Saturday, March 31, 2018

Falcon MBB to play in Legends Classic

There's scheduling news for BG MBB as they look to next season.  BG will play in the Legends Classic, which is a multi-team event that eventually turns into a tournament, though BG will not be involved in that part.

BG played in this a few years ago, with some games at UM and some games at U-Detroit.  

This time, BG will play two of the following teams in a true road game... California, St. John's, Temple and VCU.  Two of those teams were top 100 this year and since any of the games would be on the road, it represents a tougher schedule right there than BG played in the past season.

Then, BG will got to Detroit and play some combination of Detroit, Hampton and Loyola-MD.  All of those teams ended the last year with a worse kenpom than BG had.

If I recall correctly, the last time BG played in this at Detroit it involved three games and we played Albany and Niagara along with the Titans.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Football Scrimmage...other news

So, Spring practice continues on its merry way down at BG.  There was a scrimmage recently, and Coach Jinks talked about it afterward.

He says we have a long way to go, which is what you normally hear.  It sounded overall like the defense had the better of the scrimmage, which isn't the way you'd like to hear that come out.  He said there were protection issues and that BG didn't give up many negative running plays but also no explosive plays.  In my view, the offensive line is still a big question mark going into the year and as much as the skill positions should be better, you have a ceiling if the line play isn't effective and those both sound like line issues to me.

He said the defense didn't have a ton of mis-alignments, to Coach Pelini's credit.  They didn't give up explosive offensive or defensive plays.

If you were on twitter while the scrimmage was going on, you'd notice that the official feed was in full OMG mode with Brandon Perce, who was apparently laying some serious hits on the defensive side.  Perce was a highly-honored JUCO player in Minnesota who Coach says "has a chip on his shoulder," which is often a good way to go at LB.

Coach did put out a warning that Perce has not played a lot of football and is a blank slate to the coaching staff.  Also, I didn't see the scrimmage so I don't know if he was going against the 1s or 2s.  Not to dampen enthusiasm, just to remind people to let the young man develop and to manage expectations as he adjusts.  Sounds like he's a football player in his heart.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

MAC MBB Recruiting--Tracking non HS players

As we look ahead to the MBB program, I think it is becoming clear that BG needs to rely less on HS players.  I could be wrong about that, but it seems as if the trend--especially at the mid-major level--is to increasingly use graduate transfers, transfers and JUCO transfers to add real contributors or even to be your best player. 

As I watched the first few rounds of March Madness, I kept hearing about the transfers.  Nevada started ALL transfers.  Loyola has a half dozen or so, including the PG (Custer) everyone loves who started at Iowa State.

Point is, it is a trend here in the MAC.  I posted on it during the season.  Here are the all-MAC teams.  Of the 15 players, 40% (6) of them started their college career elsewhere.  That includes the MAC POY.  (The year before, Jimmy Hall, Marcus Keene, Blake Hamilton, Steve Taylor were all-MAC who started elsewhere).

2017-18 All-MAC First Team
Tre’Shaun Fletcher, Sr., G, Toledo*
C.J. Massinburg, Jr., G, Buffalo
Nick Perkins, Jr., F, Buffalo
James Thompson IV, Jr., F/C, Eastern Michigan
Thomas Wilder, Sr., G, Western Michigan

2017-18 All-MAC Second Team
Eugene German, So., G, Northern Illinois
Jeremy Harris, Jr., G, Buffalo*
Tayler Persons, Jr., G, Ball State*
Jaelan Sanford, Jr., G, Toledo
Demajeo Wiggins, Jr., F, Bowling Green

2017-18 All-MAC Third Team
Wes Clark, Sr., G, Buffalo*
Elijah Minnie, R-Jr., F, Eastern Michigan*
Trey Moses, Jr., C, Ball State
Darrian Ringo, Jr., G, Miami*
Jaylin Walker, Jr., G, Kent State

Friday, March 23, 2018

Spring Football Roster Review

So spring football is underway and the roster came out.  Someone with an empty life compared the two rosters and came up with the unexpected departures and additions.

Here's the headline....after the freak-out that occurred at the end of the year, ass BG did not see an exodus of players.  Jinks is keeping his team on well as the recruits.  You might have lost faith but they have not.

So, we expected to see Cunningham, Morgan, Stephens, Sharp and Wyatt not return.

One surprise--and an unpleasant one--is Jake Suder.  I think everyone expected for Suder to be back kicking for BG, building on a year where he went from struggling to being an all-MAC kicker.  You can check the story out here from The Blade.  The upshot is that his eligibility was mis-counted and he won't be back.  Walk-on LB Blake Lucky is not back after not appearing in a game at BG.  Similarly, RB Denzel Norvell is not on the spring roster.  And WR Aidan O'Connor.

Previous posts have covered the high-profile players from the JUCO side who are in BG's spring practice, so we're not including them here. 

One of them is taking on increased importance.  Nate Needham would be the presumptive PK for BG in the Fall.  Needham's record at Youngstown State was not great, but BG will be counting on him to make FGs in the Fall, barring a possible graduate transfer.

Now, there are a number of additions.  The only that looks more significant is Tre Simms.  Tre is from Sylvania Southview and played at Mississippi Valley State, making 53 catches in 2 years.  He was a highly ranked HS player and WR is a position that always needs depth.

Others include (None appear to be potential contributors, but who knows):

Justin Wallin (r-Sr)...if it's the same guy, he played Nebraska-Kearny.
Vincent Popisil--a DL, he is from Liberty Center and was on the roster at Siena Heights.
Malik Hayes--From Shaker Heights, the WR previously was on the roster at Urbana.
Adam Cisney--a WR, he comes to BG after being on the roster at Waynesburg.
Dajon Moore--a WR, he is from Pickerington and played at Ohio Dominican.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Wiggins to Test NBA Draft

So, this news popped today.  Not as big as it sounds...I suspect.  Who knows?  But Demajeo has applied to "enter" the NBA Draft.  He is not signing an agent, which means he can come back and that is by far the most likely possibility.  This happens.  He goes to the practices and gets an evaluation from the NBA, learns what skills he needs to play as a Pro and then comes back to BG.  No lose proposition.  The only way it goes wrong is if he gets projected as being a possible draft pick, which would surprise me quite a bit.

He's improved quite a bit as a player, but I don't see him as an NBA player.  Maybe the D-league.  More likely in Europe.  Obviously, wish him only the best and expect him back for a senior season at the Stroh.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Holy #Maction

Well, Buffalo went and dropped jaws last night.  Congratulations to them and their fans.  That's a program that made a great coaching hire, survived when that guy left, and is now reaping the benefits.  Last night's 22-point win over Arizona is the first since 2012 for the conference and the first ever for Buffalo.  It also is the biggest win for the MAC in the NCAA Tournament.  The previous high was a 1991 win for EMU over Mississippi State (20 points).

Per our conversations yesterday, UB has 6 players who started their career at another school.

Anyway, a good day for the MAC and a good day for the UB Bulls.  Really good.  That Kentucky game could be very interesting.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Crossroads for Men's Basketball

Well, rough couple of days for the men's basketball program.  Ouch.

From the perspective of a fan, it is just very disappointing to see this happen.  No criticism of any individual player.  They're entitled to go where ever they want, just like I was.  And, clearly, this is a growing trend in college basketball that's making it even more difficult to truly build a program.  It isn't just happening at Bowling Green.

But, here at Bowling Green, this was a particularly tough dose of it.  In had Coach Huger come in as the third coach in 3 years.  There's issues with the transition and the legacy players and you have a couple of really tough years.  You can understand, though.  He walked into a bad situation.

So, year 3.  You have a recruiting class you can get behind.  Coach says it is the best in Ohio.  You don't think this year is going to be great yet, but you can think maybe things turn around next year.  You can see potential in the players on the court on a very young team.  Even with the low expectations, there were troublesome issues with the team...notably losing their last 6 games and (and this one is a little different), eventually getting passed by Miami, a team that has a coach in his first year who wasn't recruiting until this time last year.

And even with all that you don't think anything is for sure.  Akron is reloading, Buffalo's not going anywhere.  It isn't going to be easy, under any circumstances. 

But, you are losing only one guy, and there's a scholarship yet to give.  You hope you can build on it.

And then this.  Things are almost back to square one.  As of this morning, BG sports 8 scholarship players plus one incoming recruit.  So, there are four spots to fill, (Matiss).  Still, BG will promise to be among the youngest teams in the country again.  And we're losing Huger guys.  Not legacy players.

And there's no guarantee that this is the end of the transfers.

Which means lower expectations for next year and maybe a shot to compete the year after that.  Depending on the recruits that can be brought in.  And kept.

Which is year five for Coach Huger.  He's on a six-year deal.  With the momentum/atmosphere of "stuck" in the Stroh, this is really a crossroads for the program under Coach Huger.  Dramatic and nearly heroic action is required.

I have no idea what happened with the players leaving.  I don't know how much of it might have to do with him.  But to get this thing back onto the right track, time is no longer on our side.  Eventually, the end of his deal makes it hard to recruit.  He needs to get some players in here that can play next year.

And contribute.  Start games.  Etc.

Here's one thing you can see.  Successful MAC teams use transfers.  You could tick them off, but successful MAC teams are combining high school players with collegiate, JUCO and graduate transfers.  I would point to Fletcher and Harris as examples of guys who came in and made a huge impact, right away.  BG is only getting one part of the transfer epidemic.

BG needs a quicker reboot than HS players is going to allow.  That means graduate transfers and JUCO players.  And, without disrespect to the JUCO players we have gotten, we need people on the Jeremy Harris or Mike Williams side of the equation, not the role player type that has normally come this way.  One of them needs to be a PG (such as Ringo).

If an impact FR is still out there who can play right away, fine.  But time is not on our side and the margin for error is slipping away.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

MBB Train Wreck in BG

The news got a lot worse a moment ago for the men's basketball program.

That's an ouch.  BG has now lost 3 players from the roster, all of them among the younger players expected to rebuild the program.  All Huger recruits.  And two of them from the recruiting class that Huger called the best in Ohio.

So scratch all that about the program being on the rebound.  It's back to the drawing board.  And you have to wonder what's going on.  There seem to be serious issues at the heart of the program.  This is not good.

Best wishes to Derek and Nelly.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Strack: BGSU Football Players Engaged in Beach Fight in Miami

So Jordan Strack of WTOL is on this story.  Multiple BGSU football players were involved in a brawl on a beach in Miami.  Coach is disappointed, which I would agree with and think most of us would concur with.

As noted, they are looking into it.  The players are subject to university discipline as well as possible discipline from the football team.  We don't have a lot more details right now, though it looks pretty out of control.  Let's see how it all turns out.

Rodrick Caldwell to Transfer

So, based on his twitter feed, Rodrick Caldwell is transferring away from Bowling Green.  It's no secret that this is the trend in college basketball.  Playing time goes down and players go out.

Caldwell has just finished his sophomore season and was a Huger recruit.  He began the season as the team's starting PG and played big minutes.  He played 30 minutes plus in five of the first 7 games.  Then his minutes began to dwindle.  He played 30 only 4 more times the rest of the year.  Then, in the last 8 games, he played less than 15 minutes in 7 of them, as well as missing a game due to injury.  Dylan Frye was the starting PG by then.

I suspect defense was the primary culprit of the playing time issue.

He finishes his career at 7.7 PPG and 2.1 assists per game.  He started 33 games.

It is disappointing.  BG has struggled for years to assemble the critical mass of talent needed to compete and every time this happens it requires a reboot of one scholarship.  After the Thanksgiving tournament, I thought he was on the road to rounding into a top-flight player, but I guess it was not to be.

This opens up a scholarship for next year.  (Note, BG has 2 total to give at the current time).

Best of luck to him in his future endeavors.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

MAC Post-Seaaon

SO, the MAC post-season stuff is coming in now.  It is going to be much slower than usual.  I think it is clear that MAC teams are more likely to turn down invites to the "minor" tournaments (CBI/CIT) than they used to be.  Those tournaments require the teams who participate to pay, and I don't think anyone is that excited about playing, so you have to ask yourself if that makes sense.

So, the biggest thing is the Buffalo got a #13 seed, which is tough and pretty unfair.  I know, they had no tier one wins, but even with that, you have to think they should be at least a #12.  Not that it is a huge difference.  They play the late game Friday against a really good Arizona team, which is a difficult assignment.  But, Buffalo has a shot.

UT did not get an NIT invite, which is a pretty big surprise.  If Buffalo had lost Saturday, there's was automatic, but that's as far as it goes.  UT belongs in the NIT as a minimum.  For my money, Toledo belongs ahead of double-digit loss teams from major conferences, but that isn't how it works.  Anyway, Toledo was skipped for the NIT--which is even more mercenary than the NCAA--and they declined the CBI/CIT bids.  They are done.

For reference, Old Dominion, who also destroyed BG, were 25-7 in an even higher ranked conference and also got NIT-Snubbed.

CMU is IN!!!!  They are playing in the CIT, against Fort Wayne on MONDAY.  Yeesh.  Also,  late word has EMU in the CIT as well, though we don't know who they are playing yet.

And Miami is in.  They are playing in the CBI, playing at Campbell on Wednesday.  BG played over Thanksgiving in that very spot against Campbell.

From what I have seen, Kent and Ball State also turned down invites.

The only non-MAC opponents BG played that are in the post-season are Campbell (see above) and FGCU (NIT).

50 years out of the NCAA Tournament

Now 50 elapsed years since BG has been in the NCAA tournament.  Here is the company we live with now.  Sadly, this list remains static this year.

Columbia: Last appeared in 1968
Tennessee Tech: Last appeared in 1963
Maine: Division I since 1962
New Hampshire: Division I since 1962
Dartmouth: Last appeared in 1959
Army: Division I since 1948
Citadel: Division I since 1948
St. Francis (N.Y.): Division I since 1948
William & Mary: Division I since 1948

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Quick Note On Women's Basketball Firing

So, just a quick note on the women's basketball firing.  As you know, I don't blog about women's basketball, and didn't see a game all year, so I don't have anything to add other than respect for the class Coach Roos has showed all along, including after the decision.

Having said that, for fans of other Falcon sports there is one thing to notice.  Roos was fired with one year left on her deal and was bought out to the tune of $200K.  Under very similar circumstances a few years ago, Coach Orr was sent on a one-year lame duck season to avoid paying a buy out.  As I understood it, one factor was that the President at the time felt that it was unseemly for a cash-strapped university to spend money to pay someone not to coach (not to mention that most of the athletic budget is paid for by student fees).

So I have no inside information on this.  I just note that a couple weeks after a new President was named, BG bought a coach out.

Here's the thing.  That last year on a contract is tough.  If you don't extend the contract prior to the last year, you are creating uncertainty.  I know sometimes the Coach comes through in that last year and earns an extension.  But, most of the time it seems like you're just postponing the inevitable and giving up a recruiting year.  I know for MBB, it set the program's recovery back.

Just an observation.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Falcons Round Out Positional Coaching Staff

Footballscoop is reporting that BG has selected their 10th and final on-field assistant.  This is Jake Schoonover, who last year was the LB and special teams coach at Illinois State.

He has no ties to Nebraska or the Detroit Lions.

He resigned his position in January, prompting the local paper to ask whether he left because he did not get the DC job.  He said he did not, but that he had a coaching job lined up.

He attended Missouri Western College and worked there for one season before one year at Illinois Wesleyan and then heading to ISU.  His ISU bio cites a number of LBs earning all-MVFC honors while he was the LB coach.  

He also played both ways for the Peoria Pirates in the arena league.

In all, he has 7 years of assistant coaching experience at the collegiate level.

Welcome aboard, Jake.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Turner Second in MAC FR of Year

So, behind the 8-ball a little.  The MAC announced a couple days ago that Miami's Nike Sabande was voted the FR of the year over Justin Turner, which is certainly disappointing as a Falcon fan.   As you can see below, it was very close in terms of the voting.  In fact, Kirk of OU was also clearly in the conversation and the three players more or less divided first-place votes evenly.

Nike Sibande, Miami, Guard (9) — 58 Points
Justin Turner, Bowling Green, Guard (9) — 56 Points
Teyvion Kirk, Ohio, Guard (8) — 52 Points
Marreon Jackson, Toledo, Guard (3) — 15 Points
Jayvon Graves, Buffalo, Guard (2) — 7 Points

So, looking at the respective numbers, it remains a really close call.  These numbers are MAC-only.  Both teams led their teams in scoring.  They scored more or less the same, Sibande has a few more rebounds.  Neither of them shot very well, but Turner was slightly better.  Turner had better FT shooting and more assists.  Sibande had slightly fewer turnovers and slightly more steals.

In terms of the offensive rating on, Sibandie was also slightly ahead.

Look, that's just really close on the numbers.  Sibandie had 6 20 point MAC games.  Turner 5.  Sibande's MAC-high was 23 points, while Turner had a 29-point game and a 30-point game.

You, two players who each had years worthy of the award.  I honestly felt Turner was the more impactful player, possibly a combination of bias and possibly that Sibande didn't do much when he played at BG.  But, I can't work up outrage over the decision.  I was surprised by it, but honestly it was probably as closed as the voting indicated.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Sadness Accrues

So that's it.  Or, I think that's it.  I said that once when we finished .500 and we ended up in one of those post-season tournaments, but that's it or it should be it.  BG finishes with a 6-game losing streak and a 16-16 record and 7-12 in MAC play.  For the second straight year, they will not go to Cleveland for the MAC tournament.

More later when the time comes to review the season.  In general, it ended about where we expected.  BG gets one new recruit and the Latvian back for next year, assuming everyone returns, something which isn't as automatic as it used to be in college basketball.  Anyway, the team needs to continue to get better because the other teams in the East are likely to get better, too.  As always, the East is the weaker division.  Three of the four byes went to West teams.  But Miami is on the upswing, Akron has 3 transfers waiting on the bench, etc.  Status quo won't close the gap.

It is possible.  There are some good players and you'd like to see them improve from year one to year two.  The six losses will leave them under no illusion over the course of the off-season.  They were pretty much as expected and will need to get better.

MAC Awards Season

So, with the tournament coming on, the MAC is now releasing its award for the season.  In this case, we are reviewing the awards for Men's Basketball.

BG had two players honored.  Demajeo Wiggins was a second-team All-MAC player.  It is the first All-MAC honor for Wiggins.  He certainly is deserving.  He is averaging a double-double this year and even with some of the defensive liabilities, he's a clear second-team All-MAC player and he's a junior.

The other awarded player is Justin Turner.  Turner was honorable mention All-MAC and also made the all-Freshman team. 

A few notes:

  • Turner is the second straight all-MAC freshman for BG.  Dylan Frye made it last year.
  • BG has not had a second-team All-MAC player since A'uston Calhoun in 12-13.  Richaun Holmes was first team in 14-15.

2017-18 All-MAC First Team
Tre’Shaun Fletcher, Sr., G, Toledo
C.J. Massinburg, Jr., G, Buffalo
Nick Perkins, Jr., F, Buffalo
James Thompson IV, Jr., F/C, Eastern Michigan
Thomas Wilder, Sr., G, Western Michigan

2017-18 All-MAC Second Team
Eugene German, So., G, Northern Illinois
Jeremy Harris, Jr., G, Buffalo
Tayler Persons, Jr., G, Ball State
Jaelan Sanford, Jr., G, Toledo
Demajeo Wiggins, Jr., F, Bowling Green

2017-18 All-MAC Third Team
Wes Clark, Sr., G, Buffalo
Elijah Minnie, R-Jr., F, Eastern Michigan
Trey Moses, Jr., C, Ball State
Darrian Ringo, Jr., G, Miami
Jaylin Walker, Jr., G, Kent State

2017-18 All-MAC Honorable Mention
Jordan Dartis, Jr., G, Ohio
Daniel Utomi, So., F, Akron
Justin Turner, R-Fr., G, Bowling Green
Nike Sibande, Fr., G, Miami
Paul Jackson, R-Jr., G, Eastern Michigan

2017-18 MAC All-Defensive Team
Tim Bond, Sr., G, Eastern Michigan
Davonta Jordan, So., G, Buffalo
Bryce Moore, Jr., G, Western Michigan
Darrian Ringo, Jr., G, Miami
James Thompson IV, Jr., F/C, Eastern Michigan

2017-18 MAC All-Freshman Team
Dalonte Brown, Fr., F, Miami
Marreon Jackson, Fr., G, Toledo
Teyvion Kirk, Fr., G, Ohio
Nike Sibande, Fr., G, Miami
Justin Turner, R-Fr., G, Bowling Green

Sunday, March 04, 2018

CMU Preview....New Season

So, a new season starts today.  Everyone starts with the same record, in a manner of speaking.  Anyway, BG rides a five-game losing streak into the MAC tourney and a road game at CMU that never should have happened.

BG needs a road win to make it to Cleveland.  BG played CMU way early in the season at the Stroh.  CMU was off to a dreadful start, 1-4 in MAC play, and shot the lights out in BG.  They outscored the Falcons 27-9 in the last 10 minutes to win by 9.  BG made 18 turnovers.  When you look back at the year, in fact, this is one of the more disappointing losses.  You just needed to get that win.

CMU ended up starting 2-6 in MAC play.  From there they improved, eventually going 5-5 on the homestretch to play their way to home court.

CMU is the 3rd best offensive team in the MAC.  BG is the 7th best defensive team.  On that front, you expect things to be pretty evenly matched.  The key matchup is on the other end, as it often is.  BG is the worse offensive team in the MAC.  CMU is #9 on defense.  So that's where something had to give.  Yes, part of that is BG getting some stops and into transition, but as noted in the last game write-up, BG has not been making 3FGs over the past 5 games and they'll need that to clean up to have a shot. 

So, the interesting thing is that CMU is #3 in offense but they aren't a great shooting team. In fact, they are #9 in shooting.  Their key is shooting the 3.  They try the second-high proportion of 3s in the MAC and they are 5th in making them.  They protect the ball well, they lead the MAC in offensive rebounding and they are 8th in getting to the line.  They are the best FT shooting team in the MAC and the 2nd best in the country.  They make 81%.

So, flipping things around, we see the sad story that BG is the worst shooting team in the MAC.  BG is 11th from 3FG and 12th from 2FG.  CMU is relatively easy to shoot against, but they force turnovers well.  They are not great on the offensive boards.  They are 8th at allowing FTs.

On the plus side, CMU has a losing record at home at 3-5, 4-5 if you give them the game that moved due to the shooting incident.

CMU has two players who scored 15 a game.  One is Shawn Roundtree, who is scoring 15 on 36% and 32% shooting, which is a struggle.  He makes 84% of their FTs.  Cecil Williams is also scoring 15, shooting 45% and 37%, which is pretty good.  He also averages 5.8 RPG.  Kevin McKay might be one of the best 6th men in the MAC, scoring over 13 PPG on 56% shooting, plus 87% at the line and 7 PRG. 

David DiLeo is averaging 10 PPG on an inefficient 36% and 32%.  And then there's Luke Meyer, who always seems to do well against BG, is scoring 10 PPG on 53% and 45% shooting and has only missed 1 FT in conference play.  He also gets 4.5 RPG.

This is a winnable game for BG, if they play well, but if they play as they have been over the past few weeks than they are heading into the off-season on a six-game losing streak.

Saturday, March 03, 2018

MBB on the Road for MAC Tourney

Sigh.  Well, BG ended up oh-so-close to a home game at the Stroh, but it did not happen.  CMU beat WMU to move into a tie with BG and CMU gets the tiebreaker and BG will travel to Mt. Pleasant on Monday.

Pretty disappointing.  BG lost 5 straight to end the season.  Any one of those games would have clinched home court.  In the same vein, BG lost to CMU at home to tilt the tiebreaker that direction.  A win in that one and BG's at home, too.

That's a 9th place finish.  Hopefully, we are on the rebound.  There were times this year when you thought we were and times where we weren't for sure.  More on that when we look back at the season.

BG won an away tourney game in Huger's first year before advancing to the semis.  Last year BG lost @UT in the first round.

BG is 16-15 now.  A loss on Monday would leave us 16-16 and without a winning season (or a losing season).  One win and BG gets to the top half of the ledger, although I don't know what would happen with a post-post season tourney.

BG Football Coaching Changes

So, a couple of changes to the BG Coaching lineup for football. is reporting that BG has hired Dejon Gomes as team's CB Coach.  His last position was as a GA at CMU.  He is (to no one's surprise) a Nebraska Cornhusker, where he led the team in interceptions and tackles.  He was also a 5th round draft pick and he played 46 games in the NFL, including for the Lions.  That's presumably how he connected with CMU and then the Nebraska connection gets him to the Pelini staff.

Football scoop says he is our 10th assistant but I only count 9.  Perhaps I missed something along the way.

Strength Coach Billy Yates, meanwhile, is leaving to go TO the Detroit Lions as an assistant line coach.  To no one's surprise, he had previously been an assistant strength coach at Texas Tech.  (He played 8 years in the NFL as well).  That's a pretty important position to fill and kind of late to have to do it, so we'll keep an eye on that.

Buffalo destorys BG MBB

There's not too much to say or write about it.  Buffalo is just a much better team than BG is and they showed it with a total dismantling of the Falcons at the Stroh--much worse than the game played in Buffalo in fact.  So BG is either the 8th or 9th best team in the MAC this year and UB is #1 and that's how good you have to get.  Their execution is great, they stifled the Falcons' offense, they run the ball and they make open shots.  They are big, physical and athletic.  They are much better and it shows.

They scored 1.39 points per possession.  UT had 1.44 in that game and NIU had 1.39. Those are the 3 worst defensive games BG has played this year.  Thing is, in both the UT and UB case, it could have been much worse.  I shudder to think what their PPP was heading into the 4 minute timeout.

They shot 68% on 2FGs and 39% on 3FGs.  They also hardly turned the ball over at all.  That's a team that just sliced BG up.  So many layups.  Oh and to top it off, they had a pretty good game on the offensive boards.

Meanwhile, BG was inconsistent at best on offense.  They had .97 points per possession.  BG shot awfully...43% on their 2FGs and 21% on 2FGs.  As Todd Walker pointed out after the game, in the 5-game losing streak BG is 23-102 from beyond the arc.  BG had a decent game with turnovers, good on the boards and did get to the line a lot, but all that couldn't overcome the poor shooting.

Justin Turner had 21 points on a tough 6 of 17 shooting night.  Demajeo Wiggins had 15 and 10 in only 25 minutes of play.  He made 9 of 11 FTs.  UB heavily concentrated on the post.  No other player had 10 points.

Rod Caldwell played 24 minutes, his most since the first Kent game.  His minutes have been less since he missed that game with an injury, so I am not sure if he is 100% healthy.  Anyway, he had a good game with 9 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 TO. 

If you wonder if BG is a little worn out right now (and I do wonder that), you also have to look at the player rotation.  BG has tightened the rotation more and more as the season has gone on.  Plowden played 1 minutes and Cummings 4 minutes last night.

Joniya Gadson got 12 minutes in, his most since the ODU game.  He didn't produce much, but I think Coach was frustrated with our interior defense.  Wiggins is a scorer and a rebounder, but there's no rim protection going on.

So, the WMU-CMU game will take place at Northwood College in an empty gym at 11 AM.  If CMU wins, BG heads up to Mt. Pleasant Monday.  If WMU wins, then OU travels to BG on Monday.

It has been a disappointing end to a season that a month ago appeared to be well ahead of what was expected.  I wouldn't lose sight of the big picture, even while sharing the disappointment.  Almost everyone is back and a new recruit will be added in.  The key is player development.  There's a saying that the biggest improvement is after the freshman year, and BG needs to make that happen.  More to come when the season's over.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

And then we came to the end....

The end of the regular season anyway.  BG has the #1 ranked team in the MAC on their floor Friday in a game where BG really needs to win.  A BG win or a CMU loss and the Falcons play at home Monday....otherwise, it's on the road, probably to Mt. Pleasant.

Anyway, this is a tough one.  UB is the regular-season title holder and are 22-8.  Their kenpom is #86.  Now, on the plus side, there is absolutely nothing to play for.  I don't think this is the NFL where guys are going to outright sit, but UB has nothing to play for.  Even with that, I think they have a shot at taking down our guys.

The game in Buffalo was just a couple weeks ago.  It wasn't a complete disaster, like when the guys BG played in Toledo and Norfolk earlier in the year.  BG had the lead at 3 in the second half and in the single digits down much of the stretch run, but eventually lost by 13.

UB is the #2 offensive and #2 defensive team in the MAC.  They lead the MAC in shooting, and they certainly lived that out in the first meeting, listed below.  You shoot that well and take good care of the ball, you don't care about offensive rebounds or about FTs, and they were even average at that.  BG shot much worse and made the most positive contribution by going 25 of 29 at the line. 

This team is an offensive juggernaut.  They have four players scoring 14 or more.  Nick Perkins (18 on 52% plus 6.5 RPG), Jeremy Harris (17.5% on 55% plus 6 RPG), CJ Massinburg (15.6 on 49%, plus 7.4 RPG) and Wes Clark (14 on 47%).

They are just a very solid team.  Since the BG win, they lost @Miami, and then easily beat OU and Akron at home.  All 3 of their MAC losses have come on the road.

BG's going to have to force some misses this time to have a shot.  It would be great to continue to draw fouls.  They are 2nd to last in allowing FTs in the MAC, so that might be an opening.  BG is in the midst of a four-game losing streak--more than Buffalo's total number of losses in the MAC for the year.  Having said that, you never know, especially for a game that is important for one team and not the other.  BG has to play better on both ends of the floor or none of this will matter.

Report: Doege to Coach Special Teams and WRs

According to, BG assistant Seth Doege will coach special teams as well as WRs.  The special teams spot became open when Matt Brock went to Washington State.  Brock also coached LBs, so there is a precedent for special teams combining with a traditional position assignment.  Doege's bio doesn't show any special teams expertise, but that's hard to tell sometimes.  BG had strong special teams and you'd hope to be able to continue that.

There are still two positions open on the staff, based on what has been reported.