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Published: Friday, 6/29/2007

Orr gets a point guard at BGSU as Rice releases Titans' Jakubowski

Jakubowski Jakubowski
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Louis Orr needed a point guard. Joe Jakubowski needed stability.

Both hope they found what they were looking for.

Jakubowski, a recent graduate of St. John's, signed a letter of intent Wednesday to play basketball at Bowling Green State University, a decision that could address the problem at point guard for Orr's Falcons.

Jakubowski, a first-team all-district and All-City League selection, originally signed with Rice in Houston, but a few days ago was granted a release from Owls coach Willis Wilson. Jakubowski will be eligible for the upcoming season.

"I went down to Bowling Green and they had an opening for me," Jakubowski said. "I had some other options, but I just felt like BG was the right choice. I had a good feeling about it."

Listed at 6-foot-2, Jakubowski will likely earn significant playing time as early as this season. BG lacked production at point guard last year as Brian Guerin and Ryan Sims combined to score about five points per game. Ryne Hamblet, at 6-foot-5, was forced to play a position he was unfamiliar with.

"They have an opening, but I have to earn my spot," Jakubowski said. "I have to go in there and work hard. Nothing's given, so I'm excited about having to earn my spot."

Jakubowski is Orr's second signing since he was hired in April to replace Dan Dakich. Cameron Madlock, a 6-foot-8 forward from Wisconsin, is the other.

"Joe will bring talented point-guard play and a strong work ethic to our team," Orr said in a statement. "He competes at a high level and is a winner."

Jakubowski, whose brother Jon played football at BGSU and now, ironically, resides in Houston, averaged 14.3 points per game during his senior season. He was instrumental in the Titans' postseason run as they upset Libbey in the district final before falling to Findlay a round later.

BGSU was one of 21 Division I programs to offer Jakubowski a scholarship during the early signing period, when he chose Rice over Akron and Massachusetts. Jakubowski said he had some regrets after signing with the Owls, though those thoughts subsided until months later when Wilson began pursuing other job opportunities and Marty Gross, who helped recruit Jakubowski to Rice, accepted a coaching position at Wichita State.

"Coach Wilson is a great coach. I love him. But personally I think he might not be there next year, and I don't want to go down there and play for someone who didn't recruit me," Jakubowski said. "He didn't have to release me, but he did because he's a great guy. I'm really grateful because I [don't have to sit out]."

Contact Ryan Autullo at: rautullo@theblade.com.

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