Derek Pardon (203-C-96, college: Northwestern) is a 24 year old 203cm center from Cleveland, Ohio that is playing his second professional season and first in Germany with easyCredit BBL team medi Bayreuth. Last season he played his rookie season with Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia (Italy-Serie A) averaging 6.1ppg, 5.2rpg, FGP: 54.3%, FT: 74.4%. he played his NCAA career at Northwestern (NCAA) playing 112 games. In his senior year he played 32 games averaging 14.0ppg, 7.8rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 60.7%, 3PT: 21.4%, FT: 68.3%. He spoke to germanhoops.com after the massive 95-79 victory over Rasta Vechta.
Dererk congrats on the massive 95-79 win over Rasta Vechta. How big is the belief that the easyCredit BBL playoffs can still become reality?
I think that it’s a possibility. I think that in order to reach the playoffs, we have to take our time and take it game by game
March was a very good month for medi Bayreuth. Despite losing to Ludwigsburg 97-92, you played them very tough. Do you feel like the club brought some of that energy from that game into the Vechta game?
Most definitely. We played a hard tough game against Ludwigsburg and just came up a bit short. We knew that we had to bounce back. We brought that energy from the Ludwigsburg game into the Vechta game.
Medi Bayreuth had a real hot first half scoring 58 points. What did you like most of how the team was able to execute in the first 20 minutes.
We moved the ball and ran our sets well. We also did a good job not letting the Vechta pressure get to us. We just took our time and played our game.
It was a high scoring affair in the first quarter as you allowed 24 points, but only 11 points in the second quarter. What adjustments did the team make on the defensive end?
We realized that they had gotten way too many open shots in the first quarter. We knew that we had to stop that. We tried a few different defensive switches and disrupted their pick and pop game with their big man.
Having the big 58-35 lead at the break helped. Medi Bayreuth cooled down on offense in the second half. How vital was it being able to close out the game strong in the second half and not losing focus?
We did cool down in the second half offensively so we had to rely on our defense. We did a good job getting stops and made sure that they didn’t go on a big run.
A big strength on the night was the rebounding and you shot very well as a team. What other qualities was key for the team pulling out the win?
Those were our two goals for the game. We did a good job rebounding and limiting them to one shot. We let our defense create our offense which also led to many fast break points
You and Andreas Seiferth combined for 32/15. Nobody talks about it, but you guys are a very potent duo. Do you feel you two guys are a bit off the radar? This can be a plus the closer you get to the playoffs.
Yes I think so. We have a lot of talent on the team. Guys like Bartley, Walker and Jones can score. Andreas and I hold down the fort and are the anchors at both ends of the court. We just try to bring what the team needs most that night if it means scoring more or making an impact on the defensive end.
Medi Bayreuth was 4-1 in March and keep winning. What changed in the teams game after the four game losing streak in February?
We had injury problems then and Basti Dorth was out. We also needed some time to integrate Lazeric Jones. This has been the first time where we really have had a full roster. We have found our rhythm now. Now I feel like we are clicking on all cylinders. We hope to make a big push up to May
You had a strong game netting 20 points and getting 9 rebounds. How motivated were you tonight after getting only 2 points against Ludwigsburg?
I was very motivated. Anytime you have a down game, you always want to come back the next night and play better. At the end of the day I always want to give my best. If that means scoring 20 points or only 2 points. If I know that I gave my best then I’m happy.
You have always been a great shot blocker. In the BBL your averaging 1,2bpg. What has been the most challenging thing about mastering the paint area?
The biggest thing has been timing. In Europe there are very crafty veterans that know how to play the angles and the refs. I think that I have learned when to go for the ball and when to keep my hands up.
How confident are you that you will have a strong end to the regular season with consistent play?
I feel like I’m playing better every game. I think that I will always find a way to score. My biggest priority is giving energy and defense. If I can turn that into offense then great.
Dino Radja recently said that he couldn’t imagine Russell Westbrook having success with a European team. Do you agree?
I don’t know him personally. But all players that I have spoken with have said he was one of the beat teammates that they ever had. I don’t think that it’s about public perception, but what he brings to the team. If the team thinks that he is a great leader then I feel he can do that for any team.
Draymond Greene recently said he is the greatest defender of all-time. Do you agree?
I wouldn’t agree. He is entitled to his opinion. He is a great defender. He was crucial in those warrior titles. There are too many great defenders that have played the game. But he is definitely one of them.
The 2021 NCAA Final 4 is set. Gonzaga will battle UCLA and Baylor will play Houston. Who will reach the final and win it all?
Gonzaga is really good and have great talent. I think they will play Baylor and win it all. Baylor has been good the last two years. I thought that they would make a deep run last year.
Did you see Coming to America 2 yet? Should they not have left the classic untouched?
. I think that not every classic needs a sequel. It is all about timing. They should of left it alone.
Thanks Derek for the chat.