John Eggleston is a 27 year old 203cm power forward from Noblesville, Indiana that is playing his fourth year as a professional and first for the MLP Academics Heidelberg. He played at Pennsylvania (NCAA) from 2007-2011. He played a total of 125 NCAA games. In his senior year he played 28 games: 13.2ppg, 8.0rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 50.4%, 3PT: 45.1%, FT: 73.5%. As a rookie or Leverkusen he played 23 games: 14.0ppg, 6.0rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 37.1%, FT: 71.2%. Two seasons ago for Leverkusen he played 33 games: 15.3ppg, Reb-2(11.1rpg), 3.4apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 51.2%, 3PT: 34.1%, FT: 74.7%. Last season in the German Pro A for Leverkusen he played 20 games: 16.3ppg, Reb-3(9.0rpg), 3.9apg, FGP: 57.1%, 3PT: 36.9%, FT: 80.9%. He spoke to German Hoops before the game one against the Giessen 46ers
John thanks for talking to German Hoops. Heidelberg posted a big 97-76 victory against Kirchheim in the last regular season game. How important was it closing out the regular season and how perfect was the combination between good offense and defense in this game?
It was very important for us to close out the season on a positive note. We wanted to hold on to 6th place and keep the momentum we had going from the three previous games. After a slow start, our offense and defense both ran smoothly.
Heidelberg ended the season on a four game winning streak after having lost six in a row. What was key in the turnaround for the club to be able to end the season on a nice winning streak?
I think the key was just everybody staying positive and playing together. We knew we were capable of playing better, and we have showed it the last few weeks.
In the losing streak Heidelberg gave up 85 points or more in five of the six loses and in the four game winning streak averaged giving up 71 points in that span. What did the team change and do better on the defensive end?
We improved our effort and intensity over the last several games. Guys are demonstrating the level of focus necessary to be successful in the playoffs.
Heidelberg ended the season in sixth place with a record of 17-13. What is your summary of the regular season. Was the season goal reached and what was the regular season high?
The regular season was full of ups and downs for us. To follow a six game winning streak with a seven game losing streak was definitely tough. Making the playoffs was our original goal, and now that we’ve accomplished that, we’re looking forward to taking the next step.
Kelvin Martin and Waverly Austin fought until the end for the team rebound crown which Martin barely won. The club wouldn´t have made the playoffs without them. How big were these guys for the success of the team and are MVP and rookie of the year thoughts credible for these two guys?
Both Kelvin and Waverly are very valuable players for our team. I think Kelvin has a very strong case for MVP this season. With his offensive skill, rebounding ability, and lock down defending, he is one of the best all around players in the Pro A. Waverly has been a force in the middle for us all year, leading us in blocked shots and playing a big role in our offense.
You averaged 9,0ppg, 5,4ppg and 2,4apg. You closed out the season strong averaging 21ppg in the last three games. You had a different role this season as there wasn´t as much of a need for you to score much with all of the scoring support on the team.
This season was definitely an adjustment for me, but I’m just happy that we have been able to have success as a team. Although the numbers don’t show my contribution as much as last year, I’ve tried to help us win in any way I can.
Heidelberg meets the Giessen 46ers in a best of five series. Giessen swept the season series. What kind of series can we await?
I think it will be a hard fought series. The game in Heidelberg was a good preview in my opinion.
Heidelberg averaged only 58ppg in this series. What will be key on the offensive end for you to be successful?
Giessen is a very good defensive team. We will have to work for every basket we get in the series. On the other end, we need to make them work just as hard for their baskets.
Giessen has a very strong and deep roster. Do you fear that Heidelberg simply could have a match up problem in this series?
No I don’t think we have a match up problem. Obviously I’m biased, but I we have shown this season that we can compete with any team in the league.
The match up of the series could be the two athletic forwards Kelvin Martin against Yorman Polas who led Giessen in scoring in both games. How vital will it be containing Polas and having control of the boards?
Polas is a very athletic player, and we must be aware of where he is on the court at all times. He showed in our game in Giessen how disruptive he can be on both ends.
Who will reach the NCAA final and win it?
No sense in getting cute with the pick here: Kentucky is going to win it all.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
The last movie I saw was In Bruges.
Thanks John for the chat.