Will Barnes is a 28 year old 185cm point guard from Tuscaloosa, Alabama that is playing his third professional season with SC Rist Wedel. Last season he signed with German Pro B team Weissenhorn, but a serious knee injury kept him from playing. In the 22014-2015 season he played for the Hamburg Towers playing 28 games averaging 13.8ppg, 3.1rpg, 2.5apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 50.3%, 3PT: 28.8%, FT: 77.1% He started his basketball career in 2006 for Tennessee Tech (NCAA) where he played a total of 98 NCAA games. In 2012-2013 he played at Lee (NAIA) playing 34 games: 20.0ppg, 4.1rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 50.3%, 3PT: 41.0%, FT: 77.7%. As a rookie he played for the Finke Baskets playing 29 games: Score-3(18.8ppg), 3.5rpg, 3.4apg, FGP: 64.3%, 3PT: 37.2%, FT: 75.8%. He spoke to German Hoops after the 97-72 win over Rostock.
Will congrats on the 97-72 pounding of the Rostock Wolves. How good did it feel to get your first win with your new organization SC Rist Wedel?
Thanks Miles, it really feels great to get our first win of the season against such a good opponent. We really needed it!
SC Rist Wedel won each quarter and won by 25 points. What grade would you give the team effort for 40 minutes?
I would give our team a B because we still have a lot of work to do on defense and rebounding. But our energy & offense more than made up for those areas.
SC Rist Wedel was able to up their lead to 20 points after three quarters and you added 10 points in that quarter. What did head coach Felix Banobre want the team to do in the second half and did you stick to that in the third quarter?
Yeah we really came out and set the tone for the second half. Coach just wanted us to keep up our energy more than anything. Of course we had specific adjustments but energy was a main focus.
How proud are you of your team despite being up by 20 with one quarter to go that you didn´t lose focus and had your best defensive quarter giving up only 16 points?
Very, but that’s expected. We have some experienced guards that can handle the ball under pressure. The team as a whole did a good job in not losing focus and finishing the game strong.
One doesn´t really want to criticize anything after a big win, but did the Rostock 17 offensive rebounds present concern o you?
Yes, we definitely have to focus more on the rebounds. Looking forward, it’s one of the areas that we need to improve most
What was your impression of American Jarvis Davis who had 26 points, six rebounds and seven assists and had a great rookie season in Portugal last season. Is he a guy you can imagine being consistently at the top of the scoring list?
Davis was definitely a nice guard. I really liked his game and sure he will have a great season in the Pro B league.
SC Rist Wedel had 5 Germans in double figures. In a league that depends so much on the consistent production of it´s Germans, how content are you that your German troops will be able to do that?
As long as we play as a team and move the ball consistently we will definitely continue to get great production from our Germans. We have a really skilled group of young guys that have a promising future.
You had 13 points in the first game and led your team with 25 points in game two. How are you feeling mentally and physically on the court after your major long come back?
I’m feeling great overall. I still have some work to do in all areas but the game I had individually against Rostock does a lot for my confidence. Hard work will allow me to continue to improve throughout the season.
Do you feel like you are a different Will Barnes on the court now due to what you went through in the last year or is it still the same guy just a year older?
Yeah I just feel wiser. My game hasn’t changed as far as the type of player I am. But I definitely refined my skills and did a lot of work to better myself as a point guard. I’m focusing more on my defense and guarding the opponent’s top guards.
What things of your game are you currently content with and what things are you working on to better?
I’m content with my conditioning. Worked really hard in the offseason to improve my shape. I’m continuing to work on my outside shot, defense, and playmaking. Those are the areas where I feel I need to improve most.
What does it feel like playing only with Germans? What do you feel is the biggest aspect of your game that they all respect most?
I really enjoy my teammates here in Wedel. They are all great people and welcomed me to the squad with open arms. So it’s not uncomfortable at all. I feel they respect my leadership qualities more than anything.
Now that the great Kevin Garnett is retired, where do you feel his legacy is with the all-time great to ever have played the game?
I see KG as a top 20 player to ever do it. His success in the NBA combined with the respect players and fans of the game have for him definitely place him there in my opinion.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The last movie that I saw was Jungle Book.
Thanks Will for the chat.