Men’s basketball team ready to put their offseason work to use

The Bowling Green men’s basketball team will get the chance to put all of their work from the offseason on the court Friday in their exhibition game against Notre Dame College.

No matter what the game is, a team wants to win but an exhibition game is more about gauging where the team is currently, new head coach Chris Jans said.

“This is all about us; I’m not concerned so much about what the final score is,” Jans said. “It’s a trial run of what it is like when the popcorn is popping and the lights are on.”

The Falcons have 11 returning players and have added five newcomers. All five of the newcomers will be playing their first minutes of Division-1 basketball, as three are junior college transfers and two are freshmen.

The addition of the newcomers has lifted the roster number to 16 players. All of those players have been competing for playing time and that has forced Jans to change his mind multiple times on what his starting five will be.

“There are guys who are starting tomorrow where if you would have asked me Oct. 4 it wouldn’t be the same starting line up,” Jans said. “Also in the past ten days one of those guys has put themselves in the starting lineup.”

Jans has released his starting lineup for Friday’s game. It will be: David Joseph at point guard, Anthony Henders, Zack Denny, Spencer Parker and Richaun Holmes.

Despite the release of the lineup, it doesn’t mean much to him, Jans said.

“[Starting lineups] don’t mean much to me. It probably means more to the individuals than it does to me or my staff,” Jans said. “I just can’t imagine that we are going to be the type of team that starts the same lineup all season long. It’s more important to me who finishes the game than who starts the game because those are the guys you really trust.”

There has not been a decision on if all 16 guys will play Friday. No matter who starts or who plays, Jans has said he currently has “a rotation of 10 guys we are comfortable with. Certainly that could change after the exhibition or the first or second game.”

That depth is something that the Falcons did not have last year. Last season for the players who played at least 30 games, only seven played more than 15 minutes a game.

“I hope our depth is a strength on our team — we have enough guys who have enough skill and athleticism to be on the floor,” Jans said. “I hope and believe that depth will be a positive for us.”

This game for the Falcons, while they want to win, is important for them to improve, senior guard Anthony Henderson said.

“We are just trying to prepare and work hard, because that is what coach Jans expects from us,” Henderson said. “It’s really not about who we are playing, it’s about us getting better.”

That is especially true for a frontcourt that lost its starting center to graduation, and only returns two players who played more than 10 minutes a game in the post. Parker is one of the two who played in the post last year, but he spent a lot of time on the perimeter. Despite the loss of experience down low, Holmes believes that they are improving every day.

“[Friday] is important for us, so we can know what to expect coming into the year,” Holmes said. “We need to try ourselves out against live competition.”

The Jans era will begin Friday at 4:30 p.m. and people will get the chance to witness where the Falcons are right now. They are not where Jans wants them to be but they are getting there, he said.

“I don’t know if they are ever going to be where I want them to be; we are always striving for improvement,” Jans said. “When you turn the lights on and go against someone with a different colored jersey you can learn something about yourself.”