Davonte Lacy is a 25 year old 193cm guard from Tacoma, Washington that finished his second professional season and first with German Pro A team Ehingen averaging 18,5ppg, 2,8rpg,5,2apg and 1,5spg.. Last season as a rookie he played with UBC Magnofit Gussing Knights (Austria-A Bundesliga) playing 11 FIBA Europe Cup:games averaging 7.4ppg, 2.4rpg, 3.1apg, 1.0spg, 2FGP: 37.8%, 3FGP: 20.0%, FT: 80.6%; and 21 Austrian A Bundesliga games averaging 10.9ppg, 2.6rpg, 2.4apg, 2FGP: 49.4%, 3FGP: 32.9%, FT: 80.2%, left in Feb.’16, later that month moved to BC Hallmann Vienna (Austria-A Bundesliga) playing 15 games averaging 5.9ppg, 1.0rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 66.7%. He started his basketball career with Washington St. (NCAA) in 2011 playing a total of 110 NCAA games. His best season was his junior season where he played 23 games: averaging 19.4ppg, 4.2rpg, 1.4apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 42.9%, 3PT: 39%, FT: 83.5%. In his senior year he played 31 games averaging 16.9ppg, 2.6rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 49.2%, 3PT: 33.0%, FT: 77.0%. He spoke to German Hoops after the end of the 2017-2018 season.
Davonte thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how are you enjoying your early summer vacation?
I’m back in the states currently. So far it has been good to just be home and decompress from the season.
Did you catch some sights in Europe after the season or did you return right away to home in Tacoma? If yes what was the first thing you did before seeing family or friends? I can imagine you sought out one of your favorite local eateries?
No unfortunately I couldn’t travel and see so I went straight home. Lol of course the first stop I made when I got home was chipotle.
You had a stellar season in terms of what you accomplished on the stat sheet, but your team Ehingen was unable to remain in the Pro A. With what kinds of feelings and thoughts do you have about your second professional season?
Yea it was a tough season. I think every player on our team got better and towards the end it came together and we started playing well. I think the improvement for myself and my teammates will be a main gain we received from the season.
Team Ehingen had a record of 6-24 and was unable to stay in the league. It came to the last game day where you had to win. Instead of losing a close fought game, you were embarrassed losing 102-67 against the Hebeisen White Wings. At first glance one would be terrified and think, “what the hell happened”?
That’s a good way to put it. It was kind of shock how lopsided it was in terms of the score. But they were the better team that day and played like it.
Did possibly the pressure get to the team or was this one of your classic days where nothing went right?
I think it was a combination of both. We were a fairly young team so some guys have never had the pressure put on them that that game had. Along with Hanau playing an amazing game. They shot the ball well and they played solid defense.
How instrumental was the season start of losing 8 of your first 9 games for the rest of the season? Except for one loss to the Hamburg Towers 74-70, you lost in double digits to the 7 teams. Why was the start so negative?
Well looking back 6 of the 9 were playoff teams and they were looking like it at the beginning of the season. But we put ourselves in a while to try and fight from the start the whole season. I believe injuries in the preseason kind of hurt us I believe we may have only played one game all healthy in the pre season so it took us some time to figure each other out.
The team didn´t do a bad job in the scoring department averaging 77 points per game which was eighth best in the Pro A, but you never found a balance on the defensive end giving up 86 points on average which was 16th in the league. Why could the team not find a consistent basis on defense and what were the main problems?
I think we just lacked focus on the defense end at a unit. We had too many mental mistakes that teams would capitalize and score. The main problem was or help side reads. Sometimes we help to much and sometimes we wouldn’t help at all, but we got better toward the end of the season.
Team Ehingen had a sold phase in January and February winning 4 of 5 games. What adjustments did the club make in this period to get on the winning street? It seemed like you defended better as a team and there was hope for staying in the league.
During that stretch we were playing harder on the defense of end and competing in the rebound battle. Limiting teams to one shot a possession makes a difference at the end of games
Do you feel like the key game at the end was the 82-80 loss to Heidelberg? Had you won that Ehingen likely would of saved themselves. What memories do you have of that game and with the outcome of how the season ended, do you remember those last plays more vividly?
Yea the Heidelberg game was a big missed opportunity. But it’s the little things that hurt us all year in that game. The not finishing of plays and not boxing out were key contributions to our loss.
Was the club´s biggest season success sweeping the Hamburg Towers or was it the victory against playoff team Trier?
I think the road game win against Karlsruhe can be one our better memories because we had pressure on us to go out and keep the season alive and we came out and won.
What was it like having American Seger Bonifant as a teammate. You have seen many amazing shooters in your career, but where does he rank up with the best that you have seen? He shot 53% or better from outside in his first three seasons at W Liberty State(NCAA2).
Seger was one of the better shooters I have shared the floor with. It was great playing with him all year.
When a guy has such amazing shooting skills, did you ever see anything out of the ordinary in a practice from him where you said wow?
Of course you see amazing things from him all the time but at least once a shooting practice we will be doing a drill and he wouldn’t miss which was always impressive.
Did he motivate you to continue to work on your three pointer during the season?
Of course a shooter like that would motivate me because I wanted to be a better shooter so I would always compare my scores to see if I’m getting closer.
Speedy Gonzalez Achmadschah Zazai came late and despite his good play couldn´t save the club. What did you appreciate most about his game? Possibly his knack of getting you in the best position to score at a high rate?
Cha Cha’s IQ is so high he knows the right plays and reads that need to be read. He always was a great leader a veteran with successful experience that’s helped us younger guys a lot.
How did you see the development of young German Kevin Yebo who averaged 10,9ppg and 7,4rpg. He came from the Regionalliga which is 2 leagues below the Pro A. What part of his game improved the most and what is the next step for him?
Kevin played really well all year and made drastic improvement and will continue to improve. He could improve his shooting to make him be an even bigger offensive threat. His next step could be another major step like he made last year.
When you look back at your rookie season and Austria and compare the skill and talent level of the German Pro A where were the biggest differences?
The biggest difference were just the quality of officiating, basketball, and arenas were much different.
Let´s talk about your game. You stated this in our first interview last summer about your game. “Well ever since I became a professional I have focused on being more of a playmaker, making my teammates better, and setting them up to succeed”. You never averaged more than 3,1apg since entering Washington State in 2011. This season you averaged 5,2apg. Talk about how you were able to accomplish your best assist rate ever?
Well that was a focus that I have been working on for the last couple years and my coach put me in positions to showcase my ability to get guys open shots.
You also stated in our last interview last summer that “my defense has took a major step since college, and I take as much pride in that now as I do my offense”. Despite a club giving up 86 points per game, do you feel like you could make some strides in this area?
I think I can make majors strides. I believe this is the weakest part of my game and I think to make the jump to a higher level my defense will have to improve.
You have always been a scorer and also showed it in the competitive All-Pac 12. This season with Ehingen you averaged 18,7ppg which was your second best since your junior season at Washington State. How do you feel did you mature as a scorer this season and how did your leadership skills improve leading a young team?
I matured as a scorer this year by taking what the defense gave me and being as prepared as possible. On a young team were I am looked to as a leader while being young and still having a lot to learn is a balance but was beneficial in my growth as a player and leader.
You had many great games, but what was your best personal game? The 37 point explosion against PS Karlsruhe?
I think my best game was the Karlsruhe game on the road. I had an overall good game but in that position of having to win it was one of personal highlights from the season.
As a rookie you played in Austria and now Germany. What did you appreciate most about the country Germany on and off the court? I can imagine off the court it was the food?
Germany, overall the people were really nice and treated us well. And the food was amazing also.
You lived only 30-40 minutes away from Ulm and probably caught some games. What was mostly in your thoughts when you saw your peers on the court? Did you mostly just enjoy the game or did you see yourself on the court in your mind thinking what you would do in certain situations?
Yes I got to see Abdul and Peyton play when their teams came to play in Ulm. As soon as I seen the warmups I envisioned myself on one of the teams and seeing myself out there making plays. That’s what I was thought about while I watched those and other BBL games.
When seeing the easyCredit BBL talent which has many guys that you played against in the NCAA, how do you feel when put into the right situation and system how would you do? What besides the speed and physicality are added features in the BBL that you didn´t see in the Pro A?
I think I can be successful placed in the right situation in the BBL. The thing that stood out to me the most was just the fewer mistakes that were being made. The basketball IQ is on display at a high level in the BBL.
What are your plans for the summer? With what NBA guys will you be training with and how does a normal work out day on and off the court look like for you?
A lot of guys from my agency and other pros in the summer get together workout in the morning and play after and depending on the day we might get together and play at night too or I may just get in the gym and get some shots up. That’s a normal day and add yoga in some days to finish the day.
Who was the toughest player that you fought against this season in the German Pro A?
Shy Ely from Heidelberg was tough because he was smart and used his screen pretty well to score. Also Charlie Barton was really tough to guard at times and he got everyone involved.
How did you experience the 2018 NCAA March Madness? What was the most spectacular upset in the tournament?
I think the UMBC was the best because they made history in being the first ever 16 to win.
Deandre Ayton seems lie he could be the #1 NBA draft pick in 2018. But having been in Europe this season you must of seen some highlights of Real Madrid´s 19 year old stand out Luca Doncic who belonged to the best players in the Euroleague. Should a guy like that be the automatic #1 pick just from sheer experience and talent?
I think it’s a fine line between experience and raw talent. But a physical specimen like Deandre Ayton doesn’t come around every 20 years.
Lebron James makes amazing passes in every game, but really showcased it in a game this season against the Los Angeles Lakers. He already is like a point guard, but if he played just point guard and concentrated only on playmaking how many assists do you feel would he average per game?
Lebron could average 12 assist a game as a point guard easy.
What was the last movie that you saw? Let me guess Black Panther?
I have not seen black panther yet but I plan to very soon. The last new movie I seen was Coco and it was great!!
Thanks Davonte for the chat.