If you get the chance, definitely take a minute to listen to Coach Huger after last night's loss in Kent. We have had other coaches who not so frank when the team is struggling...not to name names, but one of their names rhymes with Shmino Shmabers. Huger is clearly frustrated with his team. The team is giving inconsistent effort (he says, not me) and that drives him crazy. As he says, if we compete hard and lose that's one thing. If you lose and don't compete, that's a problem.
I've always said the same thing. We've had some tough years and this is one of the tougher ones in the post-WVU era. Obviously, winning is more fun, but you don't mind if you are building and you are competing hard. When you're not, it is hard to follow. I'm always hesitant as an observer to question effort because I don't want to make false accusations...and frankly that's one of the worst you can do. In this case, however, the observation is coming from the Coach.
There's not much to say at this point. This game was very similar to the first game. Neither team shot well but BG shot a lot worse...and Kent had a huge advantage on the offensive boards and a +5 advantage at the free throw line.
BG was down 6 at the half and then Kent opened it up in the second half. In the middle 20 minutes of the game, Kent outscored BG 42-28. Kent popped the lead to double digits about 5 minutes into the 2nd half and it never got inside 10 again. To the contrary, Kent led by as many as 20 points.
Jimmy Hall once again dominated the Falcons. He scored 22 points on 9 of 13 shooting and 9 rebounds, with four of them on the offensive boards. As Coach Huger said post-game, "We don't have a guy tough enough to handle him, to say, 'Hey, I got him.'"
Spencer Parker scored 15 points for BG on 6 of 13 shooting (not great) and added 8 rebounds. Alceagire had 14 points on 3 of 6 3FG shooting, 4 of 8 overall. Pep Joseph had 5 assists over 1 turnover.
With Miami beating Buffalo (in Buffalo) and WMU beating UT, BG is now alone in last place and can't finish any better than a tie for last. We have no chance of having a better record than anyone. If it ended today BG would be in Muncie on Monday, but in classic #Maction fashion, there are five teams competing for the spots from 2-6, so anything could happen.
In the 14 seasons since the last great BG season (2001-02, followed by WVU), BG has had only 3 winning seasons. That's the larger context. This year's team is 14-16 and if you figure a loss in the tournament (17) BG would have to beat UB and then win 3 in the tourney to end with a winning record, so we're gong to make that down as unlikely.
Again, this was going to be a tough year any way you sliced it and whoever was the Coach. It has certainly turned out to be. It is disappointing, but it is too soon to be discouraged in our latest effort to dig out of the hole we are in.