Kruize Pinkins is a 23 year old 201cm forward from Marianna, Florida that is playing his second professional season with the Hebeisen White Wings. He started his basketball career at Chipola (JUCO). He then played at USF (NCAA) from 2013-2015 and as a senior played 32 games averaging 13.9ppg, 5.5rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 52.1%, 3PT: 39.0%, FT: 65.0%. As a rookie last season with the Hebeisen White Wings he played : 29 games averaging 13.1ppg, Reb-3(9.1rpg), 1.1apg, FGP: 49.8%, 3PT: 20.8%, FT: 68.9%He spoke to German Hoops after the satisfying 74-68 win at home
Kruize congrats on the big 74-68 win at home. After the embarrassing 71-63 loss last weekend in Essen was the team especially focused to get back into the win column?
Yes we knew we let one slip away on the road and Essen. That was a learning point for us that we can’t take any game for granted. So we came in more focused from the start.
Gotha had the tight 38-37 advantage at halftime as no team was able to lead by more than three points. Was the first half a good old fashioned battle and why couldn´t any team break away?
Yes it was a battle throughout the whole game but we knew it would be a battle, because Gotha is a good team.
Gotha led 59-53 after three quarters and was able to break away a bit. What adjustments were they able to make to get away somewhat.
I wouldn’t say it was so much of adjustments. We had a few defensive stops in a row but we turned the ball over a few times and they were able to score off those turnovers
In the fourth quarter the Hebeisen White Wings clamped down on defense allowing only nine points and scoring 21 points. How big was it for the team getting to the line and what adjustments did you make on the defensive end to preserve the win?
We talk about defense every day in practice and everyone knows anybody can play defensive for the first 3 quarters but it’s the 4th quarter were it gets tough. We knew that whoever stepped it up on defensive side would have the better chance of pulling away. We were also more aggressive on getting to the basket and drawing fouls and that played in our favor also.
The Hebeisen White Wings are 3-3 now whereas last season they started 0-5. Why has the team started so much better this season than last season?
Last year it was tough because we had a lot of different guys come and go. This year we weve been together since August so that’s definitely an advantage from last years start.
This season the club also seems to have a new type of identity on the defensive end. What has been the secret to giving up only 71 points through five games?
Last year I feel like we were also good defensively throughout the season it’s just the way that coach wants us to play defensively. I do feel like we are getting better on defense each week
German Till Joschka Joenke has made a big step and secured the point guard position. He has always been talented, but what has been key in his rapid development in the early stage of the season?
He just plays hard and competes every night that he is on the court. He is not going to let anyone play harder than him and that’s why he has been successful and he is being more of a leader.
Eugene Harris is one of those guys that can always get going. Do you feel like his time is still going to happen this season?
He has been playing great for us. He can get hot at any moment. I’m not worried about him I know he is going to bring it every game!
Head coach Simon Cote had a tough first season with the club, but still finished strong. How has he matured from last season and how has his coaching helped the team best this season?
He just works so hard, he is always thinking about the team and what he can do better in order for us to be successful. We see how much he cares about us and that plays a big role in how a team plays. If your coach is a jerk your not going to go out and play your heart out . With Simon it’s the total opposite, he is a great guy and that makes us want to go all out every night.
After your four point performance last weekend against the ETB Wohnbau Baskets, how annoyed were you and did you go into the Gotha game with a chip on your shoulder?
No not at all, everyone has bad games that Essen game wasn’t even on my mind. I just went into the Gotha game thinking we needed to get a win.
You are more of a scoring beast this season despite the team having many scoring options. Do you have to score more this season or has the increased scoring come with the flow of the game?
I’m just playing basketball, the scoring is just coming along with the flow of the game.
You have stated in the last interview that you wanted to work more on your three last summer. So far this season you have only attempted five shots from downtown. Is your three a part of your game that will be used more in time as the season moves along?
Shots haven’t fallen but I’ll continue to take some. So yeah.
After your strong rookie season last year, do you feel ready to make the next step this season as a top Pro A player?
I’m not really concerned about being a top pro A player I know what I’m capable of. I’m more concerned on winning games to make the playoffs and compete for a championship the rest will take care of itself
Kevin Garnett has retired. Where do you see his legacy in comparison to the all-time best power forwards in the NBA?
KG is a top 5 all-time power forward. Just his passion for the game itself was amazing to watch I’m glad I got to watch him growing up. The game is really going to miss him.
What was then last movie that you saw?
Cheaper by the Dozen.
Thanks Kruize for the chat.