Terence Billups is a 198cm forward from Jeffersonville, Indiana that is playing his fourth professional season and third in Germany. After tearing up the Regionaliga with Cottbus and Rendsburg, he now will attempt the next step in the pro B with the UNI-Riesen Leipzig. He started his basketball career with Western Dakota Tech (JUCO) and then moved to Indiana SE (NAIA) in 2012 playing 20 games averaging 9.9ppg, 3.4rpg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 58.6%, 3PT: 46.0%, FT: 85.7%. In 2013 he started his professional basketball career with West Michigan Lake Hawks (ABA). In the 2014-2015 season he came to Germany to BBC White Devils Cottbus (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 22 games Score-3(24.8ppg), 8.2rpg, 2.8apg, 1.6spg, Blocks-2(2.0bpg), FGP: 54.2%, 3PT: 38.8%, FT: 76.3%.In the 2015-2016 season he played for Basketball Club Rendsburg (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 26 games averaging 18.9ppg, 6.3rpg, 2.4apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 50.7%, 3PT: 27.2%, FT: 67.3%. He spoke to German Hoops after the big 73-67 win on the road against the Fraport Skyliners Juniors.
Congrats on the big 73-67 win on the road in Frankfurt. Describe the ride back home to Leipzig. Was their some serious celebration going on or was it more relaxed knowing it was only one game and the team needs many more wins?
It was a relaxed ride back. We are happy we won this game for sure, but this isn’t the time to have a celebration. We still have a long way to go.
You gave up 67 points one point fewer than in the win against Rhondorf. Was this the best defensive performance of the season or do you feel that Rhondorf was better?
I feel like we are improving day by day defensively and as a team. I would say that when we are communicating as a team, we will have more games like this where teams are unable to score easily.
What did the Uni-Riesen Leipzig want to improve on the defensive end and what did you do better as a whole than last weekend against Wurzburg?
We just wanted to play defense the way we worked on in practice the week before. And stay solid and communicate with one another. I think we just kept playing basketball and didn’t give up in touch situations.
The Uni-Riesen Leipzig were down 60-47 after three quarters. What did head coach Anton Mirolybov tell the team and how was the overall mood of the team?
Coach Anton came up with a game plan and we just executed it. We just did so play by play to win the game.
That 23-0 run was very intense in the fourth quarter which totally turned the game around in your favor. Do you believe this run will give confidence to the team that is able to get in the zone in games?
I think we have all the pieces to be a very good team and with this run and win, I think it gave us confidence as a team to play good basketball and get good results at the end.
The bench, youth and consistency has been a problem all season long, but how key was 29 year old German Ben Hruschka who scored in bunches in the game and gave some stability from the bench?
Ben is good for us from the bench because he plays with confidence, intelligence, and mostly makes the right play for the team.
When the Fraport Skyliners Juniors went on that last 7-0 run to cut your lead to 70-67, how vital was German Sascha Leutloff. Did he give the team some last words of wisdom?
I think it was key that Sascha made his free throws throughout the game. He played well in the game and it was definitely vital having him on the court. In the huddle at the end of the game, he basically said that he was proud of how we fought until the end.
What have you learned to appreciate most about Jordan Faison´s game and how has your relationship with him grown in the last weeks?
I appreciate his character most. He is really a cool guy off the court. And on the court, he is strong in the post and does his job well for the team and that’s what I can appreciate about Jordan. We have a good relationship. We get along well on and off the court.
Do you feel that the Uni-Riesen Leipzig can play consistent defense instead of up and down in the next games? Is the effort and will to defend with the team now?
I think that when we can consistently defend teams well, but of course we have to prove that game by game. We always want to defend with teams, but again, we have to prove that we can do just that.
The next game is against scoring team ScanPlus Baskets. What will be key to giving a good effort for 40 minutes and getting a two game winning streak?
When we play smart and with intensity, we will have a good game. We will gain momentum and runs out of that. We will have a game plan and be prepared well. So when we do our jobs well, we can look forward to a two game winning streak.
You have been very very consistent in your first pro B season scoring in double figures in each game. Why do you feel has the adjustment from the Regionaliga gone so well for you?
I think that I could score many more points than what I’m averaging now. But I think that it becomes an individual performance and not a team performance. I have confidence that we have many players that can score in their own way. So I do my best to make the correct play for the team whether it’s a pass, drive, or whatever. And I try to bring a level of defense that takes the opponents out of their rhythm and bring momentum to our side. I simply play my game in any league and give the team what they need.
I can imagine that you feel like you could be even more efficient in the 33 minutes that you average per game. What do you want to continue to improve in your game as the season progresses?
I think the biggest thing for me now as far as being more efficient is making my 3pt shots. I’ve had a rough start, but the past 2 or 3 games now have been much more effective. So at this point, I want to focus on continuing having good shooting percentages per game.
Taking care of the ball has been an issue with you this season. What is the biggest adjustment coming from the Regionaliga to the Pro B when facing opposing defenses?
I think that I’ve just had a rough start coming into the Pro B. The preseason was good, but the beginning wasn’t the best. And along with my initial low shooting percentages, I’ve made some bad plays that resulted in turnovers. I’m playing much better now and look to play the way that I know I’m capable of playing.
Who wins a one on one in practice you or Jordan Faison?
Jordan and I just had a one on one game today in practice (First to 10pts by 1s and 2s make it, take it). We placed a small bet that the winner would get lunch from the loser. And I’m happy to say that I will get a free meal. Lol But he requested a rematch of the best of 3. So we will play once again pretty soon.
What have you learned to appreciate most from your new second home Leipzig?
I’ve learned to appreciate riding a bike within the city. You see so much when you do this. And I’ve learned to appreciate that quite a bit.
What do you believe will be the fate of the Golden State Warriors this season? Once they are accustomed to each other do you see them being unstoppable after the allstar break?
I think that once they get the bench figured out, they will win a championship this year. They have so much fire power in the starting five, but much less fire power in the second line up.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The last movie I saw was Bourne Legacy.
Thanks Terrence for the chat.