Chris Frazier is a 27 year old 182cm shooting guard that hails from Heidelberg, Germany, but also has the American citizenship and finished his fourth professional season and first with the Rostock SeaWolves helping them reach the pro A averaging 9,9ppg,1,2rpg and 1,6apg. He started his basketball career at TV Schwetzingen (Germany-2.Regionalliga) before moving to the States to play at Dubuque (NCAA3) from 2010-2014 playing a total of 107 games and as a senior played 26 games averaging 13.7ppg, 2.5rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 43.8%, 3PT: 42.0%, FT: 88.0%. He came back to Germany in 2014 and played with the Otto Baskets Magdeburg (Germany-ProB) playing 20 games averaging 16.1ppg, 4.5rpg, 1.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 45.0%, 3PT: 37.1%, FT: 80.6%. In the 2015-2016 season he made the jump to the BBL playing for the Crailsheim Merlins (Germany-BBL) playing 13 games averaging 2.3ppg. In the 2016-2017 season he played for the Artland Dragons (Germany-ProB) playing 25 games averaging 13.0ppg, 2.3rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 54.9%, 3PT: 39.7%, FT: 79.4%. He spoke to German Hoops after his season with Rostock.
Chris thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how have you been enjoying your early off season?
Hi Miles always a pleasure. At the moment I am still in Rostock and enjoying my off time as best I can. It is hard for me to enjoy given the fact I am not to happy with my perfomance this season. I have a lot of work to do.
Before we talk about the amazing last season, I have to ask you about the somewhat surprising coaching change of Ralf Rehberger and Milan Skobalj. Was this as surprising for you? Wouldn´t a guy like Rehberger have deserved a shot in the Pro A
It was shocking to me to be honest. We had an amazing season with a lot of ups and downs; but Ralf managed to help turn things around and helped us to the promotion into the Pro A. We can´t forget that there also is a business side to this and the higher up believe that making a coaching is the way to go. Coach deserves a chance at coaching at the Pro A level and that time will come.
Congrats on a wonderful Pro B season with the Rostock Seawolves. How disappointing was it not winning the Pro B title? Does that give a bad taste on the great season?
It certainly does, but we did it to ourselves. They were the better team that day and that´s how it will stay.
In the final you beat the ScanPlus Baskets in a thriller 94-93, but in the return game were handled easily by them losing 85-67. What will you continue to remember from that game that will be difficult to forget this summer?
Nothing really because Elchingen was one of the best teams if not the best team in this league last season. They took advantage of their amazing atmosphere at home and just dominated us from the beginning of the game till the end.
Rostock finished in third place in the regular season. With the huge ambitions of the team did the club underperform a bit not finishing first?
One can say that. We were a new team playing together for the first time and of course there were going to be bumps and bruises along the way. I believe finishing 3rd helped us in a way of not getting to big headed by finishing first, maybe we would have went into the playoffs with a different mind set thinking that we can´t be beat. So where we finished was just fine
The team started off very slowly losing three of it´s first four games and then had a 6-6 record up until December 2017. The club didn´t play bad, but lost every game by 6 or less points. Why couldn´t the team learn to win those tight games?
We were still learning on how to play basketball with each other. Chemistry doesn´t just pop up. A lot of people saw our names on paper and thought that we should just run through this league, It doesn´t work like that.
From December 9th until the end the Rostock Seawolves had a solid 11-3 record. What was the main reason for the turnaround and what did the team begin to do better at both ends of the court?
It´s simple. We started trusting each other.
You told me in our last interview last summer that “we have skilled offensive weapons, but if we want to play for a championship, it will start with our defense”. The club was first with fewest points allowed with 72. Can the club continue to heighten their defense in the playoffs?
It showed in the playoffs and in the Giessen Series that we had the best defense in the league until the last game for the title.
When you look back at the season what will you remember most about the team? Possibly everyone understanding their roles and playing for one another?
When I look back at the season and the players we had on the team it is crazy what we were able to accomplish in such a short time. There were teams that played together for a while and couldn´t do what we were able to do. This group did something special for this city and I believe that this organization is only getting started.
The Giessen series was really exciting. What will you remember most from that series? Possibly the crazy double OT win in Giessen with a technical that saved Giessen before they eventually lost?
That series was crazy. Those are the type of games we love to play. Giessen was very talented and if they are able to keep those core guys together they will be dangerous to deal with. The last game should have ended in regulation we all know that.
At the moment there seems to be a small point guard problem as there isn´t as much depth with young players coming up. What has been your impression of young 18 year old Bjarne Kraushaar. He plays in the EasyCRedit BBL as well for Giessen. Has he been the best German 18 year old point guard that you have seen in the Pro B this season?
He is a very aggressive kid. For him to be 18 years old leading a team like that is amazing. He is a good player and once he gets better at using his left..lol he won´t be in the Pro B for long.
Let´s talk about your teammates. How important do you feel was the special connection that Brandon Lockhart and Jordan Talbert brought to Rostock. They had had success 2 years ago with Nordlingen. How important was their special chemistry for the success of the club?
I will keep this short and sweet. Jordan and Brandon pretty much carried this team and everyone else just filled in the pieces. They were what made us go and I would like to think that they had a pretty good supporting cast when they needed a “break”.
How valuable was German forward Bill Borekambi for the success of the team. He seemed to be a huge match up problem every game. Was he the teams best 1-1 player?
Nobody can stop Bill 1on1. The shots that he takes is crazy because they are wild and not everyone can shoot those. Bill is a special player that should see his way back into the Pro A.
Rostock had quite a few Germans. Which German player do you feel made the biggest strides this season in their development?
To me it was Darian Cardenas. Simply because at the beginning of the season he was struggling to find himself and didn´t really know what his role was. After the break he was a brand new person and started playing with a lot of confidence. He knew all along that he could play he just needed a minute to adjust to a brand new team.
Let´s talk about your game. You averaged 9,9ppg,1,2rpg and 1,6apg and shot 36% from outside. How content were you with your season with Rostock?
Not at all. 9.9ppg what kind of number is that. I can´t make any excuses I did not shoot the ball well this season and I let that get to my head. I have a lot of work to do this summer and me only being 27 going on 28 I still have time, but this summer will make or break my career. I know I could have given the club more points offense and they know that.
In our last interview you stated this about your season with the Artland Dragons last season. “I learned to not promise anything that isn´t guaranteed. All season last year I said that we would get it together and move up to the Pro A. This year I will produce more on the court rather than telling fans we will move up”. How did your experience with Artland influence how you acted on the court with Rostock?
I handled it the same way to be honest. In Artland I didn´t make too many promises other than me saying that we would figure things out. This year with the Seawolves we didn´t speak on moving up to the Pro A. We were focused one game at a time and hoped to play our best basketball at the right time. The only difference between the two is that in Rostock there is less pressure. The fans in Artland don´t want to see Pro B basketball anymore because they still remember the good times in the BBL.
You shot 40% or better in three of four years at Dubuque (NCAA3). While as a professional in limited duty with Crailsheim you shot 40% and the other three years you were close under 40%. Do you feel that you are on your way of being able to find that accurate stroke again which you had in school?
We have to remember that the line is closer in college, but you are right. I haven´t found that shooting touch like I had in College for the simple fact that in school you always have a place to work out in Germany it´s hard to find a gym. If you don´t play for a club longer than a year then your summer times are spent playing pick up and scrambling to find a gym that´s open. I am not worried about my shooting percentage for the simple fact evey one knows I can shoot the ball. This year was just a down year for me. In Magdeburg I had to take more shots and in Artland I got burned out and didn´t have any energy left to give.
How difficult was it in general being effective, but still being a vital offensive factor when you had three other main scoring options with Lockhart, Talbert and Borekambi? Do you feel you were able to master this challenge as best as possible?
Hard question to answer because you can see it in the stat sheet. On the offensive side of the ball I did not reach my full potental. I will admit it is very hard when you have three dominate scorers like Jordan; Brandon and Bill. That is why I put more energy on defense than offense. I played so many minutes that like last year I started to burn out and lost my legs which effects on offense.
What is the next step for you? You had a solid Pro B season. Are you ready to get back to a higher level?
A lot of people will laugh at this question because they don´t believe that I can play at a high level. We will see. I hope to stay in Rostock and get a year of Pro A under me. I am ready to get back to playing at a high level. I can still play like I did in Magdeburg. I just have to stay true to myself and continue to work at getting back to that level of play.
When you study all those names in the BBL at the guard position, is there anything those guys can do that you couldn´t master at that level?
Yeah being tall. That´s the only reason why I dont play at a high level now because I am an undersized 2 guard other than that I can do what they do. Like I said in the previous question I just need to get back to being me. I can´t make everyone happy and I am tired of trying so from here on its all about me and the guys and organization around me.
How will a summer workout look like for you this summer? On what things do you want to improve on for next season?
I plan on keeping that to myself. I am “under construction” for the off-season and plan on making a major push this upcoming season.
Who was the toughest player that you battled this season in the Pro B?
I don´t think there was a player that I couldn´t guard this year. Not to be arrogant there were a lot of guys this years that are very good, but I can honestly say that I was my own toughest opponent this year
Deandre Ayton seems like 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?
Depending on who gets the first pick. If the Suns get that pick then Ayton would make more sense. Luca is a combo guard that would do better on a team that has a system, but Luca is a top 5 pick for sure.
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?
Yikes who knows. Depending on who he has around him10 plus Assists easily.
Why do you feel couldn´t the Oklahoma Thunder function properly with three superstars. What do you think will be the next step for this club?
As long as Russ plays the way he plays OKC will always be just an OK team. I would try to keep Paul George and trade Russ
A poll of NBA coaches voted for coach of the year and Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens got no vote. How can that happen considering how he has developed the team in the last few years. Is there jealously among the coaches?
No Idea. To me Brad Stevens is the best coach in the league. I have no idea if there is a jealousy thing going on.
Will the Boston Celtics be able to win the NBA championship next year with Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving and their nice supporting cast?
Eastern Conference Champs at the most.
What was the last movie that you saw?
A Quiet Place.
Thanks Chris for the chat.