Created on 2015-08-22 at 10:00 AM
The captain is back on board. FCBB's Bryce Taylor is looking forward to the start of the new season having returned from his vacation. Before FC Bayern begins its training camp, Taylor spoke about the basketball-free period, his new teammates and the goals for the new season.
FCBB: Bryce, welcome back to Munich. Obviously my first question has to be: How was your summer?
Bryce Taylor: My summer was great. I was able to spend a lot of time with my family and my friends. I traveled down the Pacific coast in California a lot and I visited the university I used to attend. I also spent some time with my sister in Arizona. There was plenty to do and I experienced a lot of different things.
FCBB: With all these things going on, did you have any time to relax at all?
Taylor: Yes, of course. My activities over the summer were all really enjoyable and I was able to unwind, which was necessary. Last season was extremely difficult with highs and lows, both mentally and physically. Getting away from that during the summer was very good for me. I feel fit again and I’m looking forward to the upcoming challenges.
FCBB: Have you already started training?
Taylor: Yes, I used the last two weeks of my vacation to get back into a rhythm. I shot a few hoops, went running and did some circuit training to build up the fundamentals before the pre-season preparations begin.
FCBB: Last season, you were only able to make your first competitive appearance just before Christmas due to injury.
Taylor: It was a difficult time for me. I now know that being healthy is the most important thing for me. I value the fact that I'm healthy right now and that I feel fully fit. I’m really looking forward to the start of the season. I want to be in the best form possible when it begins and I'll have to work hard now in order to accomplish that.
FCBB: It's your seventh year in Germany and your third in Munich. What is something you value highly about the Bavarian way of life?
Taylor: The quality of life in Munich is very high. The people here are very fond of traditions and history and I like that. Everyone is very friendly, which made it easy for me to feel at home here. I always look forward to family and friends visiting me here, so I can show them how nice it is. All in all, I feel very much at home because both the club and the city have a family feel to them.
FCBB: Four new signings have already been confirmed in the form of Maxi Kleber, Alex Renfroe, Andi Seiferth and Deon Thompson. What does the captain think about the current team?
Taylor: I think that we will get even better with the new signings on board. I've played against Maxi myself already. Andi and I played together in Berlin and I've also played against Alex before. All three will help us bring our game forward. And we all know what type of quality Deon will bring to this club. I'm certain that all our players will be even more motivated to make up for last season, which didn’t end ideally for us due to a lot of injury setbacks. Now we want to launch another assault.
FCBB: What is your view on the championship fight? Will it be a duel between Bamberg and Bayern or can other teams like Ulm, Berlin or Oldenburg compete at the top as well?
Taylor: Bamberg has clearly formed a very good team, but we have a lot of quality as well. I think that there will be other teams that make a charge. Ulm made good additions to their roster this summer. I expect Oldenburg to have a better season that last year and while Berlin have lost some players, they have a good coach and will find a way to return to the top group of teams. But it's obviously also quite difficult to predict at this point.
FCBB: Once again you were drawn into a very strong Euroleague group. How do you view your chances?
Taylor: It’s a very tough group. Madrid, Moscow and Fenerbahce Istanbul are all favorites. Belgrade and Strasburg are also quality teams. It will be very difficult for us again, but we have to give it our best shot. We will fight to finish among the first four places in order to qualify for the Top 16. I'm convinced that we will accomplish it because with have continuity in our team but we also have the help of our new players. Every single one of us is hungry for success and utterly motivated to have a successful season right from the start.
Yassin Idbihi and Lucca Staiger have left FC Bayern Basketball as their contracts have expired. “We are very thankful for what Lucca and Yassin have done for us in the past couple of years,” said Bayern CEO Marko Pesic after the final discussions. “They were both apart of our championship team from 2014 and played a big part in our triumph. They will always have a special place here at the club.”
31-year-old and former Germany national team center Yassin Idbihi arrived in Munich in 2013. In the championship season he averaged 16 minutes per game while dropping 5.8 points and grabbing 4.2 boards. In the 23 Euroleague games he averaged 5.1 points and 3.5 rebounds. During last season, the German-Moroccan suffered from injury problems and only made 20 appearances in the BEKO BBL. He averaged 10 minutes per game, while only scoring 3.4 points per game.
“I am very thankful that I had the chance to play for FC Bayern and I am very happy and proud that I won the championship back in 2014. It is my biggest success to date. Now I am searching for a new challenge and I wish Bayern all the best for the future,” said Idbihi before departing.
27-year-old Lucca Staiger also took a look back at his two years in a Bayern jersey. The three-ball specialist came from Ludwigsburg in 2013 and during the championship season hit 45 three pointers, giving him a 40.2 percentage from beyond the arc. This past season the shooting guard averaged 13.3 minutes per game, while scoring 4.6 points. In the fifth and final playoff game against Bamberg, he hit four out of five three pointers.
“My time in Munich was a very special, useful and important for me, not only because we won the title one year ago,” said Lucca Staiger.” “I have met many nice people and had the honor to work with special people. The cohesion there was great, everyone was so helpful. I have never experienced something like this in my career and I would like to say thank you to everyone at the club.”
FC Bayern Basketball would like to wish Yassin Idbihi and Lucca Staiger all the best for their futures.