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Robin Benzing ready for the next step?

February 6th, 2010 · 1 Comment

Today, ratiopharm Ulm, the team of Robin Benzing played on the road in Frankfurt in front of the cameras of DSF so that I had the chance to see the progress of the German prospect since my last report.

Robin Benzing entered the game on the SF position as a Starter and opened his game with a catch-and-shoot 3 pointer from 45 degrees. Afterwards, he did not show that much as he looked a bit lost in the offense of his team, not getting a lot of touches. He got two open shots from behind the arc, but missed them. He also went for one of his typical drives with very long steps and good control of the body and ball. However, he missed his long underhand layup with the left hand. Defensively, Benzing guarded SFs and had no trouble to do so as Frankfurt’s SFs are not the strongest or most athletic players in the Bundesliga.

Afterwards, Benzing went to the bench for some minutes and once he came back in the 2nd quarter, he was not in the game either, at least in terms of scoring. Out of his drives, he has improved in his court-vision as he tried several times the dish out of the dribbling. Those passes were mostly well timed and gave the inside players good positions. On the defensive end, he was late once on a rotation and fouled a three point shooter on a block attempt coming from the side.

During the second half, Robin Benzing showed though that he should be the uncontested leader of this team. It was him alone that held Ulm in the game during the third quarter where he started offensively on the PF position. On the first play, he immediately posted his defender up and tried a back to the basket move where he got pushed though and passed the ball out. Just in the next play, he came from the weak side, using a screen of a team mate to get a good position on the block. He got the ball immediately and finished the play after a fast turn around to the baseline with the foul.

After being back on his natural SF position, Benzing continued to beat his defenders, that are often about 10cm shorter than him, on the drive. He showed several more dishes out of these plays, something that I have not seen him do so much in the previous games. Nearly every offense that went through Benzing could be finished with a score either by himself or by one of his team mates. He ended this quarter with an excellent buzzer-beating three pointer of one foot from about 8 meters.

Ulm head coach Mike Taylor held Robin Benzing on the bench for the start of the last 10 minutes and his team immediately fell behind. When the 2m08 tall forward came back to the court, Ulm was trailing by about 10 points. But together with 1988 born PG Per Günther, Benzing cut the lead with yet another three point shot and a major steal in the defense where he reads the passing lanes pretty well. In the money time tough, Benzing could not take the game in his hands definitely as other team mates tried to win the game on their own plays.

He needs to gain in leadership and vocal presence on the court if he wants to make the next step which is to become a team leader on the Bundesliga level. Offensively, Robin Benzing has all the skills to develop into a dominant player on the wing as he has the tools to attack the rim, post up, shoot the ball and puts good decision making on the table. Being the youngest guy on the team, he is not the natural team leader but his skill set and confidence by the coaching staff should put him in this role sooner or later. Having signed for two years in Ulm, Benzing is definitely the player around which the team should be built next season to be successful.

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