Virgil Matthews is a 33 year old 188cm guard from Federal Way, Washington that completed his tenth professional season and third with BV Chemnitz averaging 9,4ppg, 4,2rpg and 4,8apg. Last season for BV Chemnitz he played 33 games averaging 12.6ppg, 6.1rpg, Assists-2(7.6apg), 1.6spg, FGP: 55.5%, 3PT: 34.5%, FT: 75.2%. He played at Montana (NCAA) and in his senior year played 31 games averaging 10.1ppg, 4.6rpg, 4.0apg, 1.7spg, FG: 49.8%, 3PT: 48.4%, FT: 76.1%. In 2006-2007, he turned professional and came to Germany and played for KICKZ Muenchen Basket (Germany-2.Bundesliga) playing 29 games averaging 18.0ppg, 6.1rpg, 5.2apg, 2.6spg, 2FGP: 57.3%, 3FGP: 31.8%, FT: 66.5%. In 2007-2008, he played for Tacoma Jazz (IBL). In 2008-2009, he returned back to Germany and played for Schwelmer Baskets (Germany-Regionalliga). In 2009-2010, he played for Olympia Reign (IBL) playing 28 games averaging 23.1ppg, 7.2rpg and for Seattle Aviators (NABL).In 2010-2011, he played his first season for Erdgas Ehingen playing 32 games: 11.6ppg, 5.3rpg, 3.6apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 57.6%, 3PT: 29.4%, FT: 71.3%. He would play until 2014 with Ehingen playing 126 games with three seasons in the Pro A and one in the Pro B. He spoke to German Hoops after the end of the 2016-2017 pro A season.
Virgil thanks for talking to German Hoops. A tough 5 game series loss to Gotha. Will game 5 be the toughest loss you have ever had to digest in your professional career?
It is definitely up there I lost a game 5 in Ehingen that was also a hard loss, but maybe the way this one ended made it a little harder.
Congrats on a successful season. Despite the tough 5 game series loss to Gotha, can one look back and have enjoyment on a successful season?
Yea, I mean when coming into the season you always come in trying to win a championship. After that goal isn’t achieved you have to take a little bit of time to reflect on the good.
BV Chemnitz was up 2-0 and lost 3-2. All three games were close. What do you feel was the difference in the series?
They played well and Mitchell played incredible and they just made plays down the stretch and we didn’t.
In game 5 BV Chemnitz controlled the game from the second quarter until crunch time, but then lost control after American Darren Mitchell hit consecutive three pointers and you would never lead again. What was key in crunch time besides Mitchell´s three´s that sealed the win?
We could’ve rebounded better, but we lost by 3 so besides the Mitchell plays there isn’t much more.
What is your summary of the season? BV Chemnitz had three match balls for the BBL, but failed. Did the club still exceed expectations or not?
I don’t know about the club but my expectations are to win every time I play. I go into a season to win a championship maybe the club has other expectations. So I would say it was good season not sure what the expectations were to say if we exceeded them or not.
Dou you feel that this tough experience will make head coach Rodrigo Pastore even more hungrier this off season for getting the right players as well as leading the team to the BBL next season?
Coach is always hungry I don’t think this loss will make him any hungrier he works hard and does a great job. I expect him to keep that up.
If you had to pick one of the Germans who you feel developed the most from day until the game 5 loss against Gotha who would you pick?
I think Jonas Richter made great strides. He did a lot for the team so much stuff not always showing up in stats.
We have talked about German 19 year old Daniel Mixich and his development in the past. He had a tough injury and was out for 2 months and came back for the last three playoffs games against Gotha. What advice do you have for him in terms of summer preparation for next season in his continuation of becoming atop Pro A player in his quest one day to reach the BBL?
Just keep doing what he’s good at pressuring defense and making shots Danny can play and he will be fine.
Do players in the former East Germany eat differently or how do you explain the success of teams like MBC, Gotha and Chemnitz?
I don’t know it was just a good season for the east.
Let´s talk about your game. You are your biggest critic and any point guard will say that he failed not being able to win one of three do or die games, but stats don´t lie. You had your most consistent scoring stint of the season against Gotha and averaged near to 8 assists in the first 4 games. Were you content overall with your effort in the series or what could you have done better?
There’s always things I can do better and I could’ve rebounded better and I had too many turnovers but I gave my all that’s all you can do.
Your stats were down from your first two seasons with BV Chemnitz. In our last interview you stated to me “I’m probably harder on myself now just because I’m smarter and see things better. I spend most of my time just criticizing myself for being old and too slow. Is age slowly catching up with you or did your role change a bit this past season simply that you didn´t have to do as much as in past seasons?
Age catches up with everyone, but stats being down doesn’t mean much to me as we were a good team, I think my role in that was still there. I’m ok with that.
Will this past season stat wise force you to grind even harder this summer or will you stay true to age and keep an eye more on your body and prepare differently for next season?
Working on my body staying fit is most important to me I will really do that this summer. Besides that I always work hard.
What is the next step for Virgil Matthews? You continue to play at a high level. Do you feel like a German BBL team might give you a shot next season or are you content to keep balling in the Pro A
I don’t expect a BBL team to give me a chance, but you never know I’m ok to play wherever someone wants me. I still have some basketball left in me.
What are your summer plans? Do you have anything special planned or will you just be staying at home with the family and working on your game?
I work at a summer camp I’ll be there and I have some weddings to attend this summer that’s basically what I’ll be doing.
Devin Booker recently hit the Boston Celtics for 70 points. Did it surprise you that a guy like him was able to do that before many other amazing NBA scorers?
Not all NBA players can put the ball in the basket, and he is a good talent.
Where do you rank Boston Celtic Isaiah Thomas at the moment with the best point guards in the NBA? Is he a top 3 point guard at the moment behind Westbrook and Harden? Especially after his heroics against Chicago and Washington despite losing his sister and a tooth.
I’m biased I’ve seen him ever since he was a kid and he’s from Tacoma so he’s definitely top 5!
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`?
They were definitely the story but they also had 2 NBA players on their team. Pros win in the tournament.
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?
Haven’t seen him play a lot but he looks really good from what I’ve seen. I don’t think the stuff his father does will affect him at all.
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?
Russell is great and there will always be criticism and haters but he had a phenomenal season.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Guardians of the Galaxy 2.
Thanks Virgil for the chat.