Colton Ray is a 196cm guard from Williamsburg, Virginia played his second professional season and first in Germany with Pro B team ScanPlus Baskets and averaged 8,8ppg, 3,5rpg and 2,8apg. He began the season with KK Ulcinjska Rivijera Ulcinj (Montenegro-Erste Liga). Last season as a rookie he played with St. John’s Edge (Canada-NBL Canada) playing 13 games averaging 3.6ppg, 1.7rpg. He began his basketball career with Lafayette HS and also played with Saint Ignatios Prep (S.C.). He played at Coastal Carolina (NCAA) from 2013-2017 playing a total of 119 NCAA games and as a senior played 37 games averaging 9.4ppg, 6.4rpg, 2.4apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 47.3%, 3PT: 35.4%, FT: 73.0%. He spoke to eurobasket at the end of the 2018-2019 season.
Colton thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. Where are you at the moment and what thoughts have been on your mind the most at the moment?
Just reflecting on a long season and just trying to relax now for a few weeks.
Your season in Germany is over now. The ScanPlus Baskets lost the playoff series to Oldenburg 2-1. How tough was it losing this series?
It was very tough because we felt like we were the better team and proved it for a majority of the series. Ultimately we gave up both games on the road in the last 5 minutes so that’s always frustrating
The games were all pretty much close as there were no blow outs. In the deciding game the stats were very close. What was key in game three that the ScanPlus baskets were unable to move on in the playoffs?
I think it was execution at the end and just not having the right guys in at the end. We gave up some easy buckets on the defensive end at the game and we didn’t handle their run at the end well at all.
Oldenburg had many talented players, but how much of a factor was American Nigel Pruitt. You couldn’t control him better as a team. Do you feel like the series would have been different had he been slowed down better?
Pruitt was a tough player. He can really shoot the rock and can guard well too. Honestly his points really came off of passes from others getting into the lane and kicking it out to him . He got all his points in the flow which was the most impressive to me. But like I said they don’t really run sets for him so it wasn’t a slow down situation because it never felt like he was doing as well as he was until you read the box score at the end. But of course take some of his points away especially in game 1 we win the series.
What kind of experience was it this season playing against a handful of farm teams? You battled teams like Frankfurt, Giessen and Oldenburg just to name a few. What was your impression of the German players that you saw not only with these teams but in general?
I think it’s a cool system Germany has set up to really develop younger players. I was pretty impressed with two to three players on each farm team for sure.
For many the ScanPlus season was disappointing. Ok you reached the playoffs, but the team was Pro B defending champions. Do you feel like the team underachieved?
I feel like we underachieved greatly. We had the talent to win again but the puzzle pieces just didn’t fit together along with some other distractions we went through as well. But Leverkusen has 1 loss on the year and it was to us by about 30 points. So that tells you the potential we had we just couldn’t figure it out.
What was the most positive thing you got out of having the opportunity of having so many different nationalities around you. What did you appreciate most about the experience with your teammates?
I appreciated sharing the court with so many guys from different places. We all speak different languages but the language of Basketball was universal and it was cool just to be able to take part in that.
Let’s talk about your teammates. What kind of experience was it playing with mega veteran Marin Petric? Was he like a role model for you and an inspiration how long he has played?
Awesome guy. First of all if I can be his age and still playing ball I will be beyond blessed. But he was somewhat of a role model to me just trying to pick his brain about different things on the court and trying to add some things he does into my game. Definitely learned some stuff from him.
How valuable was it being teammates with Stefan Fekete. He is a pass first guard that knows how to lead a team. Did his playmaking skills rub off on you a bit?
I always had the play making ability so I wouldn’t say that. However his understanding of the game as far as drawing up a quick set off the top of his head and going and executing it was the most impressive thing to me about Stefan.
You stated this about teammate Brian Butler in our first interview. ‘He has a lot more in his dunking bag than I do. I’ll try to do something a little crazy in the warm up line and then he’ll do the same thing and make mine look awful so I really leave the dunking up to him’. What were you able to pick up from his dunking and overall game?
I think what people fail to realize is that Brian can actually play. Yeah the dunks provide some thrill but he actually has game. He has a post game and a mid range jumper and he can guard the 1-5 (except me haha) which makes him so versatile. Not to mention he plays so hard on both ends too. I haven’t learned anything new from his dunking however because I can’t do half the things he can do.
What kind of experience was it being teammates with CJ Oldham? He is a guy that can fill up the stat sheet at ease and can do many things well. Did any of his versatility rub off on you and did he tell any stories about his famous dad?
That’s my guy! CJ is one of those glue guys that every team needs and he proved his worth over the season on numerous occasions. Didn’t go into much detail about his dad other than he’s famous in Germany obviously. He really didn’t have to because a lot of times people were coming up asking him so I take it the guy was a big big deal.
Let’s talk about your game. You came in November to the ScanPlus Baskets and averaged 8,8ppg, 3,4rpg and 2,7apg. What was your overall summary of your play in Germany?
I honestly wasn’t happy at all with my play. I started off pretty well here and then a coaching change threw everything in a loop for me and I really didn’t see much action once that happened. I’m not sure why but the coach at the time thought it was what was best for the team so I can only control what I can control. I had some pretty good moments that really showcased what I brought to the table and I can leave here happy about that.
Your minutes were up and down this season. How tough was this fluctuation and did becoming efficient in the minutes you get become a big factor for you?
It was a tough adjustment like I said previously. Once I figured out that the new coach had different plans for me all I could do was go in every game and do everything I could while I could and that’s all I was focused on. I just wanted to win.
You obviously couldn’t put up consistent stats when your minutes were up and down. What did you learn about your season in Germany that will help you in the future with your next team?
I didn’t really learn that much but there were some lessons that needed to be reinforced. Just no matter what stay in the gym and don’t stop working.
How do you feel did your game grow with all the different nationalities on the team? Was there a part of your game that you feel profited most just from having these daily experiences?
I think it grew in the aspect of managing personalities. Dealing with 13 different guys you have to know how you can communicate with someone to bring the most of out of them and I think I expanded my knowledge in that area.
You had some memorable games. Was your 20 point game, 10 rebound, six assists and two block and two steal game against Orange Academy your most memorable moment?
I mean definitely a high point as well as my game at Leverkusen. But my best highlight to me would be my first game against Giessen just because I had a double double with 10 assists. I say that because it kind of cemented the kind of player I wanted to be on this team. Get everyone else involved and also get some buckets myself.
What is the next step for Colton Ray? If you got the right offers would you like to remain in Germany and get further experience?
I would definitely come back to Germany if given the right offer. Hopefully it happens so we can talk again in person. But right now I’m fielding offers from everywhere trying to figure out the next best location for me and my family.
What are your summer plans? Will you travel and on what things will you be working on most in the lab?
Travel a little bit but mostly in the lab getting ready for next season.
Who was the toughest player that you battled in the Pro B this season?
There’s was a few tough guys. Nigel Pruitt, Dennis Mavin, and Moore from Schwenningen
What has been your opinion as to why the Los Angeles Lakers are where they are now with Lebron James. Did the Lakers not have the right mix of players that Lebron could work with?
I actually think they got what they need I think it was just LeBron’s injury that set them back from missing the playoffs this year.
What was your reaction when you heard that Lebron James named himself the greatest of all-time?
Don’t necessarily agree but he’s definitely number two and has a legitimate argument for #1. I’m just a Jordan guy.
Charles Barkley recently proclaimed that Tom Brady Is more of a GOAT than Michael Jordan. Do you share his opinion?
I do not. Michael Jordan takes more part in his teams success than Tom Brady ever has.
What was the last movie that you saw?