Derrick Alston Jr Has Been Thankful For Having Been Allowed To Find His Footing And Play Through Mistakes With The Rostock Seawolves

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Derrick Alston in the Fraport arena in Frankfurt december 2022

Derrick Alston Jr. (206-SF-1997, college: Boise St.) is a 25 year old 206cm forward from Houston, Texas playing his second professional season and first with the Rostock Seawolves. He played his rookie season with the Salt Lake City Stars (NBA G League) averaging 16.6ppg, 5.4rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 52.2%, 3PT: 28.4%, FT: 81.4%. He began his basketball career at Strake Jesuit High School and then played at Boise State (NCAA) from 2017-2021 playing a total of 104 games averaged 17,0ppg in his last 2 NCAA seasons. He spoke to after the 99-77 loss to the Fraport Skyliners.

Thanks Derrick for talking to The Rostock Seawolves suffered a tough 99-77 loss to the Fraport Skyliners. Rostock SeaWolves entered the game having won 3 of 4 games. Did the SeaWolves underestimate the Fraport Skyliners

Personally no. Were both different teams from December when we last played. We are better and more efficient at running our stuff now. Seeing what Frankfurt did was different from what we prepared for. They shot the ball well and made right plays and had us in rotations.

After 40 minutes is it fair to say they don’t look anything like a last placed team?

I think that Frankfurt is fighting for their lives. Each game is do or die for them. You sense this in how they play. Jordan Theodore is huge and will be important for getting over the hump. They shoot the ball very well.

You were a senior in high school when Jordan Theoodre last played in Germany in the BBL for the Fraport Skyliners helping them win the Fiba Europe Cup. What did you know about him and how did the team prepare for him?

We prepared for them as a team. We had no film on him with Frankfurt because he was new. We had no game plan for him. We just knew that he had played well in Russia. We weren’t sure how what kind of pace they would play with him. Credit to him for having a hell of a game.

The Fraport Skyliners came out quickly leading 24-16 after 10 minutes and Rostock had to play pick up basketball the whole afternoon. Frankfurt’s three pointer was falling early. The 15 three’s Frankfurt made in the first game against Rostock must have been on the scouting report for this game.

We prepared for their three. But credit to them for how they played the pick and roll and short roll. They had us moving from side to side and had the ball hopping. They got open shots and made them.

The Rostock Seawolves trailed only 42-38 at the break. What was key for Rostock staying in the game besides showing those impressive fighting qualities?

Basketball is always a game of runs. The first quarter was tough for us. We settled in in the second quarter and got a couple of stops and got a rhythm. We builded a rhythm on offense off our defense.

The Fraport Skyliners exploded in the third quarter for 33 points. What did head coach Christian Held tell the team to do going in the third quarter and why couldn’t the team execute defensively?

He told us to come out with energy and keep working, but we didn’t do that. We came out slow and Frankfurt ran the pick and roll well and got in a flow. They felt comfortable and we had problems combating it. Plus we didn’t have one of our better days offensively.

What adjustments did you see the Fraport Skyliners make on the defensive end in this game in comparison to the first game where you scored 6 points more? Did you see a different defensive identity under new head coach Klaus Perwas?

I didn’t see anything really different from December. They did 2 things really well which was collapsing the paint on drives and playing the passing lanes well and being aggressive. Those 2 things bothered us. When you have problems combating that then it’s tough for our offense.

In the fourth quarter the Fraport Skyliners continued to play their game and the Rostock SeaWolves couldn’t get over the hump. Of course Jordan Theodore was a huge factor, but did you see a different kind of Frankfurt mentality under new general Jordan Theodore?

I would say so. Theodore did a really good job controlling the game and getting the team into their stuff. They read our defense really well and played really smart on offense. They took advantage of our mistakes on offense and defense.

Did you sense a special chemistry between Jordan Theodore and Quantez Robertson. If Frankfurt keeps this up, do you think that Frankfurt could go on a late season run and not have to worry about moving down?

Those are 2 veteran guys that have been with the team and in the league for a long time. They know what it takes to win. It is more vital for Frankfurt with those guys to capitalize and control their destiny as much as possible than letting other teams to control their destiny. They will do all they can to keep Frankfurt in the BBL.

The Rostock SeaWolves still have every chance of reaching the playoffs. How confident are you that the team will turn it around in the next game against Heidelberg?

We don’t have to dwell on this loss. This was a tough loss but we have winnable games coming up at home. It won’t be easy but were in the thick of it. We will continue to take it day by day and game by game and just continue to focus on working hard and getting better.

How motivated will the guys be for Alba Berlin and FC Bayern Munich? You lost both games easily at home? What are you most looking forward to in these games?

Those are 2 of the top teams in Germany and play Euroleague. For me personally it will be exciting to see what kind of improvement we have made since the first time we played them. It will be exciting to play in their arena’s and see what kind of improvement we have made. Playing them so late in the season will be a good final mark to see where we are at at the moment.

Roy Krupnikas played his 4th BBL game of season. What has he improved most this season?

He is looking more and more comfortable playing with us. He was gone at times playing ANGT, but for him it has been great just having the opportunity to gain experience and get more reps against really good competition. I have enjoyed his development from the start until now.

Your having a very good season in the easyCredit BBL averaging 16,3ppg, 4,1rpg and 1,7. Your scoring has been down since we last spoke in December but till consistent. Have you noticed that teams have scouted you better the second time around?

Oh for sure. It has been like night and day from the first month where I exploded. It has been a real challenge for me being able to react to the defense and see how I play has really helped my game. I had an ankle problem and I’m still working my way back. In the States you can have something like 3-4 games in a week whereas overseas may only have 3-4 games in a month. I feel I have had a solid season with Rostock and continue to build off that.

You were 0/11 coming into the game from outside and presently shooting 29% from outside. You finally made a three pointer again. How much of a challenge is it with being able to execute the three in this league?

It’s tough with the shrunken court. I haven’t got as many open three’s but more contested shots that I know I can make. I’m not getting as much daylight and room. I have to let the game come to me while still being aggressive and watching and finding gaps in the defense. I have been very grateful to be in this position with Rostock. I am thankful that I have been allowed to find my footing and play through mistakes. We as a collective team can be very proud of how far we have come this season. We want to finish the season right.

What was your best experience in Germany on the court and off the court?

Off the court I have enjoyed the bakeries the most. I have enjoyed having that in my routine each day. On the court my best experience has been the crowd and support. Seeing how the fans supported us at home against Alba Berlin and what it meant to the city was great. Seeing so many fans come to Frankfurt was great also. The fan experience has been amazing.

Now that Lebron James dethroned Kareem Abdul Jabbar as the NBA all-time leading scorer, is he now the real GOAT?

I’m still going with Jordan. But Lebron has cemented himself. It was cool to see that in my lifetime.

Who will reach the NBA final and win it all this year?

I see Boston winning the east and this is the time for Denver. I see Boston winning it all.

Thanks Derrick for the chat.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s