3 High school stars high on Falcons

BG will add height, speed to ’13 lineup


BOWLING GREEN — The Bowling Green State University women’s basketball team is expected to sign three high school seniors to national letters of intent during the early signing period, which begins Wednesday.


BGSU at NIT Season Tip-Off

Game 1: BGSU vs. Cleveland State, today, 6 p.m.

Game 2: BGSU vs. IUPUI or No. 5 Michigan, Tuesday, 5 or 8 p.m.

Records: BGSU is 1-0; CSU is 1-0; IUPUI is 1-0; UM is 1-0

Radio: 1470, 99.1

Series: BGSU leads CSU 8-7; UM leads BGSU 9-3; First meeting between BGSU and IUPUI

Notes: The Falcons are participating in the North Regional of the NIT Season Tip-Off Tournament. If BG wins twice, it will travel to New York City to play in the semifinals on Wednesday, Nov. 21. If the Falcons lose either day, they will play in the consolation round of the tournament at a site and date to be determined. … The other regionals will be hosted by Pittsburgh (East), Kansas State (West), and Virginia (South). … Cleveland State was picked to finish fifth in the preseason Horizon League poll. … The Vikings of former Kent State coach Gary Waters finished 22-11 last season and were 12- 6 in the Horizon to earn a berth in the NIT. … CSU opened with a 92-49 win over Grambling Friday despite returning just one starter from last season, Tim Kamczyc. … IUPUI was picked to finish fifth in the Summit League preseason poll. … The Jaguars were 14-18 a year ago and were 7-11 in the Summit. … IUPUI claimed a 67-54 win over Utah Valley in its opener Friday as Purdue transfer John Hart scored 19. … The Wolverines, whose fifth-place ranking nationally is their highest since 1993-94, were picked to finish second in the Big Ten this year. … Michigan began this season with a 100-62 win over Slippery Rock Friday. … Trey Burke led the Wolverines with 21 points and eight assists against the Rockets. … BGSU claimed a 63-53 win over Lake Erie at the Stroh Center Friday behind 22 points, five rebounds, and four assists from Jordon Crawford.


Toledo at Minnesota

Time: 8 p.m.

Records: UT is 0-1; UM is 1-0

Radio: 1370

Series: Tied 1-1

Notes: UT fell 62-50 Friday at Loyola to drop its season opener for the fifth straight year. Point guard Julius Brown led the way with 15 points as the Rockets failed to produce a second double-digit scorer for the first time in 46 games. ... Minnesota hammered American on Friday, jumping out to a 15-0 lead before prevailing 72-36. Junior guard Austin Hollins led the way with a career-high 20 points. ... The Golden Gophers are 42-1 in regular season nonconference home games under coach Tubby Smith. ... Minnesota finished last season 23-15, falling to Stanford in the finals of the NIT. ... UT holds an all-time record of 27-44 against Big Ten foes and has beaten every team from the league except for Nebraska. The Rockets’ last meeting with a Big Ten member resulted in a 84-45 setback at No. 13 Illinois to open the 2010-11 season. ... UT will conclude its three-game, seven-day road trip on Wednesday at Northern Iowa.

The Falcons will add Abby Siefker, a 6-2 center from Ottoville, Ohio; Rachel Konieczki, a 5-3 point guard from Rockford, Ill.; and Kennedy Kirkpatrick, a 5-10 guard from Lawrence, Kan.

NCAA regulations prohibit BG coach Jennifer Roos from commenting on prospective players until they have signed a national letter of intent with the school.

Siefker was named All-Ohio second team in Division IV as a junior last season after leading Ottoville to the regional finals. She averaged 14.0 points and 10.5 rebounds per game and was named Putnam County League player of the year.

"Abby is a strong player who is going to be a good post player for Bowling Green,” said Big Green coach Dave Kleman. “She could be a ‘3’ or a ‘4’ because she can step outside and shoot. She does a really nice job of squaring up to the basket and taking opponents off the dribble. She’s good going to her left and her right, and she has a very strong jumper from 15 feet.”

Siefker said she was committed to Bowling Green before coach Curt Miller left for Indiana, but was excited when then-assistant Roos was named to replace him.

“When coach Miller left for IU, I was really nervous because Bowling Green was my favorite,” she said. “When coach Roos got the job it was a relief. After talking to her, I knew I wanted to be there.”

Konieczki was named All-Illinois first team in Class 2A as a junior after earning second team honors as a sophomore at Rockford Lutheran High School. Last year she averaged 15.5 points, 6.2 assists, and 3.2 steals for the Crusaders.

“Rachel is a terrific ball-handler,” said Rockford Lutheran coach Joni Carlson. “She also is good defensively and a great passer. And she can create her own shot. She may be only 5-3, but she plays a lot bigger. She has a lot of heart, and no one outworks her.”

Konieczki said she committed to BG at the end of August after visiting the campus twice.

“When I was weighing my options, Bowling Green seemed to be interested in me as a person as well as a basketball player,” she said. “I felt I connected with the coaches. When I visited the second time, it felt like the right place for me. The facilities, the coaches, the style of play – everything there caught my attention.”

Kirkpatrick was named All-Kansas first team in Division 6A, the large-school division, after leading Free State High School to a school-record 16 victories as a junior. Last season she averaged 18.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game and was named honorable mention all-state as a sophomore.

“Kennedy is very strong and athletic, and her offensive game is very strong,” said Free State coach Bryan Duncan. “She is a strong ball-handler, passer, and shooter. She’s very smart and makes good decisions with the basketball. And she’s very unselfish.”

Kirkpatrick originally committed to Wisconsin-Green Bay but reopened recruiting when UWGB coach Matt Bollant left for Illinois.

“I had heard of Bowling Green, and when I visiting BG it was perfect for me,” she said. “The arena is beautiful, the coaching staff is awesome, and I think their systems fit me perfectly. I’m a good 3-point shooter, and I can drive to the basket and create my own shot. I’m working to develop my ball-handling skills and working to get stronger.”

Contact John Wagner at: jwagner@theblade.com, 419-724-6481 or on Twitter @jwagnerblade.