Jeff Xavier (medi Bayreuth) We Can Play With The Best Teams In The League When We Play Hard On Defense For 40 Minutes

Jeff Xavier is a 29 year old 189cm point guard from Pawtucket, Rhode Island that is playing his seventh professional season and first in Germany with medi Bayreuth after playing his first six years as a professional in Spain. He started his basketball career at Manhattan (NCAA) in 2004 where he played until 2006 playing a total of 60 NCAA games. He then moved to Providence (NCAA) in 2007 where he played his last two seasons of college ball playing a total of 64 NCAA games and as a senior played 33 games averaging 9.3ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.9apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 35.6%, 3Pts: 29.1%, FT: 80.0%. In 2009 he started his professional basketball career with Leche Rio Breogan Lugo (Spain-LEB Gold) playing 38 games and averaging 12.9ppg, 2.7rpg, 1.5apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 41.5%, 3PT: 37.1%, FT: 76.8%. In the 2010-2011 season he played for Caceres 2016 C.B. (Spain-LEB Gold) playing 38 games averaging 9.7ppg, 2.6rpg, 1.4apg, Steals-5(1.6spg), FGP: 46.4%, 3PT: 32.0%, FT: 69.6%. In the 2011-2012 season he played for Faymasa Palencia Baloncesto (Spain-LEB Gold) playing 32 games averaging 13.8ppg, 2.7rpg, 1.3apg, Steals-3(2.0spg), FGP: 44.3%, 3PT: 34.7%, FT: 76.7%. He played the last three seasons for Autocid Ford Burgos where he was twice LEB Gold champion. He spoke to German Hoops after the big 82-69 home win against the Fraport Skyliners.

Congrats on the big 82-69 win against the Fraport Skyliners. Do you think that you could be getting an even better Christmas present on the 25th than getting this win against Frankfurt?

Thank you very much. It was a huge game for us and for our fans and I am glad we could give our fans a great game to watch and a present from to them.

After having lost the last three games in a row and giving respect to the wins against Giessen and Bonn, is this win against Frankfurt which was recently the hottest team in the league the biggest win of the season?

I think it for sure was the biggest win for us so far this year. We showed that we can play with the best teams in the league when we play hard on defense for 40 minutes. We need to be consistently hardnosed on defense.

Medi Bayreuth outscored Frankfurt 53-29 in the second and fourth quarters. Did the team play good basketball for more than 20 minutes?

Our goal for every game is to play our hardest for 40 minutes and against Frankfurt I think we played hard the whole game and didn’t give up any easy buckets.

Usually it is Frankfurt that buckles down and has that extra something in the fourth quarter when teams are already tired despite them having a thin rotation. How do you explain the incredible 28 point outburst in the fourth quarter?

We wanted to show them that we are here to play harder than them and we want this game more than them! Any team can play hard for 20 minutes but the team that plays the hardest all 40 minutes is the team that most likely will win and in the fourth quarter we came out even harder than the first three quarters.

Frankfurt played primarily with a 6 man rotation. Did you sense that they were tired at the end?

They seemed a little tired at the end but they still played really hard and we just played harder and with more toughness.

It was the Jeff Xavier and John Flowers show in the fourth quarter as you drilled home four three pointers and Flowers dropped two three pointers. Was that the best quarter of shooting that you have had this season?

I think it was actually, I just look forward to consistently do that for this team and get some wins!

After missing almost 6 weeks how good was it to not only get the big win, but to have such a good individual game after the tough loss in Crailsheim where you had only 5 points

It felt amazing! I am just trying to get my legs back from being all that time and I worked extra on my legs on my own going to the work or gym after our night practices to get my legs back. And I think all the hard work I put in is paying off. The last practice before our game I knew my legs were back and I went in the game very confident.

You have had some good games with medi Bayreuth, but I am sure that you aren´t totally satisfied, but do you see yourself heightening your game even more down the stretch and upping your scoring even on a team with other very strong scorers?

There is always room for improvement and I am always trying to better myself in any way I can. More important than scoring is to get great team wins so I am trying to do anything coach asks me to do to get wins.

After playing in the Spanish Leb Gold for 6 years what is your impression of the Beko BBL after 3 months. What has impressed you most about the league and what have you enjoyed most about the league?

It is much much different! But I love this type of game more because it’s more up and down and run and gun type of game here and I love that! The atmosphere every game is amazing as well! I love this league.

How proud were you of the team defensive effort. This was the third least points that the team gave up this season after Bonn and Giessen. What was the biggest strength on defense that was consistent for 40 minutes?

When we play that type of defense, we always have a chance of winning. I am very proud of the guys and how hard we played. Just have to play like that every game!

How important has the pick up of John Flowers been? What new dimension does he give that wasn´t present before?

It was huge for us. When Travis went down with an injury, we had to pick up another player and when I knew it was him I was immediately excited because I know what kind assets he can bring to this team and he is fitting in well with us!

Johannes Voigtmann led the Fraport Skyliners with 22 points, had seven rebounds and five assists. Where do you rank him at the moment at the center position in the Beko BBL?

From what I seen from him. He is for sure the best center in the league and he is very young. He has a ton of potential and he is very skilled! I love his game.

Medi Bayreuth had a good balance scoring well on offense and giving a great defensive effort. How much self confidence does the team have going into the Bavarian derby against the Brose Baskets Bamberg?

After a big win like that against Frankfurt, it gives a huge confidence boost but that won’t help us win the game. We just have to go in there from minute 1 and show them that we are here to play!

What was your fondest childhood memory of Christmas as a kid?

I don’t really have any great memories of Christmas as a kid but I mean it was always nice to be with family and spend time with them. Me not being home with them is very tough now so it makes me think about when I was a kid and how I was with my family.

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?

Home alone! Haha. It’s Christmas so I always watch home alone around this time.

 

Thanks Jeff for the chat.

 

 

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