Marcellus Barksdale is a 23 year old 196cm guard from Lexington, Kentucky that is playing his first professional season in Germany with TG s.Oliver Wuerzburg (Germany-ProB) and will start his professional career against the Fraport Skyliners Juniors. He played at IUPUI (NCAA) form 2011-2016 playing a total of 131 NCAA games. As a senior he played 31 games averaging 8.7ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.6apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 28.1%, FT: 73.1%. He spoke to German Hoops after the big 89-86 victory against PS Karlsruhe.
Marcellus thanks for talking to German Hoops 2017 is here and did you set any new years resolutions or are you the type of guy that doesn´t really put too much focus on setting those type of goals?
New Year resolutions are always a personal focus for me. I use them as a tool for personal growth. On the court, my formula never really changes. It has always been fueled by hard work individually and doing everything I can to add value to my team and teammates.
Congrats on the huge 89-86 win against PS Karlsruhe. How proud are you of the guys for getting the victory against the first place team in the Pro B south?
It was a huge win for us! Hopefully the momentum from this win will help carry us to a strong finish for the rest of the season.
In the first game this season PS Karlsruhe won by 18 points. What did the team want to do better this time than the first time around?
As a team we really just wanted to focus on us. We wanted to make sure we exceeded their intensity for the entire 40 minutes.
How much percent did this win go to scouting and how much to actual skill on the court?
Honestly, this win had nothing to do with scouting. We knew it was going to come down to fighting as a team the entire game and really just having each other’s backs.
Wurzburg exploded for 31 points in the first quarter and had 53 points at halftime against the leagues best defense. What was key for giving their defense nightmares in the first half?
We know we are talented offensively. I feel we did a great job of sharing the ball and finishing plays with aggression and confidence. The change in the starting lineup was nice for us. We were able to come out and begin the game with some swag. It was fun.
PS Karlsruhe came back into the game in the second half. What adjustments did they seem to make and what did Wurzburg get away from to let them back into the game?
Karlsruhe played a lot of zone in the second half and I feel we attacked it well and got good looks but just missed some shots we should have made. They are a good team and we knew that they would make run in the second half. We just knew we had to protect the lead at all costs.
How difficult was that fourth quarter? PS Karlsruhe never got the lead back, but threatened until the final buzzer. What was key in preserving the lead and getting the win?
The fourth quarter was a grind. Max fouled out late in the third quarter and we knew they would make a run. Again, we just had to make plays in order to protect the lead and win the game.
Did you learn something about the character to the team in this game? Was this the biggest win of the season for the team?
This was a big win for us. I felt this game forced us to really come together as a unit and fight as a team. There was some talking back and forth between us and the other team and we really stood up for one another and it showed with our play throughout the game.
It is no secret that getting ample support from you and Sanford is vital each game, but in this game, four Germans scored in double figures. Is this team finally coming around and developing into a playoff type team?
I think we are one of the top teams in this league. We had some rough spots to begin the season but we seem to be heading in the right direction as a team. We have talent at many positions as well as depth.
The club has won three of it´s last 4 games and a few in crunch-time. Has the team learned how to be a crunch-time team?
We’ve won 4 of the last 5. We actually feel we let the home loss against Elchingen slip away from us last week. But Pro B is a very competitive league and many games are going to come down to the wire. In order for us to win games, we have to make plays down the stretch. These last few games have given our younger guys a lot of experience.
The team is averaging 77 points, but giving up way too many points at 82. Does the club have the potential to keep teams between 70-75 points on a regular basis?
Defensively we have a chance to really lock teams down. Our goal is to keep teams around 75. If we can get stops and control the boards, I think we can keep teams to under 70 the last few games of the regular season.
The next game is against the Dragons Rhondorf. They beat you at home last time. Wurzburg shot a dismal 2/12 from downtown. What will be key to getting the win in Rhondorf?
The key will be getting out to a good start and winning the third quarter. If we can take care of this next week, I feel we will win.
Let´s talk a little about 20 year old German Lukas Wank. He seems to really have come of age in the last two months. How vital has he been for the success of the team and what do you appreciate most about his game?
Lukas is a talented young player. He’s got great size and athleticism on the wing and it allows his game to be very versatile. He is a key part of our team’s success every game. He’s always coming up with a big rebound or knocking down a big shot. And he’s always good for a highlight play in transition. He brings a lot of energy to the team.
Fellow American Vincent Sanford is leading the team in scoring. What have you learned about his game recently that you you didn´t know in the first week?
I’ve known Vee my entire life for the most part. He hasn’t done anything that’s surprised. I feel he is the most talented player in this league and can affect the game with his defensive quickness as much as his scoring. I feel he’s going to elevate his game to another level as we finish the regular season and begin the playoffs.
Your second in scoring and leading the team in rebounding and assists. How happy have you been with your season so far?
I feel I’ve been able to play solid up to this point in the season. We struggled to win games early but going forward I like our team’s chances to really make some noise in the league. Whether scoring, passing, rebounding, or defending, I’m just trying to do my part to help us win.
Do you feel as if your defense is getting unnoticed due to your versatile offensive game or do you feel like your teammates know the worth of your defensive presence?
I feel my teammates and even opposing teams and players know the effect of my defensive ability. I take a lot of pride in defending and I think I’m able to show it quite a bit.
Klay Thompson recently hit 60 points in 29 minutes touching the ball for only 90 seconds. Where does this performance rank with you?
I believe it was the best individual shooting performance of all-time. He put on a clinic. Most pros would struggle to score 60points in 90 seconds during an individual workout with no defense. I wish Kerr would have played him the fourth quarter. I think he would have passed Kobe’s 81.
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?
Statistically, the best players in the world right now are Westbrook and James Harden. Both are putting up video game type numbers. It will be interesting to see who wins the MVP. I still can’t believe Russ isn’t an All-Star starter.
What is your Super Bowl prediction and will TOM Brady be the GOAT of all-time if the Patriots win?
I think the Patriots will win. Tom Brady will be the best winner to play the QB position. I’m not sure about greatest of all-time. Talent wise, I feel Aaron Rodgers has a chance to continue to build his legacy over the next 5 or 6 years. It will be interesting. Brady is definitely one of the best to ever do it.