Paul Albrecht(Dragons Rhondorf) Julius Thomas Is One Of The Best Young Coaching Talents In Germany

Paul Albrecht is a 27 year old 205cm forward playing his first season with the Dragons Rhoendorf (Regionalliga). He has played 162 pro A games with teams like Jena, Paderborn, Essen, Hanau and the Artland Dragons. He also played 49 Pro B games with the Baskets Akad.Weser-Ems/Oldenburger TB. Last season he played with the Artland Dragons (ProA) playing 21 games averaging 6.6ppg, 4.9rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 55.8%, 3PT: 20.9%, FT: 70.3%. He spoke to after the huge 101-63 win over Bonn 2. 

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Paul Albrecht in Koblenz in Pre-season

Congrats on the huge 101-63 win in Bonn. What kind of an overall feeling was it playing against the other farm team of the Telekom Baskets Bonn. Did you sense a type of higher competition level and rivalry during the game?

We deserved this win and were ready to go from the get go. We played tough defense and they didn’t know what happened. It felt like a home game, because we train like 3-4 times a week there. 

The Dragons Rhondorf already had the game pretty much decided by half time. Did the great win on Friday at home give the team extra self confidence to heighten your game another level in Bonn?

The second half that we had on Friday definitely boosted our confidence. That was really important for us, because we are a young team. We have to keep having a positive attitude, because we can’t be negative if we start losing. Our mind set was very good, because we were so focused to win.

Was this the best season performance? The team scored over 100 points and gave up the least points so far. What did the team do better defensively in Bonn than in the other games?

This was our best performance of the season. Coach Julius made some adjustments on the defensive end so we could surprise them. We came out with a big lineup something we haven’t had so far this season.

After the first tough loss at home against Ibbenburen, the Dragons Rhondorf have a 3 game winning streak. How is the team better now than a few weeks ago?

We have been getting better from week to week. We weren’t really ready against Ibbenburen. I think we may have underestimated them. It doesn’t matter in what league you play, if it’s BBL or Oberliga, if you don’t come out ready you will lose. It was good having this experience from a good team, because we learned from it. We didn’t come out ready against Ibbenburen and know now you always have to be ready. 

How have you witnessed the early season work of head coach Julius Thomas? Give an example of how he has mastered the art of making new adjustments on the court?

Coach Julius is doing a great job. He is only 23 years old. I can hardly believe it. He is at least 35 the way he knows basketball. He knows exactly how to talk to players and the players all have huge respect for him. Even though he is so young he has a crazy work ethic. He is a basketball junkie working everyday trying to make us better. He has made us better. He is just a good coach. For me he is one of the best young coaching talents in Germany. 

The 2 bigs De Olveira and Kotieno combined for 44 points and 21 rebounds. How much are you enjoying your time with Gabriel De Olveira knowing that in the future he probably won’t be as available as he is now?

Playing with them is a lot of fun. I don’t think any other team has big men like them. Gabriel is so strong and athletic and when he comes to the game with the right mind set, he is impossible to stop in the Regionalliga. I enjoy playing with everybody. We have a great group of guys. It’s incredible, Bruno Albrecht, De Olveira and Kotieno don’t even practice with us. Maybe once a week, because they are always training with Bonn. But they still come to games and play their hearts out. You can tell that this is their team. I hope Gabriel will keep playing like this so he can make the next step. If he stays focused then there is nothing that will stop him from reaching his goals. 

Oshane Drews had a solid debut at home against Wulfen and played another very good game in Bonn. What have you been impressed most about his game?

He is another really talented player on the squad. The most important thing for him is to stay healthy, because he has had problems with injuries. He is so athletic and quick and has a great touch around the rim. He can become a good player in the future.

You had an OK game with 6 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Was one of your duties when you came to Rhondorf to really be a 1-2 scoring option? So far this season, the club has shown that the scoring can be shared by many.

For me it’s not about being the top scorer. I’m more like a playing coach. I’m trying to help everybody on the team. I’m like the point guard even though I’m not. I’m always telling players where to go. I responsible for everyone having a great focus before the game. All that matters for me is that we win and everyone else has a good game. This is all I really care about. I don’t care about the stats. Important is also that the guys get better. All the guys respect me which is great. If it would have been about me I wouldn’t have come here. I just want to develop further with them. If it comes down to that we can’t score the you can be sure that I will do that

Have you been keying on doing more damage inside than just taking too many three’s?

Yes I have been playing more inside this season and this fits well to me. The way the team plays is good for me.

How important will the 2 week break be now until the next game in Grevenbroich? What do you feel will the team need to focus most on the court?

I think it is good that we have the weekend off. We have some injuries and will have a good week of practice. The focus is always on us. We know what we can do and focus on us not the opponent. 

Grevenbroich have an explosive scorer with John Murry and talented Germans. What do you feel will be most vital in getting the team’s 4th win in a row?

They have a great scorer, but we proved we can handle a scorer when we played Dorsten. He made most of his points in the second half when we had already decided the game. We have great defenders and defend as a team. We will work on how to defend Murry. We will manage to defend him.

Now that Lebron James won his 4th NBA title, where does he stand in your opinion in the head to head debate with Michael Jordan who is the greatest of all-time?

This Lebron James question is tricky. For me Lebron is the greatest of all-time. I understand all the people that got to see Jordan play say that he is the greatest and vice versa about Lebron. I just think that they are both great players. They are the 2 greatest of all-time. But for me Lebron can just do everything and make his teammates better the way he facilitates. It isn’t only about what he does on the court, but is a role model off the court. 

What was the last movie that you saw?

Tenet was a great movie, but confusing at the end. 

Thanks Paul for the chat.

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