Jaleen Smith is a 25 year old 193cm guard from Freeport, Texas that is playing his third professional season and first with the MHP Riesen. Last season he played with the MLP Academics Heidelberg (Germany-ProA) averaging 12,7ppg, 3,9rpg and 2,7apg. In his rookie season with Heidelberg he averaged 7,6ppg, 2,8rpg and 2,9apg. He had a stellar four year career with New Hampshire (NCAA) from 2013-2017 where he played a total of 120 NCAA games. He improved his scoring, rebounding and assists average each season and as a senior he played 32 games averaging 15.8ppg, 6.4rpg, 4.3apg, FGP: 52.4%, 3PT: 35.8%, FT: 78.1%. He is conducting a special diary from the BBL tournament in Munich with germanhoops.com
A tough 88-65 loss to Alba Berlin. How does this loss feel considering how well Ludwigsburg has played in Munich the last weeks?
I felt crushed having worked so hard to lose like we did. I felt it took something out of me but well bounce back on Sunday.
It is no secret that not having Marcos Knight would have hurt any team. You never want to make excuses, but when you have a guy like Knight who has put up sick MVP numbers in the Munich tournament, do you feel like his absence was in your heads as the game started>?
Yes for sure the way Marcos was playing we relied on him for scoring and rebounding and we missed that during our game. Replacing a MVP like him is tough.
The MHP Riesen stayed well with Alba Berlin, but they broke away in the second quarter and had a comfortable lead at the break. What do you feel gave the team the most problems in the down stretch of the second quarter?
We started turning the ball over and giving up easy baskets to Alba that’s how they made their run on us in the second quarter.
Alba Berlin went on a huge run to seal the win in the third quarter. What do you feel let the team down most defensively?
We just gave up easy baskets especially 3 pointers and when they have the 3 point shot falling they are tough to deal with.
Young German center Ariel Hukporti started. He began slow, but finished strong. You have seen him play all season long. How good is this guy and how raw is he still at the moment?
He’s going to be good. He still is young and body still has time to develop but only time and Ariel can determine what kind of player he wants to be in the future.
One guy that we haven’t talked about has been German Lukas Herzog. He had a solid game with 8 points in 10 minutes. How have you seen his development and how much credit does a guy like John Patrick get for how the guards have grown with the MHP Riesen?
He’s been big for us in place of Konga during this tournament. He plays super hard on defense and he can shoot the ball. You can tell as the tournament went on he’s has become more comfortable playing with the top German teams.
You had 5 points and 8 dimes, but another tough shooting day from outside. How are you mentally after a second consecutive tough shooting day. How will you not let that eat at you as you continue to focus on game 2 this weekend?
My mental towards the game never changes. I can have the worst game of my career and ill still have the same focus as if I had my best game of my career. I can never be too high or too low. I just have to stay even-keel and humble while I’m playing on this stage of basketball.
The MHP Riesen are in a huge hole. You have to win by 24 points or more to win the title. How does one prepare for this and is saying your prayers more realistic than anything against this tough Berlin squad?
We have nothing to lose. We just have to go out and play loose and have fun because for most of us this will be the last time well play together.
The Munich weekend is winding down. You have been there 3 weeks. What do you feel will you miss the most from the whole time? Has time flown by?
The time here has flown by I mean playing games every other day is a blessing to stay busy during this whole thing. I won’t miss much. I’m just ready to get back home and see my family and fiance again until my next destination for next season.
Thanks Jaleen for the chat.