Brandon Lockhart is a 25 year old 185cm guard from St Louis, Missouri that is playing hiss econd professional season and first with German team Giants Nordlingen. AS a rookie he played for BK Levicki Patrioti (Slovakia-Extraliga) playing 34 games: Score-5(16.7ppg), 3.8rpg, Assists-5(4.3apg), Steals-1(3.0spg), FGP: 50.2%, 3PT: 28.5%, FT: 78.9%. He played at Drury (NCAA2) from 2009-2013 and as a senior played 35 games averaging 12.5ppg, 3.9rpg, 6.1apg, 2.9spg, FGP: 50.9%, 3PT: 48.3%, FT: 77.1%. He spoke to German Hoops after the thrilling 79-77 win against Iserlohn
Congrats Brandon on the big 79-77 win against Iserlohn. How big was the feeling of belief before and during the game that the Giants Nordlingen could win this game?
Danke Miles! Iserlohn is a really good team. But we go into every game thinking that we have a chance to win if we play our game. We knew it would be tough and just wanted to keep it close because we knew the closer we kept it, the more the pressure builds on them.
How did this win show basketball Germany that a thin rotation can beat a deep rotation?
I think it just shows that it’s not a guarantee a team will always win because they have a deeper rotation.
The Giants Nordlingen and Dresden Titans are the little darlings of the German Pro B. Both teams beat the top teams in the first game showing their underdog strength. How do you feel does Nordlingen and Dresden share this special approach of going out and being able to beat the favorite?
It just shows that on any given day, anyone can be beaten. I cannot speak for Dresden, but I know we felt like most of the pressure to win this game was on them. So we just wanted to play freely and keep the pressure on them.
The Giants Nordlingen had the slim 36-34 advantage at halftime. With what words of wisdom did head coach Mario Matic send the troops into battle in the second half?
He just reminded us of the things we talked about before the game like taking care of the ball because that stops them from getting out in transition which is when they are really good. Continuing to rebound and not allowing them extra possessions or easy baskets.
With five minutes to go the Giants Nordlingen were behind 71-64 and then broke out on a 11-0 run to take the 75-71 lead. The club got instant offense from many guys. Was there any huddle or special words form someone on the court that helped get the team get on track in that phase?
We just kept telling each other to play to the end! We kept encouraging each other to stick with it. It had been a game of runs all night so we knew we would eventually have one of ours. I’m sure we didn’t think it would be 11-0 at that time but we were pleased by it.
At the end it was free throws that sealed the win. Did you expect German Ruben Dahmen to miss his last two free throws that would have put the game into OT which kind of made it a very bitter loss for Iserlohn?
I did not because he is a pretty good shooter. Luckily the ball bounces your way at the end of games and last night it happened to do that for us.
During the 40 minute game Nordlingen played seven guys and Iserlohn only nine guys. Was this small difference noticeable on the floor for the 40 minutes in having to balance your energy?
I would say yes because of all the scoring runs that happened during the game. Whenever we tried to catch our breath, they brought in players with fresh legs which made it a little more challenging for us on the defensive end.
You played 36 minutes scoring 25 points and hauling down 8 boards and dishing out six assists. At this point of the season does playoff adrenaline erase fatigue in these type of games?
I don’t think it erases it but it definitely helps you to push through it. It’s the playoffs, so you can’t let fatigue be the reason you lose games. Just have to dig deep, push through it, and rest after the games.
You really took up the slack scoring 8 buckets in the paint in game one. Was it one of those games where you just concentrated more on what the defense gave you?
I try to do that every game. Last night the lane was open from time to time and I wanted to take advantage of that. Things change from game to game, especially in a series, so maybe next game I’ll have to score from different areas.
How efficient was German Kwame Duku with 10 points and seven rebounds with his play?
He had a really solid performance last night! Kwame knows his role and plays hard each game. If he continues to do this, it will only make us a better team.
The Giants Nordlingen can win the series at home against Iserlohn. With what kind of approach will the team go into the game?
The same one we had last game because now I think they have slightly more pressure on them because they know this is a do-or-die game for them. So we can really just go out and play our game. But I would be lying if I said we did not want to close out the series on our home court.
Is taking care of the ball going to be one of the main priorities to clean up in game two as the club coughed up the ball 21 times in game one?
Taking care of the ball is always a priority for us. We really struggled with that in the first half of last nights game. But it’s good that we had that many because it will give us something to focus on for this week of preparation.
The Golden State Warriors won a tight game against the Grizzlies coming back from 10 to win. They need to win their last two games against the Spurs and Grizzlies to have the best NBA record of all time. Seriously will the Spurs let this happen?
I hope the Spurs, or the Grizz beat them, because I am a 90s Bulls fan. So I do not want the Warriors to beat the record.
Where do you rank the exciting Villanova buzzer beater win in alltime NCAA final games?
For NCAA final games, that’s probably the best finish to a game that I have witnessed in my years watching the tourney.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Brandon for the chat.