Jacob Burtschi(Fraport Skyliners) There Aren´t Many Teams In This League That Go From 3-9 To 40 Minutes Until The Playoffs
Jacob Burtschi is a 27 year old 198cm forward from Chickasha, Oklahoma who is playing his first season with the Fraport Skyliners. He completed his rookie season for Phoenix Hagen averaging 14.2ppg,6.9rpg,2.5apg,Steals3(1.5spg),FGP:56.0%,3PT:44.2%,FT:82.2%. He played at the Air Force from 2003-2007. In his senior year, he played 35 games averaging 13.5ppg, 6.0rpg, 2.3apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 49.7%, 3Pts: 39.0%, FT: 77.3%. He had offers to play in the NBA, but served in the Air Force the last three years and could only play club ball. Some achievements that he got in the NCAA were All-MWC Honorable Mention -05, MWC Regular Season Runner-Up -06, All-MWC 2nd Team -06, 07, NABC All-NCAA District 13 2nd Team -07, and NIT Final Four -07. He spoke to German Hoops after the 81-62 season ending loss in Bonn.
As you came to the Fraport Skyliners, the team started to have success. Now the season is over. How quickly has time flown by?
Time went fast in the last five months, but that is what happens when your playing basketball.
Was the do or die game loss in Bonn your toughest loss as a professional athlete?
Yes it was. There was a lot on the line in this game. Bonn wanted it more and this loss was a tough pill to swallow.
How much did the absence of Michael Thompson hurt the Fraport Skyliners?
It hurt a lot. It was tough for Devin Gibson to play so much. Bonn was playing with two point guards at a time and had the deeper rotation while Gibson was running on E. That was a lot to expect from him, but he did a solid job.
Was the first quarter to high of a tempo and scoring for your appetite?
We didn´t want Bonn to get going. At times we can score with the best of them, but we were unable to then and Bonn got going and then took over.
In the second quarter, The Telekom Baskets Bonn got going. What were the reasons for them breaking away?
They got two fast breaks in a row and Ensminger got going. Bonn also often got big plays at the end of the shot clock which really broke our back.
What did head Coach Muli Katzurin tell the team to do better in the third quarter?
We told us that we were only down by 12 and had been in that kind of situation in Berlin. The game was not out of reach and we had to cut down their fast breaks.
Muli Katzurin stated after the game that the team wasn´t at the same level as in the wins against Munich, Bamberg and Ulm. Would you agree with him?
The Fraport Skyliners gave up 56 points in the paint. Why was the team unable to turn off their softness?
Ensminger plays very physical and he just whipped our butts. We were unable to force him baseline so the help could come and sometimes the help wasn´t even there and he just took advantage of it.
Is Chris Ensminger the best 38 year old player that you have ever seen?
He has to be. He has good competition with Jason Kidd that is still playing, but you really have to respect him for the way he can still perform at that age.
Before the Tuebingen loss, the Fraport Skyliners had given up 59 points per game in the last 10 before the loss, but since the loss 84 points. Was the team mentally tired?
I think we were tired at times, but we hadn´t been executing in the last two games. We can´t make the excuse that we were tired. There were two games to play and we had the chnace to put everything aside and win, but we didn´t.
What is yur fondest memories of the last five months that you were here?
The Bamberg win and all the ups and downs in the season. There aren´t many teams in this league that go from 3-9 to being 40 minutes away from the playoffs.
How does it make you feel when you hear someone say that you were a big reason for the turn around of the team?
It feels good, but in the end, it is a team effort. It doesn´t come down to one guy, but there are always five guys on the floor. I brought some special energy to the team.
Who was the most improved Skyliner?
Devin Gibson. It was impressive what he was able to do as a rookie.
How disappointed are you that Quantez Robertson didn´t get best defensive player?
I am disappointed, because Tez always brings energy and has to defend the other teams best player. However Anton Gavel is a great player, but for Tez to be mentioned in that crowd is a compliment.
What did you improve most on this season?
I improved most on defense. I don´t want to say to much coming from hagen where we didn´t defend much and am not like a Gavel or tez, but I feel good how I was able play against some big athletic players making it hard for them boxing them out or playing them in the post.
Who was your best opponent this season?
It is tough defending PJ Tucker.
In Trier you were diving for many loose balls. Would you dive into the third row for a ball?
Yes I would.
What are the chances that you will return to the Fraport Skyliners?
I think the chances could be good. We will stay in contact.
How confident were you that your ex team Phoenix Hagen would stay in the Beko BBL?
Since the game was at home, I was confident that they would win with the game on the line.
You said in the last interview that if you and German national player Johannes Herber were stuck in the wilderness that you would hunt while Herber built the house. If Herber was absent and Jermareo Davidson was there, what would he do?
We would be in trouble. He would have no idea what to do in the wilderness.
Do you see any upsets in the NBA playoffs and who will win?
I don´t see any upsets happening. I would like to see the Thunder beat the Heat, but the number one team to beat are the San Antonio Spurs.
What are your summer plans?
Spend time with family and take a month off. Then I will start preparing for next season.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
The good sell with Jeremy Piven.
Thanks Jake for the chat.