2016-17 Team Profile: ratiopharm Ulm

Jul 15, 2016 by Eurocupbasketball.com Print
2016-17 Team Profile: ratiopharm Ulm

It was a rough 2015-16 Eurocup season for ratiopharm Ulm, but the club was able to make the most of its five wins. Three of them came early, against Umana Reyer Venice, Proximus Spirou Charleroi and SLUC Nancy, with Raymar Morgan, DeAndre Kane and Augustine Rubit as its main pillars. A four-game losing streak left Ulm on the verge of being eliminated. Down 13 early in the fourth quarter at Nancy, Ulm used a 0-16 run to take the lead and hung on in the final minute to get a go-ahead 76-80 triumph behind 13 points from De'Sean Butler. Once in the Last 32, Ulm did not have a good start and lost its first five games by an average margin of 16.4 points. Ulm finished its Eurocup season with a prestigious home win against FC Bayern Munich, 74-65.

Eurocup

SEASON COMPETITION RECORD FINISH
2015-16 Eurocup 5-11 Last 32
2013-14 Eurocup 11-7 Eighthfinal
2012-13 Eurocup 7-7 Quarterfinal
TOTAL: 23-25

History

A great 2015-16 season has allowed ratiopharm Ulm to reach the Eurocup for the fourth time in five years, confirming its status as a rising power in German basketball. Ulm used a great, come-from-behind road win in Nancy to reach the Eurocup Last 32, and did even better in the German League, going all the way to the finals. However, Brose Baskets Bamberg stood in its way of what could have been its first-ever German League title. Ulm is not the first elite basketball team in the city - predecessor SSV Ulm 1846 was competitive for decades and won the German Cup in 1996. SSV folded in 2001 and ratiopharm Ulm was founded right away. Thomas Stoll and Andreas Oettel bought SSV's license to start competing in the German second division. The team, which has always been sponsored by pharmaceutical giant ratiopharm, was promoted to the German elite in 2006 after a 29-1 season. By 2008, Ulm already made it to the German League playoffs. Robin Benzing became its signature player in 2009-10, but Ulm finished in the bottom half of the league. Everything changed for the better when Coach Thorsten Leibenath and center John Bryant took Ulm to its best season ever. It finished the 2011-12 regular season in second place and swept New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig and s.Oliver Baskets Wuerzburg in the playoffs to reach the finals against Brose Baskets. Alas, the fairytale run finished with Bamberg winning the title. Ulm enjoyed a great Eurocup debut season, in which it reached the quarterfinals, and also reached the German League semifinals and the German Cup final and Bryant was chosen to the 2012-13 All-Eurocup First Team. The club returned to the elimination rounds in the 2013-14 Eurocup, before losing to Hapoel Jerusalem in the eighthfinals on point difference. Ulm reached the German League semifinals in the 2014-15 season to punch a ticket to the 2015-16 Eurocup, in which the team once again advanced past the regular season.