Sacar Anim (196-G/F-1997, college: Marquette) s a 24 year old 196cm forward playing his second professional season and first with medi Bayreuth. He played his rookie season with Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (NBA G League). He began his basketball career with De La Salle High School. He played at Marquette (NCAA) from 2015-2020 playing a total of 114 NCAA games. In his senior year he averaged 13.1ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.4apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 44.4%, 3PT: 39.2%, FT: 67.4%. He spoke to germanhoops.com after the massive 111-95 win over the EWE Baskets Oldenburg.
Congrats Scar on the big 111-95 win on the road against the EWE Baskets Oldenburg. After a 5 game losing streak, medi Bayreuth is playing better basketball now having won three of the last four games. What is the team doing better now than during the losing streak?
I think that we are playing more together and at more of a high level now. We are also moving the ball well and just fighting through adversary a lot better. When teams are going on runs, we are able to fight through it a lot better. I think that our home court also has ben an advantage especially with the fans back in the arena’s.
Was it easier going in or more difficult not having played them yet and knowing they had undergone a coaching change?
I think it was more difficult to play against them. They have been playing better as of late and have their things together. It wasn’t easy to prepare, but we watched film on them. We knew coming in that they don’t run many plays, but just play a fast paced style.
How much did scouting play a role in this game. The EWE Baskets Oldenburg play a new style of run and gun. What did medi Bayreuth want to pay attention most coming in?
We wanted to control the pace as much as possible, but then again not slow it down as much, because we also like to play fast paced. We wanted to limit them to one shot and try to get out on transition as much as possible. We did good job doing that finding the open man.
Guys like Heidegger and Michalak really profit under the new system of Ingo Freyer. Did medi Bayreuth just let them go more and focus on the rest more?
Not necessarily. They are two great scorers, but everyone on that team can score. We did focus a little more on them, because we didn’t want them to get too hot. We focused on containing them as much as possible.
The first quarter was a shootout as you led 30-27, but in the second quarter you allowed only 17 points. What adjustments did you make on the defensive end?
We contained the high pick and roll well and not overhelp as much leaving the shooters open. We also did a good job getting back on transition defense.
In the third quarter BBL identity figure Rickey Paulding nailed two three’s in a row. You were 7 years old when he was drafted by the Detroit Pistons and were 10 years old when he came to the EWE Baskets and is still here now. What kind of an experience was it playing against him in his last season?
Oh wow I didn’t know that. It was a great experience playing against him. We talked a bit during the game. I didn’t know him personally. It’s incredible how he can still make plays at that age. It is really nice to be able to cherish the moment playing against him. It is a real honor to play against a great player like that.
After the Paulding baskets, Martynas Sajus made big plays and baskets. How vital a part of the team has he been?
He has been a big part of our success. He has proven to be an inside force this season and can make plays and finish at a high level at both ends of the court.
Medi Bayreuth broke away in the third quarter. How much fun was it beating Oldenburg with their own game?
It was a lot fun. Coach told us at the start of the game, that if we played the right way then there would be a lot possessions and we could score a lot. If we could execute a lot then it would be a lot of fun. It is good going into the break now with this momentum.
How important was game management and always having an answer when they had a blow?
Game management was very important. Coach made adjustments all game long. Cam Wells and Basti Doreth did a great job controlling the game. We didn’t stay passive when they scored. We remained aggressive and kept our foot on the pedal and kept the lead.
How refreshing was it seeing Janari Joessar explode for 24 points. He had scored 22 points in a cup game at the start of the season, but in between been injured and been up and own?
His output was huge. This game was good for him to build his confidence. We know what he is capable of doing and he stepped up big giving us a big boost. Different guys have been stepping up all season long even when we had Covid issues and injuries. When he is making shots, he gives us a totally different dynamic.
You won’t be winning the Fiba Europe Cup. How hungry is the team to finish the season strong? The playoff race is very tight.
We are extremely hungry. We have always felt that we have the right pieces and talent to be a playoff team. We have had so much adversary this season, that we were fortunate to always have different guys stepping up all season long. We feel like we will be playing our best basketball now.
After a tough rookie season in the G-League with Ontario, your having an incredible first season overseas. Did you feel pressure coming to one of the best leagues in Europe? I mean a bad second season could have had an impact on your future.
I didn’t feel any pressure coming to Germany this season. I know what I’m capable of doing on the court. My rookie season in the G-League was unfortunate. It just wasn’t the right fit. I was happy to make the change and come overseas. I’m very thankful to have landed in such a good league like the BBL. I’m really happy that I have been able to make an impact in the BBL
What has been your secret to being able to play so well? You needed little adjustment time.
I just play my game. I know what I can do on the court. I worked very hard in the off season. Some friends that have played in the BBL told me how it is. I don’t think that it is really much different than college. The only difference is that the players are better at the pro ranks. I see great players 1-15 every night.
How beneficial have Marcus Thornton and Terry Allen been for your adjustment period in your first season overseas? How has each guy helped you best on the court?
They have been great and helped me so much. These are two high level guys that have been around for a while. They have made the transition so much smoother for me. Not only on the court have they helped me, but also off the court. It can be very tough off the court especially when your away from family. On the court Marcus has helped me so much. Marcus is one of the best scorers in the BBL. I try to pick up as much as possible like how to create space and seeing how he uses quickness and just his shooting ability. Terry has helped me so much with little situations on defense and offense with picking my spots and when to be aggressive and when not.
You really have picked up your game right before Christmas and since scored in double figures in 11 straight games. Did your game profit from the many injuries in the last months?
Yes I would say that that has been a part of it. I have gotten a bigger role on offense. Injuries forced many guys to step up and I just happened to be one of those guys. I have a role now to have to do more. I have always been confident of my abilities and just try to help the team as much as possible.
At Marquette (NCAA) you improved your game step by step each season. What are your goals in the next few years concerning your game. In what areas do you want to make the most growth?
I want to do the same that I did in college and just improve step by step. I want to sharpen up my shooting and playmaking and make my body stronger. I won’t always be this athletic so I have to work on my body and make it stronger. I also want to be a student of the game knowing when to pick my spots. I will really lock in this summer.
How tough was your rookie season in the G-League with Aqua Caliente? You did finish the season well off in your last two games. How true is the cliche that there are many guys that are just there to fill the roster. Did you feel like you were one of those guys?
It was tough especially coming off a good senior year at Marquette. I didn’t really know what to expect, but then again I did. Everybody wants to get to the NBA and the G-League offers you the chance. It was really tough not playing much. That can be true that there are guys in the G-League just filling the roster and sitting.
What was the hardest lesson that you learned in the G-League?
There are some things that you can’t control. My biggest lesson was keeping a level head and always being ready. It was frustrating where there were games where I didn’t play, but I learned you have to always be there for the team and be ready when your called.
Who won a one on one in practice at Marquette (NCAA) you or Sam Hauser?
I won that for sure.
What was your take on the James Harden deal to the 76ers. Are the Brooklyn Nets stronger now?
Brooklyn won that trade. They got good pieces with Curry and Drummond.
Did you see the sequel to the classic coming To America? Shouldn’t they have left it alone?
They should of left it alone. Sometimes it’s not good to have a sequel. They waited to long for this one.
Thanks Sacar for the chat.