 15 points, eight rebounds, one assist and two steals in the thriller against Skyliners but then hitting just 2-of-9 in scoring four points with four rebounds, one assist, one steal and two blocks against Bayern Munich.
Ismet Akpinar, 18, PG, ALBA BERLIN
Since Weekly News skipped a week, here a fourth Young Gun: The young German point guard Akpinar appeared in his second Beko BBL game of his career, playing 5:44 minutes against Braunschweig and collecting two points on 1-of-3 shooting with one foul.
Basketball Insiders by SportEagle.tv
Meat and Potatoes
Bayern Munich clinched their seventh straight victory to improve to 14-1 atop the Beko BBL. Bamberg remained two games back in second at 12-3 while Oldenburg are third at 10-4. Tübingen dropped to last place at 3-12 which is the same record as 17th placed Bayreuth and Vechta one spot higher. Darius Adams of Bremerhaven padded his scoring lead at 19.13 ppg, ahead of Braunschweig’s Isaiah Swann (17.73 ppg) and Skyliners’s Andy Rautins (17.6 ppg). Hagen’s Larry Gordon is still the top rebounder at 8.0 rpg ahead of two-time reigning MVP John Bryant of Munich (7.7 rpg). It’s safe to call the assist race over – Jared Jordan from Bonn will win. He’s tops with 7.4 apg with Bayreuth’s Kevin Hamilton and Richard Williams from Vechta tied for second at 5.9 apg. The hottest player in the Beko BBL right now is Angelo Caloiaro from MBC, who leads the efficiency rating at 19.2 epg. Gordon is second at 18.21 and Adams is third at 17.2. Last, but not least: This week’s Top Ten: