Jaleen Smith(Alba Berlin) Believes That The Fraport Skyliners Will Remain In The BBL And Quantez Robertson Still Belongs To The Best Defenders

Basketball Berlin 27.12.2022 Saison 2022 / 2023 easycredit BBL / 1. Bundesliga Alba Berlin – Syntainics MBC Jaleen Smith (Alba Berlin, No.03) Radii Caisin (MBC, No.13) Foto: Tilo Wiedensohler/camera4

Jaleen Smith (190-SG-1994, college: UNH, agency: BeoBasket) is a 28 year old 193cm guard from Freeport, Texas that is playing his sixth professional season and second with Alba Berlin . He played two seasons with the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg averaging 15.2ppg, 5.0rpg, Assists-3 (5.3apg), Steals-2 (1.8spg), FGP: 49.2%, 3PT: 32.7%, FT: 87.5%; and 10.7ppg, 3.6rpg, 2.4apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 53.1%, 3PT: 33.6%, FT: 82,8% the season before. In 2018-2019 he played with the MLP Academics Heidelberg (Germany-ProA) averaging 12,7ppg, 3,9rpg and 2,7apg. In his rookie season with New Hampshire (NCAA) from 2013-2017 where he played a total of 120 NCAA games. He improved his scoring, rebounding and assists average each season and as a senior he played 32 games averaging 15.8ppg, 6.4rpg, 4.3apg, FGP: 52.4%, 3PT: 35.8%, FT: 78.1%. He spoke to germanhoops.com after the 99-74 win over the Fraport Skyliners.

Thanks Jaleen for talking to germanhoops.com. Congrats on the 99-74 win over the Fraport Skyliners. You didn’t play tonight. The team didn’t need you on this night.

We have 9 import players and tonight it was my turn to sit. It was good to get rest. It really doesn’t matter who plays for us, because everyone gets the job done.

Alba Berlin came out firing and won the first quarter 28-17. Was that typical Alba Berlin basketball?

We played with more rhythm. We did a good job coming out and playing our game. It was typical Alba Berlin game.

Alba Berlin began with a 10-4 run to start the second quarter, but the Fraport Skyliners came back going on a 19-8 run to trail 46-36. What did Alba Berlin get away from?

We had a lot of turnovers and lost our focus. Frankfurt had a lot of young guys and we thought the game would be easy. But give Frankfurt credit because they kept fighting and kept game close.

The Fraport Skyliners got 6 lay ups and a mid distance shot. How can a top defensive team like Alba Berlin give up easy buckets?

We just weren’t focused on defense.

51 points were scored in the third quarter as Alba Berlin won the quarter 27-24. Frankfurt kept fighting but couldn’t get over the hump. Ben Lammers showed he can score in bunches.

The third quarter was tight. They started to make shots and then missed, because they were getting fatigued. Ben is really tough to guard. The mid distance shot for him is an easy shot whereas for other bigs a tough shot.

Alba Berlin closed out the game well. What is your summary of the game and what positives can you take form the win?

We won by the margin of what we expected to. You have to win these games. It is still a long season and we have a lot of work to do.

You haven’t seen too many of the lower teams except Bayreuth but what does your gut feeling say about the Fraport Skyliners?

Frankfurt was missing guys. They are still really a good team. They were missing Marcus Lewis and didn’t have fire power. Despite that I still think that they will stay in the league.

Quantez Robertson has taken a very much reduced role this season in his 14th year. How much of an annoying player is he still at age 38?

Tez was playing the 4 and 5 tonight and our big men had trouble scoring against him. He is still strong and one of the best defenders in the league. He is still a pesky player. You see guys like him, Darden and Polas still proving that they can compete against the younger guys.

The team is playing great in the easyCredit BBL, but struggling in the Euroleague. Is the record in the Euroleague deceiving because you lost 5 games by 5 or less points and some real heart breakers to FC Barcelona, Monaco and FC Bayern Munich?

I also think that our record is deceiving. The games in the Euroleague come down to the end. 3 or 4 mistakes have cost us a few games. All games are tough in Euroleague.

The team is averaging 13 points more per game, but allowing 6 points more. How is the offense better than last season and on what area’s do you need to clean up the defense?

We have to keep working on defense and I feel like we will continue to get better. I think we also need to practice more. Our offense is well oiled. We know how to play well with each other.

Alba Berlin has 8 guys averaging between 8-12 points per game in the easyCredit BBL. Has the team gotten a tad more unselfish this season?

We all enjoy anyone scoring. It doesn’t matter if it’s Luke Sikma or a guy coming off an injury, we cheer for everyone. We are genuinely happy for the success of each other. It doesn’t matter if it’s the top or last player on the squad, we want to see everyone do well.

Alba Berlin is allowing 79 points per game. 7 years ago the Fraport Skyliners and Gordon Herbert averaged allowing under 70 points for the season. It seems like the competition has gotten better in the easyCredit BBL?

I think that the game is more fast paced now with more possessions and points. I think that if you see a team holding another team under 70 points, it is more old school basketball. Our style is fast paced so we will always score points.

The roster is almost identical. You lost Oscar Da Silva and gained Yannick Wetzell and Gabriele Procida. Talk a little about the new guys and what you appreciate most about their game?

Their both great guys. Gabriel is an excellent athletic shooter at the 2-3 position. Yannick play like a seasoned post player even if he is still young. He has the chance to model his game after Luke Sikma.

Your playing another very solid season with Alba Berlin doing the most you can in the minutes you get. You playing 2 more Euroleague minutes and 2 minutes less in the easyCredit BBL. But your stats are better. How vital was that first season of grooming with Alba Berlin?

My first season helped me play more off the ball. I feel like I’m as comfortable playing off the ball as on the ball this season.

You have shaved your turnovers down. Do you credit that to knowing your teammates better and heightening your IQ in the last season?

I think like you said it’s a combination of knowing my teammates and being smart when and where to pass the ball. Plus being aggressive and finding my spots.

Your shooting the ball a lot better from outside at the moment in the easyCredit BBL. What has been bigger the self-confidence or shot selection?

My teammates are as usual doing a great job finding me. Now it’s not step backs or shooting with movement, but getting more spot up shots which has helped my percentage.

You have had some really good games in the Euroleague. Do you sense like your getting even more respect this season in comparison to last season?

I don’t care what other’s think. I just hoop how I hoop. If I get more respect now then great.

You recently led all scorers in a win over Asvel where you battled ex Bonn guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright. What was your overall impression of him in the Euroleague?

I know he started off different, but has gotten better. I think that with his confidence and that of his team for him will help him find his form from last season in the BBL.

Luka Doncic’s game has exploded in the last week with 3 50 points games out of 5. Do you still hope that you will be able to battle him one day on the court?

I actually played against him last summer in a friendly game. His IQ is simply different from everyone else. Giannis and Luka are on another level in comparison to other NBA players. It was amazing to witness him in person.

We are in 2023 now. Did you make any new years resolutions?

No I didn’t. I just hope for another title with Alba Berlin.

Thanks Jaleen for the chat.


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