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Off the Dribble: Falcons flying high to start Todd Simon era

Drake Harlett
Rashaun Agee shoots a free throw

To say Bowling Green Men’s Basketball entered this season shrouded in uncertainty would be an understatement.  

The Falcons failed to make the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Tournament the past two seasons, going just 24-38 overall and 11-27 in MAC play.  

On top of that, BG entered the season with a new head coach in Todd Simon, a new coaching staff and an almost completely revamped roster from the previous year.  

However, the Falcons have tuned out the questions surrounding the program, starting the season 2-0 by defeating Chicago State 70-41 and Arkansas State 81-75.  

BG has now started 2-0 in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the 1983-1984 and 1984-1985 campaigns, with both wins this season taking place in the Stroh Center. 

“We don’t lose at the Stroh. That’s one thing that coach Todd and everybody feels like; we don’t lose at the crib. The atmosphere is wonderful,” senior guard DaJion Humphrey said. “You can tell that we are having fun out there while we are playing. So, you can’t help but try to protect the crib.”  

The constant for the Falcons through the first two games has been the defense. BG’s dominant defense was the story of the win against CSU, as the Falcons held the Cougars to the fewest points and lowest field goal percentage by a BG opponent since 2015 and 2011, respectively.  

While not as dominant in the win against ASU, the Falcons defense still played well. Senior center Jason Spurgin recorded three blocks for the second game in a row, and the Orange and Brown held the fast-paced Red Wolves to just two fast-break points throughout the contest.  

The offense, however, improved in the second game of the season. The Falcons shot 50% from the field against Arkansas State compared to 44.1% in the first game. Junior guard Marcus Hill highlighted BG’s offensive performance against the Red Wolves, leading the team in scoring for the second consecutive game.  

Offensively, BG also improved their ball security against ASU, committing just six turnovers against the Red Wolves, compared to 11 in the win against the Cougars.  

BGSU’s conditioning and chemistry were highlighted down the stretch against Arkansas State.  

“Coach Todd really talked about being the most conditioned and being the most together. So, for us to be able to pull out a good win against a good team like that, they’re going to go far,” Humphrey said. “So, for us to do that, that just shows we have the culture, and we are always together; we love each other. So, that’s really what’s the difference.”  

While BG has rolled out the same starting five for both games this season, Simon has not relied exclusively on the starters. In fact, Simon believes that there are many starters on the roster. 

12 players saw playing time in the first game, with eight Falcons playing double-digit minutes against Arkansas State, proving that Simon is willing to ride whoever has the hot hand. 

Although the Falcons have had a successful start to the season, Simon says they are still in the belief stage. However, he also believes that BG prepares for different situations just as much as anyone else in the country, which has helped propel the Falcons to their fast start.   

“We’re still in the belief stage. Hey, just believe in what we’re doing. Sometimes you have to give it up to fully understand the buy-in that’s required to be disciplined,” Simon said. “Probably there’s nobody in the nation more fanatical about situations. We do it every single day, and it pays off because I think down the stretch in games, they’re poised, and they’ve seen it before. So, it’s good, and it will continue to be good.”  

The season is still too young to make bold declarations about this Bowling Green team, and there are still a lot of questions surrounding Simon, the new roster and the program.  

However, two things are true- the program’s culture has changed, and the Falcons are 2-0 this season. 

For more stories related to BGSU Athletics, follow Falcon Media Sports Network on X (@bg_fmsn).

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