Virgil Matthews is a 30 year old 188cm guard from Federal Way, Washington that is playing in Germany in the PRO A for Erdgas Ehingen now in his fourth season. He played at Montana (NCAA) and in his senior year played 31 games: 10.1ppg, 4.6rpg, 4.0apg, 1.7spg, FG: 49.8%, 3PT: 48.4%, FT: 76.1%. In 2006-2007, he turned professional and came to Germany and played for KICKZ Muenchen Basket (Germany-2.Bundesliga): 29 games: 18.0ppg, 6.1rpg, 5.2apg, 2.6spg, 2FGP: 57.3%, 3FGP: 31.8%, FT: 66.5%. In 2007-2008, he played for Tacoma Jazz (IBL). In 2008-2009, he returned back to Germany and played for Schwelmer Baskets (Germany-Regionalliga). In 2009-2010, he played for Olympia Reign (IBL, starting five): 21 games: 23.1ppg, 7.2rpg and for Seattle Aviators (NABL).In 2010-2011, he played his first season for Erdgas Ehingen playing 32 games: 11.6ppg, 5.3rpg, 3.6apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 57.6%, 3PT: 29.4%, FT: 71.3%. In 2011-2012 for Ehingen, he played 28 games: 11.4ppg, 3.9rpg, 3.8apg, Steals-3(1.9spg), FGP: 54.5%, 3PT: 42.1%, FT: 77.1%. Last season for Ehingen you played Erdgas Ehingen/Urspringschule (Germany-ProA, starting five): 33 games: 11.5ppg, 4.2rpg, 4.5apg, Steals-4(2.1spg), FGP: 57.3%, 3PT: 35.7%, FT: 70.5%. He spoke to German Hoops before the start of the 2014 Pro A playoffs against Nurnberg.
Congrats on the 83-75 victory against Heidelberg. How important was it riding into the playoffs with a win and what was key for getting the win? The game was pretty even going into the fourth quarter, but Ehingen had more steam and cruised to the win.
I think our key was getting stops at the end and keeping our heads, we felt we got out of character in Magdeburg.
Heidelberg was a pretty strong team this season, but finished the season poorly losing three of its last four games and missed the playoffs. Are you surprised that they missed the playoffs, or is it more a thumbs up to the very very competitive German Pro A this season?
Its very surprising they had a rough second half and unfortunately for them no teams except the top two pulled away from the pack. So they ended up having to play every game with the pressure button on which is tough.
Erdgas Ehingen go into the playoffs having won four of the last six games, but the two loses were very close as you lost combined only by six points to Chemnitz and Magdeburg. How ready are you for the German Pro A playoffs?
We are very ready. Playing more games not having to wait a week. I think we were lucky that those two losses didn’t end up hurting our standings. So now we just learn from them and move forward.
Erdgas Ehingen plays Rent4office Nurnberg in the playoffs. Nurnberg won with 21 points at home and lost by 18 points in Nurnberg. How happy are you about having home court advantage?
It was very important, it is not always our goal at the beginning of the season but as we saw it could be more and more possible so we began to shoot for it. And we got it. Especially against this team we haven’t beat them there since I’ve been here and I think likewise them here, but we aren’t just relying on home court.
Nurnberg killed Ehingen on the boards in their win and shot over 50% from outside in both games. Ehingen forced Nurnberg to 24 turnovers in their win. This looks like a very interesting series. What will be most vital for Erdgas Ehingen of advancing?
We have to rebound. That is one of our keys to every game rebound and don’t turn it over and we will be competitive in every game.
You have played against Ahmad Smith for years. He only scored 8 points combined in both games, but fills up the stat sheet. How vital will it be keeping him in check for the success of Erdgas Ehingen?
He is critical to their success, he doesn’t need to score to affect the game that’s his strength. Keeping him contained will be a big part of our game plan, but we have to be careful not to dedicate too much to him because they have a lot of talented players.
The bench will be a huge factor in the game. Mahir Agva had solid games in both games against Nurnberg. How has he developed this season? He is only 17 and a German U-16 national player that has averaged 13 minutes this season.
Mahir has had a good season he’s incredibly talented for such a young guy still is learning a lot but its great to have a young guy that can come in and be effective. He is getting better everyday so there are still breakout games for him to have possibly this season.
The 2014 NCAA Final 4 is Uconn, Florida, Kentucky and Wisconsin. Who will reach the final and win it all?
I think I picked Florida in my bracket so they will. I really don’t watch much tho so there’s no value in my pick.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Law Abiding Citizen.
Thanks Virgil for the chat.