Women’s hoops enjoys being underdogs again

CLEVELAND-For the first time in a while, Curt Miller and the BG women’s basketball team are back to being underdogs. For Miller, that is a good thing.

“We relish the role we’re in right now because we’re not the team to beat,” Miller said.

Miller’s team is a three-time conference champion in the Mid-American Conference, but was picked to finish second in the East Division in the preseason poll. In the past two seasons, the Falcons have only lost one game within the conference. That loss came to Ohio, who was picked to finish first in the East.

The reason the Falcons weren’t picked first was more than likely the loss of five talented seniors to graduation. Ali Mann, Liz Honegger, Carin Horne, Megan Thorburn and Amber Flynn combined for nearly 6,000 points in their careers at BG. Now the Falcons have seven freshmen in place of their senior class.

While he’ll miss the great play of the class of 2007, Miller looks forward to getting back to basics.

“The last couple of years I just felt like I was just managing and trying to put players in positions to be successful and keep it rolling,” Miller said. “We really are teaching again and that makes it exciting and energizing for the staff.”

The team’s gritty point guard is still in the backcourt, though. Kate Achter is one of two seniors and is being put into a role she may not be used to. But like a true leader, Achter is more than ready to take on that role.

“I only have one year left and I want to leave this program with a legacy,” she said. “I want to prepare the players he’s going to have next year.”

Both Miller and Achter expressed a lot of confidence in the incoming class.

“They’re very excited to showcase their skills, its very hard to play behind a class that large,” Achter said.

But no matter what ranking the Falcons get in the preseason or who is on the court wearing orange jerseys, they will be MAC Champions until another team is.

“Until someone wins that MAC Championship next year we’re going to be on top,” Achter said. “There are a lot of teams out there that are going to beat us whether we have six seniors or seven freshmen.”

The Falcons are coming off a 27-4 season in which they reached the third round of the NCAA Tournament. Now they’ll have to play a season with a whole new roster.

“We didn’t’ have to deal with too many lows in recent years but we’re going to have to deal with the ups and downs that come along with the season,” Miller said.

“We’re going to be ready for that challenge.”