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home : sports : sports   May 3, 2016

2/10/2014 11:07:00 AM
Spotlight: 'The Professor' passing test for Henry


Jared Bell
NewsTribune Sports Writer



Jake Schlosser didn’t think much of it at first.

Now he hardly hears anything different.

In a game during his sophomore season, the now senior point guard on the Henry boys basketball team went crazy dribbling against an opponent, so much so that after the game assistant coach Brad Nichols bestowed a nickname: The Professor.

“I like it and it just kind of stuck,” Schlosser said with a chuckle. “Everyone calls me that. It’s never Jake anymore. It’s usually ‘The Professor.’”

The nickname is inspired by an AND1 streetball legend, who was nicknamed “The Professor” because his dribbling often took opponents to school, where he gave them lessons and made them look bad.

“I always take pride in my assists,” Schlosser said. “I don’t really care if I score or not. I want to find my teammates and get the win. That’s all that matters.”

So far this season, Schlosser and the Mallards have been doing plenty of both as Schlosser has been passing on the attention that comes with scoring and instead assisting his teammates better than anyone in the area.

Now in his third year as Henry’s point guard, Schlosser leads the area with 6.1 assists per game, which is nearly two more assists per game than anyone in the area.

In fact, the difference between Schlosser and the player who’s second in the area in assists is a larger differential between Nos. 1 and 2 than any statistical category in the NewsTribune’s weekly stat leader board.

“We’re just not the same team whenever he’s off the floor,” Henry coach Steve Self said. “He just does so much for us. What he does for us is unbelievable, and he’s a huge key to our success.”

Schlosser also is in the area’s top 10 for steals — he only has two more turnovers this season than steals —but he’s best known for setting up his teammates.

“Some of his passes are so crisp,” Self said. “He threw a bounce pass (in the Tri-County Conference Tournament) from the volleyball spike line that went through the lane and into the hands of (sophomore teammate) Deven Guelde, who laid it in with people hanging on him.

“As a defender near the basket, when the point guard is dribbling at the volleyball line, you don’t think you actually have to be right next to the kid you’re guarding, but with Jake you do. It was like a post-feed from half court. But those are the type of things he does night in and night out.”

Schlosser is one of the many reasons the Mallards have been flying high this season.

Part of Henry’s core that has grown up on the varsity level, Schlosser has helped to lead the Mallards to an 18-4 record this season and a first-place tie for the TCC regular season title.

“He’s steadily just gotten better and better,” Self said. “He does things we don’t even teach him. He gets to spots and gets in lanes and stuff that we don’t do in practice. He just has a feel for the game where he gets it and just knows when kids are going to be open. You can see him set kids up.

“Some of the stuff with the steals, he puts himself in a position to get a steal by baiting kids. He baits them to throw to a spot they think is open but he’s going to get there before the ball gets there.”

Schlosser has steadily grown over his three years on varsity.

After sharing the role with his older brother Clinton during his first season on varsity, Jake took over the position full-time during his sophomore year when Clinton was out with an injury.

Since then, he’s evolved into a quiet and by-example leader.

“I’ve learned so much in the past few years that it’s crazy,” Schlosser said. “I’m not the same player I was three years ago, not even close. My ballhandling is so much better and I’m so much better in giving assists. I’m not as selfish as I was three years ago. Now, I’d willingly pass up a shot to get a teammate a wide-open shot.”

Schlosser and Henry hope the team-first mentality will pay off in the postseason where the Mallards hope to win their first regional since 1996 and only the second postseason hardware in program history.

“He sort of does it quietly,” Self said. “He makes some plays and you get some oohhs and aahhs from the crowd, but you don’t realize how well he’s playing until you look at the stat sheet at the end of the game when you see he had 11 assists and six steals to go with 14 points. It’s amazing to see.”

Jared Bell can be reached at 220-6938, or at sports@newstrib.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsJared.












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