David Sturner is a 206cm power forward/center playing his first season in Germany for pro B team Dresden Titans and currently is averaging 11,4ppg and 6,4rpg. He started his basketball career with Orgeon State playing 13 NCAA games and then moved to S.Oregon (NAIA) and as a senior played 31 games: 14.6ppg, 9.2rpg, 1.2apg, 1.5bpg, FGP: 56.2%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 56.2%. He started his professional basketball career recently with the West Adelaide Bearcats (Australia-Central ABL) before coming to Germany. He spoke to German Hoops after the dramatic win in game one against BG Karlsruhe.
Congrats David on the 92-87 win against top ranked team BG Karlsruhe. How deep was the feeling of belief before and during the game that the Dresden Titans could win this game on enemy territory?
Thank you Miles. I think over the last few months we’ve had the mindset that no matter who we are facing on the court, we are going to win. We’ve gotten to the point where we play so well with each other that we are always capable of winning.
How does it feel all of a sudden to be the little darlings of the league together with the Giants Nordlingen?
I feel like the way we’ve played the second half of the season, that we are the team to beat. To be the darlings of the league is nice, but we would prefer to keep winning and be the champions.
Nordlingen does it with a very thin rotation and Dresden does it with a bigger rotation and team basketball. What do you think do these two teams share in approach to these type of games when your playing the top teams?
I’m not sure if we share anything in common with Nordlingen as far as approach goes. We like to push the ball and force our opponents into low percentage shots. They have a great team, but completely different style of play.
Dresden had a weak first quarter scoring 9 points and gave up 15 points. In the second quarter seemingly out of the blue, both teams scored 33 points. Did both teams defenses take a nap?
I’m pretty sure the score keeper took a nap there in the first half! I believe the correct score at the end of the 1st was 27-23, Karlsruhe. Both teams had a pretty solid start offensively.
After a tight fourth quarter where BG Karlsruhe had their nose slightly in front, it was guard Philipp Lieser that got Dresden the lead back at 73-71. How much volumes does the tip in from the German speak for the team just helping each other out at any time all over the court?
It says a lot about our team. That was a fast break play where we didn’t finish on a layup, but Phil was right there to rebound and put it back in. We play with so much energy and everybody is making an impact on the floor, whether it shows on the stat sheet or not. Lieser hustling to be there to finish the play was an example of our tenacity we had all night.
In the last few minutes, Dresden had the slight lead with big guard play with buckets from Lieser and Randall Holt. BG Karlsruhe never gave up tying the game on occasion, but won with four David Sturner free throws. What was key in the crunch time for ultimately getting this big win?
The key was being smart and staying aggressive. We had 3 games with Rostock that all came down to the end and we really struggled to finish those games out. I think they prepared us for this game, and coach had us working a lot on different end of the game situations all week. It obviously paid off and we were able to finish.
Dresden didn´t win the rebound duel against the talented BG Karlsruhe glass cleaning team, but still scrapped 53 rebounds and only had 7 turnovers. How important were these two facets of the stat sheet for the team success?
Rebounding was something we talked about all week and we knew they were going to be aggressive on the boards. They are a very strong and athletic team so we knew we had to force them to work hard on the glass. The turnovers helped balance out the offensive rebounds we gave up.
You had a monster game with 20 points and 14 rebounds. How key was having this big game now against the powerhouse BG Karlsruhe for heightening your self confidence and that of the team going into game two?
Thank you. I don’t think my game will effect anything going into game two. We always have confidence in each other and as our stats always show, anybody can have a big game, and we need everyone to contribute to help us win.
Your teammate Andrew Jones also has found a groove on offense in the last games. How important has it been for many guys stepping it up now even more in the post season?
Andrew’s been feeling himself again and showing that on the court. He’s been a huge spark coming off the bench. Like I said before, we need everyone to contribute. We have the deepest bench in the league and games like last night prove how important each and every player is.
How does it feel not being the team under pressure in game two as it is a do or die game for BG Karlsruhe. How will the Dresden Titans approach going into game two?
It’s a great feeling knowing we stole a game at their place and get to play in front of our home crowd to try and close out the series. We know that they will be bringing everything they have and we can’t ride the momentum. We have to get back to work this week and prepare like we do every game.
What things will the Dresden Titans need to do better in game two? Can Dresden afford to be abit more risky and key in more heavy on their key players just to wrap up the series now and not have to go back to Karlsruhe?
We need to box out and rebound better. That’s the bottom line. Karlsruhe is an excellent team, and they capitalize on our mistakes. We know we can score and force them to take tough shots, but if we give them too many opportunities, we will be in trouble.
The Golden State Warriors won a tight game against the Grizzlies coming back from 10 to win. They need to win their last two games against the Spurs and Grizzlies to have the best NBA record of all time. Seriously will the Spurs let this happen?
I think the Spurs will rest some of their starters since they have nothing riding in the game. I think the Grizzlies will be the team that Golden State may struggle with again. I predict they will get the record!
Where do you rank the exciting Villanova buzzer beater win in alltime NCAA final games?
For a championship game, that had to be the greatest finish in NCAA history. There are a few games in the tournament from years ago that I thought were just as good, but on that stage no game can compare.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Last night on the bus we watched an English movie dubbed in German. All I know was it had Samuel Jackson and was based in a prison. Maybe I’ll watch it in english next time.
Thanks David for the chat.