BOWLING GREEN - When discussing their myriad newcomers last week, Steven Wright and John Floyd left out shooting guard Martin Samarco.
There's an easy explanation for it - they forgot he was new.
"He's a vocal guy. He's just always helpful," Floyd said. "We expect a lot more out of him."
Samarco, a junior-college transfer for the Bowling Green State University men's basketball team, should quickly be a big help to Floyd and Wright, two of the team's few veterans.
As the Falcons' season starts tonight, Samarco's scoring ability will help fill the hole made by the departure of John Reimold and Josh Almanson to graduation. But his maturity and vocal nature might have a larger impact.
"In a short period of time, he's really made an impression on everybody on campus, which is great," BGSU coach Dan Dakich said. "We got his grade reports back and one teacher said he's a great motivator for the class.
"In basketball he's really made a huge impression on his coaches because he's verbal, he leads, he can play and he's fearless."
Samarco, 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, was a second-team junior-college All-American at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Mich. After playing his freshman year at Kirtland Community College in Roscommon, Mich., Samarco transferred to Schoolcraft because he didn't feel his teammates were putting in the necessary work in the offseason to be competitive.
"That was probably the best decision I made in my life," Samarco said.
His sophomore year at Schoolcraft, Samarco made 122 3-pointers, second-best in the country among junior-college players. His 46.7 percentage on 3s and 21 points per game were also among the national leaders.
Although he was known as a 3-point shooter at Schoolcraft, Samarco said he will be able to use his mid-range shooting skills more at BGSU.
Samarco had looks from other Mid-American Conference schools and a Big 12 Conference team, but Dakich and the proximity to his hometown of Ypsilanti, Mich. were the deciding factors in choosing BGSU.
Samarco is Dakich's type of player in that he's someone the coaches have to tell in practice to slow down instead of speed up. Also, Dakich has already noticed Samarco's dedication to correcting his shot.
"When he's missing shots, he doesn't get down," Dakich said.
Samarco said this preseason he has been making daily corrections of his mistakes in practice through film study.
"I've been working on always staying positive, and vocal, and communicating even when I mess up," Samarco said. "And keeping the energy up."
He likes the fact the other older players overlooked the fact this is his first year here.
"I want to be in that process, teaching the younger guys," Samarco said.
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