Wednesday, June 21, 2017

2014 Scouting Reports On NBA Draft Prospects

Almost three years ago, some of the top 16 and 17 year-old high school players gathered in Colorado Springs for the USA U17 tryouts. There was talent galore in the gym with the likes of Malik Monk, Dennis Smith, and TJ Leaf all getting cut. Two players from that team were drafted in Henry Ellenson and Diamond Stone and now six more are expected to hear their name called Thursday night. Here are my notes from three years ago on: 
  • Jayson Tatum
  • Josh Jackson
  • Harry Giles
  • Caleb Swanigan
  • Terrance Ferguson
  • Ivan Rabb
Jayson Tatum:

Giles-Tatum talking about college
Standing at 6’7” and probably still growing, there isn’t a whole lot that Jayson Tatum can’t do on the basketball court. While he is the second youngest player on the team, Tatum is the most skilled from an offensive stand point. Not just on the USA team though, in all of high school basketball. He is comfortable playing point guard (and will probably handle the ball a fair amount for Team USA) and on the wing. Tatum also uses both his strong (right) and weak hand (left) interchangeably while dribbling or finishing shots in the paint. He likes to take advantage of miss-matches and can post up smaller defenders and either shoot over them or hit a fade-away. He can drive by slower defenders and finish at the rim or pull-up from 15 feet as well. Tatum dominated AAU at the 16U level last year and averaged 18.9 points in the 17U EYBL this year. Tatum came off the bench for Team USA last year, but he will definitely be one of the focal points this year. 

Strength and shooting are the focal points even though he’s already shown improvements in both areas from his freshman to sophomore season. Tatum has a thin frame, but he has definitely put on muscle in his upper body and will continue to do so over the next two years. The only time I’ve seen Tatum bothered on the offensive end, was when a team put a strong and athletic 6’5” wing on him who tried to rough him up. Tatum still did what he wanted, but had to work a little harder than he was accustomed to. As for shooting, Tatum shot just 28% from three and 42% from the field in the EYBL. During the USA tryouts he was draining three’s from the international line on the first night and continues to improve in this area. One other note, he does not exhibit freakish athleticism like some players but with his height, guard skills, and offensive repertoire it isn’t easy for anyone to slow him down. 

Josh Jackson:

A top 5 player in the junior class, Jackson is a smooth and skilled wing (although almost one year older than Giles and Tatum). Last year he averaged 11.4 points and 5.6 rebounds in just under 20 minutes a game during USA play. Athletic with a good first step, Jackson is the prototypical wing at the next level. He is very strong in one on one situations and can use his left to right spin move to finish aggressively at the rim. He can break people down off the dribble and is tough to stop once he gets in the lane. Jackson is the type of player that likes to get up and down the court for high flying dunks, but he also uses his length and quickness to lock down defenders on the wing. 

For all his talent, Jackson has a tendency to blend in more than he should. At times you can forget that he is on the floor as he can float from offense to defense aimlessly without making an impact several minutes at a time. His jump shot is also a work in progress. He shot just 2-15 from three during the Under Armour Finals in July, but was very effective from inside the paint. Jackson has the tools and just needs to stay aggressive to fulfill his talents while continuing to hone his jump shot to turn into a threat from all areas on the court.  

Harry Giles:

Giles is the best pro prospect on the USA team although he still has a way to go before being fully healthy again. After starting two games last year in the FIBA Americas, Giles tore his ACL and missed his entire sophomore season. He returned to the court in May and the beginning months were rough as he tried to return to the player he was as a freshman. After looking tepid during the first USA tryout, Giles suddenly started flashing the skill-set that made him the No. 1 player in his class. With a 7’2” wing span, Giles started throwing down vicious one and two hand dunks in traffic. Giles noted he is at about 90% right now and he is still lacking that quick first step; however, he is able to play in isolation from 15 feet out or in the post. His jump shot is still a work in progress but he can hit off the dribble, from mid-range, and the three point line on occasion. With his length and athleticism, Giles resembles a player in the Chris Webber mode. While not the passer Webber was, his aura on the court is similar. It is going to take time for Giles to fully trust his knee, but when that time comes he could reclaim his top spot in the class of 2016. Oh yeah, he is also the youngest player on the team. 

Getting healthy and working on the outside shot. Right now, Giles is still gaining confidence in his movements. An ACL tear takes time to come back from, but Giles is getting more confident as the days go by. Once his first step improves and he regains a little bit more of his athleticism Giles will be tough for any opposing big to guard. As noted above, Giles hit several outside jump shots in the tryouts although he miss-fired badly on a few as well. He has the range and touch to stretch the defense but needs to continue to hone his form and release going forward. While coming off a knee injury, he lacks vertical explosiveness.

Caleb Swanigan:

A late addition to the USA tryout roster, Swanigan quickly made a name for himself and earned a coveted spot on the 12-man team. The big man out of Indiana brings a toughness to Team USA and isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. In the first four tryouts, Swanigan was often seen man handling taller big men down low. He did his best work on the offensive glass and after grabbing the board, Swanigan usually used his upper body mass to get the defender underneath the rim and effectively out of the play. He knows he is a beast down low and doesn’t stray from his bread and butter after leading the EYBL in rebounds with 11.9 per game. While not an outside scorer, Swanigan did show a nice touch and soft feet throughout the drill work in tryouts. 

At 6’7” / 6’8”, Swanigan could stand to have another inch or two, although his 7’1.5” inch wing span sometimes makes up for that fact. While he dominated the boards and often scored on put-backs he also got blocked when going straight up a fair amount. When long defenders are in his face he has a hard time scoring without moving them out of the way. While it’s great that Swanigan knows his strengths he will need to improve his face-up ability and propensity to turn the ball over in the post going forward. 

Terrance Ferguson:

Another repeat member on the USA team, Ferguson is a long and lean 6’6” with a solid shooting stroke. He excels in the mid-range whether it is a shot off the catch or off the dribble. He gets good elevation and with his long arms and he can usually extend above the defender. His elbows are locked in tight and his misses are usually short or long (a sign of a good shooter per Larry Bird). He has range beyond the international three point line even though his percentages would suggest otherwise. There was a lack of pure shooters at the USA tryouts and many observers thought that Ferguson might have the nicest stroke of them all. Ferguson is a strong run and jump athlete although his forays to the basket are usually limited to highlight dunks on fast breaks. Ferguson came off the bench last year for the USA team and will do so again this year looking to become the zone buster for team USA. 


Ferguson is a strong shooter, but he is also trying to develop other parts of his game such as his ball handling and slashing abilities. With an increased handle, Ferguson will be able to do more damage than just pull-up jump shots. Also, at just 170 pounds Ferguson can get tossed around by defenders that are stronger or more aggressive. Ferguson has a good tool set to work with and can become a dangerous player off the bench in Dubai, but needs to continue to focus on getting stronger and turning into more than a jump shooter and dunker on the break. 

Ivan Rabb:
Using an NBA comparison, I would compare Rabb to a younger Chris Bosh (Updated note: YIKES), although Rabb is a bit shorter at 6’10” and a 7’1” wing span. Last year Rabb started three games on the U16 team and led it in rebounding at 9.8 per game. Rabb is a lean big man that can often get pushed around down low due to his lack of weight, but on the offensive end he can finish with either hand. A natural righty, it isn’t uncommon to see Rabb hit shots with his left hand outside of the paint. He can handle the ball adequately and likes to sprint the floor on the break. Rabb can also hit a 12-15 foot jump shot, although his consistency remains a question. He grabbed (close) to double digit rebounds the past two years in the EYBL. There is also a strong possibility that he is not 100% healthy while in Dubai. 

Due to his skinny frame, Rabb can get pushed around down low by stronger defenders. When he has a bigger defender on him, he should be able to use his quickness to his advantage, but is routinely cut off short on his drives. He needs to learn how to start and stay aggressive for an entire game as he sometimes plays more passively than one would like. Rabb also has a soft touch but needs to continue to work on his mid-range and face-up jump shots to make him a consistent scoring threat from outside of the post area. 

Who Is Daniel Theis?

The Boston Celtics have dominated the basketball news cycle over the past week, first by trading their #1 pick to the Philadelphia 76ers and then with the never-ending rumors of what they may or may not do with the #3 pick.

Lost in the commotion was another bit of Celtics news. Daniel Theis, a 6’9” big man from Germany signed with the green and white for two seasons. Say what?

Daniel Theis is a 6’9”, 215 pound big man from Germany that is just 25 years old. Over the last 6 seasons, he has played in the German BBL, the top professional league in Germany. During his first season, he played sparingly for Braunschweig before moving over to Ratiopharm Ulm (90 miles from Munich, give or take) for two years. For the last three seasons, Theis has played for Brose Bamburg, the NY Yankees of German basketball (in the 21st century). Mixed in with his international play, there was a brief Vegas Summer League stint with the Wizards in 2014.


Team (Year) Games MPG PPG RPG BPG FG% FT% 3PT%
Braunschweig (2011-12) 22 8 3.23 1.77 0.82 50.0% 66.7% 14.3%
Ulm (2012-13) 57 16.8 6.11 4.42 0.75 44.4% 76.6% 26.5%
Ulm (2013-14) 51 20.3 8.69 5.65 1.14 48.2% 75.8% 27.3%
Bamburg (2014-15) 62 20.6 9.45 5.19 1.10 49.2% 82.0% 33.3%
Bamburg (2015-16) 66 19.6 10.18 5.53 1.03 58.6% 74.3% 42.3%
Bamburg (2016-17) 74 19.2 9.72 5.23 1.14 57.7% 78.5% 33.3%

Now, none of these stats are going to jump out at you. Theis’ points per game steadily increased over the course of time (including regular BBL play, Eurocup and Euroleague action, etc). Imagine Bamburg as the UVA of German BBL with a slow, methodical, and efficient half-court offense. Given that Theis has never averaged over 21 minutes per game, his numbers start to look a little better on a per minute basis. This past season for example, Theis averaged 17.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per 36 min in the Euroleague, which is the top league internationally.

In 2014, Theis won the “Best Young Player” award in the BBL, while beginning a string of four consecutive All-Star appearances. In 2016, Theis won the “Most Effective Player” award and this past season he was named as the “Best Defender” in the league.

2016-17 SEASON:
Coming into this past season in the German BBL, Theis was coming off back to back championships with Bamburg and was once again a part of a deep and talented team. Some names that might sound familiar are Darius Miller (Kentucky), Jerel McNeal (Marquette), Elias Harris (Gonzaga), and Maodo Lo (Columbia) and some names that you aren’t in Fabien Causeur, Nikolaos Zisis, and Nicolo Meli (side note: head coach Andrea Trinchieri is a name to know for his beautiful style of play).

Just like in past seasons, Theis came off the bench starting just two games all year. While that may sound a little weird, Bamburg had 11 players average over 16 minutes per game as they went 29-3 in the regular season and 9-1 in the playoffs. Despite coming off the bench, Theis led the league in blocked shots at 1.2 per game in just 18 minutes.

Take a look at Theis’ advanced stats in the BBL and he starts to stand out a bit more: 
  • #1 in DRtg (92.9)
  • #1 in Block Percentage (7.3%),
  • #3 in Defensive Rebounding Percentage (27.3%)
  • #13 in Offensive Rebounding Percentage (12.8%)
  • #20 in True Shooting Percentage (63.6)

Daniel Theis has wiry strength and good agility. On a finesse team, Theis was the primary physical presence setting hard screens, while not being afraid to mix it up with bigger post players. It’s almost a guarantee that Theis will get in several scuffle’s next season.

Theis usually initiated offensive sets with a high on-ball screen and rolled hard to the rim where he was always a threat for lobs or finishes in the paint. Per Synergy, Theis shot 72% at the rim. Bamburg rarely utilized a true post player, so Theis would primarily crash the glass, but in limited situations he did show the ability to hit a right-hand hook. Shooting is not Theis’ strong point, although he has improved over the course of time. In his 2nd season of play, he shot just 26.5% on 68 shots. He jumped up to 42.3% on 111 shots in 2016, before regressing downwards to 33.3% on 93 shots this year. So, in essence, Theis does possess the ability to face-up and shoot, but this is definitely not a strength and certainly not something that he will rely on early in his NBA career.

Defensively is where Theis earns his stripes. Quick off his feet, Theis is a timely shot blocker and strong defensive rebounder. He is very active in the post trying to push his opponent out of the paint and uses his body and length to disrupt the passing lane. Theis uses his agility in pick and roll scenarios as he is good at showing in these situations causing a point guard to pick up his dribble, but he sometimes also struggles moving laterally if that same guard looks to attack him.

The Celtics are set at center with Al Horford for the next three seasons, but were somewhat a mess trying to find that last starter at the power forward position. Sure, the Celtics will play Jaylen Brown or Crowder when they go small, but the only other bigs are Kelly Olynyk and Tyler Zeller, who barely received any meaningful minutes in the playoffs. Theis, as a back-up will provide meaningful minutes in small doses with his motor, efficiency at the rim, and shot blocking prowess. The signing of Theis provides the Celtics with additional depth for their front-court and certainly could turn into a fan favorite down the road.

Monday, June 19, 2017

A Celtics Surprise: Jonathan Isaac

Last year the Boston Celtics had the third pick in the NBA Draft. Nobody knew exactly what Danny Ainge was planning on doing as the team worked out a plethora of guys including Jamal Murray, Kris Dunn, Buddy Hield, Jaylen Brown, Marquese Chriss, and Dragan Bender.

Kris Dunn was the consensus pick in the mock drafts leading up to the actual selection, but in a mild surprise, the Celtics selected Jaylen Brown, the powerful freshman from California who was sitting at the 8th slot in those same mocks.

This year, after trading away the top pick in the draft to the Philadelphia 76ers, the consensus is that the Celtics will take either Josh Jackson or Jayson Tatum. Jackson is an elite defender with the size and athleticism that Ainge craves, while Tatum is the most skilled player from an offensive standpoint in the draft.

Will the Celtics do what most people expect of them or will they cause another mild draft day surprise?

For me, it won’t come as a surprise if Adam Silver has the following declaration on Thursday night: “With the third pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the Boston Celtics select Jonathan Isaac from Florida State University.

Full disclosure: I love Jonathan Isaac’s game. Even though I saw him in person the least amount of any 1-and-done prospect, it only took one jump shot in the Lexington EYBL to appreciate his skill-set.

For the Celtics, Amir Johnson’s $12 million dollars comes off the books this year leaving the Celtics with basically Kelly Olynyk as a stretch 4. While Olynyk killed the Wizards in Game 7, this is easily their weakest position.

So why go with Isaac who is 6’11”, but just over 200 pounds, especially considering how Ainge loves players with physical toughness?


In his one season at FSU, Isaac averaged 12.0 points and 7.8 rebounds in 26 minutes shooting 51% from the field, 35% from 3, and 78% from the line. Good numbers, but certainly not eye-popping.

While he shot just 35% from the 3-point line, Isaac has such a tight and compact shooting form, that he should have no problem with the extended NBA line and should increase his overall percentage in the years to come. He took 2.8 3PTA’s per game at Florida State where fans got used to watching Isaac’s high arcing shot fall through the net.

Isaac was rarely used in pick and pop scenarios at Florida State, but one would imagine this would soon become a big part of his game at the next level. With the NBA quickly moving away from the true back to the basket big, Isaac will give the Celtics someone who is 6’11” with an NBA ready 3-point stroke at the power forward position.

In ACC play, Isaac finished with the 10th best ORtg per KenPom at 122.1. He also finished in the top 10 in True Shooting %, Free Throw Rate and was top 15 in Fouls Drawn per 40 minutes. Going deeper into his freshman season, Isaac registered 361 possessions where he scored 1.025 points per possession (86th percentile). Almost 47% of his time came in spot-up situations or transition, but surprisingly he was most effective off basket cuts where he registered 1.656 PPP as well as put-backs on short offensive rebounds.

In college, Isaac was rarely in iso situations, which was just like his high school and AAU days:

  • PRO: With the agility and athleticism of a guard, Isaac frequently used his dribble to freeze defenders before utilizing a smooth pull-up jumper.
  • CON: He lacks the required ball-handling skill (i.e. crossover, in and out dribble) to fully beat his defender off the dribble which results in pull-up jumpers and contested drives to the basket.
He also utilizes a jab step to keep defenders off-balance and a quick first step on players who close out to quickly on him.

  • PRO: With his first step, Isaac gets by his defenders’ shoulders in one quick movement.
  • CON: He lacked the necessary strength and explosion to finish at the rim often being forced to double-clutch his contested shot at the rim or have his shot altered.
The creative ball-handling ability will be the toughest thing for Isaac to come by, but the pull-up jumper will be a strong tool to use against slower defenders, while a NBA workout regimen should help Isaac with his strength and explosiveness.


On the defensive side, Isaac’s numbers were eye popping. In ACC play, Isaac finished second in the league in defensive rebounding percentage behind only Bonzie Colson as he grabbed 24.9% of his opportunities. Isaac finished third in block %, just ahead of John Collins, and 18th in steal percentage, just ahead of Joel Berry. With good coordination and a 7’1” wing span, Isaac can guard 3’s and 4’s while also offering the alluring potential to switch onto almost any player after a pick and roll.

In ACC play, Isaac matched up with wings, stretch 4’s, and post players. One such player that matched-up with Isaac was Jayson Tatum. Now, these two certainly didn’t match-up on every possession, but Isaac did a good job moving laterally on the perimeter to frustrate Tatum, who shot just 7-17 in the match-up. Tatum made one shot on Isaac and that came from a pick and roll with Isaac being late to recover to the top of the key.


Isaac certainly has room to grow from a strength stand-point, as well as a skill stand point, but let’s not forget that he was a late bloomer. It wasn’t until after Isaac’s sophomore season (May 2014) when he received his first write-up on from Evan Daniels:
“Easily the biggest revelation of the day came from the first game of the day. Isaac, a slight 6-foot-6 wing with lengthy arms, came out firing against the Upward Stars. Isaac, a confident shooter, made three long-range shots, including one from well past the line. Isaac competed on defense, was active the entire game and showed impressive mobility. After his stirring performance Isaac told that not one school is recruiting him.”
At this point in time, Tatum and Jackson had firmly supplanted themselves in the discussion for top player in the 2016 class while Isaac was virtually unheard of. It wasn’t until the spring AAU circuit after Isaac’s junior season until he really started to climb the ranks. He entered the spring 2015 AAU season barely ranked in the Top 50 and finished in the Top 10.

Isaac still has room to grow his game and his body and can do so in Boston as their next piece to an ever expanding puzzle. The Celtics are loaded at the guard and wing spots, but are certainly lacking when it comes to front-court talent. As a modern day stretch 4, Isaac would provide positional flexibility on both offense and defense for Brad Stevens with his ability to shoot from the outside while guarding jitter-bug guards to tall and lanky forwards with his 7’1” reach.  

6’11” shooters with athleticism don’t grow on trees. The Boston Celtics have one of the best coaches in the game and a staff that would put Isaac in situations to succeed as he works on his weaknesses (Strength, Ball-Handling, Consistency) and overall skill-set. Jonathan Isaac represents a player that Ainge can continue to mold into the Celtics future. Sure, Jackson or Tatum is the likely pick, but when has Ainge conformed to outside expectations? 

Friday, June 9, 2017

American Rookies in Germany

The German Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) is the top professional league in Germany and is home to a plethora of American players. ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla ranked the German BBL as the #5 most competitive international basketball league this past year. I’m sure college basketball fans remember names such as Nick Johnson (Arizona) or Raymar Morgan (Michigan State…and recent BBL MVP), but what type of players are making the jump from college to this foreign league? Let’s take a look at the recent college graduates that made the jump overseas.

Impact Players:

Trey Lewis, Louisville --> Medi Bayreuth
Trey Lewis certainly bounced around during his college career, but the 6’2” guard quickly found a home in Germany. As a senior in college, Lewis started 27 games for Louisville before his career was cut short with the schools self-imposed scandal. As a grad transfer, Lewis averaged 11.3 points per game, while shooting 35% from 3. In Germany, Lewis came out gunning scoring 30 points in his first game and never looked back as he led a top 4 team in scoring at 14.8 points per game finishing 13th in the BBL. Lewis shot 44% from 3 and was named to the BBL Second team for his season long performance (121.6 ORtg). Playing off the ball, Lewis loved the catch-and-shoot 3’s, but he also displayed an ability to get to the rim and finish.

A.J. English, Iona --> Fraport Skyliners
A.J. English was known for his scoring prowess at Iona. As a sophomore, English averaged 17.2 points and he upped that to 20.1 as a junior and 22.6 as a senior. He was also named to the All-MAAC team in three consecutive seasons. English began his post-college career playing in the Italian Lega Basket Serie A league before switching over to the Fraport Skyliners in late December. Despite coming off the bench for the majority of his 17 games, English didn’t waste any time lighting up the scoreboard. He scored a high of 35 points in late March when he went 6-9 from two and 5-12 from three. English was able to get hot in a hurry and averaged 17.6 points per game (#2 in the BBL), while shooting 43% from 3 and adding 4.1 assists per game. English’s quick twitch muscles gave him an advantage on the offensive end with his release from outside or his quick first step that got him into the paint. English sported a 25% usage rate and while the young Fraport team didn’t make the playoffs they were certainly a team that became more competitive when English joined.

Justin Sears, Yale --> Giessen
The 6’8” power forward was a two-time Ivy League Player of the Year while at Yale averaging 15.7 points and 7.5 rebounds a game as a senior. Sears showcased his game during the 2016 NCAA Tournament against Baylor and Duke and his skill-set easily translated immediately in the BBL. At Yale, Sears led the Ivy League in offensive rebounding efficiency two years in a row while finishing #36 overall at a rate of 13.9% per game. In the BBL, Sears came off the bench to start the season, but his athleticism was apparent early on. Sears finished #5 in the league with 2.7 offensive rebounds a game which amounted to a healthy efficiency rate of 14.9% (#5). Sears ended up starting 21 out of 31 games averaging 11.3 points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 54% from the field. Towards the end of the season, he also turned into match-up problem in iso situations and the pick and roll. Overall, a very productive season for Sears.

Dyshawn Pierre, Dayton --> Braunschweig
The Canadian native averaged double figures for Dayton in his last three seasons while also providing 8 rebounds a game. His size and strength allowed Pierre to contribute immediately in Germany starting throughout the entire BBL season. The 6’7” forward averaged 14.4 points and 7.8 rebounds while finishing #6 in the league in Defensive rebounding % (25.6%). Pierre took advantage of playing the power forward position as he used his quickness on offense and strength on defense. He looked to attack slower players off the dribble and was able to get to the line where the 80% free throw shooter converted those opportunities into points. Pierre also showed off a 15 foot- face up shot and was aggressive attacking the glass.

Role Players:

Geoff Groselle, Creighton --> Braunschweig
Before Justin Patton, there was Geoffrey Groselle. As a senior, the 7’1” center averaged 11.2 points and 6.1 rebounds while shooting 70% from the field. Groselle was a KenPom darling posting a stellar 124.9 ORtg as a senior while finishing in the Top 10 in the Big East in OR%, Blk %, FD/40, and 2PT%. Playing for Braunchsweig, Groselle brought his post moves to Germany and averaged 10.9 points and 6.2 rebounds while starting 29 games. The left-hander used his go-to hook over the right shoulder to make an impact in his first season overseas on the offensive end, but he was also a defensive presence ranking #4 in Block percentage at 5.4%.

Maodo Lo, Columbia --> Brose Bamburg
German fans were well aware of Maodo Lo when he came back to his homeland after a stellar career with Columbia as the Berlin born Lo previously spent time playing for the German national team. At Columbia, Lo was a high scoring guard netting 14.7 ppg as a sophomore, followed by 18.4 ppg as a junior and finally 16.9 ppg as a senior where he was a 1st team All-Ivy league selection. In college, Lo ranked highly in eFG% and assist rate, but exceled with a steal rate of 4.2%. Lo’s quickness and shooting ability allowed him to step in from Day 1 for the BBL champs. Lo played just under 20 minutes a game starting 16 out of 31. He averaged 7.3 points and 2.6 assists per game in a crowded back-court while ultimately bringing a change of pace to the methodical and efficient Bamburg squad (think UVA).

Shaq Goodwin, Memphis --> Science City Jena
After a four-year career at Memphis, Shaq Goodwin ended up playing for Science City Jena, a non-playoff team. He averaged 14.7 points as a senior in Memphis and in 22 games in the BBL he averaged 9 points and 4.9 rebounds coming off the bench. Goodwin shot 57% from the field, but similarly to his time in college, he was not overly efficient on the offensive end (107 ORtg as a senior vs. 99.0 in Germany).

Those That Left Germany Early:

Shavon Shields, Nebraska --> Fraport Sky
Shavon Shields was an impact player for ¾ of the BBL season. The 6’7” forward from Nebraska settled into a stretch 4 position early on for Fraport and was averaging 14 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in a starting role. Shields was able to create his own shots attacking from 15 feet, but managed to shoot over 50% from inside the arc and 37.5% from 3. With Fraport out of the playoff race, Shields bolted out of Germany in April to join the Italian league.

Wes Washpun, Northern Iowa --> Ludwigsburg
After a stellar senior season that saw Wes Washpun average 14 points a game and hit buzzer-beaters on command, the 6’1” guard began his year with Ludwigsburg as the starting point guard. He scored 15 points in his first game and was able to create shots for himself with ease. Washpun experienced some early season high’s and low’s as Ludwigsburg started off 5-1 before a three game losing streak. In mid-November the team signed international veteran Clifford Hammonds who took over the starting point guard role. After one game coming off the bench, Washpun was back to the D-League in the U.S. suiting up for the Iowa Energy where he averaged 6.7 points per game.

Trevor Cooney, Syracuse --> Rasta Vechta
Trevor Cooney was a Bob Sura All-Star in college as he spent a total of five years at Syracuse,  red-shirting his freshman season. Cooney was a 3-point marksman in the ACC and scored double figures his last three years while making 281 3’s in his Cuse career. Cooney bounced around in his first year outside of New York and ended up with Rasta Vechta, a struggling team that was promoted from Pro A this season. Cooney signed with the team in early November and played eight games. He failed to get going averaging just 3.4 points per game having to play both guard spots. Cooney left in January and was picked up with the Long Island Nets in the D-League. 

Chris Hass, Bucknell --> Phoenix Hagan
It was a short lived BBL season for the high scoring guard from Bucknell. After being named All-Patriot league as a junior and senior (17 ppg), Hass signed Hagan, who was a team moving up from Pro A under the promotion / relegation system. In 11 games, Hass started eight averaging 11.2 points while shooting 39% from 3. Hagan had their membership revoked from the BBL for a failure to pay players in a timely manner and Hass finished the rest of the season in the Czech NBL.

Kazembe Abif, Drexel --> Rasta Vechta
Kazembe Abif is a 6’7” forward that had a limited stint in Germany. At Drexel he averaged 9.3 points and 4.8 rebounds as a senior and ranked in the top 10 in the CAA in defensive rebounding efficiency. In the BBL, he was limited to just three games as a replacement player seeing just 6 minutes of action per game.