Brandon Lockhart is a 26 year old 185cm guard from St Louis, Missouri that completed his third professional season and first with German team ScanPlus Baskets Elchingen (Germany-ProB) averaging 12,0ppg, 3,8rpg and 6,2apg. As a rookie he played for BK Levicki Patrioti (Slovakia-Extraliga) playing 34 games: Score-5(16.7ppg), 3.8rpg, Assists-5(4.3apg), Steals-1(3.0spg), FGP: 50.2%, 3PT: 28.5%, FT: 78.9%. He played at Drury (NCAA2) from 2009-2013 and as a senior played 35 games averaging 12.5ppg, 3.9rpg, 6.1apg, 2.9spg, FGP: 50.9%, 3PT: 48.3%, FT: 77.1%. Last season he played for the Giants TSV 1861 Noerdlingen (Germany-ProB) playing 29 game averaging 16.8ppg, 4.1rpg, 5.7apg, 2.5spg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 26.8%, FT: 81.1%. He spoke to German Hoops at the end of the season.
Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing ScanPlus Baskets point guard Brandon Lockhart after a loss against the Fraport Skyliners Juniors in Frankfurt
Brandon thanks for talking to German Hoops. Congrats on a big season where you fell short in a do or die game in the semi-finals. How hard has it been digesting this season end since you were one win away from the Pro A?
It’s always tough to digest a loss, even more so one that ends your season. But I’ve had some time to cope with it and will now just use it as motivation to prepare for next season.
You played a hard fought series against Wurzburg and went the distance against PS Karlsruhe as well. Do you feel like the Wurzburg series took a toll on the team going into the PS Karlsruhe series?
Wurzburg was a tough team, but I do not think that series had any effect on the PSK series because we had enough time to recover.
The 92-75 score in game three was a little deceiving as there wasn´t much that separated the two teams in many statistical categories. What do you feel decided this series?
In the final game, the second quarter really was the turning point in the game. They came out with a ton of energy to build a big lead and from that point on, we were always just trying to get back in the game. Kudos to them because they never allowed us to make the game interesting.
PS Karlsruhe from my view had possibly the most athletic undersized front court in the Pro B south with your ex teammate Jordan Talbert, Orlando Parker and Bill Borekambi, but the last was injured and returned in game three and was little of a factor. Was their team chemistry and understanding of their roles one of the teams biggest strengths that got them to the Pro A?
I would say yes. Watching them play, it just seemed like everyone was almost always on the same page. Their players knew their roles and rarely did anything that would be a surprise to a teammate or their coach.
How proud are you of your ex teammate Jordan Talbert? What special words did you give him at the end of the game besides congrats my dude?
After the game, we really did not get to say too much because we both went our separate ways immediately. But in the final seconds, we shared a few words of praise to the other.
How proud are you of the success of the ScanPlus Baskets. The season goal was huge and the team came very far. How would you summarize the season and did the team exceed expectations?
It was a great season for us. Coming into the season, the goal was just to make the playoffs. So being one win away from moving to the Pro A should be a season that exceeded expectations.
You had stated very positive words for your teammate Taevaunn Prince who had a strong rookie season. You said he made further strides on the defensive end and also became more vocal. How do you feel did he grow as a player in the playoffs?
To come in as a rookie and be the leading scorer on a team filled with a bunch of individual talent just shows how high his ceiling can be. One thing I feel he learned the most is when he needed to be most aggressive. Some games, other players would really be going and he was very comfortable being a facilitator in those situations.
Which German player do you feel improved the most from the first day of training camp to the game 3 loss against PS Karlsruhe?
Adrian Didovic and Karlo Rozic. A lot of the success we had this season is because of the jump that Adrian made. He really was a really important player for us because of his versatility. Karlo didn’t necessarily get the in game minutes. But I saw the changes in his game during practices.
What was your personal season highlight? Possibly your 26/8/7 game in the do or die game 2 win against PS Karlsruhe?
I think if I looked, I would possibly find some better statistical games. But since this game came with the season on the line, I think it was.
You told me in our last interview in February that “ I want to be the best Brandon Lockhart I can be when they arrive. Playoffs are when you want to be playing your best basketball. We’ve had a good season to date and don’t want to waste it with a disappointing performance in the playoffs. Were you content with your playoffs and your game?
I’m sure there was a game or two that I was not pleased with, but I was happy with the playoff performances overall.
How content were you with your season? You didn´t score as much simply because you had more scoring punch than with Nordlingen, but you carved your turnovers down and shot better from outside and increased your assist average?
I will always feel that there is room for improvement as long as I play this game. So I was happy that I was able to do all those things you mentioned but I still believe I can improve those areas and so many more.
What is the next step for Brandon Lockhart. You are much more than a good Pro B player. Do you feel like you can make the next step already next season possibly in the Pro A?
I feel like I can and I definitely want to.
After a very successful season with the ScanPlus Baskets, what summer plans do you have? Will you just hang out with the family and work on your game or take a trip somewhere?
I will do everything that you mentioned. I already have some trips planned with family and friends. Working out will probably start back up at the beginning of May for me.
On what things will you be specifically working on this summer on your game that will help continue you to progress as a professional player in your fourth season?
I will emphasize shooting more off the dribble, whether it be from a pick & roll or iso situation. Because getting to the rim and finishing above taller and more athletic players is not the easiest thing.
Now that the 2017 NCAA tournament is long over what do sports do you focus on now in the summer months?
Tennis! And of course the NBA playoffs.
Will we see any surprises in this years NBA playoffs and who do you have reaching the finals and winning it all?
The Celtics vs Bulls series got off to real surprising start but I believe the Celtics should close that out. I think some can be really interesting but no upsets. Warriors-Cavs finals with the Warriors winning.
Devin Booker recently hit the Boston Celtics with 70 points. Did it surprise you that he reached this feat before other big time NBA players?
Scoring 70 is the surprise because that’s not something that happens everyday. I would not say that I expect him to score 70 but it doesn’t surprise that he did it before other names because he is a highly gifted scorer. Also helps that his team recognized what was happening and kept finding ways to get him the ball in a good spot.
How special was the run of South Carolina at the 2017 NCAA tournament? Do you feel like this was the story of March Madness 2017?
Their run was really special but hurt because they knocked my Blue Devils out. Them and Gonzaga playing in the title game were probably the stories of the tourney for me.
Is Lonzo Ball the real thing? Do you feel like he will be able to develop further despite the antics of his father on social media?
He has the physical tools to be a really talented player. I don’t think what his dad says should have any effect on his game.
There has been criticism of Russell Westbrook to be focusing more on rebounding to help inflate his stats and possibilities of getting triple doubles instead of focusing on his defensive assignments. Do you feel that this is a fair assessment to the player Russell Westbrook?
I think it’s great that he focuses on defensive rebounds because it helps his team out. Most point guards aren’t crashing the glass so he doesn’t have to focus on boxing out. It also allows him to start the transition game much quicker, where he is almost impossible to stop.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Brandon for the chat.