Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Jans Adds Second Assistant.....

We continue to get word from outside BG about who the new assistants will be for the men's basketball program...in this case, we are seeing that Mark Downey will join the staff, according to the Charleston Daily Mail.

Downey was an assistant to Jans during his one year stint at Independence Community College.  According to the story, they maintained a relationship and Downey considers Jans a mentor.  Last year, Downey was the head coach at West Alabama, a DII school.  They were 17-11 last year.  Prior to that, he was coach at Arkansas Tech and University of Charleston, his alma mater.

According to his West Alabama bio his career is much like Jans'...strong success as a head coach at below D1 schools:

The winner of two Gulf South Conference championships while at Arkansas Tech and a six-time coach of the year winner in nine seasons as a head coach, Downey comes to UWA from the University of Charleston. In only three seasons at Charleston, he compiled a 60-28 record and led the Golden Eagles to their first NCAA Tournament Appearance since 2001.

In nine seasons at Charleston (2010-2013), Arkansas Tech (2006-2010) and Independence Community College (1999-2001), Downey is the owner of a 187-92 record. He has averaged just over 20 wins per season and has just one losing season. He has a 19-5 record in post-season NCAA Division II conference tournaments. Downey has coached in eight conference tournaments, reaching the finals five times and winning three conference titles.

Among 30 all-conference players that Downey has coached, six have been conference players of the year, four conference most valuable players and four freshmen of the year. He has had 40 former players go on to play professional basketball.

Along with Independence CC, he has also been an assistant at University of New Orleans, Marshall, and Barton College.

He also played a UK player in the film Glory Road.

Welcome to the Falcons, Coach.

Edwards Update....

Just a quick update, courtesy of the Sentinel.  You will recall that Bernard Edwards had opened up his recruiting a few days ago...this was a little different from when that normally happens because he had actually signed a NLI.  In fact, he was the only recruit to sign with Coach Orr in his lame duck year.  To answer your questions, I have no idea whose idea this was.

Jans has 3 scholarships now.  The signing period actually starts today and runs through May 21.

Best of luck to Bernard.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Indiana State Assistant Headed to BG....

According to the Terre-Haute TribStar, David Ragland will be coming to Bowling Green as a men's basketball assistant.


Ragland is currently an assistant at Indiana State, where he has been for four years.  Before that, he was a head coach at Vincennes University in Indiana, which is an Indiana junior college.  He was successful (44-19) and in that manner, has a background a little bit like Chris Jans.

Indiana State has seen success during Ragland's time there...they did not have a losing season and they won the Missouri Valley title and played in the Big Dance...all things we'd love to be able to say about our program.  His wife has family "near" Bowling Green and he says he has recruited Ohio successfully.

So, that's the first Jans hire.  To me, it looks like someone who fits the Jans mode pretty well.  They coached in the same conference, so there'd be some familiarity going in...

Welcome to the Falcons, coach.

MAC Men's Basketball, Home and Road

Early in the season, a big anomaly was emerging....MAC teams were having a hard time winning on the road.

This was a big deal.  For years, the MAC media contingent has been treated to a recurring spectacle.  A man in a suit would walk into a press conference, his tie loose, veins bulging and the look of death in his eyes.  Staring off into the distance, he would say...

"It's hard to win on the road in the MAC."

And indeed it was.  Not just in the MAC, in fact, but in all of college basketball.

Which is why it was notable when, early in the MAC season, the road teams were winning 53% of the games.  That was dog sleeping with cat territory.

Well, it didn't end up that way.  Remember, we're talking MAC games only.  In fact, the home teams ended up winning 59% of the games, which is not great, but it is in a normal territory.  Two years ago, MAC teams won 67% of the games at home, last year it was 56% and this year it ticked up to 59%.  From the point when I wrote that post, MAC home teams finished the year winning 63%.

Two MAC teams...Ball State and CMU...threw a bagel on the road.  Four teams, (BG, Kent, EMU and NIU) won 3.  Only two teams, (OU and WMU) won more than 5 of the 9 games on the road.  UT--undefeated at home--was 5-4 on the road.

Here's one thing I wonder.  The Wall Street Journal article above talks about the variation in schedules as a factor in a burgeoning home court advantage.  The MAC has started to go back to a more consistent Wednesday and Saturday routine.  I wonder if that is helping the road teams out--the idea being that a Thursday-Saturday set is tough on the road team playing Saturday.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Football Preview on Saturday Edge

I did a post-Spring report on Saturday Edge, going through a series of questions on how the defending MAC Champion Falcons will fare in '14.  Check it out...going to be a very interesting year.


Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Thank You Bill Frack, Again!


BG Men's basketball simply doesn't have a bigger fan than Bill Frack.

I mean, look.  When they name a cookie after the guy...you know you are important.

To review, Bill Frack:

  1. Made a leadership gift to the Stroh Center (his name is on the court)
  2. In 2011 announced a $10M endowment to benefit BGSU men's basketball and Findlay area charities.
  3. In 2014, donated $700,000 to allow BG to increase the salary pool and hire Chris Jans.
  4. Today, announced that the value of the 2011 endowment is now worth $20M.

The BG press release states that the endowment will provide $675,000 to the men's basketball program in perpetuity.

Why is he doing it?

"Many of my fondest memories revolve around BGSU basketball," Frack said. "I want to give back to the program that has meant so much to me and to the community I've called home."

Obviously, all of us who also love men's basketball and have so many fond memories (myself very much included) owe Bill Frack a huge debt of gratitude. His support has meant a great deal already and will continue to help the program compete literally forever.

I have never met Bill Frack but I am told that he is a warm and humble man. He certainly has not sought undue attention for his efforts. I am proud to support the same team that he supports and proud that he is involved with my alma mater, a place that I love.

Thank you, Bill Frack

Monday, April 07, 2014

Edwards Re-Opens recruiting



So, the news today for men's basketball is that Bernard Edwards, Jr. is reopening his recruitment.  Edwards actually signed a LOI back in November, so if he is going to go somewhere else, I would assume he is going to need a release.  Also a caveat, sometimes guys re-open and then stay where they were committed in the first place...and there has been a coaching change...anyway, we will watch and wait.

Reckoning...my game by game predictions...

Overall, I did pretty well this year...I picked us to go 11-19 (not including final Cancun game and MAC tournament) and 6-12 in the MAC, and BG went 12-18 and 6-12.  We will see in a minute if I just ended up right by being wrong, but in general, this was the season I expected.  As I mentioned several times during the year, the team did exceed expectations in some ways.  There were a bunch of close games and a couple nice wins.  But, in the end, they finished where you would have expected.

Overall, I got 19 right and 11 wrong on a game by game basis.  I did not expect us to beat WKU, @Morehead State, @WMU, @OU, @BSU or Kent....and I did not expect us to lose to IPFW, EMU, NIU, Miami, or @Miami.  I don't feel too bad about this.  BG surprised me playing as well on the road as they did...I didn't think Ball State would be that awful, and then BG surprised me playing as poorly as they did at home.  NIU was better than expected, but still...

Anyway, that's how it totals up.

EARLHAM    WIN  RIGHT

Earlham is a DIII team that was 4-21 last year.

SOUTH FLORIDA  LOSE  RIGHT

BG threw away this game last year in Tampa.  This year, the Bulls are not very good again but brought in a huge FR C and should beat BG.

AT WISCONSIN  LOSE RIGHT

AT SAINT LOUIS  LOSE RIGHT

VS PRESBYTERIAN  WIN RIGHT

"Blue Hose" are picked to be last in the Big South.  They are likely to be BG's first DI win this year.

WESTERN KENTUCKY  LOSE  WRONG

The Hilltoppers were 20-16 last year and bring four guys back.  They were in the tournament last year.  On our court, this one has a shot but this is an unlikely win.

AT XAVIER   LOSE  RIGHT

NORTH DAKOTA  WIN  RIGHT

The No Nicknames beat BG last year on their home floor.  They are picked to be 2nd in the Big Sky and have uber star Troy Huff.  He dropped 14 and 12 on BG last year.  I'm going to take a shot and say BG wins this one on home floor.

AT MOREHEAD STATE  LOSE  WRONG

Bunch of new faces for Morehead.  I'd say that this is a road game BG could steal but I see us struggling to win on the road.

DETROIT   WIN  RIGHT

Detroit has a bunch of new players, has to replace Ray McCallum and also had Jason Calliste transfer at the last minute.

AT WRIGHT STATE  LOSE RIGHT

BG won this one at the Stroh least year.  Wright State went on to win 20 games and could win the Horizon this year.  Tough game for BG on the road.

IPFW   WIN  WRONG

Mastodons beat BG in bracket buster in Ft Wayne last year.  Frank Gaines, who popped 26 on the Falcons last year is gone and BG should win this one at home.

EASTERN MICHIGAN  WIN WRONG

This one could be close, but I will take BG on home court.

NORTHERN ILLINOIS  WIN WRONG

NIU is expected to not be very good.

CENTRAL MICHIGAN  WIN  RIGHT

I would think BG also wins this on home floor.

Quick note here.  The opening part of the schedule for BG is crazy easy.  Three of the worst teams in the MAC, all at BG...and Miami in game 6, also at home.  BG's last 12 games are all losable.  BG could compete with Ball State and Miami--but both those games are on the road.  Buffalo and Kent at home are not unwinnable.  But, BG could easily be an underdog for every one of there last 12 games and a 12 game losing streak to end the season is not outside the realm of possibility.

AT WESTERN MICHIGAN  LOSE WRONG

Paul and Hutcherson are both gone, but the Broncos good enough to win this in K-Zoo.

AT OHIO  LOSE WRONG

Ohio may take a step back but the Bobcats will be tough to beat at home.

MIAMI (OHIO)  WIN WRONG

Miami still in a rebuilding mode.

AT EASTERN MICHIGAN  LOSE  RIGHT

Eagles even the score at home.

BUFFALO  WIN  RIGHT

I don't know.  The media doesn't seem that high on the Bulls but they have a lot of guys back and are Witherspoon-free.  Take BG but its close.

AT TOLEDO  LOSE  RIGHT

The Rockets bottomed out and now are among the conference elite.

AKRON  LOSE  RIGHT

Akron still too strong for Falcons.

AT KENT STATE  LOSE  RIGHT

No chance at the MAC.

AT BALL STATE  LOSE WRONG

This one is winnable.  However, on the road, Ball State will be favorite.

TOLEDO  LOSE  RIGHT

See above.

AT MIAMI (OHIO)  WIN WRONG

Can BG win on the road this year?  This might be the best shot.

KENT STATE  LOSE WRONG
AT AKRON LOSE  RIGHT

No chance at the JAR.

OHIO LOSE  RIGHT
AT BUFFALO LOSE  RIGHT

Sunday, April 06, 2014

John Klingerman....

There was one player who was getting some touches in the Spring Game yesterday that I did not recognize, and that was #25--John Klingerman.

He isn't listed on the roster or in the Spring prospectus and I am not familiar with hearing his name before today.

He's 5'9" and a WR in the Burbrink mode.  He had 4 grabs for 25 yards in the game.

He comes to BG with an incredibly productive career as a HS player in Bloomsburg, PA, which is over in the Eastern part of the state.  Young man set up his own website for recruiting purposes.

From that website, here are some of his records:

ALL-TIME Pennsylvania Career reception records
2nd - TD's (47)
3rd - receiving Yards (3,587)
5th - Receptions (188)
2012 PIAA class A All-State WR
ALL-TIME District 4 leader with 3,587 receiving yards & 47 receiving TD's
2012, 2011, 2010 PHAC-III first team WR and DB
2012 BHS record 61 catches for 908 yards and 13 TD's (also had 30 tackles and 3 INT's)
2011 BHS record 1,150 yards and 48 receptions and 12 TD's (also had 40 tackles)

His website says he graduated last June from HS.  I don't know anything else.  I assume he's a walk-on.  I don't know when he enrolled at BG.

Who knows what can happen?  Ryan Burbrink started as a walk-on, too.   We are deep at WR...but he did get some work today.

Anyway, if you wondered who that was, that's who that was.

MAC Championship Rings...


Looks good...looks right.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Spring Game Report

So, the Spring Game was played today under Sunny skies.  It was chilly, but frankly we have had much worse weather in the past..especially for a game this early.  The wind was manageable...it was actually a very enjoyable day to be at the Doyt.  I missed the first few minutes thanks to a traffic jam on 475 (#falconstop), but what I saw was fun.

It was our first time to get a look at the Dino Babers #Falconfast paradigm in the Stadium.  It was very interesting...we seemed to have two paces....hair-on-fire fast and just fast.  Anyway, in a Q&A format, here are some impressions.

Q:  What did it look like overall?

A:  Overall, the 1s were matched against the 2s and the 1s won and it wasn't close.  You wouldn't expect it to be and you'd worry if it didn't end up that way, so I am pleased to report that the 1s had their day.

Q:  Coach Babers said that all the positions were open.  Do you think Johnson is the 1QB.

A:  In Falconfast parlance:  "Come on, now."

Q:   How did the defense look

A:   Thought the #1 Defense looked good, given the players they lost and without Gabe Martin.  Solid tackling, strong coverage..again, playing against the #2, but they dominated the #2.  Forced turnovers, 4th down stops.  Nice day.

Q:  How about WR?

A:  Not going to be a problem.  Gehrig Dieter shredded the #2 DBs and Roger Lewis made nice catches.  Redding and Cobe also contributed, as did Burbrink and Jackson.  Going to be deep and talented.  (Note:  Moore,  Cohen and Gallon injured and DNP but expected back).

Q:   Can William Houston play in the Babers offense.

A:   Yes.  OK?  Relax.  He got a number of carries, chewed Adjei-Barimah up on one carry.  We even have a "power set" which includes a blocker in the backfield.

Q:  How did the RBs look?

A:  Good.  Greene and Houston got a lot of work, but Brandon English scored and Givens and Harrell got carries. Coppet was a DNP due to injury.  I believe we have depth at RB.

Q:  Any other surprises?

A:  Former QB Austin Valdez is now a LB and had a sack and tackled Houston.

Q:  How fast was it, really?

A:  We ran 69 plays in the first quarter...that's BOTH offenses, and without special teams...you get the idea.  Still, you could get 100 plays in a regulation game at that pace.

Q:  Anything go wrong?

A:  I think we had more turnovers then we'd like to see.  We had a few false starts and trouble inside the 5 one time...something Falcon fans remember from our previous days with the spread offense.  I don't think any QB but Johnson played well.  There was probably more pass rush on Johnson than you would like to see.

Also....we have a guy named Zappa.  Which makes me happy.