Monday, December 30, 2019

We're on a short break...

Hey, quick update.  I'm on a little holiday trip and not really in a position to blog.  Will be back in town following the Miami game....go Falcons!

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas to the Falcon Nation...

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to the Falcon Nation. May the day bring you Peace...

The Magi (The Heart of Man is a Palace)

Oh the magi were the prophets
And they wandered through the desert
They saw the star above them
And they knew they'd find their way
Through the valley of the shadow
With the hope of human kindness
They were strengthened by the vision
Of a new and brighter day.

And the wisemen spoke of peace on earth,
Of harmony and struggle
Know you now a cycle's gone and a new one is revealed.
In the weaving of your fingers
In the whisper of a love that's born again
In the weaving of your fingers
In a promise that we made that never ends.

Well now each man is a pilgrim,
Yes, we all must make the journey
And it seems that time is telling us to be all that we can
To help lift up the fallen, we must sow the seeds of goodness
The torch is passed among us now to light the way of man.

For the heart of man's a palace
And his dreams are as the sunlight
They burn away the darkness, as they warm the freezing cold
As an eagle flying higher, as a river through the canyon
The diamond star shines down upon, a pathway to the soul


In a promise that we made that never ends.
In a promise that we made that never ends.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Let's not talk about New Jersey Again...

Woof.  Tough weekend for the Falcons, who went to Atlantic City with a tournament that, on paper, they should have had zero difficulty winning..even without Justin Turner.  All of these teams would have been ranked at the bottom of the MAC.

BG laid a complete egg on Friday losing to one of the worst teams in the country...who went on to lose in the final to Drexel by 4.  They then played Qunninpiac in the consolation, came out strong and bolted to a 11-0 lead.  At first, you think BG was coming out ready to get redemption.  Unfortunately, that wasn't what happened...the Bobcats had it down to 6 at halftime and to 2 just 2 minutes into the second half.  From there, it was a tight game. Quinnipiac tied the game with 12 left and took the lead with 6 minutes left.

That came in the middle of a 9-2 run that left the Bobcats winning by 5 with 5 minutes left.  With 2 minutes left, BG had the ball down 2 but Sierra missed a layup and the Falcons never had the ball with a one-possession game again, losing 69-64.

The key problem was that BG simply didn't make any baskets in the second half.  They had only one turnover, so they took 42 shots for the half.  And made 8.  Of those, 13 were 3FGs....of which BG made 2.  They scored 25 points, salvaged partly by making 7-8 at the line.

Quinnipiac had switched to a 2-3, which has been kryptonite for the Falcons before.  In fact, it was the main culprit in the Cleveland State debacle of 2018.  The weird thing is that BG was getting good shots--based on Todd Walker and Coach as well, after the game.  So, we were attacking the zone OK (based on this theory), getting good shots but missing them.  Coach said "that's what the zone does to you," which I don't really understand.  Does what?  Makes you miss shots?  In the past, I felt like we had struggled to attack the zone and settled for outside shots, but in this case we seemed to get shots and just missed them.

BG had .96 points per possession in both games--exactly the same total.  That's not can complain about defense all you like...and BG isn't a great defensive team and allowed 1.03 points per possession in both games, their worst except for the LSU game......but even a remotely competent attack would have allowed BG to salvage wins in both games.

BG cleaned up their turnover issues from the previous two games, but just shot awful, as mentioned above.  Offensive rebounding was OK--as you'd expect against a zone.

On defense, the preview noted the QU shoots a lot of 3FGs.  Against BG, they shot 60% of their FG attempts from 3FG.  It's been 3 years since BG faced that high of a 3FG rate.  They made 39%, which is pretty solid.  So, BG didn't defend the 3FG very effectively, despite knowing that was the Bobcats strength.  BG also continues to foul too much.  BG allowed 24 FTs and QU made 18 for a +10 differential at the line.  BG is #318 in the country in allowing FTs.

Individually, Daeqwon Plowden continues to play really well.  He double-doubled at 20 and 11, though he was 8 of 23 getting there, so not as efficient as he has been.  Caleb Fields had 15 of 5 of 11 and 3 of 7 shooting and Mattiss had a perfect 10, making all his shots.

Coach said that he wants everyone to go home, enjoy Christmas and not think about basketball for a while.  I suspect that's going to be a good idea.  It was an ugly weekend in these two games.

The good news is, nothing has been lost, really.  If...

BG was never getting an at-large bid.  The only games BG has to win are going to take place at the Q.
Seasons have hills and valleys and this was a valley.  Coach said after the game, though, that you can't let it define you...we need to "get back to playing like we know we can play." 

If that happens, these games will be forgotten.

Of course, the key element is Justin Turner.  Since he was injured, BG won some games that were closer than expected at home and then stunk it up on a neutral floor.  We're not the same team without one would be.  That's not an excuse...BG should have won these games anyway.  But they're going to have some long nights in conference play based on the results this weekend.

Next up is Hartford on New Year's Eve and then conference play starts with a big one against Kent State at the Stroh.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Quinnipiac Preview

Quick turnaround for bloggers, too.  A bite-sized look ahead at Quinnipiac.

First, its Quinn-AH-pee-ac. And they are the Bobcats.

They are in the MAAC, so this is part of the long-dreamed-of MAC-MAAC showcase.

They are coached by Baker Dunleavy of the Basketball Dunleavys.

They were 16-15 last year and picked to be #4 in the MAAC.  They lost Cameron Young off that team...he was the #12 scorer in the country and was conference player of the year.

This year they are 4-5 and #264.  Their best win is Albany (#224) and they have lost to #297 Farleigh Dickinson and #252 Drexel.

They are poor on defense. allowing 1.05 points per possession.  They are average defending the shot but rarely turn the ball over, making this a decent matchup for BG.  They are below average on the defensive boards, but like a lot of teams that don't force turnovers, they rarely give up FTs.  They defend well against 2FGs but are weak against the 3...also a BG opportunity if their shooting can come back.

On offense, they are good, scoring 1.05 points per possession.  I don't know if BG was horrendous last night against but if they are horrendous today it will be a very long afternoon.  They shoot 48% of the FGAs from 3FG...the 14th highest rate in the land.  They make 36% which is #68.  They also make 2FGs (ranked #87).  They rarely turn the ball over and they shoot 74% from the FT line.

Note that those are raw numbers assembled against one of the 10 worst D1 schedules to date. The only team better than BG they have played is the U (#87).  Kenpom actually adjusts their offensive efficiency to .99 to account for their schedule, which is a pretty big spread.

The guy to watch out for here is Rich Kelly, a pre-season MEAC player.  He's scoring 17 PPG on 46% shooting overall and from 3FG.  That's a very efficient weapon to have in your arsenal.  He also averages 4.5 assists/game.

They have one other double figure scorer, which is Tyrese Williams.  He is scoring 10 PPG on 24% 3FG shooting.  Kevin Marfo, 6'8" leads them with 13 RPG...he's a GW transfer.

So, here's the deal.  If BG comes out playing hard, they have a shot to compete.  If they sulk, they will get beaten.  If BG jumps to a big lead and decides everything is fixed, they will probably end up in the same boat.  It's good...they get a chance to get right back on the horse.  We'll see if they are ready to take advantage of it.

Oh and one last thing...BG has the tougher turnaround, playing at 2 PM after the late game.

Bad Night in New Jersey...

BG MBB experienced its first bad loss this season...and it was a bad Atlantic City.  Not sure what the gambling metaphor is...did we hit on 19?  Anyway, BG lost in OT to Norfolk State, a team they should have beaten and in fact led by 11 inside the last media timeout.  Based on the kenpom rankings, it's the worst team Huger has lost to in his time at BG.  Chris Jans lost to a non-d1 team that was probably better than Norfolk State...and the last time BG lost to a lower ranked team was to IUPUI on a neutral floor in 2013 under Coach Orr.

Seems to be the season for bad losses in the MAC.  It happens...long season, marathon, etc.  And, we know there was never an at-large bid out there, so it actually doesn't count against anything.  Chances are exactly the same as they were before...even know what I mean.

Norfolk State had the better of the play the whole way.  BG was never really in command of the game...up only 3 with about 7 to play, BG went on an 8-0 run to go up 10 with 3:22 left.  Things were beginning to feel normal.  That's what you are supposed to do when you get into a situation like that...make enough plays at the end to steal the win on a night you didn't play your best.

According to ESPN, a team with an 11 point lead with 3:22 left wins that game 97.5% of the time.

Instead, BG did not score again in regulation, while Norfolk State, one of the 13 worst 3-FG shooting teams in the country nailed 3 in those last 3 minutes while BG was missing shots and turning the ball over on offense.  Essentially, a complete collapse by the Falcons on both ends of the floor in a situation where only a partial or even near-total collapse gets you out with a win.

The game went to OT...Norfolk made 3 of 4 from 3FG in the OT, led by 6 inside of 1:30 to play and made their FTs in the last minute to win the game.

Not a good night at all.

A couple things.  First, Coach went on about our "horrendous" defense on the post-game. The game was tied in regulation at 55.  Even in a slow-tempo game, which this was, you have to expect to win at 55.  Cleveland State scored 58.  I know Coach always wants to focus on defense, but the offense was the culprit in this one.

BG's offensive formula to date was to shoot just OK but rarely turn the ball over, creating more shots and enough points to win.  BG is #227 in shooting in the nation.  They entered the game at #4 in taking care of the ball.

Well, that formula has been tested in the last two games.  BG has turned the ball over on 22% of its possessions in both games...against CSU the Falcons shot fairly well and made up for it, but against NSU we shot poorly (worst since Nevada) and turned the ball over.  Meanwhile, NSU had its best 3-point shooting game of the season against the BG defense and the whole this turns into a highly forgettable affair.

So, here's the thing.  Last year BG had a similar loss to Cleveland State.  It actually served to be a building block/turning point.  As Herb Brooks said, "a loss never hurts a good team."  The good thing is that they get a chance to get right back at the game against Quinnipiac...another game on paper they should win easily.

One thing is that teams have seen that CSU was able to turn BG over with pressure and I think you will see more of that.  The Falcons struggled against Norfolk's pressure some of the time...and then sometimes were just careless with the ball.  With this team, there's no excuse for us not being prepared to respond to pressure after these warnings....

I believe BG will respond today with a more focused effort and can head to the holiday on a win.  With a loss, going to be a long holiday...

Friday, December 20, 2019

JaJuan Hudson Enters Transfer Portal

Well, this one is going to make things more difficult.  JaJuan Hudson had enrolled early and came into BG and made an immediate impression.  The coaches called him out (in a good way) during camp and he was playing and starting when the season began.  He played in 10 games, had 42 tackles, one TFL and 4 breakups.  Based on observation, he had ups and downs, as any true FR will at that position, but seemed to me to win his share of battles.  And, you run a guy out there as a true FR, you get a dividend later when they are experienced and ready to play sooner.

So, that's disappointing. He's a long way from home--he's from NJ--and ultimately can go to school where he wants.

On we go...

Best of luck, JaJuan.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Norfolk State Preview

And back to basketball we go....

BG is in New Jersey to play a tournament in Atlantic that BG should win by the numbers.  We start off with Norfolk State.  Last year, the Spartans were really good, going 22-14 and 14-2, winning their regular season title, and winning @ Alabama in the NIT.  Alas, they lost seven of their top eight scorers from that team and face a rebuilding effort this year.  They were picked 4th in the MEAC by Blue Ribbon this year.

The rebuild has been a little worse than that.  They are 3-9 with all three wins against non-D1 opposition.  In fact, one of their losses is outside D1.  They have a mixture of decent losses and bad losses and are ranked #307 out of 353 on kenpom.

BG played them home and home a couple years ago, winning both games.  The first one, at the Stroh, was perilously close and caused a spasm of angst in the Falcon Nation, as I recall.

Much like Cleveland State, Norfolk State struggles to score.  They average .9 points per possession (D1 games only), which is #329.  On defense, they are below average at 1.03 points per possession, which #216 in country.

When you look at the Spartan offense, you can see why they struggle right away.  They are #320 in shooting and #345 in turnovers.  When you screw those two up, you don't have much of a chance.  They try 40% of their FG attempts from 3FG, which is above the average of 37.7%.  Yet, they make only 26%...#340 in the country.  That's tough.  They only make 47% of 2FGs.  They are good on the offensive boards but are just average getting to the line and they are just average making them.

Flipping it around, they are better on defense.  They are below average defending the shot but average in forcing turnovers and on their defensive boards.  They give up a lot of FTs, though not as many as Bowling Green does.  They allow 33% on 3FG attempts, which is average, but allow 51% on 2FG, which is below average.  BG is #295 in the country on 2FGs.

Their leading scorer is Jermaine Bishop.  He scores 13 PPG on 38% shooting...38% from 3FG as well.  He's a 6'1" St. Louis transfer.

Next is Joe Bryant, Jr.  He scores 11.5 on 43% shooting overall and 40% from beyond the arc, which is decent.  Devante Carter scores 10 PPG on 58% shooting.  He's 6'3",  a JUCO, and came off the bench before starting and logging 36 minutes in their last two games. Also leads the team with 5.2 RPG.

Stephen Whitley is a story.  Uses the most possessions on the team, shoots 40% overall and 19% from 3FG.  He's a 6'3" G and leads the team in assists and turnovers.  Robert Morris transfer.

They are #227 in height...and didn't play Kashaun Hicks in their last game, and he is at least mid-range.

So that's what you can expect BG to go with their smaller lineup again.  This is a game BG should win.  On the other hand, that's probably what UT thought heading into the UMKC game.

BG would face Drexel or Quinnipiac next.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Signing Day Presser--UPDATED

Coach Loeffler had his presser following signing day...I said earlier that these things were usually pretty coachspeaky, and this one mostly was, but there were some nuggets of information.

First, unrelated to anything, thank god we aren't showing those lame highlight videos anymore.

So, the news.

First, the best comedy moment was related to Levi Gazarek.  Apparently, it was the middle of the night, the coaches were watching TE recruit films instead of going to the convention.and everyone was half asleep and like 52 people in they saw Levi playing QB.  The coaches were like, hey, that guy's an athlete and you could make him a TE and you could even wildcat him...

Loeffler asks...where is the kid from?

Someone tells him North Baltimore.

He says he launched into a tantrum about how we were recruiting a four-hour area....until someone informed him that North Baltimore is like 15 minutes from Bowling Green.

<<pulls collar>>

So they all piled in a car soon after and went to see the family.  When it was legal.

My note:  Levi Gazarek has a shot to be a very good player for us.  I imagine that allowing him to play baseball helped us win the day over MSU and Maryland.

OK, back to the presser.

Loeffler was asked about the February signing day and whether BG would get anyone additional in.  He said that was still to be determined.  He said there were some things you could do..."all legally"...where you could bring additional people in and we would be working every angle to get numbers up.

He also said that we have 7 players coming in for the winter semester, which is a lot.  Tucker Melton is one, and if the names of the others are available, I have not seen them.

He does not plan to bring in a grad transfer QB.  Keller or Melton will be the backup.

BG ended up with the #3 class behind UT and WMU.  Of course, the real results will be on the field.

Our vision is for a sustainable program.  He has this "to the moon" thing, which is a little meh but he doesn't have to motivate me, so who that a row the boat?  Anyway, the point is...and we can all agree on he wants to build the program the way it needs to be built and make sure "the place never goes back to the situation we are currently in."

Amen brother.

My opinion:  all we want as fan is to be consistently competitive and mix in championships...not every year, but we want to be in the conversation every year.  I can't talk about how inspiring this is to me as an alum and a fan.

The position break out is below.  The key is we still need 5 more OL and DL in the next class...have to win up front...which I agree 100% with.  You cannot win in the MAC without being strong up front.

He certainly kept his word.  That's 20 out of 27 from Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.

He said he spoke to a "dear friend" woke him up...gave him some ideas.  Among them:  read for a half-hour and write for a half hour in the morning.  Have great habits.  Work out in the season and in the offseason.  "At times as a leader I didn't measure up. and that's going to change."

He wouldn't say who it was.

Anyway, I 100% agree with where he is leading the program and how he is doing it.  And, this class is evidence of what it can be.  Whether we get there or not...that's an open question.  But we have a guy who's living and dying with his chance to prove he can do this and I'm behind it.  I love the Clawson-like approach and I love the kind of people he seems to have recruited.  And I love the vision.

There's a road ahead.  I believe in where we are going.

Late Addendum.  Clearly, the efforts to increase our numbers are extensive and creative.  For those who wonder about what a blue shirt is...check here.

Signing Day is in the books

So BG has 26 27 young men who sent letters in today.  You can see everything you need to on the twitter feed...BG will do a release later and we'll take a look at that to get some summary information. (The player I missed was JB Brown of Springdale, AR).

Also, Coach is having a presser at 3.  Typically those are pretty non-eventful, but sometimes there are some interesting tidbits.

From the list we have been tracking since the beginning, the only four players who did not sign was Matthew Paull--an Anthony Wayne punter who I assume is walking on--and two of the three guys from Springdale AR.  The others might be walking on, too, for all I know, though it seems less likely.

BG certainly did what it set out to do.  This is one of the top classes in the MAC and heavily local within the Great Lakes, which I think is the right way to go for our program.

I don't know what the final "rankings" will show...don't really care whether we "win" that or not.  The true test is whether these young men hoist a trophy.


Follow Signing Day here

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

BG Football with NSD-Eve Verbal

Recruiting never sleeps, and BG's recruiting machine is working into the last hours.  They have a new verbal on the o-line....I imagine in response to the Kaden Moore flip.  This young man looks like someone who is right for our program.

His name is Jalen Grant, a OG from Mt. Carmel HS in Chicago.  Interestingly, his 247 profile had him at 6'3" and 297, but this story in the Chicago Tribune says that he dropped 15 pounds from that frame to play both ways as a senior.  To me, the issue isn't what he will weigh at BG, but that he self-disciplined himself...the coaches didn't even know he was doing it.

He is a 3-star recruit on 247.  He had FBS offers from Army, Navy, Ball State, New Mexico State and Wyoming, along with 9 FCS offers.  Gotta like those service academy offers when you're looking for character and academics.

Mt. Carmel won the Illinois State title in 7A, which is their #1 classification.

More from the Tribune...

That’s one reason [leadership] why Grant was the recipient of Catholic League Blue/East Suburban Catholic Conference’s Lawless Award, which is given to the most outstanding senior.

A lineman rarely receives that award, but Lynch pointed out Grant winning it is a testament to his performance and character.

“Jalen is an all-around special person,” Lynch said. “He’s a kid who cares."

Also, Mt. Carmel is coached by Jordan Lynch, whose work you might remember from the 2013 MAC Championship Game. :)

Welcome to the Falcons, Jalen

Monday, December 16, 2019

Football Verbal: Jordan Porter

BG has a new football verbal here on a Monday night. This young man is Jordan Porter, a SDE from Muskegon. He's 6'3" and 240 pounds and had offers from Air Force, Buffalo, WMU and Saginaw Valley State.

As you can see above, he was a highly-decorated player and 247 gives him 3-stars.

From the dzone, he played both ways and was a TE and OT on offense....also, offers from Ferris and Western Illinois.

Mlive had an article talking about him being a late bloomer.  He was only 16 when this year's season kicked off.  He ran a 4.8 at WMU's camp and he's obviously "long."   The Mlive article also indicates something I kind of suspected, which is that he was hoping to see something develop from a larger school and waited to commit.

His teammate Cameron Martinez was is headed to OSU, so hopefully the two young men can shake hands to start next season.

Welcome to the Falcons, Jordan.

Nick Piotrowicz with excellent diagnosis of Falcon Football woes

I'm a couple days late on this, but Nick Piotrowicz of The Blade has an excellent story on what happened with Falcon football.  We all know sort of...but this spells it out as clearly as it can be done and with actual facts.

You should go read it here.

I agree 100% with its conclusion.  It solves the Babers/Jinks argument...turns out it was both of them...and the real issue was Chris Kingston, who botched both hires.  Why he didn't hire Mike Elko I will never know.

Anyway, the good news is we are using the Clawson model.  Loeffler has the time to get this done and he's committed to building the program not patching it together enough so he can use a leaking ship to get another job.

Here's the quote to remember, from Coach Loeffler.  Let's keep standing behind this guy.

“I just feel extremely obligated to get it back to the way it used to be — like, passionate, out-of-my-mind, can’t sleep thinking about it,” Loeffler said. “It’s all about bringing Bowling Green back to where Bowling Green has been.”

Football With Another De-Commit

TE Dylan Walker has de-committed from's what we said about him when he committed...he is headed to Colorado State, where Louis Addazio, who would have been his position coach at BG is now an assistant.

Best of luck to Dylan. 

Falcons Beat Cleveland State MBB

BG ended a three-game homestand with a good victory over the Cleveland State Vikings...a struggling program you would expect to beat and one we did beat.  BG won 72-58 (sorry, the original version had a typo in the score)...if you're worried about the margin, UT beat them by 15 at Savage and BG is playing without its best player.  There were a couple of things that were concerning...which I will discuss...but by and large BG did what should be done and we're never sorry to win.

After a close start, BG had the lead in double figures 8 minutes into the first half.  With 8 minutes left Ziegler hit a couple FTs to put BG up 10 and the game was never closer than 10 after that.  The lead was 24 (game high) with 11 minutes left.  Here, BG's play seemed to go to sleep and CSU went on a 16-4 run to cut the lead to 13 with just inside 5 minutes to play.  The lead stabilized from there and BG closed the game out.

The worrisome part was BG's response to full-court pressure that CSU employed during that run.  It was cringe-worthy.  BG tried to dribble the ball up against a double team, didn't seem to have anyone coming to help the ball, made tentative passes and when they did break the press they didn't convert the basket at the rim.  It was pretty ugly.  The good news is that having identified that, BG has a chance to fix it on the practice floor.  I would be surprised if Norfolk State does not press BG on Friday in AC.

The preview noted that CSU was a poor offensive team and that certainly held true.  The Vikings scored .82 points per possession, which is even below their average.  (That's just an incredibly difficult number to win with.  Since 2002, BG has won only 11 games scoring under .9)

We had noted how poorly they shot the 3, and they shot only 5 of them in the entire game.  That was 9.8% of their FG attempts, the lowest 3FG attempt-rate I can find, going back to 2002.  They shot 50% from 2FG, which is a little above average but nowhere near good enough if that's the only shots you are taking.  They also turned the ball over 31% of the time and shot 45% from the FT line.

BG had a decent offensive game at 1.02 per possession.  They shot better than they have been, making 52% from 2FG and 39% from 3FG.  BG did turn the ball over more than they have been, mostly during the press struggles.  BG did not get to the line as much but 11 of 15 and ended up +2 at the line with 5 fewer attempts.

The biggest issue was offensive rebounding.  BG was OK on the offensive boards...the D1 average is 28%, but CSU had a big game on the offensive boards.  The Falcons seemed to not box out at times and CSU took advantage with their best offensive rebounding game of the year.  Note that you have those second chance points and you still only shot 50% on 2FGs.

Individually, you have to take notice of Daeqwon Plowden.  He seemed to really turn a corner toward the end of last year....he didn't start out great this year as a scorer, but his last two games have shown how much he has developed as a player.  He scored 23 points...on 11 of 13 shooting and 1 of 2 from 3FG.  That's about as good an offensive performance as you can have.  He had 4 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 steals as well.

So, now picture getting Turner back healthy, and you have Frye, Plowden and Diggs complimenting him on the offensive end.

Dylan Frye had 11 points on 4 of 9 and 2 of 5 from 3FG.  He had 8 assists but 7 turnovers as his stat line bore the brunt of the struggles with the press.  He also played great defense.

A quick note.  One of the things I really enjoy is watching players develop--something you see less of as teams rely more on transfers and as players leave to transfer.  Both Plowden and Frye have really developed as players and it has been fun to watch them keep getting better.

Trey Diggs also had 10 on 4 of 8 and 2 of 5 shooting.

BG is playing a small lineup.  They had a true 5 in the lineup for only 16 minutes.  That might have impacted the rebounding issues, but I honestly think we could have kept that team off the boards with our smaller lineup.  The larger issue is whether that is sustainable moving into conference play.  We have been playing teams without true 5s over the past couple games.

BG is 8-2 and heading to a tournament where they would be expected to pick up a couple more wins.  On average, they should enter MAC play 11-2 and start a big one hosting Kent at the Stroh on January 3.  Given the wins in the Virgin Islands and the overall record, you have to be happy with how things are going.  Winning the MAC is going to be a dogfight, for sure.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

BG has two decommits...

Well, there you go...not a terrible surprise, but after taking an official visit to Blacksburg--as opposed to his OV to BG--Kaden Moore has decided to play in Blacksburg.  Looking back and what I posted when he committed, I'd say he was a late bloomer of sorts.  Didn't have a bunch of offers or a 247 ranking at the time, which was in the summer, but clearly made an impression along the way.

Also, 247 is reporting that Troy Rainey, a DL from Bridgeport CT has de-committed to attend Rutgers.  He committed in November to BG.

Based on the people who announced their commitment to BG at some point and are listed in the sidebar to the left, BG still has 4 OL in the class as it stands today.

This happens to all MAC schools who are recruiting at the top of the conference.  It isn't good, but you do expect it to happen.

Best of luck to Troy and Kaden.

Anthony Johnson leaves football program

So, you see above.  Anthony Johnson is in the transfer portal.  He was a February signee under Coach Loeffler at DE.  He was a productive HS player in Pennsylvania and Ohio and played in 4 games with one tackle, and is eligible to redshirt. 

Obviously, this makes the numbers problem one step harder.  Not only does it impact our overall numbers, but also on the D-line where BG will remain very young.  Having said that, we're not going to turn this around with people who aren't committed to the program's values or who don't want to be here. I suspect Anthony won't be the last but it all needs to happen.

Best of wishes to Anthony.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

MBB Next up: Cleveland State

The CSU Vikings come into town Sunday.  Things are a mess over there.  Lest we forget, however,. this is the same team that beat BG by 18 last year in Cleveland, providing rock bottom to a BG squad that came home and took stock of itself and...well, the rest we know.

Last July, CSU fired their basketball coach.  In the weeks preceding, their two best players had transferred, one to Florida (!) and one to Oakland.  According to Terry Pluto, eight others were looking to transfer.  There were academic issues, beefs over training, whatever. 

They brought in Dennis Gates, who was an assistant for Leonard Hamilton at Florida State, which is pretty good in my book.  People have won at Cleveland State and there's no reason it can't be done again, but for now things are not good.

They were picked last in the Horizon.  They are 4-6 with one non-d1 win and their best win over #287 Robert Morris.  They lost to Toledo by 15 at home and to Kent by 22 in Kent.  Their kenpom is #322 out of 351.

You can see why below.  That offensive number is just anemic.  It is #347 out of 351 teams.  They are poor on defense too, ranked #232. 

Looking at those offensive numbers...I mean this is just a wow.  They are #347 in shooting and #335 in turnovers, a deadly combination.  They are not bad on the offensive boards and they do get to the line (and make 71%), but those results on the first two factors just leave no chance to have a competitive attack.  BG has given up a lot of FTs...and CSU is #7 in the nation in the percentage of points that come at the line.

They are a heavily 2FG-focused offense (in fact, one of the most 2FG focused in the country), but are 325th in 2FG%.  They are second-to-last in making 3FGs.

They are better on defense.  They are average in terms of defending the shot and forcing turnovers.  BG's model has been to protect the ball enough to eventually make some shots.  The Falcons have not been good on the offensive boards, so that will be an interesting challenge and CSU does foul a lot, which BG could take advantage of.  CSU is poor defending the 3FG, which is obvious interest to the Falcons, although they are decent at 2FG, which has been a big weakness for the Falcons.

Their scoring is lead by Algevon Eichelberger, a 6'8" transfer from DePaul who had already sat out his transfer year when Gates arrived.  He's scoring 13 PPG on 42% shooting, which is a rough way to go.  He also leads the team with 7.9 RPG.  Their other double figure scorer is Tre Gomillion, who is 6'4" and scoring 10 a game on 51% shooting and 79% from the FT line.  He was a JUCO transfer who came over after Gates arrived.

They also have Torrey Patton, who once played at Akron.  I count 6 JUCO transfers on the roster, including Patton.

This is not a good team and this is a team BG should beat, even if Justin Turner does not play, which is what I would assume to be happening.  Remembering last year, however, should help the Falcons take the game seriously and get the W.

Falcon Football With New Verbal

BG has returned to Ohio for its latest football verbal.  This one is Joey Formani of Lakewood St. Ed's, a 5'11'' 205 RB who also had offers from Akron and Youngstown State.  24/7 rates him as a 2-star player.  His teammate Brian Kilbane is also a commit.

The Northeast Ohio Sports Insiders ranked him as the high school player of the year in northeast Ohio.  Here's part of what they said

The Eagles season ended on Friday night in the third round of the playoffs to Massillon, but all season long Formani was the go to offensive star for the Eagles, putting up over over 1,500 all-purpose yards. 
Formani put on a show in an Eagles win over Cincinnati Winton Woods back on September 28th, scoring six touchdowns, including a 98-yard kickoff return late in the first half of the victory, again showing his versatility not only in the run game put on special teams.

He was also all-district "athlete" and was first-team all-state.  (Kilbane was as well).

Welcome to the Falcons, Joey.

That makes 31 young men who have at some point in the last year tweeted their commitment to BG...and I have not seen where anyone has been lost...though that is certainly possible.  A couple of things to remember...sometimes you lose guys right at the end, and sometimes players are recruited as PWOs but that's not revealed in their tweeting.

We will know all we need to know on Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

BG has another verbal from Florida

BG has another football verbal, this one a WR named Jhaylin Embry.  He's from Sandalwood, FL, which is where Javonte Kinsey...another BG commit at from.  (Their QB is headed to FSU.  A Dback on the team is also headed to Alabama).

He had committed to UConn, but then apparently has switched over to BG after making an OV last weekend.  He also had an offer from UMASS.

He played QB and WR at Sandalwood.  There isn't a lot of statistical or rating information, but if you google him you see plenty of TDs being scored and thrown by Embry.  He also competed in the state track meet and finished in the top 8 in pole vault and long jump.

Welcome to the Falcons, Jhaylin.

Update: Note this.

BG Football Lands Highly Ranked Verbal

I suspect things were good today at the Sebo Center--and where ever else our coaches are today--as the Falcons landed their top-rated recruit of the 2020 Class.

His name is Deshawn Jones of Akron East HS.  There has been a lot of chatter among recruiting experts (as in guys who do this for a living) who said this is a  very big get for BG.  What they mention right away is speed.  He's considered one of the fastest dbacks in the midwest.  247 has him as the #31 player in the state and the #69 DB in the country.

If that sounds OK to you.

Here is the deal.  He was once committed to UC.  When he made that commitment, he had 20 offers and six of those being P5 offers...including Michigan and Penn State.  Then come October of this year, UC told him that they couldn't sign him anymore.  So, he put himself back out there, and the recruiting began again.

Here, BG's very effective recruiting process kicked in...BG had stayed in touch with Jones--who they offered in December of last year, when Loeffler was new on the job, according to The Blade.  When he was available again, BG was able to go to work.

In total, 247 says Jones had offers from EMU, UC, Akron, CMU, Kent, Indiana, Liberty, UMass, Michigan, Minnesota, OU, Penn State, Rutgers, Toledo and WMU.

He was third-team All-Ohio.

Welcome to the Falcons, Deshawn.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Falcons Finish Hard, Beat Oakland

Coach Huger said after the game that it was a good example of what MAC play will be every night...a tough, grinding, possession by possession game that required BG to find a couple new playmakers and then make a couple big baskets late to beat Oakland, a well-coached team that always plays hard.

It breaks a five-game losing streak to Oakland.

BG, playing without Justin Turner, controlled the play in the first half.  The Falcons led by 8 about mid-way through and popped it into double figures with about four minutes left and led by 9 at the half.

The second half was much different.  Oakland came out and played much better defense.  They did a better job at getting the ball into the paint--which is their strength--and BG had a hard time defending against their two very good power forwards.  BG was still leading by 11 with 14 left, but then Oakland went on a 16-2 run and took the lead with 8 minutes left.

I was pleased, though, that BG was able to re-engage the battle.  Lots of times, teams have trouble doing that.  

With 2:22 left, Oakland did something really unusual, but was worth noting.  They hack-a-miked Michael Laster.  He was bringing the ball up and just out of nowhere they fouled him intentionally.  Granted, he came in as a 58% FT shooter...but you just don't see that, especially with that much time left.  I don't know if they were trying to get BG to pull him out or honestly felt that was their best defensive shot--they had been defending well.  They were in the double bonus...just strange.  (Spoiler alert:  it seemed to awaken the inner-New Yorker in Laster, who made all 6 FTs coming home, including the 2 after the hack-a-mike incident.

BG had a 3 point lead, but then from 3:20 to 1:41 Oakland scored 9 points and allowed 2 to have a four point lead.  

ESPN gave them a 75% chance of winning.

BG had the ball, down 4, ran offense.  Coach said the play was for Laster to get to the rim but he drew the help and then hit Diggs in the corner.  Diggs had been struggling, but he nailed this shot, which the Falcons absolutely had to have.  Down 1, 1:25 to play, Oakland's PG--who had been pressured all night by a variety of Falcons--got into the paint but missed his shot and Sierra boarded and BG ran a break and with :53 left Diggs hit a layup to put BG in the lead.

On the next possession OU got the ball deep to Xavier Hill-Mais, their best player, but he turned it over on the baseline with :33 left.  (It was on the other end of the court from me, but the call required a lengthy video review.)

Oakland fouled...Laster...with :31 left, but he made both FTs to put BG up 3.  At this point, you're one stop from a win.  BG defended really hard--and Oakland isn't a 3FG shooting team...Hill-Mais ended up launching a brick with :13 left, BG had the rebound, Laster was fouled, he made both FTs to make it 5 and OU got a last second meaningless layup.

It wasn't always pretty but it was a gritty 68-65 win.  When you think about the teams we have admired in the MAC over the years...that's what they do.  They make plays right up until the end and walk out with a win while the losing team wonders how it happened.

Looking at the numbers, the game was definitely played at Oakland's pace, with 65 total possessions.  BG ended up with a good offensive night at 1.05 points per possession.  Oakland scored 1 point per possession, which higher than they have been scoring and higher than BG has been allowing.  It is right on the D1 average, though.

BG's offensive path is clear.  The Falcons are only shooting 47% (EFG), which is well below the national average.  What BG does right is not turn the ball over.  They have turned the ball over on 12.5% of their possessions....WHICH LEADS THE NATION.  So, you don't shoot well, but you have extra shooting possessions because you don't turn it over, and you can score.

As below.

In fact, Oakland beat BG everywhere else.  As noted in the preview, OU gets to the line a lot.  They shot 19 FTs and made 13 (68%), while BG only shot 16 but made 12 (75%) and made 10 of 12 in the second half.

BG continues to struggle to make 2FGs.  The national average is 49%.  BG is shooting 44% and is 303rd in the country.  They shot 49% against Oakland but only 33% from beyond the arc.  Meanwhile, OU made 57% of their 2 FGs and only 30% from 3FG.

Interesting note.  Oakland has attempted 40% of its FGs from behind the arc in four games, including this one, and lost them all.

As mentioned, BG is playing without Justin Turner.  Dylan Frye has been carrying the scoring load, but he didn't have it last night....and for much of the game Trey Diggs did not either.

You needed other guys to score to win, and BG got them.  Daeqwon Plowden had his best game of the season, scoring 23 points...6 of 9 from 2FG and 3 of 4 from 3FG.  That's a great offensive night in anybody's book.  He made both his FTs, had 10 rebounds, 2 steals and only 1 turnover.  He stepped up when the team needed someone to.

The other stepper-upper was Tayler Mattos.  He scored 12 points...his first double figure night as a Falcon...on 5 of 6 shooting and 2 of 3 from the line.  He added 9 rebounds, two blocked shots and a steal and only one turnover.  Played 26 minutes.  

Mattos has been a pleasant surprise.  He's replacing an all-MAC player and he's not that right now and he's probably not even to the mid-point of MAC post players, but I feel like he's been solid on a team with other good players.  BG has been playing a mostly post-free lineup in the last few games.  I think he's got a shot to be a contributor. BG has a decent track record developing big men.

Dylan Frye scored 10 points and was 1-8 from 3FG.  It happens.  Also, he had 7 assists over 1 turnover.  He was not on the floor over the last 1:41 of the game.

Also, there's no stats for it, but Caleb Fields played a great defensive game on the Oakland PG, leaving him little room to operate.

BG is now 7-2 and #106 in Kenpom.  Next up is the hot mess Cleveland State Vikings--who delivered BG their rock-bottom moment last season.  The next four games--and the last four until MAC play--are against teams ranked 300 or above.

Friday, December 06, 2019

Oakland Preview

Following a week off, BG has the Oakland Golden Grizzlies coming to town.  Oakland is a common opponent that plays a lot of MAC teams...and they are coached by Greg Kampe, a former BG two-sport player.

BG has played Oakland 8 times and lost 5 of the games.  In fact, they have lost THE LAST 5, in that Oakland has a five-game winning streak over BG.  The GG have never played at the Stroh. 

They were picked 5th out of 10 in the Horizon this year.  They lost @NIU by 24, @UT by 2 and won @ WMU by 10.  Overall, they are 5-4 with a kenpom of 170.

To date, Oakland has shown themselves to be a slow-paced, defensively-minded team this year.  Their games have only 64.5 possessions, #333 in the nation.  BG plays at 74 possessions, the 29th fastest in the country.

So controlling the pace will be key.

As you can see below, OU's offensive efficiency is a halftick below the national average and BG's defense is a little better.  If the Falcons do indeed get stops, that will bode well for pushing the pace.  The big spread is the other way, as BG is scoring effectively and the GG are struggling to make baskets.

So let's look at that one first.  BG doesn't shoot very well and OU is effective guarding the shot.  They are above average guarding 2FG and 3FG...and BG is very good at making 3FGs and poor at 2FGs.  It's unusual for a team to score as well as it does while not shooting great...but the key is turnovers.  BG is #2 in the nation in not turning the ball over, which gives the offense extra possessions to score, even when not shooting well.  BG is not going great at offensive rebounding or getting to the line...and OU excels at those two things.  They are #30 at preventing FTs.

Looking the other way, things are similar.  OU is a poor shooting team...worse than BG.  They are average shooting 2FGs but awful (28%) from 3FG.  As expected, their shot mix leans to 2FG.  They turn the ball over a lot but they are decent on their offensive boards.  The trouble point is in the last column...they get to the line a lot (like teams with the ball in the paint typically do) and BG has given up a load of FTs.  They good thing is they are making 67%, which isn't great.  If the GG are getting to the line, though, and start making them, that's a chance for them to compete.

Individually, they are led by All-Horizon F Xavier Hill-Mais.  He's a 6'7" SR who is built like a football player.  He's scoring 15 a game on 57% shooting and 7.4 RPG.  Their other double-figurer scorer is Daniel Oladapo, a 6'7" SO JUCO transfer.  He's scoring 11.8 on 57% shooting and adding over 7 rebounds as well.

These guys are both formidable.

Their PG is Kevin Kangu, who has a 1:1 assist/to ratio and shoots 32% overall and 27% from 3FG.

I haven't heard anything but would be shocked to see Turner play.  This is a game BG should win but Oakland always plays hard, nearly beat Toledo and has been beating us.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Two from BG All-MAC

The MAC announced the All-MAC teams today

McElwain was Coach of the Year...and then he might be gone...and my vote might have gone to Sean Lewis who did something few have ever done.  WMU had both the offensive and defensive players of the year, which is odd for a team not in the title game.  Anyway, you might have had your own favorite but I feel like all those winners were deserving.

BG put two players onto the All-MAC teams...and they certainly were deserving.  Quinton Morris was 2nd-team at WR after being 3rd in the MAC with 55 receptions.  He was 8th in receiving yards.  This is certainly a deserved award.  Morris was, by definition, the focus of the defense's attention or he's capable of even more.  That he gutted that many out is an All-MAC worthy year to be sure.

Kholbe Coleman-Abrams was third team at LB.  He was 7th in the MAC in tackles.

If anyone was deserving who did not make it, I think its Brandon Perce, who was actually 6th in tackles.  In context, Bryson Denley is a worthy player, but the overall numbers aren't there to make it likely.

Congrats to Q and Kholbe.  Look forward to seeing you back on the field next Fall.  Thanks for being Falcons.

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Football: State of the Program

So 2019 is over.  It was a long season and we don't want to overly belabor it but also don't want to not take a second to understand how rough it was.  It is worth remembering when we get back again.

We are in year four of the worst four year period in team history.  In the 4 seasons since Babers left, BG is 12-36.  This has simply never happened to us before.  It shows the incredible importance of head coaching in college sports.  One decision can transform the program or it can wreck it and BG dropped the ball twice.

In 2019, Bowling Green repeated its 3-9 record but it was actually a significantly worse season than we had the year before. 

In 2018 when BG was 3-9 the team scored 24.7 PPG and allowed 33...conference games that's losing 9 per game and placing 9th on each side of the ball.

This year, BG lost a touchdown per game ON EACH SIDE OF THE BALL.  The offense fell to 11th at 17.4 PPG and defense fell to last at 40 PPG.

So, one year you were 3-9/2-6 at -9 per game and this year you were 3-9/2-6 at -23 per game.

For reference, the Clawson 2-10 team lost by 10.5 per game.

It's no surprise how this happened.  If I had told you at the end of 2018 that BG would come back not only without Scotty Miller, but also Jarret Doege, Rico Frye, Re'vion Hargrove and Andrew Clair (essentially), you would have thought we were going to lose at least a touchdown a game.

On defense, BG was poor to start with and then had some off-season losses and then some injuries on top of that.  Especially up front, BG is starting way too many guys who are young, undersized, or are not D1 scholarship players.

It's not a reflection on the guys we have.  They've done nothing wrong, and, like I said, are survivors and that's worth something.  It was one of the worst seasons we have ever far as I can see, the 1935 (net loss, 30 points) might be our only less successful season.

But this wasn't about being good this year.  Or, even next year.  This is about getting the program back to where it needs to be, which means a solid foundation, a good culture and a team set up to compete every year.  This year was part of that journey.

And next year is likely to be, as well.  BG is severely undermanned...short in double-digit numbers on scholarships.  Furthermore, the NCAA rules will not allow BG to get the numbers right in one season...and even if you did, they'd be freshmen and mostly not ready to play.  So that problem was bad...and could easily get worse if BG loses other players who aren't in for The Loeffler Experience.

Long term that's good.  Short term, that's a problem.

Below is the depth chart for the Buffalo game.  The guys marked out in orange are graduating and the players (right now there's only one) in brown are guys who entered the portal.  A couple of points.

On the positive side, with McDonald presumably at the helm next year and Clair back, the offense has the potential to be better.  We don't know how good McDonald will be...better than the guys we had, sure, but overall he's an unknown quantity but almost certain to be an improvement.

BG loses only one starter on the line, which is good.  The worst position is WR. BG is crazy weak at WR.  Ortega-Jones improved late in the season, so that's one.  There's Jake Rogers and Tyrone Broden, who saw a little action, and Noah Massey, who caught one pass in the opener.  There's one WR in the incoming class based on the verbals...he's a 3-star player.

TE I think is solid.  Morris is good, Sims showed some potential and Joey Carroll played a little as well.

On defense, you just have a long way to go.  On the line, you have some potentially decent players but you need to rotate 8 of them or so.  LB is also very shallow...there are a couple in the next class.  D-back is the most promising position, in my preview.  Jordan Anderson, Davin Wilson and JaJuan Hudson all played effectively as true FR, as did Biggers.  We saw the same thing with the 2010 backfield with Clawson...those guys suffered that year but ended up being players.  But the defense is undermanned and not a one-year project, either.

What we are about is getting 85 guys in here who want to do what it takes to win.  That's the game right now.  What you see on the field is something that has to happen, but BG needs 85 guys who want to win and have it in their DNA.

And that means recruiting.  In Coach's words, recruiting our tails off.  On this front, I believe we are in the right place.  My understanding is that BG is running a P5 level recruiting operation. 

We are 4th in the MAC in recruiting, but a couple of points.  First, Jaret Patterson was a 2-star recruit.  And, Jinks brought in highly ranked classes, look where that got us.  We're looking for depth...we can't miss on any of these guys and that takes a level of evaluation SO FAR past what the rankings do that it's ridiculous.  Our guys have to be good players and the right kind of people, or this program isn't going anywhere.

And that's incredibly difficult to do.  We'll see in a couple weeks how BG does in its first attempt.  As is always the case, people are after our best recruits and we're hanging on.  We have to succeed.  This class is a must-win game.

Monday, December 02, 2019

Loy to Transfer

NickP of The Blade on the beat early for a Monday morning.  I doubt if this is the last time we do this...Grant Loy is going to transfer.

As in all cases, Grant should be where he wants to be.  It's his life and I wish him nothing but the best.

We owe him thanks.  No doubt, he wasn't the greatest QB we ever had, but we were lucky to have him and he played through one of the program's most challenging seasons.  He's a survivor and a Falcon for life.

And a legend.  Seriously, a legend.  The UT-BG rivalry has not had a more unlikely upset or a more unlikely hero, but there it is.  He took BG to an enormous upset in the biggest win here since 2015 and breaking the rivalry drought.

You can understand his thinking.  Coach said that McDonald won the job in Fall camp and he will be eligible and will be expected to start.  BG will have 2 3-star QB recruits coming in as well.  Best case, Loy would expect to back McDonald up...though redshirt rules make that less likely than in the past.  BG had talked about moving him to TE, but apparently he wants the chance to do something else and that's his prerogative.  He's graduating and I hope he gets the most out of his graduate education.

The moment he helped give us--that sunny day, with half of his hometown in the stands--will not be forgotten.

Be well, Grant.

Final Review of season's opponents

Morgan State (3-8)  Tied for 7th in MEAC.
Kansas State (8-4) Finish 8-4, 5-4 in Big 12.
La Tech (9-3) Big success story.  This was a good team at the Doyt.  (Did not win their division).
Kent (6-6) Sean Lewis doing a job here in one of the toughest places in college ball.  Man, what if he gets the job at BG when Babers leaves?
Notre Dame (10-2)--Successful season, to be sure.  Ranked #16
Toledo (6-6) Very disappointing.  2-5 after losing to BG and 5 points from being 0 and 7.
CMU (8-4) One of the biggest FBS turnarounds. Playing for title.
WMU (7-5) One game from playing for the title
Akron (0-12) Ouch.  We can empathize.
Miami (7-5) Clinched East outright, 6-2 record.
Ohio (6-6) High expectations...
Buffalo (6-6) Finished strong. Will be formidable again next year.

East vs. West:  10-8 West
MAC vs P5:  (1-21)
MAC vs. G5:  (6-9)
MAC vs. FCS: (11-0)

Some BG "Alumni" you might be curious about....

Wake Forest/Dave Clawson--8-4, finished T-3 in ACC Atlantic.
Syracuse/Dino Babers--5-7, no bowl.  10 wins last year.
Gregg Brandon--Colorado School of Mining made DII playoffs, lost in first round.
Terrence Stephens--Finished with 500 yards rushing at Robert Morris.
Bryce Veasley--3 rushing attempts for Duquesne
Jarret Doege--Played 4 games, led team in pass efficiency.  Completed 66%, 7 TD and 3 INT.
James Morgan--58% completions.  12/3 ratio.  Lower efficiency rating than Doege
Kyle Junior--Left OK State before Game 1
Ra'veion Hargrove--did not appear to play at Garden City CC.
Josh Croslen--Sat out at UTSA

Sunday, December 01, 2019

BG Outlasts Dartmouth

BG played its first D1 opponent at the Stroh yesterday and picked up the win they were expected to get.  In fact, BG was favored by 8 and won by 7.  There were certainly parts of the game that were not pretty for the Falcons but overall it's a win.

First, as Urban Meyer said, "one thing we will never apologize for is winning."

Second, BG is playing without its best player and possibly the best player in the MAC.

That was certainly evident on the offensive end, where the Big Green put a lot of attention on Trey Diggs and BG seemed to lack another scorer or even anyone who wanted to shoot.  Coach Huger's point on the post game show is that Justin is also our best defensive player and our organizer on defense and we miss him maybe more there.

BG ended up with a decent offensive day, but there was a period early in the second half when Dartmouth was just shredding BG, particularly off the dribble.  To be fair, we've seen that problem before even with Turner in the game...we seem to go through spells where we don't stop the ball in transition.  We eventually cleaned that up and things got getter from there.

BG bolted out to a big lead, up 19 with about 10 minutes left in the first.  I think everyone felt like it was going to be an easy win...Coach thought BG let up on defense.  Four minutes later DU had it inside 10 and that was the halftime margin.

The second half start was terrible.  UD scored 8 points in the first 2 minutes of the half to get the lead to 5.  A couple minutes later they had it to 3.  They never got it closer, but neither did BG pull away. 

With 4 minutes left DU had the ball down 3 and a chance to tie the game.  They missed, BG turned the ball over and they got a second shot, which they missed again.  Marlon Sierra then hit a key 2FG off an offensive rebound to put the lead up to 5, a key basket.  DU got it back to 3 and on the next possession Sierra hit a dagger 3 to put the game back to 6 with 1:43 left.  BG made 5 of 6 from the line in the last minute and had the victory.

Looking at the stats, BG had a decent defensive game.  It was a 70 possession game and DU ended up with .99 per possession, which is about average so far this year.  The offense was 1.09 points per possession. 

As you can see, overall shooting was even, though each team got there a different way.  BG continues to struggle on 2FG (47%) but shot really well on the 3FG (46%).  Not too often those numbers are essentially equal.  Also remember DU has defended the 3FG really well this year.  Meanwhile DU was 54% on 2FG and 38% on 3FGs.

If you are surprised at BG's overall defensive result, I was too.  I think you might focus on them making shots, as seen above.  However, as seen below, they took good care of the ball but still conceded possessions to BG, did virtually no offensive rebounding (but kept BG out of transition as a result) and then shot only 6 FTs, making 4.  BG, which has been shooting the ball very well at the line, was only 13 of 26.  Decent night at the line and this one isn't close.

Individually, just two words.

Dylan Frye.  What we are seeing is a player who has really developed while in BG.  He's a complete player and a total stud.  He scored 30 points--a career high and 39% of BG's total.  He wasn't jacking it up...he was 5 of 10 on 2FGs and 6 of 11 on 3FGs.  He added 5 rebounds and 3 assists (5 turnovers) for what amounts to a career night to date.  He's a tough and gritty and carrying the team with Turner injured.

Trey Diggs scored 17 on 2 of 4 and 4 of 8 shooting.  He had most of those early, but I think its worth noting that he didn't try to force it.  He also had 7 rebounds.

Marlon Sierra, already mentioned, scored 11 with 7 in the game's final phase with 6 rebounds.

Plowden had 8 points and 12 rebounds shooting 3-4 on 2FGs.

On a player rotation note, we noted in the preview that DU is not a big team.  BG opted to match their size as opposed to trying to out-big them.  BG's true 5s played only 17 minutes.

Team has the week up is Oakland, who is not as good as they have been but always feel dangerous and who pushed UT to the end at Savage last night.