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 advancing by Science City Jena in 5 games
Steven congrats on the 87-73 do or die win over Science City Jena. This was your first playoff series as a professional. How did you experience the five games?
It was a hard fought series and we actually had 6 games in a row as we ended the season playing them. I can say now that after six games, I can identify the game of each guy of Jena. I really enjoyed the series and learned that you have to be mentally tough, because there are so many ups and downs in a series.
What was key for 40 minutes for being the better team in game five?
We made sure that we would be the aggressor and not let them be more aggressive than us. We did a good job on offense creating shots and on defense getting rebounds and just playing at a pace that suited us.
What was the most difficult thing that Giessen had to overcome in this five game series to be successful?
Their fighting qualities. They were by far the most aggressive team in the German Pro A. Jena was very good at causing distractions on the court and making us play a different kind of basketball. We had to stay mentally very tough and not throw the ball all over the place because of their aggressive play.
What was key for getting the win in the fourth quarter?
Jena had done a good job in this series making a comeback in the fourth quarter. We didn´t want that to happen again so coach told us to stay composed and just take shots when we were open.
What was key in crunch time that Giessen was able to get to the next round against BG Goettingen?
All bodies were tired in the fourth quarter, but we wanted to make a statement and wanted to take it to them right at the start of the fourth quarter. With Sim out, we decided to control Hudson and it paid off at the end.
You had another solid game with 16 points. How happy were you with your own game?
I always want to get into the game aggressive and get the team into a good flow on offense and defense. I try to be aggressive hitting shots or creating for others.
Myles Hesson did hit for 30 points like the other two games, but was still a big factor in the win with his 17 points. How else was he valuable?
He tends to get more aggressive when I am aggressive. When I am aggressive, he can conserve his energy and use it for rebounding and on the defensive end.
You were probably happy not to have to guard Dennis Tinnon for the last six games. Can he reach the next level the Beko BBL?
He is so aggressive and a beast on the boards. He is probably the most aggressive four man in the Pro A. If you have the type of energy that Tinnon has then you can play at every level. I think that he could with that energy level.
How important was the coaching of rookie Denis Wucherer in this series?
Coach has experienced all of this as a player and he told us that we may never get an experience like this again so the combination of leaving it on the court and enjoying ones self was important.
Who was the Giessen unsung hero of the Jena series?
I think our unsung hero was TJ DiLeo. He is a defensive minded player and is like a solider. Whatever you need on the court, he will give it to you. He always battles for 40 minutes.
What will be the focus for the next series against BG Goettingen?
We have to be ready and be aggressive from the start. We have a young team while they have experience. But we played a tough first round which will help us. We understand how playoffs are with the experience of the Jena battle.
Do you see the Atlanta Hawks making a first round upset and what is your take on ex teammate Dennis Schroeder´s first season?
I think that Atlanta has no chance to advance. I didn´t see many Schroeder games, because of the time difference, but I feel that he held his own and it wasn´t easy being behind a guy like Jeff Teague who had his best season and Shelvin Mack also had a good season. I think that he has the potential to step up next season.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Thanks Steven for the chat.