Under first-year coach Louis Orr, Bowling Green (7-8, 2-1 MAC) has transformed from a 3-point jacking squad to one that clamps down on defense.
The Falcons hold opponents to the lowest field goal and 3-point shooting percentages in the MAC. Give some credit to Otis Polk and Marc Larson, BGSU's sophomore centers who are third and fourth, respectively, in the conference's blocked shots rankings.
With the graduation of 3-point marksman Martin Samarco, Nate Miller is a bigger part of the offense. His numbers (13.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg) have not improved much because he is shooting only 42 percent from the field.
You might remember point guard Joe Jakubowski. Akron recruited the freshman who chose Bowling Green instead.
The teams play tonight at 7 at Rhodes Arena.
Akron is a 14-point favorite. That's a pretty fair line.
The ABJ's Tom Gaffney compared this year's team to last.
Behind 26 points from Bert Whittington, Ohio downed Kent State in Athens, 71-59.
Prediction -- It would take an abhorrent effort from Akron to lose this game. But it's possible. Ask Ohio, who was out-rebounded, out-defended and out-shot. Ask, Cincinnati, who saw Bowling Green's unimpressive offense play its most efficient game. Also, Bowling Green traditionally has given Akron problems at Rhodes Arena. I might even be persuaded to take Bowling Green with the spread. Nah.
Akron 72, Bowling Green 56
In case your mind is on pigskin, the ABJ's Marla Ridenour wrote about Domenik Hixon, who is in frigid Green Bay today as the Giants' kick returner.
The most interesting quote is how Denver's Mike Shanahan shows some sour grapes about Hixon's success -- albeit limited -- in New York.
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