Friday, May 30, 2014

Shipping Out: MAC Men's Basketball Transfers Lost

Dan Dakich famously once said that transfers in college basketball are an epidemic.  If so, the disease is progressing.  Jeff Goodman tracks these for and thinks the list will hit 600, which is about 2 per college team.  If so, the MAC is actually ahead of the curve...I make it 14 players flying the coop, which is just a little over 1 per team.

Not all of these guys are truly "transfers..."  they are leaving their current team and they are saying they are transferring but it takes two to tango when it comes to transferring.  Some of these guys are just leaving college basketball.

In some cases (like at Ball State and Miami), it isn't that the guys were great, but just that losing them won't make the job of rebuilding the program easier.

Anyway, this is right from Goodman's list...the ALL CAPS are the places where guys transferred.  Unlike WMU's transfers last year, none of these guys are moving on to high profile gigs...anyway, here is what you have.

Mark Alstork, 6-4, G, Fr., Ball State

Saw PT as a FR.  Scored in double figures 7 times.

Quinten Payne, 6-5, G, Fr., Ball State --DARTMOUTH

Was a big 3-star recruit out of HS.  He actually signed a LOI with Loyola Chicago, got out of it went to Ball we can't be too surprised.  Played like 12 minutes a game.  I'm sure he will love the Ivy League.

Daveon Balls, 6-0, G, Soph., Northern Illinois

Played 20 minutes a game for that respect one of the bigger losses.  Scored 3.3 per game, 2.0 Reb/game.  Not a highly ranked recruit.

J.J. Cravatta, 6-1, G, Soph., Northern Illinois

Played 11 minutes a game.  Also not highly ranked out of HS.

Nick Carlos, 6-7, SF, Fr., Central Michigan -- LINDENWOOD

Transferred to DII Lindenwood to be closer to home.  Played sparingly for the Chips, but size makes this a notable loss.

Devin Carter, 6-4, G, Soph., Kent State

Carter was a JUCO transfer who played 7.2 minutes per game.

Tyler Scott, 6-5, G, Fr., Kent State

According to Hustle Belt, he was a big-time stud HS player from Pittsburgh who found his way onto the court only a handful of times....

K.K. Simmons, 6-3, G, Soph., Kent State -- PIKEVILLE

Simmons had already transferred from UNC-Wilmington and played about 13 minutes a game for Kent.  Pikeville is an NAIA school in Kentucky.

Darell Combs, 6-2, G, Soph., Eastern Michigan -- IUPUI

One of two MAC players heading to IUPUI.  He scored 7.5 PPG for the Eagles.

Jalen Ross, 5-11, G, So., Eastern Michigan -- HARTFORD

Played 22 minutes as a FR and 13 as a SO, and off he goes.  Hartford is in the America East conference and is D1.

Hayden Hoerdemann, 6-3, G, Jr., Western Michigan -- RIPON COLLEGE

Ripon is DIII, so he can transfer without sitting out, which is good since he was on the Bronco club for 3 years.  Scored 95 points in 41 games over the 3 years, played only 39 minutes last year.

Leo Svete, 6-5, G, Fr., Western Michigan - IUPUI

Has had two ACL injuries and has not played a game since he was a JR in HS.

Josh Lemons, 6-0, G, So., Toledo -- UNIVERSITY OF CHARLESTON

UT had over-recruited, and Lemons left to fix that problem.  He is transferring to a DII school.

Reggie Johnson Jr., 6-1, G, So., Miami (Ohio) -- HAMPTON

The best player to leave the MAC, he did so at mid-season.  He was scoring about 12 points per game for the RedHawks.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Frack Condolences Via Twitter

RIP Bill Frack. Sadness in the Nation.

There is sadness in our hearts.  Bill Frack has passed on.  He was a true and loyal fan who followed our men's basketball program since they played in the old men's gym.  He gave with incredible generosity...including a major endowment, a gift for the Stroh Center and a donation to finance the salary of our new Coach.

But beyond the money, we remember that we shared something...we loved something he loved, too.

I never met the man, but I never heard anything but good from those who did.  RIP to his family and friends, who I am sure are full of sadness today.

RIP, Bill Frack.  Years from now you'll be ever dearer in our hearts.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

MAC Men's Basketball Incoming...

Elton Alexander had an excellent piece we are just now catching up to concerning the men's basketball recruiting in the MAC.  Check it out when you get a chance...Miami looks to be on the upward trend, and Akron looks to remain in a stable position with a high profile PG from Nevada.  In fact, I'd say that the team's top programs--Akron, UT, and OU--continued to put themselves in positions where they will be hard to beat, while Kent and Buffalo took strong steps.  Ball State is also starting to assemble some players.

So, here is the interesting part.  Alexander counts 49 players as coming into the MAC.  Fourteen of those are JUCO or immediately eligible transfers--13 JUCO and Anali Okoloji, a 6'8" George Mason graduate/transfer to EMU.  Also, UT's Andre Applewhite (from Mississippi State) will be eligible by mid-year.

I don't have any long-term statistics, but it strikes me that having more than 25% of your incoming players being transfers is a high number, and it seems like a lot of JUCO guys, too.  BG and Kent both had 3, and Buffalo and Miami both had 2.  I think it is a reflection of the pressure on coaches to start to win right away...if Chris Jans (for example) had tried to replenish his guards and bigs on HS recruits alone, this team was in for 2-3 years of rebuilding.

It might also represent a different way of doing things.  Wichita State is known for using JUCO players...and if you read the Hustle Belt stories about some of these transfers, you see they are guys the MAC wanted in the first place.  There is a satisfaction in seeing a player develop over four years, but often that doesn't work out--Jeff Goodman on ESPN is reporting nearly 600 D1 transfers--and you need someone to play right away.

No team has made as much hay with transfers as the Rockets...but they were generally 4-year transfers, not JUCO players.

One other thing...OU's Jaaron Simmons (Houston) and Ball State's Ryan Weber (Youngstown State) will both sit out, but are potentially impact transfers.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Good APR News out of BG

The NCAA released the latest APR report today, and it was good for BG.  No one is going to be sanctioned--and, in fact, I don't believe anyone in the MAC is being sanctioned.  Beyond that, 13 of our 18 programs posted their best score ever.

BGSU has a release that details the whole story, which you can check out here.  It is good up and down the line.

To me, this is important.  It isn't rather I would rather win than have solid academics--it is that I don't think you have to make that choice in the MAC.  Any school should be able to win and make their APR score.  As Coach Clawson said on his first day on the job, "I want every player to leave BG with a championship ring in one hand and a diploma in the other hand."

Lots of people deserve the credit for this effort, starting with Greg Christopher and continuing through Chris well as all the coaches, advisers and the players themselves.  So, congrats to all them and keep up the hard work.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy Monday, Falcon Nation...

This should get you started on a Monday morning...

Sunday, May 11, 2014

MAC and BG Draft and UDFA Round Up...UPDATED

With a flurry of activity, the draft news finally appears to be settling in.

If you are a MAC fan, in fact, the last hour of the draft and the first hour after are actually the busiest times...the UDFA period is especially fast paced.

Anyway, based on what we know, here is the news.

From a BG perspective, we did not have any players drafted and we didn't really expect to.

Two Falcons have been signed as UDFAs...Tyler Beck and Alex Bayer, both TEs.  (Ironically, this is a position we did not emphasize before and will not emphasize after Coach Clawson).  Tyler is going to camp with Chris Jones in NE and Alex will be in St. Louis with the Rams and the rest of the media in the Western world.

There was some chatter on the Internet that there might be some other good news and, specifically, that Ted Ouellet might go to the Packers, but that has not been confirmed, at least so far as I can see.  Boo Boo Gates was the other player everyone was watching...obviously we will never know, but you have to think that his recent legal issues had to have an impact on a guy who was on the margins to start with.

BG Update:  Four  Five other Falcon players received a mini-camp invite.  I'm not necessarily an expert, but that is apparently not quite as good as being a UDFA, but whenever our guys get a shot, we are 100% behind them.  They are Falcons forever and they are MAC Champions forever.  Ever dearer in our hearts...

Ted Oullet: Green Bay
Jarius Campbell:  Baltimore
Cam Truss:  Steelrs
Aaron Foster:  Dallas
BooBoo Gates:  Titans

As for the MAC, Saturday saw 5 players picked.

Jonathan Newsome, DE Ball State, 5/165 to the Colts.
Keith Wenning, QB, Ball State, 6/194 to the Ravens
Travis Carrie, RB, OU, 7/219 to Oakland
Rob Blanchflower, TE, 7/230 to Pittsburgh
Ken Bishop, DL, NIU 7/251 to Dallas

With Archer, Mack and Ward, that makes 8 total MAC players drafted.  For perspective, LSU had 9, Notre Dame 8 and Alabama 8.  The SEC had 49 players picked and the ACC 42.  The only FBS conference with fewer players picked was the Sun Belt (4).

The rest of the UDFA players are being tracked at Hustle Belt, so we just point you in that direction.  The point in both cases is this:  you can be a really good player in the MAC (eg:  Nix, Fluellen, Foster) and not get drafted.

Happy Mother's Day from the Falcon Nation!!

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mom's in the Falcon Nation.  Do something nice for your Mom today...even if she went to UT.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Archer....and Garoppolo

Two more MAC and Falcon-related nuggets from last night's draft...

First, Dri Archer went in the late 3rd to Pittsburgh.  This is an excellent place for him to go.  There are teams that just don't seem to make bad picks, and Pittsburgh is one of them (Green Bay too).  Anyway, Archer can be a change of pace guy, a 3rd down guy and return kicks there.  I think it is a good franchise to land with.

Second, Jimmy Garoppolo landed in the late 2nd with New England.  This is a BOOM.  Obviously, you want to land with the best organization in the NFL, you want to be with the Patriots.  They have the ability to think drafting a QB who could take over for Tom Brady.  They know what they are doing---I doubt this is a miss for them.

Of course, we're interested at BG because he was the QB for Babers at EIU...and it was his play in the Babers offense that made him the top FCS player and a 2nd round pick.

Going to be fun times.

Friday, May 09, 2014

MAC Draft Day Update...

The MAC had two players go in the first round, which by all accounts is a good day at the office.  They are both going to the Bay Area...Mack at #5 to the Raiders and Ward and #30 to the 49ers.  The last time the MAC had two players picked in the first round was 10 years ago (Rothlisberger and Jason Babin).

The Mack thing was pretty funny.  He was part of a big argument among the ESPN team about the #1 pick...Ray Lewis wanted them to pick Mack, Gruden wanted every team to pick Manziel, and the ever humorless Mel Kiper wanted Clowney.  I thought Gruden was going to pop Kiper.

Anyway, Mack went #5. He's a first round pick.  He played on the line a lot, so I think people are projecting his productivity to the LB position, and he didn't really play there.  I'm not saying he isn't a first round pick but I do think that #5 was an aggressive place to pick him.  And I wouldn't have wanted my team to pick him over Clowney.

Ward went to the 49ers.  That is an excellent place for him.  Good defensive coach and a good system...he's a really solid player.  There was talk of moving him to CB in the NFL and maybe playing him at nickel right out of the gate.

So, two MAC warriors are going to get paid and are going to get their shot in the NFL as first round picks.  Congrats!

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Draft Preview

So, the NFL Draft starts today...

People are very excited in Buffalo about the potential drafting of Khalil Mack.  There's some talk he might even go first, which would make it 2 MAC guys in a row to go #1 overall.  That would surprise me.  I'd be excited, too, if I was a Bulls fan.

Not as excited as if my team won the MAC Championship, though.  That would be more exciting.

I believe there are only 4 players from the MAC who are locks to be picked.

Mack (MAC East runner up Buffalo) (Top 5 pick)
Jimmie Ward (CB, MAC Runner up NIU) (1st or 2nd round)
Dri Archer (RB-Kent) (3rd - 4th round).
Jordan Lynch (QB, probably drafted to play another position) (6th or 7th round).

I'd say there are three marginal players...

Rob Blanchflower (UMASS TE)
Travis Carrie (CB, OU)
Keith Wenning (QB, Ball State)

And then I think there will be a dozen to 18 or so UDFAs..possibly notable among them, Ball State DE Jonathan Newsome and possibly Boo Boo Gates, though I suspect this week's news makes it more difficult.

Everyone talks about the draft, but every year most teams grab a couple of UDFAs and as Hustle Belt notes here, when those guys are from the MAC, they have had a tendency to end up with Super Bowl rings.  A good example is Dallas Safety Barry Church (who was a Rocket) and undrafted and is now a league fixture.  BG's longest-tenured NFL player (Doug Smith) was undrafted in a much bigger draft.  Khary Campbell played 8 years in the league, also undrafted.

One other note...Jimmy Garropolo, who was the Babers QB at Eastern Illinois, is someone we are watching. ESPN ranks him at the #5 QB in the draft and he could go in the 2nd or 3rd round.

Anyway, we'll be watching...

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Falcon Football Draft Facts....

As the NFL approaches, there was an awesome draft database on  You can play around with it a little, but here are some BGSU draft facts...

  • 63 Falcons have been drafted in the NFL.
  • The highest Falcon ever drafted was Bernie Casey, in the #9 spot by the 49ers in 1961. He is the only 1st round pick in BG history. (He went on to gain 5,467 yards in 8 NFL seasons before entering an acting career).
  • The second highest was Bob Reynolds at #17 in the 1963 draft.  He went to the Cardinals.
  • The latest pick was Gene Jones by the Saints in the 1976 draft.  This was #435 pick, 16th round.  Since the draft is now less than half as long, you would not expect this record to ever be broken.
  • Max Minnich was the first Falcon selected, in 1949 by the LA Rams.
  • The longest NFL career by a Falcon was Doug Smith who played 14 years, made 6 Pro Bowls and was not drafted.
  • Shaun Suisham could break this record.  He has played 9 seasons and also was not drafted.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Jans Intereviewed on

Coach Jans was interviewed on about the Bowling Green job, his approach, etc.  I'd invite you to go on over and check it out.

A newsy item and a couple points.

The newsy item is that he mentions that one of our 9 returning players is in academic peril, for whatever that is worth.  (Note also the very high praise for the quality of the young men Coach Orr recruited as well).

Two points....

He makes a point that I agree with 100%...whether it is Clawson, Babers, or Jans, when you hire a coach from a mid-major or smaller college (ie, not from a power school), you get a coach who understands how to recruit overachievers rather than the best existing players and you get a coach who is used to working on a budget...who is used to making do.

He says he is going to steal everything he can from what they did at Wichita State.  So, if you are looking for a clue, I'd look there.

He's excited about taking the BG men back to the Big Dance, as we all are.  Let it be true this time!

Monday, May 05, 2014

Falcon Stand-out Arrested

Troubling news from Bowling Green...

Boo Boo Gates was arrested early on Sunday and charged with drug trafficking.  The police allege that they witnessed a "hand to hand" sale of marijuana in which Gates sold marijuana to another man.  The story in the Sentinel says that the police allege that Gates admitted to the offense.

Usual caveats here...we have had these before, and at least once the charges turned out to be unfounded, so obviously we should wait until the justice system resolves the issue before going too far.  For now, it is just an allegation.

Boo Boo is a 2-time All-MAC performer at BG.  He was a centerpiece of the Falcon's MAC Championship football team and he was named BG's Male Athlete of the Year at a recent banquet.

Further, the allegations come just before the NFL Draft.  While it was doubtful (though possible) that Gates would be drafted, many websites felt he had a good chance of hooking on as an UDFA with a team in the NFL...especially as a special teams specialist.

You never like to see this...we can only hope for the justice system to do the right thing.

UPDATE:  According to The Blade:
Gates also closed the book Monday on charges stemming from his arrest in the early morning hours of May 4. At that time police say Gates was observed making a drug deal of two buds (5.0 grams) of marijuana, and he was charged with drug trafficking, a felony.

That charge was dismissed, and Gates instead was charged with permitting drug abuse, a misdemeanor. He pleaded guilty to the lesser charge and was fined $1,125 as well as a $71 dismissal fee.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Sentinel Publishes Jans Interview

With recruiting closed up for the year, the Sentinel sat down with Coach Jans...much of it is typical stuff (he's working hard), but there were a couple news items.

First, BG added 4 recruits.  We thought there were only 3 to work with (Black, Sealey, Edwards), but Demarkeo Lyshe, who was on scholarship last season, will return to walk-on status, so that answers that question.  Everyone is still on board.

One thing I have wondered is what style of play we might see out of Jans.  He hasn't really answered it, but here is why he went and got two point guards:

‘‘We needed a lot of help at the point-guard position. In my system, that position will be vital to the success of the team,’’ Jans said. ‘‘The way we are going to play, you have to have multiple ball-handlers on the floor at one time.

‘‘I have the mentality like the old baseball coaches who train everyone as a shortstop, and then farm them out to other positions,’’ he continued. ‘‘I feel the same way about point-guard. If you can train them all at point-guard, then they can all spread out and play.’’

Which is interesting.  Multiple ball handlers would be helpful...BG has struggled against pressure and to create shots, so perhaps that will help with ball movement and preventing turnovers.  Over the summer we are going to look at things more closely, but BG was dreadful on offense.

Finally, Coach is not worried about balanced classes.  Which is good, because 6 of BG's 13 scholarships are now with juniors.  He says he likes older teams...which might lead us to expect more transfers in the future, but let's not get too far into reading between the lines.

Looking forward to seeing him grow this program.