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Published: Wednesday, 1/31/2001

Dakich dresses for successful turnaround

BY MATT MARKEY
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

BOWLING GREEN - A four-game losing streak can put an extra knit in a man's brow. It can keep him awake at night. And it can even force him into radical departures from the norm with his wardrobe.

Dan Dakich showed up for yesterday's weekly press conference with his pullover windbreaker on backwards - by design. Desperate times and desperate measures had met again.

“We've got to get this thing turned around,” Dakich said, and that was the theme, reversing the Falcons' fortunes by any means necessary.

“Coaches die slow deaths, so if you're going to go, well ...

“We're reaching, just trying to let these kids know that nobody's quitting and we're just going to fight through this. I don't know if it's going to work, but at some point it's going to change for us. We're just struggling.”

The four-game skid is Bowling Green's longest since the 1998 season, Dakich's first with the Falcons. After three straight three-point losses in the Mid-American Conference, BG (6-10, 2-5) got blown out at Kent on Saturday 81-57. The Falcons were held 25 points below their average by Kent, and shot just 34 percent, but Dakich said he was not dwelling on that performance as his team prepares for tonight's game with Western Michigan (4-14, 4-5).

“We're just letting them know that, hey, we're hard on you and everything else, but we know that they're going through a rough deal and we're going to fight with them, and certainly not against them,” Dakich said. “There's no blame. It's just let's figure this out and go to work.”

The Falcons have already lost twice at Anderson Arena, where they were 12-0 last season. Dakich thinks a big crowd and a lively environment for tonight's game can provide the setting for the start of some sort of turnaround, but Bowling Green will still have to show it knows what to do when the outcome is on the line.

“Guys have tried to step the leadership up, I think. I'm not sure that has been as big of a problem as just understanding how to win at the end of games,” Dakich said. “A lot of it is execution. A lot of it is individual plays. One of the things that has disappointed me is that teams have been able to make plays against us, and we haven't made plays.”



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