Dru Joyce is a 25 year old 183cm point guard from Akron, Ohio that is playing his first season for TBB Trier. He played at St Marys high school with Lebron James and Romeo Travis winning three state championships and compiling a 103-5 record. He played at Akron(NCAA) from 2003-2007. In his senior year, he played 33 games averaging 10.0ppg, 2.4rpg, 4.3apg, FGP: 41.3%, 3Pts: 39.6%, FT: 65.6%. In 2007-2008, he played for Ratiopharm Ulm playing 34 games averaging 9.5ppg, 2.0rpg, Assists-2(4.4apg), 2FGP: 48.5%, 3PT: 32.6%, FT: 72.8%. In 2008-2009, he played his second season in Ulm and played 34 games averaging 10.1ppg, 1.8rpg, Assists-2(4.5apg), FGP: 42.8%, 3PT: 34.8%, FT: 73.0%. Last season, he played for Energa Czarni Slupsk (Poland-PLK, starting five), Polish League: 6 games: 4.5ppg, 1.5rpg, 3.0apg; in Nov.’09 moved to Anwil Wloclawek (Poland-PLK): 27 games: 7.5ppg, 1.6rpg, 3.4apg, FGP: 41.0%, 3PT: 39.1%, FT: 75.9%.. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
What is it like playing against John Goldsberry? He doesn´t score much, but does everything as a point guard. Where would you rate him in the BEKO BBL?
He is one of the top point guards in the league. He is one of the best because he is leading the team to wins. Bamberg doesn’t need him to score. He sets the table for the team.
You are back in the BEKO BBL after playing a season in Poland. How exciting is it playing in the league and is it even tighter than when you were in Ulm?
I am excited to be back in the BEKO BBL. I feel very comfortable playing in this league. The teams from 4-14 have pretty much the same record. Each team is competiting very hard and you cant ever take a night off. Even when you play against bad teams, it is never an automatic win.
What was the main reason for coming to TBB Trier?
Trier showed the most interest in me. Trier struggled last season and they want to be competitive again this year. Coach Rodl wants me to blossom and lead Trier into the playoffs.
How much American blood is in coach Henrik Rodl who won the 1993 NCAA title with North Carolina?
I don’t know how much American blood he has, but coach Rodl knows much about basketball and world affairs. He bleeds Tar Heels until the end. He played for legendary coach Dean Smith and worked with coaches from the east block. He brings pieces from all these experiences that he has had playing and coaching.
Can TBB Trier be a playoff team?
We can be a playoff team. We believe in our abilities, work hard and never give up. If we can continue to play well, we hope to be around the playoff places and if possible separate us a bit from the non playoff places.
Many talk about young Germans Robin Benzing, Per Gunther, Tibor Pleiss and Elias Harris, but Phillip Zwiener often gets forgotten. Can he get better and will he return to the German national team?
Phil never had a real chance in Berlin, because there were so many talented players there. He is a good player and is proving it now with TBB Trier. If he keeps working then he will improve. I am sure his goal is to return back to the German national team.
How is it different leading TBB Trier than it was Ratiopharm Ulm?
It is not that much different now. My first two years in Ulm, I was at the start of my career. Now I am older, more improved and feel more comfortable on the court. We have a young team in Trier and we want to find a chemistry and just keep improving and listen to each other.
What is a strength in your game that doesn´t always get noticed right away?
I am not really sure. My game is pretty basic. I go out and try to be a good leader. I know that I am a pretty good play maker that likes to create and finish. Key for my game also to play good defense.
What do you still need to improve in your game?
I would like to improve everywhere in my game. I need to improve my on ball defense and I could be more efficient on the court. I want to be a player that doesn´t just miss shots, but is able to hit consistently from outside, the free throw line and in the paint.
Recently you beat Ratiopharm Ulm. What did coach Mike Taylor tell you that stayed in your memory?
We spoke before the game and didn´t really talk about basketball. We were more concerned what was happening off the court and about family life. He told me that he was proud of my success and I told him he was doing a good job. There are so many players always coming and going from Ulm, but he always finds a way to win. He just loves the game of basketball.
You played last season for Energa Czarni Slupsk and Anwil Wloclawek. What was the most important thing that you learned in Poland?
I played for two very good coaches. One was from Latvia and the other was from Belarius. It was a new situation for me since I had always played for American coaches. They both had different styles. I had some ups and downs in Poland, but I learned to always keep fighting when I was going through a rough time. You always have to be ready when called upon.
Who won a one on one in practice in Poland? You or American Alex Harris?
We didn´t really play so much one on one games. We did a lot of shooting drills. I won about 60% of our games.
Harris is a pretty good shooter.
Yes he is, but so am I.
Of course you are, but I think for you your playmaking is most important. Harris is a shooting guard.
Yes he is a shooting guard. I do like to make plays instead of hanging out on the wing and running around screens and shooting.
Lebron James, Romeo Travis and you won three Ohio state titles with St Marys. If all three of you would play together again today, would anything change in your playing style?
All three of us are improved now. We always play together in the summer. Our chemistry is unmatched. We still work together very well despite not having played on the same team since years. If you put Lebron on the court with four other players, he will make them good anyway.
How often have you see the DVD “More than a game”?
I have not seen it as much as people might think. I have seen it 5 times. My memory of the DVD is very good. I remember all the events and am able to bring it up in m yown mind. Whenever I watch the DVD, it brings emotions and I like to make some popcorn and watch it.
When you watch “More than a game” what do you miss the most from this time?
I miss just being on the same team with those guys. It was the time of my life. I don’t really want to go back to this time, but I am always thinking about it. I feel very blessed to have had this experience.
What are your nicest memories from your time with Ratiopharm Ulm?
Both seasons were great, but I really have nice memories of the second season. We had great guys. Per Gunther was a great friend and still is today. We were not expected to win, but we reached the playoffs. The fans were great also.
Who wins a one on one, you or John Bynum?
We don’t do one on one after practice. We compete against each other in practice each day. We really make each other work hard each day. John has a few inches on me so I try not to let him get inside and try to keep him on the perimeter. I try to use my quickness to beat him.
Will the Miami Heat and Lebron James win the 2011 NBA title?
I would love to see it happen, but they still need to improve. I think that they will get better and will be in the hunt.
What is your fondest basketball memory of Lebron James?
There is footage of Lebron scoring 50 points for ST Marys. It made the rough copy of the DVD “More than a game”, but not the final copy. We were playing in New Jersey and Lebron scored 50 + points including a 10-0 run where he scored with 3 consecutive dunks including a tip and lob dunk. I fed him for one of his dunks.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
I watched the movie “The Town” with Ben Affleck. The movie I think is about where you come from?
Yes it is set in Boston.
It was a good movie about bank heists.
Thanks Dru for the chat.