Brose Baskets will wrap up its season on Tuesday when it hosts Gran Canaria in a Group A encounter in Bamberg, Germany. Brose Baskets (2-7) cannot finish better than fifth in the group and will not advance to the elimination rounds, while Gran Canaria (5-4) has clinched at least fourth place in the group. The team from the Canary Islands can theoretically move into third – or even second place – but needs to win and for Nancy to beat Hemofarm for those scenarios to be a reality. Then if L. Rytas falls to AEK, Gran Canaria is second and if L. Rytas wins, Gran Canaria is third. The visitors will be in good spirits after downing L. Rytas last week behind another quality showing from big man Jackson Vroman, who has averaged 24 points on 67.4% shooting and 9.3 rebounds in his last three contests. Guard Roberto Guerra was the hero for Gran Canaria when these teams last met, scoring a season-best 18 points in an 80-67 victory. Brose Baskets will be shorthanded this week, without power forward Zelly Wesson (11 ppg., 6.3 rpg.), who is out for 6-8 weeks with a back injury. Meanwhile, guard DeJuan Collins, who leads the team with 14.3 points, 4.3 assists and 1.7 steals per game, was been suspended by the club over the weekend due to disciplinary issues and his return has not yet been decided. Their absence will place more responsibility on guard Steffen Hamann, who had 17 points on 6-of-6 two point shooting in his first game back with the club last week. Inside, Darren Fenn (12.4 ppg.) and Christopher Ensminger will need to make up for Wesson and try to stop Jackson. Gran Canaria's depth is always an advantage, but is even more so this week. Big Kornel David (9.1 ppg.) and forward Sitapha Savane (8.7 ppg., 4.7 rpg.) are the team's top frontcourt threats after Jackson, while shooter Jim Moran (9.3 ppg.) and Jimmie Hunter (8.1 ppg.) fire away from outside. Hamann will make sure that his team puts up a fight, as the German national team guard looks for an upset win in what will prove to be his first and only ULEB Cup appearance at home this season.
Monday, January 15, 2007