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NBBL All-Star game review

January 21st, 2009 · No Comments

This weekend has been played the NBBL All-Star game in Mannheim. It is always difficult in such a context to scout players, especially if the game has no real impact and the clock is not stopped during the first 3 quarters. The result of this was a very poor first half. At least, during the Q3 and Q4, the 4743 fans could see some more interesting moments. So let’s take a look at the main guys that were on the court.

Jonas Wohlfarth-Bottermann (2m07 – C – 1990)

The long Center player from Bonn won the MVP trophy in this game which is of course a nice award for the efforts of the still very raw player. Wohlfarth-Bottermann can still be considered as a long term prospect and the recognition as “NBA-talent” by Detlef Schrempf after the Albert Schweitzer Tournament will make him a target of lots of scouts.

In Mannheim, JWB showed his very interesting defensive possibilities as he finished the game with 4 block shots, and there could have been even more if the referees would have been All-Stars too. He has already nice boxing-out reflexes as he had to go against the massive Maik Zirbes. His great athletic abilities and skills to run the court make him an excellent transition player where he can follow the break as a trailer.

Offensively, he is still pretty raw. You could see glimpses of back to the basket moves but he struggled to score against Zirbes. However, he looks to have made a step forward when it comes to explosivity and overall power in his game. You could see him score on powerful dunks, often coming of two feet. He will probably gain a spot in the U20 National team this summer and his evolution is to be followed intensively.

Femi Oladipo (1m99 – PF – 1990)

The athletic forward was the MVP from a statistical point of view as he finished the game as best scorer and rebounder. With his unorthodox playing style, Oladipo managed to score a good number of easy baskets either on offensive rebounds or even by going for a coast-to-coast dunk in traffic.

Oladipo is very active on both sides of the court when it comes to rebounding. He needs to work there very hard, as his jump shot is still far from being reliable. He did not even try one outside shot during the game, relying more on his interesting left handed drive. However, his ball handling needs some improvement, as he always puts the ball up very high which is risky especially when driving.

His limits in terms of shot are hugely pointed out when he steps to the FT line where his mechanics look very strange and not regular at all. Additionally, his situation in Bremerhaven was not positive for either him and his team and he is currently on the transfer market.

Philipp Neumann (2m06 – PF/C – 1992)

The surprise of the day for me was the game of Philipp Neumann. The MVP of the U16 Division B from 2008 put already very impressive numbers to the table in the NBBL and gains also some minutes in the ProB so I really wanted to know more about this player. And he looks like a very promising player to me.

Being not skinny at all, even looking a bit out of shape, Neumann is a highly intense player. He has very interesting footwork and he was one of the few centers on the court that showed back to the basket moves. He has long arms and also a sweet shooting touch in the key. The more surprising part in his game is his athleticism as he does not look at first sight being a great leaper. However, he showed some impressive dunks during the game.

His coach describes him as a very mobile inside player who will develop long distance shooting qualities in the future. With his interesting defensive timing. he can become also a shot blocker and good rebounder.  If Neumann can slow down a bit and concentrate on the important things on the court, he has a very interesting potential for the future.

Maik Zirbes, who recently entered the Draftexpress 90s born Internationals Ranking, was not in his best day in Mannheim. The massive Center got well guarded by Wohlfarth-Bottermann but he impressed with a nice buzzer-beating three pointer. His above average athletic abilities are of course impressive on this level and he should develop well in Trier under coach Defraigne and having a sparring partner like George Evans.

Simon Schmitz was not in a scoring day but the PG, who I recently featured in a longer article, showed that he is able to control a game and its tempo. His sometimes hara-kiri like drives against the bigs look impressive but he seems to be more focused when playing a real game than in such a show event.-

Robert Hülsewede showed an interesting polyvalent game. The 2m00 tall player looks already very well built physically and his a very quick shot release in catch-and-shot plays. This is nothing new but what impressed me was the fact that he played the PG position during some stretches and he came up with some very nice looks in those situations.

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