Michele Vitali (196-G-91) is a 29 year old 196cm guard from Italy playing his first season in Germany with Brose Bamberg. He began his basketball career with La Fortezza Bologna (SerieA) and also played with teams like Pasta Reggia JuveCaserta (SerieA), Germani Basket Brescia (Serie A), Banco di Sardegna Sassari (Serie ) and MoraBanc Andorra (Spain-ACB). He also played with the Italian U-18 and U-20 teams and also has been a member of the Italian men’s national team. He spoke to germanhoops.com after the 83-69 game one loss to Ludwigsburg.
Michele thanks for talking to germanhoops.com com. Brose Bamberg lost game one 83-69. How challenging is having this 2-2-1 game format?
It’s playoff time and the best time of the season. You always have to reset and be ready.
How much has the injury to Devon Hall hurt the team? He runs the team and is the team’s MVP.
We lost the team’s best player. It is a little unlucky with his injury but that can always happen. We have to be able to play well even when he isn’t on the court. We have to do more than before and help the team make plays. If a player is ready mentally and knows what he will do, then we will be fine.
Both teams battled in the first quarter as Bamberg had the 22-18 advantage, but in the second quarter the MHP Riesen got way winning the second quarter 22-11. It seemed like Ludwigsburg did the most damage inside.
I feel that we were playing a great game and good defense, but we gave up too many offensive rebounds and second chances. We have to be ready and the second point is that we have to have the focus of grabbing the ball first and also getting the 50/50 balls.
You cut the Ludwigsburg lead down to as much as seven points in the fourth quarter, but you couldn’t get over the hump. How key was Ludwigsburg doing a good job of controlling the paint area and getting 20 offensive rebounds?
We have to be more focused on the boards. We can’t let them take so many offensive rebounds again. We have to find a way to out beat them on the rebound. We play good defense, but we have to restart and do a better job getting the defensive rebounds.
When you look back at the 40 minutes in game one what positives can you take from the game?
I thought that there were many positives things in the game. We were ready to play and never gave up. We always have to reset and we need to learn from our mistakes so we can do it better in game two.
Stealing a win in Ludwigsburg in game two will be vital. What things have to get better with the Bamberg game?
We have to be quicker in making decisions. When we slow down on offense, then they are able to react too quickly on defense. We do a good job creating open shots which then gives a good chance to get the rebound. When we are able to share the ball well then we play well.
How much fun has it been playing with talented German Christian Sengfelder? He just resigned for two more years.
He is a tough player that knows how to play the game. When all of us are on the same page, it is a lot of fun to play together. You feel blind because you know where every one is on the court. He is a great player.
What kind of an experience has it been playing with other talented German Kenneth Ogbe? He has had his problems this season but had a great performance in game one. How vital is his performance for the success of the team?
He is also a great player. One can always have ups and downs during a season. The most important thing is how you react to down moments. He is a player that has been able to adjust in down times. He has been very important for us.
Another experienced player has been Alex Ruoff. He hasn’t been able to show his game the way he knows how. How vital is his basketball IQ for the team even when he isn’t on the court?
Alex was injured for a while. It is a lot of fun playing with him. He has been very helpful with suggestions. He sees things that we players may not see on the court. The great thing with this team is that all are on the same page and help each other. We all are able to react to problems.
I love the aggressiveness of Tyler Larson. He had a tough injury this season, but is back again. How confident are you that he could be a consistent impact player now what the team needs to badly?
Tyler had a tough injury. It is never easy to come back after a long time being out, but right in his first game against Saragoza, he gave all he had and did a great job on defense and getting rebounds. A great thing about Tyler and everyone else on the team is that no one is selfish and all want to share the ball.
Your playing your first season in Germany and your second time away from your homeland Italy after also playing a season in the ACB with Andora. How would you compare the BBL with the Serie A in terms of style, competitiveness skill and players?
I really like the BBL. I’m glad I came here. When I came here I expected the league to be very physical. It is physical, but it is also a league where many tactics are played and there are so many different kind of coaches from different countries that bring a special philosophy. You always have to find different ways to win.
You have been known for being a very good three point shooter. You’re a guy that doesn’t go crazy shooting three’s. How important is your picking your spots for your success?
I think the key to shooting at a high percentage is to create a good shot. That way you have more possibilities of it going in. But it isn’t only me, but every teammate has the same focus when shooting.
Your known as being a very good shooter, but what other part of your game do you wish you would get more recognition for?
I try not only to be a shooter, but also try different things like involving my teammates. I really like to find the open man and create for my teammates.
Last season you were teammates with another great shooter David Walker. Can great shooters become good friends during a season?
Yes of course. I love being able to share things on and off the court. I enjoyed my season with David.- He isn’t only a great shooter, but a great athlete and guy. It was my first year out of Italy and it was fun being able to spend a season with him. It was also great playing against him this season. You never know if something like that will happen again.
What was the last movie that you saw?
I’m watching dynasty at a moment a series. In these tough times me and my better half have tried to find ways to be active at home. We sing and play piano and also do yoga together.
Thanks Michele for the chat.