Easy Falcon Nation
The news is shocking. Scooter McDougle, and possibly others, are alleged to be involved in point shaving. McDougle has been charged.
This is shocking, shocking news. It will bring ramifications to UT, and the MAC. It may well cost Amstutz his job. It apparently spread beyond the football team.
I have made my feelings clear on the Rockets here before.
Yet, today, I say this.
Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
We should avoid gloating, until we are sure our own house is clean. I'm not saying it isn't, but we aren't perfect.
Note this, as posted on AZZ.com....from some message boards frequented by gamblers, who seem to think MAC games are routinely fixed. FWIW.
Cites funny betting patterns....
Cites MAC games being taken off the board
My heart actually goes out to the Rocket fans, who are posting a collective primal wail.
The fact that something I have spent so much time and money follow with my heart could actually be fixed (or less than honest), that just makes me sick to my stomach. I can only imagine what they feel.
Someone in there mentioned the tip of an iceberg. I have a feeling by the time this is over, we're going to know a lot more, hopefully everything.
I can only hope that no Falcons had a role in this.
Friday, March 30, 2007
Easy Falcon Nation
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
No Spring Depth Chart Yet
But the word is that the Falcons made a bizarre change. They have moved Senior TE Sean O'Drobinak to D-End. That just isn't a position change you see too often--and, he seemed to be producing at TE. From this, a few conclusions may be drawn.
- We're about to take the TE back out of the lineup or most of the sets.
- We're lousy at D-end.
- We have some very talented up and coming TEs.
- O'Drobinak played D in HS (which he did)
I do think we want to open the attack up. Coach said so in the Sentinel--that we need 65% completions to make our offense work.
Still, all in all, I find it hard to believe O'Drobinak ever produces at D-End.
Posted by Orange at 9:13 PM
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Falcon Football picks up a new recruit
He's a DB from Kenneth Brantley's HS in Louisiana.
Update: Here's the write up from bgsufalcons.com...got the all-district and all-state (2nd team) credentials I like to see. This guy looks like he has some potential. I'm ranking him a "tweener" in my uniformed rankings, which are now updated here.
Derrick Williams (6-0/175, DB, Evangel Christian Academy, Shreveport, La.) High School: Lettered for four years for coach Dennis Dunn at Evangel Christian Academy in Shreveport, Louisiana ... helped lead the Eagles to three state championship titles in four years, including the Class 5A state title in 2002 and 2003 and the Class 1A title in 2005 ... named first team all-district and second team all-state as a senior ... named second team all-district as a junior ... had career totals of 131 tackles, four interceptions and 20 pass break ups ... also a member of the Eagles track and field team as a junior and senior, competing in the 400-meters and on the 800-meter and 1,600-meter relay teams. Personal: Son of Annie Franklin and David Martin ... brother, Marvin, ran track at Wichita State ... Born Dec. 12, 1987, in Shreveport, La.
Posted by Orange at 8:26 AM
Monday, March 26, 2007
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Spring practice started Saturday, and to welcome it, a brilliant sunny day burned off what was a foggy and dreary morning.
Normally, the U releases a Spring Prospectus--giving position changes, etc, and a Spring outlook. No such document has been released, possibly because the Communications Staff is busy with our Sweet 16 women's hoops team. Anyway, they did release a Spring Roster, and like hungry dogs jumping onto a scrap of food, the Falcon Nation leapt.
Some of this I researched myself, some of it came from a thread on AZZ.com.
First, there had been much talk about players leaving, and in the Fall, rumors that, in fact, defections were way ahead of what was publicly acknowledged. In fact, that is not really true.
We had heard about:
Frericks, Mahoney and Williamson.
Ellis and Rojas.
And that appears to be all of the substantive losses.
Others did leave--but I don't believe any of these players ever showed up on a depth chart:
Scott Goodwin (R-SO LB).
Kevin Colyer (R-SO DB)
Trevor Germany (FR RB).
Kevin Munroe (Fr LB)
Trevon Winston (Fr TE)
Michaels Woods (R-JR DB)
Kyle Wright (R-FR P)
Beyond that, we have apparently shored up the RB position.
Andre Boomer is now an RB. He was a little used WR.
Brandon Mack is an OL. He is a true senior, if that makes any sense. He made 3 tackles on the D-Line last season, and played sporadically the two years before that. At 6'5 283, he has the making of an Olineman.
Lewis Parks was initially recruited as a DL or TE and is now a RB.
The Blade has weighed in with its spring practice story. Pretty common stuff, in fact. ALL the positions are up for grabs...that's an unusual spring move. Brandon hopes he won't have to coach the coaches.
In fact, save for what I am about to relay below, the key to the players appears to be status quo for this spring. With the new coaches, the system can only take so much change.
Now, the Blade article does have this little nugget on special teams. You will recall that our special teams were abysmal last year. Awful. An embarrassment (See my post "The Horror.")
Citizens in the Falcon Nation have noted that the new coaching lineup does not include a special teams coach. I do not understand this. I know that Brandon is not the only coach who doesn't think this part of the game deserves a specialist coach. You will see below where GB outlines his "philosophy" on this.
That's all well and good, if that is your philosophy and all. But you're going to be philosophizing your way out of head coaching if the special teams don't improve.
Here's the plan.
Arguably the team's biggest woes last year were punting and kickoff. Bird will oversee the former and Gonzaga the latter. Hargreaves will be responsible for punt return, while Campbell and running backs coach John Hunter will coach the field goal team.
"As far as naming a coordinator, we don't have a coordinator. My philosophy is you get a coach to handle a unit and be responsible for it."
Posted by Orange at 8:18 AM
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
Three Quick Updates
Go Falcons!! Go for the Elite Eight!!
More men's coaching buzz. Louis Orr (formerly) of Seton Hall is rumored to be interested, and Ray Mernagh of Hoopwise told Norm Wamer on the ticket that he thought it was Cuonzo Martin (of Purdue)'s job to lose.
And, rumors have it that Dan Dakich will be an assistant for Steve Alford at New Mexico, where Paul Krebs is now AD.
Posted by Orange at 10:13 PM
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Tonight, our women became the first MAC team to make the Sweet 16 with a thrilling, wire to wire win over the Vanderbilt Commodores. Absolutely awesome! It is among the greatest accomplishments in BG team sports history, and they absolutely deserve it. A great night to be a Falcon.
The great Ali Mann stems the tide by drilling a 3 with :55 left, another clutch play from an incredible athlete.
From Maureen Fulton's Blog, an impressive list of accomplishments for our team, posted at 3:24 in the morning.
Posted by Orange at 11:43 PM
When last we saw the turf @ the Doyt, it looked like this. If I had a photo of Sean Ellis on his rear, I would be happy to show it, but you get the idea.
A bid has been posted to put Field Turf into the Doyt, according to this AZZ.com thread.
Sealed bids will be received by the Purchasing Department, 103 Park Avenue Warehouse, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio 43403 for the following Project:
Bid # 5143
REPLACEMENT - DOYT PERRY STADIUM
Wood County, Ohio
in accordance with the Contract Documents prepared by:
234 North Erie Street
Toledo, Ohio 43624
Base Bid - General
Contract Field Turf
Alternate G-1 - 42”
Alternate G-2 - 42”
Custom Metal Fence
Alternate G-3 - 84”
Alternate G-4 -
Hinged Goal Posts
until Tuesday, April 10, 2007 at 2:00 p.m., when all bids will be opened and read aloud.
All Bidders are strongly encouraged to attend the Pre-Bid Meeting on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 at 2:00 p.m., at the following location:
Purchasing Department, 103 Park Avenue
Bowling Green, Ohio 43403
So, we're spending $1 million or so, and may get a new fence out of it, too. This topic is controversial in the FalconNation, but the plain fact is that we are one of the last MAC teams still playing on grass, and that's probably a good indication it was time for a change. The Field Turf is leap ahead of the old artificial turf, and probably represents a rare example of science trumping the nature is it imitating. Our local HS plays on field turf, for crying out loud.
I believe this means the spring game will not be in the Stadium (smile).
I will miss the grass, but it had to be done.
- Go BG Women, beat Vanderbilt.
- The name of Jay Price, an Illinois assistant with Purdue ties has surfaced for our hoops coach, via an outside media source.
Posted by Orange at 12:26 PM
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Falcon Football Schedule Released--FalconNation issues primal scream
At one point, if you follow it, we had a six-game home schedule planned, and it was going to include Boise State and Navy. Now, we have a five-game home schedule, and it includes Western Kentucky--no Boise, no Navy.
Needless to say, at least the sampling of the FalconNation who reside online are in a state of homicidal fury.
Let us start by at looking at what is going on. We are not a balanced conference for football. When Temple joins this year, they will be in the East, leaving 7 in that division and six in the east. Which means that the ability to play a five game round robin schedule in the division and three crossovers is gone. In fact, you can't even figure out a way for the teams to play the same number of conference games.
To resolve this, the MAC has gone to the solution it used before when it had 13 teams--only division games with have a "primary" role in determining who plays in the MACC. The crossover games will be used as tie breakers in a formula that is yet undisclosed. This mean that six games will determine whether you make the MACC--meaning every game is really going to count.
It also means that the other "MAC" games are largely exhibition games. Including our season-ending game with UT, which is likely to have nothing at stake.
From the conference position, this reflects a clusterf**k of the first world order. More and more, the MAC is run like the national assembly of a third world nation.
So, let's look to BG. First, here is the schedule:
Saturday, September 1, at Minnesota
Saturday, September 8, at Michigan State
Saturday, September 22, TEMPLE *(Hall of Fame Weekend/Sebo Athletic Center Dedication)
Saturday, September 29, WESTERN KENTUCKY (Homecoming)
Saturday, October 6, at Boston College
Saturday, October 13, at Miami*
Saturday, October 20, at Kent State*
Saturday, October 27, OHIO * (Family Weekend)
Friday, November 2, AKRON * (ESPNU)
Friday, November 9, at Eastern Michigan * (ESPNU)
Saturday, November 17, at Buffalo *
Friday, November 23, TOLEDO * (ESPNU/2:30 P.M.)
Let's try to be positive and look at the good points of the schedule.
- We have Toledo at home and have traditionally drawn well the day after Thanksgiving.
- We have two home games in September for the good weather.
- Given that, I think we can draw well for this schedule.
- With road games @ EMU and @MSU, BG fans have the ability to see seven game without an overnight trip.
- We have to stop complaining about Temple. They are in the MAC now.
- No Tuesday night games. Or Wendesday.
Now, the bad sides.
- No Boise. When we gave up Boise last year, it was with the idea they were coming here for sure. That idea only got more appealing after the Orange Bowl. To have them cancel under nebulous and unclear circumstances is frustrating. It would have been simply great to get them to the Doyt.
- Five games. This is the second most disappointing part. In a press release we will look at shortly, we will see that the AD says five is an improvement over last year's four. Well, he come from Purdue. And it is. Still, he has promised six in the past, and five home dates is simply very disappointing for people who are staying loyal to the program through thick and thin.
- The schedule is tough. We have three OOC games that are likely to be losses, leaving us needing 7 of the remaining nine games needed for a winning season.
- The Akron game on a Friday night has the potential to have the same crowd as a concerto recital
- No nationally televised games. (Don't start with any ESPNU crap. That isn't going to count until I can get it!)
Now, let's go to the explanation.
Here is what our AD said in our press release.
A few comments:
"Finalizing the entire MAC schedule took longer than expected for several reasons," said BGSU Assistant Vice President/Director of Athletics Greg Christopher. "On the MAC front, adding Temple and going unbalanced presented a challenge to the scheduling. Specifically at BGSU, our schedule was set last fall with Minnesota, Boston College, Boise State and Florida International. When FIU cancelled its contract with us in late December, we were forced to change plans and the timing worked against us. After conversations with Coach Brandon, the conference and a number of other institutions, we essentially traded a few games to end up with our current non-conference slate. While our goal is to have six home games, the five we have in the Doyt this fall is an improvement and we have positioned ourselves well for the future."
The FalconNation has been giving Christopher the Louis XIV treatment since the schedule came out, at least on the Internets. Some of them emailed him, and were surprised to find him write back and candidly acknowledge their frustration. So, I think we can probably put away the guillotine for the time being, while also saying that this year's schedule is not in anyone's plus column.
The problem with the whole positioning for the future thing is that the future isn't what it used to be (HA!). How can we look forward to future contracts when the schedule appears to get ripped up and rebuilt every January--sometimes because of problems that were not of our making. (FWIW, here is the future outlook: Schedule Notes: BGSU will host Minnesota in 2008... Boise State will now play at BGSU in 2011... the Falcons will visit Boise in 2008.)
Falcon fans believe this is the second time we have taken a tube for the good of the MAC, in return for future considerations.
Florida International is the second Florida team to get us down there on the front end of a 1-1 and then not come back. They are paying us for the privilege, which is nice, but not really very motivating for our fan base.
This whole scheduling thing takes place behind a veil of secrecy. Some free advice to the U: come clean when it is over. If the circumstances really are as tough as you say, then I think you will gain some sympathy and time from your fans.
Note subtle reference to "conversations with Coach Brandon" which is interesting for two reasons. First, Coach Brandon's contract as posted on USA Today and signed between ADs requires him to be consulted on the football schedule. In that context, it almost sounds like Christopher is putting that in the release to keep Brandon from bitching about the schedules and bye weeks as much as he did last year.
From another viewpoint, perhaps he had a role in postponing Boise.
Because realistically, as much as we wanted to play them, it was entirely possible we would have ended up with four OOC losses and a .500 bowl eligible season a virtual impossibility.
I was disappointed and depressed when this came out. I'm feeling better now. First of all, I love being at the Doyt so much that it does not matter to me who we play. Boise would have been awesome. Just can't wait for Falcon football.
Spring practice starts a week from Saturday. Spring game on April 21. Let's bring it on.
Posted by Orange at 10:23 AM
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Heard Dakich on The Ticket--Updated with interview notes
He was absolutely amazing. Made me like him even more. Not an ounce of self-pity, he is ready to move on. He's sad, but recognizes he's having a great life, and that lots of people work harder than him. ("I don't need a break. Most people work all the time and don't get a break," he said). I wish I could capture the whole thing or link to the interview, and I was in the car, so unable to take notes. He simply does not feel sorry for himself.
All the best.
I have to tell this story. I picked my son up at school last night, and I told him that Coach wasn't coming back. He was pretty down. So I told him that Coach will get another job coaching basketball. And my son said, "But Dad, who do we follow? The Falcons or Coach?"
The answer, of course, was both.
Ask and you shall receive. From an unnamed source, here are the notes from the Dakich interview on The Ticket.
i'm doing well. really well, as a matter of fact.
i felt it was time to go on. i'm not ever going to go into greg christopher and my's conversation. professionally that was our conversation. i love this town, i love this school.
there isn't anything other than losing that i don't like.
i felt it was time to go. that has nothing to do with my desire to be a coach. i haven't had a team now for 24 hours and i hate it. i absolutely hate it. i want to have a team. we'll see where that goes and where that takes me.
i talked to them yesterday afternoon. i thanked them for everything they did. bg basketball players are asked to do a lot. i told them there isn't anything in the world i wouldn't do for them at any time in my life.
whoever comes in to be the coach at bg i guarantee you is going to be shocked at how hard they work, doing things right in terms of going to class. how hard they used to go. i told them if they stay together they'll compete for a championship. it's going to be a job where you've got everybody back except for martin and matt.
you've got a great plaeyr sitting out. not a good one, a great one.
(saying goodbye to players) i didn't like that at all. the kids and yourself, everybody puts their heart and soul to it. (after the game last week) i told them i didn't know what was going to happen here. i don't know where we're going to be, but i love all of you.
so many kids have screwed up academically when coaches have not been there. i said listen, it's imperative that you do that. i got a report on one of them today, and i'm about ready to call them and rip into them. but i'm debating whether to do that.
scott vandermeer sent me an off the charts email at the beginning of the season.
last year maureen wrote a story about all the players leaving, and she didn't really want to hear that most of them realized it was a mistake. that's what happens when kids leave. if there's been anything about the last 24 hours that i've heard from friends, from coaches. i got a call from leigh ross. she was talking about how much we helped her and other coaches at BG. at the end of the day, you move on.
the thing i know about coaching is, you talk about it that day and then it's, who's going to be the next coach? i know that. 60 percent of people don't care about your problems and the other 40 percent are glad you've got them.
i don't really believe you can find a better place to live than Bowling Green. tim beckman tells a story about he goes on a job interview with his wife to ohio state. a bunch of the people at BG went in and cleaned their house without even knowing. that to me is what BG is. it's just a fabulous, fabulous place with off the charts great people.
you ask why we're in this place, well, we're in this place in my opinion because of injuries. but having said that, this is the place we're at and you keep going. life goes on, it's a new chapter.
unless your name is rockefeller, you've got to keep working. at lunch four guys with work boots on came up and shook my hand. i've always said, between the students and people like that are poeple we're always going to appeal to. those people don't take breaks. they've been working since they were 17 years old. coaches doen't take breaks. i don't mind telling you i kind of enjoyed it today, taking my kids to school and picking them up.
i've lived 44 years, and if anybody's had a better go than me .. maybe i need some adversity. maybe i need the last two years . life's been unbelievable to me. you're talking about a guy that can't hit the rim and got to play bb at indiana.
people say, how are you doing? iv'e been great. i've had an unreal life and maybe i just needed this. there are 3 percent of the people in the world that hav'e the great life that i've had. to have a little uncertainy, to have a little disappointment, maybe that's not all bad.
brandon and paluch were at my house last night, they were laughing and talking. they said coaching's hard enough, you don't need any more disappointment and adversity. but maybe i do.
i think the toledo blade, maureen and dave and matt, has been fair with me. they've been great to me. i am so tired of seeing myself screaming in the paper. it's every day. some friends of mine made a collage. if i did that every day, if that's how i really was ... i've got a really pretty wife, and she'd be gone so fast, and . there have been times where i have hugged players.
(rob powers and dan cummins) that's the difference in those two guys as people.
(What are you going to do next?) i'm going to take andrew to al mar lanes. we're going to eat some cheeseburgers.
i've always wanted to be an actor. so i'm trying to talk her into taking acting lessons and going to hermosa beach and living on the beach and seeing if i can get in the movies. her response is, have you seen yourself?
i know i want to coach. you talk to a lot of people when something like this happens, and we'll see where it goes. i've been talking to a lot of people about a lot of different things at a lot of different levels.
i'm really excited about where we're headed.
(work in TV) i'd have to get some spray on hair.
people have been great to me here. dr ribeau, dr whipple, they've been off the charts. it's time to move on.
i'll be on (with norm) until i'm told i can't be on anymore.
Tomorrow: our abomination of a football schedule.
Posted by Orange at 8:45 PM
Quick Note...Dakich Departure
If it is as it appears, the departure of Dan Dakich from BG had all the hallmarks of a Dakich Operation--one where he controls his fate. From the way MoFul writes it in The Blade, he appears to have surprised everyone with his letter that said he wouldn't consider a contract extension. It took the University "several" hours to recover and get a statement out. So, it sounds like Dan knew his fate and launched a pre-emptive strike.
For those in the Falcon Nation with ants in their pants, note this:
“[The search] may take a while. There’s no set deadline, no set timeline,” Christopher said. “It will involve a number of people on this campus and also the feedback and research of a number of people I want to talk to nationally.”
Christopher also made it clear that he does not intend to speak publicly during the search. So settle back. You probably won't hear much in the way of facts until the position is filled.
So, with that caveat here are suggested names, supposedly from The Blade. The FalconNation fully expects Christopher to bring the Purdue guy in. Time will tell.:
Josh Oppenheimer, associate head coach, Kent State
Cuonzo Martin, assistant coach, Purdue
LaMonta Stone, assistant coach, BG
Chris Mack, assistant coach, Xavier
Louis Orr, former Seton Hall coach
Posted by Orange at 10:52 AM
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
According to Maureen Fulton's blog in The Blade, Dan Dakich, through his attorney, has asked not to be considered for a contract extension.
Here, by the way, is a link to the text of the letter he sent to the AD, also via The Blade. He does not specify any specific reason, merely that he does not want to be considered. My uninformed guess is that this is part of a negotiation between the two.
I have a lot of personal feelings on this that I will share at another time, but I wanted to spend a little time developing a little perspective, because the last five years' frustration might have left us forgetting how things once looked.
First, let us go back ten years. Jim Larranaga has left for a lateral move, unlike what he expected when he arrived. Following the normal MAC practice, we went for an assistant at a major program, in this case, Bob Knight disciple Dan Dakich. We expected, in fact, for him to get results and move on. That was how you did things--grab an ambitious rising star, ride the star, and then start over.
DD struggled his first season, but then hit his stride. Big Time. After five seasons, he had assembled a very strong program, which had twenty win seasons, etc. The theory under which he was hired seemed to be coming true. He was known as a good coach. He was mentioned for other vacancies. Only the Kent State Elite 8 team kept BG from the NCAA tourney. Anderson was rocking--big crowds shaking the ceiling every week. An absolutely fearsome place to play, and a place where we were rarely beaten.
For the record, he is a write up of Dan Dakich after his 5th season @ BG.
BGSU Coach Dan Dakich has the highest conference winning percentage (58.3) among active MAC coaches (3 years or more in the league) and in the last five seasons has guided the Falcons to a 92-57 record (an average of 18.4 wins per season) and has posted a 56-34 MAC record, the second best among the 13 league members in that same span.
After five years, the game played itself out. Dan Dakich was hired to coach at West Virginia in the Big East. It was his opportunity at the big time, and he departs in an emotional and heartfelt good-bye. He was a certified rising star in the coaching profession.
I want you to freeze frame that moment. Later we will contrast it with how we feel today.
You know the story. DD returns to BG, for whatever reason. He says there are irregularities @ WVU, but nothing ever came of them. Whatever. He comes back.
And nothing was ever the same. First, his days as a rising star were over. In fact, he became somewhat of a national joke, especially when WVU ended up in the Sweet 16 a couple of years later.
He was given a 5-year contract upon his return. Remember, think back to how it felt then. It seemed simply right. We had a great coach, and he was going to stay. Our program could expect to compete for years to come. That's how it felt then.
You also know this part of the story. We had losing seasons for four of the next five years. The last two were really losing years. And Dan is looking for a job.
I don't know if it is a coincidence or not, but it is impossible not to look at DD and not see a pre-WVU tenure and a post-tenure WVU tenure, because they are as different as they could be.
I really see two phases to the post-WVU part of the tenure, however. The first three years were, in fact and retrospect, not too bad on the court. However, bad things were happening to the program infrastructure, and once the players left who were recruited pre-WVU, the whole ship fell apart.
Let me illustrate.
Post WVU I
This team should have been expected to struggle. There lost four major players the year before, and had only one senior. Things still had to look pretty good for this team and the program's future. But, with Lewis, Netter, Almanson, Reimold, Moss, Mattox, Fitch and Eyink we had some talent. Maybe not this year, but it looked to be a one-year rebuilding process.
We then were hit with a plague of injuries that boggle the mind:
Fitch injured on November 27th.
Almanson injured on January 26th
Jabari Mattox injured on Feb 19th.
We were eventually down to 7 scholarship players. Football stars Cole Magner and Keon Newson join team to provide some bodies. Despite all this, the team remains competitive to the end, primarily marred by a long losing streak when they just plain wore out. We beat BSU (on the road) in MAC tourney, and we finish a respectable 13-16 for the year.
Dakich says that the AD told him it was his best coaching job, and gave him a raise. Bottom line: things seem OK at this point. For the last time.
Everybody comes back to the program, except Raheem Moss, a HS teammate of Ron Lewis and highly prized recruit who couldn't fit DD's style--and Ryan.
Meanwhile, we add Steven Wright, Austin Montgomery, Isaac Rosefelt, Chris Hobson and Matt Lefeld.
Things have to look good. Healthy, this team should be much better. We are picked 2nd in West. Yet, we finish 14-17.
Why? Clearly, something was not working. In retrospect, this is the first sign of trouble. At his MAC tourney presser, DD claimed he "lost half his team." The evidence for this is not clear. In fact, the team was pretty healthy, had a player who ended up being Big 10 honorable mention (Lewis), and two players who ended up being All-MAC (Reimold and Almanson), and Kevin Netter. They should have been better.
Yes, Fitch never returned healthy. Jabari was injured and didn't finish the season.
This team should have been better. In retrospect, I think it is clear that Lewis wasn't really making the team better, and Netter was a toxic presence.
At this point, the program clearly looks to be flat lining. Still, some talent exists, and if recruiting can pick up, things have not bottomed out.
This off-season is a complete disaster. First, Ron Lewis, the program's flagship player, transfers to Ohio State. Meanwhile, Mattox and Netter have graduated. Talent level takes a huge dip. We also lose two freshmen--Chris Hobson and Isaac Rosefelt.
We replace them with guys like John Floyd, Moon Robinson, Scott Vandemeer, and Mawel Soler.
The infrastructure of the program continues to creak. Outgoing talent exceeds incoming talent. Nonetheless, the players who were there before WVU (Almanson and Reimold) lead the team to a respectable season. In fact, save a shameful loss at home to CMU, the team would have won the division. We beat Ball State at AA and head to the Gund, where we are knocked out.
Once Almanson, Reimold and Eyink leave, the program jumps off the cliff.
post-WVU IV and V
With the departure of Almanson and Reimold, the final links to the pre WVU days were gone. It is worse. Austin Montgomery, Scott Vandermeer, Steven Wright, Moon Robinson, John Floyd (and maybe others, it is hard to keep track) do not finish their careers at BG. Even a major recruiting class sees defections in which some players barely see any action at all. One leaves after the first practice.
And thus begins the second phase of post-WVU. From bad to worse. Suddenly, we start to see people like John Floyd and Moon Robinson getting minutes. Mawel Soler? Remember him?
To illustrate, let's look at how our recruiting classes panned out during the post-WVU era.
Stephen Wright--Productive player, left prior to his senior season. Moved to DII and was his conference's player of the year
Ron Lewis--Two productive seasons, no junior year. All-Big Ten Honorable mention.
Raheem Moss--26 games, two starts, 66 career points, left program. Contributing at Cleveland State.
Chris Hobson, 28 games, 51 points, left program.
Austin Montgomery 56 games, 189 points, transfered.
Matt Lefeld--A contributing senior and a true warrior. Academic All-American
Isaac Rosefelt--24 minutes, two points. Left Program for stellar DIII career.
John Floyd--Played 59 games averaging 8.4 ppg. 247 career assists. Left program.
Scott Vandermeer, 60 points and 40 fouls. Transfered.
Moon Robinson, Left program after sophomore season. Transferred.
Mawel Soler, completed eligibility. Effective player, even good in spots.
Jeremy Holland--left program after one practice
Nick Wilson--left program without playing a game.
Lionel Sullivan--Sayonara. 30 minutes, 6 points.
Dusan--A contributing role player.
Erik Marschall--appears to be legit.
Daryl Clements--Inconsistent, but appears ready to be a role player at worst.
Brian Moten--high credentials, came on strong at end of sophomore season.
Martin Samarco--2nd team All-MAC.
Ryne Hamblett--Contributing player, came on strong, looking to be scorer next year.
Brandon Bland--Status uncertain.
Marc Larson--Getting some minutes.
Otis Polk--huge man, huge upside.
Ryan Sims--has potential, is contributing, though he fell off the radar.
Nate Miller--All-MAC honorable mention. Great get for the program.
The story from here on in is more recent and documented elsewhere here. We go 21-39 for the two seasons, and that is aided with a cupcake schedule in the fifth season. We are 8-18 in the MAC. We are 13-15 at home. We go o-for-the-road in the MAC the fifth season. Many of the losses are drubbings. AA is a 1/3 filled tomb.
You know how that feels. Now, contrast that with the feeling we froze to a few paragraphs ago.
In five short seasons, DD goes from a rising star to being fired (more or less) at the job he came back to.
There are all kinds of reasons for what happened, but you cannot hide from the results.
It is clear that the program quit bringing in talent we could keep for the first three years after WVU. Players were either bad or gone or both. The last two years appear better--but time will tell. They will be given some new leadership. Sometimes a change shakes things up.
Coming soon: a more personal look.
Posted by Orange at 12:43 PM
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Congratulations to our team for a third straight women's hoops title. It was great to watch our team not catch the upset bug, but rather to completely dominate in the final game in MAC play for our seniors.
It has been a great run!
Posted by Orange at 3:32 PM
Go BG Women!
I don't write much on our women's hoops team, mostly because I don't have the human bandwidth. Having said that, if they win today that will be three straight MAC titles. They are, simply put, one of the most dominant programs our school has ever produced. I'll be watching--GO FALCONS!!!
Posted by Orange at 10:11 AM
Thursday, March 08, 2007
I have written a little about the MAC's scheduling snafu--but maybe not enough. Anyway, the football schedule appears to be a complete meltdown. As noted here, it has resulted in two published schedules showing Kent playing different teams on the same day. Maybe it is like those A or B games in Spring Training.
Anyway, no one really knows what is going on, but it has been highly chaotic. It all apparently started with the realization that you couldn't have 7 teams in one division (with the addition of Temple) and 6 in the other, and still have a balanced eight game schedule. Then, again apparently, the dipwads at Temple scheduled one more OOC game then their schedule could accommodate.
Then, a sitcom-style horse trading occurred ("I'll play Illinois if you play Michigan State..but then Ball State will have to play Wisconsin, freeing up Toledo to play Pitt, but they'd have to cancel their Syracuse game, but we can plug WMU into that one if Kent will play Illinois, NO WAIT. Kent is already playing Illinois. HAHAHAHA")
Apparently, BG will now open @Minnesota, @Michigan State, and then play @Boston College in October. On top of that, we will have one OOC home game--maybe Boise State, maybe not. So much for AD Christopher's six home game promise.
It is like watching a third world nation.
Posted by Orange at 9:38 PM
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
The Sad, True Tale of Woe
There isn't much to say. We played them close to halftime, took a one-point lead, and then the accursed Bubba Walther train three treys on three straight possessions, and that was all she wrote. We had it back to 5 inside of one minute, but that was all there was. In all fairness, and in all understatement, OU is clearly a better than then us, notching three double digit wins over us.
On the game, Martin played all 40 in his final game as a Falcon, and scored 15, shooting 6 of 20 from the field. Nate had a double double (16/10), and Moten (see, did I tell you?) added 12. On the minus side, OU's big men ate Otis alive, as he fouled out in 9 minutes of play. We only shot 32%, and we can't win like that (who can??). We only turned the ball over 7 times and committed 23 fouls.
So, another season ends. There will be plenty of pixels devoted here to a final accounting of all this. Coach in the post-game said we were much better than last three weeks and will be really good next year. That would be a hell of a lot of fun.
Posted by Orange at 9:10 PM
Mo on Dan
Maureen Fulton of The Blade says that AD Greg Christopher told her that he would meet with Dakich next week to determine his future, based on an agreement they have from before the season.
She also says DD's presser was the funniest thing she has attended in a long time--check her blog later for quotes.
Also, note that Martin Samarco and Nate Miller were honorable mention All-MAC.
Posted by Orange at 7:22 PM
Posted by Orange at 6:46 PM
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Falcons WIN! Defeat Redhawks on Senior Day
I've said this before. It just isn't right how good something like today makes me feel.
BG played what might have been its most solid game since it beat Wright State, and defeated Miami in Anderson Arena, which was rocking, even though only about 1,500 were in the house. It was just a great victory, and our team really deserved it. If for nothing else, they deserve it for not mailing it in at the end of the year.
The first half was pretty tight, but Miami was starting to pull away, taking a nine-point lead with 3:30 left. But, Brian Moten hit a layup off a steal and we hit 3 Fts to cut it to 4 heading into the locker room.
For the second half, we came out smoking, essentially hitting every shot for the first 7 minutes. BG went on a scalding 22-4 run to take a 14 point lead. The RedHawks, playing for a bye in the MAC tourney (that they got anyway, as it turns out), ran off 14 straight points to tie the game up with 8 to play. They never did lead again, and with 1:35 BG was up 4.
Then, off a scramble, Michael Bramos nailed a trey, and the lead was 1. On the key possession of the game, BG ran the clock down, and when the shot clock was in the single digits, Ryne Hamblet drove to the hoop and hit a runner to put BG up 3 again.
Miami came down and turned the ball over with :11 left. Miami had only 4 team fouls, so they had to rapid foul a few times to get us to the line, which finally happened with :09 left. Ryne Hamblet nailed them both. Pollitz came down and drilled a 3, and they fouled Hamblet again. He was good as gold as he nailed both FTs again (both times in 1-1, BTW), and there you have a 68-64 final.
The place went crazy. I know it was was only our third win in the MAC this year, but it was a good win against a good team with something to play for.
Some game notes:
- Ryne Hamblet continues to play well. Tonight it was a career high 28 points, 8-12 from the field, 6-9 from 3, and 6-6 at the line, 6 assists and 3 TOs in 37 minutes. Nice line. I think he is ready to take over the backcourt scoring role if we can find someone to play the point next season.
- Samarco had 21 points (7 of 16/3 of 7) and 6 boards.
- Nate Miller had 11 points and 5 boards, and struggled, shooting only 3-8.
- Coach went back to his more typical player rotation, with 4 players (Miller 36, Moten 33, Hamblet 37, and Samarco 40) played most of the way, with Polk (19) and Clements (11) getting 10+ minutes.
- Otis? Did I mention Otis? He is a beast, had some big blocked shots, and shut Tim Pollitz down on the inside. Little Timmy sobbed all the way back to Oxford.
- Brian Moten contributed almost no stats, but he seemed to play great. He was all over the defensive end.
- I also thought Marc Larson (8 minutes) put in some decent minutes.
- We shot 60% in the second half. We had only 8 turnovers, our lowest in MAC play.
- We were still beaten on the boards (32-27), but it could have been worse. We played some small lineups today.
After the game, Coach did his usual senior day deal. He choked up introducing Matt Lefeld, talked about the pain he played in, talked about him being an academic All-American. He also said very nice things about Martin Samarco.
It was hard to forget that this was probably his last game at Anderson Arena. If it was on his mind, he didn't show it. He pushed and fought to the end.
If so, I don't think the cupboard is bare. There's time for that when the season officially is over.
In the meantime, we apparently play OU on Wednesday @ 3 at the Q. I don't hate this matchup. They were pantsed by Buffalo today, and if we can play well, I just think this is a team we could steal one from.
Long season. Much frustration. Today was a great day to be a Falcon fan.
Posted by Orange at 8:14 PM
Senior Day Today
It is senior day for Matt Lefeld and Martin Samarco. Both deserve a good send off. Matt has never been a highly productive player, but he has serious foot problems and it is a testament to human courage and commitment that he plays at all. He is also nearly a 4-point student who has a very bright future ahead of him, and we should be proud to have had him as a Falcon.
Martin Samarco is, in my opinion, also a warrior. He has taken a bad rap from Falcon fans who don't think he is a team player or is too one-dimensional. I think he is a good offensive player, a smart player and a leader. Our TEAM is too one-dimensional and MAC defenses have locked onto him like glue. On a better team, Martin would be even better. He was brought in because somebody had to score the ball when Reimold and Almanson left, and he has done that. There was next to nothing around him.
Of course, in the back of everyone's mind is that this is, in all probability, the final game at AA for Dan Dakich. I believe he will get a nice ovation from appreciative fans--even those who favor a change.
Posted by Orange at 10:01 AM
Saturday, March 03, 2007
Quick check in from the Falcon Nation
First, the MAC says the football schedule will be out on March 12th or during that week, following the hoops tournaments. Sharpen your knives accordingly....
And, on the DD watch, Norm Wamer writes in the Toledo Free Press that he likes Dakich and hopes he gets another year. For what it is worth, he makes one good point. If we can rehabilitate DD and the program, we might have a coach who will retire here and get us off the merry go round.
I cannot imagine, however, that DD will be coaching here next year.
Posted by Orange at 12:36 PM
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Falcons Lose at Home to Kent
Not much to say here. Kent is too good a team to lose to our team with much at stake in the post-season hunt. We are now 2-20 in our last 22 conference games.
Final was 77-64. Outcome was never in doubt. I continue to hope--against hope--that we can at least eke out one more win. Our guys seem pretty tired and burned out.
That's nine straight 20-win seasons for Kent. That is, to say the least, an impressive run of success, including three coaches.
"We shot ourselves in the foot too many times," says DD, refusing to accept Todd Walker's notion that Kent just got good shots.
Dakich also notes "scouting errors" in what is believed to be a D-I first.
Posted by Orange at 9:11 PM