BEMIDJI, Minn. – Senior guard Jake Schalow (Kaukauna, Wis.) has grown on and off the court during his four years on the Bemidji State men’s basketball team. From role player to captain and starter, Schalow isn’t taking a single minute of Beaver basketball for granted. BSUBeavers.com caught up with the pure shooter to talk about his career and social life.
After an all-state senior year you ultimately decided on BSU, why?
Jake Schalow: I chose BSU for a lot of reasons, I had a really good relationship with the coaching staff, they recruited me very hard throughout the whole process. The summer going into my senior year, I got a lot of attention from the coaches and they made it a point to get to a lot of my games. The selling point was early in October after I had already had my visit, a couple of my coaches drove down to watch one of my workouts and then drove back. That really showed me how high I was on their list and that really showed me how much they cared to have me at Bemidji State.
How was your transition to the college game?
(JS): I think it’s so much more of a bigger jump than what people think it is, the game is so much faster, everyone is so much stronger. You go from high school where you have your one or two athletes that are really good and they’re putting in time year round, but then the rest of them are playing two or three sports, so their time isn’t really focused to basketball. When you come here, everyone is that good. Then you toss in people being stronger and faster, it makes for a huge adjustment period where you just have to get used to playing grown men rather then high school boys.
You contributed to a very special team as a sophomore, how was that?
(JS): Sophomore year was amazing. Winning the conference was such a great feeling, that whole night, cutting down the nets, beating Winona State, which was just a good way to cap it off. Cutting down the nets was a great feeling, I got lucky enough to cut them down a couple of times in high school, but to be able to do it in college was really special.
Last year head coach Mike Boschee came in with a new system, how was that transition for you?
(JS): It was a challenge. It’s hard when you play your first couple of years and your getting a lot of minutes, then with the new system, I wasn’t as strong. I knew that I needed to get better in certain areas. I think it has helped me this year. It helped me appreciate every minute that I get, because if I don’t perform, I’m going to lose my spot. It’s going to come to an end soon with one year left now, so I’m going to come in and work hard every day and get better.
How has your role changed, from being a solely 3-point threat to being a senior and being a leader?
(JS): It was a blessing having really good and experienced guys ahead of me throughout the whole career. Bryce (Tesdahl), Lance (Rongstad), James (Ellisor) and D-Mac (Dermaine Crockrell) were really solid college players. It made my transition a lot more smooth. I came in the first year and I don’t know if I took many shots outside of the three, so it really helped me get my feet wet and get into college basketball. Where as this year, I need to be that role model for all of the freshmen, I cant just rely on taking 3’s, I have to work at getting in the paint, get more 2-point attempts, while also getting to the free throw line.
You’re a pure shooter, how did that develop?
(JS): I’ve got to give a lot of my credit to my dad. We took pretty much the whole month of August before my junior year and I really worked to get it just perfect. I always was a huge fan of J.J. Redick and I always watched and tried to get exactly his shot. That August we really hit it hard, I don’t even know if I took that many 3’s, it was just constantly form shooting, get the hand right at the eyebrow, get the left hand off so there was no touching. It really helped elevate my game as a senior. Coming into college, I think that was a big factor in some of my success early because I could shoot it and I was very confident in my shot.
You are active on Twitter. How would you describe your Twitter persona?
(JS): I try to keep it light, I will talk a little bit about basketball, I will talk about some things that are going on in my life with classes, my education, but a lot of it is basketball. I will retweet BSUBeavers a lot talking about the other sports on campus, I retweet some things about the NBA, about Duke basketball. You can follow me at @JSchalow24.
You’re dating Morgan Lee from the BSU women’s basketball team, what is it like to be outscored by your girlfriend game-after-game?
(JS): [Laughs] It’s a lot different than anything that I’ve ever had. She’s had a extremely successful career, obviously putting up her 1,000th point this last week. It is a little bit different because that’s not always how I’ve had it in my life, but I’m happy for her, I’m happy how she’s scoring and I’m happy that they have gone 4-0 so far.
For more information on the Bemidji State men’s basketball program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUHoops or @BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/Bemidji-State-Basketball or facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Mulitmedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).