One of the most interesting players to join the NCAA ranks directly from Europe is the German forward Christian Standhardinger. The former Ehingen/Urspringschule player has been recruited by the Big12 team Nebraska Huskers but he will miss the 15 non-conference games this season. Here we go for a close look at the forward from Munich.
Christian Standhardinger is a tall forward who can play both the PF and the SF position. His future however will probably be more on the SF position as he prefers attacking the basket facing his opponents and has not that much of a back to the basket game. He has worked a lot on his shot over the last year in order to diversify his offensive options which were mostly limited to a very strong right handed drive before. Together with the Urspring coaching staff, Standhardinger has done a lot of work in that area and he is aware of what he needs to do in the next years to become a better player.
I have worked a lot on my shot of course, but after the first practices here in Nebraska, I realized that there is still a long way to go concerning that. I need to work mainly on my shot, but also my ball handling, my left hand and my defense need to be improved.
The young man is very well aware of what he needs to do in order to improve his game. And his determination and ambition will certainly help him to develop his weaknesses and fulfill the hopes of the Husker fans. Even if his defense is sometimes considered a bit suspect, Standhardinger had to carry his team in the 3rd German division on the offense and may have taken some rest on the other side of the court. But he is very present in rebounding and despite not being the most physical guy, he is not afraid at all to go the rebound. The question remains how this will translate to the very physical Big 12 conference.
But Standhardinger is a player that knows how to get into the game, even when starting slowly. Talking to the referees, flopping on offensive foul situations or going for difficult or unorthodox moves can surprise everyone on the court and be the beginning of scoring runs. But those kind of stuff can also go the wrong way and this may have given him a certain reputation that does not always work in his favor. You can call it like that: you better have him on your team than playing against him. However, Standhardinger was not selected for the U20 European Championship with the German National Team this summer, officially because of his scholar issues (Standhardinger missed several National Team camps because of exams).
Of course I was very disappointed that I could not play with the National Team this summer, every good German player would be disappointed if he is not selected. But I work very hard in Nebraska with very good coaches and I am confident that I will add my part to the National Team success one day.
During the summer, there were eligibility questions to see if Standhardinger can qualify academically but also if he risks a suspension like did his former team mates at Urspring Lucca Staiger and Christopher Niemann. But the NCAA made a decision recently that allows Standhardinger to play the Big 12 conference games as well as during the pre-season. However, the German forward did not doubt about his decision during this waiting phase.
Oh yes, I would have gone to Nebraska, even if I had to miss a full season, because I have here the best conditions to develop my Basketball game but also to get a good education. I had alternatives to sign with Bundesliga (1st German division) or other European professional teams but I preferred to come and play for Nebraska.
His former coach at Urspring Academy Ralph Junge underlines that the decision of Standhardinger to go to the United States was the right one. And he has high hopes on his former player.
Christian came to Urspring as a Rookie who had no idea how to play and has matured to become the team leader, from no shot at all to a 50% three point shooter in the 2nd half of his last season with us. Now, his development needs to continue in that direction. He needs to apply what he has learned here on the next level. Then, he will become a team leader there too.
What works on 3rd German division level, will most likely not work in the Big12. This is the next goal for him, to become one of the best offensive players in the Big12, to remain an excellent rebounder and to be able to defend against future NBA players.
Christian has always been very ambitious, and this has helped him to reach his current level. For the people that qualify his defense as suspect, they should take a look at the game between Speyer and Ehingen from last season where Christian made 41pts against Gonzaga recruit Elias Harris who is currently mentioned everywhere as big time defender. Harris had only 25pts that game, so Christian is probably the best defender in the world. (grin)
Standhardinger knows that there are a lot of expectations on him. And he thinks that Nebraska is the right place to reach the next level.
I like it over here in Nebraska. I see that I make big steps forward and that the coaches are highly motivated to work with the team. Additionally, I want to say that we have a great team and great team mates and that I have the best available environment to get better and reach the next level.
Christian Standhardinger plays with #7 in red