|09 October 2012|
|"Things go slower for him" says David McCray about the great anticipations of his teammate Jared Jordan|
Most people would never have thought that Jordan and Ewing would play together. But Telekom Baskets Bonn are relying on Jared Jordan and Patrick Ewing Jr. to carry them deep into the EuroChallenge.
"It's really great to play with these guys," said German guard David McCray about playing alongside Bonn's top playmaker Jordan and all-around ace Ewing.
"Jared is the best point guard I ever played with by far. He sees plays ahead of time. Things go slower for him," said McCray.
"Patrick is a great passer and a great all-around player. And you can tell that he's been around the game of basketball all his life."
But Jordan and Ewing are just two pieces of a Bonn side which took a big step from missing the playoffs in 2010-11 to squeak in last season and actually win Game One of their opening round series against Brose Baskets - snapping the champions' 40-plus home game winning streak in German competitions.
"It's always good for the league when somebody wins a game in Bamberg. We feel that if we play a full 40 minutes, no matter where we go we can win a game. And that experience last year only helps that mentality," said McCray, who joined Bonn this off-season after five seasons in Ludwigsburg.
The other main players for Mike Koch's Bonn team are Kyle Weems, who comes to Germany for his professional rookie season out of Missouri State, new acquisition Robert Vaden who has EuroChallenge experience from the 2012 season with Slovak outfit Bemaco SPU Nitra as well as veteran center Chris Ensminger.
That group hopes to get past the EuroChallenge Group H with Antwerp Giants from Belgium, Armia from Georgia and Israeli side Hapoel Unet Holon.
McCray said he actually warned Ensminger, who turns 39 in December, not to worry about him observing his work ethic.
"He's almost 39 and I tell him, don't be thinking I'm weird when I look at you in warm-ups or warm-downs. I want to play just as long as you have. That's amazing. He's a veteran guy and a great teammate. Whenever I have a question about anything I can just go to him," said McCray about Ensminger, who won two German championships with Bamberg in 2005 and 2007.
|Chris Ensminger is not slowing down for the Telekom Baskets, even at age 39|
McCray believes Bonn has the pieces to make a run - both in Germany and in the EuroChallenge.
"If we can lock in on defense, we can be pretty good. Our place at home is a pretty tough place to play. It's tough for teams to come in and win. I think we just need to get into the play-offs and then anything is possible," said McCray.
The 25-year-old said Bonn were a bit surprised with the travel burden they will face - with games in Georgia, Israel and Belgium.
"At first we were a little shocked with the long travels that we have. But that's going to happen," said the guard.
Bonn have already faced Antwerp Giants in the pre-season, winning 73-71 on a late dunk by Weems.
"We played the Belgium team already in the preseason so we know how they look what they do," said McCray, who evened the game at 71-71 with a floater.
Bonn also saw an Israeli side in the pre-season as Hapoel Jerusalem played at a mini-tournament in Bonn. But Koch's team did not play against Jerusalem.
"We saw an Israeli team in the pre-season but we don't really know what to expect from Holon. But it's going to be an exciting group."
McCray, who played in the ULEB Cup with Ludwigsburg in 2007-08, said he is looking forward to going to Israel and Georgia for the first time.
The key for Bonn however is clear.
"We really need to win all of our home games and then sneak one out on the road," said McCray.
"We have to respect every team and go one game at a time. But of course we want to go as far as we can."
McCray and Bonn are hoping that is far with the likes of Jordan and Ewing.