Malcolm Delpeche is a 23 year old 203cm forward that was born in Wilmington, Delaware, but also has the British citizenship and completed his second professional season with the WWW Baskets Muenster averaging 12,1ppg and 6,5rpg. He played at Bates (NCAA3) from 2013-2017 playing a total of 100 games. In his senior year at Bates, he played 24 games averaging 13.2ppg, 8.8rpg, 1.5apg, 3.1bpg, FGP: 49.1%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 63.1%. Last season as a rookie he played with BSG Grevenbroich (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 24 games averaging 13.9ppg, 7.5rpg, 1.2bpg, 2FGP: 51.7%, 3FGP: 37.5%, FT: 64.0%, in Mar.’18 moved to Bristol Academy Flyers (United Kingdom-BBL) playing 12 games averaging 6.2ppg, 4.5rpg, FGP: 54.5%, FT: 70.0%. He spoke to germanhoops.com at the end of his season in Germany.
Malcolm thanks for talking to germanhoops.com Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you at the moment?
I am currently in Grevenbroich at the home of my German ‘adoptive’ family. These guys have fully supported me since my Grevenbroich Elephant days and have traveled to almost all of my home games in Muenster this season. Paying them a visit and spending time with them is the least I can do. With our season ending just last week, at the moment, my basketball life has been really slow. I’m taking a short little break from basketball so I allow my body the necessary recovery and attack the training in the off-season with full force.
Congrats on an amazing season with Munster. How long was the disappointment after being crushed in Leverkusen? Did the club realize that despite the loss, it was an amazing season and one where one can say the club overachieved a bit as the expectations weren’t that high to automatically move up to the Pro A in one season.I believe that I can speak for almost everyone on my team when I say that the disappointment of defeat was a generally short-lived experience. Obviously we’re competitors first, and hate to lose (especially given THE WAY we lost) but you’re exactly right in that we had an amazing season, overcame unlikely odds, beat expectations, and have nothing to be ashamed of.
Munster played the Bayer Giants Leverkusen tough in the first game, but got destroyed in the last game. What were the main factors for the club not being able to give them more of a game at their arena?
I think that the overwhelming success that Leverkusen was able to find in their home gym against us other was simply a result of their home court advantage and momentum that they carried from their first away game win against us. They were playing in front of hundreds of their own fans and shooting on the same hoops that they have all season. Add this to the energy and magic that the playoffs often brings out of players/fans and in this case I believe that it gave Leverkusen a certain edge that we, ourselves unfortunately were not able to take advantage of.
Did the mental side and fatigue play bit of a role in the last game in Leverkusen? The season was long and then you had to face that never ending deep rotation of Leverkusen?
I don’t believe that mental or physical fatigue played a role in our struggles against Leverkusen. Our amazing coaching staff and trainers have done an amazing job of keeping the team conditioned and fit for every game. Mentally our team was fully engaged and locked in for every game this season. Playing throughout the playoffs only made us dig deeper and brought the best out of everyone. Despite what the score of the last game might indicate, at the end of the day it really just came down to Leverkusen just playing consistently better, and capitalizing when it mattered most. I don’t believe our mental or physical fatigue from a lengthy season played that big of a effect in the outcome of these games.
Munster was so close to reaching the finals. What will you always treasure most about having this great opportunity of winning the title? Can you describe the feeling of playing Leverkusen at home in a final game and how you felt?
The thing that I will treasure the most about this great opportunity that we had was the community that came together behind us in support for our team’s success. At the beginning of the regular season, our home games at Halle Berg Fidel were not packed and we were only bringing in probably 1500 fans per games. Fast-forward to our championship playoff series, we were having our 5th or 6th consecutive sell-out game at home. Not only this, but in our away game at Leverkusen we had around 200-300 Muenster fans who traveled with us to the final championship playoff game. This type of support is something that shouldn’t be taken for granted, and something that I love and appreciate about the Muenster community. Playing in Leverkusen for that final championship game was probably the closest thing to a Euroleague Basketball game in my eyes. The energy from the fans (from BOTH Leverkusen and Muenster) created an atmosphere that I’ve never experienced in my athletic career. Warming up in that gym and listening to our Munster fans go back in forth with the Leverkusen fans gave me an unbelievable rush. I even told one of my teammates, ‘this is what I imagine what war sounds like.’
Let’s talk about the team’s season. Would it be fair to say that Munster had a fairytale season or do you see it as having a season where you expected to have this much success?
I think that our season can definitely be considered a ‘fairytale season’, but I’m choosing these words very carefully as I say them. I call our season a fairytale not in the sense that it was all luck or anything, but rather in the sense that seasons like the one we’ve had given our circumstances, are extremely rare. The most important circumstance being, this was our FIRST season in the Pro B league. We were not supposed to nor expected to be here. Some teams have been in the Pro B league for years, or have invested a lot of money into players, gyms, and coaches in hopes for finally making it to the championship. One would think that the new underdogs in the league would have to wait their turn and wait a couple seasons before making it to the Pro B Playoff Championships. If you look at how our season initially started you would most definitely have thought that we would have to wait a couple of seasons before we would eventually find success. But eventually we righted our ship and found the victories that we knew were attainable. Even though no one else believed in us, we believed in ourselves and we knew what we were capable of. Not sure if I or anyone expected us to go as far as we did, but at the same time it not something that we thought was crazy or unbelievable either. We had all the tools, we just had to make it work.
The team began slow losing five of it’s first seven games. What were the main reasons for the bad start? Was it the usual blab la that the roles and chemistry weren’t there yet?
I believe that you’re exactly right in that, our chemistry just wasn’t there yet. We still had to get over the normal issues of learning to trust each other, getting used to each others playing styles, and for the new imports (me included) getting used to playing under this new system in Muenster. Adding the fact that we weren’t where we should of been because of some injuries in the pre season and I think it resulted in the type start of season that you saw from us.
But the club then made an amazing turnaround winning the last 14 of 15 regular season games. What adjustments were made and what was the secret to the team success?
I think ultimately we just got fed up with losing. A lot of our games were close or we were winning up until the 3rd quarter. But then we ruining our lead and letting the game slip away. Something clicked for us and we never looked back.
The team did a good job getting by Erfurt and Munich before meeting Schwenningen. When was the point that the club believed that they could reach the Pro B final?
I believed that after our first win against Schwenningen we finally saw the championship as a real possibility. But up until that win we were really just taking these games, one game at a time and never looking beyond the game in front of us.
How important were the characters of the players for the success? Was this one of those season’s where you felt each guy played for the other to gain success?
The character of each teammate here was nothing short of critical for the success we had this season. Everyone sacrificed, everyone stepped up when we needed, and everyone did whatever it took. This was definitely one of the seasons where I felt that everyone played for each other, there were no selfish characters on our team.
Would it be fair to say that Munster was a team that didn’t have the most talent, but the most heart in the Pro B?
No, I wouldn’t say that all. I actually believe that we were definitely a talented team and it was our heart that allowed us to have the successful season that we’ve had.
What was most special about strapping on the jersey of Munster? What did you cherish most about having the opportunity to play for this organization?
The most special part about playing for Muenster was playing in Halle Berg Fidel with the amazing fan support that we experienced every game. Win or lose, our fans never stopped supporting us. Their support made or successful season that much more meaningful. The thing, i’ll cherish the most about having the opportunity to play for this Muenster organization would be the support I’ve had from my German Family who have been unbelievably supportive of me and have come to almost all of my games this season. Daniel Dahmen, Nicola Dahmen, Feli Dahmen, and Simon Dahmen are an amazing family!
I can imagine the team season highlight was the game three win against Schwenningen or was there another game that stands out more?
Yes this Game 3 win against Schwennigen was crazy for us! That’s when it finally hit us, that we were going to the championship!
Let’s talk about your teammates. How vital was the play of point guard Jo Jo Cooper for the success? How impressed were you with his immense leadership qualities as a rookie in Germany?
Jojo had an unbelievable rookie season, and his role nothing short of critical for our team’s success this past season. Jojo instantly became a leader on our team and his impact could be felt on both ends of the floor as well as on and off the court. To do all that and have that impact as a rookie is admirable and extremely impressive.
How vital was it for your game having another big guy like Kai Haenig around. How important was his presence on and off the court for your development?
Kai Haenig was great teammate to have as a sparring partner. He is by far is the hardest guy to play against on both ends of the floor because he’s so big and unbelievably strong. There’s no other player like that in the Pro B League and playing against Kai every day at practice definitely made facing match ups in the real game a lot easier. He makes me have to think outside of the box offensively as well because obviously trying to back him down is something that isn’t going to be easy to accomplish. Kai has also given countless tips and criticisms throughout our games and off the court that has helped me improve my game.
The team had many Germans, but how key was experienced player Stefan Wess? What special feature did he bring to the table that wasn’t seen from anyone else on the court?
Wessi is a pure scorer, when he’s hot he’s almost impossible to guard. We saw a prime example of this in the first quarter of our championship game against Leverkusen. A special feature that Wessi has is his upmost confidence in his shot. There aren’t a lot of shots that he’s uncomfortable taking and his height and length make his shots unstoppable at times.
The club had many many talented Germans on the squad. Which player do you feel made the biggest strides on the court this season?
I think that Jan Konig made huge strides this season on the court. He’s an offensive super weapon and I believe that he will only get better after getting one year in the Pro B in Muenster under his belt.
How did you come to appreciate the presence of head coach Phillip Kappenstein the most ?What do you feel was his absolute biggest quality that allowed the team to have the success in the Pro B coming from the Regionalliga?
First off before I continue I’d like to say that Coach Phillip is a front runner for Coach of the Year in the Pro B. Something that I’ve appreciated about Coach Philip has been his poise as we’ve approached every game. I’ve never seen the man rattled, or overanalyze any team, or stress out in a counter-productive fashion. I think the biggest quality that he has that has helped push the team to the success that we’ve found this season has been his diligence. Coach Phillip and the coaching staff do an amazing job breaking down every team that we played as well as our own games. Come game time, we’re fully prepared and have all the tools we need to beat and compete against every team we face. This diligence ultimately plays a part in his poise that he’s demonstrated this whole season because at the end of the day he knows that he’s prepared us and has given us everything that need to compete.
Let’s talk about your game? You averaged 12,1ppg and 6,5rpg in 25 minutes per game. How content were you with your game this season?
I’m happy for the most part especially given my impact in the overall success of our team this season. But I also know that I could contribute more as far as what shows up in the statistics paper.
How do you feel were you able to develop your game further in an exciting winning culture like Munster this season?
I think that playing with Muenster made me develop my game in a way where I needed to look for a way to move without the ball in order to be effective. In playing for Grevenbroich last year a lot of my contributions were predicated on getting more touches and FGA, but playing here in Muenster was a little bit different. We have a lot of scorers and options on this team so some of the things that I needed to added to my game was being more aggressive in chasing rebounds, looking to make moves off the ball, and looking to make the right reads in the offense.
What was your personal season highlight with your game? I would imagine your 23 and 13 effort in the fascinating 86-83 victory in game three against Schwenningen.
Yes, that 23 and 13 performance would definitely be a personal highlight for me.
What is the next step for you? Could you imagine remaining in Munster or would you consider going to a new country and culture?
I could definitely see myself doing either of the options. I’ve really enjoyed my season playing for Muenster both on and off the court and see myself potentially coming back here. We will see what the summer will bring.
On what things will you continue to work on in the lab this summer as you continue to improve as a player?
I will definitely need to focus on developing a consistent short range and mid range jump shot. As well as a 3pt shot so I can also help spread the floor and diversify my attack. I would also need to work on being able to score more consistently with my back to the basket.
Please list your all-time best starting five of teammates
Malcolm Delpeche Jojo Cooper Jan Koenig Marco Porcher Stefan Wess
Who was the toughest player that you battled in the Pro B this season?
The toughest player that I’ve battled consistently with this season in Pro B has been Kai Hannig from WWU Baskets
The toughest player that I’ve battled all season would probably be The toughest player that I’ve battled with all season would probably be Kai Hannig from WWU Baskets
What was your reaction when you heard that Lebron James named himself the greatest of all-time?
I think it might of been a bad move to publicly name himself the ‘GOAT’ but at the same time I totally agree with his statement.
Charles Barkley proclaimed that Tom Brady Is more of a GOAT than Michael Jordan. Do you share his opinion?
I think that they’re both GOATs in their own rights and aren’t really comparable because they play two totally different sports and have had two totally different effects on their respective sports.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The last movie that I’ve seen was Avengers Endgame.
Thanks Malcolm for the chat.