Demetrius Ward is a 27 year old 188cm guard from Detroit, Michigan that is playing his sixth professional season with MTV Wolfenbuettel Herzoege (Germany-ProB) and last season played 22 games averaging 19.0ppg, 6.4rpg, 4.2apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 49.1%, 3PT: 35.7%, FT: 83.6%. He played at Western Michigan from 2008-2012 playing a total of 129 NCAA games and as a senior played 31 games averaging 12.1ppg, 4.6rpg, 3.0apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 41.3%, 3PT: 31.5%, FT: 76.2%. Currently he is averaging 17,4ppg, 6,4rpg and 4,7apg. He spoke to German Hoops before game 2 against the Dragons Rhondorf.
Demetrius thanks for talking to German Hoops. Before we start about the playoffs how is Tom Alte doing? How difficult was the long drive home? You won a big game, but had a very disappointed Tom Alte on board.
Hello Miles thanks for having me. Tom will be fine its nothing serious, we are not sure if he will play or not this weekend. The ride back was pretty long but it wasn’t so bad with a win, unfortunately Tom got injured in the last seconds of the game.
Congrats on the big win in Rhondorf in game one. Rhondorf fought until the end, but MTV Herzogee Wolfenbuettel overpowered them. What did you feel was the biggest strength on the night? I would imagine the team basketball?
Yes, I would say our team ball was a big strength for the night. I would also say that we stayed focused and didn’t get to concerned when they made a run.
How key was Kameron Taylor in the game plan in game one? Despite filling up the stat sheet one could see in his face that he couldn´t play his game. How satisfied were you with the team effort on slowing him down?
We know how important he is for his team and how is can explode for 20-30pts with 10rebs and 8-10ast. We wanted to make it as difficult as possible for him. We kept him under his average as far as points but he rebounded the ball well which he had a few offensive rebounds. We still can improved on our defense with containing him but we are happy about the win.
How much of a factor will the departure of Tom Alte have? The depth is a bit smaller upfront. Will you be making adjustments how to combat that? Does this mean that Ole Angerstein will have an even bigger role than usual?
We had injuries or roster changes the whole season. At times we are playing with only 8 players 5 big men and 3 guards. In this situation it will be difficult because its the playoffs but we will have to adjust and other players will have to step up. Ole is always providing something for us in the game, either rebounds block shots and put backs. He will be ready for this weekend.
Your teammate Tarique Thompson said that Ole Angerstein was a huge factor in the stretch where you won 8 of 9 games. How have you seen his development. He was out of basketball for 2 years. He is 22 now and back when he was with the Spot Up Basketball Medien, some experts countered that he was more talented than Daniel Theis when he was younger.
I knew Ole from when he was playing with Braunschwig. He was always strong and athletic. I think over this time he has developed a lot, setting good screens, making good reads and his defense is a lot better.
You said in our last interview that Constantin Ebert has a bright future. I hadn´t seen him play since he was with Wurzburg. I feel he has developed very well. I thought he was the ex factor in game one. What is keeping him from getting more minutes at the BBL level?
That a good question, I’m not sure what is keeping him from getting minutes in the BBL. He is doing a good job running this team, he made a big turnaround from last season. His time will come where he is getting minutes in the BBL.
I also saw Germans Lars Lagerpusch and Luis Figge play many minutes for the first time live. BBL team Braunschweig have always had talented young German players, but besides Dennis Schroeder nobody has made the breakthrough there. Do you feel like these two can make that real breakthrough and what do you appreciate most about their game?
Yes I think they both can make the breakthrough if they keep working hard and if they get the opportunity to. Lars is a very smart player that knows how to use his body to get good position under the basket. He is also good enough to attack from the outside and a good passer. The things I like about Luis is that he is always going to play extremely hard. His shot has gotten a lot better from last season. He became one of our best shooters from outside.
We can expect a totally different Dragons Rhondorf team in game two. It will be a do or die game for them, but how vital will it be for the MTV Herzoege Wolfenbuettel to remain aggressive? How confident are you that the team won´t back down and take care of business?
It is very important that we stay aggressive and keep attacking the basket and not get to passive. I’m confident in our ability to come out and get the job done. We must stay consistent and focus on the scouting report and I think we would have a good chance to get a win.
There are a lot of talented teams this season in the Pro B. You saw Rostock twice this season winning both games. They are one of the favorites to win it all. Do you feel having beat them has given your team some extra added self confidence that has fueled the team this season and now?
I think our confidences comes from our hard work and listening and trusting our coaching. He put us in good situations no matter how many players we have in practice or at the game. He does a great job preparing us during the week. That is where our confidences comes from.
You battled against many top guards this season, but what is like playing against Brandon Lockhart of Rostock. Does a talented guy like that motivate you to continue to work hard in practice to always get better?
Brandon is a talented guy for sure, but I think we are two different type of players.
You won round one against Kameron Taylor. He will be highly motivated to win on Sunday. How much did he bring the best out of you in game one?
It is always fun going against the top scorer in the league. He is a very good player, I just tried to play my game and not get into a scoring match with him or a personal 1-1 game.
You played against many top guard this season in the Pro B north. Where does he rank with the best that you battled?
He is a different guard from the ones from the north, he is a bit taller and also played Pro A last season. The other guards are smaller and didn’t play pro A. He is at the top no doubt about that, its a reason why he’s the top scorer in the league and had 3 triple doubles.
How does your role change in the team when the German BBL license players are absent? What kind of leader are you when they are absent and when they are on board?
When the German double license players are not there depending which players are not there, I must be more aggressive offensively. If Tom or Lars isn’t there I must play the 4 and rebound and guard the 4. I’m always a leader with the players talking on and off the court doesn’t matter if they are there or not.
Let´s talk about your game. You hit six three´s against Rhondorf which was one of your best shooting games. You hit six treys against Wedel and seven against Stahnsdorf. Do you feel the good team basketball has helped your confidence with your shooting this season?
Yes the team ball helps me with my confidence because I am getting good open shots. We also do a lot of practicing with spacing and finding the right spots for my shot.
You stated in the last interview that “my personal goal, to win games without jacking so many shots or taking a hundred dribbles”. Is this something that has improved and grown this season with the talented roster that Wolfenbuettel has?
It improved with the help of coach Steve. He made a good point on how to be effective without taking so many shots or dribbles. He is the reason for the success.
You also stated in our last interview that “Getting steals and playing defense is in my opinion two different things. I would like to be always in the right spot when needed to be. That takes focus and effort”. How do you stay a consistent good defender?
That comes down to effort and watching film. When you know your opponent it helps you a lot knowing what he likes and what he don’t like to do.
You also stated in a previous interview that you aren´t a one dimensional player. Your only 27 years old. Are you in your prime now or will we still see you there?
I don’t think that I’m in my prime yet, I think I’m getting there.
You were flirting with a triple double in the victory against Rostock. Do you feel at times that your versatile play on the court doesn´t get noticed the way it should like it does for other players like a Kameron Taylor?
Yes I believe I don’t get enough of credit at times. I think that I’m one of the most efficient players in the league. I guess because I’m not the fastest or the most athletic player it goes unnoticed.
Your goal has always been the Pro A. How tough is it seeing other guys make the jump to higher leagues? Statistically you have deserved a chance. A Kameron Taylor most likely will sign until the end of the season with BBL team Telekom Baskets Bonn. Was there never an opportunity to get that kind of deal with the Basketball Lowen Braunschweig?
It’s hard to say last season I took over as the head coach in Pro B and we were fighting to stay in the league. So I wasn’t able to practice with them anymore. Its very tough seeing others making a group from the Pro b to the BBL with their farm team. Maybe my time will come until then I can´t cry or complain about things I can´t control.
The 2018 NCAA tournament is here. What sleepers do you see making some noise and which 4 teams will make it to the final 4?
I honestly haven’t watched an NCAA game in the past years.
Lebron James had some amazing passes last night against the Los Angeles. How do you personally rate his passing game in his overall offensive arsenal that he has?
I would say he’s a 9 out of 10 passer. He has the whole package, he can score at will but he is also very unselfish.
What was the las movie that you saw?
Thanks Demetrius for the chat.