David Sturner is a 206cm power forward/center playing his second season in Germany for Pro A team Dresden Titans He started his basketball career with Oregon State playing 13 NCAA games and then moved to S.Oregon (NAIA) and as a senior played 31 games: 14.6ppg, 9.2rpg, 1.2apg, 1.5bpg, FGP: 56.2%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 56.2%. He started his professional basketball career with the West Adelaide Bearcats (Australia-Central ABL) before coming to Germany. Last season for Dresden he played 27 games averaging 13.1ppg, 7.0rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 54.7%, 3PT: 31.7%, FT: 65.4%. This season he is averaging 17,3ppg, 8,3rpg and 3,0apg. He spoke to German Hoops after the tough 92-90 loss in Ehingen.
David thanks for talking to German Hoops. The Dresden Titans could easily be 3-1 now, but instead are 0-4. How have you been coping with the early season nightmare?
Hey Miles, always good talking with you. It hasn’t been the start we had hoped for, but I wouldn’t call it a nightmare. We’ve had the lead in the fourth quarter of 3 out of the 4 games but have really struggled to finish strong. It’s just been hard knowing that we let those games slip away, but important that we keep moving forward and not letting those losses get us down.
Has it been more a question of just having had misfortune or do you believe that the problem lies more with in the play of the team?
Honestly it’s come down to giving the other teams second chance possessions, and not being smart with our play in the final minutes of the games. When you give up 20 offensive rebounds, or turnover the ball 20 times you can’t really blame anything on misfortune or bad luck.
The Dresden Titans lost their third tight game of the season in Ehingen. With every new loss, how difficult is it coping mentally of needing to finally win that first game?
Part of being successful in sport is looking forward and not dwelling on your losses. I don’t think our losses effect the next game, or how important it is to get our first win. We have the talent and depth, it’s just a matter of things clicking and starting to play the way we are capable of.
Despite the 0-4 start, does the team know and understand how much talent is aboard which keeps the self-confidence not suffering, but living on?
Absolutely, we have a very deep and talented young team. There isn’t a weak spot in our roster and that is something that will carry us through the season. We know what we’re capable of and that will eventually shine through.
Dresden gave up 28 points in the first quarter, but countered with 29 points in the second quarter. Is the comeback ability and desire a strength that will pay off more for the team as the season progresses?
I think yes, the fact that we are resilient as a team will come up big in a lot of games, however, we need to be able to play at our best for 4 quarters. That’s something we haven’t been able to do yet.
After each team had their blow out quarter, both teams seemed to be at one level in the third quarter. Did both teams find their game better in the third quarter?
We began the 3rd quarter well and I believe extended the lead to 11 but let them climb back into the game by the end of the quarter. I think they did some good things to slow us down and we were outworked.
The game went back and forth in the fourth quarter with multiple lead changes. You could of sent the game into OT with a last second shot. Is this a centers biggest nightmare missing that last second shot near the rim?
I was pretty devastated when I saw the ball rim out, but the situation where I had to miss a free throw and put it back in with a second left wasn’t exactly where we wanted to be at the end of the game. That’s just how the game goes sometimes.
When you look back at the game, what could the Dresden Titans have done better overall that wouldn´t have had to have you have to take that last second shot to send it in to OT?
We could have boxed out better and prevented them from getting so many offensive rebounds, and taken better care of the ball. If we do those two things, it’s a different ball game.
Ehingen won the Pro B title last season and you played against them. How are they looking this season compared to last season and will they survive the Pro A?
Ehingen is well coached and a very tough team. They have the pieces they need to stay in the Pro A and with guys like Danny Berger leading their team, anything is possible for them.
Dresden are #1 in scoring and #1 in most points allowed. What are the main flaws on the defensive end that have allowed you to give up so many points?
Like I addressed earlier, we are giving up way too many offensive rebounds and turning over the ball too much. Those two things equal extra opportunities for the other teams to score. Teams aren’t shooting a good percentage against us, but they are getting more FG attempts than us. That hurts us a lot.
Last season Pro A team Hebeisen White Wings Hanau started 0-5 and just missed the playoffs. Is future success more a question of all getting on the same page and utilizing their strength best than just blaming bad luck?
Yes, I think we have all the pieces it takes to have a successful season and to be in the mix of the Pro A, it will just be a matter of time before we are playing to our potential.
Dresden is obviously stronger than last season, but what major impulses have Americans Jervon Pressley and RJ Price given the team so far?
Both Jervon and RJ bring great and unique strengths to our team. Jervon is a strong, athletic shot blocker, something we didn’t have last year. And RJ is a strong guard who can slash and has range who compliments Randal Holt and our other guards very well.
You had a super game against Ehingen scoring 23 points, hauling down 11 rebounds and dishing out seven assists. You seem to have needed no adjustment time. Does the Pro A cater best to your game?
Thank you. We have a ton of talent in our team, and because of that it’s hard for teams to guard us. Having offensively gifted teammates opens up a lot of opportunities for everyone.
What do you need to do on your game so you can continue to heighten your game as the season progresses?
I need to focus more on rebounding and my help side defense. We are struggling in those two categories and we won’t start winning games until we do a better job at them.
Kevin Garnett has retired. Where does his legacy stand now with the all-time greats that ever played the game?
Growing up I was a big KG fan. He was unlike any power forward I had ever watch play. He kind of paved the way for today’s best NBA forwards. I think he could be considered a top 10 PF all-time.
What was the last movie that you saw?
My wife Sydney and I watched the movie “Man on Fire” the other night.
Thanks David for the chat.