Science City Jena's Stefan Haukohl tries to slow down Regensburg Baskets' Johannes Wießnet on his way to the basket - Photo by Ed Cornejo

After a modest two-game winning streak, the Regensburg Baskets head to Jena on Saturday without any lofty expectations against Science City Jena.

Baskets head coach Markus Höß called the German youth international talent factory in the former East Germany the “strongest, most disciplined and best trained team” in the 2. Regionalliga SouthEast North Division.

Jena’s team features four of the top 19 scorers in the league – all of them 19 years or younger. The 19-year-old Johannes Voigtmann is scoring 19.6 points a game, followed by 18-year-old Stefan Haukohl’s 18.6, 19-year-old Josip Peric’s 16.6 and 18-year-old Paul Albrecht’s 14.1 points. All four of those players have starred for youth German international teams – and all but Voigtmann more than once.

Science City Jena's Josip Peric defends against Peter Sohn of Regensburg Baskets - Photo by Ed Cornejo

“It will be a very difficult game, especially because it’s an away game and because Jena is very far away. We always have difficulties when we play far-away road games,” said Höß, whose team is facing a three-hour bus trip.

“I don’t think there will be much for us there. Also because they are close to the leaders and will take the game very seriously.”

Jena are fourth in the standings with a 12-5 record – three games behind leaders TG Würzburg Baskets, who beat Science City last weekend after they had reeled off five straight victories. Regensburg meanwhile passed last place distinctions onto BBV Leipzig after two straight victories for a 5-12 record.

Höß hopes his team can keep up with the young Jena team as long as possible and sees the game as a chance for his players to hold their own against a strong defense.

“The defensive aggressiveness will be different. We have to have to overcome it. TTL Bamberg were very passive defensively. Jena will not be that way. But it will not be bad for us. We will have to do things cleanly and exact. It’s a good preparation for the coming games,” said the Regensburg coach.

Looking back at Regensburg’s win over Bamberg last weekend, Höß sees the biggest positive the fact that his outside players – especially 21-point scorer Julian Larsson – filling the holes as the Baskets struggled to get their big men into the game, also partially because of some questionable refereeing.

“In the last few games we haven’t been very dangerous from outside because we have forced ourselves to play to our strength in the center position. That is certainly the best way to play. But it is also important to have the threat from the outside,” added Höß.

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