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The MVP diary from Ulm - ratiopharm center John “Big Country” Bryant:

The MVP diary from Ulm - ratiopharm center John “Big Country” Bryant: "I want summer back!"

MVP John Bryant talks about dreading the approaching arrival of winter, his ratiopharm ulm really gelling together, his excitement of heading to Russia, and a bit of U.S. sports.

Hello Beko BBL fans! This is John Bryant, center for ratiopharm ulm. Every two weeks I will take some time out of my basketball schedule to talk about my experiences here in Germany and my life on and off the court.

I am not really excited about winter coming. The weather is starting to get cold and it’s not really nice anymore. I’m not looking forward to the winter time and seeing the snow. I want summer back.

On the court, I think we’re gelling really well as a team. With our chemistry, I think we’re better than last season. Most of the guys know each other from last year but the new guys are gelling really nice. They complement us really well. Allan Ray, Lance Jeter, Daniel Theis and Phil Schwethelm are all team guys. That’s one of the best things about our team – we’re just all for the team. Nobody talks about points or rebounds. At the end of the day, the “W” is the most important part. Everybody on our team can score 20 points and come out and have a great game like Phil did against ALBA BERLIN. We’re all about team chemistry rather than being a team of good individuals. And this year we’re more experienced with the season we had last year. Most of the guys know what to expect and how to come out and play 40-minute games. This year we’re kind of better in that aspect. Another year under our belt is really key in this league and your experience really matters.

Looking around the league, one surprise team so far is BBC Bayreuth. They’ve had a great start. They lost to Braunschweig but that was a surprise too. It’s good to see them doing good work and being 4-1 just like us. Individually on our team, I would say Lance has proven that he’s a big-time player making big-time shots. He’s helped us in all of our games coming off the bench and really shown that he can fill that role that Tommy Mason-Griffin had last year. Those are the two surprises for me thus far this season.

Since my last entry, the draw for the Eurocup was held and we will play against BC Spartak St. Petersburg, KK Cibona Zagreb and Cholet Basket. We’re all excited about the draw. I always wanted to go to Russia and see St. Petersburg, so that was a personal highlight to get to go there. We really haven’t done a lot of research on the teams yet, but if they are in the Eurocup then they are going to be good teams, and you have to prepare well for them. It’s going to be different than last year with that extra game during the week. It’s going to take some getting used to. But we’re excited about getting started and want to reach the top two in our group. If we just play our game and play hard we should be able to do it.

I see over the weekend my Oakland Raiders won. I was excited about that. They were losing 17-6 in the first half and I was expecting another loss. But they came back. Quarterback Carson Palmer really showed his veteran abilities and got the win. Now they 2-4 in the NFL, excited about that. Also, the San Francisco Giants reached the World Series. They’re not my first baseball team but they’re a Bay Area team and I’ve been to a couple of their games. So I show support when the Oakland A’s aren’t playing. I was really happy with the A’s season. They surprised a lot of people and put up a tough series against Detroit in the playoffs. But the Tigers are a tough team.

Well, the Beko BBL season is already interesting and will only get more interesting. Talk to you in two weeks.
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