Brandon Lockhart is a 26 year old 185cm guard from St Louis, Missouri that is playing his third professional season and first with the ScanPlus Baskets Elchingen (Germany-ProB). Last season he played for the Giants TSV 1861 Noerdlingen (Germany-Pro B) playing 29 games averaging 16.8ppg, 4.1rpg, 5.7apg, 2.5spg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 26.8%, FT: 81.1% 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 season opening 105-74 win against Wurzburg.
Brandon congrats on the overpowering 105-74 win against Wurzburg. After the preseason and all the hard work did you expect to come out with such a good result before the game started?
Danke Miles! Starting the season with a win is all we really had in mind. I do not think any of us believed the game would have a result as such.
Wurzburg had the narrow 22-19 lead after one quarter, but in the second quarter the ScanPlus baskets got their offense going with 33 points and gave up only 8 points to have the overwhelming 52-30 lead at the break. What did head coach Dario Jerkic want the team do change up in the second frame?
We were lacking focus on the defensive side of the ball and allowed them a bunch of second chances. So in the 2nd quarter, we wanted to make it harder for them to score and really focus on grabbing rebounds when they missed.
The Elchingen offense kept scoring,scoring and scoring adding 31 points in the third quarter. What makes the squad so dangerous on the offensive end?
We have a good number of players that can score the ball in a variety of ways. Therefore the defense cannot just lock in on 1 or 2 players. They have to be worried about all 5 players on the court because anyone can score at any time.
But it isn´t just the offensive end, but on the defensive end you had 14 team steals and forced Wurzburg to 23 turnovers. What has been key for getting so many on the same page so early on the defensive end?
We still have a long way to go but it’s something we work on daily at practice. We really want the defensive side of the ball to carry us because we know there will be games when shots are not going in.
Would the score have been closer if Wurzburg had had some Americans. They played with only one import last season and this season recently added a new American, but he didn´t play.
Wurzburg is a good team that has talent so I believe the score would be closer if we played the same roster today or tomorrow. Lucky for us, we were clicking on both sides of the ball which contributed to the score being as such.
The ScanPlus baskets had five guys in double figures. Does this team make your job a bit easier than last season where Nordlingen needed you to score much every game with it´s non deep scoring roster?
I don’t know if it makes my job easier, but it does change it some. I might not have to score as much, but I still have to go out each game and give it my all. So my approach to the game is still the same.
What has been your early impression of rookie Taevaunn Prince. Is this a guy that will be able to make a consistent impact week in and week out?
I would characterize Taévaunn as a “walking bucket” because he can get you a basket however you want it whenever you need it. He led all of NCAA DII last year in scoring and that just doesn’t happen easily. I hope and believe that he will put up big numbers for us this season.
How important is the fact that the ScanPlus Baskets have a nice mix of imports and not only Americans. Has this reality had an early impact on the healthy growing team chemistry?
It’s still early in the season and chemistry on/off the court is still developing. We are at a good point for this part of the season and I hope positive chemistry continues to happen within the club!
You had a very solid game with 14 points, six rebounds, nine assists and three steals. How is your role different this season to last?
As the point guard, I feel my role is still the same no matter my stat lines. I still have to lead vocally and by example.
What is your main goal as a player this season besides winning. You obviously are not depended to score as much as last season. Could this be a season where your playmaking goes to a new dimension?
With the amount of players we have this season that can score, having high assist totals are definitely in reach. I’ve always been a fan of passing more than scoring, so it should be a really fun year!
Defense is also a big part of your game. In a team that has many athletes, how is your defensive game able to grow this season which it might not have been last season?
Haha coaches are not really a fan unless I get it, but it allows me to take a few more chances on defense. But it also allows me to pressure the ball more, which coaches like, without the fear of getting beat because help side can arrive quicker.
Jordan Talbert is in Karlsruhe and Janek Schmidtkunz in Gotha. How much do you miss these guys and how sure are you that both guys will be checking your box score each weekend to see how well you are doing?
I definitely miss those guys! They are like brothers to me. The three of us had a tremendous connection on/off the court. We are all in contact a couple times a week and have already told each other we will be keeping up with games and even try to catch a couple in person.
What does a football fan do in St Louis now without the Rams during the winter? Do you still follow them now even though they are home in Los Angeles now?
Luckily for me, I was never really attached to the Rams. It would hurt more if the Cardinals were to leave the StL. So I’m not sure what a Rams’ fan does during football season.
The great Kevin Garnett has retired. Where is his legacy now with the alltime great that have played in the NBA?
He is definitely one of the best to ever do it! I think basketball people could sit around for days and debate whether or not he is a top 5 PF of all time. But no debate about whether or not he will end up in the Hall of Fame!
What was the last movie that you have seen?
Thanks Brandon for the chat.