Danilo Barthel and Johannes Voigtmann remain a huge part of Fraport Skyliners this season though they haven't quite played at as high of a level as last season. An addition in the past week has been a big lift from 20-year-old Johannes Richter. Photo by bild-pressehaus.de

Danilo Barthel and Johannes Voigtmann remain a huge part of Fraport Skyliners this season though they haven’t quite played at as high of a level as last season. An addition in the past week has been a big lift from 20-year-old Johannes Richter. Photo by bild-pressehaus.de

Out on the road for some more basketball – in Bamberg again but this time for Beko BBL action with Brose Baskets facing FRAPORT SKYLINERS on November 16. There was also the option of going to Munich to check out the showdown between Bayern and EWE Baskets Oldenburg. But it’s been a while since I have seen Frankfurt and wanted to see how their young German players have developed – and to see it live and not just on the Telekom Basketball broadcast.

The main player I wanted to see was Johannes Voigtmann, who I like to call JoVo. The 22-year-old big man was a regular last season in the Young Guns segment in the Beko BBL Weekly News English-language column on beko-bbl.de. Voigtmann hasn’t been quite as productive this season – averaging 10.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists while shooting 61 percent.

Bamberg coach Andrea Trinchieri started wily veteran Dalibor Bagaric against Voigtmann, and the young JoVo got whistled with two quick fouls in the first 2:29 minutes. The problem was that neither of the fouls were legit. The first one JoVo had has hand on the ball for at least 1.5 seconds along with Bagaric and should have been awarded a jumpball. But the referee ruled a foul. The next offensive possession, Bagaric and JoVo were barely in contact and then came the second foul call – and a spot on the bench for Voigtmann.

Skyliners coach Gordon Herbert also saw 23-year-old Danilo Barthel pick up three fouls within the first 5:33 minutes of the game. And that came after Barthel was whistled for five fouls in less than 12 minutes of action in Skyliners’ 74-64 win on November 12 over Bakken Bears in the EuroChallenge.

Against Bamberg, Herbert didn’t bring JoVo back into the game until early in the second quarter and the young Eisenach native did an excellent job the rest of the game, remaining under control. Voigtmann missed both of his three-point attempts but inside the arc was 7-of-12 and showing a real array of moves and shots while adding 4-of-6 free throws for 18 points. He also grabbed six rebounds – three of them off the offensive glass – and grabbed one steal. JoVo did have one shot blocked by Bamberg’s 22-year-old power forward talent Daniel Theis, who just didn’t let Voigtmann shoot over him on the baseline. And Voigtmann also twice on one defensive rebound didn’t hold the ball with enough authority and the Euroleague experienced Josh Shipp swiped it out of his hands. Voigtmann ended up with three turnovers in the game but he remained on two fouls while playing 29:58 minutes.

Afterwards JoVo said he’s happy with how his game is progressing. The Skyliners big man definitely has put on weight since the last time I saw him live late last season in Bamberg. But he seems to carry it well. Voigtmann didn’t say if he still wants to add more weight or not, saying: “I have to think about that and figure out what I need to do next.”

Barthel, meanwhile, ended up playing 23:15 minutes and didn’t foul out, hitting 4-of-7 shots in scoring 11 points while grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out one assist. He showed that he can get out and run the floor. In the half-court, he didn’t really excel, either in the post or on the wing. That may also be because of his foul trouble.

Afterwards, Barthel seemed a bit down about his game, which doesn’t seem to be as high or as consistent as last season. He’s averaging 8.8 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting 45 percent. Barthel said he’s doing the same things as last year, when he averaged 11.3 points and 4.9 rebounds on 50 percent shooting. Maybe opposing teams just have a better read on him and now he needs to step up his game.

With both JoVo and Barthel in foul trouble early, the 20-year-old Johannes Richter saw a lot of time in the post – though he was a bit undersized at 2.05 meters. But the former Bamberg farmhand had an excellent game with 10 points on 3-of-8 shooting while also grabbing nine rebounds in 19:11 minutes. It is Richter’s second straight strong game after he scored 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting, grabbed six rebounds and had two assists in 30 minutes of action in Frankfurt’s EuroChallenge win.

Against Bamberg, Richter did a good job against Brose Baskets’ bigs and ended up being charged with five fouls – although at least two of them were questionable call by the refs – who were particularly poor on the night as a group.

Skyliners have yet German youngster in Richter, who decided to leave Bamberg to go to Frankfurt and study medicine. Frankfurt are full of young German players with point guard Konsti Klein being 23 years old, playmaker Max Merz, who is hurt and 20, the 22-year-old Tim Oldenburg and Stefan Ilzhöfer, who is 19. They also have in the ranks Niklas Kiel, who is one of Germany’s absolute gems in the 1997-born class.

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