European Prospects

News about Young European Basketball Prospects

“This guy called Wall, I have never heard of him”

August 15th, 2010 · No Comments

This weekend, the BEKO Super-Cup is being held in Bamberg. Germany, Lithuania, Turkey and Croatia prepare the upcoming World Championship. Similar to last summer, the German National Team features a large number of interesting prospects like Tibor Pleiss, Elias Harris or Robin Benzing. The German website talked to the Oklahoma Thunder draftee and also quoted the German head coach on the development of their “super-talents”.

Dirk Bauermann, the head coach of the German National Team is not very satisfied with the development of Robin Benzing and Elias Harris over the last months. As I mentioned already on my Twitter account, Bauermann found very harsh words on their development.

They need to know that all the talk about the NBA and the Draft is one thing, but to play and be a factor on the European level is a different thing. They need to come at that point that they can use their talent here.

Tibor Pleiss, who did not play against Lithuania yesterday in order to get a rest, had to work hard alone after the game to be ready for today’s clash with Turkey. Bauermann said the following about Pleiss’ development.

As Turkey has a very physical team, it will be an important step for Tibor Pleiss to play hard against them. For experienced players, this is not a problem but for a young player as Tibor, he must first get acclimated to this.

Robin Benzing was so far not really a satisfaction for Bauermann as the 21-year old player had 0 points and 2 turnovers against Lithuania. The German head coach told the press the following about the player from ratiopharm Ulm.

Last year, Robin has grown yet again  to reach 2m10 now. That’s why he still needs to grow into his body and this takes some time. Therefore it is even more important for him to understand that he has to work even harder on his (physical) deficit than other players who may be less talented. He needs to get a slap on his cheek to recognize that he needs to develop massively in his physical presence if he wants to become an important player.

Elias Harris is certainly not behind in terms of physical development but the Gonzaga forward had to sit out for the second time already because of a shoulder injury. Bauermann explained that this is not bad luck but lack of experience.

Elias was close to disarticulate his shoulder for the second time because he runs into the screens of the opponents. This works against players of his age at College where the game is a lot less physical. But on our level, the shoulder is down the drain immediately. He needs to learn that playing the SF position, he needs to go around the screens and not through.

The Beko Super-Cup was also the opportunity for to go through a long interview with Tibor Pleiss on his current situation, future and the NBA. It was once again astonishing to see how the Oklahoma Thunder drafted player does not follow international and NBA Basketball. Here are some extracts of the interview that can be read in total in German here.

For the NBA Draft day in New York, I was not nervous at all, and this because of a simple reason: I did not know anyone of all those College players; also this guy called Wall, I have never heard of him before. The only one I spoke with a bit was Kevin Seraphin from France. I was only nervous because of the things going on around the ceremony. Knowing that millions of people in front of their TV can watch me when I eventually fall down walking up the stairs. Additionally, it was extremely cold and I was freezing. I did not really feel well in the Madison Square Garden.

In general, I am not really interested in International or NBA Basketball. Most of the players I play against during this tournament or the World Championship, I have never heard of. For example, when we played Serbia last summer as a preparation game for the Eurobasket, it was the first time I saw Nenad Krstic play. My ignorance may sound strange to others, but it has the advantage that I go unbiased into the games and take every opponent serious.

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