BOWLING GREEN — The Bowling Green State University men’s basketball team held its first official practice Monday, minus some teammates, at the Stroh Center, but junior Anthony Henderson said calling it the “first practice” sounded funny.
“It feels like we’ve been practicing forever,”said Henderson, a Start High School graduate. “But it’s the first ‘official’ practice, and we’re all excited to get this season going.”
PHOTO GALLERY: Falcons first practice
The Falcons return eight letter winners, including two starters, from last season’s team, which finished 13-19 overall and 7-9 in the Mid-American Conference. But two of the losses were A’uston Calhoun and Jordon Crawford, who combined to average 30.1 points per game on a team that scored 62.8 per contest.
Four Falcons missed the event because of suspensions. Senior Craig Sealey and sophomores Spencer Parker and Josh Gomez will miss a week of team activities because of an undisclosed violation of team rules. Junior Richaun Holmes did not practice because of a separate, unrelated violation of team rules.
Seventh-year coach Louis Orr said Holmes will return to practice Thursday. None of the players is expected to miss the Falcons exhibition opener against Malone at the Stroh Center on Nov. 2.
“If I’ve got to deal with some team issues, I’d rather deal with them early,” Orr said. “We want to make the point that we don’t need distractions off the court.
“If guys want to be on the court, they have to do the right thing. Otherwise they won’t be on the court.”
Henderson said he didn’t feel the suspensions would turn into a long-term problem.
“There are going to be distractions — it’s part of the game,” Henderson said. “There has never been a perfect season.
“We just have to fight our way through it.”
Henderson said he and his teammates view the loss of Calhoun, Crawford, Luke Kraus (4.1 points per game) and James Erger (1.5) as a chance for greater playing time.
“I’ve been waiting for a while to get in there and showcase my talents,” Henderson said. “This is the year I’ll be able to get out there and do what I can do.”
Orr said he’s in favor of the NCAA rule that allows for 30 practices in 42 days before a team’s first game.
“I like it because you’re not rushed — you can space things out,” he said. “We’ve been doing two ours of ‘team individual’ work, so we’re easing into it.
“For the first couple of weeks, we’ll give them the weekends off and go three or four days during the week. Starting in the middle of October, we’ll be a little more regimented where we go four days on and one day off, and start practicing on weekends.”
VOLLEYBALL HONORS: Two members of the BGSU volleyball team received MAC East Division player of the week honors.
Senior Lindsey Butterfield was named offensive player of the week after recording two double-doubles in two MAC wins . Butterfield had 25 kills and 18 digs in a five-set win at Miami, then added 11 kills and 13 digs as the Falcons beat Northern Illinois in three sets.
Senior Kaitlyn Skinner was named co-defensive player of the week in the league after recording 16 kills and 15 blocks in two matches. She had eight kills and nine blocks at Miami and eight more kills to go with six blocks against the Huskies.