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 a huge 92-81 win over Kronberg. How did this win feel after the tough loss to Lich last weekend where you fouled out early on?
Thank you. It felt good being available for my team. Last week I felt like I let the guys down so I wanted to make it up with a win this week. I’m happy we were able to pull one off against a tough opponent.
Talk a little about the summary of the game. What was the deciding moment in crunch-time where Bensheim had the win wrapped up?
The game was back and forth the entire time. It was one of those games you love to be a part of. It was close up until the 4th Q. I think the turning point was our defense for sure we were able to get stops at key times and punish them with shooting when they decided to go to zone.
How much of a factor did the turnovers play? In that respect Bensheim had 5 more turnovers.
Anytime a team has turnovers you give the opponents more opportunities on offense. We were a bit hectic sometimes looking to squeeze in difficult passes which resulted in TO’s. They also did a great job at pressing and trapping us. They forced us to play uncomfortable most of the game and I think that resulted in a close game.
Bensheim had a bit of a shorter rotation than Kronberg. Did fatigue play a factor? How tough is it in general playing with a reduced roster?
This week was tough. A few of our guys were out due to being ill. The shortened roster caused rile changes for some of our guys. In some cases shorter rosters help because everyone is in a groove and a part of the game. Fatigue plays a small role but we should be in shape 4 games in the season. I’m happy with the way we responded to having some of our key guys missing.
What was your impression of Kronberg? They didn’t have a star but a well rounded team that spread out the scoring well?
Kronberg is a well coached team. They are disciplined and each guy knows his role and stays within their realm. They have a system that tries to find the weakness in your defense and capitalize off that. They are not a team to sleep on they have many guys who are capable of scoring big which can make them dangerous.
Bensheim got super support from Jan Tschakaloff. Talk a little how valuable he was in this game?
Jan is our X factor I believe he is an incredible shooter with range. When he gets hot it can be a great thing for us. He hit some big shots for us and played very well on defense. I see he is getting more comfortable with his role and starting to excel.
You rebounded well from the last game pouring in 27 points. How content were you with your game?
I’m never satisfied with my play honestly I see 27 and 8 I see the fact that I should have had 30 and 10. It’s a motivation to be almost perfect that keeps me from letting up and relaxing. Theres always room for improvement. On the other hand it was what was needed this week to win so I’ll take it.
You had 6 turnovers. How would you classify them? Sometimes turnovers aren’t what they seem in the way they are scouted. How was it from your perspective?
On paper it was bad but in real time I don’t think it was that horrible . A few calls from the refs that were questionable a couple miscommunications between our team inbounding. I am not happy with this number but I know it won’t happen too often. We are turning that corner in learning our tendencies so the miscommunications will decrease and so will the turnovers.
Bensheim next battle 0-4 Giessen. This is a huge game to keep ground in the standings. What will be key to getting the win?
The key to winning is respecting our opponent and coming in with the same intensity as any other game. This game is important for us because we need to start gathering some wins in a row and also get our first home win this season. We are very hungry for this win and will go into this game focused and determined to get it.
This isn’t the Giessen Pointers, but how will you feel playing against another Giessen team?
This is the exact team I helped coach last season. So for me it is a bit weird to play against some of the young guys I coached in NBBL and Oberliga. I am proud of them for taking another step in their careers but at the same time that means nothing in between the lines. Even if my grandmother was on that team I’m not taking it easy. I’m here to compete and I know they are too.
Thanks Chris for the chat.