Lamar Mallory is a 26 year old 198cm forward from Dayton, Ohio that is playing his second season in Germany with the Licher Basket Baeren (Germany-ProB). Before coming to Germany, he started his professional career with the Albury Wodonga Bandits (Australia-SEABL) playing 5 games: 17.8ppg, 10.2rpg, 1.2apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 56.5%, FT: 57.9%. He played at Glenville St. (NCAA2) and as a senior played 25 games: 18.6ppg, 8.2rpg, 1.1apg, 1.2spg, FGP: NCAA2-2(68.1%). Last season with the Licher Basket Baeren (Germany-ProB) he played 21 games averaging 17.9ppg, 7.8rpg, 1.7spg, FGP: 60.1%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 67.5%. He scored in double figures in 19 of 21 games and had monster games against Speyer with 29 and 28 points and had a 28 point explosion against Wurzburg. He spoke to German Hoopsbefore the start of the 2016-2017 season.
Lamar thanks for talking to German Hoops.Did you make any 2017 New Years resolutions or are you more the type of guy that doesn´t waste his time with that?
No problem guys, thank you for having me. Yes, I have a resolution and its the same for every new year. My wish is to do better than I did the year before.
Congrats on the huge 85-84 win. How good did it feel to get back on the winning track after the loss in Frankfurt?
Thank you. It felt super good, Even though it was a dog fought game. I have to give credit to Nordlingen, they definitely attacked us, made us change our defense around but it felt really to see us come out on top with the win.
The Giants Nordlingen had the 49-39 lead at halftime. What was giving Lich the biggest problems on defense trying to contain their scoring?
I think our biggest problem was the intensity on defense, which I also think has been our past problem, just defense. But once we came together and turned up the pressure, I think it showed in the last minute how strong we can be defensively.
What adjustments did Lich want to make in the second half and what was key for the 27 points scoring attack in the third quarter?
Our biggest adjustment was to pick up the energy on defense, more active hands, we wanted to be wider in the open court, better close outs, because they were knocking down clutch shots, and talking more, know where each others man is, and I think once we do that it makes our defense a threat.
What an amazing fourth quarter. Nordlingen was up by seven points and Lich stormed back to tie the game only to allow Nordlingen to get the lead back and lead 84-78 with 1.54 minutes to go. How was the team feeling at this point?
We felt like we were still in it. That’s plenty of time to make something happen. We knew that we had to be smart and try to make the best plays possible.
How much did good conditioning factor into being able to comeback one more time?
Conditioning was definitely a factor for coming back and winning this game. It really was a factor mentally, because your mind sets up the signal that communicates with your body, that’s where the will to fight comes from, it starts with your mind. If you dont let your mind give up, then your body wont give up. I think mentally nobody wanted to give up and in the end, that attitude made us victorious.
The Licher Basket Baeren closed out the game with a 7-0 run and won with your buzzer beater. Was this the most heart and character the team has shown all season long?
It was definitely a big moment for all of us, I think we needed this lift. I wouldn’t say it was the most heart shown this season, we’ve definitely had other moments. It was just a joyful moment for us. Everyone fought really hard and wanted to win so bad, it was just a rewarding feeling.
Take us through your buzzer beater. Was this a designed play or off a broken play?
I cant vividly recall whether it was a set play or broken. If there was a set play I think it ended up being a “no-call offense”, and the guy with the best look goes for the basket. In a situation like that being down 1, 10 seconds on the clock, we wanted to get a quick bucket, no matter who it came from.
How many buzzer beater have you had in your career and where did the one against Nordlingen rate in comparison to others in your career?
Rate, a 10. That was my first buzzer beater. It felt good too.
Lich had been on a 4 game losing streak and in three of the four loses, the club lost tight games. Did the team have a crunch-time problem until the win in Nordlingen?
I think in the Weissenhorn game, we may have struggled closing, but other than that I feel like it was a bit of bad luck. And as you can see, any team with the will power to win can come back and beat anybody, It has happen to us and we’ve done it to other teams.
How excited are you for the second half of the season as Lich is involved in a real playoff fight. Do you feel like the team hasn´t reached it´s fullest potential yet?
Yes, I feel like we have another level we could reach. I’m excited to see how far we can go. Its time now to really lock-in on where we want be in the end. We know we can compete with anybody, all our guys just need to focus on us for the next few months, and I believe we can do something special.
The team scores 85 points per game, but also allows 85 points per game. It will be beneficial to carve down some of the points per game. In what areas does the team still need to improve and does it have the potential to keep teams between 70-80 points?
We definitely have the potential to slow teams down and get more stops, the little things, which we intend to polish. Sometimes we have miscommunications or we over help, because we are thinking too much. Basketball is a game of rhythm, sometimes we have moments where we over-thinking situations instead of just letting it flow naturally, that’s all. Once we get back into our flow, we will be fine.
How vital has the pick up of Blake Justice been. He says that he could be the glue guy. What do you appreciate most about his game?
I think Justice is great pick up for us, He’s a solid defender, he can also help spread the floor with his shooting, He helps talks to you on and off the court. He’s a all around guy, I think with his positive energy, its easier to adjust to him and make him apart of what we are trying to do here, which play in the playoffs and win.
KK Simmons is having a great rookie season. Where do you compare him to the other top players in the Pro B south like Kerry Carter or Aaron Nelson?
Simmons is having a great rookie season, He has really come into own and has helped out a lot as far as being a leader and helping everyone around him be a better competitor. Carter and Nelson are really good ball players, and just like Simmons, all these guys are individual basketball players. You cant compare them to each in my eyes. Simmons has his own style and is very versatile which makes him hard to guard.
Do you see him heightening his game even more in the second half?
Yes, I believe Simmons will definitely push forward even more effort for the team go far. He has a hunger for winning, as do the rest if the team, I think everyone will turn it up a couple notches achieve this goal we all talk about.
Your having another great season and unlike last season are averaging double double stats in scoring and rebounding and that despite the team being more stacked with scoring power than last season. Have you been content with your play?
Thank you, I appreciate that, if anything, I am only satisfied with the effort of consistency because when your teammates know what to expect from you, it makes it easier for them to trust you. But I’m not content with my stats, I always want to push myself to be better.
What have you been concentrating most on your game in your second season as a professional to help you become a better player?
I have been focusing on being more aggressive, things like attacking the basket, getting to the rim, knocking down open shots. Also using my quickness to be as effective on defensive as I can, playing in the help-side, reading the passing lane, talking to my teammates. I feel like I have to step it up every season so that’s what I am trying to do.
What was your impression of Fraport Skyliner Junior IsaacBonga? He has been projected by some of being a 2018 NBA first round pick.
Bonga is a good young ball player, I think he definitely has the potential to go far if he works really hard and develops his game, I have the feeling he could play at a high level of basketball. I wish him all the best, for sure.
Klay Thompson recently hit 60 points in 29 minutes touching the ball for only 90 seconds. Where does this performance rank with you?
Thats incredible, that just shows how hard these guys work and how much they love the game. Thompson can get in a rhythm and I think he’s definitely one of the best shooters of our time.
One always talks about Lebron and Curry, but one has to mention Russell Westbrook. He is averaging triple double stats at the moment. Is he stat wise the best player in the world right now?
Lebron is the best player of out time, hands down. Steph is also one of the best shooters of our time. But when you talk about Russell Westbrook, he is dominant, you have to give credit to the Russell, he plays hard, he’s an explosive point guard, he gets his team involved. With that type of game and rhythm he’s in right now, it makes Westbrook really hard to guard. I think he’s arguably one of the best.
What was the last movie that you saw?
2 fast 2 furious.
Thanks Lamar for the chat.