I have talked with head-coach Pete Miller of ArisFriesland Leeuwarden, we looked back on the regular season, talked about his young and inexperienced team, missing of the playoffs and his predictions for next season. I think that they have shown a great performance throughout the season and that they have missed the playoffs through a lack of experience.
Now that the season is coming to an end, how do you feel about your teams progress and growth through the season? I was satisfied with our development. I actually expected more development and with that, more wins. But looking back on the complete season, we were asking our young players (including the young American players) to climb a very high mountain and get us into the playoffs. We are disappointed for not reaching the playoffs but we must put that behind us. We must look at this season as a building season and take the next step in the coming season. With the amount of playing time our young guys got this year we expect to be way ahead in the coming season when we get started. I'm already looking forward to getting started with the new season already.
To say you had a young team this season would be an understatement. Did the lack of experienced players make this a difficult transition relative to other coaching positions youve taken? Experience or the lack of it, as you say, was the prime factor in us not reaching the playoffs. First of all, we played with Americans that came directly out of college - more than any other team in the league. Then when I went to my bench, I was bringing in 19 and 20 year olds that are playing in this for the first time. Other coaches could turn their bench and bring in players that were, for example, 27 to 30 years old and have played here or somewhere else in Europe before.
As far as my own role in all of this is concerned, it was definitly difficult for me at times to deal with all the loses and in the manner we lost some of those games. But with the guys being so young, they were looking to me to be the leader and I continued to stay positive. At the same time I understand what is necessary to develop young players and above all, a coach has to have patience with young players. I showed faith in trust in these guys and I felt - acutally am still feeling in it - that they have faith and trust in me. They will be solid players in the future and we will profit from all of this.
Looking back, are you satisfied with your teams performance? Were there sufficient positives and were you able to lay a foundation for the continued development of basketball in Leeuwarden? There were some great moments this year - and they shouldn't be overshadowed by the negatives. There were definitly moments where I could say: 'Wow, it would be nice if that player or the team could do that on a consistent basis!' But inconsistency is a quality that comes with youth and inexperience. The only way to change that is giving the players the opportunity to play and learn. It would have been nice to have made the playoffs - that would have been an earned reward for all the hard work the guys put in this year.
We have, all of us here in this club, laid a very solid foundation for the future of basketball in Leeuwarden. The club is very well organized and does so many things for me and the players, we have developed a major building block in our strength and conditioning areas with highly qualified partners and the players have a very professional training and practice structure here. Lastly, we have developed a very exciting connection to our fans and they have paid us back with great support and consistent attendance.
This year we invested in the future. Next year we will have a very nice ROI (=Return on Investment.) I will work together with our manager Gert Schurer and we will begin soon to put our team together for the coming season. I am pretty certain that we will be adding one or two experienced players into the combination. I actually am really excited about our prospects for the coming season.
I don't like to lose and it is something that I am not used to and don't want to get used to it. One thing I have learned through the years however, is not to ever push the panic button and that nothing will ever replace hard and thorough work. Especially during difficult situations, think things through and find reasonable and logical solutions the problems that are confronting you. That will be the way we approach the future.
Talk about one or two guys that stand out as being underrated contributors to your team's success? First of all let me say, Matt Bauscher wasn't a surprise to me. I saw what he could do and was convinced he could develop into a good player. I also knew that Bundesliga Clubs in Germany were interested in Matt, confirming my feelings. We were able to promise Matt a lot of playing time and that was the deciding factor for Matt choosing Aris Friesland.
But the most exciting things that happened this year was the development of Jayme Miller and Keith Spencer. The guys are the really important for us not only in the way they play but in the way they approach the game and how they handle themselves within the team. Both are wonderful guys. But, again, our research about the two guys told us that before we signed them. It was a very special thing to coach them.
What are your predictions for next season? After all I said above, It is obvious that I have a very postive perspective for the coming season. It is, however, very, very early to make predictions about next season - this one isn't even over yet! There are so many factors that need to be touched on. We have to have discussions with our partner, The Eiffel Towers, about players. We need to see how many players we can reatin from our present team. And we must wait to see which new players we will sign.
So, I can't make a prediction at this point. But I will promise that we will be better next year than we were this year.
Thanks Pete for this interview and see you next season.
Thomas van der Mars' double-double lands him Player of the Week award among Dutch players playing currently abroad: - 9 hours ago
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We bring you last week's top performances from Dutch players who are playing abroad and who all have had prior experience of national team duties at youth or senior level. Aaron Doornekamp (201-F-85, agency: Interperformances) was the major contributor in an CB Canarias' victory against the closely-ranked FC Barcelona in the Spanish Liga Endesa in Sunday night's game.
We bring you last week's top performances from Dutch players who are playing abroad and who all have had prior experience of national team duties at youth or senior level.
#1. This week's number one is an international center Thomas van der Mars (208-90, college: Portland, currently plays in Baltic League). van der Mars could not help Rapla (8-4) in their last game on Friday. Despite his very good performance Rapla was defeated 77-66 at home by the leading Barons Riga.
van der Mars recorded a double-double by scoring 22 points and getting 16 rebounds. He also added 3 blocks (made all of his six free throws).
The Regular Season already ended in the Baltic League.
van der Mars has individually a very good season with high stats. He averages: 17.5ppg, 11.9rpg, 2FGP: 60.9%(84-138) and FT: 63.6%.
van der Mars is currently a member of the Dutch senior national team.
#2. Second place goes to former international power forward Josh Duinker (209-89, college: Richmond, currently plays in Uruguay). Duinker was not able to help Defensor (2-3) in their last game on Friday. Despite his very good performance the fifth-placed Defensor (2-3) was defeated 79-73 in a derby game by the lower-ranked Larre Borges (#6) in the Promocional 1 group.
Duinker recorded a double-double by scoring 17 points and getting 10 rebounds. He also added 3 assists.
There are only two games left until the end of the Second Stage. So now every game will be critical.
Duinker has relatively good stats this season: 13.3ppg, 8.8rpg, 1.3apg, 2FGP: 52.9%, 3FGP: 36.4% and FT: 77.3%.
He has a dual citizenship: Dutch and Australian.
Former Zorg and Zekerheid Leiden starter played for the Dutch national team in 2013.
#3. The Dutch player who performed third best last week abroad was former international center Henk Norel (213-87, currently plays in Spain). Norel led CAI Zaragoza to an overtime victory over the league outsider La ICL Manresa (2-14) 87-77 in the Spanish Liga Endesa on Sunday night.
He was MVP of the game. Norel recorded a double-double by scoring 21 points and getting 10 rebounds.
CAI Zaragoza (6-10) is placed 12th in the Liga Endesa.
They ended the series of three consecutive loses.
It's Norel's fifth season with the team.
His overall stats this year are: 9.5ppg, 6.6rpg, 1.1apg, 2FGP: 58.6%(65-111) and FT: 78.6%.
Norel played for the Dutch national team two years ago.
#4. Guard Charlon Kloof (190-90, agency: Octagon Europe, college: St.Bonaventure, currently plays in ABA League) led his FYR Macedonian team MZT Skopje to an easy victory against the tenth-ranked KK Zadar (6-12) crushing them 92-65 in the ABA League last Saturday.
Kloof scored 14 points and added 6 passes; quite an impressive performance considering it's only his third season in pro basketball. KK MZT Skopje Aerodrom (5-14) closes the standings in the ABA League.
It's Kloof's first year with the team.
Kloof's overall stats this season are: 9.7ppg, 3.9rpg and 3.6apg.
He is another player who holds two passports: Surinamese and Dutch.
Kloof is also Dutch national team player.
#5. International guard Yannick Franke (194-96, currently plays in Croatia) contributed to an easy victory against the league outsider Kvarner (2-12) crushing them 101-64 in the Croatian A1 on Wednesday night.
He scored 6 points and grabbed 4 rebounds in only 13 minutes. It was his first game for KK Zadar this season.
His team is placed third in the A1.
It was his team's fifth consecutive victory in a row.
Franke plays currently for the Dutch national team.
#6. Shooting guard Worthy de Jong (194-88, currently plays in France) was not able to secure a victory for SO Maritime Boulogne (4-11) in their game against Lille Metropole (8-7) in the French ProB (second division).
He scored 9 points and added 4 passes.
But SO Maritime Boulogne was defeated 71-63 on the road by the much higher-ranked Lille Metropole (#7).
It's de Jong's first season with the team.
This year de Jong has relatively solid stats: 10.3ppg, 3.3rpg, 2.3apg and 1.5spg.
He is an international player who is currently on the senior Dutch National Team roster.
#7. International center Nicolas de Jong (210-88, currently plays in France) contributed to Chalons-Reims' surprising victory against the second-ranked Chalon/Saor (12-4) 74-69 in the French ProA last Saturday.
de Jong recorded 7 points and grabbed 4 rebounds in 17 minutes.
Champagne Chalons-Reims Basket (7-9) is placed 12th in the ProA.
de Jong has reliable stats this year: 12.3ppg and 2.4rpg in 16 games he played so far.
He is also Dutch national team player.
#8. Guard Shane Hammink (201-94, currently plays college basketball in the States) led Valparaiso to an easy victory against the Youngstown State University (1-1) 78-62 in the NCAA on Thursday night.
Hammink recorded 15 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists.
The Valparaiso University has a very solid 5-1 conference record this season.
Hammink averaged so far 14.8ppg, 4.1rpg, 2.7apg and 1.1spg.
He used to play for the Dutch national team
back in 2014.
#9. Former U18 international forward Luuk Van Bree (203-96, currently studies in the States) couldn't help the Bradley (3-3) in their game against the Indiana State University (1-1) in the NCAA.
He scored 9 points and grabbed 4 rebounds.
But the Bradley was defeated 81-71 on their home court in Peoria, IL by the Indiana State University.
Van Bree's overall stats this season are: 6.7ppg and 3.1rpg.
He used to play for the Dutch U18 national team
three years ago.
#10. Center Kevin Bleeker (208-93, agency: Court Side, college: Canisius, currently plays in Spain) contributed to Navarra's victory against the closely-ranked Zornotza (8-9) 64-60 in the Spanish LEB Silver (third division) last Saturday.
Bleeker scored 8 points and grabbed 5 rebounds in 20 minutes.
Basket Navarra de Pamplona (10-7) is placed seventh in the LEB Silver.
This year Bleeker's overall stats are: 5.3ppg, 3.6rpg and 1.1apg in 17 games.
He is a former international player as three years ago he still played for the Dutch senior national team.
#11. Former U16 international forward Kevin van Wijk (203-89, college: Valparaiso, currently plays in Spain) managed to help Melilla Baloncesto to win against the closely-ranked Araberri 80-72 in the Spanish LEB Gold (second division) last Friday.
van Wijk scored only 4 points, grabbed 4 rebounds and dished 3 assists.
van Wijk's total stats this season are: 6.4ppg, 3.7rpg and 1.3apg.
He used to play for the Dutch U16 national team
twelve years ago.
#12. Former international forward Julius van Sauers (203-95, is currently at the American university) contributed to a LIU Brooklyn's victory against the Wagner College 76-69 in the NCAA on Thursday night.
van Sauers scored 5 points, grabbed 4 rebounds and made 3 blocks in 20 minutes.
This year van Sauers' total stats are: 2.4ppg and 3.1rpg in 20 games.
He used to play for the Dutch national team
back in 2014.
#13. Former U20 international forward Niels Bunschoten (206, currently plays college basketball in the States) couldn't help the Indiana St. in their game against the Missouri State University in the NCAA.
Bunschoten recorded 6 points.
His team was defeated 73-68.
Bunschoten has averaged so far 5.3ppg and 1.4rpg.
He used to play for the Dutch U20 national team
three years ago.
#14. Former U20 international center Tom Koopman (203, currently plays college basketball in the States) couldn't help the Citadel in their game against the Samford University in the NCAA.
He scored 5 points in 13 minutes.
His team lost 90-98.
Koopman has averaged so far 3.0ppg and 1.9rpg in 19 games.
He used to play for the Dutch U20 national team
back in 2015.
#15. Former U20 international center Menno Dijkstra (213-97, currently plays college basketball in the States) helped Cal-Riverside win their game against the California State University, Fullerton 71-63 in the NCAA last Wednesday.
Dijkstra recorded 5 points.
Dijkstra has averaged so far 4.4ppg and 2.6rpg.
He used to play for the Dutch U20 national team
two years ago.
The list of other players, who all have Dutch passport but never been selected to any of Dutch national teams:
#1.Aaron Doornekamp (201-F-85, agency: Interperformances, currently plays in Spain) was the major contributor in an CB Canarias' victory against the closely-ranked FC Barcelona (12-4) 71-60 in the Spanish Liga Endesa in Sunday night's game.
He scored 13 points and grabbed 8 rebounds in 34 minutes.
It was the game of the round between two top 4 ranked teams. Iberostar Tenerife CB Canarias (12-4) is placed fourth in the Liga Endesa.
It was his team's third consecutive victory in a row.
Doornekamp has relatively good stats this year: 12.8ppg, 3.7rpg and 1.5apg in 16 games he played so far.
He has a dual citizenship: Canadian and Dutch.
#2.Ryan Broekhoff (200-F-90, college: Valparaiso, currently plays in EuroCup) led his Russian team Lokomotiv to an easy victory against the closely-ranked Baloncesto Fuenlabrada (1-2) crushing them 86-61 in the Eurocup on Wednesday night.
He scored 13 points in 24 minutes.
It was the game of the round between two top 4 ranked teams. Lokomotiv Kuban (3-0) is placed first in the Eurocup.
So far his team won all three games in the Second Stage.
There are only three games left until the end of the Eurocup Second Stage. So now every game will be critical.
This year Broekhoff's overall stats are: 7.3ppg, 5.6rpg and 1.3apg in 11 games.
He is another player who holds two passports: Australian and Dutch.
#3.Kim Tillie (210-PF-88, college: Utah, currently plays in Euroleague) could not help Baskonia (11-7) in their last game. Despite Tillie's good performance Baskonia (#4) lost 89-98 on the road to the lower-ranked (#7) Darussafaka in the group A of Euroleague.
He scored 10 points in 20 minutes.
This year Tillie's overall stats are: 4.6ppg and 3.6rpg in 17 games.
He has both Dutch and French nationalities.
#4. Experienced Daniel Kickert (208-C/F-83, college: St.Mary's, CA, currently plays in Australia) was not able to help Bullets (9-14) in their last game. Despite his very good performance the bottom-ranked Bullets were edged 84-82 at home by the higher-ranked (#6) New Zealand Breakers.
Kickert was the top scorer with 24 points. He also added 3 assists in 27 minutes.
It was Bullets' fourth consecutive loss in a row.
This year Kickert has relatively solid stats: 12.9ppg, 3.8rpg and 2.3apg in 23 games.
He also holds two passports: Dutch and Australian.
#5.Christal Malalu (203-F-93, currently plays in NCAA2) was not able to secure a victory for the Slippery Rock University (6-5) in their last game. Despite Malalu's very good performance the Slippery Rock University lost 53-62 in E.Stroudsburg to the East Stroudsburg.
He had a double-double by scoring 17 points and getting 14 rebounds in 29 minutes.
This year Malalu's overall stats are: 7.4ppg and 7.6rpg in 15 games.
#6.Emmanuel Nzekwesi (203-F, currently plays college basketball in the States) led ORU to a victory against the South Dakota State University 94-88 in the NCAA last Thursday.
He recorded 14 points and grabbed 5 rebounds.
Nzekwesi's overall stats this season are: 9.5ppg, 6.7rpg and 1.2apg.
#7.Joey van Zegeren (208-F-90, college: Northwestern, currently plays in Germany) contributed to a 3-point Gladiators' victory against the 12th-ranked Uni Baskets 69-66 in the German ProA (second division) on Friday night.
He scored 6 points and grabbed 4 rebounds in 20 minutes.
This year van Zegeren's overall stats are: 6.7ppg, 4.4rpg and 1.2bpg in 16 games.
#8.Derrik Smits (218-C-95, currently studies in the States) contributed to Valparaiso's victory against the Cleveland State University 78-67 in the NCAA on Saturday night.
Smits scored 9 points and grabbed 5 rebounds.
Smits' total stats this season are: 3.2ppg and 2.2rpg.
#9.Tom Slutsky (193-G-92, currently plays in Israel) couldn't help Hapoel Afula in their game against Hapoel Kfar Saba in the Israeli National League (second division).
He scored 8 points in 16 minutes.
His team was edged 64-63.
This year Slutsky's total stats are: 4.0ppg and 1.1rpg in 15 games.
He has dual citizenship: Dutch and Israeli.
Despite Slutsky's Dutch passport, he previously played for the Israeli U18 national team and is probably not eligible to play for the Dutch team.
#10.Kai Edwards (206-F-97, is currently at the American university) couldn't help the N.Colorado in their game against the Montana State University in the NCAA. Edwards cannot count Saturday's game as one of the best ones.
He scored only 3 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in 15 minutes.
His team lost 53-68.
Edwards has averaged so far 3.4ppg and 5.2rpg in 18 games.
Antwan Scott (ex Dukes UDB) agreed terms with KTP Basket - 3 days ago
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KTP Basket Kotka (Korisliiga) strengthened their roster with addition of 25-year old American guard Antwan Scott (188-81kg-92, college: Colorado State). He played recently at Dukes Unlimited Den Bosch in Dutch Eredivisie, but left the team earlier this month. In 11 games he recorded very impressive stats: 20.6ppg, 4.5rpg, 5.5apg and 2.3spg this season. Scott has tried to make it to the NBA and played in the NBA Pro Summer League in 2016. Among other achievements his team made it to the MW... [read more]
KTP Basket Kotka (Korisliiga) strengthened their roster with addition of 25-year old American guard Antwan Scott (188-81kg-92, college: Colorado State). He played recently at Dukes Unlimited Den Bosch in Dutch Eredivisie, but left the team earlier this month. In 11 games he recorded very impressive stats: 20.6ppg, 4.5rpg, 5.5apg and 2.3spg this season. Scott has tried to make it to the NBA and played in the NBA Pro Summer League in 2016. Among other achievements his team made it to the MWC Tournament Semifinals in 2016. Scott received also NABC All-District 17 2nd Team award in 2016 at his college time. Scott graduated from Colorado State in 2016 and it is his first season in pro basketball.
Anderson's double-double lands him Player of the Week award - 3 days ago
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27-year old guard La'Shard Anderson (185-G-89) had a very impressive game in the last round for Rotterdam and receives a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award for round 15. He got a double-double of 36 points and 10 assists, while his team was edged out by Dukes UDB (#4, 8-7) 82-80. Rotterdam maintains the 7th position in Dutch league. Rotterdam is currently ranked second from the bottom. But it was their 10th lost game this season out of 15 games. In the team's last game Anderson had a... [read more]
27-year old guard La'Shard Anderson (185-G-89) had a very impressive game in the last round for Rotterdam and receives a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award for round 15. He got a double-double of 36 points and 10 assists, while his team was edged out by Dukes UDB (#4, 8-7) 82-80. Rotterdam maintains the 7th position in Dutch league. Rotterdam is currently ranked second from the bottom. But it was their 10th lost game this season out of 15 games. In the team's last game Anderson had a remarkable 66.7% from 2-point range and got five three-pointers out of 9 attempts. He turned to be Rotterdam's top player in his first season with the team. Boise State University graduate has very impressive stats this year. Anderson is in league's top in points (5th best: 18.1ppg), assists (7th best: 4.8apg) and averages solid 2.6spg and 42.9% from behind 3-point line.
Second best performed player last round was Jason Dourisseau (196-F/G-83) of top-ranked Groningen. He is American swingman in his second season at Groningen. In the last game Dourisseau recorded impressive 24 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Of course he led Groningen to another comfortable win outscoring slightly lower-ranked Leiden (#3, 9-6) 101-77. It was definitely game of the week between two contenders to the title. Groningen consolidated its place in the very top position of the standings. His team belongs to top of the standings with 14-1 record and is considered one of the main candidates for the league title. Dourisseau is well-known at Groningen and he already established his position as one of the team's leaders.
Third place about best performers goes to guard George Marshall (186-PG-92) of Leeuwarden (#5). Marshall scored 25 points. He was a key player of Leeuwarden, leading his team to a 103-97 win against the lower-ranked Weert (#8, 1-14). The chances of Leeuwarden ranking at the top of the league, however are very questionable as they have already lost 9 games, recording just six victories. With bigger assistance of his teammates, Marshall could help Leeuwarden to bring them higher in the standings. Marshall has a great season in Holland. After 15 games, he made it on the list of the league's leaders in points with 15.7ppg (6th best).
Other top performing players last week: 4. Antwan Scott (188-G-92) of Dukes UDB - 30 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists 5. Stefan Wessels (203-F-84) of Dukes UDB - 19 points and 9 rebounds 6. Denton Koon (203-F-92) of Leeuwarden - 16 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists 7. Jordan Gregory (188-G-92) of Leeuwarden - 20 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists 8. J.T. Yoho (198-F-93) of Zwolle - 20 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists 9. Andrew Smith (206-F-92) of Groningen - 16 points and 4 rebounds 10. Lance Jeter (191-PG-88) of Groningen - 15 points, 3 rebounds and 10 assists
The Player of the week is chosen based on efficiency calculation, but also including game result, importance of the game, if played recorded double-double/triple-double, etc. The efficiency formula is a combination of various formulas used by different basketball organizations/leagues. We got involved many basketball scouts and journalists to assure it's accuracy. The formula: 1.5*PTS + 3* (REB+AST+ST+BL-TO) - 2*BSAG - 4*PF + 3*PFRV + 4* (2FGPM+3FGPM) + 1.5*FTM - 3* (2FGPA-2FGPM) - 3* (3FGPA-3FGPM) - (FTA-FTM)
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