Preview Dutch Basketball League 2011-2012

Kwam deze uit 2011 nog tegen in mijn archief. Toentertijd schreef ik nog voor de Spaanse basketballsite “BasketMe”.

European Leagues BasketMe Preview: Dutch Basketball League, by Fred Roggen

BasketMe  | 25.10.2011 – 00:22h.

Over the summer two of our top-tier Dutch basketball clubs, ABC Amsterdam and WCAA Giants, have had to withdraw from the Dutch Basketball League (DBL) by financial problems. The DBL contains now 8 teams. As little as 2 years ago, Dutch men’s basketball appeared to be inching closer to Europe’s middling teams. The problems around the DBL and the poor performance of the National Team (including NBA players Francisco Elson and Dan Gadzuric) means that we are again becoming bottom feeders in Europe.

A lot of fans thinking back of the good years of Dutch Basketball, from the 70’s until the beginning of the 90’s last century, when the Dutch NT belonged to the Top 8 of Europe and clubteams as Nashua Den Bosch, Commodore Den Helder and Parker Leiden could compete with almost every topteam in Europe. But that is the past, maybe we have now reached the bottom and hopefully this season is the start of a new beginning of Dutch Basketball.

This season is sure to be as exciting as in years past. ZZ Leiden, GasTerra Flames, and EiffelTowers Den Bosch look to be the elite teams in the country, while lesser-known teams such as Magixx for KidsRights and Lasaulec Aris look to make things interesting.

A week for the start of the season, ZZ Leiden added the first title to their trophy case, the 1st annual SuperCup championship, winning over GasTerra Flames by the score of 66-60.

ZZ Leiden are the defending champs, so they get the nod here.

– ZZ LEIDEN
Last Year: 30-6
Coach: Toon van Helfteren

Key Additions
F Jevohn Shepherd
C Gabe Kennedy
G Sean Cunningham
F Mohamed Kherrazi

Key Losses
F Monta McGhee
F/C Ross Bekkering
C Jesse Smith

Projected Starters
PG Thomas Jackson
SG Worthy de Jong
SF Jevohn Shepherd
PF Seamus Boxley
C Gabe Kennedy

Key Subs
SG Arvin Slagter
SF Mohamed Kherrazi
C Patrick Hilliman

ZZ Leiden are hoping to win a 2nd straight championship. Head coach Toon van Helfteren has all the pieces in place for another title run, and if ZZ Leiden can win the Dutch title again this year, a dynasty talk will grow louder in Leiden and Toon van Helfteren will arguably be the best coach of the last ten years.

Thomas Jackson and Worthy de Jong form a tough backcourt here and Arvin Slagter is a great clutch scorer for this team. The key will be the health of Seamus Boxley; Leiden will need him to be a key player down the stretch in the league. They can score from anywhere on the court, and can defend as well. They’re my early season choice to get the trophy this summer.

– GASTERRA FLAMES
Last Year: 29-7
Coach: Hakim Salem (Last year ABC Amsterdam)

Key Additions
G David Bell
G Alex Wesby
F Avis Wyatt
F Sergio de Randamie
PG Bryan Defares
C Thomas Koenis
G Ties Theeuwkens

Key Losses
G Matt Bauscher
G Robby Bostain
C Matt Haryasz
F Steve Ross
F/C Jason Ellis
C John Turek

Projected Starters
PG David Bell
SG Alex Wesby
SF Jason Dourisseau
PF Sergio de Randamie
C Avis Wyatt

Key Subs
PG Bryan Defares
SG Ties Theeuwkens
C Thomas Koenis

GasTerra Flames turned over almost its complete roster this past offseason, shipping out such notables as Matt Bauscher, Matt Haryasz, Robby Bostain, Jason Ellis and Steve Ross. With MVP Jason Dourisseau and with the addition of the experienced guards David Bell and Alex Wesby they have added points to their backcourt.

The new look GasTerra Flames should have enough depth to make it three final appearances in a row. The question is whether they can avoid a second defeat once they get there. If David Bell stays healthy and when he averaged 18- 20 points, the answer is yes. They would definitely be the underdog but, with a strong Avis Wyatt and Jason Dourisseau, they could compete with EiffelTowers in the league, except perhaps a well-oiled ZZ Leiden team.

– EIFFEL TOWERS DEN BOSCH
Last Year: 26-10
Coach: Raoul Korner

Key Additions
F David Gonzalves
C Tai Wesley
C Peter van Paassen

Key Losses

F Julien Mills
C C.J. Jackson
C Marcel Aarts

Projected Starters
PG Frank Turner
SG Rogier Jansen
SF Kees Akerboom
PF Tai Wesley
C Peter van Paassen

Key Subs
SG Djoenie Steenvoorde
SF David Gonzales
F Stefan Wessels

If any team in the League can compete with ZZ Leiden and the GasTerra Flames, it’s EiffelTowers Den Bosch. There is no question the EiffelTowers can match up with ZZ Leiden and the GasTerra Flames offensively.

Small forward Kees Akerboom Jr. can score from the inside and outside, and Rogier Jansen is a constant three-point threat. The return of center Peter van Paassen to the lineup make the EiffelTowers a tough team to stop this season but questions still about at the frontcourt. Van Paassen can cover some of the mistakes, but if he isn’t healthy, the team is going to give up points in buckets. Coach Raoul Korner acknowledges this, and has concentrated on new defensive schemes throughout the preseason.

– MAGIXX FOR KIDS RIGHTS
Last Year: 22-14
Coach: Michel Schuurs

Key Additions
PG Maurice Acker
F Lucas Hargrove
F Henry Bekkering
F Ross Bekkering
C Marcel Aarts

Key Losses
PG Zaire Taylor
F Brian Lang
C Geoff McDermott

Projected Starters
PG Maurice Acker
SG Thijs Vermeulen
SF Markel Humprey
PF Lucas Hargrove
C Ross Bekkering

Key Subs
SG Elias Bish
SF Henry Bekkering
C Marcel Aarts

The Magixx for kidsRights were a Jekyll-and-Hyde team a year ago. They played a up and down regular season only to turn into a powerhouse in the playoffs. They swept the Defriesland Aris in the first round and upset ZZ Leiden in the semifinals. The past summer saw the acquisition of Lucas Hargrove, the brothers Henry and Ross Bekkering and point guard Maurice Acker. Now that they’ve picked up all the pieces, the Magixx’s just need to put them together.

Sizing up the DBL, few teams have enough weapons to match the Magixx’s, and coach Michael Schuurs will make sure that they keep up the intensity on defense. Although they won only 22 games last season, they could make a run in the playoffs this season.

– LASAULEC ARIS
Last Year: 17-19
Coach: Erik Braal (sabbatical last year)

Key Additions
PG Lance Jeter
SG Tjoe de Paula
C Sjors Poels

Key Losses
PG John Williams
SG Todd Brown

Projected Starters
PG Lance Jeter
SG Tjoe de Paula
SF Manny Adako
PF Mark Sanchez
C Calvin Chitwood

Key Subs
SG Gerad Punch
C Sjors Poels

Lasaulec Aris have also made off-season acquisitions that will put them in contention for a playoffs spot. Shooting guard Tjoe de Paula and point guard Lance Jeter joins the forwards Mark Sanchez and Manny Adako, hoping to add some much needed offense to a team that showed potential towards the end of last season.

Lasaulec Aris will continue to get better and better throughout the regular season, and this team could be a real darkhorse in the DBL come playoff time.

– STEPCO BS WEERT
Last Year: 16-20
Coach: Jim Meil (new)

Key Additions
PG Robbie Harman
SG Demario Anderson
C Sjors Poels

Key Losses
PG Glenn Stokes
SG Trey McDowell
F Lawrence Hamm
F Junior Hairston

Projected Starters
PG Robbie Harman
SG Demario Anderson
SF Niels Vorenhout
PF Donte Minter
C Yamene Coleman

Key Subs
SG Sjors Besseling
C Kenneth van Kempen

Stepco BS Weert decided to surprise the pundits the other way last year. It was a tale of two seasons. The first part was good, the team roared to a 9-9 start, fueled by the all-court excellence of Glenn Stokes. With the frontcourt severely lacking, the BS Weert defense was more like Swiss cheese than the local Dutch cheese. The team collapsed completely late in the season when seemingly every important player came down with a injury.

Stepco BS Weert head into this year looking to get back into the postseason. Glenn Stokes is gone and Robbie Harman will start in his place. Unfortunately, until they make a serious effort to upgrade their frontcourt, it’s going to be hard for them to outscore teams on a consistent basis. The lack of a defensive stopper in the backcourt only magnifies the shortcomings of team centers.

– LANDSTEDE ZWOLLE
Last Year: 10-26
Coach: Herman van den Belt

Key Additions
PG Cameron Wells
SG Amu Saaka
F Kareem Maddox
F Gerald Robinson

Key Losses
PG Harry Marshall
SG Lawrence Borha
F Nate Rohnert
F Rein van der Kamp

Projected Starters
PG Damon Huffman
SG Cameron Wells
SF Amu Saaka
PF Gerald Robinson
C Kareem Maddox

Key Subs
PF Kenrick Zondervan
C Nikki Hulzebos

Landstede Zwolle won’t be a laughingstock. After the nightly embarassments of two last seasons, that alone will make this season feel like a wild success.

Landstede Zwolle always have had a solid team, but throughout their history, they never really have scared anybody. Their best-ever playoff performance was taking Landstede Zwolle to the Finals of the playoffs six years ago -a good year, but hardly earth-shattering. The reason is simple: Landstede Zwolle are the proverbial “nice” team. They have a solid lineup, but are also weak at shooting guard. Their bench is good, but it’s not ZZ Leiden’, either. The new Home Court should probably help their win total, if only by giving them a home-court advantage that was lacking a year ago, but they still look like a team that will have trouble reaching the playoffs.

– ROTTERDAM BASKETBAL COLLEGE
Last Year: 1-35
Coach: Randy Wiel (new)

Key Additions
C Albert Jackson

Key Losses
the whole team!!

Projected Starters
PG Stefan Mladenovic
SG ????
SF Daniel Jones
PF ????
C Albert Jackson

Key Subs
PG Paul Candiff
F Ralph de Pagter

Rotterdam Basketbal College has not completed their roster yet. Coach Randy Wiel will at least get Rotterdam Basketbal College to compete every night, which is more than they could say a year ago. However, playing in a 8 team league where four teams could win 20 games means the bar is raised very high for this team. Until or unless one of the youngsters turns the corner and becomes a genuine star, Rotterdam College face a long road just to get a few wins.

They seem to be on the right path, but they need another year or three of building their talent base and letting the young players develop. Coach Randy Wiel is one of the better at handling young players in this league.

FRED ROGGEN

Sports writer Eurobasket.com

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