Saturday, March 24, 2018

MAC MBB Recruiting--Tracking non HS players

As we look ahead to the MBB program, I think it is becoming clear that BG needs to rely less on HS players.  I could be wrong about that, but it seems as if the trend--especially at the mid-major level--is to increasingly use graduate transfers, transfers and JUCO transfers to add real contributors or even to be your best player. 

As I watched the first few rounds of March Madness, I kept hearing about the transfers.  Nevada started ALL transfers.  Loyola has a half dozen or so, including the PG (Custer) everyone loves who started at Iowa State.

Point is, it is a trend here in the MAC.  I posted on it during the season.  Here are the all-MAC teams.  Of the 15 players, 40% (6) of them started their college career elsewhere.  That includes the MAC POY.  (The year before, Jimmy Hall, Marcus Keene, Blake Hamilton, Steve Taylor were all-MAC who started elsewhere).

2017-18 All-MAC First Team
Tre’Shaun Fletcher, Sr., G, Toledo*
C.J. Massinburg, Jr., G, Buffalo
Nick Perkins, Jr., F, Buffalo
James Thompson IV, Jr., F/C, Eastern Michigan
Thomas Wilder, Sr., G, Western Michigan

2017-18 All-MAC Second Team
Eugene German, So., G, Northern Illinois
Jeremy Harris, Jr., G, Buffalo*
Tayler Persons, Jr., G, Ball State*
Jaelan Sanford, Jr., G, Toledo
Demajeo Wiggins, Jr., F, Bowling Green

2017-18 All-MAC Third Team
Wes Clark, Sr., G, Buffalo*
Elijah Minnie, R-Jr., F, Eastern Michigan*
Trey Moses, Jr., C, Ball State
Darrian Ringo, Jr., G, Miami*
Jaylin Walker, Jr., G, Kent State

Friday, March 23, 2018

Spring Football Roster Review

So spring football is underway and the roster came out.  Someone with an empty life compared the two rosters and came up with the unexpected departures and additions.

Here's the headline....after the freak-out that occurred at the end of the year, ass BG did not see an exodus of players.  Jinks is keeping his team on well as the recruits.  You might have lost faith but they have not.

So, we expected to see Cunningham, Morgan, Stephens, Sharp and Wyatt not return.

One surprise--and an unpleasant one--is Jake Suder.  I think everyone expected for Suder to be back kicking for BG, building on a year where he went from struggling to being an all-MAC kicker.  You can check the story out here from The Blade.  The upshot is that his eligibility was mis-counted and he won't be back.  Walk-on LB Blake Lucky is not back after not appearing in a game at BG.  Similarly, RB Denzel Norvell is not on the spring roster.  And WR Aidan O'Connor.

Previous posts have covered the high-profile players from the JUCO side who are in BG's spring practice, so we're not including them here. 

One of them is taking on increased importance.  Nate Needham would be the presumptive PK for BG in the Fall.  Needham's record at Youngstown State was not great, but BG will be counting on him to make FGs in the Fall, barring a possible graduate transfer.

Now, there are a number of additions.  The only that looks more significant is Tre Simms.  Tre is from Sylvania Southview and played at Mississippi Valley State, making 53 catches in 2 years.  He was a highly ranked HS player and WR is a position that always needs depth.

Others include (None appear to be potential contributors, but who knows):

Justin Wallin (r-Sr)...if it's the same guy, he played Nebraska-Kearny.
Vincent Popisil--a DL, he is from Liberty Center and was on the roster at Siena Heights.
Malik Hayes--From Shaker Heights, the WR previously was on the roster at Urbana.
Adam Cisney--a WR, he comes to BG after being on the roster at Waynesburg.
Dajon Moore--a WR, he is from Pickerington and played at Ohio Dominican.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Wiggins to Test NBA Draft

So, this news popped today.  Not as big as it sounds...I suspect.  Who knows?  But Demajeo has applied to "enter" the NBA Draft.  He is not signing an agent, which means he can come back and that is by far the most likely possibility.  This happens.  He goes to the practices and gets an evaluation from the NBA, learns what skills he needs to play as a Pro and then comes back to BG.  No lose proposition.  The only way it goes wrong is if he gets projected as being a possible draft pick, which would surprise me quite a bit.

He's improved quite a bit as a player, but I don't see him as an NBA player.  Maybe the D-league.  More likely in Europe.  Obviously, wish him only the best and expect him back for a senior season at the Stroh.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Holy #Maction

Well, Buffalo went and dropped jaws last night.  Congratulations to them and their fans.  That's a program that made a great coaching hire, survived when that guy left, and is now reaping the benefits.  Last night's 22-point win over Arizona is the first since 2012 for the conference and the first ever for Buffalo.  It also is the biggest win for the MAC in the NCAA Tournament.  The previous high was a 1991 win for EMU over Mississippi State (20 points).

Per our conversations yesterday, UB has 6 players who started their career at another school.

Anyway, a good day for the MAC and a good day for the UB Bulls.  Really good.  That Kentucky game could be very interesting.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Crossroads for Men's Basketball

Well, rough couple of days for the men's basketball program.  Ouch.

From the perspective of a fan, it is just very disappointing to see this happen.  No criticism of any individual player.  They're entitled to go where ever they want, just like I was.  And, clearly, this is a growing trend in college basketball that's making it even more difficult to truly build a program.  It isn't just happening at Bowling Green.

But, here at Bowling Green, this was a particularly tough dose of it.  In had Coach Huger come in as the third coach in 3 years.  There's issues with the transition and the legacy players and you have a couple of really tough years.  You can understand, though.  He walked into a bad situation.

So, year 3.  You have a recruiting class you can get behind.  Coach says it is the best in Ohio.  You don't think this year is going to be great yet, but you can think maybe things turn around next year.  You can see potential in the players on the court on a very young team.  Even with the low expectations, there were troublesome issues with the team...notably losing their last 6 games and (and this one is a little different), eventually getting passed by Miami, a team that has a coach in his first year who wasn't recruiting until this time last year.

And even with all that you don't think anything is for sure.  Akron is reloading, Buffalo's not going anywhere.  It isn't going to be easy, under any circumstances. 

But, you are losing only one guy, and there's a scholarship yet to give.  You hope you can build on it.

And then this.  Things are almost back to square one.  As of this morning, BG sports 8 scholarship players plus one incoming recruit.  So, there are four spots to fill, (Matiss).  Still, BG will promise to be among the youngest teams in the country again.  And we're losing Huger guys.  Not legacy players.

And there's no guarantee that this is the end of the transfers.

Which means lower expectations for next year and maybe a shot to compete the year after that.  Depending on the recruits that can be brought in.  And kept.

Which is year five for Coach Huger.  He's on a six-year deal.  With the momentum/atmosphere of "stuck" in the Stroh, this is really a crossroads for the program under Coach Huger.  Dramatic and nearly heroic action is required.

I have no idea what happened with the players leaving.  I don't know how much of it might have to do with him.  But to get this thing back onto the right track, time is no longer on our side.  Eventually, the end of his deal makes it hard to recruit.  He needs to get some players in here that can play next year.

And contribute.  Start games.  Etc.

Here's one thing you can see.  Successful MAC teams use transfers.  You could tick them off, but successful MAC teams are combining high school players with collegiate, JUCO and graduate transfers.  I would point to Fletcher and Harris as examples of guys who came in and made a huge impact, right away.  BG is only getting one part of the transfer epidemic.

BG needs a quicker reboot than HS players is going to allow.  That means graduate transfers and JUCO players.  And, without disrespect to the JUCO players we have gotten, we need people on the Jeremy Harris or Mike Williams side of the equation, not the role player type that has normally come this way.  One of them needs to be a PG (such as Ringo).

If an impact FR is still out there who can play right away, fine.  But time is not on our side and the margin for error is slipping away.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

MBB Train Wreck in BG

The news got a lot worse a moment ago for the men's basketball program.

That's an ouch.  BG has now lost 3 players from the roster, all of them among the younger players expected to rebuild the program.  All Huger recruits.  And two of them from the recruiting class that Huger called the best in Ohio.

So scratch all that about the program being on the rebound.  It's back to the drawing board.  And you have to wonder what's going on.  There seem to be serious issues at the heart of the program.  This is not good.

Best wishes to Derek and Nelly.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Strack: BGSU Football Players Engaged in Beach Fight in Miami

So Jordan Strack of WTOL is on this story.  Multiple BGSU football players were involved in a brawl on a beach in Miami.  Coach is disappointed, which I would agree with and think most of us would concur with.

As noted, they are looking into it.  The players are subject to university discipline as well as possible discipline from the football team.  We don't have a lot more details right now, though it looks pretty out of control.  Let's see how it all turns out.

Rodrick Caldwell to Transfer

So, based on his twitter feed, Rodrick Caldwell is transferring away from Bowling Green.  It's no secret that this is the trend in college basketball.  Playing time goes down and players go out.

Caldwell has just finished his sophomore season and was a Huger recruit.  He began the season as the team's starting PG and played big minutes.  He played 30 minutes plus in five of the first 7 games.  Then his minutes began to dwindle.  He played 30 only 4 more times the rest of the year.  Then, in the last 8 games, he played less than 15 minutes in 7 of them, as well as missing a game due to injury.  Dylan Frye was the starting PG by then.

I suspect defense was the primary culprit of the playing time issue.

He finishes his career at 7.7 PPG and 2.1 assists per game.  He started 33 games.

It is disappointing.  BG has struggled for years to assemble the critical mass of talent needed to compete and every time this happens it requires a reboot of one scholarship.  After the Thanksgiving tournament, I thought he was on the road to rounding into a top-flight player, but I guess it was not to be.

This opens up a scholarship for next year.  (Note, BG has 2 total to give at the current time).

Best of luck to him in his future endeavors.