Here are a few stats, thoughts and numbers from the BG men's basketball team's 87-60 win over Malone on Saturday, Nov. 2. ...
- I won't spend a lot of time about the game, but here are the basics. With the game tied 9-9 at 14:33 of the first half, BG scored nine straight points and was off to the races. It may be coincidence, but that 9-0 began when Spencer Parker came into the game, and Parker scored six of the nine points. The Falcons led by as many as 24 in the first half, then elevated the advantage to as many as 32 points before claiming the 27-point win.
- The Falcons had five players finish in double figures, led by Anthony Henderson with 17 points. Also in double figures for BG were Chauncey Orr and Richaun Holmes with 16 points, Cameron Black with 12 points and Spencer Parker with 11.
- If you asked me to pick a player of the game, I would select Jehvon Clarke. Clarke finished with nine points on 4-of-8 shooting, including 1-for-2 on 3-pointers. He also had 10 assists, which meant he nearly had a double-double. The rest of his stats line included four steals and five rebounds, but his most impressive number was one turnover in 31 minutes. The best part? There were times the past two seasons where the game seemed to be moving too fast for him, and that never seemed to be the case Saturday.
"Jehvon really was our engine," coach Louis Orr said. "He's always had talent. As a coach, the positions I'm most demanding on are the point guard and our big guys ... But Jehvon played with a lot of poise, and he played unselfishly. He has good vision, and he had good pace. With 10 assists and one turnover, that's probably one of the best ratios we've had at that position since I've been here."
- Speaking of the turnovers, BG had an impressively clean game in the first half. The Falcons had only two miscues in the first half (and played roughly 14 minutes without a turnover), although they finished with 14. The starters (Orr-Holmes-Black-Henderson-Clarke) had only three total. The Falcons three starters on the perimeter combined for 19 assists and two turnovers (Chauncey Orr had five assists and no turnovers; Anthony Henderson had four assists and one turnover, and Jehvon Clarke had 10 assists and one turnover.
"Coach Orr makes that a point of emphasis, to make sure we take care of the ball," Henderson said. "You're going to turn the ball over some times, but we need to limit them as much as we can. In practice we made that a point of emphasis, and we were able to translate that into the game."
- BG's "bigs" did what they were supposed to do against a smaller team. The Falcons got 16 points, five rebounds and three blocks from Richaun Holmes (who started at the "four" spot with Cameron Black at the "five"). Black had 12 points, nine rebounds and one block. Bowling Green outrebounded Malone 49-29 and scored 50 points in the paint. Now, some of that was on drives to the basket and transition shots, but some of that also was Black and Holmes working in the low post.
"I knew we would have a size advantage, so we could attack there -- and we scored 50 of our 87 [points] in the paint," Louis Orr.
- We didn't get to see much of Josh Gomez, who fouled out in just six minutes. Gomez was 1-for-2 from the field and did have a block and a rebound, but the five fouls limited his time tremendously.
- Speaking of fouling out, the new rules limiting "hand checking" and positioning on block-charges will take some getting used to -- by players and fans alike. These rules should benefit "slashers" like Anthony Henderson and Spencer Parker, who will get more free throws by drawing fouls, not to mention score more on drives to the basket. But the final foul tally was 24 for BG and 19 for Malone ... and until something changes, those big foul numbers are going to continue.
"We have to use that to our advantage, because we know they're going to call that a lot," Henderson said. "We need to more sure we are aggressive to take advantage of that."
- And while we're talking about the "tighter" calling of fouls and such ... Depth will become increasingly important. Deeper teams WILL have an advantage. And I predict a lack of depth will cause some "big name" teams to struggle more than they would have in years past.
- One thing BG seemed to do a nice job with was defending Malone's 3-point shooting. The Pioneers missed their first 10 3-point attempts before making their first with 3:27 left in the first half. Malone was 1-for-13 shooting 3's in the first half (7.7 percent) and just 3-for-15 in the second half (20 percent) to finish 4-for-28 (14.3 percent) for the game. Some were forced, and some were wide-open misses, but in general the perimeter defense on 3's by BG seemed good.
"I thought our defense, especially in the first half, was executed well," coach Louis Orr said. "We did some different things -- we did more switching that we normally do. I was a little concerned because we had Richaun Holmes at the 'four' after he played 99 percent at the 'five' last year, but I thought we did a good job and set the tone in the first half."
Click here to read some thoughts about the BGSU women's team after its exhibition win over Tiffin Saturday.