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FC Bayern Basketball 101: Introducing the players

You're only champions for a year. Like every summer in basketball, even more so in Europe, fans see some guys leaving and some new guys replacing them. The same happened in Munich so here's a look at the squad for the 2014-15 season.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

The season is about to begin or has already begun, depending on when you're reading this. Either way, there probably isn't a better moment to learn a little about the Bayern players. This isn't supposed to be an in-depth scouting report of everyone, and I'm sure that some of my observations are questionable. But, as a first step for the new FCBB fans this might be a useful start.

Please note: positions aren't set in stone, many can play more than one. I've only separated them for visual reasons. Even the ones listed for each player aren't complete, take them with a grain of salt.

Not listed are Mauricio Marin and Daniel Mayr, two young players who are officially on the squad but not expected to play much. I couldn't tell you much about them anyway.

All stats are 2013-14 season, per game.

Point guards:

Name Heiko Schaffartzik (#8)
Position(s) PG, SG
Height 1.83m (6'0)
Age/Hometown 30, Berlin (GER)
FCBB since 2013
Strengths Mentality, Shooting
Pts/Reb/Ast
7.7 / 2.0 / 2.7
3-pt %
40.9%
Free-throw % 86.0%

Have you ever played NBA 2k online? Schaffartzik plays like most of these people. Running around in circles, shooting wild three-pointers. Obviously that's a bit mean as he's had a respectable career that's still far from over but having Heiko Schaffartzik on your team can be quite the roller coaster. On a bad day you don't understand what he's doing, on a good day he looks unstoppable. Never stops fighting. Here's what the guard is all about.

Name Vasilije Micic (#9)
Position(s)
PG
Height 1.95m (6'5)
Age/Hometown 20, Kraljevo (SRB)
FCBB since 2014
Strengths
Passing, Vision
Pts/Reb/Ast 12.0 / 3.0 / 5.6
3-pt % 30.9%
Free-throw % 73.5%

Not every player who's drafted in the NBA turns into a superstar but one thing they all have in common is talent (or, in some cases, just being very tall). So when I tell you that Micic is 20 years old and just got drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers, that alone should be enough to get you interested, maybe even excited. The Serbian is an old-school point guard, he will always look for the pass. Look for him to drive towards the basket until the defense collapses so that he can play the pass to a teammate for an open three-pointer. Here's an extremely in-depth video with actual knowledge

Shooting guards:

Name
Anton Gavel (#25)
Position(s)
SG, PG
Height 1.89m (6'2)
Age/Hometown 29, Kosice (SVK)
FCBB since 2014
Strengths
Defense, Leadership
Pts/Reb/Ast 12.2 / 2.6 / 3.6
3-pt % 42.2%
Free-throw % 75.7%

About to turn 30, Gavel's development over the last five years has been nothing short of a miracle. Signed by Bamberg as a stopgap in 2009, he led them to four championships while being honored as the league's best defender twice and even the MVP of the 2013 Finals against Oldenburg. Gavel can defend, Gavel can score. He can pass the ball and he can definitely lead a team. Prediction: he'll be very valuable for Bayern and save some wins. Or it's all downhill from now on, who knows. Instead of a video, here's a picture of his beautiful playoff beard.


Name
Bryce Taylor (#44)
Position(s)
SG, SF
Height 1.95m (6'5)
Age/Hometown 28, Encino (USA)
FCBB since 2013
Strengths
Athleticism, Defense
Pts/Reb/Ast 10.5 / 3.4 / 1.3
3-pt % 45.1%
Free-throw % 89.0%

The team's new captain and a guy you'd struggle to hate. Even the Alba fans applauded him last year! Taylor is one of the more athletic players in Munich but that's not what he relies on at all. A very hard worker on offense and especially on defense, pretty reliable and his long-range shooting is decent at least. Have I told you that the man can fly.


Name
Lucca Staiger (#10)
Position(s)
SG, SF
Height 1.96m (6'5)
Age/Hometown 26, Blaustein (GER)
FCBB since 2013
Strengths
Shooting
Pts/Reb/Ast 5.3 / 1.6 / 0.8
3-pt % 43.8%
Free-throw % 78.9%

A shooter. Not much more in my opinion. Staiger is reliable from the free throw line and really good in terms of three-pointers, though he has a nice amount of off days. Maybe I'm blind but I haven't seen him offer much more than these two things. Just for fun, watch this.


Small forwards:

Name
Nihad Djedovic (#14)
Position(s)
SF, SG
Height 1.98m (6'6)
Age/Hometown 24, Visegrad (BIH)
FCBB since 2013
Strengths
Scoring, Ball Handling
Pts/Reb/Ast 12.3 / 2.9 / 2.0
3-pt % 35.9%
Free-throw % 83.8%

A couple of years ago, Djedovic was considered to be one of Europe's bigger talents. Unfortunately he hasn't developed like many had hoped. Obviously, as he wouldn't be playing for Bayern otherwise. He can create his own shot and does so regularly. The biggest question is whether he can improve further, the ceiling is a lot higher than Bayern. Even if not, he's one of the safer bets for the team's top scorer. His performance against Madrid last season shows his skills and importance.


Name
Paul Zipser (#16)
Position(s)
SF, SG
Height 2.01m (6'7)
Age/Hometown 20, Heidelberg (GER)
FCBB since 2013
Strengths
Athleticism, Scoring
Pts/Reb/Ast 3.4 / 1.9 / 0.6
3-pt % 42.9%
Free-throw % 79.2%

Quite the talent. Got some playing time in the ultimately meaningless Euroleague games last season and shocked everyone with his strong performances. Unfortunately, his season ended way too early. Zipser is one of a few Germans who actually drive to the basket instead of just waiting for an open shot. He'll be the one to watch once he's fit again. I wanted to avoid mixtapes, sorry.


Name
Robin Benzing (#12)
Position(s)
SF, SG
Height 2.08m (6'10)
Age/Hometown 25, Seeheim (GER)
FCBB since 2011
Strengths
Shooting, Size
Pts/Reb/Ast 7.4 / 2.0 / 0.8
3-pt % 37.6%
Free-throw % 82.7%

Frustrating. That's the first word I come up with. Benzing can shoot and penetrate (don't giggle), I've seen him do it. Yet, for whatever reason, he looks so soft and scared way too often. Don't get me wrong, he's serviceable. But, like many other German players, he's unpredictable. In a bad way. Maybe you're still not sick and tired of three-pointers.

Power forwards:

Name
Yassin Idbihi (#32)
Position(s)
PF, C
Height 2.08m (6'10)
Age/Hometown 31, Köln (GER)
FCBB since 2013
Strengths
Mentality, Toughness
Pts/Reb/Ast 5.7 / 4.0 / 0.7
3-pt % -
Free-throw % 78.2%

Idbihi plays like a buffalo. That probably sounds really dumb but I don't care. Not the most talented guy in the league but he tries to make up for it with a lot of heart. Active under the basket and sometimes from mid-range, I don't think Idbihi has ever truly disappointed me. You can almost smell the hard work. Every team needs a few of those guys. It's difficult to find videos of ugly yet hard work.

Name
Dusko Savanovic (#20)
Position(s)
PF
Height 2.08m (6'8)
Age/Hometown 31, Zagreb (SRB)
FCBB since 2014
Strengths
Shooting, Movement
Pts/Reb/Ast 10.4 / 4.1 / 2.0
3-pt % 34.4%
Free-throw % 76.3%

Disclaimer before I receive death threats: Savanovic's hometown says Zagreb but he plays for Serbia. Lots of Euroleague experience, Savanovic is a power forward. I'm telling you that because you might not immediately notice otherwise. This man is generally facing the basket from distance, he prefers taking long-range shots. Fortunately he's decent at that. To be fair, he's not bad when he's closer to the rim, either. Apparently he can also spin around kinda well.


Name
Jan-Hendrik Jagla (#45)
Position(s)
PF
Height 2.13m (7'0)
Age/Hometown 33, Berlin (GER)
FCBB since 2014
Strengths
Shooting, Size
Pts/Reb/Ast 6.7 / 3.3 / 0.6
3-pt % 38.6%
Free-throw % 72.5%

A poor man's Savanovic? Not exactly but I wouldn't hesitate to say so. Couldn't possibly be as soft as he looks. He likes to shoot three-pointers. I'm sure there are more things he likes to do but that's one thing he's actually good at. "Jaaaahn Jaglaw".

Centers:

Name
Vladimir Stimac (#15)
Position(s)
C
Height 2.11m (6'11)
Age/Hometown 27, Belgrade (SRB)
FCBB since 2014
Strengths
Defense, Strength
Pts/Reb/Ast 7.3 / 5.5 / 0.5
3-pt % -
Free-throw % 63.8%

Old school center. Big, mean, pretty limited offensively. Stimac won't give you an easy basket, he's just gonna piss you off. Honestly, just look at his face and you can imagine what type of player he is. Oh yeah, his free throws are shit.  Linking to this only for the commentator's orgasm.


Name
John Bryant (#54)
Position(s)
C
Height 2.11m (6'11)
Age/Hometown 27, Berkeley (USA)
FCBB since 2013
Strengths
Rebounding, Shooting
Pts/Reb/Ast 8.7 / 6.6 / 1.5
3-pt % 30.4%
Free-throw % 72.7%

You look at John Bryant and you'd never guess that he's a decent shooter. Free throws, mid-range, three-pointers - he can hit them all. Bryant is also willing to fight for a dirty tip-in and rebounds are generally his. Sounds awesome? Don't forget that John Bryant moves at the speed of a mountain. Videos don't do him justice (I just couldn't find a fun one), you'll notice him anyway.