It will have come as no surprise to hoops fans in Germany that Marcos Knight hit the ground running in the Basketball Champions League this week for MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg.
Knight had 27 points, 5 assists, 6 rebounds and 4 steals to lead his new team to an 87-74 victory at Anwil to keep its BCL Play-Offs hopes alive.
— Basketball Champions League (@BasketballCL) 18 gennaio 2019
The talented and veteran point guard from Rentz, Georgia, in the United States, who began the season playing in Turkey, proved long ago in Germany that he excels on the hardwood. He was a leader in the Science City Jena team in the 2015-16 campaign that won promotion to the top flight, the Bundesliga, and then once in the competition the following season averaged more than 18 points per game.
That was the year that MHP Riesen came within a buzzer-beating Jordan Theodore layup for Banvit from making the BCL Final Four. Knight had a good feeling about playing for John Patrick.
“I played against the club (MHP Riesen) previously when I was in Germany and knew exactly how they like to play,” he said. “They like to get up and down, play full-court defense. I was pretty familiar with it.’
Knight packed his bags and well, he made an immediate impact. He lit up medi Bayreuth in his first game back in Germany on Sunday (January 13), pouring in 22 points.
Knight wanted more than anything to stress how he’d been welcomed at the club.
“Make sure you put this in there,” he said. “I couldn’t do any of this without God, my family or my teammates. My teammates, they’re great. They made me feel at home right as soon as I got here.We enjoy just being there for each other, picking each other up on and off the court. That’s the most important thing.”
It’s worth emphasizing that had Knight not claimed the honor of MVP, well, his teammate Owen Klassen would have had a good claim. He scored 17 points, grabbed 18 rebounds, swatted 3 blocks and had a +36 efficiency against Anwil. Klassen is the only player to have grabbed as many as 18 boards in a BCL game this season.
The remaining Regular Season schedule has the club hosting Ventspils, playing at UCAM Murcia and then taking on Nizhny Novgorod at home again.
What is probably more important for the team than reaching the Play-Offs is to play well and win. If MHP Riesen start to turn on all cylinders, they can make the Bundesliga post-season and then anything is possible.
“That’s the goal,” Knight said, when asked about sneaking into the BCL Play-Offs.
“We’ve got to take it one game at a time but that’s the ultimate aim,” he said.