Bowling Green Falcons
Mid-American Conference (19-13, 11-5)
NIT Seed: #8
Big Wins: 1/10 Buffalo (86-82), 2/18 at Buffalo (59-48), 3/1 at Akron (50-46)
Bad Losses: 12/1 at Savannah State (54-57), 12/20 at Central Arkansas (65-67), 2/15 Eastern Michigan (57-65)
Coach: Louis Orr
Joe Jakubowski, Sophomore, Guard, 7.9 ppg, 3.5 apg
Brian Moten, Senior, Guard, 11.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg
Darryl Clements, Senior, Forward, 9.9 ppg, 3.0 apg, 4.0 rpg
Nate Miller, Senior, Forward, 13.5 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 2.0 spg
Otis Polk, Junior, Center, 6.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.2 bpg
Chris Knight, Sophomore, Forward, 6.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg
Erik Marschall, Junior, Forward, 5.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg
Scott Thomas, Freshman, Forward, 3.6 ppg, 2.1 rpg
Why They Can Surprise:
Bowling Green has been very surprising all year long. Coach Louis Orr turned around the struggling program much quicker than expected and the Falcons ended up winning the Mid-American Conference. This is not a team that is very impressive statistically, but they simply get the job done when it matters the most. The majority of that success stems from Bowling Green’s attention to defense. The Falcons make sure that their opponent has to work for every shot.
Having Otis Polk and his 6-9, 285 pound frame hanging out under the basket certainly helps. Polk is not the most polished big man around and he is not much of a threat to score, but he is a decent rebounder and an intimidating shot blocker who holds the school record in that category. At 6-4, forwards Darryl Clements and Nate Miller are undersized, but that does not mean they are not great contributors. Miller, who usually mans the four spot, will defend taller players and will never be accused of lacking in toughness.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Part of the reason the Falcons have a small frontcourt is the injury to Chris Knight. The 6-7 sophomore suffered a knee injury late in the year and has been slow to return. Knight’s rebounding has been missed, but the Falcons have proven that they can compete without him. Still, it would be beneficial to have him back at full strength for the tournament. If Knight is on the sidelines, Coach Orr will have to rely on Erik Marschall and Scott Thomas. Marschall is not as effective of a scorer or rebounder as Knight, but he will definitely hit the glass when he is in the game. Thomas, a 6-6 freshman, lacks the size and strength to attack the glass, but he can shoot the ball and provide an offensive spark off the bench.
Who To Watch:
Brian Moten and Joe Jakubowski form the starting duo in the backcourt. Moten is the team’s most prolific outside shooter and is second to only Miller in the scoring column. Most of the Falcons offense will come from the interior, so Moten will get some open looks from beyond the arc. He has to knock them down if this group hopes to continue their magical run deeper into March. Jakubowski is a steady point guard. The 6-2 sophomore will make some mistakes and turn the ball over, but overall he has done a solid job and gives the Falcons another scoring threat on the perimeter.
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 64.2 (252nd in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 60.8 (29, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.0 (213, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.0 (15, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.2 (160, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.8 (103, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.3 (220, 5)
Rebound Margin: 1.9 (111, 2)
Assists Per Game: 12.8 (182, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.2 (124, 3)
Joel’s Bracket Says: First Round loss to Creighton