Jacob Burtschi is a 31 year old 198cm forward from Chickasha, Oklahoma that is playing his sixth professional season with the Nilan Bisons Loimaa (Finland-Korisliiga). 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%. As a rookie in 2010-2011 he played for ). He played as a rookie for Phoenix Hagen in 2010-2011 averaging 14.2ppg, 6.9rpg, 2.5apg, Steals-3(1.5spg), FGP: 56.0%, 3PT: 44.2%, FT: 82.2%. In the 2011-2012 season he played for CAI Zaragoza (Spain-ACB) playing 9 games averaging 2.6ppg, 2.4rpg; left in Nov.’11, in Dec.’11 moved to Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt (Germany-BBL): German League: 22 games: 8.2ppg, 4.5rpg, 1.4apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 36.3%, FT: 87.5%; EuroCup: 2 games: 5.5ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.0apg, 1.0spg. In the 2012-2013 season he played for the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven (Germany-BBL) playing 33 games: 9.8ppg, 6.2rpg, 1.7apg, 1.3spg, 2FGP: 45.9%, 3FGP: 40.3%, FT: 89.3%. He played the last two seasons for the Fraport Skyliners and last season played EuroChallenge playing 8 games averaging 8.6ppg, 7reb, 2ast, 1steal and 15 BBL games averaging 7.3ppg, 3.8rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 57.7%, 3PT: 33.8%, FT: 87.5%. In three seasons for Frankfurt he played a total of 63 BBL games. He talked to German Hoops after his first VTB game against Khimki Moscow.
Thanks Jake for talking to German Hoops It was -1c in Loimaa tonight. Have you already gotten used to the earlier colder temperatures in Finland?
The weather hasn’t been too bad so far. I used to live in Colorado so its nothing new for me.
It was nice watching you play again as I saw the second half of the Bisons opening VTB game against Khimki Moscow. That was a tough opponent to have in the opener. The Bisons lost 81-62 as the Russian team controlled the game. In the fourth quarter you cut it down to as much as 13 points. Was the experience and skill factor of Khimki just to much to handle?
They were a very physical team and they just forced us out of our plays. They are a top team in Europe.
Right in the first game you had to deal with many ex NBA players like Tyler Honeycutt, James Augustine, Paul Davis and Alexy Shved. Was this one of the main reasons for coming to the Bisons for being able to duel week in and out against the best?
Being able to play in the VTB was a big reason. An extra 30 games in the season to play against some very talented teams. It was definitely a big factor.
Alexy Shved led all scorers with 20 points. He really filled up the stat sheet. What will the team have to do better next time to limit him more or is that almost impossible?
We didn’t do a good job communicating and rotating on defense. They have a number of guys on their team that can take over at any point, but we have to be able to contain them to a certain extent if we want a chance to win at the end.
There are many talented teams in the VTB and the competition level is very high. What is the main goal of the team going into this competition? Just to go out each night and fight, fight giving every team hell and hoping for some to underestimate you?
We want to compete every night. Last year this team was 3 wins away from the 8th seed in the VTB playoffs. We don’t want to just come out and participate in the game. We want to win and we want an opportunity to make the playoffs.
The Bisons won their first game in the Finish Korisliiga against Helsinki 82-70 where you were the leading scorer with 21 points. After moving up from the second division the team won the Korisliiga title two years in a row. How high are the expectations to win and how good are the chances with this team to mix it up with the best teams?
The Bisons are always considered a championship contender. Its championship or bust here. That is our mentality. We have a good group of Americans and Finnish players that we feel we can accomplish that
The club seems to added the right mix with Americans Martin Zeno, Justin Jackson and Mario Edwards. Did your first game production give you an added sense that you might be able to be more of a scorer than in other years or do you see this being a team where the top scorer could be 1-5 different guys each night?
The leading scorer role will change all the time. We have a lot of weapons that can score. Our strength is getting out and running and we have a lot of guys that do that well.
After playing for coaches like Ingo Freyer, Doug Spradley and Gordon Herbert in Germany you now have Greg Gibson. He played some years in Germany in the late 90s and has been a coach in Finland since 2003 winning titles. What kind of relationship do you have with him and what coaching traits does he have that you haven´t seen from the other three guys in Germany?
Coach and I have a very good relationship. Each coach has their own personality traits, but all coaches shared the same mentality of wanting to win, wanting to compete, and wanting to get the best out of you.
Your ex team Fraport Skyliners won a magnificent game in Bremerhaven giving up only 59 points despite being without Danilo Barthel and Johannes Voigtmann.Today came the unfortunate news that Joe has to be operated on and Konstantin Klein will miss three weeks. After being operated on your back what words of encouragement do you have for the German national player Voigtmann?
Joe is a tough kid. He will be back quicker than the expected timeline. Sporeg is a great rehab facility and they will have him and Konsti back very soon.
In the game against Helsinki you played against a fellow named Mike Myers. Even when one is highly focused in a game does a name like that get you thinking for an instance about the actor from Waynes World?
Actually never even thought about it until now.
What I always wanted to know. Who hits more three pointers from the corner with 10 trys you or Mikko Koivisto?
Mikko. He is the only guy that has my number in shooting competitions.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Narcos. netflix series. must watch.
Thanks Jacob for the chat.