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The MVP diary - Big John Bryant:

The MVP diary - Big John Bryant: "Why a tattoo of the minster? Because Ulm has made my basketball...

Beko BBL MVP John Bryant talks about seeing Hangover Part III; losing Game Three in Oldenburg; Till-Joscha Jönke; and his tattoo of the Ulm Minster.

Hi everyone!

We went as a team to see Hangover Part III this week. It was definitely funny. It had a good storyline – not everybody just blacking out. So it was better than the second one. Of course the first one was the best. It was the original. But we had a good time. It was a movie most everybody wanted to see so we went out together.

The Game Three loss was definitely tough. The first half was just going back and forth and battling. With Per Günther being out, we kind of switched up the rotations and threw the young fellow Till-Joscha Jönke in there to play defense. That’s what he does in practice, just hounds everybody. Coach wanted to put him out there and put as much pressure on Dru Joyce as we could. That worked well in the first half. Coming into the second half, we were down by three and made a good run in the third quarter and went up by 13. In the fourth quarter we just couldn’t buy a bucket. It’s something we have to figure out with the different rotations. Without Per, there is a point guard absence. He is one of the biggest parts of our offense. His speed and ability to get to the basket on offense are huge for us. Not having that threat for us on the floor is definitely a huge loss for us. But the last seven minutes is crunch time, and we didn’t execute. Of course you can’t be happy about a loss. But there was the positive that it was our first game without Per and we still have the pieces to keep it going. If we work out some details we still have a shot to win. That was definitely the positive thing we took out of the game. Now we have to come together. It’s Game Four and our backs are against the wall now. It’s win or go home. It will be a true test of everybody’s character to see how they come out and play on Saturday.

The key to Saturday’s game is definitely going to be defense. We struggle on the ball screens with Jenkins and Paulding, and Jenkins just makes good shots at the top of the key after ball screens. We just have to put more pressure on him, and we cannot leave Paulding open. We just have to make sure we get the defensive rebound and not give them second chance points. We did that well in the first half but they got more in the second half and hit a few threes off that. So defense will be the main thing we have to work on. The offense will come without Per.

Till is the energy guy on defense. In practice he hounds Per and makes it so Per is not comfortable in practice every day. And that’s one of the things that has gotten Per very good. His offensive game is still in the development. But it’s getting there. At the beginning of the year Till couldn’t hit a jumpshot, and now he’s hitting three-pointers in practice.
That’s partly because he’s working on it and his confidence level is going up from the ProB and his games in the Beko BBL and Eurocup. He’s definitely a guy who will be on the rise. If he keeps working I think he will be a good point guard. He’s got a great role model with Per in front of him to learn from. He’s going nowhere but up.

Per is really not liking just having to watch. He’s doing sit-ups and push-ups just to do little things to stay active and not just sit there. He’s pushing everybody and knows it’s a crucial part of the year. He just wants to be out there for the team and everybody. Being injured like that is definitely something he dislikes and it couldn’t have come at a worse time.

1370003407/img_photo.JPGSome people may have seen a picture or two of my tattoo on Facebook. I’ve always wanted to get one. I never really had something that I wanted to put on my body that would be there for the rest of my life. I was thinking about something to do with Ulm because it was the place that gave me a shot and has made my basketball career and supported me as a person. It’s just been a lot of good things for me. It was a day off and Omar Samhan had talked to the tattoo guy and we were all going to get one. They all asked what I would get, I just wanted to get something that was kind of small and signified Ulm the city. And what better thing to get then the Minster. I just went with it and put my number there so I would always remember. It’s definitely been a great place for me and great memories. The city is great and I’ve been here for three years, and I think it was something that I wanted to have with me.

Well, we’re going out to get a victory on Saturday in Game Four and head back up to Oldenburg one more time. Best, John
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