Aaron Miles (186-PG-83, college: Kansas), top assistant in Russia and VTB League (7.3 apg), is ready to bring Russian Cup trophy to Samara again. He shared some thoughts about his coach, his game vision and his opponents in this interview.
Two seasons ago coach Bazarevich said that youre true playmaker this team needs. How would you describe your set of basketball skills that helped you become such kind of player?
I learned to be a playmaker from the early age. I was very observant, I saw how my father was coaching my sister. So growing up I developed a mentality, an attitude that I should do everything to help my team win and I dont worry about individual stats.
What did Bazarevich tell you when you became a part of Samara team?
He told me to run that team, to be a playmaker. He trusted me, he knew my style.
What was your first impression of Bazarevich? How did he change his coaching style through these seasons?
He was really easy going man compared to my previous coaches. Initially I felt like he wants to control every set that we ran every play. But as the season progressed he developed in trusting me, trusting the team. And he allowed me to run the team and dictate things I was going on out there. He prepares us in practice and when weve got on the floor, he gives us freedom. I appreciate and I like that. This year he has a better mix of my and his sets calling during the game. I should say he didnt change his demeanor. At the game he is excited and nervous at the same time, but off the game he is cool and calm. Also the practices have decreased a little bit.
How different is the training process in Krasnye Krylia from the training in one of your previous team, Cajasol?
In Cajasol we played only once a week and I hated that. We had to practice three times a week twice a day. Countless hours on your body - it is needless. In Krylia Bazarevich, especially in this year, did a great job in resting our bodies and our minds. Last year towards the end of the season we were playing only in PBL and had a lot of practices twice a day and I didnt like that obviously. This year Bazarevich makes sure our bodies are rested. Of course, he tries to make most out of us in a short period of time, but he does that with a quality opposed to quantity approach.
At the FIBA Europe site it was written that youre conductor of the orchestra. Could you tell how hard it is to conduct this team this season compared to the last one?
This season it is easier, it has a lot more fun. This year we have more talent and we are more healthier. We have a good mixture all type of players defenders, scorers, shooters, hustlers, post players. For them knowing that Im a point guard, that likes to get people involved into game, its a lot easier to follow suit.
How does Zaryazhko help you at the first position? In which components he should improve his game?
I like Victor a lot. Hes a young kid that works hard and wants to get better. He has a ton of potential. He is 6-4 with a decent handle and jumpshot. He can defend well. In his age you gonna make mistakes playing against grown men, thats a part of his development. I believe in 4 or 5 years he will be one of the better players in Russia. He got a lot of work to do and he should maintain his confidence on the floor. He is considered as a combo guard, but if hell improve his point guard skills, hell be very dangerous at first position with his height. For that he should improve his court vision, make his decision which set to run much faster and understand which player on the court should get the ball right at the moment.
What did Collins bring to your team?
He brings a lot of knowledge to the game, a lot of experience. Hes gonna help me out. He sees things with a point guard mind and also with a coachs mind. When he comes into the game he brings a sense of composure, he keeps the game at the same level or elevates it. Its good to have him on the team, I like him.
Do you feel comfortable scoring in clutch time or prefer to pass the ball to the other guy?
It depends on the flow of the game. If throughout the game I scored many points and feel confident, then I may take the shot. But if Trey Simmons is scoring a lot, then Ill pass the ball to him, because hes a much better and improving scorer. Or maybe Ill pass to Andre, Jenya, Omar or Collins, we just need to figure out the flow of the game. Some people thinks at the end of the game Let me be a hero, but Im not that kind of man. Ill find the best player in the situation in the end of the game.
How would you describe a type of player you could guard best of all?
I would compete against every type of player. I enjoy going up against good players. Its fun, it helps to bring the best out of you. It can be thought that individually it is easier to guard against player like Rondo, because hes not consider as a shooter, but it could be not good for your team, cause he gets all the team involved. On the other hand you could play individually against tough point guard that scores all the time and thats harder for you but easier for your team, because you can stay focused just on him.
At the Final Four of Russian Cup youll be guarding against Paul Delaney. What can you say about him?
Hes a strong athletic kind of player, he runs team very well, theyve defeated Spartak SPb recently. Hes a leader of Spartak-Primorie, hes knocking down shots, so its gonna be a tough battle, but Im excited to get the Russian Cup again, well try to defend our title.
Could you tell the pluses and minuses of playing in Samara?
Pluses: we have great loyal fans, they come out and support us very well. Its great to play with our coach who gives us the freedom to play. Negatives: the weather and also I havent found what do to with my family here. I have a wife and three little kids and they stuck in the house most of the time and thats difficult for them and adds a stress for me.
Universitet-Yugra Surgut are crowned Superleague champions - 8 hours ago
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Irkut - Univ.Surgut 49-84 Univ.Surgut are crowned Superleague champions. They fired past Irkut on the road to complete the sweep of the championship series. Universitet-Yugra outrebounded Irkut Irkutsk 38-23 including 29 on the defensive glass. It was a great evening for forward Alexander Savenkov (205-82) who led his team to a victory with a double-double by scoring 10 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists. The former international swingman Andrei Ivanov (197-84, agency: Alti Sport) helped... [read more]
Univ.Surgut are crowned Superleague champions. They fired past Irkut on the road to complete the sweep of the championship series. Universitet-Yugra outrebounded Irkut Irkutsk 38-23 including 29 on the defensive glass. It was a great evening for forward Alexander Savenkov (205-82) who led his team to a victory with a double-double by scoring 10 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists. The former international swingman Andrei Ivanov (197-84, agency: Alti Sport) helped adding 19 points. The best for the losing side was Aleksandr Zakharov (203-93) with 14 points and point guard Gleb Gerasimenko (182-88) scored 9 points. Since the result was very predictable, it gave the chance for the coaches to test many bench players which allowed the starters a little rest for the next games. Top scorers: Irkut: A.Zakharov 14+3reb+1ast, G.Gerasimenko 9+4reb, D.Zlobin 9+1reb+1ast, A.Varnakov 6+4reb+2ast, K.Novikov 5+4reb+1ast, A.Sayapin 4+1ast Univ.Surgut: A.Ivanov 19+3reb+2ast, A.Savenkov 10+11reb+4ast, N.Lepojevic 10+6reb+3ast, A.Pushkin 9+5reb, I.Syrovatko 9+1reb+4ast, L.Lekavicius 9+3reb+5ast
Superleague 1 Round 2 of Finals. Univ. Surgut register second straight win - 3 days ago
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FINAL Univ.Surgut - Irkut 81-72 Univ.Surgut prevailed against Irkut for 2-0 lead in Finals. Universitet-Yugra made 28-of-34 free shots (82.4 percent) during the game. 30 personal fouls committed by Irkut Irkutsk helped opponents get some easy free throw opportunities. Serbian Nikola Lepojevic (195-82, agency: BeoExcell) orchestrated the victory by scoring 26 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. The former international center Aleksey Fedorchuk (208-86, agency: Stanislav Ryzhov) contributed... [read more]
Univ.Surgut prevailed against Irkut for 2-0 lead in Finals. Universitet-Yugra made 28-of-34 free shots (82.4 percent) during the game. 30 personal fouls committed by Irkut Irkutsk helped opponents get some easy free throw opportunities. Serbian Nikola Lepojevic (195-82, agency: BeoExcell) orchestrated the victory by scoring 26 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. The former international center Aleksey Fedorchuk (208-86, agency: Stanislav Ryzhov) contributed with 15 points and 9 rebounds for the winners. Universitet-Yugra's coach Sergei Olhov allowed to play the deep bench players saving starting five for next games. Point guard Alexandr Varnakov (185-92) replied with 15 points and 5 assists and forward Konstantin Novikov (202-87) added 8 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists in the effort for Irkut Irkutsk. Top scorers: Univ.Surgut: N.Lepojevic 26+5reb+4ast, A.Fedorchuk 15+9reb, A.Ivanov 10+2reb+2ast, L.Lekavicius 8+5reb+4ast, A.Pushkin 7+2reb, A.Savenkov 6+9reb+4ast Irkut: A.Varnakov 15+4reb+5ast, A.Zakharov 15+2reb+3ast, A.Sayapin 9+3reb, E.Muraviev 9+3reb, K.Novikov 8+11reb+4ast, G.Gerasimenko 6+2reb+1ast
Novosybirsk bounced back from the starting loss and held off Spartak-Primorie to even the consolation final series. Power forward Aleksandr Lavnikov (205-91, agency: Alti Sport) orchestrated the victory with a double-double by scoring 17 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists. Point guard Dmitriy Makeev (190-96) contributed with 20 points for the winners. Novosybirsk's coach Vladimir Pevnev used a ten-player rotation in such tough game. Power forward Andrey Kirdyachkin (208-90) replied with 21 points and 8 rebounds and power forward Maxim Krivosheev (207-88) added 20 points and 8 rebounds in the effort for Spartak-Prim. Top scorers: Novosybirsk: D.Makeev 20+2reb+3ast, A.Lavnikov 17+10reb+4ast, G.Goldyrev 16+7reb+1ast, A.Kurtsevich 8+5reb, K.Pisklov 6+1reb+1ast, A.Dvalishvili 5+3reb Spartak-Prim.: A.Kirdyachkin 21+8reb+1ast, M.Krivosheev 20+8reb+1ast, F.Klyuchnikov 14+2reb+1ast, A.Mateyunas 5+3reb+6ast, I.Savelyev 4+2reb, V.Babaylov 3+1reb
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