The basketball (pre-)season started with a game in Cologne against the Rhein Stars Köln, another "project" to bring pro basketball to Germany's big cities. A fourth division team on paper, Köln are actually a lot better than that, having signed two veterans with Bundesliga experience in Bernd Kruel and Marin Petric. The leader of the club founded only a year ago is Stephan Baeck, a man with more than 100 national team appearances, and I think even Lukas Podolski made an investment.
For Bayern, this was the first step to get used to the new players, many of them a different type of player than the guy they replaced (more about this season's squad in another piece). These were the first minutes in a Bayern shirt for Dusko Savanovic, Vasilije Micic, Anton Gavel and youngster Daniel Mayr (and Jan Jagla but we're already familiar with him). Some players didn't get a chance to play, including Vladimir Stimac (World Cup), Paul Zipser (recovering from injury), Bryce Taylor (I assume a minor injury) and Mauricio Marin.
Since the match wasn't broadcasted or streamed, there isn't too much one could say. After struggling a little in the first half (39-32 at HT), Bayern continually expanded their lead and won the game 97-60, the kind of score you'd expect in such a matchup. Big shoutout to Köln who managed to fill more than 6,000 seats, a very remarkable number for a preseason game.
- Dusko Savanovic was the top scorer with 18 points, doing what he's supposed to do
- Anton Gavel and Vasilije Micic finished the game with 8 and 7 assists, doing what they're supposed to do
- Nihad Djedovic led the team in rebounds (6), not doing what he's supposed to do but it's still nice
- Savanovic and Lucca Staiger shot a combined 4/13 from behind the 3-point line, not the prettiest stat especially for Staiger whose main role is to shoot well
- John Bryant went 3/6 at free throws, that's a bad % for anyone but Stimac
- Nihad Djedovic only took 2 two-point attempts and didn't hit either, both numbers need to rise
All in all it seems like it was an acceptable performance with some good signs (point guard passing!) and some not so good things. But, no matter what sport, it's always a common mistake to overvalue preseason games.
To increase the sample size (and try different things), Bayern will participate in a weekend tournament together with three other Bundesliga teams, starting with a game against Göttingen on Saturday evening, followed by either the big or the little final against Hagen or Bonn on Sunday. As always, you're most likely to find live updates on Twitter @fcb_basketball.
Rhein Stars Köln vs FCBB
Final score: 60-97 (HT 32-39)
Most points: Savanovic (18), Bryant/Jagla (13), Idbihi (10)
Most rebounds: Djedovic (6), Idbihi/Savanovic/Staiger (5), Benzing/Jagla (4)
Most assists: Gavel (8), Micic (7), Benzing/Djedovic/Jagla (2)