Letting The Game Come To Him And Letting His Rebounding Get His Game Into A Flow Has Helped Mark Smith(BG Goettingen Adapt Well To The easyCredit BBL

Mark Smith (193-SG-1999, college: Kansas St.) is a 23 year old 185cm guard form Ilinois playing his rookie season in Germany with BG Goettingen. He began his basketball career at Edwardsville High School averaging 21.9ppg, 8.2rpg, 8.4apg, 2.1spg; 30-2 record. He played his freshman season at the University of Illinois (NCAA) averaging 5.8ppg, 1.4rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 40.4%, 3PT: 23.2%, FT: 79.6%. He then played at the University of Missouri (NCAA) from 2018-2021 averaging 5.5ppg, 3.5rpg, FGP: 42.9%, 3PT: 42.7%, FT: 75.0%, 8.7ppg, 5.2rpg, FGP: 41.8%, 3PT: 37.1%, FT: 80.3% in his third season and in his senior year averaged9.1ppg, 3.7rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 48.1%, 3PT: 29.7%, FT: 77.5%. He played an extra season at the University of Kansas State (NCAA) averaging 12.6ppg, 8.4rpg, 1.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 70.9%. He spoke to germanhoops.com after the 88-82 loss to the Fraport Skyliners.

Thanks Mark for talking to germanhoops.com. Did you know coming into the game against the Fraport Skyliners that with a win BG Goettingen would send them to the second division after being in the BBL for 24 years after being born in 1999? But actually Frankfurt won and MBC is too blame because they won fair and square.

I didn’t know that

BG Goettingen controlled the game, but the Fraport Skyliners rebounded after the break. What adjustments did they make?

Our offense became stagnant as soon as they switched our ball screen and we couldn’t move the ball well anymore.

The game was tight in the fourth and BG Goettingen had the 73-67 lead with 4 minutes to go. Frankfurt then let it raid three’s hitting 3 in a row. Did you sense some major urgency on their end?

Obviously when your back is to the wall, a team like Frankfurt will fight until the end. They had nothing to loose and got the best of us. They made big shots and we didn’t respond.

What was it like playing against ex Euroleague player Jordan Theodore who played at Seton Hall? What does your game get the most of playing against high level guys like that?

My game got better this season playing against good players. It was great competing against him. I hope to play on a Euroleague team one day. It is always good to play against another good player.

You came overseas after playing for great NCAA schools. What kind of an experience has it been playing for BG Goettingen? What have you enjoyed most about the experience?

It has been a great experience playing for this organization. My game developed a lot and I credit coach Moers a lot for helping develop my game. I became even more versatile and my game developed at all 3 levels.

The team has no real star? Is that sort of an insult towards your game or a compliment for the team success of the organization?

We have guys that simply follow their roles. We all do that well. We have different guys that do different things well. We all play well off each other. I play to win.

The team has so many scoring options but what have you appreciated most about the play of Geno Crandle, and Harld Frey? How valuable are their playmaking qualities?

These two guys have played so well. They know how to get into the lane and kick out the ball. It is always great to have extra playmakers that can create and get open shots. It makes the game a lot easier.

How vital will the play of Javon Bess be in the playoffs? Is he a type of unsung hero player for the team?

His play has been so important. He defends the other team’s best player and when his shot is falling, it makes us a lot better. He is our x factor and a big key to the success.

The club split the regular season against the FC Bayern Munich. I feel you could have a chance Against them. What will be key to getting the series win?

Munich is a great team. Our key to winning the series will be to play fast, make good decisions, rebound well and keep the turnovers low. That is our identity. We need to play free and play good defense. We are all excited to be in the playoffs. We will see what happens.

What have you enjoyed most about battling top guards Cassius Winston?

It is always fun playing against high level players. He is a good player. Geno will be guarding him. That will be a good match up. We will have to keep him contained.

You have needed no adjustment period putting up great stats as a rookie with 16/7/2 stats. What has been your secret to being so consistent?

I think key for me has been being mentally confident and knowing my abilities. I have let the game come to me and not force anything. Rebounding has really helped me get into the flow. I try to control the game as best as I can.

You were a solid rebounder at Illinois and Missouri, but really broke free at Kansas State with 8,0rpg and with BG Goettingen with 7,0rpg. To what do you credit this growth in rebounding production?

Coach Weber of Kansas State recruited me in high school. He knew I could rebound. I didn’t need to rebound at Illinois or Missouri because they played a different system. Weber and coach Moers have needed me to rebound.

Your assist stat also rose. How did you grow as a playmaker playing overseas where the game is so much different?

Playing overseas is definitely different. It is all about how I pass the ball and how I need to read the defense. I have been able to make the hook passes here and thread the needle. I often was credited with the hockey pass, but now at the pro ranks overseas, I credit more talented players and guys who make more shots than in the NCAA.

The team won so many close games. Do you sometimes feel like the basketball God is your best friend?

You can only control what you can control. We have been fortunate that many things went right, but I feel that our close wins were credited to hard work.

What memories do you have of the incredible 96-95 win over Alba Berlin where you exploded for 33 points? Was that you best game this season?

I think that was one of my best games this season. It was one of those games where I felt very comfortable. I felt like everything would go in. I just played my role something coach has told me to do all season. I also have to give a lot of credit to the BG Goettingen organization for showing me how to be a pro and take care of my body during my injury.

You played your freshman season at Illinois (NCAA) opting not going to Duke, Michigan State or Kentucky. Do you sometimes wonder where your career could have gone?

Yes I have wondered about that, but God always has a plan for you. But I feel like everything has worked out well and there isn’t anymore I can ask for.

How tough was the pressure playing in your home state where you were an illustrated high school player?

There wasn’t really pressure. I went through adversary and learned from it.

You then played 3 years at Missouri improving your points average each season. What memories do you have battling then senior Jordan Geist who played some successful years in Germany?

I have many memories of Jordan. He was a great player. Playing at Missouri was a good time. I really grew as a player and I learned how to become a pro. It was the early steps of getting to where I am now. I’m really grateful for my time at Missouri. It was a fun time.

You were teammates 2 seasons with Dru Smith. What kind of teammate was he and what do you remember about your intense battles in practice?

Dru is one of my best friends. I was at his wedding. He is a great guy and teammate. He always led by example. Practices with him were competitive and fun.

Is he a great role model for you seeing that he has fought all odds and made it to the NBA with the Brooklyn Nets?

He is a great role model. He has fought hard his whole career. He was injured and fought through adversary. I’m really proud of him.

How rewarding was your senior year at Missouri where you beat Kentucky 75-70 and reached the NCAA tournament scoring 11 points against Oklahoma?

It was a great season. We played really well and wanted to bring the school back to the tournament. It was my first time there. The atmosphere was incredible.

How did coaches Conzo Martin and Bruce Weber groom and prepare you best for a professional career?

Martin taught me how to be a man and put in the work. Weber developed me as an all around player. He made me the player that I’m now. I give a lot of credit to them. Weber follows me and keeps telling me that I was always capable of being the player I am now.

Who won a 1-1 in practice you or Dru Smith?

We never really played 1-1. But if we did I have to take myself. We had more shooting battles. I don’t know who would win today.

You played great against Oklahoma with 25 and 22 points, but lost. Was that school one of those schools you’ll never forget battling?

Playing against Oklahoma and my ex school Illinois was always tough. My most memorable games were against them.

Who is the toughest player that you battled in the NCAA that reached the NBA?

Miles Bridges and Anthony Edwards.

Who are your 5 best teammates of all-time?

Dru Smith, Leron Black, Nijel Pack, Parker Brown and Jeremiah Tilmon

Please name your NBA Mount Rushmore?

Lebron, Jordan, KD, Steph Curry

If Lebron Wins a title this year coupled with his NBA all-time scoring record will he be the GOAT?

He is my goat. Wining will help his legacy.

Is Steph Curry the greatest point guard of all-time?

Yes he is.

Thanks Mark for the chat.


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