Dennis Schröder has developed into a household name among German basketball followers over the last years. The Braunschweig PG showed his class during the NBBL Top4 last season but has now become a major factor for the Braunschweig professional team over the last games. Together with his team mate Daniel Theis who is finding his way into the rotation as well, he represents the future of his team. He scored respectively 14 and 12 points in the last two games and will travel to Berlin today for a matchup with the highest German level.
Schröder is a 1m86 tall PG who first of all has excellent physical attributes with an incredible speed and great athletic abilities. With or without the ball, he is probably among the fastest players in the Beko Bundesliga right now. Offensively, he mainly scores on the drive where he can pass his defender without any problem in dribble situations. He is not afraid at all to attack the basket despite his size and finish against the big guys. With his fantastic explosiveness, he can increase his speed to another level in order to beat also the help defender with a double-long step avoiding the offensive foul and going for the underhand layup.
The 1993 born guard can however also score from mid range as he has a very soft touch on his floaters that he kisses either off the glass or as a tear drop high above the defense. He rarely stops around the free-throw area in order to take the jump shot but we saw him make that kind of shot coming right from the bench against Bremerhaven. The shot looked fluid and beautifully coordinated which means already a lot better than last summer. The three-point shot seems however not to fall yet on a consistent level as he could not score one attempt from behind the arc this season in the Bundesliga. In the second team, he nets only about 28% from that distance this season as well which underlines that his long distance being still in the making.
His passing skills are often turned to the highlight reel as he likes to play the fancy one out of the drive. He has a good feeling to find the players in the right positions but needs to get a better decision making. Sometimes he passes too fast so that the catcher can not react to it. This is of course a learning process for the 18 year old kid. He has a natural feel for these situations though as he reads the gaps and the cuts of the team mates so well. With more experience on this level, he should be able to become a better overall passer while he most likely will remain a scoring first PG in the future.
Defensively, Schröder lacks of course the necessary strength against physical guards. His lateral speed and great wingspan help him to be a factor and he can develop into an excellent ball stealer in the future. On ball, he does an excellent job to stay in front of his man but he has to become more active when off the ball. He is most likely also a target for other guards posting him up but in the game we saw from Bundesliga, this never really happened for whatever reason.
The biggest asset of Schröder’s game though is his self confidence at the moment. He is not afraid at all to take his chance on offense as he knows that he can beat nearly every defender in one-on-one situations. Over the last two games, the coaching staff always had him on the court in the decisive moments and Schröder used this in order to score the ball in the big moments. It was him alone that brought Braunschweig to an overtime in Frankfurt by scoring 6 consecutive points in the last seconds. He was however the tragic hero by missing the game winning free-throw in Frankfurt and lead cutting shots from the line against Bremerhaven.
Dennis Schröder definitely represents the future of the German National Team on the PG position. He is by far the best athlete playmaker in the country if not in Europe. By earning and deserving considerable minutes at the tender age of 18 in the Bundesliga which is a rarity these days, it shows what potential Schröder has. He is still followed a little bit by an image of a troublemaker but during the games we saw from him, it did not show on court. If his development continues at the current rate, his ceiling is very high. We do not know if NBA scouts are already following him but if not, it is about time to start to do so as he probably emerges as the most NBA-compatible PG of his age group.