Kerry Carter is a 26 year old 188cm guard from West Covina, California that is playing his second professional season and first with the Bayer Giants Leverkusen (Germany-ProB). Last season as a rookie he played for Iberostar Tenerife CB Canarias (Spain-Liga Endesa) playing 5 games: 3.2ppg. He started his basketball career with Citrus College and then moved to St.Mary’s, CA (NCAA) where he played 63 NCAA games and as senior played 31 games averaging 12.1ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.5apg, 1.5spg. He currently is tearing up the German Pro B league averaging 29,0ppg and spoke to German Hoops after the 95-79 win against the ScanPlus Baskets.
Kerry thanks for talking to German Hoops 2017 is here and already in full swing. Did you make any new years resolutions this year or are you more a guy that doesn´t get involved with that?
I didn’t make any resolutions but shortly before the new year I gave up meat & poultry and adopted a pescatarian diet. It’s took a lot of discipline not to cave in at first but I’ve gotten acquainted with it.
Congrats on the big 95-79 win against the Giants Nordlingen. The Bayer Giants Leverkusen were already down by 10 after one quarter, but stepped up the defense in the second quarter while scoring 28 points. What adjustments did the team make to get back into the game?
We made a few adjustments to our line up and defensive approach but mostly we just kept playing. It’s a 40 minute game, so down 10 early never gave us any doubt. We never thought we weren’t going to win.
The Bayer Giants Leverkusen did a good job averaging 27 points in the last three quarters and winning the game with their offensive arsenal. Was the consistent offense in the last three quarters key for the win?
Offense was key. We had more guys in double figures tonight than the average night. Anytime we score that way, with several guys contributing, we’re a tough team to beat.
The German players scored 48 points combined out of the 95 points. Do you believe that the Germans on the team are a lot better as a whole than what they get credit for?
I try not to concern myself with who’s getting credit and I don’t think that’s what fuels this group of guys either. They show up every game and play at a high level, regardless of the acknowledgment. Even when shots aren’t falling our domestic players are always looking to help the team win. We’ve got a special group.
The Bayer Giants Leverkusen currently are in fourth place tied with FC Bayern Munich and want that home court advantage. How content are you that you will achieve this in the next weeks?
Nothing is set in stone. It’s a dog fight right now between the top 4 in this division and it’s easy to get wrapped up in the numbers game. I’ve been taking it one game at a time but I’m confident going into next week we’ll be in a good position. After that, we’ll prepare for the next challenge and go from there.
The Bayer Giants Leverkusen make the most points and assists in the Pro B, but still give up 80 points per game. Why is the team so inconsistent on defense? Can this team be a better defensive team and how can you achieve that?
There’s a lot of potential for us to improve defensively. Lately we have shown glimpses of how we can play when we really lock in and focus on getting stops. It’s just about clicking at the right time.
Interestingly you not only swept top team PS Karlsruhe but held them to 64 points average in the two games. What did the team do differently in these games for the defense to function properly?
Karlsruhe is a good match up for us. We size up well against them and we give them trouble where other teams wouldn’t. I think we capitalized well on that dynamic and used it to our advantage.
How much of a motivation is for you to hit the floor every night knowing the opponent wants to shut you down and if you have an off night, it will be a lot harder for your team to win?
It’s a tremendous compliment. That’s the role I assumed when I got here but I’ve been prepared for that. It was similar in college and the way I was shown the game, that’s what it takes to be a pro. You’ve got to show up every night.
Your having a great season and are very consistent on offense. What do you feel is the most difficult thing about being consistent on a regular basis?
I’ve noticed that I’ve become an integral part of teams’ defensive schemes and so adjusting to that has been interesting. Some nights I’ve seen up to 5 or 6 different match ups to try and throw me out of rhythm but I welcome the challenge. My biggest obstacle is being as efficient as possible through all of that.
You stated in October concerning your turnover ratio that “sometimes I find myself trying too hard to get certain guys involved instead of making the simple pass”. How do you feel has this issue progressed in your game as the season as gone along?
I’ve connected with my teammates in a variety of ways this season and I think I’ve learned where guys prefer the ball and when so that helps. I’ve also gotten more comfortable in the offense through the course of the season.
You recently had 8 steals in a game against FC Bayern Munich. Was that the most steals that you ever had in a game since being in college and how do you feel have you been able to develop further this season on the defensive end?
That was the most steals I’ve had since college definitely. I averaged about 2 a game in college but I think my highest was 6.
How vital will it be beating Wurzburg in the next game knowing that the last game against the ScanPlus Baskets could decide if you get home court or not?
Every game is a playoff game at this point. That’s the mentality going in. We’ve got two more in the regular season and we need both.
You defeated Wurzbug by 20 in the first game and you steered 24 points to the win. What will be key to getting the win on the road?
As you mentioned earlier the key will be defense, especially on the road. It’s pretty simple, we just have to be able to stop them from scoring more than we do.
A few weeks ago you saw Fraport Skyliner Isaac Bonga go for 26 points in Leverkusen. The kid turned 17 three months ago. Many project him as a 2018 NBA Draft Pick. He obviously will develop further, but from what you saw do you think he could be an impact NBA player like fellow German Dennis Schroeder?
NBA is tough. It takes a lot to be able to perform at that level. They’ve been drafting guys younger and younger lately so maybe he’ll get a chance. Best of luck to him.
Where do you rank Kevin Garnett with the best power forwards that ever played the game?
Big ticket is third in my book.
Klay Thompson recently hit 60 points in 29 minutes touching the ball for only 90 seconds. Where does this performance rank with you?
That’s a big time night for Klay. Not many guys are that crafty before the catch. That’s in the conversation with some Kobe and Lebron performances.
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?
Russ is a legend, if not just stat wise then for the energy and passion he brings to the game. His numbers are crazy this year, but I think James Harden is a little more impressive having his team in third place in the west.
Draymond Greene recently had a triple double without scoring 10 points or more. Why do you believe has it taken long for someone to do this?
I think if guys could get double digits in three other categories they’d just try to get ten points to make it a quadruple double. Draymond is a rare breed. He could’ve gotten ten points but the unconventional triple double is fitting for what he brings to that team.
What was the last movie that you saw?
John Wick 2.
Thanks Kerry for the chat.