BOWLING GREEN - In Louis Orr's mind, tonight's basketball game between Bowling Green State University and Ohio State is nothing more than an opportunity for the Falcons.
An opportunity to play a big-time opponent in its larger building.
An opportunity for BG to gauge where it is early in the season.
And maybe, if everything goes well, it can be an opportunity to raise awareness that BG just might have something special brewing.
BG boasts a 3-1 record and is clearly more seasoned than the senior-less Buckeyes who have played just once, ripping Delaware State 70-42 in the season opener. But after all, these are Big Ten players, some of which helped OSU win the NIT a year ago.
"There's no shortage of talent," Orr said of OSU. "Coach [Thad] Matta does a great job with them. I look at it for us as another opportunity to do great things, to try to accomplish great things. You can't ask for more than just opportunities in life."
The Falcons represented themselves well in their most recent opportunity against a Big Ten team, falling admirably to Minnesota 68-61 on Nov. 15. BG was without the services of two of its best players in that game, Nate Miller and Chris Knight, because of suspension.
In its first game with all of its regulars in hand, BG smashed Wayne State 80-48 on Thursday. Miller came off the bench to lead the team in scoring with 15 points.
The Springfield, Ohio, native confessed to reporters that he grew up an OSU football fan but never paid much attention to the Buckeyes hoops program.
"We're expecting great
things," Miller said. "We've been playing good. We're not going in there with anything but good thoughts."
In terms of starters, BG is not at a severe disadvantage height wise. If both teams roll out the same starting lineup as their previous game, BG's Otis Polk and Marc Larson, at 6-foot-9, will be the tallest players on the court. OSU started three guards - 6-6 Jon Diebler, 6-7 Evan Turner and 6-2 Jeremie Simmons - against Delaware State alongside forwards David Lighty (6-7) and Dallas Lauderdale (6-8). Lighty scored 13 points in the opener, sharing team highs with William Buford, a freshman from Toledo Libbey.
"I think they're very athletic and have good quickness," Orr said. "They're an active team and they play with a good level of energy. We have to keep our poise and we have to play on our terms. What I mean by that is we have to play BG basketball and do what we do."
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