Rickey Paulding (196-SF-82, college: Missouri) is a 39 year old 196cm forward playing his 18th professional season and 15th season with the EWE Baskets Oldenburg. Prior to coming to Germany in 2007, he gained experience in Israel and France. The Detroit Michigan native who was drafted in 2004 by the Detroit Pistons played at Missouri (NCAA) for four years before turning professional. He spoke to eurobasket after the big 110-93 win over MBC.
Congrats on the massive 110-93 win over MBC. You have won three of the last four games. How good does it feel like winning again?
It is fun that were wining again. The main thing is that we are having fun and playing competitively to our abilities.
You had the 56-41 lead at the break. As a team you are scoring a lot more than before Ingo Freyer. Do you feel like the team confidence is growing each game?
I think key for us being so successful on the offensive end is that every guy has been put in the best position to use their strengths. It shows that all can be good.
The EWE Baskets Oldenburg exploded for 36 points in the third quarter. What offensively was key in the third quarter for being able to really explode?
I think key was continuing to be in attack mode and sharing the ball well. We also were aggressive on defense allowing us to get easy baskets.
In the fourth quarter you were outscored 31-18. Did the team already have the win in their heads after three quarters?
It wasn’t easy for MBC coming into the game coming off COVID. We wee a bit disappointed that we didn’t execute as well. We knew that we would win. Sometimes having a big lead allows you to work on things which we did in the fourth quarter.
What was it like playing against John Bryant again? You had had many battles with him over the years. Is there one memory that you will always remember most about him?
I remember playing Ulm in a series that was a real battle. I don’t remember when it was, but we ended up winning. That was MVP John in that series. He is such a good and smart player. He is still an effective player today. I have a lot of respect for him.
AS a team you gave up 93 points despite forcing 21 rebounds. Ingo Freyer has never been known as a defensive specialist. I can remember players saying he never practiced defense in Hagen. What impulses did he give for this total change in playing defense? Can a team make steps on the defensive side under a Ingo Freyer?
We want to be very aggressive on defense and pick up full court and get in the passing lanes and get steals and easy baskets. Giving up 93 points really didn’t show how we really played on defense-. We let up a bit. In the future we have to find ways to finish better.
Before winning three of four games you had had a long 11 game losing streak. With 5 0r 6 of those as wins you would have been close to a playoff spot. This team was obviously better than their record showed. How big did the mental side play a role in the losing?
It was really tough losing so much. We lost confidence and began to question things. But the season is long and we hope that we can continue to head in the right direction.
Can you ever remember suffering a 11 game losing streak in school or as a pro?
No I can’t. This was the first time. It was a good learning experience.
What was your personal feeling of Ingo Freyer after the first practice? What has he given the team that it didn’t have before?
I had played against his teams and knew his style. You begin to understand his system and it is really one where all profit. I have a different role now. I come off the bench now and play around 20 minutes. I continue to be aggressive and take normal shots.
What was always your personal opinion of him when he was coaching Phoenix Hagen. He was a coach that loved the shoot out games.
I remember that you could never go to Hagen unprepared. Because if you weren’t ready they would run you out of the gym. You had to be prepared mentally and physically no matter where they were in the standings. I always admired his teams, because they always played hard and challenged you.
The EWE Baskets Oldenburg could always put up points but now have an offensive minded coach. How are you better as an offensive team now?
We play fast paced and try to take as many shots and get all in involved.
Heidegger and Michalak are reborn under Ingo Freyer. Why are they functioning now better than before? What else is it besides freedom?
These two guys benefit a lot from the many shots we take. We play fast paced and that suits Max’s game as he constantly attacks the defense while Michal is a great shooter and we give him good open looks.
Phil Pressey also has been reborn. How has his game benefited now under Ingo Freyer? How has he profited most under Ingo Freyer?
I think that Ingo’s system fits everyone including Phil. We have a young and athletic team that can push the ball. Our defense sparks our offense allowing everyone to use their strengths.
How tough has this season been with all the losing? You had always had success with the EWE Baskets. Did you at times doubt yourself and what you were bringing to t6he table on a daily basis?
The season definitely has been a different one with the losing streak and being in last place. I just revaluate my game something I have always done. I ask myself am I giving 100% and if not, I go back into the gym and watch videos to get better and see how I can help my team. I never lose confidence, but just continue to play my game.
You didn’t have a great BCL campaign, but are playing solid in the easyCredit BBL. What is your main focus with your game in your last season?
I want to enjoy myself now. I’m not out there to set any new records or lead the league in scoring. I’m not putting any pressure on myself and just taking it game by game. I have had a great career and now just want to enjoy myself.
In your first season in Oldenburg in 2007 you were teammates with Jason Gardner. If you guys were teammates today for first time instead of 2007, how would your game be in today’s BBL?
I think that today’s BBl style fits Jason’s game. A point guard that knows how to run a team. I had such great times with him back then. We clicked and I remember many alley-oops. The game is faster now and more shots are taken. It was a fun time with him.
Super Bowl prediction Bengals-Rams?
I have to go with the Rams. But it is hard to count out the Bengals. The Bengals have a good quarter back, but I like the Rams offense and they have a tough defense.
Thanks Rickey for the chat.