Jordan Talbert is a 24 year old 198cm forward from Little Rock, Arkansas that is playing his second professional season with the Giants Nordlingen. He came to Germany as a rookie last season and played with the Giants TSV 1861 Noerdlingen (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 26 games: 21.6ppg, 9.6rpg, 3.2apg, 2.0spg, Blocks-4(1.5bpg), FGP: 51.7%, 3PT: 28.9%, FT: 78.4%. He played his college career at Missouri SO(NCAA2) from 2010-2014 and as a senior played 31 games averaging 11.7ppg, 7.4rpg, 2.9apg, 1.1spg, 1.7bpg, FGP: 44.8%, 3PT: 37.0%, FT: 70.1%. He spoke to German Hoops before the game against the Fraport Skyliners Juniors.
Jordan thanks for talking to German Hoops Congrats on the solid 2-0 start into the season. You registered a big 88-79 win at home against Lich. The week before Lich gave up only 39 points. Did you sense possibly too much self confidence on their part?
No I don’t think they were too confident, I think we came out with a lot of energy early in the game both offensively and defensively and it really caught them off guard. Being our first home game we were really motivated to make a good impression.
Nordlingen scored 88 points and showed stable early season fire power. Was the offense the biggest strength on the night in the win?
I believe that our biggest strength is our versatility. Our offense can score a lot of different ways with different people. Against Lich Janek shot the ball extremely well so we made sure to look for him whenever it was possible.
Nordlingen is 2-0 now. How has the team developed best in the last weeks that has given the club the well deserved 2-0 start?
Our team chemistry has developed extremely well to start the season. We understand in order to play at a high level we have to play well together. What the team needs comes before what the individuals want and it’s really showed in our play.
The club has averaged 80 points in the first two games and given up 72 points. What potential do you see this team having this season? Will it be able to score in the 80´s while keeping teams to near 70 points?
I really have no expectation for how many points we score or allow the other team to score. I know that we have the ability to score and there will be games when 80 is not enough. I also know that there will be games we can’t make a shot and 70 points will be too much to allow. Will we have to find ways to win both games and I think we can.
To have success in the Pro B, it always depends on the quality of the imports and how well the German role players play. Does Nordlingen have the right mix to be a consistent strong team this season?
Well I’ve only seen a few teams in the pro B league but from what I’ve seen I do believe we have the talent to compete with any team if we come out and play our game. It will be very important for us to stay healthy and to stay playing as an unit.
The club is playing a thin rotation at the moment. Do you feel any pressure like you have to have amazing games each night? How well do you handle and accept pressure?
No I don’t feel any pressure to have an amazing game each night. We have enough good players on the team to cover one another if one of us is not playing so good. I believe I handle pressure really well. I think that pressure games are what makes you a great player and in those pressure moments I feel that I raise my game and focus in order to make sure our team gets the victory.
A big surprise is that an American isn´t the leading scorer, but German Janek Schmidkunz. How impressed have you been by his play in the early going?
I’ve been really impressed by the way he’s shot the ball but I’m not surprised. Practicing with him I know how good of a shooter he is. So it’s important for players like Brandon, Fabian, and I to put pressure on the defense and force them to help so he can get a good look at the basket.
Could Brandon Lockhart and he become be the best 1-2 point guard duo in the Pro B this season?
I really think that they both or dangerous players and will earn the respect from each team that we face this year.
How important has your relationship been to the other American Brandon Lockhart on and off the court?? Was the tour of the city quick considering its so mall?
I think our relationship off the court has really helped us on the court. We spend a lot of time around each other and have developed a good friendship which I hope continues to grow even past this season. Yes the tour was very quick. This being my second season here I showed him all that I could but that didn’t take very long at all.
You tore up the German Regionaliga last season with Nordlingen averaging 21.6ppg, 9.6rpg, 3.2apg, 2.0spg, Blocks-4(1.5bpg), FGP: 51.7%, 3PT: 28.9%, FT: 78.4%. What has been the biggest adjustment now playing in the Pro B?
The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is switching to the Molten style basketball. I’ve never played with this kind of basketball and I much prefer a Spalding or Wilson. I’m still getting used to shooting with it but eventually I think I will grow to like it.
On what things on your game do what to make the biggest strides with this season?
I want to continue to become a more consistent shooter and become more effective in the post.
You really fill up the stat sheet and can do so much with your size, but what is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away?
Offensively, I think that I’m a pretty good play maker not just for myself but for my teammates. I believe I have good court vision and passing ability to hit my teammates when the defense collapse on me. Defensively, I think that my versatility and my communication is something that doesn’t get noticed. I can guard different positions and I love it when I’m matched up against the other teams best scorer. Communication is such an important thing on defense for everyone to be on the same page so I’m constantly talking letting my teammates know what to do and where to go.
How has your relationship with head coach Mario Matic grown since day one in Nordlingen? Will you have as much freedom this season as last?
I think me and Mario have a great relationship. I made sure to earn his trust and respect with my play and effort last season not only in games but in practice also. He has giving the same responsiblity to me this season and continues to show a lot of confidence in me.
You won the MIAA tournament in 2014 to close out your college career at Missouri So(NCAA2) in 2014. What is your most vivid memory of achieving this great feat?
My most vivid memory was celebrating with the team and fans after we won. We worked extremely hard to get to that point, and to come out on top when no one thought we could but us was extremely full filling.
How did head coach Robert Corn prepare and groom you best for a professional basketball career?
Coach Corn did so much for me during my 5 years at MSSU it’s hard to even put into words. But what he did best for me was just being himself off the court. I have a vivid memory of coach, during an away trip the weather was terrible with a mix of rain and snow. We just arrived to our hotel and all of the players ran to check into our rooms. I remember seeing coach help our trainer carry his equipment inside, in the rain and snow, when he could’ve easily told one of us players to do it. He showed me what is to be a man whether it’s with family, friends, or colleagues and I think that’s more important than everything he taught me basketball wise.
What was the most amazing thing that you remember ex teammate Marquis Addison doing in a game or practice who now is playing his second professional season with Horsens IC (Denmark-Ligaen)
I remember Marquis having incredible performances all throughout our time at Southern, but the most amazing thing I remember about him was his work ethic. He treated every practice as if it were a game and that intensity is something that echoed throughout our team each and every year.
Who was the toughest player that you battled in college that is in the NBA now?
DeAndre Jordan, was the toughest. He completely shut down the paint to where we had to shoot jump shots the entire game and there was no chance of getting a rebound over him.
What is worse running into a cow on an open field in Nordlingen or teammate Kwame Duku? What have you respected most from his game?
I haven’t run into a cow yet but I have run into Kwame in practice and I still have the bruises to prove it. What I respected most from his game is that he actually has a lot of skill. He’s not just a big body he knows how to play the game which is just as important as his HUGE size.
What were the most free throws that you made in a row without missing?
I think in the game I went 12 for 12 last season. In practice I think I made 25 in a row before. Crazy thing is I was never a good free throw shooter. Coming into college I shot less than 50%. It’s just something I continued to work at over time.
What is the state of Lebron James in 2015. Will he ever be mentioned in the same breath as a Michael Jordan?
I think Lebron is still the best player in the world right now and will have another great season. I think he will always be compared to Jordan but the fact he’s lost 4 times in the Finals I don’t think he will ever pass him. Plus the players in the NBA are getting better and better so the window to pass Jordan is closing fast. But he will still have an incredible career even if he doesn’t pass Jordan.
You studied to become a dentist in school. What is something that you learned about dentistry that really made you go hmmmmmmmmmmmm?
I learned that the human body starts making your teeth before you are born. They only begin to show several months after birth. I also learned the you canine, incisors, premolars, and molar teeth all have specific purposes when it comes to eating. Some are specifically designed to cut, tear, or grind your food.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Straight Outta Compton.
Thanks Jordan for the chat.