Will Barnes is a 26 year old 185cm point guard from Tuscaloosa, Alabama that is playing his second professional season and first with the Hamburg Towers. He started his basketball career in 2006 for Tennessee Tech (NCAA) where he played a total of 98 NCAA games. In 2012-2013 he played at Lee (NAIA) playing 34 games: 20.0ppg, 4.1rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 50.3%, 3PT: 41.0%, FT: 77.7%. Last season as a rookie he played for the Finke Baskets playing 29 games: Score-3(18.8ppg), 3.5rpg, 3.4apg, FGP: 64.3%, 3PT: 37.2%, FT: 75.8%. He spoke to German Hoops before the game against Science City Jena
The Hamburg Towers have a three game winning streak at home. It seems like the club is really getting used to their own living room. How special is it playing in the Hamburg arena?
Playing in Hamburg is really special. The new arena looks is very nice. We are getting a great turnout at our games and the overall support for the club is great! As a team, we play hard and very uptempo. The fans have really seemed to enjoy it so far.
After mustering only 61 points in Wurzburg, the Hamburg Towers have found a groove on offense again having averaged 84 points in the last two games. What adjustments has the team made offensively in the last two games?
The main change we’ve made is to just slow down and really execute our offense. We’ve been sharing the ball a lot better and getting out in transition.
How important were the last two wins against Chemnitz and Ehingen in terms of self confidence and being able to win tight games something that will be very important come playoff time?
Every game is important. That’s the mindset we have. It helps us stay focused and really prepare better for our opponents. But yes, winning close games in that fashion definitely will help us come playoff time! We have to continue being consistent and we will definitely be there.
When looking at the stats after the 88-83 victory against BV Chemnitz, it seemed like the only real flaw were the 18 turnovers. Was taking care of the ball a focus this week in practice?
Yes. Coach Hamed began penalizing us more for turnovers when we scrimmage. We feel like turnovers have crippled us in a lot of games so far this season. We will definitely focus in on it more going into Jena.
After scoring only two points and coughing up the ball seven times in Wurzburg it seems like Bazou Kone had his breakout game with 18 points and five assists last weekend. How much does every additional day of practice help his game and confidence?
Bazou is a fighter. He’s been battling through some injuries yet he still comes out and performs at a high level. You have to respect and acknowledge his game.
How much are you looking forward to being a force again in Jena after scoring in single digits the last two games? Do you keep more an eye on your shot selection when your shots aren´t falling?
I’m not really focused on having to score in order to feel better about my game. The last two games I’ve been taking good shots, they just haven’t been falling. Coach and I always go through film and analyze my decision making. I just have to step up and make winning plays that will help our team win.
The Pro A is almost at the midway point and the Hamburg Towers are 8-5. What is your summary at almost the midway point. What have you been happy and not been happy about with the play of the team and your own?
I feel we are in a good position but we know that we let at least 2 games slip away from us. We know we can be better and are working harder to get there. I love the character and will of my teammates. I know that we will continue with our focus and grow as the season progresses. As far as being unhappy, I feel I haven’t played nearly as well as I know I can. I will be working hard to be more consistent during the second half of the season. I feel it will make us even more of a threat.
The next game is against Science City Jena. What personal memories do you have from last season playing them with the Finke Baskets?
I personally remember the game in Paderborn last year when we beat them. It was a good, hard fought game! Jena’s uptempo style is very fun to play against.
Science City Jena have been up and down and rest at position 10 with a record of 6-7. They definitely underachieved so far but the season is still long. What kind of game can we expect and what will be key to winning?
It will be an uptempo game. I feel like rebounding and taking care of the ball will be the most important things that will help us get the win. We are focused on taking of of business.
How excited are to be dueling against ex Kansas Jayhawk Brady Morningstar? Do you remember seeing him play in the NCAA?
I actually didn’t know who he was. I’m sure he’s a good player though, having come from such a great program as Kansas. I’m always one to accept any challenge so it’ll be fun.
How proud are you of your ex Paderborn teammate Ricky Taylor who recently poured in Cork with 43 points. You still keep tabs on him?
Yeah of course! Ricky has been playing very well in Ireland! No was excited for Ricky and his big game. 43 is impressive at any level of basketball!
If you fill a room with 30 small kids who would make the better Santa Claus Marvin Willoughby or Pascal Roller?
I think Marvin would be the better Santa haha. Pascal has more of a reserved personality from what I could gather so far.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
He Got Game
Thanks Will for the chat.