The Blade/Jeremy Wadsworth
BOWLING GREEN — One team is preparing for the coming season with a number of familiar faces, while the other features a new coaching staff leading a recognizable cast of players.
But the excitement for the coming season is real for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams at Bowling Green State University.
The BG men’s team returns nine letterwinners from last season’s squad, which earned a berth in the CollegeInsiders.com postseason tournament and posted a 16-16 overall record and 9-7 mark in Mid-American Conference play. The team’s leaders include its four seniors in A’uston Calhoun, Jordon Crawford, James Erger, and Luke Kraus.
“Our seniors have brought a certain level of senior leadership,” coach Louis Orr said. “Each one leads in his own way, and each one brings his leadership and talents to the table.
“Craig Sealey is a guy you can add to our list of leaders. Guys like Chauncey [Orr], Anthony [Henderson], and Jehvon [Clarke] have stepped up in a lot of ways — in terms of their contributions and their presence.
“You can tell they are sophomores instead of freshmen now, and there is a difference.”
Coach Orr said the early practices this season have been very similar to years past.
“The first four practices we went over our man-to-man,” he said. “We’ve paid attention to the details of our offense and defense. We want to be more up-tempo, so we’ve done some things to work on getting up and down the floor.”
“[Playing more man-to-man] has always been a goal of mine. We did a little more of that last year, and we hope to do a little more this year.”
The Falcons are preparing for an exhibition game against Central State on Sunday, Nov. 4 at the Stroh Center. BG then tips off the regular season with a home contest against Lake Erie College on Friday, Nov. 9.
There also are a number of familiar faces on the roster for the Bowling Green women’s basketball team as nine letterwinners return from last season’s squad, which was 24-7 overall and 14-2 in the MAC while earning a berth in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament.
The biggest changes are in the coaching staff, where longtime associate coach Jennifer Roos takes over as head coach after Curt Miller left for Indiana.
“It has been fun, interesting, and demanding,” Roos said of her first practices as head coach. “But the seat is the same size.
“I tell people it’s been a whirlwind and a tornado.”
With four starters back — including All-MAC honorees Alexis Rogers and Chrissy Steffen — but a new coaching staff, Roos said the focus is on making sure the new staff is on the same page, and that the players join them.
“I feel good that the staff is coming along in knowing the system that we run here,” Roos said. “The freshmen will always be freshmen, no matter who is the coach or what is the program, and the transfers definitely add to the mix.
“Right now we are where we need to be.”
The Falcons will play an exhibition game at the Stroh Center against Slippery Rock on Saturday, Nov. 3, then open the season at home against Madonna on Saturday, Nov. 10.