Brandon Triche is a 23 year old 193cm guard from Jamesville, New York that is playing his second professional season and first with Virtus Acea Roma (Italy-Serie A). He started his basketball career at Syracuse in 2009 and played there until 2013 playing a total of 146 NCAA games and as asenior he played 39 games: 13.7ppg, 3.4rpg, 3.5apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 49.3%, 3PT: 29.2%, FT: 74.4%. Last season as a rookie he played for : Aquila Basket Trento (Italy-DNA Gold) playing 41 games: 17.5ppg, 3.5rpg, 3.0apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 47.2%, 3PT: 36.5%, FT: 76.6%. He spoke to German Hoops after the 80-66 loss against the EWE Baskets in Eurocup play.
Brandon thanks for talking to German Hoops. Was this your first time in Germany? What has been your overall impression of Germany?
My first impression is that it is cold. Rome isn´t as cold as this. My impression of Germany is nice. This was my second time here. We played in pre season at Artland. I like how Germany is built. There are a lot more houses here. I would liked to have seen more and explored, but we fly home in the morning. I am sure there are some players playing in Germany that I know. I remember Chris Kramer from his Purdue days. I always liked watching him play. He played on some great teams at Purdue. He played solid tonight always pushing the ball.
A tough 80-66 loss in Oldenburg tonight. You guys didn´t start well and had to play catch up basketball all night long. What were the main reasons for the loss? I guess three point shooting and rebounds sums it up?
Yes that pretty much sums it up. Oldenburg was a pretty big team and when they get the offensive rebounds and we get turnovers then it is pretty hard to win. We are a smaller team and always have to play hard on every night. Oldenburg basically outplayed us.
Virtus Acea lost two of the last three games in Eurocup play. I guess this wasn´t how you wanted to end the first group leg. On what things does the team need to improve on to get off to a good start in the next round of Eurocup?
We won the group with a record of 7-3 so overall we played well. Because we are a smaller team we have to always play above the means and give that extra effort. If we slack off and relax then that won´t go to our favor. We lost a couple game by 20 plus points which we aren´t used to. We can´t afford that to happen in the next round as the competition gets better.
What player impressed you more from Oldenburg Julius Jenkins or Rickey Paulding?
I remember playing against Julius Jenkins in pre season at Artland. It is pretty much a toss up. Both are veterans and are great players. Both can shoot from outside and get to the hoop. I think though that I would take Rickey Paulding simply that he adds that extra dimension in that he can post up. Both are at the same position, but Paulding is taller.
Your playing your first season for Virtus Acea. What exactly is your role on the team?
My role as the point guard is to control the tempo on offense and on defense play hard, pressure the ball, get tips and disrupt their offense. My big goal as a player in my second year is to be consistent in every game.
AS a rookie you played for Aquila Basket Trento (Italy-DNA Gold) last season playing 41 games averaging 17.5ppg, 3.5rpg, 3.0apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 47.2%, 3PT: 36.5%, FT: 76.6%. What did you learn as a rookie that has helped you now in your second season?
I think just getting used to the fact that I was away from home. It took some time for me to get adjusted as a rookie in Trento. I played at home at Syracuse so it was my real first time being away from home and then I was in a different country. There wasn´t much to do in Trento as well. Now I still feel like a rookie because I am playing at a higher level and am on a different team.
Bobby James is the veteran on the squad and has seen it all even in the NBA. What advice has he given to you that has helped you develop further with your new team?
With him its not so much advice but more what he does on the court. He is a guy that is always playing hard. He doesn´t have to be vocal, but just leads by example. The way he plays is contagious and everyone see it. The way he plays is the way I want to always play. I appreciate him even more off the court because he is a great guy.
Last season there were only two Americans on the squad with Trento with you and Barry Elder. Elder was a rookie in Germany with Giessen in 2005. He had played six seasons in Italy and definitely knew the ropes. How important was it having him on the squad not getting totally lost with a new culture?
Barry Elder was the only other American on the team with Trento. There wasn´t much English spoken in Trento and the other Italian guys spoke English, but not much so it was something that I had to get used to. I always went to him for advice usually how to do the small things off the court. He was always there for me and took care of me.
You’re a guy that can fill up the stat sheet but what is a hidden strength that doesn´t get noticed right away in your game?
I think my athletic ability and the ability to jump gets overlooked. I am a guy that can get above the rim.
You played at Syracuse from 2009-2013 and when you were a freshman Andy Rautins was a senior. Was he the best pure shooter that you had ever seen up to that standpoint in your career?
We went to the same high school. He was the same year as my older brother and played on the same team. I have seen him play since 2002. He was awesome at Syracuse. Just the way he got his shot off was amazing. I remember on ESPN they had this clock that compared how fast he got his shot off to Ray Allen. He was such an efficient player and his ball handling and passing were underrated. I always appreciated his hard work and leadership qualities.
You played at Syracuse with current Cleveland Cavalier Dion Waiters. He didn´t have wow stats as a senior, but was a first round pick. What in his game has made him more than a solid NBA player?
He was so good that he left after his second year at Syracuse. He played behind me and was a player that was aggressive, patient and so efficient. I think the main thing that has brought him so far has been his attitude of the game. He believes that no one is better than him and he has this big drive to always get better and not to slow down. That is one of the main reasons why he has been able to help the Cleveland Cavaliers.
What memories do you have from your NCAA Final Four run in 2013? How often do you think about that last game?
I have many memories of this and this was one of the most exciting time of my life. There was so much going on at that time and no one believed that we could get that far. We lost 10 games that season and lost five of our last six games going into the NCAA tournament. We lost in the fInal 4 to Michigan. It is funny how life works sometimes. At the end of the game, I got by a defender and got in the lane and their player Jordan Morgan took a charge which propelled them to reach the final. Morgan is my teammate now in Rome.
You played for legendary college coach Jim Boeheim at Syracuse. How did he prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
He mentally made me strong. He always got under your skin. He always got on me and wanted to make me stronger so I could get past adverse situations on the court. He was testing you and always wanted to see how tough you were. I didn´t understand his philosophy my first few years, but as a junior it went click which got me into the zone. His mentality got me ready for my rookie season in Italy.
You played the last two seasons in the NBA Summer League with Charlotte and New York. There are so many good guards around in the world and just too little NBA teams. What do you think is still missing for you to reach the highest level?
I feel it has to do with getting the right opportunity to be able to showcase your abilities. The most important thing is that you have to pick the right team and system that cater to you in NBA Summer League. It is always changing as players get traded or drafted. There tend to be some spots where you don´t get many minutes which doesn´t help you get noticed. You see some guys where you think that he wasn´t better than you, but he simply had the better opportunity and made the best of it. I don´t think about it and just continue to work hard, get better and find that good situation for me.
What is your favorite hang out spot in Rome?
I like to shop so for me to be hanging out in Rome is to be walking around and seeing historical places. When you are driving around you can´t see as much as when you are walking. Shopping and walking is hanging out for me.
What is your whole take on the Jordan vs Kobe debate?
I think it is hard to compare two guys that are from different generations. Jordan did it first and then comes a guy like Bryant that emulated it. Jordan just had more impact not only on the court, but off as well. Just take his shoes which had such an impact off the court. I take Jordan because he was more athletic and made more spectacular plays. Kobe had that attitude of I´d rather be the hero than the villain. Jordan was the more dominant player.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
The last DVD movie that I saw was the Equalizer with Denzel Washington.
Thanks Brandon for the chat.