Chris Dowe (189-G/F-91, college: Bellarmine, agency: GoEmpire Group) is a 30 year old 189cm guard from Louisville, Kentucky playing his 9th professional season and first with SC Prometey Kamianske (Ukraine-Superleague). In his career he has played in countries like Portugal, France, Belgium, Poland and Israel. He has won titles in countries France, Poland and the Ukraine. He began his basketball career at Eastern High School and then played at Bellarmine (NCAA) 2009-2013 playing a total of 132 NCAA2 games. He spoke to germanhoops.com after the exciting 71-60 Basketball Champions League win over the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg
Chris congrats on the massive BCL win over the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg. It was the 11th win in a row. Are you guys playing your best basketball now?
I think that we are playing some of our basketball now. I think we came into the game with good momentum and have grown a lot as a team since the last time we played them. Both teams were missing guys. It was a big win for us.
What a crazy second half. I’m sure you have seen quite some unbelievable halves, but where does this one rank? From scoring 28 points in the third to nothing in the first 7 minutes to ending the game with a run.
It was very weird. We knew that they would make a run. Ludwigsburg is a great team that plays with a lot of energy. Things went their way in the fourth quarter. We held off their run at the end maintained them and then made plays when they counted most.
The MHP Riesen had control in the first quarter and quickly showed what kind of defensive team they are. What stuck out in your mind right away about their defensive identity?
This team is so active through positions 1-5. Every guy on that team knows exactly what to do when they are on the court. They make those extra deflections, help each other and rotate well. They make the game so ugly. They play the game so hard. You always have to match their intensity if you want a chance to win.
You guys got better into the game in the second quarter. Offensive rebounds and easy baskets were key. In the end you had 53 team rebounds and 21 offensive rebounds. How much greater was the will today than that of the opponent?
They go after every rebound with so much energy. We did a better job gang rebounding this game. We just spread the rebounding a lot better than in the first game. They beat us to the rebounds the first game. The rebounding was a big difference maker tonight.
What were the magic words of head coach Ronen Ginzburg at half-time? What adjustments could you make in the third quarter where you exploded for an incredible 28 points?
I felt that we got good looks in the first quarter, but he mentioned the turnovers. Ludwigsburg feed off the other team’s turnovers and get easy points off turnovers and take advantage of second chance points. He told us that we had to limit our turnovers. Huge in the second half was that we took better care of the ball and slowed down the game. We got better looks, went inside/out and began to make more shots.
D ‘Angelo Harrison made key shots in the third quarter onslaught. How key is he in general as an offensive player when you need buckets?
He led the BCL in scoring last season. When we need a bucket then we can always count on him. He does a good job being our engine. He gets so much respect form the defense that the game can really open up when he is on the court. It all starts with him. He is a really big part of the team.
Then in the fourth quarter you feel apart not making a field goal until the 3.09 mark where you scored. What adjustments did they seem to make on the defensive end to be so pesky in their game?
They did a good job getting us in foul trouble early. They got to the free throw line a lot and controlled the game. Radebaugh and Simon made plays which allowed them to set their defense. They didn’t let us run. I felt that we got good looks, but just didn’t make the shots. We got the same looks at the end and then they began to fall.
You guys then went on a unstoppable 10-0 run to put the nail on the coffin. Miro Bilan set the foundation in the run. Was he kind of the unsung hero with his 10/6 stats plus 4 blocks and 2 steals?
He is a real good player. We just throw it down low to him and know that something good will happen. It is already known that Ludwigsburg is always working with throwing 2 guys at you, but he is pretty much double teamed every game. He does a real good job having that balance and knowing when to shoot and when to pass out of the post. He was all over the place.
It was another regular day at the office for Sean Evans who had 6 points and 10 boards including 5 offensive rebounds. How much do you appreciate his work ethic?
I love his work ethic. I work with him before every game together. We have the same pre game work routine. He came in and told me that he felt that he was struggling with his game. He told me that he was going to have a good game. He makes so many big plays that aren’t seen on the stat sheet.
What was your impression of American Jonah Radebaugh? He has made big leaps since last season and received a huge role with the German squad.
He has been one of the biggest surprises in the BCL. He is the head of the team. I didn’t know much about him coming into the game, but I know now that he has been having a great season. The team will go as far as he takes them.
You led the team in scoring with 17 points, but this club seems like a team where anyone can be top scorer this season. How developed is the unselfishness on this team?
We have so many good players that any guy can go off on any night. Everybody is really unselfish and all we care about is winning.
When you begin 20-0 in the Ukrainian league does one slowly think undefeated? I know you guys go from game to game, but still thoughts are always there I’m sure.
Yes the thoughts are there when your 20-0. You hear the chants and can they go undefeated? I believe that the games have gotten tougher and tougher for us the more we won. We aren’t thinking about being undefeated. We just want to win the championship. We know that we have to bring the physicality and mentality every night.
Your having another very consistent season. It doesn’t matter where you have played you always fill the stat sheet. What is your secret to being so consistent?
Growing up my dad taught me that you need to be versatile. Some guys do one thing really well and then that gets taken away by the opponent and then your helpless. I know that I need to affect the game in multiple ways. I just do whatever the team needs me to do.
You had an incredible season in Israel probably your best as a professional stat wise. Do you feel pressure having to follow that up this season?
I didn’t simply because my role is different this season. I’m coming off the bench more this season. Last season I was one of the main guys and the offense went through me. I had the ball in my hands so much more last year. This season the team is so much more deeper and just do what the team needs me to do. I would rather win and have less stats than lose and have great stats. We are winning a lot and I’m still having good stats.
You had a triple double last season in Israel. How much more worth was that to you considering you did it in a top league?
That was one of my more proud moments in my career. It was my first one in my career. I had been very close many other times. That just shows how difficult it is to get a triple double in Europe. That also shows that I’m able to affect the game in multiple ways. That was a huge milestone for me.
Your 30 years old now. Are you in your prime now? Where do you still want to take your game to?
I believe that I’m in my prime. My goal has always been to reach the Euroleague. If I don’t make it I’m fine. The BCL is a high level. I am doing what I love and get paid. Life is good.
You played 3 seasons with Braydon Hobbs at Bellarmine (NCAA). What one memory do you have with him that seems to stick with you?
I haven’t ever met anyone who didn’t like playing with him. He is one of the best passer’s that I ever played with. He reads the game so well. He is a great dude and teammate. What stuck out most was that we won a lot of games together and his shooting and passing abilities were elite.
Who won a one on one you or Braydon Hobbs?
I got him1-1. He is more suited for 5-5.
Did you see the sequel to Coming To America? Shouldn’t they have left it alone?
I haven’t seen it yet. I was told not to watch it. They waited too long to make it. It is on my list though. But they should have left it alone.
Thanks Chris for the chat.