Jacob Burtschi(Nilan Bisons) We Don’t Want To Just Come Out And Participate In The Game But Want To Win and Have An Opportunity To Make The VTB Playoffs
Jacob Burtschi is a 31 year old 198cm forward from Chickasha, Oklahoma that is playing his sixth professional season with the Nilan Bisons Loimaa (Finland-Korisliiga). He played at the Air Force from 2003-2007. In his senior year, he played 35 games averaging 13.5ppg, 6.0rpg, 2.3apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 49.7%, 3Pts: 39.0%, FT: 77.3%. As a rookie in 2010-2011 he played for ). He played as a rookie for Phoenix Hagen in 2010-2011 averaging 14.2ppg, 6.9rpg, 2.5apg, Steals-3(1.5spg), FGP: 56.0%, 3PT: 44.2%, FT: 82.2%. In the 2011-2012 season he played for CAI Zaragoza (Spain-ACB) playing 9 games averaging 2.6ppg, 2.4rpg; left in Nov.’11, in Dec.’11 moved to Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt (Germany-BBL): German League: 22 games: 8.2ppg, 4.5rpg, 1.4apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 36.3%, FT: 87.5%; EuroCup: 2 games: 5.5ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.0apg, 1.0spg. In the 2012-2013 season he played for the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven (Germany-BBL) playing 33 games: 9.8ppg, 6.2rpg, 1.7apg, 1.3spg, 2FGP: 45.9%, 3FGP: 40.3%, FT: 89.3%. He played the last two seasons for the Fraport Skyliners and last season played EuroChallenge playing 8 games averaging 8.6ppg, 7reb, 2ast, 1steal and 15 BBL games averaging 7.3ppg, 3.8rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 57.7%, 3PT: 33.8%, FT: 87.5%. In three seasons for Frankfurt he played a total of 63 BBL games. He talked to German Hoops after his first VTB game against Khimki Moscow.
Thanks Jake for talking to German Hoops It was -1c in Loimaa tonight. Have you already gotten used to the earlier colder temperatures in Finland?
The weather hasn’t been too bad so far. I used to live in Colorado so its nothing new for me.
It was nice watching you play again as I saw the second half of the Bisons opening VTB game against Khimki Moscow. That was a tough opponent to have in the opener. The Bisons lost 81-62 as the Russian team controlled the game. In the fourth quarter you cut it down to as much as 13 points. Was the experience and skill factor of Khimki just to much to handle?
They were a very physical team and they just forced us out of our plays. They are a top team in Europe.
Right in the first game you had to deal with many ex NBA players like Tyler Honeycutt, James Augustine, Paul Davis and Alexy Shved. Was this one of the main reasons for coming to the Bisons for being able to duel week in and out against the best?
Being able to play in the VTB was a big reason. An extra 30 games in the season to play against some very talented teams. It was definitely a big factor.
Alexy Shved led all scorers with 20 points. He really filled up the stat sheet. What will the team have to do better next time to limit him more or is that almost impossible?
We didn’t do a good job communicating and rotating on defense. They have a number of guys on their team that can take over at any point, but we have to be able to contain them to a certain extent if we want a chance to win at the end.
There are many talented teams in the VTB and the competition level is very high. What is the main goal of the team going into this competition? Just to go out each night and fight, fight giving every team hell and hoping for some to underestimate you?
We want to compete every night. Last year this team was 3 wins away from the 8th seed in the VTB playoffs. We don’t want to just come out and participate in the game. We want to win and we want an opportunity to make the playoffs.
The Bisons won their first game in the Finish Korisliiga against Helsinki 82-70 where you were the leading scorer with 21 points. After moving up from the second division the team won the Korisliiga title two years in a row. How high are the expectations to win and how good are the chances with this team to mix it up with the best teams?
The Bisons are always considered a championship contender. Its championship or bust here. That is our mentality. We have a good group of Americans and Finnish players that we feel we can accomplish that
The club seems to added the right mix with Americans Martin Zeno, Justin Jackson and Mario Edwards. Did your first game production give you an added sense that you might be able to be more of a scorer than in other years or do you see this being a team where the top scorer could be 1-5 different guys each night?
The leading scorer role will change all the time. We have a lot of weapons that can score. Our strength is getting out and running and we have a lot of guys that do that well.
After playing for coaches like Ingo Freyer, Doug Spradley and Gordon Herbert in Germany you now have Greg Gibson. He played some years in Germany in the late 90s and has been a coach in Finland since 2003 winning titles. What kind of relationship do you have with him and what coaching traits does he have that you haven´t seen from the other three guys in Germany?
Coach and I have a very good relationship. Each coach has their own personality traits, but all coaches shared the same mentality of wanting to win, wanting to compete, and wanting to get the best out of you.
Your ex team Fraport Skyliners won a magnificent game in Bremerhaven giving up only 59 points despite being without Danilo Barthel and Johannes Voigtmann.Today came the unfortunate news that Joe has to be operated on and Konstantin Klein will miss three weeks. After being operated on your back what words of encouragement do you have for the German national player Voigtmann?
Joe is a tough kid. He will be back quicker than the expected timeline. Sporeg is a great rehab facility and they will have him and Konsti back very soon.
In the game against Helsinki you played against a fellow named Mike Myers. Even when one is highly focused in a game does a name like that get you thinking for an instance about the actor from Waynes World?
Actually never even thought about it until now.
What I always wanted to know. Who hits more three pointers from the corner with 10 trys you or Mikko Koivisto?
Mikko. He is the only guy that has my number in shooting competitions.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Narcos. netflix series. must watch.
Thanks Jacob for the chat.
Deon Mitchell(Rot-Weiss Cuxhaven) My Biggest Goal As A Rookie Is Find My Weaknesses And Learn How To Better Myself And Expand My Game
Deon Mitchell is a 22 year old 185cm point guard from Pflugerville, Texas that is a rookie in Germany for Rot-Weiss Cuxhaven (Germany-Regionalliga). He played at N Iowa from 2011-2015 playing a total of 129 NCAA games. As a senior he played 35 games averaging 7.5ppg, 2.0rpg, 2.5apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 39.9%, 3PT: 43.9%, FT: 70.6%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball recently.
Thanks Deon for talking to German Hoops You have started your professional basketball career in Germany with Cuxhaven in the German Regionaliga. How have your first days been?
My first few days have been good, it’s been easy to adjust because it’s similar to my college town. The weather so far has been good, not to hot and not to cold, overall I’m enjoying my experience so far.
You are from Pflugerville, Texas and after seeing Cuxhaven and being around the German city what city would you think is bigger?
I would say that my hometown city is bigger, just because of all the things there are to do. This city is more calm and relaxed, plus here everything is closer and feels like you can get to everything you need on bike.
Well your home town Pflugerville has 2000 people more. What do you like about the calmness of the north sea most in Cuxhaven? Have you been at the water yet?
The first thing is not having to deal with traffic, also being walking distance to pretty much everything you need. Back home to get anywhere you will have to drive 15 minutes at most depending where you live. I’ve been to the beach once, it’s very nice and seems like that’s where a lot of the families go to spend time and relax.
You had solid stats in the NCAA with Northern Iowa but enter the fourth league in Germany. Do you feel like you have a little pressure to have to perform?
I don’t feel like there’s any pressure, I believe I was put in this situation for a reason. There was a lot of things that didn’t happen in my favor this summer. This is all a learning process for me but no matter where I play I will go out and play to the best of my ability.
How was your first summer involved in the transfer market. Did you have other offers?
Yes I had a few other offers but hiring a new agent late in the summer and jobs being tougher to find then usual made it tough. But for it to be my first year over here I’m just taking it all in and learning as much as I can so I have a better understanding of this whole process in the future.
What were the main reasons for going to Cuxhaven? What convinced you that this was the right choice for you to embark on your professional career?
It was a tough decision at first, finding out the league I would be in, but you have to start somewhere. Not everyone is capable of starting where they want. One of the main reasons I chose this team was talking to Coach Moris, instantly you get a feel for how competitive and driven he is to succeed and be the best. When you have a coach that pushes you and believes in you as much as you do yourself it makes this whole process so much easier.
You are the only American on the team, but not only import as there are four Croatians on the team. Have you gotten to know a different kind of team basketball that you didn´t see in the NCAA?
Yes I have but for the most part all of the style of play is somewhat similar. Being able to work with other players from Croatia and here in Germany it allows me to learn different ways to help better myself for the team.
You recently played an exhibition game against Bremerhaven where the team was down by four at halftime, but lost by 23 points. What kind of experience was this and if you had to be honest could you if given the chance be able to keep up with this level?
I think this was a good opportunity for this team to see where we stand as a team. I think with a few more weeks of preparation we could have made it a closer game. For me it helped me play against competition where I would like to see myself. Honestly, I think I could keep up with this level of competition.
What was it like playing against ex NBA player Jerry Smith and ex Harvard man Brandyn Curry? Do you take moments from the game and take things from their games that could help you in the future?
It was great I love to compete against the best, it was all a learning experience for me. Yes I do take things from the opponents I play against. This game allowed me to see how they carry themselves as professionals and watch how they lead their team. There were a lot of things I saw from them that can help me grow to become a better player.
Your new teammate and try out player Kris Douse marveled about your game. What have you liked most about the Canadian and could you see him and you hooking up time after time in games this season?
He’s a very energetic guy, I feel like every team needs that player who will always be in your ear encouraging you to be the best you can every game. The thing that sticks out about his game is his drive to be the best he can on defense every play. You don’t come across many players who love defense like that. I think he would be a good fit for this program and I think with the way he runs it would be a lot of fun to have a guy like that running with you in transition.
You can fill up the stat sheet, but what is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away on the court?
I don’t feel like I have any hidden strengths, but most people know me as a passer and a driver. All through college I was more of a penetrate and kick guy because we had so many great shooters. One of my strengths most people don’t know about is my ability to shoot. It something I have always tried to perfect.
Besides helping your team win games this season what will be your biggest goal as a rookie?
My biggest goal as a rookie is to try and find my weaknesses. Then be able to learn how to better myself and expand my game throughout the season.
You played four years under Ben Jacobsen at N Iowa and now have Croatian head coach Moris Hadzija. Has it been a big adjustment playing for a European coach?
I think every coach has their own philosophy of how they coach. Coach Jacobsen was a more laid back coach who will explain things in a more calm manner. Coach Moris is the coach that will be in your face until you understand. Both coaches have been great and have succeeded, I think both ways are effective in their own way. So yes, it was different but I adjusted quickly I would say.
Your scoring average was down as a senior compared to your previous two seasons, but shot your best from downtown at 43%. How do you feel that you grew as a player as a senior?
I feel like my senior year was my best year as a college player. It wasn’t good statistically, but I grew as a player. Playing in the system we did, meant less shots allowing me to focus more and be more consistent. Understanding my role on the team and embracing it instead of complaining. Overall the sacrifices I made individually payed off for my team to win so I was satisfied.
You had many great games in college, and scored 20 points or more eight times in your career? What was your best and favorite game at N Iowa?
My favorite game as a college player was in Texas at Stephen F. Austin. I think around 25 of my family members showed up to the game. I went to school almost 1,000 miles away so having the opportunity to play in Texas for my senior year would be my best and favorite game.
Quite many players from N Iowa have played in Germany as this season three new ones arrive with you, Nate Buss and Seth Tuttle and in the past Jake Koch played here as well as Ben Jacobson and John Little has been the longest in Germany since 2007. What stories do you remember hearing about John Little at N Iowa?
Yeah it’s great to have so many players from the university to get to play in Germany. I heard some stories about Ben Jacobsen but not to many about John Little.
How did head coach Ben Jacobson prepare and groom you best for a professional basketball career?
He did a lot to help prepare me to become a professional. Being a leader at all times, how to carry myself at all times, the importance of communication and how far it can take you in life, most importantly reminding me how important preparation is and to always compete in everything I do.
Who would win a one on one in practice you or Wes Washpun?
Wes was easily one of the toughest defenders I’ve played so far in my career. But if we were to go head to head I would win. He’s a great player and I know if you asked him the same question he would tell you he would win.
Where do you see the NBA journey of the Dallas Mavericks going this season with Dirk Nowitzki and Deron Williams?
I think it’s a process, they are in the west so it would be tough for them to go far in that conference. With the right prices around them any things possible.
What is the state of Lebron James in 2015? Will he ever be mentioned in the same breath as a Michael Jordan?
I think he will be compared to Jordan when it’s all said and done. In my opinion Lebron is a pass first guy more like Magic. Jordan is a scorer and his mindset to win is on a whole different level then anyone. They both will go down as some of the greatest player to ever play but I don’t think you can compare them.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Coach Carter, because it’s the only DVD I have and the internet isn’t working.
Thanks Deon for the chat.
Can Rickey Paulding´s Smile Be Elevated To Another Level With Another EWE Baskets Oldenburg Title This Season?
Flashing that big smile and showing those glistening whiteys as if one had always heeded the warning of mom to never skip a night of brushing your teeth or just come off the set of a Crest commercial is something that basketball players are projected to do after a hard 40 minute battle that resulted in a huge victory. No guys have displayed their pleasure of winning in the form of a excited smile over the years in the Beko BBL better then guys like former Fraport Skyliner Jimmy Mckinney who will now drop shots with the Telekom Baskets Bonn, ex Rhein Cologne point guard Michael Hakim Jordan who actually should of tried his go at Hollywood after his few masterful scenes in the German documentary Phoenix in Der Asche, but instead is an assistant at Colgate university which name is also the name of a well known American tooth paste company and Rickey Paulding who is also known as Mr Oldenburg or if the city should ever be renamed then it would be fitting to call it in typical German manner Pauldingburg as he has made the comfortable city in north Germany his home since 2007 and never turned his back. The former NBA Draft Pick of hometown team Detroit Pistons is also a guy who can smile with the best of them. His enjoyment and smiling were at their all-time high in 2009 when the EWE Baskets Oldenburg won their first league title at the expense of the Telekom Baskets Bonn in a tough 5 game series. However between 2009-2015 a span of almost 6 years, the American went without a title, but reached a final against the Brose Baskets Bamberg a few years ago. However last season, which was a season to forget in the regular season, but still came title number two as Oldenburg masterfully disposed of Bamberg at home in the cup final as Paulding was smiling again as if there was no tomorrow. At the age of 33, Paulding isn´t getting any younger and for those that have been caught in a cage for a few years will notice less hair on top, but he can still play with the best of them. If there is a time where he might be slowed down is when he is playing with his gang of kids, but on the floor especially in the shooting department he has risen as in his first four seasons he shot under 40% from the parking lot, but 40% or better in the last four seasons in the Beko BBL. Last season he played 36 BBL games averaging 11.3ppg, 3.3rpg, 2.7apg, FGP: 54.7%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 80.0%; Eurocup: 10 games: 9.9ppg, 3.3rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 53.7%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 86.7%. There isn´t a more consistent player in the BBL as he has averaged 12,0ppg in his eight seasons in the Beko BBL. It really doesn´t matter if the basketball fan is in Bernau, Trier, Rosenheim or Schwenningen, Paulding is liked everywhere and is a winner. As is the case each season the club has put together another very potent roster that has to reach the playoffs, but does it have the goods to beat one of the big 3 of Munich, Bamberg or Berlin in a 5 game series? The club hopes that last season´s fireman Mladen Drijenic will carry over the euphoria from the cup win and that Scot Macado will be the point guard that can successfully lead the charge. Their best chance will be in the cup again where you have to qualify in the top 7 and then play two amazing great games to win that coveted cup. If Paulding can win another title is unknown, but one thing is for sure if Oldenburg would ever start their own version of a walk of fame in front of city hall then Mr Paulding would get one and sit between legendary producer Dieter Bohlen and comedian Wigald Boning.
The EWE Baskets Oldenburg have reached the playoffs in seven of eight seasons since Rickey Paulding has been with the club. The only really unforgettable season was the 2011-2012 where nothing went right as the team finished in 10th place and marked the end of the Predrag Krunic era. Their strongest season was the first of Sebastian Machowski reaching the final in 2013, but the club tailed off a bit the last two season finishing in fourth and seventh last season after the German coach was dismissed in April. Last season the club was swept by Alba Berlin 3-0, but the series was a lot closer than the series score indicated as they had their chances should of won game one and were very close in game two. It was one of those cases where the basketball god wasn´t always sheading an eye on them and it just wasn´t meant to be. The team played under their standards as consistency was a big problem and losing their desired point guard in Tywain Mckee after a month put a big damper in their game and they never fully recovered from the loss. Their biggest wins were against Bamberg early in the season with new point guard ex NBA player Casper Ware, but who wasn´t able to step in the shoes of Mckee and they swept ratiopharm Ulm.
This season the EWE Baskets Oldenburg as always have the roster to make the playoffs and lost key players Julius Jenkins and Adam Chubb, but have held a few guys from last season Paulding, Nemanja Aleksandrov, Chris Kramer, Robin Smeulders and young talents Dominic Lockhart and Jan Niklas Wimberg. Chris Kramer is a 27 year old 191cm guard from Huntington that like Paulding has found a home in Oldenburg and is playing his fourth season there. He played at Purude once making a shot sitting on the floor, in the D-league with FT Wayne and with Wurzburg. Last season he played 36 games averaging 7.5ppg, 4.4rpg, 4.4apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 53.7%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 68.8%; Eurocup: 9 games: 6.0ppg, 4.4rpg, 3.6apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 42.5%, 3PT: 23.1%, FT: 78.6%. He is on the same level of a John Little as a guy that is totally annoying to play when they defend. Nemanja Aleksandrov is a 28 year old 210cm forward from Serbia that was once compared to Dirk Nowitzki, but couldn´t succumb to injuries for a long time. He will be playing his third season with Oldenburg and last season played 34 games averaging 10.3ppg, 4.3rpg, FGP: 44.4%, 3PT: 44.0%, FT: 91.0%; Eurocup: 9 games: 9.6ppg, 4.9rpg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 28.0%, FT: 86.4%. He has a dangerous inside out game and is known for hitting big three pointers. Robin Smeulders is a 28 year old 207cm forward that has been in Oldenburg since 2010 and is playing his sixth season there. He couldn´t eclipse his strong seasons between 2012-2014 as he was lost a bit in the shuffle of the large rotation last season as he played 31 games: 4.8ppg, 3.4rpg; Eurocup: 10 games: 3.3ppg, 1.8rpg. He is a legit rebounder and will hit the three at leisure. The club also held onto youngsters Dominic Lockhart who is a 21 year old 198cm guard playing his third season there and also won two consecutive pro B titles as a double licence player for the Baskets Akad.Weser-Ems/Oldenburger TB. Last season he played 21 BBL games averaging 1.0ppg, 1.2rpg; Eurocup: 9 games: 1.0ppg, 1.3rpg, 1.3apg, played also at Baskets Akad.Weser-Ems/Oldenburger TB (ProB): 29 games: 9.7ppg, 5.6rpg, Assists-5(5.3apg), 1.9spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 34.0%, FT: 80.2%. He has all the abilities for a modern point guard especially having size, but will he get minutes this season? Wimberg is a 19 year old 206cm forward that belongs to the biggest German talents at his position from the year 1996. This will be his second season with the BBL team and last season he played 5 games: 0.8ppg; Eurocup: 2 games: 0pts, 1.5rpg, played also at Baskets Akad.Weser-Ems/Oldenburger TB (ProB): 30 games: 10.8ppg, 5.6rpg, 2.2apg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 49.0%, 3PT: 32.2%, FT: 72.0%, played also in NBBL.
The club brought in 7 new faces to bolster the rotation starting with highly talented point guard Scott Machado. He is a 25 year old 188cm guard from Queens, New York that is playing his fourth professional season. He led the NCAA in assists with 9,9 in his senior season at Iona and set up ex Fraport Skyliner Sean Armand time in and time out again. He played six NBA games with the Houstin Rockets and had a 10 day contract with the Golden State warriors in his rookie season. In the last two years he got further experience playing in the D-league, France and Estonia. Last season he played for BC Kalev/Cramo Tallinn (Estonia-Alexela KML, starting five): VTB United League: 30 games: 15.2ppg, 4.3rpg, Assists-4(7.7apg), 1.4spg, FGP: 42.2%, 3PT: 31.5%, FT: 73.5%; Estonian Alexela KML: 19 games: 11.2ppg, 4.5rpg, Assists-2(4.3apg), FGP: 35.3%, 3PT: 24.5%, FT: 81.8%; Baltic League: 10 games: 8.8ppg, 2.5rpg, 4.5apg, Steals-2(2.1spg), FGP: 48.1%, 3PT: 26.1%, FT: 72.0%. He wants to get back to the NBA after a solid Summer League with Washington and will have good teammates in Oldenburg to help him. Vaughn Duggins is a 28 year old 190cm guard from Indiana that returns back to the BBL after two years in France. He played at Wright State and two seasons with the Walter Tigers Tuebingen. Last season he played for Sluc Nancy Basket Pro (France-ProA, starting five): 32 games: 14.5ppg, 2.8rpg, 3.0apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 36.0%, FT: 79.3%; Eurocup: 12 games: 11.1ppg, 1.6rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 49.3%, 3PT: 35.6%, FT: 78.6%. His shooting and position versatility is his strength on the court. Brian Qvale is a 26 year old 2010cm center from North Dakota that is playing his fifth professional season and second in Germany. He played his first two seasons in Turkey and Belgium. In his third season he played with Bayreuth and last season with the Charlotte Hornets (NBA), released in Oct.’14, later that month signed at Tofas Bursa (Turkey-TBL, starting five): 27 games: 11.3ppg, 4.1rpg, FGP: 64.9%, FT: 76.3%; EuroChallenge: 6 games: 9.7ppg, 4.0rpg, 1.0apg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 63.9%, FT: 75.0%. This past summer he played NBA Pro Summer League in Orlando (Charlotte Hornets): 5 games: 6.0ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.4apg, 1.0spg, 1.6bpg, FGP: 58.3%. His biggest strength is his ability to make his shots inside and finding the open man out of the post.
It is hard to believe that German 201cm forward Philipp Schwethelm is only 26 years old since he has been around for ages playing his first BBL game and Eurocup game as a 16 year old in the 2005-2006 season with Cologne. He has had a solid career playing two seasons with Bremerhaven, one with FC Bayern Munich the last three with ratiopharm Ulm and last season played 42 games: 5.2ppg, 2.2rpg, FGP: 63.0%, 3PT: 44.4%, FT: 66.7%; EuroChallenge: 6 games: 5.8ppg, 2.3rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 40.0%, 3PT: 28.1%, FT: 66.7%. He played at the 2010 world chmapionships in Turkey and 2011 European championships in Lithuania. His three pointer is feared and can defend with the best of them. The club also added Klemen Prepelic who is a 22 year old 191cm guard from Slovenia playing his first season in Germany. He recently played at Euro 2015 playing 6 games: 9.8ppg, 4.2rpg, 4.2apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 44.0%, FT: 78.3%. Two seasons ago he played in Turkey and last season for : Union Olimpija Ljubljana (Telemach League, starting five): 12 games: 14.0ppg, 2.8rpg, 2.5apg, FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 40.2%, FT: 86.8%, 1.8rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 35.3%, 3PT: 26.9%, FT: 90.5%; ; Eurocup: 13 games: 7.2ppg; Adriatic League: 21 games: 10.8ppg, 1.9rpg, 2.5apg, FGP: 57.7%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 79.1%. Dennis Kramer is a 23 year old 211cm forward that has the German/American citizenship and as a rookie last season played with TBB Trier (Germany-BBL): 25 games: 2.2ppg, 1.6rpg. He played at San Diego (NCAA) from 2010-2014 and as a senior played 31 games: 11.3ppg, 6.8rpg, FGP: 60.0%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 71.2%. He is the modern four player in that he will drill home trey´s and also do dirty work inside.
Since the 2005-2006 season, The Frankfurt Skyliners have an up and down record against The EWE Baskets Oldenburg. In the 2005-2006 season, there was a 98-75 loss in Oldenburg seeing Malick Badiane get ejected after kicking a chair and in the last game of the season, Frankfurt had to win to stay in the league and did 70-58 thanks to 22 points from American Kavossy Franklin. In the 2006-2007 season, Frankfurt won the season series with a 80-70 win in Oldenburg and a 76-70 win at hom. In the 2007-2008 season, the teams split the season series as Derrick Allen combined for 48 points in the two games. In the 2008-2009 season, the teams split the season series as Frankfurt totally crushed Oldenburg 84-53 at home, but lost 66-58 on the road. Oldenburg got the last laugh in the quarterfinals of the playoffs winning the series 3-1. In 2009-2010, Frankfurt lost a nail bitter in Oldenburg 63-61 and 75-69 at home despite 26 points from Derrick Allen. In 2010-2011, The two teams split the season series with Frankfurt losing a bitter 70-67 game which they led for most of the game, but let it slip away at the end while they won at home 76-71 fueled by 24 points by Dashaun Wood. In the 2011-2012 season, the two also split the season series and both teams met in the first game of the season as Oldenburg jumped all over Frankfurt 72-53 as Frankfurt had a horrible shooting day as Oldenburg was led by 17 points by Ronald Burrell. In the return game in Oldenburg, the Fraport Skyliners were going through their euphoric second half of the season and rode into Oldenburg with a lot of confidence winning 75-67 as the team held on to win a nail bitter. Despite 22 points from Bobby Brown, Skyliner Jermario Davidson out did him scoring 25 points, getting seven rebounds and making two blocks while Jimmy Mckinney contributed 16 points. In the 2012-2013 season Oldenburg swept the season series by a total of only 4 points as Oldenburg won a nail bitter 63-61 in Frankfurt as Adam Chubb contributed 13 points and 12 rebounds and Zach Peacock had 17 points for the winners. In the return game, the Fraport Skyliners played like a champion, but lost in crunch time again 75-63 as Ronnie Burrell found the hot hand with 20 points and Zach Peacock contributed 16 points and 11 rebounds. Two seasons ago Oldenburg won the season series winning in Frankfurt 72-63 as Rickey Paulding scorched Frankfurt with 18 points and Frankfurt was led by Quantez Robertson with 14 points. In the return game in Oldenburg, it was the phase of the season where Frankfurt had the crunch time blues and lost 68-66 as Oldenburg was led by Rickey Paulding with 21 points while Frankfurt was led by Dane Watts with 22 points. Last season the Fraport Skyliners clobbered Oldenburg at home 93-74 as Frankfurt was led by Justin Cobbs with 17 points and German national player Johannes Voigtmann chipped in with 16 points. Oldenburg was led by Rickey Paulding with 17 points. In the return game in Oldenburg Frankfurt got their revenge after losing a close game in crunch time the season before winning this time 83-81 as they were led by a potent Justin Cobbs with 19 points and 10 assists. Aaron Dornekamp added 22 points and Oldenburg was led by Rickey Paulding with 18 points.
Can the Fraport Skyliners return back north and repeat with another win after disposing rudely of the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven 67-59 as Gordon Herbert has quickly found a healthy defensive scheme. It wasn´t the most beautiful of games, but Frankfurt were able to play just a bit more ugly defense for 40 minutes that carried them to victory despite a horrible third quarter where they scored only three points. The EWE Baskets Oldenburg on the other hand stunk up the Audi Dome in Munich being hammered by FC Bayern Munich 82-56 as the game was already decided at halftime. The score doesn´t tell the whole story as they outrebounded FC Bayern Munich and shot one three more, but had eight turnovers more and allowed their opponent to reach the free throw line too much. Its still early, but they will have to find some spunk in their offense if they want to survive against the Fraport Skyliners on Wednesday. Frankfurt will live off its defense this season and let it spark their offense. Frankfurt will be ok offensively as soon as the German twin towers of Johannes Voigtmann and Danilo Barthel return, but until then teams should take advantage of the Frankfurt injury problems even if the current roster still has potential to score between 70-80 points. Oldenburg really will have to take advantage of the home court and get a good start. Frankfurt will grind, grind and grind on defense until John Little and Quantez Robertson fall apart which they wont anyway and use every chance to get quick points on the break.
Bryan Smithson(MLP Academics Heidelberg) I Cannot Claim It To Be The Best Weekend Of My Career But I Can Certainly Say One To Be Remembered
Bryan Smithson is a 30 year old 185cm point guard from Kennesaw,Georgia playing his third season in Germany. He started his basketball career at Middle Tennessee St. (NCAA) in 2003 where he played two seasons. He then moved to NC-Asheville (NCAA) where he finished his college career and as a senior played 29 games: 16.4ppg, 4.0rpg, 4.1apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 45.1%, 3Pts: 41.1%, FT: 83.5%. He played two seasons for the Kirchheim Knights in the German Pro A where he was top 5 in assists in the league the last two seasons. Last season for Kichheim he played 28 games: 12.0ppg, 3.4rpg, Assists-5(5.0apg), FGP: 46.3%, 3PT: 40.2%, FT: 88.2%. This season he is playing for the MLP Academics Heidelberg and led the team to huge road wins in Essen and Hamburg with two game wining shots. He spoke to German Hoopsabout his big weekend where he led the MLP Academics to two big wins on the road.
Bryan thanks for talking to German Hoops. Congrats on two huge wins this weekend with the MLP Academics Heidelberg. In basketball anything is possible, but if somebody had told you Friday afternoon that your team would win two such close games the way you did would you have believed them?
Hi Miles, it is my pleasure to talk with you. First, thank you for the congratulations after such a long and challenging weekend of basketball. To answer your question, when we left Heidelberg for the double header weekend our plan was to come back with two wins. That is a difficult task on the road, but we knew that if we kept the games close we would have our chance to win.
You had the winning three on Friday in Essen and had a buzzer beater for the win in Hamburg. Was this your best weekend of basketball in your basketball career including when you played games in the Big South conference?
We definitely won the last two games in great fashion. I cannot claim it to be the best weekend of my career, but I can certainly say it was one to be remembered.
Take us through the last play where you nailed the winning shot. After your success on Friday, how good were you feeling in the last seconds about getting that next opportunity and making it?
I felt very confident in helping us get a good look at the basket to win the game. The last play was interesting. We had a full court situation with roughly 8 seconds remaining. The plan was to get a high pick and roll to free myself or a teammate for a clean look at the basket. Johannes Lischka set the screen around the half court mark and I did not run my man off him as well as I should have. I got bumped off balance but in the closing seconds I do not think the officials felt comfortable making the call. I lost my dribble rhythm, but when I gained it back I knew in my head that 6-7 seconds had passed so I took one hard dribble and stepped back to get some space. Fortunately, I had a good feeling letting it go and it went in at the buzzer.
Do you think you now have an added role in your game with being the man for the clutch shots this season in Heidelberg?
I am not sure it is an added role to take clutch shots as much as it is making the right play, for the right person, at the right time.
There are quite a few teams in the Pro A that have displayed nerves of steel in the first games, but how much do you credit the veteran guys for getting this team together so well already so early in the season?
We are extremely fortunate to have some really talented players with invaluable experience. In a league like ProA, veterans set the tone for how the team handles itself through adversity. In the first 3 games we have seen some of that experience really shine through.
After two nail bitters how much would you welcome an easier win for the next game or would you favor another buzzer beater by yourself or possibly a Shy Ely?
Well, I think the most important thing for us is to win the game regardless of how we do it. Although it would be very nice to get an easy win, I do not think those exist in Germany ProA.
How has the team developed best in the weeks of training camp into the first two weeks of the regular season. What has been working best and where does the defense still need to get to?
Our team gained a lot of experience in the preseason which was very important considering we have a few rookies that play big roles for us. However, the development in the last couple weeks has been challenging considering I was nursing a minor injury throughout the preseason which did not allow me to participate, our leading scorer in the preseason had an injury prior to the first regular season game, and we brought Shy Ely in last week. With all that said, we are still developing our team chemistry and growing together. As far as our defense is concerned, our second and third rotations must improve in order for us to compete in the top tier of ProA.
The two young Germans Bazu Kone and Jon Williams combined for 31 points and nine assists. Did a Kone remind you a bit of a young and less experienced Dennis Schroeder?
Both of those guys are very talented and have bright futures. The Schroeder comparison is pretty fair. However, I think it is important for him to pave his own way considering he has his own style of play that is very effective. I am excited to see him excel in the world of basketball.
Most will remember your two game winning shots, but less people except for the teammates who appreciate the play of Shy Ely who combined for 40 points on the weekend. Would the team have come out of the weekend 2-0 without his presence?
I am fairly certain every coach in Pro A appreciates the play of Shy Ely. Everyone that is a part of our club had a hand in winning those games. I think if you take any one piece away from that it changes the entire face of the weekend. Nevertheless, it is no secret how Shy impacts the game and I do not think I want to imagine having played the weekend without him.
How important was this signing of Shy Ely? He seems to have been the missing part to the success of this team?
The season is very young to make any bold predictions about the success of our team. I do know that signing Shy makes us a much better team. I played against him two years ago so I was well aware of his talent level, but getting to know him as a person has impressed me the most. Anytime you have the opportunity to add a player to your team that posses great talent and tremendous character, you do it.
Heidelberg doesn´t have as many imports as other Pro A teams and will need to rely on the input of Germans players. One of these is ex national player Johannes Lischka. What has impressed you most about his game as the season has carried on?
Every team in ProA must rely on their Germans to play big roles through the course of the season. The “3 import on the court” rule makes this undeniable. Johannes may be the most experienced player in the league. Many people know the difficulties he’s faced over the last couple seasons and the fact that he had the strength to push through those challenges speaks loudly about the type of person he is. He is a player that I want on my side all the time. Everyone in Germany knows how talented Johannes is but his basketball IQ has been most impressive to me.
He along with a couple of our other German players are the heart of our team. You can score and find your teammates as you were in the top 5 best assist men in the Pro A the last two years with the Kirchheim Knights, but what is a hidden strength that doesn´t always get noticed in your game on the floor?
One hidden strength for me as a player would have to be my athleticism. As a young player I knew I would always be limited in size so I worked extremely hard to develop some serious athleticism. I am older now so I am very careful to pick and choose when I use it, but it’s still there when I need it.
This is your second season as player under Branislav Ignjatovic. Is there already a blind understanding between both of you and how much freedom do you have under him?
Coach Frenkie and I have a little history so the lines of communication are open between us. We have a good relationship and understanding for one another. He puts the ball in my hands and allows me to play my style of basketball freely within the realms of his expectations. I have the upmost respect for him on and off the basketball court.
What is the state of Lebron James in 2015? Do you feel that he will ever be mentioned in the same breath as a Michael Jordan?
Lebron is constantly being mentioned in the same breath as Michael Jordan so that should be an honor in itself. The problem is Michael Jordan was so much more to the game of basketball than just a great player. To compare anyone to him is not fair because he stands alone in so many ways. Lebron is writing his own legacy and I can respect everything he is accomplishing.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The Flintsones Movie with John Goodman.
Thanks Bryan for the chat.
Alex Foster(RheinStars) Our Biggest Improvement Is How We’ve Come Together As A Team And I’ve Felt Our Trust In Each Other Growing
Alex Foster is a 23 year old 203cm forward that grew up in Portland, Oregon and also has the German citizenship and is playing his professional rookie seasonin Germany with the RheinStars(Germany-ProA). He played at Emory (NCAA3) from 2011-2015 playing a total of 108 NCAA3 games and as a senior played 20.1ppg, 7.9rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 44.6%, 3PT: 39.9%, FT: 79.8%. He was able to improve his scoring and rebounding average each season. He spoke to German Hoops after the RheinStars 3-0 start.
Congrats Alex on a double sweep this weekend beating Trier 80-76 and tonight Chemnitz on the road 73-69. Was this great start into the season something one could of anticipated coming out of the pre season into the regular season?
We had a challenging preseason and have gotten better every week, so I’m not surprised we’ve been successful early. I might not have guessed that we’d be 3-0, but I could feel our team starting to come together and expected us to have a chance to win once the regular season started.
What was the most difficult hurdle that the team had to do coming from the Trier game to the Chemnitz and only having 48 hours to recover and play again?
I think we were actually excited to get to play again so soon after Friday’s game. It’s a seven-hour trip from Cologne to Chemnitz and they had a packed house waiting for us. So it wasn’t easy, but it’s always a smoother ride home after getting a win.
The game was very tight in the second half, but the RheinStars always held the lead. What do you believe was key in crunch time for preserving the win?
Chemnitz kept making runs on us, but we never panicked and kept our cool. Every time they would get close, we would buckle down on defense and make enough shots to hang on to the lead.
How key was the lay up by German veteral Marin Petric with 32 seconds to play? It shows it doesn´t always have to be a Jackson or Downs to supply the fire power?
Huge! The play broke down and Marin was smart to attack the rim. I’m pretty sure he was just looking to get fouled, but he got the basket to go as well. Lakeem and Dave made their share of big plays too, but it took a whole-team effort to get that win. In crunch time, we all trust each other to make winning plays.
The RheinStars already have displayed a knack of having strong nerves early in the season. How much credit does the shaping of this belong to the veterans on the team?
Our veterans have been great and as a young player, I try to soak up everything they tell me. Even though Bernd Kruel has been out with an injury, he always shares some of his wisdom with me before a game. For a young team, we have a lot of experience. Even though many of us haven’t played in this league before, we have been in lots of big games and that experience goes a long way.
The team won both games by a combined score of only 8 points. How much credit goes to Arne Woltmann for keeping the team together in tight times?
Arne deserves most of the credit for bring this team together. He believes in us and pushes every player to play their best. He has strong principles and expects a lot from us, but at the end of the day, it’s very clear that he has our back. When the games on the line, there’s nothing more important than having a coach like Arne on your side.
In the first three games the big four of you, David Downs, Aaron Jones and Lakeem Jackson have combined for 179 points of the teams total 231 points. Everything is fine now but god forbid an injury or and off day by one or two players then the outcome may look different. How risky is this massive production coming from only four players?
In our first three games, there have already been times when other players have made big plays for us. For example, Lenny Steffen came off the bench today made three 3’s. We’ve got other guys too that are ready to step up when their number is called. I know that David, AJ, Keem, and I will continue to get better too. If we all can play our best at the same time, this team can be really good.
The RheinStars played some tough BBL teams in pre-season and now have come into their own in the Pro A. In what areas do you feel has the team made the biggest strides in the last two weeks?
Those BBL teams have a lot of talent and really tested us on both ends. We’ve definitely gotten better on both sides of the court since then, but I think our biggest improvement is how we’ve come together as a team. In the last two weeks, I’ve felt our trust in each other growing.
You are averaging 14ppg and 3rpg throughout your first three games. How satisfied have you been with your performance on the floor thus far?
Not at all satisfied. I know I can be a lot better and will continue work hard to get myself there.
What has been the most difficult adjustment now after three games in the Pro A coming from the NCAA3?
There’s definitely a lot more size and strength, so I have to adjust how I finish around the rim. I’ve gotten my shot blocked way more than I ever have before.
Derrick Rose is injured again. Is there a curse on this guy? How can a guy have so much misfortune and get injured so much?
I think it’s less of a curse and more of a change in how NBA teams deal with injuries. Teams are weighing the long term value of their players more when they establish their treatment/recovery time. It’s not a surprise to see Rose sitting out training camp to get healed up before the season tips.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Alex for the chat.
Max Merz Leads And Tim Oldenburg Puts Back The Fraport Skyliners Juniors Past The Uni Riesen Leipzig 79-66
Fraport Skyliners Juniors head coach Eric Detlev is a pretty low key guy that usually looks very calm and collective and is a guy where one doesn´t really know what his thoughts are on the sideline, but in the team´s opener on the road last weekend in Lich one could of wondered what his thoughts were and in what wrong movie or nightmare he was in as the 40 minutes there must have felt like an eternity. The club lost by 44 points scoring only 37 points as milking a cow on a lonely field in Lich could have cheered him up more than watching that disaster. However the team was very much undermanned as the majority of the key players were still on the island of Crete in a training camp and the German head coach had an average age of 17 on the floor including two 16 year olds. The fate of the Uni Riesen Leipzig wasn´t any better as they were taken apart on the road in Karlsruhe losing by 36 points, but they were also short handed as their two key Americans were missing with Georgia native Brandon Shingles and California native Julian Scott. It also didn´t help their cause that they shot a horrible 2/22 from downtown. Head coach Tuna Isler could have wished for a handful of more Sascha Leutlof´s on his team that night as he was the only bright spot having a nifty night scoring 27 points. Game two was in Frankfurt and both teams had a lot to prove and also were better fortified as Frankfurt had more veterans on board and Leipzig had their two Americans finally cleared to play. However it was the Fraport Skyliners Juniors that had the deeper bench and just more clever play when they needed it as duo Max Merz led the team from the point guard position making good decisions, finishing and then finding Tim Oldenburg on many occasions as he made the put back his middle name on this night getting by the Uni Riesen Leipzig 79-66. The Fraport Sklyinerw won their first game of the season at home and despite many changes in the roster as guys came back after missing the first game showed good team work. “We started off very strong and played well until halftime. In the third quarter we had trouble with their zone defense. Despite having many young guys, I feel that we worked well as a team. The experienced players helped the younger guys and took on responsibility while the young guys came through when they needed to. We still have a lot to work on, but we deserved to win this game”, stressed Fraport Skyliner Junior Max Merz. The Uni Riesen Liepzig fell to 0-2 on the season, but new American Brandon Shingles is confident the team will come back. “It was good to play my first Pro B game after coming from the Regionaliga. I got my feet wet and am still learning the league. We didn´t do a good job executing in the first quarter, but adjusted better in the second quarter. However in the second half it showed that we weren´t deep enough to come back, but we will come back in the next game”, stressed Georgia native Brandon Shingles.
The game was pretty even in the first four minutes as both were feeling each other out until the Fraport Skyliners were able to break away on a huge run. Leipzig opened the scoring with a Julian Scott jumper who averaged almost 30ppg last season for TSV Quackenbruck. Frankfurt quickly got the lead as 17 year Konstantin Schubert who had a double double in Lich last weekend made a tip in, Merz a free throw and Oldenburg his first put back of the game courtesy of a no look pass from Merz. Frankfurt held the lead due to the brilliant guard work of Merz and new Skyliner Garai Zeeb who both scored inside. Frankfurt then broke away going on a 12-0 run to lead 22-11 as Frankfurt continued to dominate inside as Leipzig were unable to give any resistance. Merz scored inside and made a three pointer while Lukas Beuschlein finished off a fast break with a lay in after Merz stole the ball and gave him a nifty behind the back pass. Zeeb continued to be his aggressive self finishing on the penetration. Frankfurt then closed out the first quarter with a 7-3 run as their offense just had no slowdown as Merz hit free throws and a lay in and Beuschlein nailed a buzzer beater three as Frankfurt led 29-14 after 10 minutes. “Frankfurt had good ball movement in the first quarter and Max Merz scored 13 points. He did a good job getting into the lane and finding his teammates. You can see he is one of the best players in the Pro B”, warned Fraport Skyliners guard Konstantin Klein. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were shooting 65% from the field and 40% from outside while the Uni Riesen Leipzig were shooting 40% from the field and 0% from outside. Frankfurt had the 12-4 rebound edge and four turnovers while Leipzig had six turnovers.
In the second quarter the Uni Riesen Leipzig adjusted better and buckled down on defense keeping the Fraport Skyliners to 12 points, but the home team also were being hesistant or just missing open shots which didn´t help their field goal percentage. For the Uni Riesen Leipzig it was their American Julian Scott and work horse Sascha Leutlof that got their team back on track as the American made buckets and the German drew fouls in their slow come back attempt. Leipzig started off on a 7-3 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 32-21 with two Scott baskets and Leutloff free throws. Frankfurt kept Leipzig a bit at bay as Oldenburg made a tip in off a Marius Nolte miss and a put back off a Merz feed to extend their lead to 39-23. However the Uni Riesen Leipzig got the needed push at the end closing out the second quarter on a 9-2 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 41-32. 29 year old veteran Sascha Ahnsehl hit two trey´s to spark their run. “Frankfurt didn´t slow down on offense and didn´t take good care of the ball. Frankfurt also weren´t taking shots when they should of and weren´t talking on defense or rebounding as a team”, stressed Fraport Skyliners Quantez Robertson. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were shooting 43% from the field and 21% from the three point line while the Uni Riesen Leipzig were shooting 38% from the field and 25% from the three point line. Frankfurt still had the rebound edge 25-17 and eight turnovers while Leipzig had 10 turnovers.
In a soccer game a 2-0 lead usually will stay, but in the game of basketball having a big lead means nothing as it is a game of runs and the third quarter belonged to the Uni Riesen Leipzig as they had their huge run of the game and got right back at the throats of the Fraport Skyliners Juniors. Leipzig head coach Tuna Islar must of found the right words in the break as the club came out rejuvenated, fresh and focused and hammered a 15-3 run to suddenly be leading again 47-46. In the run, Leipzig finally started to hit shots on a consistent rate and also got production with until that juncture lukewarm Brandon Shingles and Magnus Heinrich. Scott was a beast inside scoring three times and Ahnsehl also scored from downtown. The one time sound and consistent offense of Frankfurt of the first quarter now was nonexistent as mistakes and turnovers was dominating their defense which allowed the opponent to retake the lead. There were four lead changes in the last few minutes, but at the end of the third quarter, it was Frankfurt that had the lead as they closed out the third with a 6-0 run on Oldenburg, Okeke and Nolte buckets leading 52-49 after 30 minutes. “Sascha Ahnsehl played his butt off. We gave more energy and effort in the third quarter. However I wasn´t as aggressive as I should have been. It wasn´t my day”, stressed Brandon Shingles. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 38% from the field and 21% from the parking lot while the Uni Riesen Leipzig were shooting 40% from the field and 36% from the parking lot. Frankfurt still had the rebounding lead 34-29 and 14 turnovers while Leipzig had 17 turnovers.
In the fourth quarter, the Fraport Skyliners kept their composure and focus of the last minute extending their 6-0 run of the end of the third to a 7-0 run to lead 59-49 and never looked back cruising home to victory. In the run, the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were sparked by Beuschlein with another timely three pointer, a steal and coast to coast sprint by Merz and another put back by Oldenburg that was set up by a another spectacular behind the back pass from Merz. Being down by 10 points doesn´t mean much and Leipzig knew that and kept chipping and clawing away into the lead and got some big buckets from Heinrich from downtown and Leutloff inside as they trailed only 62-56. However Frankfurt was just too strong and always had an answer when Leipzig was threatening as Schubert and Nolte hit back to back buckets to extend the Frankfurt lead to 66-57. Leipzig had one last gasp of air as Heinrich made a steal and coast to coast lay in cutting the Frankfurt lead to 66-60. However that was as close as Leipzig would get as Frankfurt closed out the game in style on a 13-6 run to win. Frankfurt continued to be unstoppable inside as Zeeb and Nolte scored and Okeke closed out the game with a three. “We made our run in the third, but overall they executed better and Merz led them to the win. We were unable to execute our defensive scheme, but I feel that we worked well as a team and need to continue to work hard and get better and I am sure it will happen”, warned Brandon Shingles. “We were mad after the third quarter. Key to winning the game was that we came back over our defense. We played good offense against their zone. We showed a positive energy tonight and did a good job staying together after being up 20, down by three and winning”, stressed Max Merz. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Tim Oldenburg with 18 points and 15 rebounds. Max Merz had 17 points and seven assists. Lukas Beuschlein added 11 points and Garai Zeeb and Marius Nolte had 10 points a piece. The Uni Riesen Leipzig were led by Sascha Leutloff with 18 points. Julian Scott had 15 points and 11 rebounds and Sascha Ahnsehl 13 points and Magnus Heinrich 10 points. Frankfurt shot 44% from the field and 25% from outside while the Uni Riesen Leipzig shot 41% and 31% from outside. Frankfurt won the rebound duel 44-36 and had 18 turnovers while Leipzig had 23 turnovers.
Chase Adams is a 26 year old 177cm point guard from Baltimore, Maryland who is playing for the Finke Baskets Paderborn (Germany-ProA) this season. He started his basketball career at Centenary (NCAA) in 2006 where he played three seasons and a total of 89 NCAA games. As a senior he moved to Pittsburgh (NCAA). He turned professional in 2011 and played briefly in the ABA and in the UBL before making Germany his home as he played for teams like Dortmund, Bochum, and Science City Jena. He spoke to German Hoops after a big win on the road in Hanau giving Paderborn a 2-1 record on the season.
Chase congrats on the 85-70 win in Hanau. The club is now 2-1 in a very strong Pro A league. Is this team more talented than what it looks like on paper?
Absolutely! I’m sure a lot of people weren’t expecting us to open the season like we did, and we certainly haven’t reached our full potential yet. Our coach is doing a tremendous job getting us in sync.
The Hebeisen White Wings Hanau came out smoking scoring 26 points in the first quarter, but Paderborn then buckled down holding them to 27 points combined in the second and third quarters. What adjustments did you make on defense?
We figured Hanau would come out Hot and aggressive after their first two games so it was important we kept our poise in composure. By simply containing the drives and playing solid on rotations we cut down on their open shots.
The Finke Baskets averaged 23 points in the last three quarters. It shows that you take a lot of pride in leading the team from the point guard position. Were you content with the overall offensive production of the team?
Everyone played their role; which is good basketball. We kept the ball moving and took advantage of their defensive mistakes/weaknesses. We kept it simple.
Was defense the biggest strength of the night? Paderborn kept the second consecutive opponent under 70 points?
Defense is always the top priority with this team. Everyone is attentive to the scouting report and taking pride in their individual assignments. Keeping a team to 70 points will for sure give us opportunity to win each time.
You and Morgan Grim carry the team, but how valuable was Ivan Buntic against Hanau who came up making some big shots?
This guy has worked so hard in the off season and it’s showing now. Not only is he finishing in crucial moments of the game, he is battling on the defensive end as well. It feels good to have an intelligent Big like Ivan.
Paderborn is on a good way with a 2-1 record and surely aren´t the most talented team in the league, but play with a lot of heart. Do you believe that teams are underestimating your team?
It’s still quite early to tell and I don’t want to assume anything. All I know is every game with us will be a fight because we aren’t backing down.
You scored 16 points in your first two games and 29 points tonight. Is that the Chase Adams the pro A will see this year or is there even more to come from your game as the season progresses?
As the floor general of this team my job is to lead, facilitate, set the tone defensively; and I plan on doing that by any means. You can expect me to be aggressive on both ends of the floor night in and night out.
You have played in Germany since 2010, but had misfortune along the way and only played 36 games. You showed your talent in the Regionaliga with Dortmund, but didn´t get a real chance in Jena and played only three games with Bochum in the pro B. How much of a struggle have the last years been and what helped you get through the whole time?
It’s been one big roller coaster ride but one thing that remained constant is my faith. Believing that I belonged and not stopping until someone noticed me. So I grinded and stayed ready for my next opportunity. My family supported me all the way through and that kept me motivated as well.
You sat out last season. After leaving Paderborn in pre season, how ironic was it coming back this season? Is your fire to perform and succeed the greatest its ever been in your career since you have that feel you need to perform well?
Such a Blessing to come back to this organization a year later. I must say the passion to perform is at an all time high and the pressure is turned all the way up, I love it. My journey has taught me so much and this is the perfect situation for me to be in.
You nailed six three pointers in Hanau. How important is your three point game and how do you balance it within your playmaking best?
Somewhere throughout my career I lost my shot apparently and I believe that’s been a knock on my game. The three point shot is now one of my best offensive weapons so I plan to look for it a lot more to keep the defense on their toes. This fits perfectly with my playmaking abilities because it makes the defense have to double and pressure more; now I can penetrate easier and get the ball out to our shooters.
Not counting your season at Dortmund you never averaged more than 4,5apg in a season. Do you feel that despite needing to score this season that you will be able to average 5-7 assists per game this season?
I will always set my guys up, get them going first. All they have to do is knock down the shots. It’s possible with our style of play for everyone to score, so 5-7apg is certainly a goal of mine.
You can do so much at the point guard position, but what do you feel is a strength in your game that often gets overlooked?
Just my ability to score and create. I’ve always had it but on many teams my role was to be the pass first-Defensive pit bull type player. That’s something I hope to put on display for this season.
What memories do you have of Josh Washington in your rookie season at Dortmund. How important was he in helping you get used to the ropes in Germany?
Josh Wash! Always smiling, fun personality, wise, and a 3pt assassin. I don’t think he ever got up extra shots. He got me started with everything from shopping at Netto to taking the train. So glad to have had him as a teammate.
In your season at Science City Jena you had very talented players, but also some very good young Germans with Johannes Voigtmann who now is a German national player and plays in the Beko BBL with the Fraport Skyliners. Did you know in the short time there that he could become a great player?
Yes. I used to give him a hard time about catching the ball of course but you could always sense his determination. Listened and worked hard in each practice against the other bigs, I knew his time would come.
You transfered to Pittsburgh(NCAA) as a senior and hardly played. Did you ever regret making this move after having a solid career at Centenary (NCAA)?
I don’t regret it at all. It wasn’t the best situation for me but it was a risk worth taking. I learned so much and got an experience of a lifetime. It was that type of experience that made me want to grind harder.
What do you remember was the most amazing thing that Brad Wanamaker did in a game or practice?
Everything Brad Wanamaker did/does is amazing. I admire him a lot having played him since HS, then playing with him in college and now returning MVP/Champ in the top league, he has a spectacular story. Honestly that’s not the most impressive thing about him; His character is his best attribute. Such a humble guy with a beautiful family.
What is the state of Lebron James in 2015? Will he ever be mentioned in the same breath as a Michael Jordan?
LeBron will still dominate and be the most imposing player; the question is will he win a title again. Let’s just say they are the greatest in their respective eras. I don’t think anyone can take that GOAT title from him.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Straight Out of Compton
Thanks Chase for the chat.