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 germanhoops.com after helping the Bayer Giants Leverkusen beat the Romerstrom Gladiators and advance to the Pro A semi-finals to meet Tuebingen.
Spencer thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Congrats on advancing to the semi-finals of the pro A playoffs. How much did this win raise your wining joy after winning game three?
We are happy to be in the spot we are in. Making the semifinals is never an easy task. We going to get back to work this week and hopefully have a good series against a really tough team.
The Bayer Giants Leverkusen had their destiny in their own hands. How key have your fans been all season long for being able to help push the team to success?
Now that the covid restrictions have lessened a bit, more fans keep making their way into Ostermann-Arena. We broke the season attendance record easily in game 4. We hope to have the same support in the next round as well! It always helps the team.
The first quarter was a tight battle as Trier led 23-22 after 10 minutes. How interesting was it observing the big man battle inside this series with Heinzmann/Baeck vs Wiley/Wolf. From your feeling over the series, who won these battles for the series?
For me, I was happy I was a guard in this series. Those are all monster guys and players that show why they are some of the best in the league. I think both duos battled really well and luckily we were able to make more plays down the stretch to win the series.
The game continued to be a tight affair in the second quarter as Leverkusen led 45-44. How key was young German player Robert Merz who hit two three pointer early. He really was able to take vital responsibility in that phase.
Rob is great for us. He’s always ready, always hungry to improve his game. Hansi gives everyone a chance and he made the most of it on Friday. I told him after the game he was a big reason why were able to win. I have to give credit to all the young guys though because they played this playoff series like veterans. Not an easy thing to do.
The contest continued to be a real battle as Trier had the 63-60 advantage after 30 minutes. What key words of advice do you remember Hansi Gnad telling the team before taking care of business in the fourth quarter?
Well Hansi always preaches defensive stops. We normally don’t have issues with scoring the ball. Hansi emphasized getting stops and being able to run in transition against such a big team like Trier.
The game continued to be a real struggle going into crunch-time and despite Trier only leading by some points, it seemed like they had the momentum. What was going through your head most to get over the hump and get the lead back?
Like I said before, it was just about getting stops, limiting them to 1 shot, then executing on the offensive end. We always try to trust the work we have put in and normally it works out pretty well for us.
With Trier leading 75-72 the Bayer Giants Leverkusen took control at the exact last moment going on a 8-0 run. It couldn’t have been constructed any better.
You have to give credit to our fans honestly. Once you get a stop or two, follow that with a basket, they really bring the energy into the building. It was really huge for us in that moment.
Trier definitely had numerous chances in the last minute as good shooters like Grun and Zeeb missed shots that could have decided the game. Was this kind of defense that you will have to continue to display against Tuebingen?
Tuebingen is a different team than Trier but very very hardworking like them. We will have to play a different style against Tuebingen and also throw different things at them to keep them from being comfortable. I know Hansi and Jacques will have us ready and prepared.
You hit back to back buckets and as usual was a key factor in the offense getting over the hump. How key was it reading the defense correctly in leading to your two baskets in the last minute?
I had decent success all series on the ball screen action. Their drop cover was a little easier with Wiley having fouled out. I was able to get a little deeper in the paint to get the shots off. Luckily they were able to fall.
Trier did many things better like hitting three’s and rebounding. How decisive were the 4 more Trier turnovers in Leverkusen being able to pull out the win?
We did a decent job all series on taking care of the ball. Feel like the guys played really good defense down the stretch to cause a few more turnovers. It gave us the chances to win.
You had another good game with 18 points, but more importantly hit big time shots in crunch-time again. Do you feel like you will be able to heighten your game to another level once again vs Tuebingen?
That’s the plan at least. I just want to put the team in the best position to win. Against trier I was needed as a playmaker and we were able to get the job done. We will see what is required against Tubingen next round.
You now face Tuebingen who have been the absolute surprise team of the season. You lost the second game in a phase where they were losing many games. After that they really rose their game winning 13 of 15 games. How dangerous is this club?
They are a really good team. They play smart, together and with a lot of energy. There is a reason they are the #1 seed. They have earned it and won games in the biggest moments. We will have to be ready.
Tuebingen scored well in both wins. I’m sure Hansi Gnad will have the team prepared for the series. What will be key for being able to win this series against the surprise team of the season?
Well we beat them at home this season. We need to replicate the gameplan. And especially with the playoffs, make adjustments throughout the series. It’s going to be really fun.
Have you met Leverkusen soccer legend Stefan Kiesling? He was there at game 5 and surely was in perfect mode helping cheer on the team to the win?
We love to have people like him at the games. I have never met him, hopefully I will soon. We are super appreciative of all the fans that I’ve came to the games this season. We hope to see them when we come back for game 3 and 4. definitely need their help.
Thanks Spencer for the chat