Jerrick thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. Congrats on the 90-81 Basketball Champions League win over Brose Bamberg. What kind of an experience was it playing the game in Bosnia? How accommodating were the Bosnians?
The Bosnians were very accommodating. They did a good job setting everything up and took very good care of us at the hotel. It was definitely a different experience playing in Bosnia. It reminded me of my AAU days. We had to bring our own energy to be successful.
How crucial was it getting the win. A loss would of put you at 2-1, but now with the win having a very comfortable 3-0 record.
It was a big win. We started of badly. We had something like 15 or 16 turnovers in the first half. But we stood resilient and just kept grinding.
Nymburk has a lot of depth, but how proud were you of the team being able to make adjustments around not having Retin Obasohan?
I’m very proud how the team stepped up. Whenever we have an injured or sick player, it’s time for the next guy to step up. We have so many weapons and guys that can step up at any moment.
One could say this was a tale of two halves. Bamberg dominated the first half and ERA Nymburk the second half. You were down 44-32 after 20 minutes. What was key for the German side to have the double digit lead at the break?
We played terrible defense in the first half. They got so many wide open shots and were more physical then us. We got the kind of shots that we wanted, but just couldn’t execute.
Two guys that were really giving Nymburk problems in the first half was David Kravish and Christian Sengfelder. Why could you keep these guys under control?
Those two guys move really well without the ball as does the whole team. They got some big back door buckets. But we defended better on their bigs in the second half and went to a zone that slowed them down.
You crawled back into the game in the third quarter winning it 24-14. What did head coach Oren Amiel tell the team to do better in the second half?
Coach just told us to be ourselves. We know how to play. It was on us to come out in the second half and play better.
You totally took control of the game in the fourth quarter exploding for 35 points. The hero was Lukas Palyza who exploded for 19 of his 26 points. Is his lethal shooting something you see in practice day by day?
Oh for sure. Even before he joined us, he lit us up with his old team. He can get it going very quickly. It is a lot of fun to watch.
Palyza played in Germany 7 years ago and couldn’t find his niche. He went back to home and has had amazing seasons. Does he have the self-confidence now to be able to decide a title game?
Yes I think he is capable of doing that in a big game. But he also puts in the work and is always putting up shots before and after practice. He is already a very confident guy and we have a lot of confidence in him being successful.
Despite Bamberg having some very talented bigs, Nymburk won the boards. How key was this stat at the end of the day?
It was a big stat. Everybody got into it and rebounded. Coach also told us guards to help the bigs rebound. We did a good job supporting the bigs.
What was it like battling ex NBA player Devon Hall. When you see his game and see where you are, would you like to get a NBA Summer League invitation to test the NBA waters?
Yes for sure playing in the NBA Summer League has always been a goal of mine. I’m a competitor and I always compete no matter who the player is. It was fun competing against an ex NBA player and to test my game.
You had a very good game scoring 19 points, getting 5 boards and 6 assists. It was the most assists as a professional. How much of a priority is it for you keep showing your playmaking ability?
It’s very important. I know that I can score, but my next step is to showcase my playmaking. I know that I can do it. I want to build on it and keep being consistent.
You shot only 1/5 from downtown. After a shooting performance, do you get back into the gym the next day and put up extra shots or do you study film?
I do a little of both. My shot is affected by my foot work and balance. A bad shooting day always motivates me to get back in the gym the next day and put up shots.
Ex NBA legend Dino Radja proclaimed that he couldn’t imagine Russell Westbrook being able to lead a team in Europe to success. Do you agree?
The European game is a lot different to the NBA game which is ball dominant. But Westbrook is an amazing player. I feel that he could dominate anywhere.
Draymond Greene said recently that he feels that he is the best defender of al-time. Do you agree?
It is good that he thinks that. But to say that he is the greatest of all-time, I don’t know. There have been so many great defenders like a Dennis Rodman.
Will Gonzaga take the 2021 NCAA title or will another team stand in their way?
Anything can happen even to an undefeated team. I like the underdog and will go with USC over Gonzaga.
Have you seen Coming To America 2? Should they just have kept the original and not made a sequel?
I liked the sequel. It was pretty funny., It was obvious that the sequel wouldn’t out do the original. But it was fun to see Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall back.
Thanks Jerrick for the chat.