Elijah Allen is a 29 year old 195cm swing man from Columbus, Ohio that completed his seventh professional season and first season with the Tigers Tuebingen averaging 8.8ppg, 3,5rpg and 1,2apg. Last season he played with the Kirchheim Knights in the Pro A averaging 9,8ppg, 5,0rpg and 1,6apg. In the 2016-2017 season he helped Gotha move up to the easyCredit BBL averaging 5,7ppg, 2,0rpg and shot 42,3% from outside. He is one of the few guys that has gone from the German Regionaliga to the BBL He played two seasons for Lich and in his last season there played 27 games averaging 13.0ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.9apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 69.3%. He started his basketball career at NW Missouri St. (NCAA2) in 2007 where he played until 2011 playing a total of 103 NCAA games and as a senior played 26 games: 14.9ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.1apg, FG: 44.8%, 3Pts: 23.1%, FT: 74.8%. He came to Germany in 2012 and played his first two seasons for the VfB 1900 Giessen Pointers (Germany-Regionalliga) and in the 2013-2014 season played 26 games averaging 20.0ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.3apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 58.7%, 3PT: 30.7%, FT: 68.4%. In the 2014-2015 season for the Licher Basket Baeren he played 28 games: 10.4ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.5apg. He spoke to germanhoops.com after his season in Tuebingen.
Elijah thanks for talking to germanhoops.com Where are you at the moment and what will be the first restaurant that you will visit when you get off the plane when you visit the States this summer?
Hello Miles, Thanks for the interview. I am currently in Lollar, Germany spending time with my family. I am not sure if I will have time to make it back to the states this summer. I am currently working on my business ProgressYourGame.com basketball summer league and trainings.
Has the NCAA Madness taken your mind off not reaching the playoffs with the Tigers Tuebingen?
Not really. I didn’t watch many NCAA games this year.
The club wanted to get back to the easyCredit BBL. How did you experience this season in Tuebingen with the team and fans? Is the disappointment high that the BBL won’t be back next season for the team?
Tubingen as a city and club were awesome. The location of Tubingen was great because there was good shopping and places to visit within a short 30-40 min drive.
One can say it was a tale of two seasons for the Tigers Tuebingen. In 2018 things didn’t go well, but with the arrival of Georg Kampf in mid January the team was reborn. What was your summary of the season of Tuebingen?
We definitely had our ups and downs this season. The league being very even this year did not help things also. Defensively we gave up to many easy baskets the whole season. We started to find a identity with Georg Kampf but came up short in the end.
Before Georg Kampf came on board the club had a disappointing record of 7-11. What do you feel were the main reasons then for the club not being able to have more success?
I personally liked playing for Sascha a lot. We lost to many games that we weren’t supposed to lose. We had many unnecessary losses and bad defensive outings. Sascha deserved a better effort from us players. That’s the tough part about coaching. You can be a good coach but if the players don’t perform when the time counts then ultimately you have a chance of losing your job. Sascha is a good coach and will get another opportunity to prove that.
Ex head coach Aleksandar Nadjfeji was a legend in the BBL as a player and had had coaching experience as an assistant. Last season he had misfortune of not keeping Tuebingen in the BBL and this season he was let go. Is he one of those classic examples of a guy that is simply better suited to be an assistant than a head coach?
I do not think so at all. Not everything is Sascha’s fault. I wouldn’t judge him on that. At the end of the day it’s the players responsibility to step on the court and do their job. A coach is just there to guide and give motivation along the way. I think he did a good job of that. Just unfortunate the result.
Head coach Georg Kampf is one of those coaches that is very hard nosed, won’t take crap form anyone and has his own way of getting his message across. How vital was his presence for the turnaround of the team?
I think it was good for us. We had some very hard and long trainings. Instead of focusing on details of other teams, we focused more on us and our execution of performing well offensively. This worked for us and helped turn things around.
What do you feel changed with the arrival of Georg Kampf? The team defended better, but also had games where they gave up many points and the offense seemed to score more.
I think us playing big helped changed things a lot. We basically played with two 5 men most of the game. This helped us score inside and control the paint defensively. We did not focus on defense as much as offense. We just wanted to outscore our opponent.
Do you feel like if Georg Kampf had been brought in a month earlier that you would have made the playoffs or did the late season loses against PS Karlsruhe and the Artland Dragons cost you the season.
Maybe it would have but who knows right? The losses to Karlsruhe and Artland were just unnecessary. In control the whole game and then lose the final seconds from errors that we forced.
Obviously, the Tigers Tuebingen want to get back to the BBL as soon as possible. Despite not having been able to accomplish it this season, what positives did the season bring the organization?
As a club I think Tuebingen is a great place to play. The club treats the players great and with much respect. I think the club will have great success in the future. Its great that they have Enosch Wolf coming back. That gives the team a nice big to build the team around.
Let’s talk about your teammates. American Reed Timmer had a great rookie season. After being his teammate for a season, does he have the talent and if so is he ready for the BBL or is another season in the Pro A or a season in Austria more beneficial for his development?
It was pretty fun playing with Reed. At times it did not feel as if he was rookie at all. He plays extremely confident. As far as development goes, I think a lower BBL team would be a great fit for him. He is the type of player that has a ton of room to grow. I expect him to have a long and successful career.
Even if the team didn’t make the playoffs, how did the young guys profit most from 30 year old veteran Tyler Laser? What player do you feel gained the most from his presence?
Having the opportunity to compete against him every day in practice will only make the young guys better. I think Nemanja learned the most out of everyone. Just the experience enough was good for him.
German Besnik Bekteshi has been around for ages, but is only 26 years old. How did his game develop further and is he still a guy that could make more of an impact in the BBL down the road?
I remember Besnik from when I used to train with the 46ers. I felt we had a comfortable relationship because of it. Besnik really shot the ball well this year. He is a good player who doesn’t make many mistakes. He gives you offense and is a good defender. I will not be surprised to see him back in the BBL.
German Enosh Wolf had a very strong season. One could say his break out season as a professional. How did you see the NCAA champion develop further this season and is he a late bloomer and still talented enough for another BBL run?
I really wasn’t surprised by the type of season Enosch had. He is a good player and is always efficient in the minutes that he plays in. He had a bigger role in Tubingen and could show what he could do. I definetly think he could play BBL. He can shoot and play well around the basket with a soft touch. There is always room for 7 footers that can play!
How raw is Nemanja Nadjfeji? You saw him play every day. Did the absence of his father affect him or is he still on a good way as he continues to develop as a player?
Nemanja will be a good player. He has an old mans game at a young age. He always made plays in practice that showed his talent level. He does some things that just can’t be taught. I think he is on a good way. I think its important he just keeps focusing on getting better. He has a bright future.
Let’s talk about your game. With Tuebingen you averaged 9,0ppg, 3,6rpg and 1,2apg. How content were you with your season?
I feel I can score a bit more with a bigger role offensively. I’m always doing things that don’t particularly show up on the score sheet. I think I showed that I can score and be consistent in the second part of season. Switching from playing position 4 to 3 helped me show that. I think I can do a lot more offensively and defensively playing the 3 position.
Your scoring average was pretty identical to last season with Kirchheim. Do you feel like you could become that player to average double figures in the Pro A if you were to get more of a central scoring role?
I can score the ball and I’m very confident about that. Averaging double figures is very attainable. I probably could have this year. At times I feel it’s not just about statistics. The last two seasons I played with two very ball dominate guards. Both being in the top in the league in scoring. Scoring many points is all about what situation you are put into. At the end of the day I just want to do what it takes to win.
In our last interview you stated this about your time with Kirchheim. ‘ I think mentally I grew the most. When tough times came I handled it better than I would in the past’. How was it with Tuebingen. Did the experience in Kirchheim help you with the tough times with Tuebingen?
I think it helped a lot. I basically had the identical season as I had last year. Missing playoffs by 1 game both years. Been very tough to deal with after having helped Gotha move up two years ago.
After shooting over 40% from outside last season with Kirchheim, you shot only 32% this season and took the least three’s since the 2014-2015 season in Lich. Were disappointed with your three accuracy this season?
As a competitor I always think I could have did better. I did not shoot that many 3s this season.
In your last interview you stated that last summer you would do this. ‘I will focus on watching film and trying to learn the game more. It is a never ending process’. How do you feel did you develop as a player further with Tuebingen?
I think it helped me a lot. I see it most on the defensive end. Defensively I felt I made a lot of big plays in key situations.
What was your personal highlight? Possibly your 19 point game in the win against Phoenix Hagen or your 18 point effort in the win over Trier?
I don’t have a game that really sticks out. These games were good but always room for improvement.
Who was the toughest player that you battled this season in the Pro A?
I would have to say Shy Ely. Kid is tough and experienced.
What is the next step for you? Will you remain in Tuebingen or will your basketball journey take you to a new place again?
I just want to improve and win. I am not sure where I will play next.
You have a long summer ahead of you. On what things will you be working on most in the basketball lab as you get ready for that next opportunity?
This summer I will be working on different finishes at the rim and also adding more of a mid-range pull up to my game. I think these two things will be key going into next season.
Please name your five all-time best teammates in college and pro’s
Hunter Henry, John Hawkins, Deshawn Cooper, Daniel Doerr, Dane Watts,
It’s still so early, but when all is said and done could Luka Doncic be one of the greatest Europeans that ever played in the NBA?
He has the tools to be. Has a long way before he catches up to Dirk.
What was your reaction when you heard that Lebron James named himself the greatest of all-time?
Not surprised he thinks this at all.
Charles Barkley recently proclaimed that Tom Brady Is more of a GOAT than Michael Jordan. Do you share his opinion?
Its hard to argue that point. Jordan gets the edge because he changed the culture also.
Tom Brady won sixth Super Bowl. Where will he be if he wins a seventh next season?
I think its amazing what he has done throughout his career. If he wins in his 7th season that would be special.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The siege of Jadotville
Thanks Elijah for the chat.