Matt Tiby (203-PF-92, college: Milwaukee) is a 28 year old 203cm center from Urbandale, Iowa playing his fifth professional season and first with medi Bayreuth (Germany-BBL) currently averaging. As a professional he has played for teams like Atomeromu SE Paks (Hungary-A Division) where he averaged 15.6ppg, Reb-1 (8.8rpg), 1.4apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 55.7%, 3PT: 32.7%, FT: 71.4%, Belfius Mons-Hainaut (Belgium-Euromillions League) where he averaged 8.6ppg, Reb-2 (7.2rpg), 1.2apg, FGP: 47.9%, 3PT: 31.4%, FT: 84.1%; and played FIBA Europe Cup averaging 9.7ppg, Reb-4 (8.1rpg), 1.4apg, FGP: 46.3%, 3PT: 38.8%, FT: 68.6%, played for Demir Insaat Buyukcekmece Basket (Turkey-BSL) averaging 11.4ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 56.2%, 3PT: 32.3%, FT: 82.3%, played for Vanoli Basket Cremona (Italy-Serie A) averaging 9.4ppg, 4.0rpg, 1.0apg, 2FGP: 47.7%, 3FGP: 25.0%, FT: 65.2%, and played for the JobStairs Giessen 46ers (Germany-BBL) averaging 11.5ppg, 5.8rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 57.1%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 83.7%. he began his career at Urbandale High School and played a season at Kirkwood Community College (JUCO). He played at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee (NCAA) from 2013-2016 playing a total of 93 NCAA games. He spoke to germanhoops.com after the 81-58 win over the Fraport Skyliners.
Thanks Matt for talking to germanhoops.com. Congrats on the 81-58 victory. Are you guys aware that you can end the season with a winning streak?
It has been a goal of ours to finish strong and go out on good terms. We want to win the last game in Goettingen. Not too many teams can say that they won the last four games
How disappointing was the losing streak at the beginning of April? The playoffs could have been realistic. Is medi Bayreuth better than their record shows?
Yes we are. We had our ups and downs this season, but so did every other team. We became more consistent at the end of the season and found our groove. Unfortunately a little too late. We knew that we could of played better and something like that leaves a sour taste in your mouth.
Medi Bayreuth’s offense was on fire in the first quarter as 7 guys scored. When the team shares the ball the way they do, what does that remind you of?
When we play together it shows just how tight we are as a group. We have confidence in every guy on the team to step up. Anybody on the team can have an impact in the game.
In the second quarter the Fraport Skyliners rushed out on a 8-2 run, but medi Bayreuth recovered well. Was the fact that they were very undermanned a bit in your heads?
Yes it did play a factor. We knew that Frankfurt was undermanned so we played fast. We knew that they liked to play switch defense, so we exploited the mis matches as much as possible especially on transition. We knew that they had just come out of quarantine so we had to push the ball and make plays.
Medi Bayreuth had the 43-30 advantage at the break. What did Raoul Korner tell the club to do better in the second half?
The biggest key for us going into the second half was to keep sharing the ball and do the little things. We had messed up a bit on the help side and been a split second late on the rotations. Frankfurt plays physical so we knew that if we could match that then we would have a better chance to win.
David Walker gave the team instant spark scoring the first 5 points of the third quarter. How valuable has this guy been this season for the success?
I honestly believe that he is our hidden gem on the team. He hasn’t been getting the glory all season long. He is a player that has to match up against the opponents best player and also play well on offense. He has done that all season long and that has been a big achievement. We know exactly how valuable he is for us. With his ability to bring energy and athleticism, he can play at any level. He is a bit shy, but at the same time very outgoing. Once he is in his comfort zone, he is a very nice guy and great character for the team.
Medi Bayreuth had good defensive games against Bamberg and Chemnitz, but gave up the least points of the season against Frankfurt. How can one rate a performance like this without a Matt Mobley?
It is always a great achievement to hold a team to a certain amount of points. We showed that we were ready for them and despite them having injuries, we never allowed them to get into a groove. That showed the professionalism of the team. Just because they were down, we didn’t play sloppy.
The club shot the ball well and rebounded well, but what do you feel was the team’s biggest strength of the game?
Sharing the ball was our biggest strength. We are something like top 3 in the BBL for assists per game. That is a very valuable quality. It was one of those days where David Walker got hot and everyone else came in and made a direct impact. Our energy was there and our mental toughness was big.
You had another solid game scoring 11 points, grabbing 7 rebounds and dishing out 3 assists. You had a good first half of the season, but didn’t score as much in the second half. What has been the biggest overall challenge to playing in the easyCredit BBL?
The biggest adjustment for me was finding my groove within my role. Early in the season we had inconsistencies in the team which allowed me to be more of a scorer. In the second half of the season, it was all shook up as everybody played well. After showing I could spread the floor and shoot at a high percentage, teams began to play me different. I had to find another way to get involved. Since I played the 4 more, it brought light to me how I could improve and make an impact.
Your shooting the best from outside in your career? What has been your secret to being a danger from outside?
I didn’t start to shoot three’s until my first year of college. I have prided myself to continue to get better. I felt from the start that it was my duty to put in the work in order to become a consistent shooter. People had questioned me if I was a true stretch four player so I wanted to show them wrong and improve my shooting. I began working out three times a day during the summer so I could become a more solid shooter. I know where I get my shots during games so I practiced shooting from there. Being able to play the four has allowed me to play at a high level.
How valuable has the easyCredit BBL been for your game developing in a good direction?
Every night you never know what will happen. Every team in the BBL come to play and they all play at a high level. There are never any off nights and each player is valuable for their team. I have to be ready to shoot and play defense. The BBL has allowed me to realize the potential of the league and my game.
You played briefly in the Giessen organization. Do you feel for them with the season they have had or do feelings like that not come when you weren’t even a whole season there?
I loved Giessen. My time was awesome there. Coaches Ingo Freyer and Steve Wriedt helped me realize that I could play at the BBL level. Despite my short stint in Italy, they allowed me to play in Giessen. They let me play freely and not have me overthink. They allowed me to rejuvenate my career. It was very fun to play hard for Ingo and Steve. I have nothing but love and respect for the Giessen organization. There are still guys there that I played with and I do feel for them. It is tough to see them go through that. I know that they fight until the end of the day and I wish them all the best. Giessen helped my career move forward.
Chris Paul recently passed Magic Johnson for fifth all-time in assists. Where do you rank him with the best point guards all-time despite never having won a ring?
You have to put the rings aside and evaluate his career. He should be at least top 10 if not top 5. But there are probably five guys ahead of him. Some guys just off the top of my head are John Stockton, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Magic Johnson and Bob Cousy the original to manifest the point guard position. But I really like Chris Paul’s game.
How have you seen the development of Boston Celtic Jayson Tatum? He has scored 50 plus points this season and recently 60. Where will his journey go as a player in the next years?
Hopefully he will still be with the Celtics. The Celtics have a great roster and great talents with Brown and Taytum. I think the team needs to find a nucleus to outbalance all. They need more of a Chris Paul type of point guard.
Dino Radja recently said he couldn’t see Russell Westbrook leading a team in Europe to success. Do you agree?
No I don’t agree. He is leagues ahead of all in athleticism. We will look back in 20 years and still say that he was ahead of his time. There will be more kinds of point guards like him that can affect the game in multiple ways with rebounding and getting to the basket. I think that he could do well in Europe and lead a team to a title.
Draymond Green recently said he is the best defender of all-time. Do you agree?
No I disagree. There are plenty of guys ahead of him like Ben Wallace, Dennis Rodman, Scottie Pippen and Gary Payton. I do love his self-confidence though. You can’t knock him about that. Every player should bye into themselves the way he does. He has a great skill set. He is top 15 now and could be top 10 by the end of his career.
Have you seen the Coming to America sequel? It has had mixed reviews. Shouldn’t they just have left it alone?
I haven’t seen it. I think it is always fun for a group of actors to get back together. I think it is always nicer to have fun then coming back to do a sequel where the actors think they are only doing it because it’s their job or something that will boost their career.
Thanks Matt for the chat.