Get to Know: James Ellisor
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Get to Know: James Ellisor
The Bemidji State men’s basketball team is 14-5 overall and 9-4 in the NSIC this season and a huge reason for that is the production of senior James Ellisor, who leads the league in scoring. Ellisor recently posted a career-high 34 points Jan. 7 in a double overtime loss to Augustana College, so we sat down with him to talk about his scoring production, the success of the team this season and his transition from Glendale, Ariz. to Bemidji, Minn.

Did you feel any different on that 34-point night?
Going into the game, I felt like I needed to have a good game, because Augustana is one of the top teams in our conference. In order for us to win we would have to play well as a team and for myself I know I would have to score and try to contribute in big ways. I didn’t feel anything special, the game just came to me and as it went on, I felt hot and my teammates were able to give me the ball inside and I was able to operate. Unfortunately for us we took the loss in double overtime but I think it’s a great learning experience for us to moving on.   

You are leading the NSIC in scoring, was that a goal for you this season?
Not really. My goal was to continue to improve everyday in practice and in games and just try to be aggressive because coach told me my role on the team is to score and be a leader. This year I’m taking on both those roles pretty well and I want to continue to do it.

What is it about this group of guys that might be different from last year?
I think experiencing the tough losses we had, gaining more valuable experience, learning what the guys like and what the guys do in certain situations has helped us a lot this year. The camaraderie around the locker room, on and off the court, hanging out, it shows on the court and it’s really helped us win games this year.  

This team has been very successful on defense, why is that?

The coaches have stressed a lot of emphasis on playing defense and moving our feet. From the start of last spring, throughout the summer and during the fall before the season started that’s what we worked on. It’s what helped us become a good defensive team and holding our opponents to under 60-65 points a game. I think just working on that everyday in practice and the off-season has helped.  

BSU is currently 7-1 at home, what is it about the home gym?

Honestly I couldn’t tell you, it’s just a feeling. Of course we practice a lot on the court, but I think we just all feel we have to protect our home court, especially during the conference games where anytime a team comes they can easily beat you on your home court. I feel like as players we feel like we have to protect our home court in order for us to get a top seed in playoffs.

BSU added a couple more Arizonians to the roster this season, did you have any part in the recruiting process of Dermaine or Jason?

Yeah I did for some part, coach Williamson, he was the guy that recruited both Jason and Dermaine and the finishing pieces were for me to get them to come here.  I contacted them throughout last spring and they kind of liked what I had to say. I think their visit up here was also good, so that’s why they came here.

What were your first impressions on your visit to BSU?

There was a little snow on the ground, but it wasn’t much because it was spring. I met a lot of nice people. The environment and people, made me think I could get along well here. I just an overall good feeling for it. That’s the main reason why I came here.  

Do you have a favorite spot to eat in town?
The coaches took us out a lot over the break and one spot that I found to love was Giovanni’s Pizza. The fact they have a buffet and they have a variety of food, I really love that place.  

Have you developed any cold weather/snow activities or sports?

I have yet to do any of those things. The only thing I’ve done really so far is curling with the guys, but I plan to go ice skating and hopefully skiing one of these days.  

How was your curling experience?

The curling experience was very fun. The guys had a great time, got to laugh, hang out and do something new, especially the guys coming from Arizona as well as myself, it was a great experience. I learned how to curl after seeing it many times on TV and it was fun.