Brandon Jefferson is a 23 year old 175cm point guard from Flower Mound, Texas that is playing second professional season and first in Germany with Phoenix Hagen and currently averaging 10,5ppg, 2,8rpg and 4,0apg. Last season as a rookie he played for KTP Basket Kotka (Finland-Korisliiga) playing 48 games: Score-4(18.5ppg), 4.0rpg, 2.4apg, Steals-2(2.2spg), FGP: 45.8%, 3PT: 35.8%, FT: 88.0%; EuroChallenge: 6 games: 13.8ppg, 3.8rpg, 4.0apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 37.5%, 3PT: 29.8%, FT: 88.5%. He started his basketball career in 2010 for Metro State(NCAA2) where he played a total of 129 NCAA games. In college he was able to improve his scoring and rebounding average each season. As a senior he played 34 games averaging 21.6ppg, 3.1rpg, 2.4apg, 2.4spg, FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 45.3%, FT: 92.3%. He spoke to German Hoops after the 86-83 victory against the Giesen 46ers.
Thanks Brandon for talking to German Hoops A big 86-83 win against the Giessen 46ers. Would you have won this game without the services of David Bell?
DB is our captain and a great player. He had a great game and really led us the whole way. It was a must win in our eyes and he took it to them. Ivan Elliot also made some big plays in the end for us!
Giessen closed out the game with a 14-6 run, but lost 86-83. Did Phoenix Hagen lose some focus at the end which allowed Giessen to get very close again?
They were a team trying to win the game. We were playing not to lose. We had a 18 point lead going into the fourth and we had some mental lapses and they got back into the game. We stopped being aggressive and they got us back on our heals.
Phoenix Hagen had 50 rebounds and 23 assists in the game. Does the fact that the team can share the ball well get underestimated?
We are a very unselfish team and whoever has it going, we look feed that person.
Talk a little about David Bell. He was outstanding and has been doing this for years for Phoenix Hagen. He hit 6 three´s and had 9 assists. Does he seem to amaze you every new day in some form on and off the court?
DB is someone I look up to and ask for advice on and off the court. He has taken me under his wing and taught me a lot already in this very young season. What he does on the court doesn’t amaze me because he’s a great player. He works hard behind the scenes, so what he does doesn’t amaze me at all. I see the work he puts in and it transpires to the game.
Tommy Lee Smith came recently and has been a spark off the bench. How valuable is just having his character shine through each day on the court and off?
Tommy has been great! He brings experience to our team and really helps break down things. He has a high basketball IQ.
At the moment Phoenix Hagen is 2-2 and have lost to higher teams and beat the teams in their talent range. How much potential does Phoenix Hagen have?
We have a lot of potential. It’s still really early and we are working day in and day out to improve. Don’t really like how people say “higher teams” and that it’s okay if we lose to them. If you look at the box score or the games, we were in both of those games we lost. We had bad stretches in the third quarter in both games which cost us. That’s the slim margin of error that we can’t have against those teams. A lot of people look at this league and say there are the top 4 teams and everyone else in the league have the same talent level. I look at every game as an opportunity to get better and show how good Phoenix Hagen is. In my mind, when we lose to those so called “higher level” teams, it’s the same hurt that I would have if we lost to the other teams.
Phoenix Hagen has averaged giving up 90 points in the last three games. Where do you see the biggest area that needs improvement?
That definitely needs to come down and the biggest improvement we need to make is keeping the ball in front of us. One on one is critical. Take the challenge and keep your man in front of you.
You are averaging 10,5ppg and 4,0apg which is solid. How pleased have you been with your play in the first four games?
To be honest, I’m not very pleased at all. Knowing what I’m capable of doing. I’m not going to make a big deal out of these first four games though. Need to move forward and go back to having fun out there on the court. Be myself.
You averaged only 2,4apg last season in Finland and 4,0apg in the BBL. Do you see yourself being able to heighten your assist average through time and when you gain more experience in the BBL?
Don’t go into games thinking I need to get my assist up. Just do what the defense gives me. The more experience I gain, the better off I’ll be and my comfort level will be higher.
What has been the biggest adjustment for you coming from the Finish league? Is the size factor in the lane a big factor?
The big men are bigger here in the BBL, but it’s nothing that I haven’t seen before. The biggest adjustment is really is inside my head. The mental focus on the game. Really developing the mental part of my game moving forward.
You got to take 19 free throws in the first two games and only two in the last two games. Also your scoring is down a bit from the first two games. Is balancing your scoring and playmaking each game a huge challenge?
Teams have done a good job, but it’s really all on me. Have to stay in tune each play and not take plays off. That’s the mental part of the game that I need to improve on.
The next game is against the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg where you will battle experienced Dru Joyce who played high school basketball with Lebron James. Do you spend time scouting the opponents point guard? How vigorous is your own pre game scouting?
Have seen the movie “More Than A Game” with Dru Joyce and I know he’s a great player. Going to approach this game like all the other games so far.
Derrick Rose is injured again. Is there a curse on him? Do you ever see him playing a full NBA season?
People forget how great of a player D Rose is. He will return healthy and have a outstanding year.
What German food have you enjoyed the most or is the local Hagen Mcdonalds still your favorite place to get food?
Vapianos is my favorite place to eat here in Hagen!
What was the last movie that you saw?
“Beasts Of No Nation” Great movie with Idris Elba.
Thanks Brandon for the chat.