I ve spent the last week or so filling my notebook with ideas for my first blog entry.
I considered setting up a mock NCAA football playoff and allowing you, my readers, to vote on the outcome. And we still may do that.
I also got the crazy idea of reviewing the food served at area gentlemen s clubs. But had I done that my next entry would have likely been written from a hospital bed. Worse yet, I may have been terminated, thus being financially limited to eating the food served at gentlemen s clubs. (Perhaps I should have waited a week or two before I started making jokes.)
And there were other ideas. The BCS. Lloyd Carr. The GMAC Bowl. LeBron s injury.
But they all take a backseat to what I witnessed Wednesday. And I m not talking about Anthony Smith s poor judgment in guaranteeing a win over the Patriots. I m referring to a remarkable women s basketball game at Anderson Arena.
As a sports reporter we re told to stay emotionally detached from the games we cover. But I must admit, I got a little caught up in Bowling Green State University s 86-84 overtime loss to Notre Dame. It was great, great basketball. Great basketball. I cannot foresee BG playing much better than it did against the 16th ranked Fighting Irish. There are very few instances where one can say, If BG would have done a better job of this or if the Falcons simply Nope. The Falcons played great and were beaten by a difficult last second shot. What can you do?
BG is way ahead of where it should be at this point. Most of us expected several bumps along the way, but if BG performs the way it did last night, those bumps may not come. It s incredible. BG graduated a spectacular senior class yet the Falcons still have to be favored, maybe even heavily favored, to win a fourth consecutive MAC championship.
Four players in particular really stood out. Kate Achter, not surprisingly, was excellent --- especially during crunch time. I ll admit to not knowing a great deal about the top women s players from around the country, but I d be surprised if there are 10 point guards better than Achter.
Tara Breske is emerging as a star. We didn t see it last year because she was behind so many great players, but now it s clear how talented she is. Breske made her first career start, scoring 10 points and pulling down seven rebounds in 43 minutes. Achter says Breske is one of the most athletic players she s ever played with, and that was evident on the opening tip when the 6-foot Breske took the ball away from her 6-5 counterpart. Breske got a piece of the ball on Notre Dame s final shot of regulation, sending the game into overtime. She was everywhere on the floor.
And then there was freshmen Lauren Prochaska and Crystal Murdaugh. Prochaska couldn t miss in the first half, knocking down all five of her 3-point attempts and showing complete disregard for the defender in her face. Prochaska was in foul trouble for the rest of the game and didn t attempt a shot after the first half. It certainly hurt the Falcons. Murdaugh and Achter ran a few picturesque pick-and-rolls and Notre Dame never was able to adjust. Murdaugh finished with 14 points and five boards and seemed really jazzed during the crucial moments. Although the form of her shot is unsightly, Murdaugh looks like she s going to be a good one.
(I used the word jazzed to refer to Murdaugh s attitude. Tyler Sheehan has used the word in several interviews and it has worked its way into my lexicon. My friends are even noticing. I apologize; y all probably have things to do. We re moving on now.)
Since I began writing this I received an e-mail from a buddy sports writer who considered making the trip to Anderson Arena on Wednesday mostly because he s a ND fan. But he backed out because he thought it would be a blowout. He s kicking himself. And he should be. Again, it was great basketball.
Sorry to be so long-winded, but I want to make one more point. BG lost at Notre Dame in overtime last year with a much more accomplished team than this year. Notre Dame, on the other hand, is better. What does this mean? Well, for one, home court advantage is huge and the impact by the Anderson Arena crowd cannot be overstated. But at the same time, this year s Falcons, at their best, might be able to give last season s team a tough game.
Could this year s team win?
No. Probably not. I think Ali Mann s low-post scoring would be too much to overcome. But I d be interested to hear your thoughts, so drop me an e-mail if you want to weigh in.
I promise I m almost done, but first I need to vent. I ve received a couple e-mails from fans disappointed that BGSU decided to not hire a local firm to design the convocation center. I agree. But I m also disappointed in the athletic department s decision to announce its construction plans on a Saturday. Major announcements should never come on a Saturday, especially when the GMAC invitation came a couple hours later! Two of the biggest announcements regarding BG sports came on the same day. I just don t get it. Furthermore, all of the BG beat writers were at the men s basketball game at Oakland on Saturday, meaning we had little time to write about the convocation center plans. Not a great PR move if you ask me.
That s enough for now. I ll be back soon to introduce myself and to state my goals for this blog.