BGSU men’s basketball replaces team leaders

As another basketball season begins, the men’s basketball team finds themselves with big shoes to fill this year with the loss of its two leading scorers in Austin Calhoun and Jordan Crawford. Both players averaged approximately 15 points a game last year with about 34 minutes played per game as well.

“It’s going to be tough replacing Austin and Jordan,” Assistant Coach LeMonta Stone said. “The fact that we could practice a little earlier is really going to help this group.”

That loss leaves this basketball team searching for new scoring options. Instead of searching for another two people to carry the scoring load, they will focus on making it a team job. This switch is forcing the players to pick up different roles within the team.

“Everybody is stepping up in their absence in terms of new positions,” junior Chauncey Orr said. “We have talented guys coming in and returning from last year. I think we will be fine.”

With the benefit of starting practice earlier, the coaching staff has been able to work with the team to show them where they will get the ball and where they can find open shots within the offense. Some players will go through a change from being the third or fourth scoring option to the first or second option, Stone said.

“I think we can put four or five guys on the court that is going to make it tough to guard us as a team,” Stone said. “This year you are going to stop a team instead of stopping a few players.”

Practice is not just about helping the team find their roles for this year, though the team has been running a lot more than they usually have to prepare for the season, said redshirt junior Anthony Henderson.

The Falcons will finally get the chance to step up on basketball court and play a full speed game with the Orange and Brown scrimmage being held this Saturday at noon. Although this will be an inter-squad scrimmage, the team is excited for its chance to play again.

“It is going to be a long time since we actually had officials and everything,” Henderson said. “It gives us a chance to see how we play together with officials and just for the fans to see what we can do.”

As the season nears closer, the Falcons will be trying to improve off of the 13-19 record and 7-9 record in the Mid-American Conference last year. Their goal has not changed this year even with the new roles given to the players; their goal is still a MAC championship and a NCAA tournament berth, Stone said.

“I feel like last season, in my eyes, was a disappointment,” Henderson said. “I definitely feel that we have something to prove.”

The Falcons will hold their Orange and Brown scrimmage Saturday at noon in the Stroh Center and then they will have their first exhibition game Nov. 2 at 2 p.m.

“You get anxious and a little bit nervous before each basketball season,” Orr said. “At the same time we all have to stay calm and know that this is just a basketball game and we have to have fun and play together out there then we will be fine.”