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 after the 73-69 win against the Licher Basket Baeren.
Congrats Jordan on the 73-69 win in Lich. How important was it setting the tone right from the start scoring 25 points in the first quarter. Was there already a small mental advantage early for Nordlingen on the Lich home court?
Yes its always important to have a good start to the game especially away games. I don’t think there was a mental advantage. We just were fortunate to have Janek out there making shots and take their fans out of the game early.
The game was very tight in the fourth quarter. Lich forward Elijah Allen kept Lich in the game. What made it so hard to stop him tonight?
He really had his shot going against us. When a scorer feels good and is making shots they’re really tough to stop. We did a good job of weathering the storm and still maintained control of the game.
Nordlingen kept Lich scoreless for three minutes in the fourth down the stretch while Brandon Lockhart scored 8 points to secure the win. What was key in the last minutes to seal the win on offense and defense?
On offense Brandon did a great job of putting pressure on their defense by attacking the basket and getting to the free throw line. On defense we really wanted to allow Elijah only tough shots and focus on getting defensive rebounds.
Janek Schmidkunz shot 9/18 in the last two big wins against Team Ehingen and Lich. How much has he matured on the court with his game since the loss in Frankfurt?
He has continued to play huge for us and carry us offensively most games. I think he has the ultimate confidence in his shot and we have the ultimate confidence in him to make them for us.
Schmidkunz has scored in double figures in every game this season. Where would the team be now without his timely shooting?
We would definitely be struggling if it weren’t for him, but that can be said about majority of our players. We all have a specific role and we wouldn’t be successful as a team if we didn’t come and perform our role.
Nordlingen goes into the Christmas break with a 4 game winning streak. Has the more consistent defense been the most impressive thing in this winning streak?
I think our defense has definitely improved. Chris and Leo have given us great effort on the defensive end during our run. Hopefully we can keep this up into the year 2016.
Nordlingen goes into the Christmas break with a record of 7-5. What is your team summary after 12 games?
We’re actually 8-5 and we’re pleased right now with our standing. After starting the season 2-4, giving a couple games away in the finals minutes, we came together as a team and set a goal of going into the break with this record. Accomplishing our goal of winning 6 out of 7 has been a great boast to our confidence.
How proud are you of the team that they have turned the season around despite losing captain Fabian Brutting after the third game?
Losing Fabi was definitely a huge blow. He’s such a vital part to our team we had to adjust and do it quickly. Bringing Leo has definitely helped, he’s done a great job with his shooting and defense which is a reason why we adjusted so well.
At the beginning of the season Nordlingen had problems in crunch time losing to Frankfurt, Leipzig and Elchingen, but now have won close games in the last weeks against Weissenhorn and now Lich. Is there more trust within each other in tight times on the court?
Yea after losing those games the way we did. I think we’ve become more focused on the details and more of a cohesive unit since then. Our chemistry continues to improve which has shown over the past games.
Your averaging 16 points and 12 rebounds. How happy have you been with your play? Those are good stats, but on a team that has scorers with Brandon Lockhart and Janek Schmidkunz do you believe that increasing your stats will be possible?
Personally I’ve been up and down with the judgement of my play. Increasing my stats is definitely possible but it’s surely not my main focus. Winning is the number 1 goal and whatever it takes is what I’m willing to do. I just want to continue going out and putting a great effort and let the stats speak for themselves.
In what other areas can you focus on in your game in the second half of the season?
I want/have to continue to rebound the ball in order for us to win. My shooting needs to improve and I believe that will happen in second half too. Of course I have to play defense at a high level also.
What are your team and individual goals in the second half of the season?
Team goals for us is to just get some good momentum coming into the playoffs and get the best position possible. Individuals goals for myself is to just keep doing what I’m doing to help the team. Make sure I maintain my effort and intensity and not worry about anything else.
What is your fondest memory of Skyler Bowlin on the court at Missouri So? He made the MIAA all defensive team all 4 seasons. He said he has seen you go from a role player to a complete player. How did he help you as a freshman?
I was able to spend 2 seasons with Sky and I learned so many things from him during that time. During my redshirt freshman year I remember that I would always come into the locker room to take a nap in between classes. During that time he would be in the locker room too drenched in sweat from a workout he just did by himself. While I was sleeping he was always working. And to see his improvement just from his junior to senior season I already knew why. He was a leader in every way possible and that definitely motivated me to work on my craft the much harder.
What was your fondest childhood memory of Christmas?
There are so many, its hard just to pick one. Anytime I think of Christmas I just think of all the family time spent together. Not just with my family but with my close friends families also. Those moments you never forget.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Crazy, Stupid, Love. Awesome movie.
Thanks Jordan for the chat.