Robin Benzing is a 21 year old 208cm forward from Seeheim-Jugenheim playing his first season with Ratiopharm Ulm. He played with TV Langen from 2004-2009. In the 2008-2009 PRO A season, he played 25 games: Score-4(18.7ppg), 4.4rpg, 1.1apg, 1.0spg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 52.4%, 3PT: 31.8%, FT: 80.1%. Robin belongs to the German class of Basketball players (the Nowitzki style). He is a big forward who can play in both positions as he has the size and the shooting skills too. His game looks like his country-mate Jan Jagla, he is a bit lighter than the German international, and is playing mostly within the wing. He is amazingly a good ball handler for his size and he can attack the basket going both ways. Even though is nearly a 7footer he doesn’t have the strength to post up his opponents while he does prefer to play mostly on the parameter. He spoke to German Hoops at the end of the season.
NBA Scouts from the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers watched you play in Oldenburg. Were you able to block this out?
It was not difficult for me to play in front of the NBA scouts. There have been scouts at practice this season in Ulm and I am able to block this all out. I just concentrate on the game.
How happy were you with your performance in Oldenburg (12 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists in 41 minutes)?
I thought the game was ok, I played well in the first half and disappeared in the second half.
Your coach Mike Taylor and the NBA scouts seemed impressed by the block on Rickey Paulding.
Paulding came out, was on the 3 point line and I came over and blocked him. It was a good one.
Was playing in front of the NBA scouts as important as one of the European Championship games last year?
The games at the European Championship were more important but playing against the defending champion Oldenburg was also an important game.
Recently you announced that you are coming out into the 2010 NBA draft. Was this a difficult decision for you?
No, not really. I spoke with my agent Marco Pesic and we decided to do it and now we will just have to see what happens.
What other people helped you with your decision?
I spoke to my family about it, to my coach Mike Taylor and other people. It was important to me to talk to a lot of people and get a lot of feedback.
What will a Robin Benzing be able to do in the NBA one day?
Well, at the moment I am just concentrating on finishing the season in Ulm and then we will see what happens. I would like to bring a fresh wind into the NBA.
You’re playing your first season in Ulm, how do you like it?
Ulm is very nice, I thought I had a pretty good season, but it is too bad we did not reach the playoffs. I like the city of Ulm very much.
Ulm finished this season in 13th place, how happy are you with this season?
We had a young team and it was difficult coming together quickly at the start with two games per week. We had an up and down season and I would have liked to reach the playoffs.
Ratiopharm Ulm beat teams like Bamberg, BG Goettingen, Oldenburg and Bremerhaven. Why was the team not able to be more consistent during the season?
We showed we could beat the top teams but we were not consistent enough in the second half of the season. Our biggest problem was just our lack of experience.
Coach Mike Taylor is a big supporter of you. What was the most important thing you learned from him?
He showed me so much this season, he always motivated me and gave me confidence. Even when I made mistakes, I always got a new chance.
How difficult was it for you being Germany’s Next Top Basketball Talent after Dirk Nowitzki, how important was it for you to bring good performances every week?
I did not pressure myself and it really was not so difficult. The most important thing for me was to concentrate on basketball and have fun on the court.
How happy were you with your overall play this season?
Overall, I am pretty happy with my stats this season. My shooting and rebounding can get better and my field goal percentage was not that great either but I can improve on that.
It is no secret that your lacking physical strength, how are you trying to get stronger?
I want to get stronger but not too strong so I do not loose my quickness. I want to be at a 105 kg.
How did you improve your defense this season?
It was not easy because I often had to defend the 3 position players like Rickey Paulding and Julius Jenkins. I always had to be awake and not be sleeping over the screens. I think I improved a bit.
What was your nicest experience this season in Ulm?
The nicest experience was just being on the team and having fun but also even moments like the double overtime in Oldenburg was a special moment.
What was your nicest memory at the European championship 2009?
My 3 pointer against Russia (Check the video!) and playing against Greece.
Who was the best player you played against at the EM 2009?
There were so many super players that I played against. I learned so much playing against guys like Parker and Turiaf from France or Spanoulis.
What is your feeling for the World Championship 2010 in Turkey and will Nowitzki and Kaman play?
I do not know if the 2 NBA players will play. I have a good feeling for our chances because we are a young team and we showed last summer that we can play at the EM in Poland.
Who wins a one on one in practise, you or Christian Burns?
Burns is hard to defend because he is very athletic. On a good day, I can win or on a good day he can win. I would beat him with my 3 pointers and pump fakes.
What were the most freethrows that you scored in a row in practise?
Who will win the East and West in the NBA and the title?
I like the Cavs in the East and the Lakers in the West. The Cavs will win it all.
How disappointed were you about TV Langen going to the Pro B?
It is a pity, I still have good contact to Jogi Barth. TV Langen was always a team that focussed on playing young German players. The Pro A and Pro B should have more organizations like TV Langen.
Can the Deutsche Bank Skyliners go places in the playoffs with the new coach Gordie Herbert?
Yes, they can, they are a good team.
What was the last DVD/movie you saw?
Blind Side with Sandra Bullock.
Thanks, Robin, for the chat.