Chris Iles is a 27 year old 180 cm guard that completed his second professional season and first with Citybasket Recklinghausen (Germany-Pro) averaging 17,1ppg, 3,6rpg and 5,5apg: As a rookie he played with BBC White Devils Cottbus (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 24 games: 23.8ppg, 5.8rpg, 4.6apg, 2.5spg, FGP: 45.3%, 3PT: 35.0%, FT: 78.3%He played two years at Nicholls St. (NCAA) playing a total of 61 NCAA games and in his second season played 30 games averaging 8.5ppg, 1.7rpg, 3.6apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 37.1%, 3PT: 36.1%, FT: 77.8%. He finished his college career at Xavier (LA) (NAIA). He spoke to German Hoops after the season and looked ahead to this season.
Chris thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
Hey Miles, thanks for speaking with me. I am currently in Chicago, Illinois. Summer has been productive. Spending time with family and working out.
Your season ended on April 2 as that was your last game which was more than 2 months ago. How much have you missed the competitive game and what have you missed the most?
I have missed it a lot. I love the game and appreciate every opportunity I get to step on the court and perform, no matter the circumstances.
It was a tough season for the club Citybasket Recklinghausen (Germany-ProB) as it moved down to the Regionaliga. What is your team season summary? Is the loss of important import players at the start of the season a fair excuse?
I would not call it a “fair excuse” as adversity is a part of basketball. Any successful team has endured some type of adversity. HOWEVER, I would say that the frequent changes of roster and imports made it very tough to develop team chemistry. Overall, the season made me stronger mentally as a player.
There are certainly positives that were gained from this season. If somebody had told you before begin of the playdowns that the club would go 0-6 what would you have thought?
I would not have believed it.
You played only two playdown games. Do you feel the team could have stayed in the pro B if you had been able to play the other four games?
I think we would have had a much better chance to stay in the league.
The biggest problem for the club was giving up points. The team let up 85 points in the regular season and scored only 72 points. It will be hard winning games with stats like that. Was it more a problem with effort on defense or just lacking of individual talent to get the job done?
I honestly think it was a little bit of both. Effort is the most important part of defending, but sometimes we just did not have the personnel on the floor to stop the opponent.
It was a big learning experience for young head coach Maik Berger. Do you feel like he was thrown into cold water and was a bit overwhelmed by the task?
I think he was put in a tough position. He too grew a lot this season as a coach and I’m sure he will be a successful coach in the future. I wish all the best to coach.
There weren´t really many bright spots or highlights during the season, but if you had to come up with one, what would it be?
I can come up with 2. One was our away win against Wedel and the other was our win against Bochum. Both games we played to our max potential as a team.
18 players saw action last season with Citybasket Recklinghausen (Germany-ProB). What player do you feel made the biggest strides?
Either Jonas Bredeck or Sebastiano Germana. They both made strides from the beginning to the end of the season.
Who was the toughest point guard that you battled last season in the Pro B?
Probably Courtney Belger due to his size and athleticism as a pg.
You led the team in scoring and assists. You stated in an interview during the season that the biggest adjustment for me was/is counterattacking what the other team does to contain me. Whether it’s a double team, face guard, etc. Since I proved myself in the league early on, teams have really been keying in on stopping me the last 8 or 9 games. Do you feel like you were able to consistently beat teams counter attacks?
I think I was able to beat counter attacks consistently.
You stated in our last interview that you weren´t satisfied with your game. Obviously a point guard will be inspected closely if the team isn´t winning. Because of your competitive nature did you personally take a lot of the blame for not being able to lead the team to more wins?
I personally took it extremely hard. All I want to do is win, and to be in a situation like that made it frustrating. But I know that I gave the team everything I had every night to compete and be taken seriously. You could definitely see the difference in the games where I did not play! Just look at the numbers.
You cut down on your turnover rate a bit better in the second half of the season. Do you feel having a better feel for the opponents defense the second time around made it easier for you to read their defensive set ups?
I think I just focused on it a bit more in the second half of the season. Getting a better feel for opponents defense and learning my teammates both helped.
What is the next step for Chris Iles? You showed that you could play very well in the Pro B. Is staying with Recklingshausen out of the question?
I think I definitely showed that I could play very well in Pro B. At the moment I am just waiting on a team that will give me an opportunity in a good situation to show my true abilities. Recklinghausen has not contacted me about staying.
How confident are you that another Pro B team would give you a chance despite Recklingshausen moving down last season?
I am confident that there is a team out there that will give me a chance despite the circumstances from last season. If a team takes a look at my film and stats I’m sure that they will see that I am worthy of an opportunity.
You will be turning 28 this season and have played two professional seasons. Are you in your prime or do you feel like you can step up your game even more this season?
I definitely know that I could step up my game even more this season. I’m in the gym working and I am more hungry now than ever.
You have played 2 years in Germany now. Could you imagine going to another country and if so where would you like to go to?
Although I like Germany, I am open to another country. Wherever there is an opportunity to grow, I am open to go.
If you could sell yourself in a few sentences as to why you could help any team this season how would you describe it?
I am a true PG that can do whatever a team needs me to do! I have a high basketball IQ and can defend, score, as well as get others involved. With the right pieces around me, I can help any team be successful!
How does a summer work out day look like for you on and off the court?
On a normal day I usually take my daughter to school in the morning. Then after that I run about 5k for cardio and then go straight to weights and agility in the morning. In the afternoon I go to a local college here in Chicago to do a court workout with my trainer. On certain days, I will go play 5 on 5 after that.
The NBA Draft is soon. Do you see any surprises and which players do you see making the biggest impact in the NBA?
My favorite player in the draft is D’aaron Fox. I think he will have a big impact in the NBA. He is a Houston, TX native like me, so I have to root for the hometown kid.
Where do you rank a Lebron now after losing another final in the neverending debate between him and Michael Jordan as the best ever?
I still rate Lebron as the second best player ever behind MJ.
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?
I’m not really sure how good he is yet. I know he has all the tools to be good. I think he will develop despite his father. He is focused.
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?
No, I don’t think it is fair. No matter what people say, he has had a remarkable season.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Last movie I saw was Wonder Woman.
Thanks Chris for the chat.