Sunday, April 29, 2012

MAC Draft Round Up and Free Agent Signings

On the Falcon side, two BG players will be heading into NFL training camps, and we congratulate them.  Thousands of players strive for these spots, and to make a training camp is an accomplishment on its own and should not be diminished.

Ben Bojicic signed with the Bengals and Kamar Jorden signed with the Vikings.  Obviously, it is a long shot, but every year each team keeps 1-2 of these guys, and why not Ben or Kamar?  We'll be watching and rooting for them.

Draft-wise, it was looking pretty bleak yesterday for the MAC.  The 6th round was underway, and there had been only one player picked from a current MAC school and that was Brandon Brooks, a G from Miami who went to the Texans in the 3rd round, #76 overall.  (As you know, we don't consider Temple to be in the MAC anymore, because they don't consider themselves to be in the MAC anymore, which is directly related to the fact that they are NOT in the MAC anymore).

The 6th round was limping along, and I was starting to wonder if we might end up with only 1 or maybe 2 players.   This would have meant the MAC would have had as many draft picks as Albion College.

Anyhoo, that didn't happen.  Lavon Brazill, who was the MAC's second most draftable player, was picked by the Colts in the 6th at #206.

Then, 3 guys went in the last round.  Jordan White of WMU, who I thought had a shot at getting drafted, went to the Jets. Then, their stud kicker, John Potter (not related to the guy in It's a Wonderful Life) went to Buffalo.

Finally, in a bit of injustice, Chandler Harnish was the last player taken and will forever be Mr. Irrelevant to the world.  Those of us who saw him play saw an electric athlete who was almost impossible to defend--but now he's someone else.  He was drafted by the Colts, who also drafted another QB this year.

The biggest news MAC-wise was that Eric Page, who left UT early, was not drafted.  He did sign a free agent deal with the Bucs.  They say it is better to get a free agent deal than to be drafted in the last round because you have some control over the situation you head into.  As I had written in my draft preview, I was concerned Page would not be drafted.  I'm not sure staying at UT would have improved it any more next year, and perhaps that was his thinking.

He was the 38th ranked receiver and 33 WRs were picked in the draft, so he was relatively close.  Again, being undrafted is a long shot, but people still do it and I would not be surprised to see Page on the Bucs roster or practice squad when September comes.

The other UDFA announcements are sprinkling in...we'll check in later when there might be a more complete list.  (For example, the listing does not include Kellen Moore to the Lions, which everyone knows about).

Thursday, April 26, 2012

MAC NFL Draft Preview

Love this dude....

It is draft day, and while we probably aren't expecting much in the first round, there are six other rounds, and I wanted to take a look at what we can expect from the MAC in terms of draftees.  A quick look is all that will be needed.

If you eliminate Temple (and we are), then the MAC could very well go through the entire draft and have two players taken.

The surest pick--maybe the only sure pick--is a guy you probably never heard of, and that is Brandon Brooks, OG Miami.  As the 5th best G as ranked by ESPN, he is a likely second day pick.

I think the only other MAC player who might be picked is Lavon Brazill, the WR from OU.  He is ranked as the #23 WR, and you'd have to figure he's on the bubble.

I don't know what to think about Harnish.  ESPN feels he is the #11 ranked QB, and at that, you have to figure he gets picked.  Lefevour got picked, after all.  I wouldn't be surprised if he wasn't picked, but I guess I expect him to be drafted.

Which leaves us with two players who had incredible MAC careers...Eric Page and Jordan White.  I don't know what to make of these guys.  Page, who came out early, presumably with some advice, looks to me to be unlikely to be drafted.  Doesn't mean he won't make a roster, just means he won't be drafted. I can only figure that with his size, he isn't viewed as much use beyond returning kicks and you hate to use a draft pick on someone like that.  If Dane Sanzenbacher wasn't drafted then I can see page not being drafted, which is s shame, since he came out early. He is the #42 ranked WR.

Jordan White of WMU is the #38 ranked WR.  He had a six-year career due to injuries, which may be a deterrent.  He has the size to be an NFL receiver, but apparently is not considered to have the speed.

One other note.....sense anything missing?  That's right....there are all offensive players.

Anyway, I see the MAC getting 2-3 picks this year, and that's all.  We'll track it, but you could argue it is symptomatic of the reduction in overall talent we are seeing in the conference in the post-Marshall era.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Grantland Visits the MAC,

So Grantland, the Bill Simmons website where sportswriting uses big words and lots of 'em, has come to the MAC.  Somewhat predictably, the story is a peek in at someone with BCS-credibility:  former Auburn Coach and ESPN Head Terry Bowden, who, as you know, has taken over the job at the University of Akron.

The writer is Michael Weinreb, and says he worked at the local paper during the 90s.  It was an interesting article with some solid, big school bullshit thrown into it.  There are some interesting things though....

At one point he says this in a footnote/sidenotey kinda thing.

When a MAC blogger (yes, there is such a thing) named Matt Sussman wrote about this idea a couple of years ago, several commenters seemed content with the idea of the MAC stepping down to the FCS, or the Division Formerly Known As I-AA.
So, not to be all homerish and everything, but I'd stack the intelligence and rationality of the MAC blogosphere up with any other conference, including the one where T. Bowden used to coach and where blogging and drooling happen at the same time.

Honestly, I don't get that offended by the paternalism because it comes with the territory.  But that was a cheap and uninformed shot.

Anyway, here is the crux of his article.  Here Akron is, without ever winning more than 7 games since they went D1 in football with the big Gerry Faust move.  Here Akron is, with two wins in two years.  (Here, I might add, Akron is with one more MAC Championship than BG over the past 16 years).  And here Akron is, with a $60M Stadium and a coach who is the progeny of one of the game's great coaches.

And why?  Because unlike any sport, there is zero chance for a MAC team to win the national championship.  As Kyle Whelliston of the sublime has written, in basketball, every team has the same chance.  Win your conference tournament and win the next six games and you are a national champion.  You might say that's theoretical but it is is real.

So, Weinreb argues (BTW, midmajority references are mine not his), why is Akron building an expensive new stadium and hiring big name coaches.  And by extension, why is anyone in the MAC.  (He actually uses Bowling Green as an example).  Are Tuesday night games enough of a "porthole" to make it worth while?

Here, I weigh in.

First, I think the current football system is flawed and should be changed so that anyone who can with their conference can play for the national title.  That is never going to happen, so forget it.

Second, there is more to life then playing for a national title.  At our level, the league championship becomes your title, and a bowl bid becomes the secondary goal.  That's something to play for and there is nothing wrong with it.  At no point in my life has any MAC team had a realistic shot at a national title--even those Marshall teams--and so, it isn't any different than it ever was, super-conferences or no.

Weinreb's questions are certainly questions I have asked here, on this very MAC Blog, and for years.  About a dozen years ago, faced with a crossroads, the MAC decided to invest in D1 football, and it has happened at the expense of Men's Basketball in particular.  It is legitimate to ask if that has been a good move.  Very few smaller schools are supporting successful football and basketball programs and with BG you can add hockey in as well.

Weinreb mentions that MAC fans would be surprisingly OK with going to FCS.  I have also contended for years that if BG went FCS, it would not change my interest even 1%.  And we might, someday, play for a national title.

That's not what we decided to do.  That's OK with me too.  Now, having said that, if the march to 4 super-conferences does come to pass, I think it is likely that it will cease to be our option, and we'll get by.

I don't want to trash the article because I found it thought-provoking and insightful.

I guess I would say this:  the central question he has is "why?"  As in, why would you bother if you couldn't be Alabama.

And that answer is because we love our schools and we love the game.  Because it has been a part of our entire lives and we have been there for the ups and the downs and because it makes us happy.  Honestly, it isn't any more complicated than that.  Big is not always best.  Home is where you heart is.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Falcons Mentioned for OSU transfer

JD Weatherspoon is leaving Ohio State, and the Columbus Dispatch has indicated that Bowling Green might be a possible landing spot.

Now, if you are like me, you might have asked this question:

Who is JD Weatherspoon?

Well, first, to be clear, he was a player given a scholarship to play basketball at OSU, and that's something.  He is a 6'6" F who has played two years in Columbus, averaging 6 minutes a game.  He only played 10 games as a FR, due to some academic eligibility issues.

He's from Columbus Northland, and played for Satch Sullinger.  He was a good player there (13.5/6) and played on a very good team, obviously including Jared Sullinger.  They did not lose a City League game during that time.

ESPN ranked him a 3-star recruit (a 91) coming out of Northland, which would be a higher ranking then any player BG has recruited in recent memory.  They felt he was the #30 ranked SF in the country.

I don't usually cover recruits and offers until they make a commitment.  The only difference is that in this case the news is coming through the mainstream media and not through a recruiting site.

I don't know how likely this is.  Walter Offut did the same thing to OU and made a nice name for himself and Weatherspoon would be aware of that.  We have Dennis Hopson, a Buckeye legend on the bench.  Anyway, time will tell.

The idea is interesting, that's for sure.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Dee Brown Career Review...

Continuing our gradual look at the members of the Falcon's men's basketball program whose career ended up at Oakland in March, we now look at our only four-year player Dee Brown.  Brown is from Detroit, and was a very good player at Detroit Country Day.

As a Falcon, he was a good player who started 85 games and scored 1,000 points despite an average scoring per game of 8.5 for his career.  He played both PG and SG during his time at BG.  He was a tough presence who was probably better than his stats indicate.  He was never an all-MAC player during his BG career, though he did have some very big games.

That includes hitting a huge shot to beat OU and wrap up the #1 seed in the MAC tourney when he was a FR.

In fact, he had 22 double figure games for the Falcons in his senior year, and only 10 games outside double figures and one of those was the Malone game where the starters didn't score that much.

As a senior, he was 7th in the MAC in FT shooting.   He was 8th in Assist/Turnover ratio.  He scored 10.8 points per game, but only used 21% of BG's possessions, leaving him with an offensive efficiency rating of 102.5, which is very respectable.

In general, he Dee Brown played a ton of minutes for our program and was very consistent.  As mentioned, he never developed into an All-MAC player, but he was certainly a contributor to the team's success and one of the top players on the team each of his last 3 years.  He was incredibly consistent--his last three years he averaged 10.6, 10.4 and 10.8 PPG respectively. In fact, you could argue that his sophomore season was his best year, and that his shooting and 3-FG shooting only came down from there.  Only a very good year at the FT line saved his senior year.

And I think that pretty much tells the story.  Dee Brown had a pretty fast start, was a good player for his last two seasons but never turned into a great player, at least on that stats sheet.  I think his consistency kind of works against him in that it made him easier to forget, and that's what the numbers show.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tanski Named Falcon Football Captain

The Falcons announced their football captains for the coming season.  A couple of interesting things to note.

First, the captains are voted on by the players.  They are Dominic Flewellyn, Chris Jones, Ronnie Goble, Matt Schilz, Paul Swan and Bart Tanski.

Now a couple things about that.  First, it is unusual to have six captains, but Coach says that's how the votes fell.

It is even more unlikely to have a guy like Bart Tanski elected captain.  Tanski is a redshirt senior from Mentor, OH.  His story is pretty interesting.  His senior year, he was Ohio's Mr. Football, which means he was judged to be the best player in Ohio HS football in 2007.  Still, because of his size, he wasn't seeing D1 scholarship offers.  I'd have to believe DII or DIII or even NAIA were possibilities....if he couldn't play D1 you just have to believe that he could have found somewhere to play.

What he decided to do was walk-on at Bowling Green.  That means he's paying his own way in school. And, he hardly plays at all.  Moved to WR, he is our holder for FGs and Xps.  I don't know if he has even played a down on a scrimmage play.

So, digest that.  Mr. Football comes to Bowling Green and never gets into the games.

I think it is safe to say that a lot of guys would not have reacted very well to that.  I highly doubt they're still around in their fifth season.

Not only is Bart Tanski still here, but his attitude and leadership are so strong that his teammates made him a captain even though he is not a regular player.

Coach Clawson said that it spoke well of his team that they noticed Bart Tanski and elected him captain. I would agree.

It speaks highly of Bart Tanski, too.

Proud to have him in the Falcon Family.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

New Videoboard at the Doyt

Friday's game was a chance to show off the Falcon's new toy...the new videoboard by the South end zone.  I must say, I was very pleased with it.  The previous board--our first first--was really hard to see and it wasn't very big and really didn't add much to the watching of the game.  This was much better.

For example, here is how it looked from where we sat Friday, at about the 50. That's a huge improvement.  I know it still could be bigger, but this isn't the Dallas Cowboys...and the brightness and resolution of the screen are much improved.

Here's a closer view.  Again, it just pops out a lot more. Also, those postage-stamp ad blocks on the sides are gone, which makes the display bigger.  During Friday's game, it was a lot easier to follow the actual replays than it used to be on the old board.

Anyway, I do think the Athletic Department has tried to take little steps every year to improve the stadium, and it is a much different and better place than it was 10 years ago.  Just one long summer away from the arrival of the Vandals!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Spring Game Report: "The players are there."

So, the spring game was played last night at the Doyt.

Here's a little trivia question for you.  Which happened more times?

A)   Points scored
B)   First downs
C)   Onside kick recoveries
D)   Made field goals
E)   The PA Announcer correctly identifying one of our players.

Tough call.  The answer is, however, B.

I kid.  Anyway, it was a nice night.  There have plenty of spring games that were colder than the game from the previous November, and that wasn't the case.  It was pretty comfortable, and as a fan, it is much more enjoyable with a game format.

Now, as for my impressions....a couple of things.  First, as a disclaimer, every play is either a good play by one side or a bad play by the other side, and it is difficult to figure out which.  That's the problem with playing against yourself.

Having said that, the defense clearly won most of the matchups, which we hear they did in the previous scrimmage as well.  The offense on both sides started off with some nice drives, but over the course of the entire game, the defense outplayed the offense most of the way.

In fact, I think that the two defenses and Brian Schmeidedbush should get steaks and the two offenses should get beans and franks.  But that's just me.

In particular, I though the d-line dominated the o-line.  It seemed like the offense had a hard time running the ball, especially in the red zone, (although Martin ended up with a nice night) and they gave up 7 sacks in total.  I know that Samuel and Hopgood didn't play, so maybe that had a role, but it seemed like there wasn't much room for Pettigrew in particular.

I also thought the D-backs dominated the WRs.  The passing numbers for both QBs were very average, and that's in an environment where they didn't have to worry about getting hit.  There were just a lot of plays where the WR didn't get any separation from the D-back and there was an easy deflection.

Now, this is a good example.  I'd love to think we would have a commanding defense this year.  However, as Coach mentioned in his post-game presser, the WRs are mostly new and have not played much, so that is a concern.  Everyone thinks we have talent...Joplin and Stokes are both good players, and the younger WRs were highly regarded when they came.  I know they are new, I'm surprised they weren't a little farther along.

For that matter, there were  a couple of times when they did get separation and the ball was not delivered anywhere near them.

Matt Schilz said in his comments that we are "close."  That may well be true.

Anyway, that's the biggest takeaway for me, which is that our offense is behind our defense at this point.

Coach said at the end of last season that the highest priority is for the team to get stronger.  He said after this game that he thought much of that had been improved over the winter, and that there is now time for it to grow more in the coming months.

Other takeaway--Brian Schmeidebush is a great punter.  Could be an NFL quality guy.

Tyler Tate made both his FG attempts, though they were both chip shots.

Finally, and I alluded to this, the offense continued to be better between the 20s then inside the 20s.  This is a continuation of what has been a trend stretching back to the middle of the Brandon years.  While conceding that we were missing 2 top backs, it is still something that makes you a little nervous.

Someone asked Coach what he thought about the onside kick and he said that it didn't matter what he thought, what mattered was what did the media and the "Internet boys" think of it.

I don't care about the onside kick.  So there.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Scott Thomas....looking back

  1. One of the top all-round players in BG history, he finished #21 in career scoring, #6 in 3-pointers, #10 in rebounds, #3 in steals and #9 in assists.  Suffice it to say that we did not have another player hanging around the top career rankings in that many categories.  Colin Irish and David Jenkins were both similar in that they scored and rebounded, and Jenkins got the steals, but Thomas added assists.
  2. Twice all-MAC Honorable Mention and all-MAC third team.
  3. Oddity:  Scott Thomas hit 199 steals and then went 3 games without getting even one.  Odd no?
  4. He had 10 career double-doubles.  Which is kind of symmetrical.
  5. His effective FG% increased from about 47% his SO and JR years to 52.5% his senior year, 14th in the MAC.
  6. His offensive rating was 105.7 as a SR, almost .1 better than his junior year.
  7. He shot 68% from the line as a senior, compared to 59% as a JR.  However, he only made it to the line 71 times as a SR, 35th in the MAC in FT Rate.
  8. Even with no steals in the last 3 games, he finished #16 in the nation in Steal %.
  9. His foul-out @Buffalo with 2 games left in his career was the first and only time he fouled out.
  10. Career high was 28 points in Morehead game in SR year.  Top MAC game was 27 points as a SO against Kent.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Spring Game Rosters Set

The Spring Game I write, a little less than 48 hours away.  The "coaches" of the game are sportswriters Jack Carle of the Sentinel and John Wagner of The Blade.  They have promised that there will be no bounties placed on the opposing players.  They are going to keep it clean.  The actual players were chosen by Chris Jones (white team) and Matt Schilz (orange team).  They selected the teams that will compete on Wednesday.

It will be a pretty much normal game.  The first half will be run with a normal clock schedule and the second half will have a running clock.  There will be standard scoring.  No Stableford system this year.

And you will get to see the video board.

Some notes:

  • After careful analysis, I make the Orange team a 2 point favorite.
  • OK.  I made that up.
  • Jones, BooBoo Gates and Dwayne Woods, our three best defensive players, are on the same team. (White).
  • The White team also has Je'Ron Stokes and Shaun Joplin, working with Matt Johnson.
  • The Orange team will rely on Herve Coby and Jermal Hosley at WR.
  • The O-lines look pretty evenly split.
  • Jamel Martin and John Pettigrew are on opposite teams, leaving RB pretty even.
  • Brian Schmeidebusch will punt for both teams and Malik Stokes will backup both teams at QB.

Anyway, it is always nice to be out at the Doyt.  Forecasts are for the winds to be normal, which would be very nice.  There have been so very frosty "Spring" games out at the Doyt.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Scrimmage #2, Defense asks "How you like me now?"

The Falcon footballers scrimmaged yesterday.  You can hear what Coach had to say about it here, but he makes the most important point about scrimmages, which is that you can't really win.  If the defense plays well, that means the offense got beat, and vice versa.  In this scrimmage, the defense won.  The d-line beat the o-line and the CBs beat the WRs.  So, that's either good or bad.  Coach always says he prefers perfectly blocked plays in which the defensive free hitter gets the RB for a 3 yard gain.  I guess that didn't happen.

Anyway, two pieces of news.  First, the Spring game will be a true game.  We have enough guys, there will be a draft and then there will be an actual game, which seems good.  It will be orange vs. white....the team owns no brown jerseys.

Second, last year's K, Stephen Stein, has a slight break in his toe and is in a boot.  He'll be better in six weeks.

They certainly can't complain about the weather.

Happy Easter to the Falcon Nation....

Happy Easter to the Falcon Nation.  Regardless of your religious beliefs, I know that we can all unite around the universal ideas of rebirth and renewal...and think about how we can leave the past behind us and live better today.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Sentinel-Tribune Men's Basketball Look Ahead, with Comments

So, we've done a bunch of look-backs at the Falcon's basketball season, and now Jack Carle sat down with Coach Orr to look forward.

You know my feelings.  What I said was that it is hard to see us being better next year than we were this year, and if it is going to happen, it will need to be because some guys produce in ways that we haven't seen them produce yet.  Doesn't mean they can't or they won't, but it means they haven't.

Because of Brown and Thomas leaving, that pressure is going to fall mostly on the guards--people playing the 2 and the 3.  Sealey, Clarke, Orr and Henderson will have to be the guys.  Other teams are going to do just what CMU did....pack in on Calhoun and make BG win from the outside, and those will need to be the guys.  (Luke Kraus will also be back from his broken foot).

And, if I had a concern about the Falcon program during the Orr years, it would be that the players don't seem to get that much better from year to year.  They get a little better--I'm going to look at our departing seniors and they did get better every year--but not quantum leap better.

I would say that Falcons fans who are making decisions on these younger players based on what they saw this year should probably keep an open mind.  I'm not saying how it is going to end up, but I'm saying that a Fr. playing 5 minutes a game is not necessarily going to be a great indicator.

In my opinion, Sealey is a huge key.  He showed bursts of production and then sometimes he didn't.  I was always surprised he didn't get more minutes and I figure there had to be a reason we didn't see.  Maybe it was as explained...that he was behind Thomas, who rarely came off the floor.  Anyway, he's a guy who we have seen show some ability.  If this team is going to be even as good next year, he can go a lot from that 3 slot.

On the inside, we lose Oglesby.  His replacement as the 3rd inside guy will be one of two guys we know nothing about at all...Desmond Rorie, who red-shirted, and Richaun Holmes, who is coming from a JUCO and will be a sophomore.  Here's what the Sentinel article said about him....

Holmes was a National Junior College Athletic Association Division II first-team All-American. Holmes was the top shot blocker in the country and ranked fourth in field goal percentage at .623.

"In his conference ... he was the most valuable player," coach Orr said about Holmes. "He almost averaged a double-double. He definitely had more double-doubles than any player, and he had triple-doubles between scoring, rebounding, blocks.

"He's 6-8, 6-9 with long arms and is athletic and a shot-blocker.
Yes, that's Division II of JUCO.  Still, that's something to be excited about.

The other thing about the inside is Cam Black.  He did seem to improve over the course of the season.  Coach says that he has really developed his inside game:
"Cam, especially on the defensive end made big strides and was probably one of the better defensive post men. I thought Cam was a big presence for us," Orr said.
In the 2-3 zone, that middle spot is really important.  Look at Syracuse without Melo in the tourney.  One of the issues is that while you can measure blocked shots, you don't measure altered shots or the number of outside jumpers an opponent might take because they can't get inside and you don't measure the ability of guys to guard the perimeter knowing that they have the big guy guarding the rim.  All that is to say that Black might not generate the numbers or the stats and he might be making a bigger contribution than the boxscore shows.

Coach also thinks that incoming FR. Spencer Parker, who he says can make an immediate impact.  He had a year of prep school, so he will be a year older than a typical FR.  He's 6'7" and can play "multiple positions" according to Coach.  Obviously (this is me now), a 6'7" guy who can play a legit 3 in the MAC is a match up issue in a lot of games.

Finally, the article says that BG has one slot open and they are working it hard.  However, they might not use it.  Orr said, "we want to use it wisely if we do use it."

Friday, April 06, 2012

Peregrine Falcons Nesting in BG...

A family of peregrine Falcons are nesting on the top of the Wood County Courthouse.  They have some images up here...hopefully, by this Fall, the whole team can fly by for a game and a nice tailgate meal of pigeons killed in flight.

Men's Basketball Recruiting Scorecard

For a while, I have tracked our hoops recruiting because I contended that the malaise of our program was for several years the severe shortage of quality players we have brought in and/or kept since Dan's little trip to WVU.  Now, my goal is to keep an eye on where our players are coming from, as well as to document how Coach Orr changes the fortunes.

Three things.

One is that there are some people who would tell you that Coach Orr has had player retention problems similar to the ones Coach Dakich had.  Negative.  In the post-WVU era, Dakich lost 18 of 27 players.  Orr has only lost 5 of 19.  Admittedly, most of his guys still have time to leave, but it doesn't appear we are on the same track.

Second, just to be clear, as disappointed as we were with the end of this season, it was nowhere near as grim as the last two years of the Dakich regime in which 8 MAC games were won.

Finally, what you see below is nothing less than this....what it would look like if you brought in the kind of teams that had 2 winning seasons in 9 years.

Falcon Hoops Recruiting Scorecard, Updated April 2012

Stephen Wright--Productive player, left prior to his senior season.
Ron Lewis--Two productive seasons, no junior year. Prominent Big 10 player.
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, transferred.
Reggie Harwell--Nada.
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, contributed at UIC where I think he ended up as a pretty good player.
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--Minor contributions. Left program prior to Junior Season.
Erik Marschall--Injury plagued career ended with effective senior season.
Daryl Clements--Good contributing player, played strong D, stable presence and probably underappreciated player.
Brian Moten--MAC sixth man of the year in junior season and all-MAC HM as a senior. Good player at this level, had game-changing shooting potential.
Martin Samarco--2nd team All-MAC, finished career.


Ryne Hamblett--Contributing player, but kicked off team prior to senior season.
Brandon Bland--Left the program.
Marc Larson--Gets minutes, is more valuable than his stats indicate.
Otis Polk--Productive starter.
Ryan Sims--left team early in Junior year. Made little contribution.
Nate Miller--All-MAC First team. Great player, carried team into post-season.
Chris Knight--Transferred following two seasons at BG. (Technically, he was a Dakich recruit).

Joe Jakubowski--Four year starter, among the program's career leaders in assists and steals.
Cameron Madlock--Transferred out.

Dee Brown--1,000 point scorer.
Scott Thomas--Third team All-MAC as senior. 1,000 point scorer.  10th in career assists, 10th in career rebounds, 6th in career 3-pointers.
Au'ston Calhoun--Twice led team in scoring.  Second-team All-MAC.
Adrion Graves--left before appearing as a Falcon.
Darion Goins--Played sparingly, left team in first season as a Falcon

Jordon Crawford--took over starting PG role as Sophomore.  As Jr. 2nd in MAC in assists.
James Erger--Averaged 5 minutes per game as a Junior.
Luke Kraus--Contributing role player with 16 minutes/game as Soph.  Injured most of junior year.
DaVon Haynes---Left program without playing.
Danny McElroy--Left program.  Ran afoul of the law.

Anthony Henderson--6 minutes a game as a redshirt FR.
Cam Black--Has made 48 starts in first two seasons.  51 blocks as a SO.
Torian Oglesby--Juco.  Solid role player.  Set NCAA record for most consecutive FGs.
Craig Sealey--Averaged 12 minutes a game.

Jehvon Clarke--7 minutes a game as Fr
Chauncey Orr--6 minutes a game as Fr.
Desmond Rorie--redshirt

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

We must pause in appreciation....Charlie Coles

I have been meaning to write this post for a while....ever since Charlie Coles slipped the surly bonds of the Mid-American Conference one night after a tournament game at Savage Hall.  It had been clear that he was on his way out.  He had even said that he was "trying to say goodbye" but "didn't know how."

He left like King Lear, raging.  He did not go quietly.  He left the strage, thrashing and twisting.  They had to drag him off, and you know, in an odd way, you gotta respect that.  The world has plenty of places for people who accept their fate.

Coles was a great character, of mythic proportions, a man and a coach who had cheated death (literally) on the sidelines of a MAC basketball game.  He was an eccentric and an original.  In a world of cookie-cutter coaches in the same expensive suits, he was rumpled and messy.

We had taken to calling him the evil genius, because no matter how poorly his team had played they always seemed to find a way to ruin a Falcon season.  And, no matter how bad they might look, when they got to the MAC tournament, the evil genius had cooked up some kind of plan that made him very, very dangerous.

From joking with BG fans who were chanting at him to sit down to his late season "sandwich" edict (that caused a rebellion on the team bus), Coles showed a sense of humor that I don't remember seeing in a MAC Coach.  He never failed; never failed to be entertaining and never failed to be a great coach.

He is the winningest coach in the history of the MAC.  (When he hugged a clearly horrified Bob Nichols after breaking his record, he set a MAC record for causing discomfort in an old white man.).

When he announced his retirement, he said he would go home that night and drink some wine.


Sunday, April 01, 2012

BG's Men's Hoops out of conference play....

Now, as part of our review of the season, I always think it is worthwhile to look back at all those teams we played in November and December and see how things ended up for them.  Sometimes a December win starts to look better (or worse) in that light.

In general, BG played a decent out of conference schedule.  Based on the RPI of our opponents (conference included), this was the best schedule BG has played during the Orr years.  Georgia, MSU, Duquesne, Temple and Valpo all ended up with 100 (ish) RPIs or lower.  The composite RPI was 143; it is only the second time we have played an RPI schedule below 200 during Orr's years.

It was the 5th best schedule in the MAC, though it is right in the ballpark with a couple of other ones.  Look....

  1. Akron    99
  2. Miami 99
  3. Buffalo 136
  4. WMU  137
  5. BGSU 143
  6. OU 145
  7. Kent 176
  8. CMU  245
  9. NIU 255
  10. EMU 274
  11. UT 289
  12. BSU 323

I think this is interesting.  First, because MAC scheduling is not done in advance (mostly), you have the ability to tailor your schedule to fit what you think your team is.  Note the big gap between Kent at 7 and the teams below.  As you can see, the teams at the bottom who were expecting to struggle seemed to have planned for that.

Honestly, no one does it better than Billy Taylor at Ball State.  For his team to have their record with that good at all.

It will be interesting if Miami keeps their philosophy of scheduling tough under their new regime, whoever it might be.

I suspect BG will be back in the 200s next season.  Just a hunch.

Anyway, here's the 411 on our opponents.

at Georgia

Final Record and RPI:  15-17, 100
Conference Finish:  10th-Tied
Post-Season: None
Comments: Key wins over Notre Dame (neutral) and Florida.

Austin Peay

Final Record and RPI:  12-20, 188
Conference Finish:  T-6th
Post-Season:  None
Comments: 12-11 after losing first 9 games. Won @Tennessee.


Final Record and RPI:  22-14, 129
Conference Finish:  T-3 in regular season, won conference tournament
Post-Season:  Lost to Kansas in first round of NCAAs
Comments: Much better when Holman got back.  Beat Cleveland State only once but when it counted in tourney.

George Washington

Final Record and RPI:  10-21, 177
Conference Finish:  Tied-11th
Post-Season: None.
Comments: Finished season with 2 wins in 12 games.


Final Record and RPI:  24-8, 22
Conference Finish:  Regular season champs, lost to UMASS
Post-Season:  Lost in first round to South Florida
Comments: Beat Duke.  Becoming known for quick exits.

at Western Kentucky

Final Record and RPI:  16-19, 174
Conference Finish:  Regular Season 7th, won tournament.
Post-Season:  Won play-in game, lost to Big Blue
Comments:  Fired coach mid-season and made tourney, two things BG did not do.


Final Record and RPI:  12-15
Conference Finish: ?
Post-Season:  ?
Comments: Win over Findlay highlights season

at Valparaiso

Final Record and RPI:  22-12, 103
Conference Finish:  Won Regular Season, lost to Detroit in final
Post-Season:  Lost to University of Miami in NIT Round 1
Comments:  Lost 3 times to a team with an RPI over 200

at Michigan State

Final Record and RPI:  29-8, 3
Conference Finish: Tied for regular season title, won tournament
Post-Season: Lost to Louisville in Sweet 16
Comments::  One of the premier programs

at Florida International

Final Record and RPI:  8-11, 247
Conference Finish:  Tied-10th
Post-Season:  Spent on the beach
Comments:  What does Isaiah have to do to get fired?

at Duquesne

Final Record and RPI:  16-15, 99
Conference Finish:  9th.
Post-Season:  No
Comments:  Coach fired, unbelievably.  How can Isaiah work and this guy not?

at Texas San Antonio

Final Record and RPI:  18-14, 196
Conference Finish:  Tied-4th
Post-Season: None
Comments:  Win over Oral Roberts Highlights Season

Morehead State

Final Record and RPI: 18-15, 168
Conference Finish:  3rd
Post-Season:  None
Comments:  Name of school makes 8 out of 12 junior high boys giggle

at Oakland

Final Record and RPI:  20-16, 138
Conference Finish:  3rd
Post-Season: Won 3 home games in CIT before losing @Utah State
Comments: BG Grad Kampe solid coach