John Patrick, Ludwigsburg’s coach, joins the BCL Podcast

First of all, congratulations for last night’s win. To be on the driving seat for the whole game against Tenerife is a tough thing. What were the keys of last night’s win?

I think our defense was very focused on pressing. We respect Tenerife’s high-powered offense and they have multiple weapons. I think my guys were very concentrated on the scouting report and tried not to let them get into their offensive rhythm because once they start to get their rhythm, they’re difficult to stop.

Throughout three games in the BCL, Ludwigsburg has a total of +46 in a tough group like Group A. What brought this early success?

I think we’re very motivated to play in the Champions League. We have a lot of players who have not played international before and this is an exciting, fresh experience. But we’re just trying to take it one game at a time. We’re not really focused on our record; we’re focused on trying to get better and healthy. Like I said, I’m proud of how we’re focused on the defensive end of the floor.

Is there an aspect of the team you’d like to see develop?

Every aspect of the team. We’re doing fine, considering that we’re a new team and we have a lot of new players. This is normal for us as financially not the strongest team in the league. We lose some good players every year, but we gain some new players. This is a process where hopefully we play our best basketball in April and May, and maybe even June. We’re growing on offense and defense, understanding the concepts.

Ludwigsburg is one of few teams in Europe, which maintained its core from the last season. A lot of them re-signed with the team. Teams like Anadolu Efes, Unicaja, and Nizhny come to my mind in this regard. How were the processes of re-negotiating with these players?

It was a special offseason. We were still unsure – everybody was unsure with the COVID situation. We didn’t re-sign everyone but for us to re-sign more than 1 or 2 is a great success. We were able to keep some veterans here like Jordan Hulls, Jonah Radebaugh in his second year, Yorman Bartolo, and Jonas Wohlfarth-Bottermann. I think the situation with us playing international, playing in the Champions League again was a big plus for these guys.

And also, in a little bit instable situation with COVID, guys felt good about being in Ludwigsburg and felt at home. All of these guys are kinda family guys, living with their girlfriends and families and they felt comfortable here.

One of your signings is Justin Simon, and he seems like the complete package on the court. He can rebound, score, defend etc. I can see why you were impressed by him, but not every good player ends up joining in. What was special about Justin?

I coached DJ Kennedy and so, I have an affinity for St. John’s guys. I always take a look at St. John’s players and of course, taking a look at the Prometey team this year. They have three of them. Justin is a guy that’s versatile. That’s a part of our game. He can play bigger than his height; he can play the 4 and the 5. I think he played the center position in the G-League. He’s probably 1.96 or 1.98. He can also bring the ball down the court and he’s kinda like the Swiss Army Knife.

Justin’s a really good guy, we faced him when he was playing with Ulm in the preseason. Luckily, we were able to pick him up when Ulm did not extend his contract. It was a very lucky pick-up for us. We’re very happy to have him.

John Patrick: “Guys coming back this season felt at home in Ludwigsburg”


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