Marcus Thornton (193-G-93, college: William & Mary) is a 29 year old 193cm guard from Forestville Maryland playing his sixth professional season and first with the NINERS Chemnitz (Germany-BBL) averaging 13,7ppg, 2,0rpg and 4,0apg while shooting 40% from outside. Last season he played with ES Chalon-Sur-Saone (France-Jeep ELITE ProA) playing 23 games averaging 10.4ppg, 1.8rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 43.8%, 3PT: 34.9%, FT: 68.2%. He began his professional career in 2015 and has played for organizations Sydney Kings (Australia-NBL), Consultinvest VL Pesaro (Italy-Serie A), Banvit Basketbol Kulubu (Turkey-BSL), Guangxi Rhinos (China-NBL) and for two G-League teams Maine Red Claws and Canton Charge. He played at the College of William & Mary (NCAA) from 2011-2015 playing a total of 125 es and as a senior averaged 20.0ppg, 2.8rpg, 2.9apg, FGP: 51.8%, 3PT: 40.2%, FT: 82.5%. He spoke to germanhoops.com after the magnificent 98-97 win over the Hamburg Towers.
Marcus thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Mr Buzzer beater. Did you see the buzzer beater the other day from Miami Heat Bam Adebayo? Did you ask yourself when you might make one again?
Yes I did catch his buzzer beater. No I didn’t think after seeing that buzzer beater when I would make one again. It is crazy seeing so many buzzer beaters in the NBA, but also in the BBL this season.
What is your personal history of buzzer beaters? How many have you had since high school and which was your favorite?
I had one in college. I can’t remember having one in high school. Then I had the one against Bamberg this season and last night against Hamburg. I have had shots that have helped my team go ahead late. My favorite one was against Drexel. Their coach had recruited me, but wanted me to cut my hair. I didn’t want that and didn’t go there.
Your playing great basketball right now. You love facilitating, but really is there anything better than scoring the ball consistently? A big part of my game is to score the ball. That is what I have been training for to be able to score the ball. I love to score the ball and love to see work come to fruition.
How good did it feel to sweep the Hamburg Towers this season? Did a Virgil Matthews tell you about how they stopped Chemnitz from reaching the BBL earlier by beating them in the playoffs some years ago?
Yes he was motivated. I definitely had heard stories of that playoff series between Hamburg and Chemnitz. The guys really wanted to win.
Is Chemnitz the best example of a team that is way better than their record shows? Hamburg has beat most of the top teams and could play an interesting role in the playoffs.
We have a great team this year and everyone has always given their best. We did have some set backs this season and had games we should of won. But we are confident now of who we are as a team and what we still have to do and can do.
Did you sense before the game that head coach Rodrigo Pastore was extra motivated to win because of his history with the Hamburg Towers? Yes for sure. Coach is a huge competitor. This was a big time win for the club and for coach.
How crazy was this game? I mean there was a buzzer beater and each team won two quarters averaging 29 points?
Yes I know. We had a big lead in the fourth quarter, but they played well and were able to come back. They were able to capitalize on our mistakes. That is a testament of how good the BBL is.
Chemnitz had the 48-45 lead at the break. What did head coach Rodrigo Pastore tell the team to do better in the third quarter? Coach told us to get more consecutive stops on defense, finish plays better and cut down on turnovers. Overal we stuck together and were able to get the win.
Chemnitz allowed an unacceptable 31 points in the third quarter. Why was it so difficult to keep Hamburg better in check on offense? We allowed them to get to the free throw line too much. It is already hard enough to play good defense, but we gave them too many easy baskets from the free throw line.
The Hamburg Towers never gave up rallying in crunch time. Max DiLeo gave Hamburg the 97-95 lead with 10 seconds to play. What was going through your mind when he made that shot?
I looked at the bench and saw that coach didn’t want to call a timeout. This was a similar situation to what we had against Oldenburg recently. I drove to the basket to reach overtime, but we lost to Oldenburg. I didn’t want that to happen again. I knew that we had to get a good look
Take us through your game winner. Everything was hurried as there was no timeout. How confident were you that the team would get off the right and best shot despite the time given? When I got the ball I knew that we still had a lot of time. I was patient and took my time to see what they would do. Would they trap or play straight up. I made a play and made the three.
How much of a pest was Kam Taylor who was Hamburg’s leadings sand filled the stat sheet like Russell Westbrook and also contributed 3 blocks.
He played a big time game. I know him from high school. We went to different high schools, but played in the same conference. He played at a high level in all four quarters. Big shout out to his game.
Where would Chemnitz be without Terrell Harris tonight? Did he show another side with his 11 assists?
Terrell played big time. I texted him after the game telling him not to let his double double get under the radar. Obviously my shot would get a lot of hype. We needed all he gave us with his scoring and assists to get into the position that we were to win the game. He played a great game.
How much fun is it playing right now? The team has a lot of freedom. Is seeing how many games it can win the primary goal?
Yes absolutely. We are a very competitive group of guys. We are taking this season very serious and don’t want to let it go to waste at the end. We want to keep putting our feet forward, get better and keep winning games.
Croatian basketball legend Dino Radja said recently that he couldn’t see Russell Westbrook being bale to lead a team in Europe to success. Do you agree?
It is tough to say since the game is a lot different here. He is so skilled and so athletic that I have no doubt that he could get adjusted here and be successful. He puts in the work and could be great here.
Draymond Greene recently said that he is the best defender of all-time. Do you agree? No I can’t agree. That is a tough statement. There have been so many great defenders.
Did you see the Coming To America sequel? It got mixed reviews. Should they not just have let it be? Yes I can see people thinking that. I think people expected too much. It wasn’t meant to be like the first one. It is hard to make a reboot from so long ago.
I have conducted 21 interviews with American Kyle Hines since his only season in Germany with Brose Bamberg in 2010-2011 and even 11 seasons later nothing has changed with this guy´s overall demeanour when you speak with him. When I talk to him today, it seems like it could be like it was 2010 when Kyle Hines was just at the beginning of an illustrious career that not many players can say they have witnessed. You talk to the physical and versatile player today and you continue to sense this business like attitude and focus that you don´t see with other players. Kyle Hines has this amazing special aura that is so powerful, but at the same time as inviting as if he is a guy you could trust with any information. It really doesn´t matter when or where I have spoken to this guy, if it was in his home state of New Jersey, Berlin, Frankfurt, Bamberg, Moscow or Pireas, Greece, he has always been the same with how he conducts himself. He has this focused straight ahead attitude with how he presents himself, but at the same time is always ready for small talk. The way he conducts himself off the court is no different than the way he does on the court. He is all business on the court and that is probably why the guy has won 20 professional titles in his career and still is nowhere satisfied yet. The guy always wants more and that has shown on the court with his track record. His focus on the game and issue at hand is as powerful as a Lebron James stare down on the court. He is a winner and will always be a winner and is the basketball Tom Brady of European basketball. There are so many parallels that these guys share that one would think that they have somehow been connected in another life. The first most distinct parallel is the fact that they are the winningest American players in their sport determining the biggest title in their sport. Tom Brady has won a record 7 Super Bowls and Kyle Hines has 4 Euroleague titles. Okay so there have been players that have won more Euroleague titles than Hines with Dino Meneghin with 7 , but no other American has won as much as he has. Another parallel and one that is extra ordinary and is one that could happen, is wining a title with another team. Hines won 2 Euroleague titles with Olyimpiakos Pireas and 2 with CSKA Moscow while Tom Brady has won 6 with the New England Patriots and one with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Hines could pull a Tom Brady in that he helps lead his new team AX Armani Exchange Milano to a Euroleague title in his first year after coming from Moscow. Tom Brady did the same thing moving from New England to Tampa Bay and being able to not only hoist the Super bowl title in his own stadium, but also make a new historical throw heaving the trophy from one boat to the next during the victory boat parade.” It would be incredible being able to win a fifth Euroleague title with Milan considering with all that we have dealt with this season. For me it would be historical being able to hoist 5 titles”, warned Kyle Hines. It would be a delight and be interesting to see how these two exceptional players and out of the ordinary characters would act in a meeting? When you have won a record 7 Super bowl titles, you can always learn something new about wining even if you play two different sports. Hines would know exactly what questions to fire if he had 5 minutes of Tom Brady´s time. “I would ask him how he has been able to keep that longevity of almost 21 years. I would ask him also what his secret is to winning and the preparation and process that it takes to win”, warned Kyle Hines.
AX Armani Exchange Milano have won 9 titles in Italy since the 2015-2016 season, but haven´t been as lucky in international club competition as they last reached the Euroleague playoffs in 2016. This season everything is working a lot better as they are going head to head with Brindisi in the Serie A and have reached the Top 8 of the Euroleague competition. Despite the basketball side of the season going well for Kyle Hines, he like everyone else has had to deal with COVID-19 and has met the challenges and accepted them even if living isn´t always easy. “The biggest challenge has been to keep getting adjusted and keeping my family and the people around me safe as well. On the basketball side challenging has been following all the protocols. Everyone has to learn to deal with the situation on a daily basis. I just try to stay safe and be in good spirits”, stressed Kyle Hines. Staying focused and locked in on game day is as normal an occurrence for the American from Sicklerville, New Jersey as it is for Indiana Pacer big man Myles Turner swatting away an opponent´s shot, but what added bit of difficulty has he had with the added constraint of COVID concerning his preparation for every game? Even if every game is a challenge with COVID, he has that special feeling in his mind knowing that it is all worth it. Everything is better than not playing the game he loves. “Everyone has been giving their best in games despite the situation with COVID. The biggest adjustments have been following the protocols, travel and playing without fans. Also tough has been having to play teams that have been effected by COVID. But most important is that despite everything we as players continue to be able to play the game that we love”, warned Kyle Hines.
Being reunited with Ettore Messina who Hines played under in his first season with CSKA Moscow was a giant reason why he decided to leave Moscow after 7 seasons and come to the elegant city of Milan. He had had great times with CSKA Moscow winning 10 titles, but often even a great fit comes to an end after a long while. It wasn´t any different for Tom Brady. Tom Brady was seeking a new challenge and it wasn´t any different for Kyle Hines. “One of the biggest reasons why I came to Milan was being able to take on a new challenge and have an opportunity to come to a new team. It has been exciting being a part of a foundation of change. It has been great being able to have the opportunity of taking on a new challenge at the tail end of my career. It has been fun”, stated Kyle Hines. The club is playing great basketball and a massive reason for their good play in the Italian Serie A and Euroleague was the ability of the team being able to mesh together well early, but there also has been another reason for the club being able to have success. “. Big also has been the development of players Zach LeDay, Kevin Punter and Shavon Shields who have stepped up big within their roles. Important also has been having some older guys like Sergio Rodriguez and I who have shared the leadership”, added Kyle Hines. They have been super successful in the Euroleague finishing as the fourth best team averaging 81 points per game on offense and allowing 77 points per game. Key has been never suffering a huge losing streak, but being able to bounce back after a loss and string along two or three wins in a row. “Having that consistency in the Euroleague has been huge. Despite COVID and everything we wanted to make sure never have two loses in a row. The most consistent teams in the Euroleague tend to have the most success”, stressed Kyle Hines. AX Armani Exchange Milano meet German club FC Bayern Munich in a best of five series tonight in Milan. During the regular season Milan won a nail bitter in Munich 81-79 and then overpowered the German side at home sweeping the regular season series. “The playoffs don´t have an inclination of what happened in the regular season. We don´t expect a easy series. Munich is a well coached team that play with discipline. It will be a big challenge, but if we can play our game the way we have been doing this season and raise our level then we will have good chances”, warned Kyle Hines. A big reason for the huge success of FC Bayern Munich this season in the Euroleague has been head coach Andrea Trinchieri who coached Hines in Italy as a rookie with Prima Veroli (Italy-Lega2). Hines knows him inside out and hasn´t been surprised by the success of Munich. “He has been doing this his whole career. He comes to teams and finds a way to turn it around. He has always been a well prepared coach his whole career. He knows how to get the best out of his players and maximize them to play their best. He has taken a leap every season. I´m happy for his success, but I hope that we can capitalize and win the series”, stressed Kyle Hines.
AX Armani Exchange Milano also have been aided by having been able to find the correct pieces. The front court of AX Armani Exchange Milano has an exciting and interesting constellation of very talented players where each guy can do something different. “We have a ray of different versatile big men. LeDay has had his break out season. He has shown a lot of different abilities shooting the three, playing the pick and roll and showing his athleticism. He also has the ability to play the four five positions. Evans gives us experience and athleticism and has done a great job. He has given us that extra push. Tarczewski has been here since five years. He gives us more of that traditional low post center. The great thing is that we have so much versatility that we can match up in a variety of ways”, said Kyle Hines. American Kaleb Tarczewski who learned his basketball trade at UCLA(NCAA) is in his fifth season with Milan and could become a lifer with the club the same way Quantez Robertson has who is in his 12th season with the Fraport Skyliners. “Kaleb is a great player. He has improved this year. You don´t see often when foreign players stay that long with one team. I would love to continue to be his teammate for many more years”, commented Kyle Hines. He battled ex NBA player Luigi Datome the last years in the Euroleague and now finally can call the versatile big man his own teammate. “I have gotten to know him well. We are both representatives of the players association. I appreciate his work ethic most. He always does the extra things to be ready every day. He has accomplished so much playing in the NBA and Euroleague, but he still comes to work every day ready to provide what is best for the team”, stressed Kyle Hines. The American who played 120 NCAA games at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (NCAA) from 2004-2008 averaging 19,0ppg in his last three seasons also has seen the incredible development of ex Nebraska(NCAA) standout Shavon Shields. He is a guy that gives constant development a new name. “Shavon is still young and hasn´t hit his prime yet. He has many more years to get even better. He has been one of those guys that has really flourished under coach Messina. Coach has recognized something special in his game and given him the freedom to play. He does so many special things. He has hit so many big shots this year and made big plays that we all rely on him. He is one of the best players at his position in the Euroleague. Once he gets even more confidence and matures more, he will continue to blossom in the future”, warned Kyle Hines.
Hines who is the man behind the Players Podcast as he loves interviewing other players and telling stories is playing his 11th Euroleague season and has played an amazing 314 Euroleague games and currently is averaging 8,1ppg, 4,3rpg and 1,9apg. He has experienced having a new role each season and it isn´t any different with Milan. But this season he doing something a lot more than he ever has in his career. “I have taken more the role of a creator this season. It has been a fun role. We have had injuries to some of our creators this season. It has also has been fun seeing the rise of LeDay, Punter and Shields. We have more younger guys this season as opposed to CSKA where we had more experienced players”, said Kyle Hines. As usual he is putting up good stats in the minutes that he plays. He has never been a stats man, but a guy that does anything to help his team win. Leading a team the way a Tom Brady has done his whole career is something that will always be entrenched in Hines´s head. “ I´m trying to become more of a vocal leader. I was captain at CSKA, but we had more experienced guys there. We have a good mix of young and old in Milan. The biggest difference to CSKA is that I´m trying to be more of a leader here and help and push the younger players. I try to tell them what it takes to win a Euroleague title”, warned Kyle Hines. He has played 33 Euroleague games this season, but only 14 Serie A games as there is a good and plausible reason why. “We had a phase where we had several double week games. Coach thought it be best if the older guys rested more. He learned how players should take care of their bodies when he was with the Spurs. For me it has been great getting the rest. We have a roster full of guys that can all compete”, expressed Kyle Hines. Consistency had been a massive reason why Kyle Hines has been able to play at such a high level his whole career. Usually guys break down as they get older, but not with Hines. He has a grade A work ethic and knows how to take care of his body. These are all vital factors why he doesn´t slow down as he gets older and can still develop further. “I think that my experience continues to help me develop my game. When you get older you play more with your mind and less with your body. I also feel this new challenge with Milan and being able to be around a new group of guys has given me new energy. It has been exciting experiencing new things”, warned Kyle Hines. He has had many mentors in his career, but none has been more beneficial than ex NBA player Jerome Allen who played 117 NBA games for the Pacers, Timberwolves and Nuggets and now is an assistant coach under Brad Stevens in Boston. “He has been a big mentor for me. We were teammates my first season. I was 21 and he was 35. He taught me so much. He taught me really what it takes to compete at a high level and how to be a professional. He gave me so much wisdom then and still does today. He had a big effect on my career and life”, warned Kyle Hines.
The last movie that he saw was the Coming to America sequel which he liked still has strong ties to his ex club CSKA Moscow who he could meet again should they advance past FC Bayern Munich. “I still talk to guys like Will Clyburn, Mike James and Daniel Hackett. They have continued to be successful something everybody expects. Despite having to deal with COVID and injuries, they are still the CSKA of old “, added Kyle Hines. The fact that CSKA Moscow was able to be one of the top Euroleague teams this season despite COVID, numerous injuries and the drama with Mike James hasn´t surprised Hines, because he knows that they have a coach that is very special and can achieve things that most other coaches can´t. “Coach Dimitrios Itoudis has done a great job keeping everyone together. The pressure to win is so big for CSKA Moscow, but he still has led them to success. That is one of the reasons why he is one of the best coaches in the Euroleague. He knows how to use pressure and turn it into an advantage. There aren´t many coaches who would be able to do this”, stressed Kyle Hines. The American also keeps the NBA on his radar and like so many other people hopes that his ex coach Chris Fleming can finally remove the assistant coach name from his resume. “I have spoken to him a few times in the last years. I have talked to him more indirectly through the assistant coaches there. He is an incredible coach and everyone knows it. He has had so much success. I look forward to him getting a NBA head coach opportunity. It would be well deserved”, warned Kyle Hines. He has played for so many head coaches in his career, but one can´t argue that Ettore Messina has been the best ever. Like Trinchieri has done in Munich, Messina has come to Milan and has done special things and turned a stalling organization into a top club and helped them find the correct path again. “He is a Hall Of Fame coach. He knows more about basketball than most. He became better and wiser in the Spurs organization. He has been able to implement the culture of the Spurs on and off the court for us. That has really helped us this season and you can see the turnaround the team has had. On top of that he is a great person. That is why he has had so much success”, stressed Kyle Hines. Kyle Hines definitely won´t catch Messina´s mind boggling 44 titles as a coach in his playing career, but he doesn´t care or is worried about that. His ultimate goal now is to win another Euroleague title. And then come back and do again next season the same way Tom Brady wants to do this season with Tampa Bay. Both guys wouldn´t want it any other way.
He was only 24 years old and was just at the beginning of his professional career, but Dorian Pinson will never step foot on a basketball court again. According to Fox5Atlanta.com he drowned in Lake Lanier in Georgia on Sunday. He and three friends went boating renting a pontoon boat and then attempted to go swimming near Sunrise Cova marina. The three men underestimated the wind and were unable to get back to the boat. Two men were rescued and the third Dorian Pinson went under and didn´t resurface. Hall County Fire Services made a search, but still hadn´t recovered a body by night and the search was suspended until morning.
Pinson was born in Greenville, South Carolina and attended Southside High School. He then went on to have a very illustrious career at Lincoln Memorial University (NCAA2) from 2014-2018 where he played 103 NCAA games. He was able to improve his scoring and rebounding season average each season and as a senior averaged 15.5ppg, 9.4rpg, 4.1apg, 2.0spg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 58.9%, 3PT: 43.2%, FT: 63.0%. He helped his team win the SAC Tournament in 2016 and 2018 and reached the NCAA 2 final in 2016. In 2018 he began his professional career in Germany with the Hebeisen White Wings Hanau (Germany-ProA) averaging 12.2ppg, 6.2rpg, 3.5apg, Steals-1(2.5spg), FGP: 51.2%, 3PT: 38.0%, FT: 58.4%. He continued his solid play in his second professional season in Israel demonstrating that he could adjust without problems to another country playing with Ramat Hasharon (Israel-National League) averaging 20.2ppg, 8.4rpg, 4.4apg, Steals-4(2.6spg), FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 35.1%, FT: 69.6%. He also had two stints with the Niagara River Lions (Canada-CEBL) where he averaged 13.5ppg, 7.3rpg, Assists-5(3.9apg), Steals-4(1.7spg), FGP-3(64.3%), 3PT: 42.3%, FT: 70.4%. ““I’m so very sad to hear about Dorian’s passing. He was truly a great person and teammate. He was also a fierce competitor, a winner and a very talented player. It was an honor and Joy to coach him. I will miss him”, stressed his ex coach Simon Cote who coached him his rookie season in Germany
Henry Dugat (183-PG-87, college: Baylor) is a 34 year old 183cm point guard that has 12 years of professional basketball under his belt. He played the last two seasons with BK Dnipro (Ukraine-Superleague). His professional career also has brought him to teams like Oros Nuevo Laredo (Mexico-LNBP), Marinos de Anzoategui (Venezuela-LPB), Halcones UV Xalapa (Mexico-LNBP), Fuerza Regia Monterrey (Mexico-LNBP), Frayles de Guasave (Mexico), LF Basket (Sweden-Basketligan), Phoenix Hagen (Germany-BBL), Atomeromu SE Paks (Hungary-A Division), STB Le Havre (France-ProA), and Budivelnyk Kyiv (Ukraine-Superleague). He played at Baylor (NCAA) form 2005-2009 playing a total of 97 NCAA games reaching the nCAA tournament and was a NIT finalist in 2009. He spoke to eurobasket about his Baylor days and about the special basketball magic there.
Henry thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. You last played for BK Dnipro (Ukraine-Superleague) and won the 2020 cup Talk a little about your experiences with COVID-19 in the last year. What were your biggest challenges and how did you get stronger as a man with everything you saw?
I think life was different for everyone during COVID dealing with so much uncertainty. One thing I noticed that was difficult for me was not knowing what to expect but within that I believe I became stronger in focusing on what matters most to me in life
Your 34 years old now. Will you return next year or have you contemplated retirement?
I still have the fire inside and a lot to give to the game I will continue my career
You played with German club Phoenix Hagen in 2013-2014. What memories do you have of Germany and with what teammate did you have the biggest connection with then? I really enjoyed my time in Germany. I have a lot of memories from my time in Hagen. One of the memories is how great the fans were in almost every arena.
You reached the NCAA tournament in 2008 with Baylor. What made this team so special? In 2008 what made that team special was we had a lot of talent and the same goal.
You played four years with Curtis Jerrell and three years with Tweety Carter. What memories do you have of your fellow guards and how did they grow as players?
Curtis and Tweety are two guys that I consider family to this day.
Let’s talk about your alma mater Baylor. They won the 2021 NCAA title. How did you feel the day after the win? I was proud for Baylor winning the NCAA TItle, Happy for the players, the coaching staff and the whole university. They made history and this team will be written forever
Baylor had a simple game plan. Make some shots. If you miss get the rebounds and then make some more shots. Can basketball sometimes be that simple?
They came out focused early in the game and was able to control the momentum early and maintain it throughout the game.
How key was it for Baylor players Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, Flo Thamba and Mark Vital limiting Drew Timme to 12 points?. The star Jalen Suggs had 22 points, but Gonzaga didn’t have scoring support behind him. Tchatchoua, Thamba, and Vital were key to controlling the game with rebounding and limiting Timme. I think they accepted the challenge.
Davion Mitchell is seen as a #1 Draft pick and Jared Butler as a possible second round pick. How have you followed their careers and how do you seem them doing in the NBA? Where do you see the journey of Macio Teague going? He seemed a bit in the shadow of Butler and Mitchell. Could he make the NBA and do you see his game being suited to becoming an impact player overseas? After watching this season I believe Mitchell, Butler, and Teague are all NBA level professional players.
Ex Baylor player Ishmail Wainright said this about head coach Scott Drew ‘He treated us like professionals since day one. Talked to us like one. Worked us like one. He used to tell us, ‘ You guys want to be professionals someday, you have to walk, talk, eat, work, and take care of your bodies like professionals do!’ How proud are you of your ex coach and how did he groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career? I’m very proud for coach Drew coach Jerome Tang and his coaching staff and being able to be a part of the journey and to see the growth along the way.
How do you see the future of Baylor (NCAA) basketball. Two guys seem to be heading to the NBA and Macio Teague and Mark Vital are also done as seniors.
I believe the future is bright for Baylor University and I believe they will continue to take steps forward.
Have you seen Coming To America 2 yet? The reviews have been mixed. Shouldn’t they just have left the original classic untouched? I don’t have a take, I haven’t watched Coming to America 2
Even if it is more than three years ago, the date March 23rd, 2018 will still be in the minds of some hardcore FC Bayern Munich fans as this was the night as a rare Eurocup feat was accomplished by ex Florida great Scottie Wilbekin. After coming off a sold 24 points showing in the Darussafaka’s nail biting 76-74 win in Turkey, Wilbekin didn’t shift up a gear, but actually a few more netting an unbelievable 41 points with 10 three’s and dumping FC Bayern Munich from the semi-final playoffs 87-84 and advancing to the final against Lok Kuban. 342 kilometers away, rookie Jaleen Smith (193-PG-94, college: UNH) was in between games having netted 6 points against Ehingen and on March 25th scored 6 points against Orange Academy. He was having a typical rookie season where ups and downs were the norm. But the most important thing was, his contribution did help the team win both games. Three years later Jaleen Smith is basketball wise in a totally different spectrum as he was able to attempt the next step to the easyCredit BBL after 2 years in the Pro A with the MLP Academics. Last season he showed no adjustment period time and became a solid BBL player in the regular season and then upped his game in the playoffs in the bubble in Munich. He continues to grow and develop as a player as this season he belongs to the best three guards in the league and is even a MVP candidate and fills the stat sheet the way Luka Doncic can distribute dimes on the court. In the past ex BBL players like American guards like Tyrese Rice and Ricky Hickman have showed that they are capable to make the next step to the Euroleague and played with Maccabi Tel Aviv. A next BBL player could make that same step. The Euroleague seems like it could become a real realistic occurrence for Jaleen Smith. His first taste of the Euroleage came recently when his name was mentioned on a well known basketball rumor site as Macabbi Tel Aviv was interested in his services. ‘I’m just excited that people are watching my game and that all my hard work can have me make another big jump in my career. I can’t wait for what the future holds this offseason’, stressed Jaleen Smith. He doesn’t want to think too much about the rumor mill, but he knows exactly what road he wants to go down on and where he wants to land. ‘I don’t recall that game, but it’s crazy that Wilbekin went off on Munich like that. I always dream about the NBA and Euroleague. That’s what motivates me everyday to be a better player to the game is because of it. Euroleague is the big goal for years to come and if a NBA team calls I’ll take it but if not I’m perfectly fine in Europe’, stated Jaleen Smith. He would love to duel against Scottie Wilbekin in a one on one game. That big names don’t scare him is already half the rent to being successful at high levels. ‘Playing against Scottie would be a battle man. The game would be close for sure. I think I would dogwood against Scottie though’, warned Jaleen Smith. Maccabi Tel Aviv is a first indication that the Euroleague could be realistic with Jaleen Smith‘s game continuing grow.
Jaleen Smith was born on November 24th, 1994 in Freeport, Texas. His mom was a big fan of Michigan’s Fab four player Jalen Rose and named her son after him. Even though Smith’s first name is spelled with an extra e Jaleen, it is still pronounced as if it was Jalen. He got his first basketball experience at Brazosport High School where he averaged 17ppg, 10rpg, 6apg in his junior year and 19ppg, 8rpg, 6apg as a senior. He received numerous awards and achievements at Brazosport high school with HS 1st Team District 23-4A -11, 12, 13, HS Newcomer of the Year -11, HS 1st Team All-State -13 and HS TABC All-Star -13. He then continued his basketball career in the NCAA playing four years at the University of New Hampshire playing a total of 122 NCAA games. He did something there that isn’t often achieved by players and that was improving his scoring, rebounding and assists each season. As a freshman he averaged 5.6ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 36.9%, 3PT: 29.6%, FT: 77.3%, but in his sophomore season averaged 34 minutes and averaged 10.7ppg, 5.2rpg, 2.8apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 46.5%, 3PT: 32.6%, FT: 80.5%. He scored in double figures in 22 games and had some masterful games against NJIT and Mass-Lowell scoring 17 points apiece. He continued to make steps in his game as he upped his game as a junior averaging 13.4ppg, 5.5rpg, 3.4apg, FGP: 42.9%, 3PT: 36.7%, FT: 90.0%. He scored in double figures in 22 games and already showed what he is capable of doing concerning filling the stat sheet and he posted 11/8/10 stats in a blow out win over Lyndon St in the first regular season game. He had some stellar games scoring 23 points apiece in wins over Bryant and UMBC. After averaging 34 minutes as a junior, he went to 36 minutes per game as a senior averaging 15.8ppg, 6.4rpg, 4.3apg, FGP: 52.4%, 3PT: 35.8%, FT: 78.1%. He scored in double figures in 27 games and scored 20 points or more in 12 games and hit Bryant with 28 points, Abil Christian for 27 points and Hartford for 27 points. He also celebrated his first triple double against Lesley with 20/10/10 stats. He reached the AEC semi-finals three times and the bitter 74-41 blow out loss against Vermont in his last game is one that he will never forget. ‘I was really disappointed in how we lost because I know we are a better team than what the score indicated. I feel like we were just missing that toughness about us. We were talented but I feel like we weren’t mental tough in those semifinal games’, remembered Jaleen Smith. He grew so much as a player in the NCAA and will always be grateful for the guidance from head coach Bill Herrion. ‘He was really like a mentor to me. My freshman year really opened my eyes on how to grind for playing time. He has really helped me a lot through the process’, stressed Jaleen Smith. He was a AEC All-Tournament Team selection in 2015 and was a All-AEC 2nd Team selection in 2016 and 2017. He ended his career at New Hampshire as fifth leading scorer with 1,397 points, first in games at 122, and fifth in assists at 364. He also was the first player in Wild Cats history that had more than 1000 points, 260 assists and 600 rebounds.
He then embarked on a professional career in 2017 that brought him overseas to Germany to the ambitious pro A club MLP Academics Heidelberg. He came into the Pro A league as a player that could score the ball from all parts of the floor and could have an impact with his leadership skills. He compares his game to Paul George and played 34 games as a rookie averaging 7.6ppg, 2.9rpg, 2.8apg, FGP: 45.6%, 3PT: 32.1%, FT: 80.3%. His rookie season was a difficult adjustment as his playing time dipped considerably from 36 to 21 minutes. ‘The adjustment was really tough. Just staying on the court the whole game to just half a game is really different. It was tough trying to be more efficient that was something really different also’, remembered Jaleen Smith. After averaging double figures in scoring in his last NCAA seasons, it was obvious that he wasn’t happy with his play as a rookie. ‘I can never be satisfied with anything I do. It just isn’t in my nature to be content. I had. I just want more you know. I just want it all’, warned Jaleen Smith. His leadership qualities were on display as he helped lead the team into the playoffs, but they couldn’t get by Trier who won a hard fought 5 game series. He was content though that he had been able to help the team also in other ways. ‘Just doing the little things for my team. Just doing the dirty work to help my team win games. Also learning all aspects of the defense like on and off ball defense’, stressed Jaleen Smith. He scored in double figures in 11 games including 19 points against Hamburg and 17 points against Trier. He shot 33% from outside and felt that he made strides as a shooter overseas, because he had the needed self-confidence as well as gaining early knowledge of the European game. Smith who remembers American Shy Ely as being his toughest cover in his rookie season remained a second season with the MLP Academics just to get a better grip on the Pro A and develop further in an up and coming league. In his second professional season he was able to make another jump in his game as his role and minutes increased from 21 to 28. Getting to be more on the court reminded him of his NCAA days where he lived on the court. ‘The more I played I knew I had to contribute someway on the court. Going into year 2 with the team I wanted to be more aggressive with the ball. I just wanted to give them another scoring option’, commented Jaleen Smith. He played 37 games averaging 12.7ppg, 3.9rpg, 2.7apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 58.6%, 3PT: 39.4%, FT: 84.2%. It was a massive improvement from his rookie season, but he wasn’t satisfied as he knew that his whole potential hadn’t been used. He has that killer mentality that a Russell Westbrook has. ‘I felt like I’ve could’ve done more this season. I sometimes would just be in the game just to be in the game. I can always get better from the season and I need to develop a killer mentality. I just have to win every match I have whether that’s practice or the game. I have to be better at staying aggressive’, expressed Jaleen Smith. He scored in double figures in 21 games including 26 points in a win over Kirchheim and 23 points in a victory over Chemnitz. He helped lead the club into the playoffs again, but this time escaped the first round. They sweped Ehingen where he averaged 13,0ppg, 5,0rpg and 5,0apg, but then lost 3-1 against Nurnberg where his game was slowed down as he only averaged 8,0ppg, 4,0rpg and 3,0apg. Despite the tough ending to the season, he was content that his game had progressed further including his outside hooting. ‘Going against guys like the guards we have in practice you’re only going to get better. I have more knowledge from being on the help side on defense this second season. I started my shooting pocket higher to have a quicker release. Also, keeping my follow through up and not jerking it so quickly’, warned Jaleen Smith. The American will forever be grateful for the MLP Academics Heidelberg that didn’t give up on him after his slow rookie season. ‘Signing a player out of a small Division 1 college as a rookie is always an experiment. How will his style of play translate to European basketball and how will he adapt to a different culture is key for success or failure. With regards to his stats Jaleen was struggeling in his first season. He didn’t even finish in the Top 100 in scoring within the second league. And bottom line is that you sign import players to produce numbers. We still decided to give him another shot, because we knew, what we had seen when we scouted him in the first place. On the other hand it was such a pleasure working with him, just having his positive mindset in the gym every day that gave the team that extra spark. So the coach (Branislav Ignjatovic) and I decided to stick with Jaleen against all odds basically and it paid off for both sides. But to be very honest: even we are surprised what kind of career Jaleen is having now and we are so happy for him. And it shows that sometimes you have to be patient when you believe in something. Like Jaleen, who had the strong belief to play on the highest level in Europe but he gave it time and didn’t quit after being behind his own expectations in the beginning’, warned MLP Academics Heidelberg manager Matthias Lautenschlager.
In his third professional season, he who lists Philadelphia 76ers player Shake Milton as his toughest cover in the NCAA made the next step landing in the easyCredit BBL with the MHP Risen Ludwigsburg. His arrival there was helped as his ex assistant coach from New Hampshire was an assistant for John Patrick. Patrick took the advice of Josh King and after a try out signed him and the rest is history. He helped the club have a terrific regular season and fought their way into the easyCredit final in the bubble in Munich. The club was stacked with talent and the roster was deep. But more important the team played together and had other vital attributes that helped them achieve success. ‘We just have a bunch of guys that are hungry and want to win. We play fearless no matter who the other team is and what players they have. Were going to play our game no matter what’, stressed Jaleen Smith. He scored in double figures in 11 games including 22 points against medi Bayreuth and 19 points against ratiopharm Ulm. In the bubble in Munich he scored in double figures in 7 of 9 games including 18 and 13 points over FC Bayern Munich who they defeated in the quarters. He also scored 14 points against ratiopharm Ulm and 15 points in the final loss to Alba Berlin. A big reason not only for the team success, but overall consistency and development of the organization has been head coach John Patrick who has stayed faithful to the club since 2013 when he came on board as a fireman having to save the team from moving down. ‘He just lets us play out our game. We know what our strengths are and our weaknesses are. We just focus on our strength and that’s defense’, stated Jaleen Smith. The club went into the bubble on a mission and didn’t disappoint as they achieved the upset disposing of top team FC Bayern Munich. ‘This is maybe the biggest thing in my young basketball career but there is still more work to be done this next coming week. Beating FC Bayern Munich is a huge feat. We can do something special here. You can feel everyone is locked in and knows the task at hand and that’s to win the championship. We do a great job of just staying together no matter the situation’, stressed Jaleen Smith. During the regular season, his play was up and down, but that was expected since it was his first season in the easyCredit BBL. He had 18 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in the second game against FC Bayern Munich advancing to the semi finals. ‘I would say it’s in my top 5 games of my career especially against a team like Munich’, said Jaleen Smith. The MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg played out their hearts in the final against Alba Berlin, but just didn’t have enough steam as they were clobbered in the first game 88-65 which paved the next title for Alba Berlin. They lost the last game 74-73, but Smith showed again why he belongs in the league posting 15 points, 4 boards, 6 assists and 5 steals. He opened up the fourth quarter with 7 points in a row showing his ability to score in bunches. He left the bubble as a better player. ‘I have grown a lot just playing point guard and watching a lot of film on my opponent on my own. From this tournament I’m going to take the mental part of the game a lot more serious’, added Jaleen Smith. He definitely left Ludwigsburg for the summer in 2020 a lot better than when he had arrived in August 2020. ‘I have learned a lot during the year Learning more defensively, playing a lot off the ball, etc. My mentality for the game has helped me a lot also’, expressed Jaleen Smith.
Let’s fast forward to April 2021. Jaleen Smith who lists his five favorite teammates of all-time with Niklas Ney, Tanner Leissner, Ronnel Jordan, Eric Palm, and Nick Weiler-Babb is in his second season with the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg and the club has proved that consistency is the real deal and that last season wasn’t a fluke. They are currently in first place in the easyCredit BBL standings with a 26-2 record. The club recently had a 18 game winning streak that came to an end against the Crailsheim Merlins. It was one of their longest winning streaks ever where that winning mentality just gets etched in your mind. ‘I think that was the longest winning streak I have been a part of actually. I remember we won a lot in High School but never a streak like that. You just get the sense that your going to win every game no matter the situation or how the flow of the game is you just know your going to win the game by that buzzer sounds’, said Jaleen Smith. An amazing fact about their massive winning streak was that they were able to find ways to win in many different ways. There were games where they didn’t necessarily defend great allowing an access of 80 points, but their offense was good enough to score more points and other games where the offense wasn’t on full throttle, but the defense was brilliant which led the team to victory on many occasions. ‘We just know how to win. We have a lot of Veterans that have played a lot of basketball and we know how it takes to win games. That has been a great success for us this season is that we can outscore anybody and also we don’t allow teams to get comfortable on defense’, stressed Jaleen Smith. There are so many reasons why the club is successful, but the success isn’t self-evident. Often when a team is almost completely changed, it takes months and sometimes a whole season for the adjustment period, but with Ludwigsburg that wasn’t the case. Despite having almost a total facelift, success came right from the start. Once again the mastermind John Patrick was instrumental in bringing in the right mix of players. ‘He deserves a lot of it getting a whole new team almost and still continue the success we had last year is amazing. The team we had this year just really got together and we all have a goal to just win games no matter what it takes’, warned Jaleen Smith. Two big strengths this season have been making adjustments on the fly and having the necessary freedom on offense. ‘Making adjustments during the game is big time. Definitely helps when players are communicating on what they see on the sideline and telling players what we can’t see while were playing. Having so much freedom on offense is such a relief to have as a player because no shot is a bad shot in JPs eyes. Maybe with another coach it would be a crazy shot but that’s what makes us so dangerous is that we can go at anytime and break off our offense and go 1 on 1 if we see a match up we can take advantage of’, stressed Jaleen Smith.
Jaleen Smith who lists his personal NBA Mount Rushmore with legends Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Shaq, and Lebron James is surrounded by great talent and one of those is easyCredit BBL experienced guard Jordan Hulls who played at Indiana (NCAA) is in his fifth season in Germany and twice shot 50% from the parking lot with Bremerhaven had been part of the great guard trio in Wurzburg with Skyler Bowlin and Cameron Wells. With Ludwsigburg he is back on track with his shooting out the lights mentality shooting above 40%. But he is so much more than just a sniper. ‘Jordan has been amazing for us this season. He’s the best shooter I’ve played with in my career it feels like every time he shoots you know its going to go in. He brings shooting, playmaking ability, and a pesky defense to the team. He’s was a great pickup for the team’, stated Jaleen Smith.. Another great addition has been ex University of Kansas (NCAA) and 2018 Elite 8 participant American Barry Brown Jr who played in the G-League as a rookie with the Iowa Wolves averaging 13.3ppg, 2.9rpg, 2.2apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 51.3%, 3PT: 38.6%, FT: 83.1%. Often guys coming from the G-League, don’t understand how you play the right way overseas, but he has had no adjustment period being that consistent reliable scorer as he hit Crailsheim for 30 points and Chemnitz for 28 points. ‘He brings his 1 on 1 game to a whole new level. I don’t think no one in the league can stay in front of him. He defiantly has some of the G-league ability in his game to go for 30 on any given night. He just adds another dimension into our team when he comes in. He gives that extra jolt of offense when he plays’, said Jaleen Smith. Another player that has been very vital for the team success has been Cuban/German Yorman Polas Bartolo who is mainly known as that lock down defender, but over the years has developed a very versatile offensive game. He is one of those players that could be the difference between a title and not. ‘Having another defender like Yorman is amazing to learn from. I just be watching him in practice how he plays and he plays super had and he’s super competitive during games. He’s just a winner and you can see that’, stressed Jaleen Smith.
The American who last saw the movie Troy continues to make massive strides as a player. He is racking up insane stats with 15/7/5 stats in 35 minutes per game. Despite being the team leader, his drive to always get better is as strongly instilled in his mind as CSKA Moscow guard Mike James is to being the best guard in Europe. ‘Man looking at those numbers is insane. I still have to improve my three point shooting and my ability to finish in the lane, but what I’ve developed this season is a pull up jumper I can go to which has helped my game a lot’, added Jaleen Smith. His consistency this season is incredible as he has scored in double figures in 26 of 28 games. He has scored 20 points or more in six games, registered three double doubles and was close to a triple double against Wurzburg with 22 points, 11 boards and 8 dimes. He scored 26 points against Braunschweig and 24 points against BG Goettingen. Last season he had the opportunity to have the ball more in his hands instead of playing more off ball and that is something that has helped him continue to help grow his game this season. With so much scoring talent this season, he also has been able to help define another aspect of his game. ‘I think my playmaking skills has improved. I can really get my other teammates involved while also looking to create for my own shot’, commented Jaleen Smith. But there is still one thing missing from his game which could make the difference from being a top BBL player to being a reliable role player in the Euroleague. ‘I’m working on my consistent shooting throughout the season which is really the big hole in my game is I don’t shoot consistently from three’, warned Jaleen Smith. Besides continuing to grind and becoming that better player, Jaleen Smith has another thing engulfed in his head. Alba Berlin stuffed their title aspirations last season and this season the club may be ready for bringing that first title back to Ludwigsburg. ‘A lot of pieces are going to come into play to win a championship only time will tell’, warned Jaleen Smith. Not only Jaleen Smith is fixated on winning a title, but also his agent American Teddy Archer knows that no Maccabi Tel Aviv rumor will derail his client from the most important matter at hand. ‘It’s an honor to be mentioned with such a storied club, but Jaleen is working hard to bring a title to Ludwigsburg and isn’t getting ahead of himself’, warned Teddy Archer. 2021 will be a very interesting and exciting time for Jalen Smith as it could be a major turning point in his career. He has come a long way from his days at the University Of New Hampshire and is far from being satisfied. He has continued to move up the basketball ladder the last years and is still in route to climbing to the top. The easyCredit BBL continues to help bring guys up from lower divisions as Hamburg’s Kam Taylor who played in the pro B with Rhondorf has gotten interest from Alba Berlin for next season, ex pro B player Deandre Lansdowne who played with herten is trying to lead his team Strasburg into the Euroleague and who knows maybe next season we will see Jaleen Smith battling these guys in the Euroleague. It will be a Pro A reunion in the Euroleague.
COVID-19 can you finally go away Please! It has been more than a year since this damn Pandemic and so many people are dying and so many people are going crazy. The deaths are the worst but it also has been hurting so many aspects of life. Sport isn´t one of the most important things in life, but it can take you away from the hardships that so many are going through. The Fraport Skyliners have been pretty much gotten through the easyCredit BBL season ok in terms of players being tested and playing against clubs that had positive cases. But COVID-19 hit them last week while they were in full preparation for the tough game against top team MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg. Their game against them on the road and in Wurzburg this week were postponed to a later date. This can always happen, but how bitter now in the down stretch part of the season. Frankfurt already had a tight schedule until the end, but now will have to play two more games in a short amount of period. With shots not being attempted on the court this week for the Fraport Skyliners it was time for Fraport Skyliner living legend Quantez Robertson to sit back and just shoot the breeze.
It is 3:00 Pm on a Tuesday afternoon as I reach Fraport Skyliner legend Quantez Robertson. He was just released from practice. It wasn´t a normal practice, but a Zoom team workout. He had heard about being quarantined last week and quickly was tested like every other player. He isn´t amused that the quarantine won´t end until April 21st.He and his teammates were really motivated about playing Ludwigsburg and Wurzburg, because they wanted to seek revenge for the two loses that they suffered earlier in the season. So instead of sweating on the court, the Fraport Skyliners now have to sweat in their apartments as they prepare for MBC next week. Every player has a exercise bike and basketball. The players and coaches conduct various 30 minute training sessions over Zoom during the day. The workouts consist of different exercise so the guys will remain fit. Despite the tough times, Robertson still hasn´t lost his humor. After a hard workout he joked who would be able to do more pushups him or ex teammate and friend Mike Morrison. “The way me arms feel now, he would win by maybe 2 push ups. My record is around 30”, smiled ex Auburn(NCAA) guard Quantez Robertson.
With no games and just boring ZOOM conferences every day, it was only fitting to sit back and just shoot the breeze with Quantez Robertson. With the Fraport Skyliners season momentarily on hold, it gives Tez more time to follow what the other teams are doing. For big power house team FC Bayern Munich and Alba Berlin it doesn´t seem like it will be a cake walk to the final especially when you have the tough feisty Patrick led team MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg. The last loses by Munich and Berlin didn´t surprise Robertson as he sees Hamburg being able to make a run in the playoffs. “Munich may have underestimated Braunschweig. Plus Braunschweig have been playing well as of late. Hamburg is a pretty good defensive minded team and had Berlin´s number that day. Hamburg has really come together well this season. They play an aggressive style of play and create a lot of opportunities on offense. They get out well onto the open court and big man Kotsar runs the floor really well. Ludwigsburg looks like a very strong competitor for the title”, warned Quantez Robertson. He also will give his all on the defensive end to help Matt Mobley win the scoring race. He can begin in his first game back stopping current top scorer of MBC Michal Michalak next week. “I think that Matt can win the BBL scoring title. If he keeps scoring the ball he can. Michalak has been shooting the ball and getting to the rim well. I will do my best to make it hard for him and make him take contested shoots and alter his shots”, said Quantez Robertson. He has faced many difficult players on the floor and was hard pressed to name just one. “There are too many guys to choose from. I have played against point guards, small forwards and even power forwards this season”, expressed Quantez Robertson.
Just before I started to talk to Quantez Robertson, a massive easyCredit BBL news flash was released as new rising team Crailsheim Merlins announced that they had signed current Fraport Skyliners coach Sebastian Gleim. A rumor had surfaced last week about this as now the speculation can start about who will return back. Gordon Herbert is out of the picture. “I won´t return to Frankfurt. I hope to stay in the VTB League”, said Gordon Herbert. It didn´t take long for me to come up with some names and Tez had no problem giving his two cents about the possible candidates. An interesting guy is ex national player Denis Wucherer. He played with the Skyliners back in the day and as a coach did a fantastic job in Giessen and in Wurzburg despite struggling this season. “I like the way he coaches. He is tough and aggressive on the sidelines. We can hear him on the sidelines when he is talking to his players. The guys enjoy playing for him”, stressed Quantez Robertson. Another interesting candidate could be German Thomas Paech. He was an assistant in Trier and Berlin, but failed in his first two head coaching gigs in Vechta and Bonn. Having Klaus Perwas as a mentor could be an interesting thought. He is a very energetic coach. I know the guys in Vechta and Bonn liked playing for him. He and Klaus could be a good fit”, added Quantez Robertson. A coach I would love to see in Frankfurt would be Mike Taylor. He has a lot of energy and is a players coach. “I remember him in Ulm my first two seasons in Germany. It would be nice to see him back in Germany. It would be nice to finish my career for him”, warned Quantez Robertson. Just when I wanted to move on to the next topic, Tez blurted out how about Tyrone Mccoy? He is another good choice. Currently an assistant in Ulm and has head coaching experience in Artland and Tuebingen. “He is an ex Skyliner. I remember him in Artland and Tuebingen. I remember breaking his steal record when we played Ulm. Now I could rub it in his face”, joked Quantez Robertson. Ânother great catch would be ex Skyliner Derrick Allen. At the moment with Rasta Vechta. “He would be an interesting choice”, stated Quantez Robertson.
Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and current Polish national coach Mike Taylor in Ulm in 2008
Quantez Robertson has played with very many teammates over his long 12 year career so there really wasn´t a better time to shoot the breeze about them. You might think that Tez is only playing video games and on Netflix all day, but no he keeps excellent tabs about his ex teammates. He had no difficulty telling me Trae Holder was back in Germany. The ex Arizona State guard was a rookie with Frankfurt two years ago and recently latched on to Pro A team Nurnberg. “It didn´t surprise me that he scored 39 points last weekend. I knew he was capable of that. He showed it with us having some big games at home and on the road”, remembered Quantez Robertson. Two ex teammates that he will never forget are the German twin towers Joe Voigtmann and Danilo Barthel that have become Euroleague veterans playing this season in Russia and Turkey. “I think what would stick out the most today if I were to practice with them would be that Joe is more of a perimeter guy and Danilo more of an inside guy. Joe played the three a lot this season”, said Quantez Robertson. One player Tez saw develop from 15 to 18 was Isaac Bonga who is playing his third year in the NBA. After a tough rookie season with the Lakers, he has played with the Washington Wizards the last two seasons. Last season he was a solid role player that rebounded and played defense and often started. This season he has been downgraded hardly playing of getting DNP´s. Is he on thin ice with the Wizards? “No I don´t think so. The problem is that Westbrook and Beal hardly come out of the game. It is tough for him to get quality minutes. I think what he needs to do is put on more muscle mass so he can play the three. He is tall enough and moves well enough to guard small forwards. He would definitely see more playing time”, warned Quantez Robertson. Tez smiles when I mention ex teammate Aaron Dornekamp. He like Tez is a guy that always took care of his body and worked ahrd. That is why he is still playing at ahigh level in the ACB in Spain with Tenerife. Tez knows who will play longer, but then becomes very diplomatic. “I will probably play longer, but you never know. But you know what. Maybe we will hang it up at the same time”, smiled Quantez Robertson.Miles
The list goes on and on with ex teammates and another is American Ramon Galloway who balled with Tez in the 2013-2014 season. Galloway can be classified as a true basketball globe trotter. He has been almost every where in Europe, South America, Middle American and the middle east. He was very close to have made the Orlando Magic in 2016. In his 8 professional seasons, he has played for 18 organizations something that really made Tez think. “That is wild. Sometimes it is tough for a player to find just one home in a season. I have noticed that he has played very well where ever he has played. I can imagine that it is tough to move around so much. You need to have the right mind set. I have been very blessed to have been able to play for only one team”, stressed Quantez Robertson. Another ex teammate was Brady Heslip who never meta rim he didn´t like. The G-League most three pointers made in a game record holder recently retired after cutting his career short. Tez has very fond memories of the ex Baylor(NCAA) sniper. “He took some very long three pointers. I remember him making some long three´s in practice where he didn´t even look at the rim. When he was square and had a good look, it was a very good chance it was going in. He was the best Canadian shooter that I ever played with”, said Quantez Robertson. Tez also had the opportunity to have played a few months with Jon Leuer. It was in the 2010-2011 season as there was the NBA lockout. Leuer is another player that Tez outlived on the court as he retired a few years ago. “He was a cool guy. It took him a while to get used to the European play. But he soon showed how good he was . He was a great inside player that stretched the floor well. He and Jermario Davidson fed off each other well”, remembered Quantez Robertson. He also was teammates with AJ Moye who´s career was cut short because of a stroke. “I talk to AJ every few weeks. He worked at the Mamba sports academy. It was fun being teammates. In pre season we spent a lot of time in the gym. He was a real gym rat. You couldn´t keep him out of there”, remembered Quantez Robertson. Last but not least is Zach Peacock. The ex Georgia State(NCAA) great is another player that doesn´t want to stop playing. He is three years younger than Robertson, but a guy like Tez that has always been consistent. After playing in Germany in his first three seasons in Giessen, Bremerhaven and Frankfurt, he has found a home in France. He is in his eighth season in France and sixth season with JL Bourg Basket (France-Jeep ELITE ProA). He seems to have taken after Tez and found love for only one team. “He has been doing great. He is captain of the team. He has always been at the top of the scoring list. I haven´t talked to him ina few weeks, but I keep tabs on him”, said Quantez Robertson.
So with so much time in his apartment and his family in the States, Quantez Robertson has a lot of time. Netflix never gets old with him even in these tough times. “I have watched a whole lot of movies and TV Shows. I recently watched Archer. When I get tired of that I play video games and when I get tired of that, I switch back to movies and TV”, smiled Quantez Robertson. Last week Quantez Robertson had something to smile about as he had a rare occurrence. Just before The club announced that it was hit with COVID, Quantez Robertson couldn´t believe his eyes when he saw a picture of himself in an Argentine newspaper. For once I wasn´t doing the reporting, but was reading about myself. I have had a massive history with the country and a city that I often visited in my life and they wanted to know what had happened to me. The article talks a lot about my basketball career and after a Skyliner home game a few weeks ago against Chemnitz, I was wearing a jersey of the Argentine cities football team and Quantez Robertson was hamming it up with me. It was only obvious that only Quantez Robertson could be in this picture a guy I have followed from his first practice in the BCM in 2009. “That was fun. I have never been or played in South America, but it was pretty cool to be able to say I made the newspaper there. It was awesome to see”, stated Quantez Robertson.
Dennis Mavin is a 30 year old 190cm guard form Gainsville, Florida that is playing his fifth professional season and first with ART Giants Duesseldorf (Germany-ProB) currently averaging 19,5ppg, 5,0rpg, 5,0apg and 1,6spg. He has scored 20 points or more 13 times this season. In 2018-2019 he split time with the ScanPlus Baskets Elchingen (Germany-ProB) playing 7 games averaging 10.3ppg, 3.4rpg, 2.1apg, 1.1spg, 2FGP: 40.7%, 3FGP: 16.7%, FT: 50.0%, in Dec.’18 moved to the Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt 2nd team (Germany-ProB) playing 13 games averaging 14.8ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.2apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 45.3%, 3PT: 37.0%, FT: 64.8%. In the 2017-2018 season he played two BBL games with the Giessen 46ers and also 9 games for their farm team in the Pro B averaging 18,4ppg,3,6rpg and 2,6apg while shooting 36% from outside. He played his first two professional seasons in Morocco winning 2 titles. He played a total of 123 NCAA games for two schools with Florida Atlantic (NCAA) and FIU (NCAA). In his senior year at FIU (NCAA) he played 33 games averaging 17.2ppg, 5.3rpg, 3.1apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 47.2%, 3PT: 31.3%, FT: 64.3%. He spoke to germanhoops.com about basketball earlier this season.
Thanks Dennis for taking some time to talk to germanhoops.com. Talk a little how tough the last 13 months were. COVID-19 hit in March 2020 and changed the world forever. How did experience the day to day back home ?
Yeah Covid changed the world. it really changed my perspective on life and how anything can happen at any moment! My day to day was just trying to stay safe and keep everybody around me safe but still trying to find a way to get my work in.
What was the most challenging thing about life and finding ways to work on your fitness and game?
It was really a tough time for a while I ended up doing a lot of home workouts plus shooting in my backyard on my goal.
How do you feel did you benefit from COVID-19 and how did it make you stronger as a man in general?
I think Covid made me really focus on myself and tap into different passions that I didn’t know I had.
After playing last with the Fraport Skyliners, you sat out last season. Talk a little about the last year before COVID-19 hit. Did you just stay in shape, work on your game and stand by the phone or did you also have a part time job?
I pretty much just stayed in shape! basketball is my life and my true passion I just waited until I got a call.
After not playing a professional season, do you feel like you improved in your game with the work you put in in the last year?
Yes I definitely improved my game I had a lot of time to watch film and study the game more.
Congrats on signing with Art Duesseldorf. How thankful are you that your agent Gerrit has such a good connection to the organization Art Duesseldorf?
Thank you ! Gerrit is my guy we have always been in touch since the start. I am very grateful to have him in my corner.
With what kind of feelings are you going into this Pro B season after sitting out last season. You had a good season with Frankfurt but does your competitive nature prompt you to feel like you have something to prove again?
I will always have a competitive edge whenever I step on the court no matter what situation I’m in. My focus this year is to build something special with my team and try for a championship run.
You’re a player that has proven time in and time out in Germany that you can play at the Pro B level. What kind of player will we see with Dennis Mavin this season?
The same hungry player that just want to get better everyday and win.
On what area´s of your game did you work on most this summer so you will be best prepared for your Pro B season in Germany?
Just having a total game not just scoring but rebounding ,assist and steals.
You played 2 games in the easyCredit BBL for Giessen back in the 2017-2018 season. Do you still feel like your on a good path to getting there despite having another year of Pro B?
I just have to keep working hard. Everybody´s path is different I’m just enjoying my journey at the moment.
How excited are you to be battling against former teammate Marco Porcher-Jimenz this season in the Pro B. In an interview we did years ago you said you would beat him every time in a one on one. Do you feel like you would still have his number today?
Marco is my guy and was also my roommate and college I’m definitely exciting to be battling him this year !
Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?
Greg Gantt , Okaro White , Scottie Wilbekin , Dante Anderson .
What is your personal own NBA Mount Rushmore of players of today and yesterday?
Kevin Durant , King James , Kobe .
Where were you when you heard of the death of Kobe Bryant? How much did he influence you as a basketball player?
Kobe was everything for me growing up. I was home with my family and devastated like the rest of the world such a terrible accident.
DJ Woodmore (190-SG-92, college: VWU) (190-SG-92, college: VWU) is a 29 year old 190cm point guard that is playing his first season with the EPG Baskets Koblenz. Last season with Morgenstern BIS Basket Speyer (Germany-ProB) he played 21 games averaging 15.1ppg, 4.4rpg, 2.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 60.0%, 3PT-2 (50.0%), FT: 87.3%. In 2018-2019 13.8ppg, 4.5rpg, 2.8apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 60.2%, 3PT: 36.5%, FT: 71.6% in the Regionalliga. In his first two seasons with Speyer he averaged 14.5ppg, 5.2rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 44.6%, 3PT: 40.1%, FT: 72.1% and 17.5ppg, 7.0rpg, 3.4apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 47.5%, 3PT: 33.0%, FT: 76.4%. he played at Virginia Wesleyan College (NCAA3): from 2010-2014 and as a senior played 31 games averaging 20.1ppg, 5.9rpg, 2.4apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 50.3% (219/435), 3Pts: 46.0% (91/198), FT: 76.9% (93/121). Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and DJ Woodmore team together each week to talk basketball
DJ thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. A tough 82-69 loss in Itzehoe to end your season. How tough was the drive home?
Drive home was pretty tough. Pretty quiet for the first half of the trip and just a lot of reflecting on the season for the second half. Doesn’t help that it was a six hour trip as well.
The season has ended for the EPG Baskets. What were your first thoughts when the buzzer sounded to end the fourth quarter?
‘Damn.’ Thats all I could really say. It was a tough game from start to finish. They came out hot and we struggled shooting the ball all night. There was nothing to say.
Itzehoe had the commanding 40-32 lead at the break. Koblenz had severe difficulty defending in the first quarter. Was it more the team mistakes or the game of Itzehoe that allowed them to take off so quickly?
Like I said, I think they started the game hitting some tough shots. And we couldn’t buy a basket for the first 5 or so. I don’t think we made many mistakes offensively. Maybe a few defensively but they made us pay for every single one of them.
The EPG Baskets Koblenz got their offense going in the third quarter. What words of wisdom did head coach Danny Rodriguez give for the last time this season at half-time?
Just give the last 20 mins everything we got. We were only one run away from changing the game completely. But it just never happened for us. When we got our offense going, our defensive wasn’t good enough. And vice-versa.
A big problem this season was defensive consistency. This also wasn’t accomplished in this game. What was lacking most?
Mental breakdowns had been a huge problem. I just think we had some match-up problems all night. Maybe just a bigger body to throw at Hooper and Colo down low would have helped. But I thought CJ and Brian did a pretty good job.
In the fourth quarter the EPG Baskets Koblenz played good offense, but couldn’t get stops. How much does it hurt inside when you fight and get 17 offensive rebounds but still lose?
Definitely hurts a little considering the fact that we led in almost every statistical category except for shooting. In most cases, that wins you a game. But going on the road in a playoff game makes it tough to come back from. We fought extremely hard, just couldn’t get it going.
Anthony Canty had a tough shooting day going 6/20. He had some other great games. Is this a good example of how good players can’t always have great games in huge games?
He’s helped carry us the last few weeks and he’s shot the ball extremely well since he’s joined the team. We all have tough shooting nights, but we were telling him to keep shooting. We had confidence in him the whole night, but when it’s one of those days it’s just one of those days.
Boksic and Hooper combined for 47 points. Please talk a little about what made it hard to stop them?
Their games compliment each other so well. One is a physical presence down low and one is more crafty from the outside. And their size difference causes a lot of team’s problems to match up. They played extremely well and once they got their rhythm, it was already too late to stop.
Chris Hooper is a very special player. Why isn’t a guy like that balling in the Pro A?
Very talented player, he’s dominated this league for a couple years now. I think he’ll get his opportunities pretty soon.
You had 11 points and 9 boards on 3/6 shooting. Do you feel like you could have been more aggressive on this night?
Yes, I think I could have been more aggressive but with our offense, sometimes it makes it difficult to get the ball in the right spots to score. I’ll work on that in the offseason, and make sure the ball is in my hands during big games and big moments.
Itzehoe head coach Pat Elzie comes over as a coach that many guys have liked playing for. Is he a guy that you would like to ball for?
Absolutely, I’ve heard nothing but great things about him as a coach and person. It would be great to have that chance to play for someone like him.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Been watching more series than movies. Last series has been the Last Chance U basketball documentary. Really good if you haven’t seen it yet.
Terry Black (198-F-78, college: Baylor) is a former professional player that had a nice professional career overseas from 2001-2008. He played in countries like Italy, South Korea, Finland and Germany. In Germany he played two seasons with the EWE Baskets Oldenburg and a season with the Telekom Baskets Bonn. He also playedin the American leagues USBL and CBA. After high school he played at Indian Hills Community College and then at Baylor (NCAA) from 1999-2001 leading the big 12 in rebounding his senior year. He spoke to eurobasket about his time at Baylor and the special basketball magic there.
Terry thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. Where are you at the moment and how is life treating you at the moment in these difficult times? Life has been good and full of emotions during the pandemic, I’ve lost a few family members because of Covid and my girlfriend and I both had pretty bad cases of COVID
You last played professionally for Joensuun Kataja (Finland-Korisliiga) in the 2007-2008 season playing 27 games averaging 14.8ppg, 9.2rpg, 2.0apg, 2.2spg, FGP: 58.5%, 3PT: 10.0%, FT: 51.8%. You have been retired now 13 years. Has time flown by or has it gone slowly?
Time has flown by but filled with a lot of joy as I get to watch my amazing three kids compete in sports my Terrianna runs track at Loras college my son AB was playing football and basketball killing it in two sports & Beckham is a fearless basketball player
How much do you miss playing professionally and what have you missed the most?
The first few years I didn’t miss the game at all but when I started to miss it was when I started to coach basketball and the past few years I took off coaching to be a part of my kids success and supporting them
Talk a little about your life after being a professional player. What are you doing today and how was the transition from player to life after professional basketball?
Life after I retired was pretty cool because I was able to transition into the next phase which was cars and started working for an independent car repair Shop and then into dealerships. Today I own a mobile oil change business and am looking into getting back to coaching at the Highschool level
Let’s talk about your alma mata Baylor. You played there from 1999-2001 after playing two years at Indian Hills Community College (NJCAA). What kind of an experience was it for you in general to play at Baylor (NCAA)?
The experience was amazing and I’ve built so many good relationships there. I feel like I still live there, and I still talk to 85 percent of the guys I played with in college. Stepping onto that court for games was magical
When you were at Baylor (NCAA) the school was in a 20 year NCAA tournament drought as it hadn’t been at the big dance between 1988 and 2008. What was basketball in general like at that time in comparison to how the game is played today and the type of players one sees now in the NCAA?
I think the game has become a quicker game style of play. It was different during my time, because the energy was not present in the building. We had an amazing run and I also think every alum before us had a part in building towards the success. They are expanding in Waco today but given we beat a nationally ranked Kansas team on ESPN made it cool for other kids to go to Baylor
They won the 2021 NCAA title. How did you feel the day after the win? How much pride did you establish over the last 20 years after graduating?
The day after the win I still couldn’t believe how they dominated a well coached team, took a lot of pride in the win. My family and I regularly attend games and were in contact with coaches as my son AB is a Baylor recruit.
Gonzaga was the huge favorite. How big do you rate this upset and how was your feeling going in about the chances of Baylor (NCAA) pulling off the upset?
I don’t think it was an upset. I think the Baylor staff came up with a good game plan and worked it to perfection and was able to get up big to start the game and maintained it through out the game
Baylor (NCAA) two NCAA Sweet 16’s in 2014 and 2017. If someone had told you in 2017 that Baylor would be crowded NCAA champions in 2021 what would you have thought?
If someone told me they would be crowned I wouldn’t have believed it, but my second thought would have been yes. Coach Drew has been there 17 years grinding. He said when he got there he was bringing a title to Waco and he delivered!!
Baylor has had 13 NCAA tournament appearances, 6 Elite 8’appearances and 5 Sweet 16’s. They also hadn’t been in a NCAA final game since 73 years. What does this title mean to the school and to you personally? The title means the new fancy arena is coming!! Top ranked recruits are coming there and there should be some type of raises coming for that staff, and new opportunities are coming
Baylor had a simple game plan. Make some shots. If you miss get the rebounds and then make some more shots. Can basketball sometimes be that simple? What I seen in Baylor’s game play was to make the bigs guard on the perimeter and get stops on defense and run through the sets and make three point shots
How key was it for Baylor players Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, Flo Thamba and Mark Vital limiting Drew Timme to 12 points?. The star Jalen Suggs had 22 points, but Gonzaga didn’t have scoring support behind him.
It was extremely vital. Timme is a great amazing player that was held to 12 points mostly because he was on the perimeter using energy to guard the Baylor guys. Those guys down in Waco love each other and their not too worried about what people say outside that locker room. The theme is culture of joy
Gonzaga has made big strides since 2015 making 5 NCAA Elite 8 appearances and two NCAA finals in 2021 and 2017. Could another final loss hurt their overall confidence to win the big one or do you feel like they will be due in 2022? Many are already picking them to win it next year?
Gonzaga used to be a sleeper team. That coaching staff over there has built a power house and has had many successful players come from there. They had a number one pick and possibly having another come this year in Suggs so obviously Baylor should be picked to win it given the results,
Was the rebounding stat of 38-22 rebounds and 16 offensive rebounds one of the biggest keys for the win? Out Rebounding a team is always a key to winning because you get more possessions in a 40 minute game
Davion Mitchell is seen as a #1 Draft pick and Jared Butler as a possible second round pick. How have you followed their careers and how do you seem them doing in the NBA?
I think both these guys will do well at the next level, because they’ve worked really hard to perfect their craf. t Teague is no different from the other guys I don’t know him very well but I know he will shine given the opportunity
How proud are you of head coach Scott Drew? Do you feel he will get more respect after this win? Coach has been getting more and more respect as his coaching career has unfolded. He comes from a basketball family and has had a successful one at coaching and playing in the NBA
How do you see the future of Baylor (NCAA) basketball. Two guys seem to be heading to the NBA and Macio Teague and Mark Vital are also done as seniors.
Baylor coaches recruit to fit the program so we’re losing two good guards and a big, but I’m sure they have began the process of filling those spots, I hear a kid AB in the ’22 class is really good maybe he will end up in a Baylor uniform wearing #24 lol
Have you seen Coming To America 2 yet? The reviews have been mixed. Shouldn’t they just have left the original classic untouched?
I’ve seen coming to America 2 I liked it and they had an amazing cast many of the people judging was not even around or a fan to have seen the original and that’s pretty cool. They used Rick Ross’s house and the castle that alone tells a story of success.
Anthony Watkins (194-PG-00) is a 20 year old 194cm guard playing his first season with the Basketball Loewen Braunschweig (Germany-BBL). He has the German/American citizenship and lived in Chattanooga and attended McCallie High School before coming to Germany in 2019. Last season he split time with the Basketball Loewen Erfurt (ProB) playing10 games avergaing 3.6ppg. He also played with the OeTTINGER Rockets Gotha 2nd team (Germany-2.Regionalliga) and in in Jan.’20 moved to VfB 1900 Giessen Pointers (Regionalliga) playing 8 games averaging 10.0ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 53.3%, 3PT: 66.7%, FT: 58.8%. He spoke to germanhoops.com after the big 85-83 win on the road over FC Bayern Munich.
Anthony congrats on the massive 85-83 victory in Munich. How good does a win feel like this after being blown out by ratiopharm Ulm 91-57? This win is exactly what we needed. We had switched it up this week. We reset as a team and found ourselves. We came to Munich played hard and pulled out a win.
What special magic did head coach Pete Strobl do this week to get you extra prepared for FC Bayern Munich. Or is one extra fired up to play a team like FC Bayern Munich anyway?
It was a bit of both. We switched it up a bit this week. We practiced one day and had a dance class the next day. We mixed it up and got all together laughing and joking around. We are a young hingry team and will get up for a big game like this always.
You had a front row seat. The only thing missing was the popcorn. How tough is it not playing in games and what was the one thing you picked up in this game from the bench?
I don’t really see it that way. I am always a competitor. I can learn so much from a game like this. Big in a game like this is seeing how teams react in late game situations. It was big seeing the adjustments we made and taking care of the lead even when the momentum ebbed. Important was also how we could go on runs against a great team like this. I try to soak in as much as possible from the Euroleague and ex NBA players.
FC Bayern Munich had the slim 38-37 advantage at the break. FC Bayern Munich haven’t been themselves in the last weeks having lost two of three games coming in. Has the Euroleague toll and success gotten the best of them at the moment? They have a very tough schedule. We gave them our best shot. Great teams never get comfortable. They will do their best possible to have a great season
What words of wisdom did head coach Pete Strobl give the team in the break. That helped them come out on a 31 point explosion in the third quarter? He remined us of the moment and how close we were. He told us to trust our game plan and leave it all out on the floor. He also reminded us to stay locked in defensively and not let runs get in the way. He also told us to shoot the ball when we were open and just to trust the process and grind it out.
The fourth quarter was really exciting. FC Bayern Munich powered back, but Braunschweig had nerves of steel at the end. Did Braunschweig want it more?
At this level both teams want it equally as much at the wire. We were able to stick to our game plan and get the lead at the end and protect it. We got a major stop at the end. We executed better than they did at the end. It comes down to executing more than desire.
Turudic and Peterka were the hero’s at the end. How vital was the all around smart rebounding by Braunschweig for the win?
They were huge. They were hunting down rebounds all night. They scored the ball very well and made big plays. They also kept the bench involved. The bench brought a lot of energy which helped their play as well. We were like extra guys on the court.
Braunschweig have 10 victories now and are tied with three other teams. I guess the goal now is to win as many games and finish as high as possible?
Not at all. We want to go day by day game by game. Our motto this season has been to get better every day. We aren’t worried about the next weeks. We want to attack each day and bring more intensity into each day than the last day. We will see where we will end at the end of the day.
James Robinson had an off night shooting, but when the shot isn’t falling then re gets his playmaking in gear. How valuable has his play been for your overall development?
He is my guy. We ride back together after games and talk a lot. He is so valuable to our team with his calmness an dis never fed up. He always does what is best for the team. He had an off night shooting, but made big plays and kept us together. He is soft spoken, but when he talks everybody listens. He focused on winning every quarter tonight. I have been blessed that he takes the time to talk to me and help me develop as a player and person. I have made a great friend in him.
German karim Jallow had another huge game netting 24 points. What have you learned to appreciate most about his game?
Karim is always in attack mode and brings so much energy. You would think that a guy with numbers like that would rest o his laurels, but he never does. He is always in the gym and putting up extra shots. Sometimes when coach Pete has the young players for extra practice sessions, he will join us. He is always wanting to get better. It is an incredible inspiration to play with a player like him who keeps you humble with his work ethic. He is a great example for other young players: he has helped me with physicality and speed. He is a high level dude that is going places
How valuable has it been for your development playing with many other hungry young German players?
I have been lucky to be able to play in an awesome environment. There is a big excitement level here in Braunschweig. With the great opportunity that the young players have gotten, it has given every one a huge confidence boost. All have found their game and have gotten the freedom to understand who they are as players. I have not taken this experience for granted. It is more dangerous to guard a experiment guy than a system guy. We have been allowed to make mistakes and learn from them.
How has your game progressed with the daily practices with an easyCredit BBL team?
I feel like I have slowed down my game since I got here. I came into high level basketball at age 19. It was an adjustment, but after a while I understood nuances of the game and understand to do the work early at both ends of the court. I also have seen my comfort level rise in practices.
The games don’t get any easier as you play #1 team Ludwigsburg. You gave them a tough game in the first attempt. Braunschweig is a lot better team now. What will be key to getting the win? Handling their pressure will be key. They have their hat on the defensive end, pick up full court and are physical. We did a pretty good job of that in the first game. We have to stay poised and be on the same page and stick to the game plan. If we can stay calm under pressure then I think we will be ok.
What was the last movie that you saw? Focus with Will Smith for maybe the 100,000 time. That movie is a go to.