Keith Simmons is a 26 year old 196cm guard from Kingston, New York that is playing his fifth professional basketball season and fourth in Turkey. He played at Holy Cross (NCAA) from 2003-2007. In his senior year, he played 34 games: 16.9ppg, 5.8rpg, 1.9apg, 2.3spg, FGP: 49.7%, 3Pts: 34.9%, FT: 76.7%. In 2007-2008, he played for Kepez Bld Antalya (Turkey-TBL, starting five): 30 games: 16.2ppg, 5.7rpg, 2.1apg, 1.2spg, 2FGP: 56.8%, 3PT: 35.7%, FT: 73.5%. In 2008-2009, he played for the Deutsche Bank Skyliners Frankfurt (Germany-1.Bundesliga, starting five), injured in Oct.’08 and was off for 1 month: EuroChallenge: 8 games: 8.6ppg, 3.5rpg, 1.5apg; German League: 33 games: 11.3ppg, 4.4rpg, 1.4apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 59.6%, 3PT: 35.5%, FT: 74.1%. He has played for Banvit Basketbol Kulubu (Turkey-TBL) since 2009. Last season, he played EuroCup: 5 games: 10.0ppg, 3.4rpg, 1.6spg, FGP: 58.6%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 87.5%; Turkish League: 38 games: 10.4ppg, 5.1rpg, 1.8apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 54.4%, 3PT: 37.7%, FT: 76.4%. He spoke to German Hoops after the 73-72 win against the Fraport Skyliners in Eurocup play.
Congrats on the 73-72 win against the Fraport Skyliners in Eurocup play. How did you like their new uniforms?
They were nice uniforms. It is nice them having the Airport the hub of travel as their sponsor. Deutsche Bank was a great sponsor, but the new one is a good one also.
After a five game losing streak in the Beko BBL, The Fraport Skyliners came out focused and were only trailing 39-34 at halftime. What was giving Banvit the biggest problems in the first 20 minutes?
Frankfurt hit many tough shots. I think they hit 7-8 shots in the game with the buzzer sounding or very near to it. Mckinney and Davidson hit tough shots and were hard to stop at times.
What did Banvit want to do better in the second half?
We wanted to defend better and cut down on our turnovers. We didn´t do a good job running down loose balls and getting deflections in the first half. Frankfurt did a good job taking advantage of our mistakes.
The fourth quarter was exciting. Lance Williams missed one of two free throws and Frankfurt had one last possession where Jimmy Mckinney had the chance to win the game. Describe the last play?
On the last play I was defending Jimmy Mckinney. I had also been defending Quantez Robertson. On the last play, I tried to jump as high as I could to contest the shot as best I could. Jimmy had hit some tough shots on me the whole night. His shot was close, but a little short. Wewere lucky that he missed.
What comforting words did you have for Jimmy Mckinney?
We spoke before the game for a while. We wished each other the bets of luck and that we stay healthy. It was good to see Jimmy again. We hugged it out and will see us in Frankfurt in the return game.
What was it like playing against Quantez Robertson. Where would you rate his athleticism?
Robertson is very athletic. He is one of the most athletic players that I have ever played against. I thought that he was taller than what he was, but he made up for it with his explosiveness. You just have to try to stay in front of him.
What was your impression of Michael Thompson? He finished with six points, six rebounds and six assists in 39 minutes. He was thrust into the starting rotation because of the absence of Jon leuer.
He really stepped it up. He didn´t score much, but he distributed the ball very well. I thought that he did a good job controlling the game. Even when we were up by 7-8 points, he controlled the tempo well. He did an ok job against us.
What was your overall impression of The Fraport Skyliners?
They can be pretty tough as a team. They showed some resilience against us. We made many runs, but they never gave up and kept fighting. Mckinney and Davidson stepped it up for them with their two key players being out. I think that Frankfurt can be very tough if they can put it together with Gray and Leuer. From their stats and record, they haven´t been able to play to their potential, but I think that once they find their chemistry, then they can play well.
What did you learn from the 73-72 win?
We learned that you have to play until the end of each shot clock buzzer, quarter buzzer and final buzzer. They made many tough shots and we gave up too many offensive rebounds. We have to stay focused on each single possession. If we can learn to do that more then I think that we can be successful in the Eurocup.
Thanks Keith for the post game chat.