Steven Bennett is a 25 year old 173cm point guard from Los Angeles that is playing his second professional basketball season with the Giessen 46ers. Last season he played for the Spot Up Medium Baskets Braunschweig. With Braunschweig he played 10 games averaging 22.7ppg, 4.1rpg, 5.1apg, 2.4spg, 2FGP: 57.5%, 3FGP: 34.2%, FT: 76.6% He is one of the few special players that has a tenacity and will to win that is unmatched; it is impossible to judge him based upon height alone because he can compete with anyone in the world. He has proven this in the Maui Invitational division I tournament in 2010, and was recognized as one of the top players (All-Maui Award) from a field of other top US point guards such as Kemba Walker, Kailin Lucas and Brandon Knight. Bennett is known for his great court vision and passing ability, and is able to get in the lane at will and finish against anyone with either left or right hand. Every team bases their defensive strategy around Bennett and is forced to take create his own shot and take his three point shots off the dribble. He is an excellent shooter, but wants to continue to improve his already respectable 40% three point percentage. Steven is known for having excellent leadership skills, and is highly respected by all of his peers and coaches. He played at Citrus JC (JUCO) from 2007-2009 and then played at Chaminade (NCAA2). Last summer he also found experience playing for the Rockingham Flames (Australia-SBL) He played three games with 2013 NBA draft pick Dennis Schroeder last season in the Pro B. He spoke to German Hoops after the 75-42 loss against the Fraport Skyliners in a test game.
Steven thanks again for talking to German Hoops. A tough 75-42 loss to the Fraport Skyliners. The other day you did beat Gotha with only six players. How tough has the early stages of pre season been with the limited players?
It has been very tough because we have been missing many players. I rode my ankle in practice and sat out the game against Gotha. Coach Wucherer gave me the green light today. When your competing your adrenaline is going and you forget the pain, but now after the game my ankle is killing me.
The Fraport Skyliners dominated the game from the get go. Why were the Giessen 46ers unable to get into a rhythm?
We never got our offense going and didn´t communicate well either. Our biggest problem is adjusting when the tough gets going, but we have enough time to work on this in preseason.
The Fraport Skyliners allowed only 42 points. It seemed at times that they knew exactly where the ball was going.
Frankfurt read our plays very well. We only had a few plays not having our full offense and they caught on quickly. They switched very well which gave us big problems. Our execution and how we chose our options led them to a big lead early.
In the third quarter, German Joshiko Saibu took control of the Giessen game. How important was his play?
His play carried us at the start. He had foul problems in the first half. Coach wanted us to show more effort and Saibu was more aggressive on the court.
After Frankfurt opened up the first quarter with a 6-0 run, Wucherer inserted you and you prompt changed the game getting Giessen on a 6-0 run. Are you used to being that spark plug?
Yes and the intensity wasn´t there at the start. When I came in the plays ran better. But usually I start the game so this was a bit unusual coming in then.
Giessen seem to be small this season. Could this give the team problems during the season?
Well coach Wucherer built the team this way, because he wants to play a certain style and that is to push the ball forward. We have athletic four players with Lischka and Young. Coach wants us to be more mobile. I think that we will be fine. As soon as we have all the players here, we will be able to practice more 5-5 which we haven´t been able to do now.
This is your first season in Giessen. What kind of experience has it been so far?
Giessen has been great. Even though we lost badly to Frankfurt, they still gave us applause after the loss. I hope that we can give them great games during the season.
How has been your transition to the Pro A? Is the differences big to the Pro B?
There are more skilled players here and the players know the game better.
Is it harder to get in the lane in the Pro A?
I think that my quickness can get me into the lane in any league. I just have to adjust to make better decisions in the Pro A. In the Pro B, you could get away with much more, but in the Pro A it is about making the right pass and shot on each play.
What is your goal with the Giessen 46ers?
My goal is to help Giessen as much as I can. I think that if I take care of my body that I will have a good season. I want to help Giessen regain that basketball confidence it once had with my game and leadership.
Braunschweig was a bigger city than Giessen. What is the biggest difference.
Well Giessen is smaller and here the distances are shorter. I have all the stores, gym and apartment on the same street.
TJ Di Leo played at temple and will help you with the guard duties. What has been your impression of him so far?
He is out of Temple and a tough player. I think his experience at Temple will help him and us this season. He has a good guard body and shot.
What was your impression of the youth movement of the Fraport Skyliners?
I am very impressed by the whole team, not only the German players. The German players did a great job adjusting to what we tried to take away from them during the game.
You played with NBA player Dennis Schroeder last season. Are yous till content that he will survive in the NBA?
He will do fine adjusting to the NBA. There is more space in the NBA which will help him make better decisions. He is a great pick and roll player and with Jeff Teague there, he will have time to grow.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Thanks Steven for the chat.