On Wednesday we’ll provide an overview of the program, followed by a look at the returning players on Thursday. Friday we will focus on what the Mid-American Conference will look like next season.
Here we go …
OVERVIEW: BG finished the season with a 13-19 record after posting a 16-16 mark the previous year. The Falcons were 7-9 in Mid-American Conference play, which is two fewer league wins than the previous season. Bowling Green finished tied with Buffalo for fourth in the MAC’s East Division and was the sixth seed in the league tournament.
“I thought we were pretty good at home and struggled on the road,” BG coach Louis Orr said. “If you look at it, 11 of our 13 wins came at home. … Not being consistent on the road [was a problem]. We weren’t able to close out games – that was the difference between the road and home.”
POST SEASON: The Falcons suffered a 63-52 loss to Miami, the 11th seed, at the Stroh Center in the first round of the MAC tournament. It marked the second year in a row BG had lost a first-round home tournament game to a lower-seeded team.
EXPLANATION: A number of Blade readers are getting their undies bunched over the headline on the BG men’s basketball story in Wednesday’s paper. Click here to read that story.I am hearing from fans saying, in effect, “After the team’s struggles the past few years, I would think coach Orr would WANT to change.” Those fans are missing the point of his comment. The point is this: It would be easy for Orr to change what he’s doing to try and save his job -– for example, bring in a player who may be extremely talented but also a problem in the classroom or in the public at large, or playing an easy schedule to pick up extra wins. Orr’s point is that he’s NOT going to make a move that might ruin the program in order to save his job. He should be APPLAUDED for that attitude … it’s in the best interests of the program. If you disagree, think about this: How many of us would cut a corner to try and save our jobs? Orr’s point is that he won’t do that.
BY THE NUMBERS: The raw numbers, from 16 conference games, show that the Bowling Green offense ranked ninth in the 12-team league with its average of 61.8 points per game. The Falcons struggled to shoot the ball, making 43.3 percent of their shots (eighth in MAC) and just 30.8 percent of their 3-point attempts. While BG did a good job of not turning the ball over more than its opponents over the course of the season (plus-0.34 turnovers per game), in MAC play the Falcons were minus-1.38 in turnovers (ninth in MAC).
If you would like to read a pretty thorough analysis of the offense from a statistical perspective, click here to read this analysis by FalconBlog.Defensively, Bowling Green tied for fourth in scoring defense, allowing 62.6 points per game. The Falcons did a nice job of contesting shots, forcing opponents to shoot just 42.1 percent overall (fifth in MAC) and 30.3 percent of their 3-pointers (third in MAC). In terms of rebounding, the number I look at is defensive rebounding percentage (in short, what percentage of the available rebounds on the defensive boards did a team grab?), and BG ranked fifth at 69.4 percent.
If you would like to read a pretty thorough analysis of the defense from a statistical perspective, click here to read this analysis by FalconBlog.
If you didn't read those two analyses, here's the executive summary ... the offense was bad by MAC standards, the defense was good.
PLAYERS LOST: The Falcons graduate four seniors in A’uston Calhoun, Jordon Crawford, James Erger and Luke Kraus. By the numbers …
- CALHOUN: 15.1 ppg (6th MAC), 7.1 rpg (6th MAC), 78.2 FT% (11th MAC)
- CRAWFORD: 15.0 ppg (7th), 2.6 rpg, 4.3 apg (5th MAC), 75.6 FT% (15th MAC), 1.7 spg (5th MAC), 1.7 3’s per game (12th MAC), 1.2 assist-to-turnover ratio
- KRAUS: 4.1 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 52 assists (only 30 turnovers), 38 steals, 22 3’s
- ERGER: 1.5 ppg, 0.9 rpg, 20 assists (only 13 turnovers), 11 steals
Offensively, it’s worth noting that while Calhoun and Crawford scored a large percent of the team’s points (Calhoun had roughly 45 percent, Crawford 39 percent), the pair also took the lion’s share of BG’s shots: Calhoun took 412 of 1795 (23.0 percent) while Crawford took 459 (25.6 percent). In MAC play
COACH LOUIS ORR SAID: “Even with A’uston and Jordon, our game plan wasn’t to go out and try to outscore people. We weren’t going out to play run-and-gun basketball. You still have to defend and rebound, you still have to win the battle of the loose balls. How you generate offense and make up for these lost points is something [we have to deal with]. …
“None of our players have reached their peak yet -– they all have a big upside. To me, as a coach, that’s the exciting part of it. And that’s the challenge of it. We have guys who have not played their best games yet, and you want them to play their best basketball. You know there’s room for growth based on their potential and talent. But a lot of that also is based on their work: You have to put the work in between now and November. When you have a team full of players with a high ceiling, with a high potential for growth, you have a chance to get better.”
THURSDAY: A look at the Falcons’ returning players.