Christopher Miller (192-G-1993, college: Salem) is a 29 year old 193cm guard from Brooklyn, New York who is playing his eighth professional season and first with VFL Bensheim. He played 3 seasons with the Giessen Pointers (Germany-Regionalliga) and last season averaged 17.4ppg, 5.6rpg, 3.2apg, 2.0spg, FGP: 50.5%, 3PT: 17.5%, FT: 78.6%. He has had experience in countries like El Salvador and Bosnia. He recently played for the South Shore Monarchs (TBL) playing 8 games averaging 22.4ppg, 5.6rpg, 4.3apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 50.8%, 3PT: 35.0%, FT: 83.3%. He began his basketball career at Clinton Community College and also played two years at Salem University (NCAA2). This season he teams up with Miles Schmidt-Scheuber with weekly chats about his basketball season.
Congrats Chris on the massive 95-84 win over Stuttgart to move to 1-1. What did it mean to you getting the first win for your new team Bensheim after losing the first game to Mannheim?
Thanks Miles and thank you for having me. This was a big win for us! I feel it showed us we could be a good team in this league and compete. We feel we made some mistakes in the Mannheim game that costed us but we were all focused to get that win this weekend.
Talk a little about the 40 minutes. It was high scoring as often is the case in Regionaliga games. How key were the high shooting percentages of Bensheim for ultimately getting the win?
I think this team has a lot of offensive players who can get rolling so we look to push the ball every time and keep pressure on the defense. I like this method because it keeps everyone involved and focused on the defense to get that fast break rolling.
Bensheim had huge problems on the boards being outrebounded and allowing 19 offensive rebounds. Does the team rebounding work concern you at the moment?
Rebounds have hurt us in the first 2 games for sure. I don’t think it will be a problem at all, but I do think it is something we need to focus on boxing out and limiting second and third efforts when we are on defense. It will have to be a full team focus to box out more.
How thrilling is it being a teammate with ex BBL player marc Liyanagge . You teamed up to combine for 56 points. What have you learned to appreciate most about his game so far?
MARC is a great teammate . I like how he leads and communicates without screaming and making his teammates feel insecure after mistakes . He leads by example and works hard. With his game I think he is a top player in this league who is versatile and is a match up nightmare for this league. Happy to have him with us.
You had another great game for 35 points and are averaging 30 points per game. Is it fair to say that you have a different role than in Giessen?
My role is to win games and make the team I’m playing for a contender. In Giessen I had to sacrifice my scoring to help our team because of the system we played. With Bensheim I am looked at as a scorer again who will put pressure on other teams defenses. For me what ever it takes to win.
How cool is it to be the number one scoring option and suddenly being a walking bucket. Is this something that you feel comfortable doing?
I think a lot of people forgot I can score the ball. I work hard on my game and skills . Every team I have played on in my 8 years pro I was the leading scorer. Even last year my ppg decreased but I was still the main/ leading scorer of the championship team. This is nothing new to me. I am comfortable with my role for sure and blessed to be in this position.
You shot an incredible 92% from the field 13/14. Can you remember ever shooting so well in a game?
Honestly this game means a lot to me because I scored in the flow of the game and let the shots come to me. I was happy with the reads I made of when to pass and when to score. I’m also grateful for my teammates for playing through me when I did get hot. I was so locked in I didn’t even notice I only missed once. I had higher scoring games but this game is one of the best given the 92% shooting that’s nearly a perfect game!!
You next play against Lich against top player Johannes Lischka. When do you remember first hearing about him when you came to Germany?
Lischka is a very talented player. I played a ton of games against him when I was in Giessen. He has always been a tough match up. Very skilled player with inside and outside game. I think this will be a fun game this weekend.
Bensheim has given up many points in the first 2 games. What does the team still need to do on the defensive end to cut down on allowing points?
I think sometimes we get caught up in focusing on our offense and we don’t close out the defensive possessions enough. I think our defense is good but if a team gets second and third efforts they are more likely to score. I think once we start focusing on that aspect our opponents points will decrease.
What has been your take on the Celtics scandal around head coach Ume Udoka?
For me I have no comment. I wish them the best and hope they can get through this tough time.
Thanks Chris for the chat.