Hayden Lescault is a 23 year old 196cm guard from Folsam, California playing his rookie season with BG Karlsruhe. He played at Point Loma (NCAA2) from 2011-2015 and as a senior played 21 games averaging 11.5ppg, 4.1rpg, 3.7apg, 2.1spg, FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 29.7%, FT: 78.7%. In his junior season he won the NCAA 2 title and played : 30 games: 16.6ppg, 3.5rpg, 3.8apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 52.4%, 3PT: 38.8%, FT: 72.5%. He spoke to German Hoops before the game against the Fraport Skyliners Juniors.
Hayden thanks for talking toGerman Hoops. Congrats on the huge 71-68 win against the Dresden Titans. Is BG Karlsruhe becoming more and more a crunch time team since its experience having done it against Weissenhorn and Wurzburg?
Absolutely. While we would obviously prefer to win games by a larger margin, all of these close games we have been in are really helping us get battle tested. Now when the game is on the line with 2 minutes left, we have the confidence to stay under control and pull out wins because we have done it time and time again.
How key was teammate Rouven Roessler for securing the win as he scored the last 7 BG Karlsruhe points in notching the win?
There is never a moment too big for Rouven, he has so much experience and has played the game for so many years that he knows how to finish games. He can tell when our team needs someone to step up and take a big shot and he will knock it down. So he has been big for us down the stretch of close games.
BG Karlsruhe is currently battling Ehingen for the top spot in the German Pro B south. You lost the first game 76-67. Even though you should always concentrate on the next opponent is the team already thinking for some revenge in the back of their minds for the return game?
Not at all. All year long we have been preaching just concentrating on the next game. Being at the top of the league means that there is a big target on our back and we will get every teams best shot. So whoever the next opponent is, we put all our focus into that game because we know that’s what it’ll take to win.
What is the secret to the success of the team so far? How key is the experience of Rouven Roessler, Marcus Smallwood and Jeremy Black?
Their experience is huge for us, whether on the court or in the locker room. When you have three guys with that much experience it really helps the team. I would say the secret to our teams success so far would just be how well rounded our team is. We have a dominant presence inside with Black, Smallwood, and Lind. To go along with that, we have great shooters and ball handlers and when you have multiple threats on the court, it’s very hard to guard. We also take pride in our defense and try to win the game on that end of the floor.
BG Karlsruhe averages 82 points a game and give up 69 points. Despite the current good play what parts of the team game can still be tweaked?
I don’t think we have played our best basketball yet. It’s a long season and the goal is to keep improving every day at every aspect of our game. While holding our opponents to 69 points a game is good, I think we can improve on that.
Would you agree that BG Karlsruhe have the best 4-5 men in the league with Smallwood and Black who almost average 20 rebounds per game combined?
Definitely. They are two guys who have never ending motors and they go after every rebound and try to contest every shot. I haven’t seen a better 4-5 combo in this league than them.
You are playing your rookie season in Germany coming from the NCAA 2 with Point Loma (NCAA2). What has been the biggest adjustment coming from the NCAA2?
The biggest adjustment for me would be the pace of play. On my college team we would use most of the shot clock, which was 35 seconds, every possession. But now this game is more up tempo and pushing the ball in transition. I like this pace a lot more.
How would you describe your game? You are a versatile player that seems to be able to do a bit of everything. What is your role for BG Karlsruhe that has many offensive options?
I think versatile is actually the perfect word. I try to sharpen all aspect of my game so that I can’t be put in a single category. Whether it be ball handling, shooting, passing, or attacking the basket, I like to take pride in being a well rounded player. We start most games trying to establish an early inside presence with Black and Smallwood. So when I check in, I would say my roll is to increase the pace of the game a little bit and be a spark for the offense.
How important has Rouven Roessler been for you? How has he helped you get adapted to the German game best?
Going against Rouven in practice on a daily basis has helped me a lot. Just seeing some of the things he does on the court that have brought him so much success in his career has helped my game expand. He also trusts in me a lot during games, often calling plays for me or telling me to keep shooting. I think that’s helped my confidence in games and has led to better play.
What part of his game has impressed you most that he can still do so well at age 35?
The way that he can score in a variety of ways is very impressive. He’ll knock down a three, take you off the dribble to the basket, or post you up. Having all of those options makes him a match up nightmare for the other team even at 35.
Where does Marcus Smallwood rank in best 198cm rebounders that you have played with in your career? He has had had double double stats in Germany in 5 seasons.
Marcus is one of the guys that is nearly impossible to box out. He’s strong and quick and is always working on getting in the right position to grab a board. He definitely ranks right up there at the top.
You won the NCAA2 title in 2014 with Point Loma (NCAA2). When you look back at this run what was the biggest hurdle that the team needed to overcome to get the title?
The biggest hurdle for that team, as much as I hate to admit it, was beating one of our rivals Azusa Pacific in the post season. They had beaten us by 1 point at home and then in overtime at their place in the regular season. So when we played them in the post season and ended up beating them by about 15, our team knew we were playing at a high level and could make a run to the championship.
You have expressed that your dad was a big part of you becoming the player that you are now, but besides his help how did Bill Carr help groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
Coach Carr helped with my preparation and dedication. He demanded that when you step on his basketball court, you better have your shoes tied, jersey tucked in, and have a good sweat going by the time practice started. This resulted in myself and a couple other guys on the team showing up 20 minutes early, then 30 minutes, eventually it became an hour early. That helped get me extremely dedicated to the game.
What kind of advice does your dad give you as you are a professional. How much of an influence is he now for you?
My Dad watches all of our games at home the following day. He gives me advice and pointers here and there, but at this point he’s told me that he is more of a fan and he’s just happy that I’m over here doing what I love.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Sam Okhotin?
I have to take myself in that one, but if it was a three point contest that might be a different story. The guy can really shoot it.
It has been more than 5 years ago, but do you ever look back at the crazy 69-66 triple OT win against Center where you played a vital role?
That might be my favorite basketball game that I ever played in. You just don’t forget nights like that.
What is the state of Lebron James in 2015? Do you think that one day he will be mentioned in the same breath as a Michael Jordan?
I think he will. He’s an amazing player and there is really nothing that he can’t do. I hope to see him and the Cavs in a finals rematch against Step Curry and the Warriors.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
The Martian with Matt Damon. Good movie.
Thanks Hayden for the chat.