Being Aggressive And Making The Right Plays Has Been Key For Spencer Reaves Helping Lead Leverkusen To Success Against Trier

Spencer Reaves (191-G-1995, college: Central Mo., agency: One Motive Sports) is a 26 year old 191cm guard from Newark, Arkansas playing his fourth professional season and first in Germany with the Bayer Giants Leverkusen. He played his first three professional seasons in Spain with Azpeitia Juaristi Iraurgi Saski Baloia (Spain-LEB Silver) and UBU Tizona Burgos (Spain-LEB Gold). He began his basketball career with / Cedar Ridge High School and then played a season with North Greenville University (NCAA2). He then finished at the University of Central Missouri (NCAA2) from 2015-2018 playing a total of 85 games averaging 12.3ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.0apg, FGP: 42.6%, 3PT: 36.0%, FT: 83.5% in his second season, 17.0ppg, 4.2rpg, 2.8apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 59.9%, 3PT: 39.0%, FT: 85.4% as a junior and17.0ppg, 5.2rpg, 2.0apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 51.9%, 3PT: 44.2%, FT: 88.6% as a senior. He spoke to after the thrilling 81-75 win in Trier to take a 2-1 games lead.

Congrats Spencer on the massive 81-75 game three win in Trier to give Leverkusen the 2-1 games lead. After the tough game one loss where Leverkusen lost by more than 20 points at home, did your confidence slip a little? How were you able to stay mentally strong despite a very tough loss?

We knew it might be a struggle for us. We were only able to have 1 full practice before going to Trier because of sickness. They punched us in the mouth but we couldn’t hang our heads for long. Had to stay consistent and confident in ourselves.

What two incredibly exciting tight finishes with game 2 and game3. Do you remember playing two such important games back to back in your career that were so tight?

This is actually my first playoffs as a pro. Covid cancelled some seasons and other seasons we have been bad. It’s fun and a completely different animal. Super fun though.

In terms of importance which win was bigger game 2 or game 3 in this series?

I think they are equally important. We couldn’t go down 0-2 going back to trier but it is also important to steal one when you don’t have home court.

After the big game 2 win, what were Leverkusen’s biggest goals to accomplish in game three? You had definitely improved the team rebounding in game 2?

Rebounding is for sure #1 but also trying to match their physicality. We also had to move the ball better on offense to make them move.

The Bayer Giants Leverkusen played a very strong first half especially defensively 43-27. What was key to being able to control the first half in a hostile environment?

We defended really well. We followed our game plan and executed it really well.

In the second half Trier came back into the game and fought back trailing 57-51 after 30 minutes. It seemed like they finally found their offensive rhythm. Why couldn’t your defense come to terms with their inside out game?

We were really bad on the glass in the second. They were able to get too many second chance points. If they are doing that, they are really tough to handle.

At the start of the third quarter you served up a beautiful alley-op pass to giant Dennis Heintzmann. How much fun is playing with him and being able to blindly throw the ball at the rim and know he will be there?

It’s great. He does a great job of getting me open where I can cause the defense to help. He’s really good at catching lobs at the rim is well, since he is a 7 footer.

The fourth quarter was really tight as Trier guard Parker Van Dyke was a real menace hitting big shots. Does he seem to be a player that every opponent hates but would love to have on their team?

Yeah anytime you can shoot the ball like him it’s tough to defend but you’d love to have it on your team. He got free a few times and burned us. Another thing we have to improve for next game.

You really took over in crunch-time. Did you feel the need to take responsibility and take charge or was it more what the defense gave you?

After the terrible first half, I had to be aggressive still on the offensive end. I was able to get a few open looks to go and I feel that’s all I need.

Quentin Goodin made a big basket and Luis Figge free throws. What defensively was most key in the last minute to clinch the win?

We really threw them up with the zone defense. Have to definitely credit the coaches for that one. And Q’s bucket and Figge’s free throws were huge.

What was the call of the game from head coach Hansi Gnad that was key at that moment for having success on the court?

I think just putting the right guys in the correct situations on the court. He really trusts the guys we have and gives everyone great confidence.

You really have picked up your game in the last two games scoring 22 and 20 points. Where do you feel have you been able to carry your game to in this playoff series?

Just continuing to be aggressive with the ball and making the right plays when I have it. I like to keep it simple and just do what helps the team win.

You can close out the series in game 4. Obviously you don’t want to lose focus and close out the series. What do you feel will be the biggest focus in game 4 to reach the next round?

Continuing to do the things we have the last two games. And making the right adjustments because you know Trier will.

Where you surprised that the Boston Celtics swept the Brooklyn Nets and is Jayson tatum the next Kevin Durant?

I was but after watching the games, the Celtics are the real deal defensively. Also Tatum and Brown can really go on the offensive end.

Thanks Spencer for the chat.


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