Marcellus Barksdale is a 24 year old 196cm guard from Lexington, Kentucky that recently completed his first professional season in Germany with TG s.Oliver Wuerzburg (Germany-ProB) averaging 17,0ppg, 6,0rpg and 3,3apg.He played at IUPUI (NCAA) form 2011-2016 playing a total of 131 NCAA games. As a senior he played 31 games averaging 8.7ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.6apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 28.1%, FT: 73.1%. He spoke to German Hoops after the conclusion of the season.
Marcellus thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and what were your foremost basketball thoughts today?
I’m currently back in my hometown of Lexington, Kentucky. Honestly, I’ve tried to free my mind from basketball this past week to give my mind and body a chance to rest.
You and TG Wurzburg gave it a great fight, but came up short in a do or die game against the ScanPlus baskets. How disappointed were you of ending the season like this?
It’s never a good feeling after taking a loss, especially a season ending loss. Initially, I was disappointed but looking back on things, my teammates and I were able to come together and we had a special season.
You told me our last interview in January that the team had had the potential to defensively lock team down. In the three game series against the ScanPlus Baskets you allowed 80 points as a team which was also the season average. Was the opponent in the long run just too good offensively to have achieved this goal?
ScanPlus is a very talented team. I felt we were able to set the tone defensiviely in game two, which led us to a win. Ultimately, they made some huge shots in game three. That was the difference.
After giving up 46 turnovers in the first two games, you did a better job as a team taking care of the ball coughing up the ball only 12 times in game three, but got slaughtered on the boards 44-24. Was the boards which ultimately cost you game three?
Rebounding was a huge issue for us in game three.
German Filmore Beck made his presence in game two and three combining for 38 points. You did a better job as a team limiting Taevaunn Prince in game two and three. Did the ScanPlus Baskets just have too many offensive weapons to contain in a three game series?
Beck got hot and made some big shots. It really just came down to home court advantage. Teams generally shoot better at home than on the road.
You filled up the stat sheet nicely scoring 14, 27 and 10 points. Were you in general happy with your outpts or do you feel like you could have done even more in game two and three on the scoring end to help your team get over the hump better?
I really felt that if I would have had a better offensive performance in game three we would have been in a position to win the game and series.
Do you feel as if you would have had the services of American Vincent Sanford that you would have got past the ScanPlus Baskets?
Honestly, I’m not sure. I feel we had enough talent to beat them in a series with the team that played.
You played your rookie season in Germany with TG Wurzburg. What is your summary from the standpoint of the team play. Do you feel like the club reached it´s potential or could it have achieved more?
We overachieved this season. I don’t think most people believed we would even make the playoffs, let alone upset a powerhouse in the first round. My team overcame a huge amount of adversity this season. Our resilience is ultimately what led to our success.
You played with many very talented players that also have BBL licenses. Which German player do you feel improved the most from day one when you arrived to the game three loss against the ScanPlus Baskets?
I think Marvin Heckel improved the most. He struggled early on in the season but was really able to help lead us from the point guard position. All of the dual license German players are very talented. It will be interesting to see their successes over the next few years.
You averaged 17,0ppg, 6,0rpg, 3,3apg and 2,9spg. You told me in our last interview three months ago that your goal was to “ to be the hardest worker on the floor and to set an example for my teammates at all times. All of these goals are completely intangible and things I have control over every game. I feel if I’m able to do these to the best of my ability every night, wins will follow”. Do you feel as though you achieved this as a rookie in Germany?
Yes. I can look back on my season and confidently say that I worked hard every day, led my team on and off the court, and the wins did begin to follow. It was a great rookie season for me.
When you look back at the season is it tough not thinking that you were unable to duplicate your incredible all around series against Artland where you scored 43 points and averaged 28ppg against the ScanPlus Baskets?
Of course it’s tough. I’m a competitor and want to win every game and play my best. Unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned.
What was your season highlight, the amazing do or die win at Artland where you scored 23 points or the exciting 87-85 win against Lich where you scored 32 points?
My season highlight was hearing that final buzzer sound after game three in Artland. It was a great feeling knowing that we had upset one of the best teams in Pro B on the road and without one of our best players. I don’t think anyone outside of the people in our locker room thought we could win the series.
You have been around 27% from outside the last three years. Is this one of the aspects in your game that you will be focusing on this summer to improve on?
Shooting is always a focus for me. I do feel the percentages are misleading sometimes. I’m a much better shooter than 27% and am confident in my shooting ability.
What is the next step for Marcellus Barksdale? I am sure Gerrit at Scorers First will do his best to get you placed at the best level and team. Where could you imagine playing next season? Would Germany be your favorite option and could you see yourself being an impact player in the German Pro A?
Germany is an amazing place and I enjoyed my time there but I have no preference as to where I play next season. I’m open to anything. I am just hoping to find a solid fit for me with an opportunity to contribute at a high level and make some good money while doing it. I do feel as if I could have an immediate impact in German Pro A. Practicing with the BBL guys really showed me that I am good enough right now to play at a high level.
What place would you like to visit this summer where you have never been to?
I’m actually just looking forward to spending time with my family this summer. No huge travel plans yet.
Now that March Madness is history, what sports do you concentrate on watching in the next months when you aren´t in the gym or traveling?
I’m a huge NBA fan so I will be watching the NBA Playoffs.
How special was the run of South Carolina at the 2017 NCAA tournament? Do you feel like this was the story of March Madness 2017`?
South Carolina had a special season. Frank Martin was really able to show a perfect example of the impact a great head coach can have on young players. They really seemed like a family.
Is Lonzo Ball the real thing? Do you feel like he will be able to develop further despite the antics of his father on social media?
Lonzo Ball is very talented. I don’t feel like his father will bother him—he’s been doing it his entire life.
There has been criticism of Russell Westbrook to be focusing more on rebounding to help inflate his stats and possibilities of getting triple doubles instead of focusing on his defensive assignments. Do you feel that this is a fair assessment to the player Russell Westbrook?
I believe it’s a horrible assessment. Westbrook is one of the hardest working players in the NBA. He is always in attack mode on both ends of the floor and when he gets triple doubles his team usually wins.
Is Russell Westbrook the 2017 MVP or should James Harden coupled with his better record give him the nod?
In my opinion, Westbrook is the MVP. Both have had historical seasons but I feel Westbrook has done it with minimal help. Most people didn’t even have the Thunder making the playoffs this year.
Thanks Marcellus for the chat.