Men, women kick off seasons

The Bowling Green men’s basketball team will get a chance to finally show what all the pre-season hoopla is about. Most publications have the Falcons finishing near the top of the Mid-American Conference standings and some, including The Sporting News and Street and Smiths, have the Falcons winning the league.

The Falcons chance to show what they can do will come tonight at Anderson Arena. The Falcons will host the Urbana Blue Knights to open the season and head coach Dan Dakich sees Urbana as a perfect team for the Falcons to work out any off-season kinks. “They are a fast-paced team,” he said. “They press and trap and that is something we don’t do in practice.”

The Blue Knights come into the game with three games under their belt, and have compiled a 1-2 record in those games. But the Falcons should not be fooled by these numbers, as Urbana has their share of talented players. The Blue Knights will be led into battle by forward Antonio Davis, who is coming in averaging 17.3 points and 12 rebounds per game. He will be helped out by point guard Al Davenport, whom the Falcons faced last year when they played Urbana.

“They have a new coach that brought in some athletic kids from his junior college,” Dakich said. “And they have a quick little guard. Most teams in the MAC have a quick guard and it will be good to face that.”

The Falcons have a few weapons of their own, as they have five starters returning. The team is led by center Kevin Netter, who was the team’s leading scorer last season at 15.3 points per game. Forward John Reimold was the team’s second leading scorer at 15 points per game and guard Ron Lewis put in 12.5 points per game as an All-MAC freshman performer. Even with all of the solid options returning, Dakich still isn’t sure which five players will start the game.

“I did know, but then I got crabby,” Dakich said. “I had her set, then the whole idea went south.”

Part of the reason for the problems is the depth the Falcons have this year. The Falcons return Jabari Mattox, Josh Almanson and Germain Fitch from injury on top of the five newcomers to the team. “We started Austin [Montgomery] against Howard Pulley because he was playing better in practice,” Dakich said. “Josh [Almanson] has not really been practicing and Jabari [Mattox] has been practicing and will play Friday. I don’t want to over do them.”

The Falcons will get a chance to test their wings at 7 p.m. tonight in Anderson Arena.