The big problem for the Falcons is injuries. 6-5 Soph Forward Germain Fitch is already out with a torn ACL, and 6-8 Junior Forward Josh Almanson is nursing an ankle injury. Yesterday, the team added Falcon footballers QB Will Myles and WR Cole Magner to the team. They will make the trip to Evanston. [NU Coach Randy Walker says that Football Players think they can play basketball - Saturday we might get a chance to see if they can.]
No matter how you analyze the data, BG will come in with just 8 healthy basketball players, and the 2 football backups. While Falcon Coach Dan Dakich would probably prefer to have all of his preseason roster players out there, the guys who will play have won 2 of 3, including an impressive win over Buffalo. The Falcons can shoot and should make it a good game.
The Falcons are coached by Indiana Graduate, and native Dan Dakich. Dakich was a player and then an assistant coach at Indiana. He came to BG after 12 years as an assistant to Bobby Knight.The Starters
He's 89-57 at BG, and last year was the best season since 1949 for the Falcons, making it all the way to the MAC championship game, but they didn't make the NCAAs. You get the feeling that there's a little unfinished business up at Bowling Green.
Anyway, this is season #6 and the Falcons are already playing with a short bench as outlined above.
Its been a mixed bag for the Falcons - 6 of the 10 roster players have had at least one start.The Big Guns
6-4 Frosh Ron Lewis [#12-5.7 ppg], and 6-6 Soph John Reimold [#14 - 16.3 ppg] started the last game up front for the Falcons. 6-10 Junior Center Kevin Netter [#45 - 21 ppg] was in the middle, and 6-1 Junior Jabari Mattox [#5 - 5.0 ppg - left] and 6-5 Senior Cory Ryan [#24 - 13 ppg - right] were at Guard.
All but Lewis shoot above .400 from the floor, the team averages .441 on Field Goals, .354 on 3's and .753 on Free Throws.
This week it appears to be 6-10 220 lb Redshirt Junior Center Kevin Netter. [BG Photo left] Against the Buffalo Bulls [a team we'll see in January], Netter ran wild, scoring 36 points with 4 rebounds. He also had 3 steals and a block.The Rest of the TeamSome guys have to be calm when they play. Kevin has to be wild, almost. Maybe he overdid it at times, but I'd rather have him overdo it than underdo it. [Dakich-BG News]Forward John Reimold [BG Photo right] is the 3 point expert - he's 10 for 21 from beyond the arc - a .476 clip. Cory Ryan is 5-16 with only a few others making 3 pointers for the Falcons.
For Rebounding its a tie between Reimold and 6-8 Soph Cory Eyink [#43 - Left] with 14, but 5 of the Falcons average over 4 boards a game, with Eyink and Reimold tied at 4.7.
Even with his ankle injury, 6-8 Junior Forward Josh Almanson [#2 - 7 ppg] has been playing a limited number of minutes. 6-3 Frosh Guard Patrick Phillips [#23 - 2.5 ppg] and 6-4 Guard Frosh Raheem Moss [#34] also have played for Bowling Green.What the Cats have to do:
This is one the 'Cats have to win to get back on track, and it may not be easy.This one is not on TV
The first thing is NU Center Aaron Jennings continuing to play big in the middle to shut down Kevin Netter, who finished his game Wednesday strong, and who expects to continue to play big Saturday. But Netter's been an enigma to BG coaches and fans over the past 3 years because they're never sure which Kevin Netter will show up. If Aaron can take Netter out of his game early, he could revert to the guy who dribbles off his feet.
The 2nd thing is easy: Our Veterans - Jitim Young, Jason Burke, and Winston Blake [if he's playing] have to step up big and play like they did against Kansas State. We've got to have more than 5 points from these guys to win. I'd like to see Soph Forward Davor Duvancic step up and get some significant minutes too.
Third - The Frosh have to keep the pressure on: I'd expect to see Jimmy Maley continue his aggressive play, and will probably enjoy having Big 10 refs again. Depending how the veterans do, and if they get in, Evan Seacat is due to break out like Maley did last week. Mohamed Hachad gave us a few glimpses of what he can do off the glass.
I really expect to see Bill Carmody go deep down the bench. He's been hinting that if the upperclassmen don't get it done, the frosh will be given a shot at playing more. Don't be surprised to see a younger Wildcat team out there at times Saturday.
Tip-off is at 1 PM CST at Welsh-Ryan Arena. It will be on WGN 720 AM, and the internet. We'll probably Chat during most of the game.
Go Cats - Beat 'em All!
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