Chase Fieler is a 28 year old 203cm forward from Parkersburg, West Virginia playing in his seventh professional season and first with Brose Bamberg. Last season he played with ASP Promitheas Patras (Greece-A1) playing 13 Eurocup games averaging 8.5ppg, 2.3rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 59.5%, 3PT: 48.7%, FT: 71.4%; and played 14 Greek A1 games avergaing 8.4ppg, 2.6rpg, 1.9apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 58.1%, 3PT: 36.7%, FT: 60.9%. In the 2018-2019 season he played with Filou Oostende (Belgium-Euromillions League) playing 39 games averaging 8.9ppg, 4.1rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 53.3%, 3PT: 35.0%, FT: 83.0%; and played 14 BCL games averaging 10.1ppg, 3.5rpg, 2.5apg, FGP: 53.3%, 3PT: 40.5%, FT: 74.3%; and played 4 FIBA Europe Cup games averaging 11.5ppg, 3.5rpg, 4.0apg, 1.5spg, 1.5bpg. As a professional he has racked up a very impressive 9 professional titles in Spain and Holland. He played two seasons with Donar Groningen (Holland-Eredivisie) winning 4 titles. He also won a title in his rookie season with Ourense Termal (Spain-LEB Gold). He began his basketball career with Florida Gulf Coast (NCAA) in 2010 playing a total of 133 NCAA games as was able to improve his scoring and rebounding averages each season. As a senior he played 34 games averaging 13.7ppg, 7.3rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 59.4%, 3PT: 30.2%, FT: 70.7%. He spoke to eurobasket after the massive 88-74 win over ratiopharm Ulm.
Congrats Chase on the big 88-74 win. That was the fifth straight win in the easyCredit BBL. Is Brose Bamberg playing their best basketball at the moment in the BBL?
Yes I think so. We are finally playing with a full roster again and have had longer stretches during games playing with a lot of energy. We have been doing a good job using our depth and that has translated into our games and helped us be successful.
You swept the season series against ratiopharm Ulm. How big was this win which put the team three wins more than Frankfurt and Bayreuth.
This was a big win in our playoff push. I hope that we can keep it up. We have a tough game against Hamburg and before that have to play two Basketball Champions Ship games within 48 hours. Hamburg is very talented and deep. They have ex Euroleague player Bryce Taylor, Jordan Swing who seemingly has played everywhere, and Allen and Shorts have been having good years. It will definitely be a tough game.
Ratiopharm Ulm had the two point advantage at the break. Why couldn’t any club break away from the other in the first 20 minutes?
The first half was a battle. Both teams played good basketball. Ulm showed earlier in the season that they could play very well against strong Eurocup teams. It was a back and forth game. They went on a run early and we were able to close the gap at the end.
Basketball is a game of runs and Bamberg went on a run to lead 55-45, but ratiopharm Ulm struck back and finished the third quarter with a 15-3 run. What do you feel was giving Bamberg the biggest problems on the defensive end in that run?
I don’t think that anything was really giving us problems. Ulm just played well and hit shots. They are a deep team and will make runs. Runs will happen when you play them. They got some offensive rebounds that led to put backs. All you can do is just continue to force them to taking bad shots.
What did head coach Johan Roijakkers tell the team to do better for the last 10 minutes?
Coach just told us to keep doing what we were doing and stick to the basics.
Brose Bamberg set the foundation for the win with four lethal three’s as Hall and Vitali made two each. Did that offensive punch paralyze ratiopharm Ulm?
I think those early three’s stopped their momentum. But I don’t think that you can ever really paralyze Ulm. There was a recent game where Osetkowski made shots, but against us he had good looks, but just didn’t make shots. I think that we have elite fire power and that is hard to guard. David Kravish was huge making great passes out of the post and Tyler Larson who is back from a long injury was also huge for us. He is still looking to regain his touch, but what he gave us with his rebounding, defense and facilitation was so important. Larson’s return also has forced other guys back to their natural position which is also important.
A big key to the win was the Bamberg high shooting percentage, but what do you feel was the club’s biggest strength on this night?
I think that our biggest strength was our ball movement. We played at a high pace and we have so many unselfish players. Our good ball movement helped us find the open guy. Devon Hall makes great shots against great defense. There is a reason why he was in the NBA.
What is Brose Bamberg capable of achieving this season in the Basketball Champions League and easyCredit BBL?
I feel that we can move up to position 7 or 6 in the BBL. What then happens in the playoffs is up in the air. The playoffs are a different season and everything begins at 0. I hope that we can make a run. I think that we also have a good chance of making the Basketball Champions league final 8. It probably will be played in a bubble. Not traveling will be a big plus.
People tend to talk about Trae Bell-Haynes and Jaleen Smith for MVP, but what about Devon Hall? His three big three’s at the end of the third and start of the fourth carried Bamberg in the right direction to the win. Where would the team be without his services?
Devon has played incredible and it is rare seeing him be so unselfish despite being as talented as he is. Bell-Haynes and Smith have been more talked about simply because their teams have been more successful than us. But you can still put Hall in the conversation for MVP. It will come down to how well we end the season. A guy like David Kravish also has been incredible for us. He didn’t seem like he had his greatest game tonight, but he still had an efficiency rate of 23. That just shows how much he effects the game for us.
Tyler Larson was out for four months. How important is it that he is back not only for his versatile game, but his strong playmaking skills?
He hasn’t been shooting the way he usually does in the first two games back, but he effects the game so much in an important way. His pace, play calling and the way he picks up full court on defense has been key for us. Him being back adds another level of depth that we didn’t have before. His facilitating also has been so important. He had 7 assists tonight, but he easily could have had more. He gets the hockey assist a lot. He does a great job getting all involved and keeping the offense fluid and keeping the ball moving. The ball is never stuck long in his hands.
Could one say that Italian shooter Michele Vitali has been something like the team’s unsung hero this season? He comes in and time after time making big shots to help the team to success.
He is such an incredible shooter. He forces the defense to pay attention more to him which takes their help side away. That allows Hall, Kravish and me to getting easy lay ups. He also does a great job drawing fouls as defenses have to play him more physical. I really believe that there aren’t many other guys in Europe that shoot the ball better than him. His IQ and off ball sets him apart from the others.
In your first five professional seasons, you were out 8 weeks in your rookie season and 6 weeks in your second season. After that you were injury free for three. Last season you got injured in Greece and this season was out for five weeks. How tough was this injury mentally after having been injured last season something that you previously hadn’t really seen as a professional?
Injuries are a part of the game. You know coming into the season that there is a high possibility that you might be injured. Basketball is physical and puts a lot of stress on the body. My injury this season was tough because I wasn’t playing my best basketball and many guys had to play heavy minutes because we had other injuries as well.
You had a huge game scoring 19 points shooting 85% and swatting away two balls. Did we see the Chase Fieler of old tonight?
Yes tonight was more the way I like to play. Things can always change from game to game. In my last game I scored 13 points, but was 0/5 from outside. I feel that I should of made four of those shots. But for me most important is creating shots and trying to impact the game the best way that I can and just doing positive things on the court. I have never said that I’m a scorer, but rather am a player that wants to affect the game in the most positive way.
George King of Chemnitz told me a few days ago that this years Gonzaga team could be one of the greatest college teams of all-time. Will they win it all or do you see another school winning it all?
I didn’t follow the NCAA enough this season to comment. I follow my school, but watch more Euroleague and Eurocup basketball. I have seen that Gonzaga is undefeated. You have to give their coaching staff a lot of credit, because they have been doing this year in and year out. A kid from high school committed to Gonzaga instead of Kentucky or Duke. Years ago when I was in school something like that would have been unheard of. Gonzaga now is competing at the level with schools like Kentucky and Duke in terms of recruiting.
European basketball legend Dino Radja said that he couldn’t imagine seeing Russell Westbrook have the ability to lead a team in Europe to success. Do you agree?
It is hard to say since defense is played differently in Europe. I don’t know how well he would shoot the ball in Europe, but it is wrong to say that he couldn’t have success here. He is an unbelievable player that is so explosive. I think that he would still be able to score here and with his athletic ability would set him apart from 98% of the players.
Draymond Greene has said that he believes that he is the greatest defender of all-time in the NBA. Do you agree?
I don’t know if he is the greatest of all-time, but he surely is one of the most versatile ever. He can guard so many positions 1-5. By doing that he has to be in the consideration. I watched Lebron put up big numbers against him. If he really is the greatest of all-time, then he really should of guarded Lebron better in the playoffs.
The reviews of the Coming To America sequel have been mixed. Shouldn’t they just have kept it with the original and not made a sequel?
I haven’t seen it. It is hard to say. They were offered money to do a sequel. The first one was so good. I was impressed that they were able to get so much of the cast to return and make the sequel. Because of that people want to see the sequel. I can understand why they made the sequel.
Thanks Chase for the chat.