Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Falcon MBB Skids Continue

BG lost 85-73 to the Toledo Rockets at Savage.

That's 6 straight to the Rockets and 3 straight this season....not to the Rockets, just in general.

There's not a good feeling that comes from losing to UT.  They are the better team and have been for a few years, really since Kowalcyk got things going after the Gene Cross debacle. And this year's first matchup was really more of the same.

BG had a run in the first half to take the lead 32-30, with 4 minutes left, but UT went on a 13-0 run to close the half out.  UT led the rest of the way...they used an 11-0 to stretch the lead over 20 and though BG kept playing, they couldn't get closer than 9 and that only happened once.  Essentially, for the last 24 minutes of the game it was no contest as the Rockets cruised to the win.

So, at least on this night, they remain the better team.

And there is nothing good about that.

Coach Huger is unlikely to be too happy with his defense after this game.  It was a tough assignment going in.  UT, as noted in the preview, is a highly efficient offensive team.  They were here as well.  UT scored 1.16 points per possession, the 3rd outsized offensive game BG has allowed in 5 MAC games.  UT got there by shooting 61% from 2FG and 45% from 3FG, both of which are really good numbers.  They also got to the line 31 times--BG was fouling a lot at the end.  UT was 18-31 at the line...but players not named Stevie Taylor were 18-23.  Taylor dropped a bagel on 8 FT attempts.

Anyway, BG end up with 1 point per possession, which is below the current D1 average.  BG shot OK on 2FGS (52%) but really gagged it up on the 3FG, making only 3-19.  Denny missed all 5 of his attempts.  BG had a big game on the offensive boards--which helps that 2FG% as well--but only shot 12 FTs, making 8.  Overall, BG was -10 at the line.



Coach Huger called out the Falcon starters after the NIU game.  I'd say he got a much stronger performance offensively from them, though he may still not be happy with the defense.  Wiggins double-doubled with 17 points on 6 of 9 shooting and 11 rebounds.  Alcegaire had 14 on 6 of 15 shooting, 7 rebounds and 4 turnovers.  Denny had 12 but it took him 5 of 15 shooting to get there.  He also had 7 boards.  Ish Ali had 9 on 4 of 12 shooting, but added 8 assists over 3 turnovers.  Dylan Frye scored 9 points off the bench.  BG played a much shorter rotation.  The top 6 players went 175 of the game's minutes.

So, back to the Stroh with a return engagement against Ball State, against whom BG experienced their best moment of the season.  at 1-4 in MAC play, things have rapidly sunk to a bad place.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Drowning Falcons Meet Rockets

So you are no doubt acquainted with BG's losing streak to UT in football.  You may be less acquainted with the streak when you add men's and women's basketball in.  It isn't good.  Toledo has won the last 5 and the last win for BG at Savage was in 2011.

At the end of a pretty down presser after the NIU loss, Coach Huger had a laugh about it, saying that BG usually comes to play against Toledo, but it would depend on which BG team shows up.  He said it would make us hard to prepare for, because "if I don't know, they sure don't know."

Nice.

One thing....as far as I can tell when Chris Kingston left we got to unburden ourselves from #talonsup and all the coaches could stop saying "the school up North," which was stolen from Woody Hayes anyway.  So, maybe that will help us turn it around.  The football team certainly brought its "A" game into the Glass Bowl, but, alas, it wasn't enough.

Whether it will be on Tuesday remains to be seen.  If the BG team shows up from the EMU and NIU games, I can 100% guarantee you it will not be enough, but let's hope Coach is able to get these guys to bring their games around.  Right now, we're not any better than we were when he got here.

UT is 9-8 on the year and 2-2 in MAC play.  In common opponent land, they beat Detroit, as BG did, and they also beat Evansville, which BG did not.  They also lost to Green Bay, which BG also did.

In the MAC, they beat Buffalo and Miami at Savage and then lost @WMU and @CMU.  They have a kenpom of 139 as opposed to BG's 249 and they are heavy favorites in this one.

That fear is reinforced here.  They are very strong offensively.  They are the #75 most efficient offense in D1, and, as you can see, BG's defense has continue to slip in MAC play.  (BG is #222 in the nation).  This is exactly what Coach Huger was complaining about during the NIU presser.  Anyway, the problem is UT scores well and we are currently easy to score against....AND then the reason UT is 9-8 and 2-2 is that they are relatively easy to score against (worse than BG) but BG's offense is #251 in the country, so will the Falcons be able to take advantage?

Note.  UT plays at NCAA-average tempo, so it is an execution thing as opposed to a tempo thing.




On offense, UT excels really in two areas...they are a very strong shooting team (#54) and they are really good at getting to the line (#30)....and average at making them.  They combine that with not having any real weaknesses....on turnovers and offensive rebounding they are right on the national average.  The worrisome thing is the shooting, because BG has been poor in that area.  The other areas are pretty close and if playing well, BG would hope to keep them off the line.

As for shot selection, UT takes a normal amount of 3FGs for a D1 team.  They 35.2%, which is a little above average.  Where they excel is shooting the 2FG, which they are #39 in the country at.  In 3 of BG's last 4 games, the Falcons have been terrible defending the 2 and they had better have that sorted out....this team is not NIU.


UT is also easy to shoot against.  They are #306 in defending the 2FG and it is my view that this is the challenge for BG.  The Falcons just have to get this part of the game going.  I know Coach Huger says we need stops to get the offense going and that's fine, but BG isn't going to beat anyone scoring like they did (or didn't) last week.  UT also rarely forces turnovers--they are among the bottom five in the country in that stat.  However, they take good care of the defensive boards (#20) and don't let teams get to the line (#97).



The top player for the Rockets is Steve Taylor, Jr.  The Marquette transfer is scoring 15 PPG on 53% shooting and also averaging over 11 RPG per game.  He's #5 in the nation in rebounds, #2 in defensive rebounds and #3 in double-doubles.  He's 6'9", 240 lbs and a SR...and projects to be a lot for BG to handle.  Jonathan Williams is #23 in the nation in scoring at 21.1 PPG.  He is efficient, shooting 47% and 39%,  both of which are really good.  Also, 80% from the line.

Jaelan Sanford--a 6'4" SO from Evansville--is scoring 14 PPG on 42% and 36%, which is obviously less efficient.

So there you have it.  Rivalry game.  Be a GREAT time for the Falcons to get well.  And it is certainly possible, with a new focused team, if Coach Huger can get them there.  A win is badly needed.  A loss means you fall to 1-4 and even a home game in round one starts to get unlikely.  Lots of basketball to be played, though.  Still time to change what direction we are headed.

Falcon OL Tyler King leaving football


R-So O-lineman Tyler King announced on Twitter that he is leaving the program...and football.  He has a herniated disk and has decided to leave football to protect his health.  He has the full support of the Falcon Nation as he heads into coaching.  Best of luck Tyler, maybe someday you will roam the sidelines at the Doyt.

CJ Hunt Decommits from BG, heads to EMU


Back in May, CJ Hunt, a DT from Indiana, committed to BG. (Here is what I said at the time). He's decided, as you can see, to play at EMU.

We wish him the best.  This is a big decision...one of the most important a person makes, so he gets to pick the school that's best for him.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Huger: We have selfish guys

Ouch.  Yeah.  This is as bad as things have looked in a long time for BG's Men's basketball team.  Things can really change in 7 days.

You lose by 28 and 17 in two games in the same week at home....to teams that are in your conference....and in one of them you have your coach saying that you had guys not showing a lot of effort and energy and in the other one you have him saying guys are selfish.  In other words, it isn't just the losing, but why you are losing, which is selfish players not playing with energy, especially on defense.

That's no good.

I mean, I can see Kobe Bryant being selfish.  Iverson.  Carmello.  On a BG level, it is one thing for Antonio Daniels to be selfish.  But we don't have anybody on this team who should think that they're entitled to being selfish.  (Note:  Coach is also talking about guys who want to play offense and not defense).

You can watch here for Coach Huger's presser.  He's pretty direct about who he is talking about and what he sees happening.



Also, after the game, Coach said he is going to look at adjusting the starting lineup.  FWIW, the lineup that started the second half had Dylan Frye starting in place of Lillard.

It wasn't a great day for the sport in general.  Seven minutes into the game, it was 8-8.  Then, NIU went on an 8-0 run...meaning that they led 16-8 with 8:44 left to play.  (Oh and that 8-8 moment?  That was the last moment when NIU was not in the lead).  BG whittled it back to 1 and then it got back to 8 before the Huskies led by 6 at the end of the first half.

Five minutes into the second half, BG was doing all right, down only 2 at 39-37.  Then, NIU went on an incredible 17-0 run over about 7 minutes.  BG got the lead down to 11 in the final minutes, but the game was way over at that point.  That's a 69-52 defeat for BG.

The stats are interesting in that they are not as one-sided as you might expect.  Neither team shot very well and both teams had a lot of turnovers.  Basically, NIU got off 8 more shots than BG...that's from 4 more offensive rebounds and 4 fewer turnovers.  Those eight shots were enough for them to be +8 on FGs and then they were 15-18 from the line and BG was a poor 6 of 13, so that's where the other 9 come from.

BG had .69 points for possession, which is their worst since January of 2014 when they lost 45-36 to these same Huskies under Coach Orr.  They allowed NIU .92 points per possession, which is not a bad defensive day overall but obviously not enough to win when the offense is as poor as it was.


Individually...uh...yeah.  Ish Ali actually had a really strong game.  He had 16 points on 7 of 11 shooting and 6 assists over 2 turnovers.  Dylan Frye also had an effective game, with 13 points on 5 of 8 shooting.  Zack Denny had 11 rebounds.  Wiggins, Alcegaire, Lillard and Fox?  They had days they'd rather forget.

Coach also mentioned that Malik Hluchoweckyj played good defensive minutes as did Rasheed Worrell.

So BG is now 7-10 and 1-3 with two home losses in one week in non-competitive games.  Next up is UT @Savage Hall next week and then a return engagement with Ball State on Saturday at the Stroh.  Coach Huger has got some work to do, as the team loses and does it as much for effort and teamwork issues as for talent.  That's tough to fix mid-stream, but if they aren't careful the season is going to have passed under the bridge before it even got started.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Up or Down? Falcons play Huskies.

So the next team on the docket is Northern Illinois.  This is going to be one to keep an eye on.  BG had the good win a week ago and then a total crash and burn on Tuesday, so this is one the Falcons are going to need.  Again, we are trying to see if they are who they were thought to be or if they can exceed it.  Most of the year they have been pretty much as expected.  Falling to 1-3 in the MAC with 2 home losses will make the rest of the year tough to put together.

NIU is 10-6.  The follow the EMU scheduling plan, except they have only played 3 non-D1 games.  On the other hand, after Tuesday, maybe that's the secret.  Anyway, they are 7-6 except for those games.  Their best win was #197 Indiana State in the non-conference and they lost to the same Sycamore team as well as two others ranked in the 200s.

Then they opened the MAC season with a loss to Miami at Millett and things weren't looking right.  Then, they rallied and beat CMU and Kent (erasing a 13-point 2nd half deficit) in DeKalb for their two best wins of the season.  So, they are 2-1 in the MAC.

The Huskies beat BG by 11 last year in DeKalb and the Falcons swept them the year before that.

NIU is a little different from Kent and Ball State, which is to say they are a very poor team on offense.  Their offense is #285 in the country.  The problem is that the Falcons are in the defensive doldrums.  Two of the last 3 games they have been torched, which has made them #227 in defense.  So, those two "forces" will be at play Saturday.  On the other side, NIU is very good on defense--that's the #80 defense in the country.  And, of course, BG struggles to score.





NIU is very interesting.  They are terrible shooting and protecting the ball.  In fact, their shooting is in the bottom 15 in the country and turnovers are above average.  However, they are very good on the offensive rebounds (#33) in the country and in getting to the FT line (#13).  That's a worry because Bowling Green has yet to have even an average game on the defensive boards in MAC play.

NIU is good at getting to the line and average at making FTs.  They take a very low number of 3FGs...they are #340 in the country at frequency and #345 at making them.  And they are #300 at making 2FGs, so you can see where the poor shooting comes from.




When things flip around, as expected they are more evenly balanced.  NIU is a decent defensive team and BG is a poor offensive team.  They do force turnovers--a worrisome thing after the EMU game--but the remainder of the stats are pretty evenly matched.  NIU only allows 46.7% on 2FGs, which is really good and will put pressure on BG's most effective method of scoring.




Like Akron, NIU plays a very deep rotation.  They have 10 players who play 10 minutes a game and only one player who plays more than 30.  They also have very balanced scoring.  They have five players between 8.6 PPG and 13.8 PPG.

They are led by Marin Maric, their 6'11" SR Croatian C.  He scores 13.8 PPG on 55% shooting and 6.8 RPG per game.  Sr. G Aaric Armistead is also a double-figure scorer.  He scores an extremely inefficient 10.1 PPG on 32% FG shooting, which is something you can see in the stats above.  Their 6'8" SO F Jaylen Key also averages 5.3 RPG.  This team has the kind of height that might make it really difficult for the Falcons.  They certainly had similar issues with EMU's height.

Still, at home, this is one BG really needs.  I mean, not like a title is at stake, but if you'd like to see the MAC season stay interesting as long as possible, then BG needs a win in this one.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

MBB: This is why we can't have nice things

Prosperity rose up and punched the BG men's basketball team right in the mouth on Tuesday at the Stroh.

Riding high off the road win @Ball State, the Falcons responded with a lifeless and unenergetic performance on the way to being destroyed 81-53 by the EMU Eagles...at the Stroh.

The most surprising thing is that Coach Huger talked about this being the third time this year that the team has battled this particular affliction.  In other words, it is surprising to me how little prosperity it takes to trigger it.

So, back to the drawing board.

The game was never especially close.  The first half wasn't too bad.  Although EMU led by as much as 13, the Falcons had it down to 7 by halftime.  The Eagles scored the first 10 points of the second half to go up 17 and the game was never closer than 12 the rest of the way.  EMU led by 20+ points for the last 6 minutes of the game.  That's a 45-24 second half beating.  BG shot 8 of 23 with 9 turnovers while EMU shot 65% with 7 turnovers.

And you just hate to see that in front of your home fans.  It just is so disappointing to not even be competitive at home against a team in our conference...this wasn't UC.  They are a fine team, but they are a MAC team and a 28-point defeat at home is extremely disappointing.  After the game, Coach talked about players who don't play hard riding the bench.  In this case, Ali played 4 minutes and Alcegaire 3 in the second half.  Meanwhile, Frye played 18, Caldwell 16 and Fox 12.

(Note:  Justin Turner re-injured his hamstring against Ball State and is out for an uncertain period of time).

The game had only 63 possessions, so take that into account when you look at the score.  BG had .84 points per possession, their lowest since the Green Bay game and breaking a string of 7 straight games over 1 point per possession.  BG gave up 1.28 points per possession, a total that was bettered only by the Bearcats among BG's opponents.

The stats are pretty much what you would expect. BG had their worst shooting and turnover games of the year, and couldn't make that up with good offensive rebounds and FT rate (BG made only 57% of its free throws).  Meanwhile, EMU had a huge shooting day, took average care of the ball, was equally good on the offensive boards and didn't get to the line as much but made 86% of the shots.




Zack Denny had a tough 14 to lead BG in scoring.  He shot 3 of 8 and had 6 rebounds.  Wiggins had 11 and 7 on 4 of 7 shooting.  Frye had 8 on 4 of 10 shooting and Caldwell had 7 points on 2 of 4 shooting, 5 assists and 0 turnovers.

So, next up is NIU.  At 1-2 with a home game, this is the kind of game you need.  It won't be easy but it is doable.  I continue to be concerned at the times that our team has effort issues.  (Note, this isn't me talking, it is Coach Huger). It is a reflection on the entire program.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Can it be 2 in a row? EMU Eagles @ Stroh

So here is the thing. I just don't have any respect for how EMU runs their basketball program. I don't think teams should play 4 non-D1 games in their non-conference schedule. If that means you have to go on the road a little more than fine. But you aren't building a program that way and you aren't building a fan base. And it is exactly what EMU does.  Last year, Murphy went into a tirade on this topic.  (In fact, the 4 games this year were not even DII games...they weren't even NCAA games.  All 4 were NAIA games.)

I just don't think that's right.  I don't think the MAC should allow it.  I honestly think teams should only play 1 non-D1 game per year.

So, while EMU is 9-6, they are only 5-6 in D1 and 1-1 in the MAC.  They did play some real non-conference games.  They lost @Pitt, @SMU, @Vermont and @Syracuse, all top 100 losses.   (The others are @IUPUI and Buffalo at home.)  They are 0-5 on the road.  This is their first MAC road game.

The stats below are based on D1 games only.  As you can see, this game should be pretty even.  EMU is a pretty good offensive team at 1.07 points per possession, and BG's defense has been less than stellar, at 1.05 points per possession.  The D1 average is 104.4.

EMU plays at 70.5 possessions, which is about .5 a possession less than BG per game.  With that, they scored 94 against Omaha, 87 against Detroit, 98 against Long Beach, 85 against CMU and 77 against Buffalo.

On the other side, they are above average on defense and BG is below average on offense.  Now, that has been changing a little bit and if BG can continue to score more consistently, they might turn those numbers around. If everyone plays to the average, then EMU would win, so you'd hope for BG to play better both ways at home.



It is interesting.  Unlike most teams with a strong offense, EMU doesn't shoot very well...below the NCAA average.  Having said that, they are excellent in all 3 of the other areas.  They take care of the ball, are #42 in the nation in offensive rebounding and they get to the line.  They are also excellent at the line when they do get their, shooting 75.5% and being #34 in the country in that stat. This is a challenge for BG, who gave up 38% offensive rebounds to Akron and over 50% against Ball State.  If BG can keep EMU off the boards, you eliminate one part of their remaining 3 areas.

I don't know it for a fact, but Akron and Ball State were both teams that shot the 3 a lot, and BG defended it really well on Saturday.  Whether that plays into the offensive rebounding, I don't know.  EMU is #269 at how many 3s they take and #309 at making them, so BG should be able to pack it in a little more.  EMU makes only 48% of their 2FGs, which is just below the D1 average.



On defense, they have been known for years that EMU plays the Syracuse 2-3 zone and they do it effectively.  In a good sign for BG, they are relatively easy to shoot against.  That's especially true against the 2FG, where they allow 52%.  That's a good part for BG.  The bad part is that they are #16 in turning opponents over.  That's going to be a challenge for Ali and Caldwell. and they will need to stay out of foul trouble and protect the ball.  They are very bad on the offensive boards (which plays into that 2FG shooting) and they foul a lot.  That kind of FT rate is in the bottom 10 in the country.  Teams score 27% of their points on the line against the EMU defense, the 8th highest such number.  So anyway,



Individually the stats are for all games.  Their leading scorer is Willie Magnum IV, who has started only 2 games this year.  He's scoring 16.7 PPG on 42% shooting overall and 36% shooting from beyond the arc.  He's tried 121 3FGs in 25 minutes per game.  That's #45 in the country.  He's a SR G who was a JUCO transfer.

The next leading scorer is Ray Lee, a R-SR G.  He scores 15.6 PPG but inefficiently, on 40% and 32% shooting.  Their third leading scorer...and probably best player...is James Thompson IV, who scores 14 and has 10.8 RPG.  He's a 55% shooter who is 6'10" and 220 pounds and presents an immediate challenge to BG.  Finally, Tim Bond leads the team with 3.5 assists per game.

I think this game has the potential to be really interesting.  BG is playing better and probably is a better fit against EMU's offense than they have been.  Having said that, they will have to manage Thompson, clear the boards and continue to make shots on the other end of the floor, as well as convert FTs.  This is a game that could go either way.  Kenpom makes BG a slight underdog.

BG has 2 home games this week and they are not against the MAC's top teams.  If they can hold serve, they can get off to a very nice start and continue to build confidence.  Last year, BG won only 1 game at home in the MAC, so doubling that total before the middle of January would be good.

BG has 2 football early enrollees

Now that the semester has started, BG is able to talk publicly about their football early enrollees, both of which have been known for a while.

They are QB Jarrett Doege and WR Mike Wilcox.  You can get more info about them on the BGSU website, but my take would be that they both can have an impact by coming in early.  Doege will join Elijah Cunningham to provide BG with critical depth at the QB position and possibly push James Morgan, who you would expect to start.  Even more importantly, Wilcox and JUCO WR Datrin Guyton would have the chance to play immediately if they make progress during the spring.  BG had depth issues at WR and Ronnie Moore has graduated.  Scotty Miller is back (along with others), but you need a lot of WRs in today's football and these guys could be on the field right away.

Welcome to BG Jarrett and Mike.  Go to class.  Do your homework.


Saturday, January 07, 2017

Falcons MBB Gets Road Win #1

Today was a fun day to follow the Men's basketball team.  I had a feeling in the preview that things we starting to come together... that the Akron loss presented an opportunity for BG to put 2 strong games together and get a road win in the MAC.

Ball State isn't a great team...and they aren't a bad team either.  And it was on the road.  There's still a long way to go, but the team that played out there today looked a lot different than the team that played, say, against Alabama A&M or during one of those stints where the starters all got benched.

BG got production from a number of different places and right now is looking a lot more competitive than we might have thought they would 3 weeks ago.

BG came out and had a 6 point lead about 7 minutes in.  Then, Ball State went on a 10-0 run to go up 4.  That's pretty much where it stayed until halftime--it was tied once more--but the Cardinals went into the locker room up 3.

In the 2nd half, BG took the lead with about 16 minutes and held it until the end of the game.  That is the kind of thing you like to see...just a consistent second half effort that had some runs, but never to the point where BG gave the lead up.  BG was up 12 midway through the half and up 10 with 5 minutes left.

By now, the major development in the game had occurred, which was that BG's PG Ish Ali had fouled out.  He picked up his 4th and then lost his cool in a resulting frakas and picked up a T and that was it.

So, BG played the last 6 minutes with Caldwell at point.  He has played extended minutes and he did a great job in this game...Coach praised him after the game for his play on both ends of the floor during the game's closing stretch.

Anyway, BSU combined baskets on 3 straight possessions with 3 straight stops and the lead was down to 3 with 4:05 left.  BG had one of those 1-minute possessions due to offensive rebounds, which killed clock but was ultimately not productive.

Ball State scored with 2 minutes left to cut the lead to 1.  At this point, the Falcons had to be having a sense of deja vu after similar occurrences throughout the year.

Except this time was different.  And mostly, Antwon Lillard was different.  With 1:47 Lillard hit a layup to put BG up 3.  BG got more or less 2 stops in a row due to a turnover.  One of those was a blocked shot by Lillard.  BSU carved the lead to 1 with about :30 left, but Lillard came back one more time with a layup and BG was up 3 with :25 left.

Even so, BSU had the ball and plenty of time to either tie the game or put the pressure onto BG with a 2-pointer.  They missed a shot, got the board and then lined up for a 3FG with :12 left when Zack Denny just made a huge play, blocking the shot without fouling.  The blocked shot went OB and Ball State got one more wild 3FG off and Denny rebounded the miss, they fouled him, he sunk both FTs and it was over.

So, no deja vu.  This time, BG closed the door.  They also ended up with a much more complete effort than we have seen in previous games.

BG had 1.06 points per possession in a 72-possession game.  That's an average tempo and a good offensive performance.  The key was on defense...BG allowed Ball State, a pretty good offensive team, only .99 points per possession, which is a total that is tough to win with.

This came from BG performing better in 3 of the 4 areas.  BG set itself apart with 3FG defense.  They held BSU to 16% from 3FG, by far their lowest total of the year.  They made 4 and have not won with fewer than 7 this year.  BG shot 46% and 36% and ended up with a better shooting day overall.

BG also took care of the ball better than Ball State.  Finally, BG had the big advantage at the free throw line.  The teams had the same number of fouls, but BG shot 19 of 26 from the line and the Cardinals were 11 of 15, leaving BG +8 at the line.

It is a good thing they had those 3 advantages, because for as well as BG did on the 3FG and turnovers and free throws, they had a dreadful day keeping Ball State off the offensive boards.  In fact, BSU got more than half of the available rebounds, which is BG's worst game since CMU in 2012.




Individually, BG had a few strong performances, which makes it much easier to win.

Zack Denny had a big game.  There was a time when he was mostly known as a long distance shooter, but today he showed a really complete game.  He scored 15 points and tried only 2 treys, missing them both.  However, he was 5 of 11 shooting overall, therefore 5 of 9 from 2FG to go with 5 of 6 FTs, 8 rebounds, 3 blocked shots, 4 steals and 2 assists.  In the last minute he had a block and nailed 2 FTs.  He reminded me of Scott Thomas out there.

Antwon Lillard also had a big game.  He has been in a little bit of a sophomore slump this year.  Going into the Akron game he hadn't been in double figures for six games and had been only in double figure 3 times all year.  In Muncie, he had 19 points on 7 of 12 shooting, 1-2 from 3 FG, 4-6 from the line along with 8 rebounds and 3 assists.

Demajeo Wiggins also played well.  He scored 17 points on 6 of 11 shooting and 5-5 from the line.  He also had 8 rebounds.

And, while it didn't generate a lot of numbers, Rodrick Caldwell deserves credit for running the offense with a steady hand after Ali fouled out.  He ended with 8 points, 1 assist and only 1 turnover.

So, BG is 1-1 with a road win in the MAC.  They have their next 2 at home and if they can continue to play well are in a position to get a good start.  There's a long way to go and I'd advise enjoying this with nuanced expectations as we move forward, but I do believe things are trending up for the program.

After a lot of close losses, BG exceeded expectations today, and there's nothing wrong with that.