Dwayne Evans is a 23 year old 198cm forward playing his rookie season with the Gladiators Trier currently averaging 13,8ppg,7,8rpg and 2,5apg in the German Pro A. He started his basketball career with Bolingbrook, IL / Neuqua Valley in 2007 and as a senior averaged 16.9ppg, 12rpg, 3.2apg; 26-3 record; set school’s career rebounding record with 737 and finished second all-time in scoring with 1,122 points. He then played with St.Louis (NCAA) from 2010-2014 and as a senior played 34 games averaging 14.0ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.2apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 49.4%, 3PT: 27.8%, FT: 74.9%. He spoke to German Hoops after the 72-65 win against the Finke Baskets.
Congrats Dwayne on the 72-65 win against the Finke Baskets. After taking a step back from scoring in the second and third quarter where Trier scored 25 points, you found your team scoring touch in the fourth making 28 points. What adjustments did the team make in the fourth quarter?
The only adjustment we really made was to be more aggressive going towards the basket, since some of their key players were in foul trouble. Once we got into attack mode our scoring came much easier.
The Gladiators Trier were trailing up to mid way in the fourth quarter, but how key were the back to back three pointers from German Benedikt Breilling and yourself?
I think they were definitely momentum builders. We have a lot of guys who can make shots and once everyone started clicking at once we really started rolling.
The Gladiators Trier closed out the game with a strong 6-0 run as the team hit clutch free throws. What was key on the defensive end for you to stifle Paderbron in the last minute closing out the game the way you did?
Our game plan at that moment was just to not give any open looks at threes and to control our boards. We were able to do that and ended up with the victory on the road.
How satisfying was it winning a close game after losing the first two games by a combined score of seven points?
It was very satisfying. We’ve been right there in a few games this season already and closing out a game early in the season on the road I believe can be a turning point for this team.
The Gladiators Trier are 2-2, but could be 4-0. What expectations do you have of this team? The Pro A is very competitive, but what can the team achieve?
I have very high expectations for our team. We believe we can be one of the best teams in the league this year and once we start putting full games together of high level basketball I believe we’ll be tough to beat on any night.
The playoffs are a good possibility, but is a title a reach this season?
In no way is it a reach, its our ultimate goal for this team. We believe we have the pieces, especially once some of our injured players return, to compete for a championship.
After the first two loses, how do you feel has the team improved over the last two weeks?
I think were just becoming more and more resilient as a team. I don’t believe in moral victories but there is a lot to learn in those close loses and I believe were starting to put those things together.
After four games young German Benedikt Breilling leads the team with 9 three pointers. Do you see him taking on even more of a scoring role as the season progresses?
We have a bunch of guys who can score the ball and Bennie is definitely one of them. I think it will change from game to game but we will absolutely rely on B and his shooting.
The team has some talented Americans, a few experienced Germans and the rest younger inexperienced Germans. Do you see yourself of being a consistent go to guy and leader despite being a rookie?
Absolutely. I may be a rookie here but I’ve been playing high level basketball for a long time now and look forward to helping lead this team on the court the rest of the season
After sitting out a season after finishing at St Louis, you are a rookie now with the Gladiators Trier. You won the Atlantic 10 tournament and was MVP in 2013.How difficult was it sitting out so long. Did you ever lose hope and what kept you going?
Sitting out for a year was one of the toughest things I’ve ever been through. Not being able to play the game I love for that long was tough but ultimately I believe it will benefit me in the long run. What kept me going was the desire to get back out on the court and begin my lifelong aspiration of becoming a professional basketball player.
After four games you are really filling up the stat sheet averaging 13,8ppg, 7,8rpg, 2,5apg, 1,5bpg and shooting 40% from outside. Despite these good stats, what is something that you are still adjusting to on the court?
Yeah I am versatile on the court so I feel as though I can help my team in a ton of different ways. Mostly, I’ve been adjusting to how the game is called and getting back to constantly being in attack mode.
You can fill up the stat sheet, but what is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t always get noticed right away on the court?
I think I do a lot of the little things on the court. I am a pretty heady player and I know how to get guys open, how to adjust to different defenses among other things. A lot of things I learned from Rick Majeras back in my college.
Do you see yourself developing your three point shot now as a professional and incorporating it more into your game?
Yeah definitely, it was one of coach and I’s goals for the year to shoot 35% from 3 this year and if I am open I’m going to shoot it. Its part of my arsenal out there on the court.
How much fun has it been sharing the floor with American rookie Eric Anderson who is averaging 13 rebounds the last two games?
Its been great. E is a hell of a rebounder and player and we knew that coming into this season. I am still waiting on him to hit 20 boards one of these games.
You had a stellar career at ST Louis(NCAA). How proud are you of leading the team in rebounding all four years? Has rebounding always come natural and how has your game on the boards developed?
Rebounding has always been something I prided myself on and that has carried over to the professional ranks. Its been mostly natural but there is also a certain mindset you need to have to be an effective rebounder as well.
You had many great games in college, but where do you rank your 24 point, 11 rebound effort in the 67-56 win against Butler?
Its probably pretty high up there. That was one of my favorite teams and I believe I went on to win MVP of the tournament that year. Beating a ranked Butler team 3 times in a row wasn’t too bad either.
How did Rick Majerus prepare and groom you best for a professional basketball career at St Louis?
Man over the last few months I’ve been realizing how fortunate I am to have played for him. There is so many little details to the game that make sure a big difference and make the game easier that have stuck with me over these years. Those 2 years with him made a huge difference.
Who was the toughest player that you played against in the NCAA that is in the NBA now?
I’m not sure if he’s in the NBA right now or not but probably Nolan Smith from Duke. We went there my freshmen year and started 4 freshmen and I think he gave us 30 something.
Derrick Rose is injured again. It seems like there is a curse on him. Do you ever see him playing through a season?
Injuries are tough and out of his control so I’ll definitely give him the benefit of the doubt. There is no curse and I’m prepared to see him do some big things for the city of Chicago this year.
Thanks Dwayne for the chat.