Geno Crandall(BG Goettingen) Has Proved This Season In Germany That Even Bigger And Better Things Could Appear On The Basketball Horizon

2023-04-01 BG Goettingen vs. ratiopharm ulm

Geno Crandall (191-SG-1996, college: Gonzaga) is a 26 year old 191cm guard from Minneapolis playing his fourth professional season and first with BG Goettingen. He played parts of 3 seasons in England with the Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders (United Kingdom-BBL) winning 2 titles. He played his rookie season in the Czech republic with Dekstone Turi Svitavy (Czech Republic-NBL). He began his basketball career with De Salle high school and then played at the University of North Dakota from 2015-2018. He then added an extra year at top school Gonzaga (NCAA). He spoke to after BG Goettingen’s game 1 87-67 loss to FC Bayern Munich.

BG Goetingen suffered a tough 87-67 loss in game 1 against FC Bayern Munich. You trailed from the start. How tough is it playing catch up against a team like this?

They are super talented and really disciplined in what they do. I feel like the 20 point win is misleading. We hung around for a while and they upped their lead more in the second half. That is what good teams do. It wasn’t like they led for 20 points the whole game.

They hammered you on the boards and had their three pointer cooking. What adjustments will BG Goettingen have to make?

We will have to limit our mistakes and keep it close.

They have so many talented guards with Cassius Winston, Isaac Bonga, Nick Weiler-Babb and Corey Walden. Which guy was the toughest for you personally?

I think that each guy brings something different to the table. Bonga is big and uses the mis matches well while Winston is super talented and has a knack for making shots. The other two are excellent shooters and can also get to the rim. We have to be prepared for different looks.

Your playing your fourth professional season. What kind of an experience has it been playing for BG Goettingen? What have you enjoyed most of the experience?

It has been a great experience playing for BG Goettingen. They are a great club with great coaches, players and fans. The experience playing in the BBL has also been great. It has been an exciting challenge being able to compete against teams at a high level. But that is what every competitor wants to face. I feel like I have been able to learn and develop further at this level.

You had to pay your dues for your first 3 seasons playing in the Czech Republic and England. What do you feel kept you from a higher league.

I think that I had a good rookie season, but then came Covid and the market was all over the place. My agent and I held out a bit too much and as mid September came, I had no team. I was fortunate then landing with Leicester. I just think that since the BBL in the UK doesn’t garner the same kind of respect than other leagues kept me away from higher leagues.

You put up huge stats in England and in Germany your averaging 12/3/4 stats. What has been the biggest adjustment playing in the easyCredit BBL? The physicality is obviously very high.

I think that the 2 biggest adjustments have been the physicality and pace. Both go hand in hand. Important for me is to control myself and to understand when to play with pace. I think when I was able to do that, I was able to play some of my best basketball.

You never averaged more than 4,0apg in the NCAA or the Czech Republic, but then averaged 7,0apg in your 2 seasons in the UK. Do you feel like you have always been an underrated playmaker or did you work on your playmaking more in the UK?

I think that a big part in my assists going up was that I had the ball in my hand a lot more than other seasons. Assists came more naturally to me. I was able to create a lot more than before.

You twice beat Euroleague teams with Alba Berlin and FC Bayern Munich. Did those wins give you the needed self-confidence that you could play at that level one day?

Yes there is hope for me and I feel that I’m right there. I feel like I can belong on the court with high caliber players like that if I continue to improve my weakness and have my strengths grow and keep working on my body, I can get there.

What has it been like playing with Mark Smith? Have you been a mentor type of guy for him?

In a way I would say so. We have a good relationship. He is very talented and will play a long time. I don’t coach him, but offer the best advice that I can. There was a good example in game 1 against FC Munich where I tried to help him. He went on transition and the mismatch came against Elias Harris. He took a jump shot and after I told him that he could of attacked the rim, but be sure there are guys to help rebound and let his teammates get into better position.

How has Roel Moers helped your game this season? He is an up and coming coach. Do you see his guidance as one that has helped make strides in your game?

He was a guard that played at a high level and knows what were going through. He is constantly giving advice. He tries to help instill in us how he played the game and helps us think the game. He understands absolutely every concept of the game and is always talking to us. He will have a long career.

You played the last 2 seasons with the Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders (United Kingdom-BBL) winning the double last season. You won a thrilling 88-87 game against Plymouth and beat top team London Lions 78-75 where you scored 23 points. How special was this team?

We had one of the more well rounded teams in the BBL that season. That was a special point in my career. That was a great season to use as a stepping stones. The team was very talented and I feel we had a number of guys that could of played at higher levels.

You made huge strides in the UK in your 2 years there. How do you feel did your game grow during these 2 years?

I think that having the ball a ton in my hands helped me a lot. It really forced me to see it all. I got a lot of trust to call and design plays. I think this took ownership over my career. This helped the development of my all around game.

You had a memorable triple double 13/12/11 against Plymouth. What does a performance like this mean to you? Was this one of your best games in your career or was your triple double in your rookie season in the Czech Republic against BK Opava better in your eyes?

I have to be honest that I can’t remember either one as well. I think that anytime when you get a triple double it shows extreme effort and intention in the game to do a bit of everything. It shows you left mark on almost everything in the game.

You continued your rookie season with Dekstone Turi Svitavy (Czech Republic-NBL) averaging 13.9ppg, 4.4rpg, 3.7apg, Steals-2 (2.1spg), FGP: 53.7%, 3PT: 25.3%, FT: 66.9%. What do you remember being your wake up call to being a rookie where you knew that you were far away from home?

I remember the team doing a pre season hiking exhibition up a mountain. I never did that type of thing at home in Minneapolis because we don’t have mountains. I remember waking up the next morning being tired and my back hurting and wondering why I had done that.

How vital was veteran Damonte Dodd in the Czech Republic? Did you guys become like brothers?

Yes I would say so. We had 3 Americans that season and we were close and hung out a lot. Especially during holidays we celebrated together.

You played at North Dakota (NCAA) from 2015-2018. What memories do you have of reaching the NCAA tournament losing 100-82 to Arizona? That starting 5 was tough scoring 80 of the 100 points and had future NBA guys like Kadeem Allen, Lauri Markkanen, Allonzo Trier, and Rawlie Alkins as well as Kobi Simmons and Euroleague player Parker Jackson-Cartwright coming from the bench.

I remember that Arizona team as being tough and very talented. That loss was similar to the Munich loss. I felt like at no time we were overwhelmed and hung around for a while. Good teams will slowly extend lead. That game gave us a lot of confidence and showed that we could stick with high level players for 25-30 minutes.

Which of those guys do you remember impressing you the most?

Lauri Markkanen without a doubt. He could do a bit of everything and had a NBA ready body. He had a nice touch as well. You knew right away that he was really good.

How vital was head coach Brian Jones in your development in the 3 years? How did he help your game most?

He showed a lot of trust in me. He allowed me to start and end plays. He gave me quite a bit of freedom and let me work through mistakes.

Who won a 1-1 back in the day you or Quinton Hooker?

We actually didn’t play so much 1-1. I think that on any given day it could go either way. He was bigger than me and if he got into the paint that it could cause problems, but I was quicker and more athletic.

You then finished at the well known basketball institution Gonzaga playing for Mark Few. How special is he? Would be fair to say he is a top 5 college basketball coach?

I would consider him a top 5 coach in the NCAA. He is a special coach that knows how to relate to guys and simply gets the best out of them. He has a unique style and doesn’t get in your face, but does hold you accountable. He has high expectations of you and that puts pressure on you to expect a lot of yourself.

What memories do you have playing against Duke (NCAA) losing 88-86 and seeing Zion Williamson up close and the guard talent of RJ Barrett?

I had never seen Zion play, but only knew of the hype and the videos. But then there you are on the court with him and then he is as good as advertised. He is something special. RJ Barrett already had NBA size and could really hit shots.

You were the senior in an underclassman back court of Joel Ayayi, Corey Kispert and Zach Norvell. Did you see those guys then as future NBA players?

Yes I did. You could see in practice and games that these guys were smart, physical and could make shots. You could check all NBA boxes early with them.

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

There were quite a few. Alonzo Trier, RJ Barrett, Cam Reddish and Trey Jones

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?

Rui Hachimura, Brandon Clarke, Reid Travis, Josh Perkins and my last spot is a tie with Zach Norvell, Corey Kispert and Quinton Hooker.

Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore?

Kevin Garnett, Kyrie Irving, Allen Iverson and Lebron James

Who will reach the final the win the 2023 NBA title?

I have the Lakers

If Lebron James wins the 2023 NBA title, is he the GOAT?

I would hope so for now.

Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming To America? Shouldn’t they have left it alone?

Absolutely 100%.

Thanks Geno for the chat.


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