This weekend, it was again time for a quick Scouting weekend in Germany. The plan was to check out the Crailsheim Merlins at home in the decisive game for FC Bayern München to move up to the BEKO-BBL followed by a matchup between two mid- to low-level Bundesliga teams BBC Bayreuth and TBB Trier. All four teams feature some interesting prospects for different levels and it was good to get an updates on some of them.
The trip started with the game in Crailsheim which featured the dominator of the German ProA Bayern Munich with their star-ensemble against the small-town team of the Merlins. The locals have with Femi Oladipo an interesting player in their roster that we talked already about a few weeks ago while Bayern has with the 1989 born Bastian Doreth a future Bundesliga PG. However, none of the two had a major impact on the game. While Oladipo only took one shot during the whole game, Doreth had a least three attempts from behind the arc to make one.
The 1990 born forward was totally cut of from the Merlins heavily US-based offense. The team’s 5 German players that get significant minutes only took 13 shots of the 63 attempts of the team which underlines the overall poor team play. And a team player like Oladipo looks a bit lost on offense where all of his actions where just about sharing the ball and creating opportunities for his team mates. Despite being listed as 1m99 tall power forward, it was him that came up with some nice passes and good court-vision while the normal playmakers looked more for their own shot. Oladipo did a good job on the defensive end where he guarded every position from 1-4 and this especially in stopping Steffen Hamann during stretches but he needs to remain focused on his presence once he gets passed by the offense. However, offensively, this game was not really a good one for Oladipo as he had no influence at all. After his nice start into the season, he seems to have lost his confidence on offense scoring only 5.0ppg over the last 9 games after having started the season with 9.4ppg.
Bastian Doreth did a good job by running the point during his minutes on the court. When coming from the bench, you did not really feel a difference compared to Senior NT player Hamann, even if both have a very different game. Being pretty short with only 1m82, Doreth can push the ball on the break and has a very nice three-point shot. He rarely attacks the rim and takes more than 75% of his shots from behind the arc and hits them with great precision (45.9%). Additionally, he is a fantastic free-throw shooter (95.5%) but has some trouble to defend on taller or more athletic guards. If Bayern München wants to play for the Championship next season, he might not be strong enough as Back-up for them but he can certainly do a good job for mid-level Bundesliga teams next season.
Check the full game in Video (not available in every country)
We continued our trip to Bayreuth where the local BBC played against the surprising TBB Trier team. Both squads feature one player that has been mentioned in our 5 players to follow this season in the Bundesliga. Simon Schmitz decided to play his best game of the season for Bayreuth on Sunday so that it was a great opportunity to get an update on the 1990 born German PG. Additionally, Maik Zirbes did a good job as well for the guests so that this game gave us a nice possibility to scout both of them.
So far, Simon Schmitz never played longer than 17 minutes but this all changed on Sunday as the 1m85 tall and officially 65kg guard saw 20 minutes of action for scoring 14pts and having the best +/- of the whole team. The game was highly important for his team that tries to avoid relegation and improved their record with an important win. Schmitz entered the court at the end of the 1st quarter when the offense of his team was not turning very well. With him on the floor, the team shared the ball and the different players got excellent open shots. Schmitz himself was not afraid to take his opportunities and knocked down a long-distance shot from the corner followed by a three-pointer. He added a second triple and finished his first half with a very difficult drive that he could connect after a spin-move in traffic.
Next to his offensive aggressiveness and great shot selection and accuracy, it was under Schmitz’ control that the team made the game-winning break in the second quarter as he managed to change the game speed and put his team in a more setup-oriented offense than relying on pure 1-on-1 skills. When he went back to the bench and the starting PG Danny Gibson came back to the court, the team fell back into its initial problems and the lead was reduced. During the second half, Schmitz came back an assured the lead of his team and even help to increase the gap again during the third quarter. After another period on the bench, head coach Andreas Wagner brought the young guard back for the last minutes of the game in order to control the game speed and bring home this important victory and keep the hope alive to stay in the league.
Next to his great offensive game, Schmitz showed good improvement in his defensive attitude where he was doing an excellent job on Dru Joyce. He was not afraid to challenge the US guard physically and was always hard on him without getting passed over. Despite being physically one of the least impressive players of the whole Bundesliga, Schmitz showed that he can handle the pressure and be a factor on the defensive end as well. After having grown step-by-step over the last seasons, he has now marked his territory in the BBL and he will be measured on his performance from last Sunday. Bayreuth knows that they have an alternative on the bench to take over and coach Wagner might go to the German guard more often in the last games of the season.
Maik Zirbes has been a great story so far this season for TBB Trier and his head coach Henrik Rödl. We had already a longer report on him a few weeks back and the game in Bayreuth underlined again his forces and weaknesses. Physically impressive, Zirbes is having a lot of Pick and Roll situations where he gets fed by PG Dru Joyce. Out of these situations he comes up with great positions where he can finish with the dunk. Additionally, he has good timing for the offensive rebound but once again missed the necessary aggressiveness to finish strong on a second jump. You could see him several times come up with a good offensive rebound but instead of using his power to go back up for the dunk, he tried some soft shots from close that he missed.