The former Pac-10 Point Guard and 1992 Stanford University graduate John Patrick has been 5 times Coach of the Year and won 3 Championships in the last 7 seasons in 4 different leagues. (Japan Super League, 2nd German Bundesliga, BBL, and FIBA Eurochallenge) His low-player-budget BBL teams qualified for European competition in each of the last four seasons. Last season, Wrzburgs inaugural season in the BBL after finishing 2nd in the Pro A (German 2nd league) the previous season, Coach Patricks team had the lowest scoring defense in the BBL, and knocked Alba Berlin out of the playoffs, before dropping 3 hardfought games to Thorsten Leibenaths RatiofarmUlm in the Semis.
It has been five months since your dismissal from the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg. How difficult has this time been not being a head coach for a team?
It has been a great chance to refresh and hopefully gain a sense of perspective about Coaching and the Basketball Business as a whole.
Was it like a bad dream when you were informed from the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg that you werent going to coach another season for the team? It was unexpected, of course, after such a great season with so much unexpected success. But sometimes success can be as difficult to deal with as failure. (Morgan Wootten used to tell us this at DeMatha.) Maybe the success came too fast for some.
How difficult was it accepting their decision? It almost doesnt make sense how you could not remain head coach after the incredible regular season reaching the playoffs and then beating Alba Berlin 3-1 before losing to ratiopharm Ulm. Were you ever told why you had to go?
I still feel extremely lucky to have had the whole experience in Wrzburg. I met some great people there. The Fans were incredible there, almost as enthusiastic as those in Gottingen. I have played and coached now- since finishing Stanford- in Japan and Germany for 22 years. I have been surrounded by very professional businessmen in Japan, at top companies, coached hundreds of young men, and have enjoyed the process and challenges of buildng competitive, winning teams during each step of the way. Wrzburg was no different. I was surprised by their decision, but it is part of the business. You deal with it and move on.
The next time that you interview for a job will you take more notice of the character of your new employer?
Lack of experience in the business does not necessarily have to mean lack of seriousness. But I do have certain expectations from staff and management that need to be met in order for the team to function on the court, as does any coach with team rules, and who stresses discipline. I would always like to know that the goal of a club is to build a successful team culture and win games.
Press reports reported that you had problems with your players. Can you please clear this up. It was reported that some players didnt shake your hand after the series loss to ratiopharm Ulm.
No, I didnt catch that, at all. Maybe a couple of bench players wanted to play more, but that is normal. The players and I maintained a level of professionalism, respect and decency that I was satisfied with.. Players competed every day. I demand that. I guess there was some misinformation. That was unfortunate. In any case, I felt like the players gave everything in the season, dispite injuries, and in the playoffs. It was a real team.
I cant imagine you having problems with your ex players from Goettingen with Ben Jacobson, Jason Boone or John Little.
Those guys are all solid team players and good guys. They are like brothers. Fighting in practice one minute and joking and laughing about it the next.
What was the real reason for American Chester Frazier returning to the States during the playoffs? It was stated that he got an offer from an NCAA team to coach or was there tension between you and him?
Chester was a great player, but he always wanted to coach college. Its his calling. He got the offer for this unique chance when Bruce Weber took the KSU job. I talked to Coach Weber, and he said Chester could, for KSU interests, stay in Germany until June. Of course I was not happy about him leaving earlier than this, and I tried my best to convince him to stay. Starting PG and great defender leaves suddenly in the Semis; not a scenario I expected or the team needed to beat Ulmbut in the end, he felt like he needed to go. It is another piece of adversity that, as Head Coach, you and your team have to move through.. At some point in a team crisis you have to stop thinking shoulda, coulda, woulda and find solutions. The same goes in Chesters case last yearHe was a good teammate, always encouraging the others, and has a great future as a coach, I believe.
The fans stuck behind you. What would you like to tell the fans of the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg?
You deserve a new gym! Great city. Lot of Friendly people, and my kids loved visiting for the home games there.
Do you still follow the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg. What is your impression of the team this season? Will they be able to reach the playoffs? I try and catch a couple of BBL games each week to stay sharp, Wrzburg included. Of course Wrzburg is familiar with 7 of my ex-Gttingen former players. They are very talented this season
You coached American Chris Kramer to helping him become a better player. Will he make the next step to a top European team or even make an NBA team? Chris had an amazing first season in Europe, making the adjustment from the Dleague on the run. (I can remember my first year overseas, and it isnt always easy)If he has a role where he is free to play to his strengths, Chris can play at any level.
You have had some offers from teams to coach. Would you like to stay in Germany? Could you imagine to jump in for a Beko BBL team after a mid season firing? I could not accept offers from other clubs in the summer because of a binding contract in Wrzburg. As of now, however, I am free to work again.
Ex ratiopharm Ulm head coach Mike Taylor is coaching the D-team Maine Red Claws this season. Is the D-league an interesting option for you? I will be cheering for Mike- we had some great games while he was in Ulm- and also my buddy Darko Rajakovic, who got the head job in Tulsa of the D League. It must be quite a contrast to coaching in Europe.I plan to stay in Europe to coach for a serious club. I look forward to a new challenge.
Chase Adams (177-PG-88, college: Pittsburgh)s a 28 year old 188cm point guard from Baltimore, Maryland playing his second season for the Uni Baskets Paderborn in the (Germany-ProA). He started his basketball career at Centenary (NCAA) in 2006 where he played three seasons and a total of 89 NCAA games. As a senior he moved to Pittsburgh (NCAA). He turned professional in 2011 and played briefly in the ABA and in the UBL before making Germany his home as he played for teams like Dortmund, Bo... [read more]
Chase Adams (177-PG-88, college: Pittsburgh)s a 28 year old 188cm point guard from Baltimore, Maryland playing his second season for the Uni Baskets Paderborn in the (Germany-ProA). He started his basketball career at Centenary (NCAA) in 2006 where he played three seasons and a total of 89 NCAA games. As a senior he moved to Pittsburgh (NCAA). He turned professional in 2011 and played briefly in the ABA and in the UBL before making Germany his home as he played for teams like Dortmund, Bochum, and Science City Jena. He spoke to eurobasket after the tough loss to Trier.
Chase thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. 2017 is here and are you the type of guy that goes into a new year with new years resolutions or more a guy that doesn't bother with that? It's certainly important to reflect on the first half of the season at this point and evaluate what needs improvement. A new mentality is always a helpful way to regain focus and set new goals.
The Uni Baskets Paderborn suffered a tough 69-66 loss to Trier. They had the 37-26 lead at halftime. It took you a while as a team to get going scoring 24 points in the third quarter to get back into the game. What adjustments did you make? We were sluggish and emotionless, so coach wanted us to turn up the pressure and play more lively. Communication and strong rotations were the emphasis.
Paderborn had the 66-63 lead with 2.54 minutes to play and were controlling the last 4-5 minutes keeping the lead, but then lost control allowing Trier to close out the game with a 6-0 run. How bitter was this outcome losing like this? Is that worse then getting beat by a buzzer beater?
Losing period is hurtful, especially with a team that we will potentially be fighting against for a playoff spot. We must collectively play better in those defining moments.
What was key in the last few minutes that allowed Trier to get the momentum and win the game?
Besides handing them free throws, it was the bad offensive possessions where we didn't get a good shot up.
Do you feel like there would have been a different outcome at the end had you not fouled out at 1.10 minutes to play?
Absolutely. These are the moments that I've been working hard to be prepared for and I was more than ready to perform. Unfortunately it didn't go as planned and it really hurt to have to watch.
Do you feel also had the team contained American Brandon Spearman better and limited his trips to the free throw line that you would have been able to preserve the win? We expected him to attack and lucky for him he got the calls. It was a smart effort on his behalf, but we should have executed better on offense.
A big problem of the Uni Baskets Paderborn in their current 5 game losing streak has been the inability to close out games. Has this trend turned into an unwanted type of disease?
I wouldn't call it a disease, if anything it's showing that we have heart and even though we are down at the moment, we aren't a door mat you can walk over. We can go toe to toe with any team and any game versus Paderborn will be a battle.
After the wild 130-125 double OT win against the Drsden Titans in October, you said that this will be a season to remember. Do you still feel this now at 7-11 and out of the playoff spots?
I stand by my statement whole heartedly. I won't give up until the season is completely over. At the end if we don't make it then we don't make it, but as long as we lace up and we throw on that jersey We are planning to win them all.
The Uni Baskets Paderborn played Kirchheim and Crailsheim very tight. What do you believe is missing for you to be able to beat these caliber type teams?
Defensive discipline in the last seconds of the shot clock and simply offensive execution when the game is on the line. Completing those possessions with a stop and not giving them second chances or easy looks. Offensively getting highly efficient shot attempts. These two factors have decided these close losses.
Before the loss to Trier, Paderborn was allowing 80 points per game. The team defended a lot better against Trier. Do you feel that Paderborn could hold more Pro A teams to around 70 points which would put you in a lot better position to win?
If we put our mind to it we can do anything. Everything else is in order, so the next step is take more pride in defense and to stick to our principles. The effort needs to stay at a high level for 40minutes.
Currently your third in tea s coring, first in assists and steals and second in rebounding. How happy have you been with your first half performance?
Not Satisfied one bit. It's just not enough in my book. To get over the hump I must turn it up a couple notches.
You continue to be a great defender leading the team with 2,6spg. How does a top notch defender like you continue to excel at this trade? What do you do in practices that has you always ready in games?
Defense is built on toughness, determination to stop your assignment and to give your all for the team. You just show up with that mentality everyday in practice so it's natural in game. Another key factor is paying attention to scouting. Taking time to study players habits and teams plays
Klay Thompson recently hit 60 points in 29 minutes touching the ball for only 90 seconds. Where does this performance rank with you?
This year. That's a top 5 performance.
One always talks about Lebron and Curry, but one has to mention Russell Westbrook. He is averaging triple double stats at the moment. Is he stat wise the best player in the world right now?
Without a doubt. Nobody has a motor like him.
Russell Westbrook obviously has gotten a lot of attention with his constant triple doubles, but James Harden is doing the same thing with the Houston Rockets. Where do you see him head to head against Westbrook as best point guard at the moment in the NBA?
All though Westbrooks stat lines are out of this world, Hardens team has the better record so maybe Harden gets the nod for best PG.
Which 2 clubs will make the Superbowl and who will win it all?
The Giessen 46ers have reacted to the injury of Thomas Scrubb and snatched up Bazoumana Kone (190-G-93, college: Bremerhaven) Kone is a 23 year old combo guard that has BBL experience with the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg and Eisbaeren Bremerhaven and got a contract until the end of the season. Kone played with the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg this season, but got a little lost in the guard rotation averaging only 11,8 minutes per game. In 13 games the German averaged 3,3ppg, 2,1rpg and 1,6apg in the... [read more]
The Giessen 46ers have reacted to the injury of Thomas Scrubb and snatched up Bazoumana Kone (190-G-93, college: Bremerhaven) Kone is a 23 year old combo guard that has BBL experience with the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg and Eisbaeren Bremerhaven and got a contract until the end of the season. Kone played with the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg this season, but got a little lost in the guard rotation averaging only 11,8 minutes per game. In 13 games the German averaged 3,3ppg, 2,1rpg and 1,6apg in the EasyCredit BBL. In Champions League play he got into 8 games averaging 2,3ppg and 1,4rpg. "I am happy that we got him in our second try. He is an interesting player with enormous potential. He wants to prove himself and has fun playing and we need that in Giessen. I am convinced that he will be integrated quickly and help us with his abilities. His quick and aggressive play suits us", stresed Giessen 46ers head coach Denis Wucherer.
Kone started his basketball career with the Bramfelder SV Hamburg junior team and also played with the SG Braunschweig junior team. In 2011 he moved to BSG Bremerhaven (2.Regionalliga): 11 games 13.6ppg. He then got his first BBL experience with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven from 2012-2014 playing a total of 22 games. In 2014 he took a step back moving to the Pro A and playing two seasons with the Hamburg Towers where he got adequate playing time and could devlop his game better. In his first season with the Hamburg Towers he played 18 games averaging 8.7ppg, 3.2rpg, 3.7apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 29.6%, 3PT: 26.9%, FT: 72.5%. He made his Pro A break out last season playing 30 games: 14.5ppg, 4.2rpg, 4.1apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 48.7%, 3PT: 25.7%, FT: 79.0%. Awards and achievements in his basketball career have been German NBBL Championships Finalist -12, German U20 National Team -13, and Eurobasket.com German 2.Bundesliga Pro A All-Domestic Players Team -16.
Alex Foster(202-F-92, college: Emory) is a 24 year old 203cm forward that grew up in Portland, Oregon and also has the German citizenship and is playing his second professional season with the RheinStars (Germany-ProA). Last season as a rookie with the RheinStars he played 29 games averaging 9.6ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 41.3%, 3PT: 33.5%, FT: 78.4%He played at Emory (NCAA3) from 2011-2015 playing a total of 108 NCAA3 games and as a senior played 20.1ppg, 7.9rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 44.6%, 3PT: 3... [read more]
Alex Foster (202-F-92, college: Emory) is a 24 year old 203cm forward that grew up in Portland, Oregon and also has the German citizenship and is playing his second professional season with the RheinStars (Germany-ProA). Last season as a rookie with the RheinStars he played 29 games averaging 9.6ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 41.3%, 3PT: 33.5%, FT: 78.4%He played at Emory (NCAA3) from 2011-2015 playing a total of 108 NCAA3 games and as a senior played 20.1ppg, 7.9rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 44.6%, 3PT: 39.9%, FT: 79.8%. He was able to improve his scoring and rebounding average each season. He spoke to Eurobasket about basketball.
Thanks Alex for talking to eurobasket.com. How did you get into 2017 and did you have any new years resolutions or are you more a guy that doesn't believe in that hype? I brought in the New Year with friends here in Cologne, but didn't make any big new years resolutions. I still have some goals from 2016 that I'm working towards.
This season the RheinStars didn't have a long holiday break as you had a game on the 23rd of December against the ETB Wohnbau Baskets and on the seventh of January against Baunach. Do you feel this was more beneficial in keeping the team sharp or could a few more days rest helped the club?
Last season we only got two days off, so this year's holiday break felt much longer. Unfortunately, we went into the break after a bitter loss. It was tough having to wait so long to play again, but once I put that loss behind me, I enjoyed the holidays with my family. As for the team, I think everyone came back from the break with some extra motivation for the second half of the season.
How important was the win against Baunach to start 2017 after the bitter loss to Essen before Christmas in having the team have the right focus going into the Hanau game? It was important for us to get back to winning. There aren't that many games left in the regular season so very win comes at a premium.
Just like last season, winning is Hanau didn't happen, but the club came out with a lot better effort at home against them. What in your opinion is always most difficult when playing Hanau? They always come in with energy and confidence, which makes them a tough team to beat, but we kept their offence in check and made enough plays ourselves to get the win. The game was no easy matter as it was tight going into the fourth quarter.
What do you feel was key in the fourth quarter for pulling out the win and getting your second win in a row in 2017?
We tightened up our defense in the second half and played together offensively. We're starting to develop a win-at-all-costs identity and I think that showed against both Baunach and Hanau.
Kruize Pinkins had another typical strong game with 23 points and 10 rebounds. You have faced him 4 times now. Why in your opinion is he such a tough guy to stop? He's great around the rim and his teammates do a good job of finding him in scoring areas. Defending him, you have to stay engaged on defense at all times.
The RheinStars are in eighth place with a record of 9-9. What was your first half summary of the season?
We dug ourselves a deep hole, but are climbing out.
How much potential is in this season's team? The team is eighth best in points scored and points let up? In what area does the team have the most potential to do harm? I think we have the potential to go all the way. Ultimately, we want to hold down our home court for the rest of the season and start knocking off teams on the road.
How valuable was the pick up of former BBL player Anthony King? What does he give the team most besides experience at that low post presence? AK brings a calm sense of confidence to our team. He's a player you want with the ball when the game is on the line. Plus, he helps bring out the best in his teammates.
It seems like Richard Williams has been playing a bit under his expectations, but he hasn't been totally fit. How soothing is it knowing that when he breaks out, the club will be even more dangerous? I think Richie's done a great job learning and running the offense in such a short time. I was amazed by how fast he picked up all of our sets. He's made winning plays since he first got here, which I'm sure will continue throughout the season.
How content have you been with your game? You pretty much have the same stats as last season, but your playing 10 minutes less. Do you feel like you have become more of an efficient player this season?
Our roster is stacked with talent, so I didn't expect as many minutes as last season, but I know that for our team to be great, I need to play my role well. I've also gotten a better feel for European game since I got here, which helps my game.
Your right near the 40% mark from outside. How content are you that you can make that plateau in the second half of the season?
I expect that of myself.
What are your personal continued goals for this season as a player? On what things are you working on on the defensive end to become a better player? Right now, my focus is on helping my team get to the playoffs. On defense, I want to be able to stop my man one-on-one and help my teammates within the concept.
In December you watched a game of your friend Will Trawick in Rhondorf. How much do you miss playing with him? At Emory (NCAA3) you played three years together. He's carved out a good spot for himself in Rhondorf and it was fun to watch help play live. I'm sure we'll have a chance to play together this summer back at Emory.
Klay Thompson recently hit 60 points in 29 minutes touching the ball for only 90 seconds. Where does this performance rank with you? It as good as any player has every ran the floor and shot the ball.
One always talks about Lebron and Curry, but one has to mention Russell Westbrook. He is averaging triple double stats at the moment. Is he stat wise the best player in the world right now? Lebron and Curry are NBA Champions, so Russ still has some work to do.