Matt Tiby (203-PF-92, college: Milwaukee) is a 28 year old 203cm center from Urbandale, Iowa playing his sixth professional season and first with Telenet Giants Antwerpen. Currently he is averaging 13,1ppg and 4,6rpg and is shooting an incredible 55% from outside in the BNXT league and in the Fiba Europe Cup is averaging 11,9ppg, 5,9rpg and 1,6apg. Last season with medi Bayreuth (Germany-BBL) he averaged 10.7ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 56.7%, 3PT: 43.1%, FT: 81.7%. He also 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 91-86 loss to the Hakro Merlins Crailsheim.
Thanks Matt for talking to germanhoops.com. The Telenet Giants Antwerpen suffered a tough 91-86 Fiba Europe Cup loss against the Hakro Merlins in Crailsheim. How much does this loss hurt? You guys allowed to let it slip away.
Losing always sucks and it does not feel good to look back at that game knowing we had a lead and knew we could win in Crailsheim. On to the next game and focus on winning the next FIBA game
You guys had a tough time getting started, but closed out the first quarter strong. How is Crailsheim defensively a different team this season under Gleim compared to Iisalo last season?
We just needed to find our groove for the game and once we found that it was just playing simple basketball and make the most out of our chances. Defensively I do not think they are better or worse, we just must find solutions when they make it tough for us to find and gain rhythm
The second quarter was an intense struggle as no team could get away from each other. How tough is it in general to contain a TJ Shorts? Is it better to save extra man power on him and focus on other key players? He really can’t be slowed down to having an average game.
The offense is run through him, so it is easier for him than some players in Europe to get his touches and the looks he wants. He is a good player, but we understood the offense needs to run through him and we had to make it as tough as possible for his looks. They put him in a good position to be himself and he is taking advantage of his opportunity, got to be happy for him that he has found a good fit. Not everyone is blessed to have the situation he is in as good as a player he is
In the third quarter you led double digits only to see Crailsheim cut it to 4 points. What was most annoying in not being able to close out that quarter stronger?
Toughness and grit to keep a team down when we get a lead are the biggest things, we need to do for ourselves. Discipline to continue to get stops
You guys struggled executing in the fourth quarter scoring only 12 points and were down only by 2 points with 3 minutes to play. Did that TJ Shorts three break your necks in crunch-time?
~I do not think the 3 by Shorts was the make-or-break play in the fourth quarter. We made our mistakes and they made us pay in full for every time.
The Telenet Giants Antwerpen are 0-2 and next face Italian team Reggio Emilia, but don’t play again until mid January. How timely is it having this Fiba Europe Cup break to regroup?
~We can work through our mistakes and be a more complete team come January. We will take this time to have our focus on the domestic championship games and find a more fluent rhythm come January
Elvar Fridriksson was drilling home shots from everywhere on the floor in Crailsheim. What else do you appreciate from his game besides his precise shooting?
~Elvar is a great friend, teammate and point guard. I appreciate all that he does for our team, and he has taken on a great responsibility for us. He takes his role with great pride, and he has been great for us all year. He will continue to do great things; he has a bright future and career ahead of him
Markel Brown had a huge game with 25 points. How much of a luxury is it having a guy of his abilities on the team? Does his good scoring abilities sometimes leave his incredible defensive qualities off the radar?
~I am happy to have Markel healthy and back on the floor again. I am a fan of his game, his approach, and his mentality amongst many other great qualities that he has. He has great upside throughout his game. He always plays at a high level, and it has been awesome to be a part of his journey as a teammate and friend. He deserves all the recognition he gets, and his game speaks for itself
What has it been like being teammates with 2019 Loyola Chicago Final 4 player Cameron Krutwig? How is he making the transition from the NCAA to the pro’s?
~Cameron is a great teammate, friend, competitor, and a fun guy to be around. He comes from a winning culture in college and brings that with him overseas. It has been fun to see and be a part of his growth process from college to pros. He is a quick learner and always looking to better himself for the team. He will have a successful and lengthy career as a pro
He is a player I could really imagine playing well in the easyCredit BBL. Would you encourage a guy like that to play in the BBL?
~I encourage him, anyone and everyone who has the chance to go play and experience the BBL. It is a unique and fun league to be a part of. I know he will have many opportunities to play at the highest of levels in Europe
He is an incredible passer. What has been the most unique pass that you have seen him make?
~He has a high IQ and is talented in many ways than 1. He can really move the ball and can put others in great positions to score and produce. He has made many great passes but one of the best I have seen him do is spinning off his defender to drive baseline and throwing a no-look behind the back pass to our teammate who was circling around him from the other block. He sees the game and court exceptionally well
He is known to making funny Will Ferrell impersonations. How else have you gotten to known his personality best this season?
~I am fortunate to have Cam and Elvar living in the same apartment complex as my wife and I so when Elvar, Cam and I carpool to practice together he always makes us laugh. Cam is a fun guy to be around and has a great energy presence to him
You played in Belgium 4 years ago. How have you seen the league change? For me it seems like the quality of players has risen over the years.
~There has been always quality players and teams here in Belgium that can compete. They have a good resume of players that have made the leap into bigger clubs in Europe. Shows that these clubs, coaches, and GM’s have an eye for talent
Your having a very fine season stat wise in both competitions topping last seasons solid season in Germany with medi Bayreuth. Do you feel like your in your prime now at age 28?
~I have found a coach and club that understands my game and how I can positively affect the game offensively, defensively and being a leader on and off the court that no other team before that has been able to tap into
Last season you shot your best as a professional from outside at 43% and this season currently are at 55% in the BNXT league. How vital was your shooting last season and confidence let you carry that over into this season?
~I have had good coaches, teammates and clubs that give me the confidence to be who I am on the court and that has translated into having confidence in shooting the ball at a high rate. They put me in a good position to be successful
How beneficial has it been having other shooters like Brown and Fridiksson around and seeing them be able to shoot at a high level?
~It is always great to see your teammates perform and shoot at a high level. They allow more open looks for others with their abilities which makes it easier for myself and others to get the shots we want in the offense
Last season you had many great games but where do you rank your17/7 game in the exciting 95-92 win over the Hamburg Towers?
~It is always fun to have a great game against good teams, players, coaches, and clubs in Europe. It is in the top 10-20 games I have had in Europe. It is 1 of the top games I had last season though in Germany
Your turning 29 on Sunday. What are the main area’s of your game that your working on most now as you continue to climb up the basketball ladder and improve your game?
~Endurance/conditioning, maintaining strength, eating habits, athleticism, getting game shots and reps, and being a leader are amongst the most important things that I place importance on turning 29. I want to continue to be a better man, teammate, human, husband, and basketball player. I want to be the best version of myself, and everyone deserves the best version of me. I strive to be as consistent as possible to help others along their journey just like so many have helped me along my journey
Have you been keeping up with your ex teams Giessen and Bayreuth? How exciting is it seeing your ex team Bayreuth play Fiba Europe Cup?
~I keep up with almost every team that I was able to be a part of. I wish every club success even though I cannot keep up with every detail. It is great to see Bayreuth in FIBA Europe Cup. I do not like to see the injuries and illnesses that they have had to fight through but they are a strong team to compete against and they have found ways to win even when they have had unfortunate circumstances thrown their way.
Christmas is just around the corner. What is your favorite childhood X-mas memory?
~The holidays time with family is what I cherish the most. I love the snow and having snow during the holidays is always a plus. Creating our own traditions with my wife while being in Europe has been fun since we are away from family most years. Some of my family has been able to come visit us a couple times during the winter holidays which has made our traditions that much more enjoyable to have them celebrate.
Thanks Matt for the chat.