Dashaun Wood (Alba Berlin): I Can Focus More On Defense Now

DaShaun Wood is a 26 year old 185cm point guard from Detroit, Michigan that is playing his second season in Germany for Alba Berlin. He is a young point guard with natural leadership abilities, who directs teammates on the floor and takes the ball in clutch moments. Loves to go inside to score, challenging the big guys, but has also shooting range from behind the 3pts arch. Despite lack of size, he can be effective even at the defensive side. He played at Wright state from 2003-2007. In his senior year, he played 33 games averaging 19.6ppg, 5.1rpg, 4.0apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 43.5%, 3Pts: 37.3%, FT: 88.3%. In 2007-2008, he played his rookie season for Tisettanta Cantu (Italy-SerieA, starting five): 38 games: Score-5(16.9ppg), 3.0rpg, Assists-4(3.3apg), 2.7spg, 2FGP:52.1%, 3PT-2(42.8%), FT:77.4%. In 2008-2009, he played for : Benetton Treviso (Italy-SerieA), injured in Oct.’08 and was off for 2 months: Eurocup: 12 games: 5.3ppg, 2.0rpg, 3.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 40.0%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 87.5%; Italian League: 17 games: 7.2ppg, 2.9rpg, 3.2apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 43.1%, 3PT: 35.6%, FT: 70.4%. Last season, he was the Beko BBL MVP with The Deutsche Bank Skyliners playing EuroCup Qualifying Round: 2 games: 13.5ppg, 2.5rpg, 5.0apg; EuroChallenge: 6 games: 16.3ppg, 3.8rpg, 5.2apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 46.9%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 73.7%; German League: 42 games: Score-1(19.0ppg), 4.6rpg, Assists-2(5.9apg), 1.2spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 33.2%, FT: 80.3%. He spoke to German Hoops about the current season with Alba Berlin.

What was it like playing against former NBA player Bobby Brown? Had you played him back in the NCAA?

Bobby Brown and me are about the same age. As a senior we played against each other and we won by 15 points. We also played against each other at NBA camps where we went at it 1-1 and had shooting drills. We have known each other for a while.

You are playing your first season with Alba Berlin. How well have you adapted to your surroundings?

Berlin is a very big city and reminds me of New York. There are many people, excitements and many stores and we live right in the middle of the city. It is a great experience and I really like it a lot. However there is still a lot that I want to see.

How much does the Palace at Auburn Hills remind you of the O2 arena?

It reminds me  a lot of the Palace. Playing for Alba Berlin is My NBA experience. I love the arena and fans very much.

Why did Alba Berlin get off to a slow start losing two of its first three games?

The reason we got off to a slow start was because we had many new players that wasn´t used to the defensive system of Gordon Herbert. It took a while for the new guys to understand what was to be done. The two loses early, we had double digit leads, but still lost the games which really hurt. We learned from these loses and now the difference and key to our success is that we play as a team on defense while other teams rely more on individual good defensive players.

Last season with The Deutsche Bank Skyliners you had to do a lot, but now you don’t with Alba Berlin since there are so many guys that can score. How are you getting used to your new role?

It really isn´t difficult to get used to my new role. You have seen how difficult it can be for guys like Justin Gray and Bobby Brown to carry their teams for 40 minutes. With Alba Berlin, there are so many guys that can carry the load. In the win to Oldenburg, I scored 14 points in the first quarter and finished with 16 points. We have enough guys who can score and teams can´t focus stopping  only a Wood, but everyone else.

You don’t have to focus on scoring and getting assists for Alba Berlin to win like you had to last season with Frankfurt. On what other things can you focus on now?

I can focus more on defense now. I think a reason for our success has to do with the extra energy that I can give on defense. With the added energy, I am able to get out on transition which leads to quick baskets. I am focusing more energy for defense than offense.

What things can a Dashaun Wood still improve on?

I think that I can always get better on defense. I am working hard on defense, but the Beko BBL has many good point guards like Jared Jordan, David Holston or Bobby Brown so it is always a challenge to slow them down.

Has your relationship gotten stronger to Gordon Herbert this year?

No, the relationship is still the same. We are both very focused and just want to always win. We just want to do the best for the team and we will continue to work as hard as we always have.

Alba Berlin has a very potent point guard duo with you and Heiko Schaffartzik. How do you get along with this tough competitor?

I have a good relationship with Heiko. He is a very strong competitor. We always compete hard against each other in practice. We make each other better, but I think that we also play very well together on the court. I think that he is like a Pascal Roller in that he makes the team a lot better when he gets on the court. I have learned a lot from him.

Heiko Schaffartzik is known to hit bombs from all over the court. Have you seen him make a trick shot from 20 rows up?

I haven´t seen him hit one from 20 rows back, but whenever I am guarding him in practice, he is able to make crazy shots. Sometimes he will make  a crazy fade away jumper falling back in the corner.

How much will a Kyle Weaver amaze the Beko BBL?

He already has. He is a very talented player that can shoot and pass very well. He has helped make the league a lot better.

Derrick Allen is known as being one of the hardest working players in the league. What else has really impressed you by the play and person Derrick Allen?

Besides being a very hard worker, he is a great person. He is always trying to help the young guys on the team. He is always trying to give good advice. He is a leader on and off the court and is the type of guy that you always want around you.

Was your trip back to Frankfurt recently very emotional for you?

Yes it was. I have great memories of my time there. I met great people and the fans were great also. The organization gave me a chance and I was very happy to be back.

Who wins a one on one game you or Heiko Schaffartzik?

I would win. If we played 10 games, we would exit the 10th games like two tired boxers after a 12 round bout. But Heiko is a great competitor and they would all be great games.

Recently Alba Berlin visited a ice hockey game of the Berlin Eisbaeren. What kind of a figure would Dashaun Wood make on the ice?

I would look so amazing. There is so much speed in ice hockey. You would see me going up and down the ice with speed. I know how to skate. Whenever I am home in Detroit in the winter, I go ice skating.

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?

Just Right.

Thanks Dashaun for the chat.

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