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2009 U18 European Championship: German Coach comments

August 8th, 2009 · 1 Comment

After the tournament, I spoke with the German U18 head coach Kay Blümel and he gave me his personal impressions on his full roster and commented every player’s tournament.

  • Falko Theilig: Falko did not really satisfy what we expected from him I must admit. I think he can play better, he has good speed, is a good defender but he held the ball too long on offense. He told me that he wants to play more fast break but he had the ball too much in his own hands to create for himself or his team mates. He could have avoided some pressure if he would have played the ball faster on the wings during the breaks. We have to work on this for next year.
  • Ole Wendt: I am very satisfied with what he did. He started badly though. I came here with big hopes on him but then he totally disappointed me in the first two games. But he found his way back and definitely played a very good tournament. He is a good ball handler, makes also some surprising moves and has a good drive to the basket and a correct view for his team mates nonetheless. However, there are some deficits when it comes to his shot.
  • Konstantin Klein: He is probably not happy that he played that less. This was however discussed with him before the tournament that he was here as 4th point guard and that he won’t get that many minutes. His force is clearly the defense; game organization is a problem for him because of his mediocre ball handling though. He is a good shooter, he has the necessary confidence as he makes 60-70% of his three pointers in practice but he can not translate this to the game at all.
  • Matthis Mönninghoff: As a 1992 born player with the second most playing time in the team, I think that he has convinced very well. He played on a good level and a regular basis with few downs. Athletically he is a good player, one of the few that also tried to attack the rim against the big guys. I am very curious what he can do next year when he is taking over even more responsibilities.
  • Anthony Canty: He has confirmed what he has done in the preparation. He can shoot the ball, is a good ball handler but he showed that if he gets pressured full court, he struggles with his court-vision. He needs to work on this but overall I am very satisfied with what he did.
  • Sebastian Koch: I expected more of him, a lot of ups and downs like the last game against Slovenia where he played a good second half but the day before he had 3 turnovers in just 2 minutes and a half, and you need to see what turnovers those have been to understand what I mean. He has big amplitudes in his game so that he shows great plays at one moment and totally incomprehensible stuff a bit later which makes him not reliable enough. I had expected more because I think he has great talent with his size and mobility but he could not confirm.
  • Harald Debelka: He was with the team because of his shooting qualities. He can come from the bench and hit 3 three pointers in a row. He struggles with his ball handling and under-pressure passing when he drives. He is a mediocre defender but he developed in that area pretty well. He did what we expected from him.
  • Danilo Barthel: I think he was one of the positive events of this tournament. What is interesting with him is that he started nearly every game very strong, scoring the most of his points in the first half while in the second half, he disappeared offensively more or less. But I think that for a first international appearance as Danilo only plays competitive basketball for 1.5 years, this was very good. He needs to bulk up and use his physical power more to impose himself and he needs to work more on his shot because it is still too slow. He needs to learn to get a quicker release.
  • Daniel Leither: A player with whom I was overall satisfied even if he had some major ups and downs. He had always one good game followed by a bad game, 10 points then 0, then 13 then 3. Very irregular, but very focused on his shot despite having the athletic abilities and physical force to penetrate and dish out the ball to his team mates. Here I see still some important development potential especially when it comes to his passing because right now, his right hand is not present. His shot is good, because he is focusing on that, but not regular enough because he has games shooting over 50% but afterwards he goes for a 0% game. If he brings more consistency in his game, then he is an interesting player for the future.
  • Justin Raffington: His problem is his inconsistency and his concentration which is not always at the top. If you look at him, he has an unbelievable frame but all of his physical force is in his upper body while he is very soft around the hip. This makes him very easy to defend and one of the reasons why he has problems posting up even against smaller players. He can not dominate physically weaker opponents because he is too soft in his lower body.
  • Philipp Neumann: He was our best player but also not very regular in his performances. He tried to lead the team alone which he does not need to do because there are other players that would use the spaces that he creates inside because he is so present in the paint. He needs to learn to share the ball more, he needs to learn how to pass out the ball and to have his head up when playing to see what is going on around him. He is certainly one of the outstanding talents for the future because he also has the necessary work ethic.
  • Friedrich Lotze: He started very well against the Ukraine so that I though: hey look at him, totally different than in the preparation phase. He was very stable in the paint against the robust Ukrainian players. But afterwards, there was nothing seen from him anymore. He has a similar problem than Justin Raffington as he is too soft in his lower body which puts him out of balance way to often. This implicates then a lot of weak finishes around the rim. He needs to develop this part of his game as well as athletically but it will probably be tough for him to do so. But he needs to work on this and get stronger so that he can impose himself against players where could not do so here.
  • Kay Blümel: Of course, I have to ask myself what I could have changed during the different games,also what I could have done differently throughout the tournament or during the preparation. Do we need to go harder with the boys? We did not do that this year, we let them calm and handled them with moderation and gave them some freedom. Now, I would not do that again and look harder on applying some rules we have set before. A problem that we had is that the guys did not listen that well to what we told them. During a time out, we gave them simple instructions, a player should set a pick like this or play defense like that and the first play after the timeout is exactly the play discussed before but the player does exactly the opposite how we explained it. This is a lack of concentration on which we should have worked before in a different way. Of course, I did not make everything correct, there is always potential to do better. I will analyze this during the next weeks because I think that a coach should analyze his decisions as he is part of winning but also a part of a team that loses. I don’t think I am the greatest, I want to improve myself and will listen to what others have to tell me about the tournament too.

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