BOWLING GREEN As Bowling Green State University s game last Saturday wound down, it seemed evident to everyone in the gym that the Falcons had underestimated their opponent. Central Arkansas played with poise the entire contest and led for most of it. That, plus the Bears talent, resulted in a loss for BGSU.
At the end, coach Dan Dakich said he saw it coming. What caught him off guard was a few days later, when a couple of players approached him and admitted their overconfidence against the new Division I team.
I ve never had players before admit to me, Coach, we thought we were really good, Dakich said. A couple guys admitted, Coach, we didn t take them as seriously. That s a battle we shouldn t have to fight given our record.
It s a hard problem for Dakich to solve during finals week, which has reduced practice time. But any players who took part in last year s game against the Falcons next opponent, Wright State, should still be humbled.
The Raiders came to Anderson Arena in February for a Bracket Buster game and got out to a 28-4 lead, making their first eight 3-pointers. They left with a 19-point victory.
Wright State is 3-4 under new coach Brad Brownell. The game tomorrow night at 5 at the Nutter Center will be its second home game. This will be the second Mid-American Conference team the Raiders will face; they beat Miami by a point on the road in the first contest.
Guard DaShaun Wood, a first-team All-Horizon league pick last year, leads the Raiders with 16 points a game. Vaughn Duggins also scores in double figures at 10 points a game. Jordan Pleiman, who averages six points, scored 19 against the Falcons last year on 8-of-10 shooting.
They re a veteran team with a great coach, Dakich said. They have basically all the guys back they had against us. To me, of all the teams that we ve played, it s the best team, the best set-up team.
Dakich has asked his seniors Martin Samarco and Matt Lefeld to make sure overconfidence doesn t come into play again with the players. This week, the Falcons (4-3) also worked on adjusting to playing without injured Erik Marschall.
The players recently watched a video of a preseason scrimmage against
IPFW where they played without Marschall and played well.
Against Central Arkansas, Samarco and Ryne Hamblet took the majority of the shots for the Falcons, and both shot poorly. Dakich said that occurred because, when you re not truly ready to play, you revert back to what you always used to do.
He would like to see players find Dusan Radivojevic and Ryan Sims, who have hit open 3-pointers in recent games.
They re guys that have the ability to make shots, so it was disappointing to me that they were open numerous times after they had made shots, Dakich said. We didn t make the extra pass.
In our game against Arkansas State [at home], anytime anybody was open, they got it to them. In this game, it didn t happen. That s a team not being ready to play, a team thinking it can just go out and win.