|Injuries shorten bench for BG men (01-07-14)|
|Written by JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor|
|Tuesday, 07 January 2014 09:43|
Injuries have forced the Bowling Green Falcon men's basketball team to play with a short bench this season.
The Falcons, 6-7 overall, open Mid-American Conference play Wednesday with a home game against Eastern Michigan. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. in the Stroh Center.
The bulk of the minutes have gone to six players. Four of BG's five starters are averaging over 30 minutes per game. Cameron Black, a starter, is averaging 27.8 minutes per game. Freshman J.D. Tisdale has been the first option off the bench, averaging 19.6 minutes per game.
Chauncey Orr, the son of BG head coach Louis Orr, was injured in the Falcons' first game this season. A junior, Orr underwent season-ending knee surgery. Senior Craig Sealey has played in six games because of a knee injury. Freshman Zach Denny has been cleared to play, but has still not seen action.
''You have three guys, who if healthy, would be in the rotation,'' coach Orr said. ''As a coach, you have to manage the minutes.
''It's a reality, it's not necessarily a concern,'' he added. ''We'll work it, and try to keep fresh bodies. But the reality is there are going to be games where these guys (the starters) probably will have to play big minutes.
"If we can get more from other people, and get some people heathy, that will be a plus.''
Orr is BG's leading returning scorer from last season, averaging 7.5 points, and 27.3 minutes per game.
''He would be in the rotation of perimeter guys, who would give you more flexibility,'' coach Orr said.
Sealey has been hampered by a knee injury.
''He's going through a process now ... We're hoping, early in the MAC season that we get him back,'' coach Orr said.
Denny has also been battling a knee injury, but has been able to practice in recent weeks.
''With him coming back from injury as well as learning our system, you don't want to put him out there until he has a good chance of holding up the whole season,'' coach Orr said. ''You put him out there for a game, and then in practice he has some soreness, you want to make sure he can help you for the stretch.
''If everything goes well, we'll put him out on the floor. We can use his shooting,'' Orr added. ''We want to give him the best chance to have success for the whole season.''
Josh Gomez and Demarkeo Lyshe have combined for 142 minutes through the first 13 games.
Freshman Garrett Mayleben has dressed for every game, but has not played.
With the shortage of players, Orr has been dressing a practice squad player for home games, but none of them has seen action.
The newest addition to the practice squad is Shaun Joplin, a fifth-year senior who was a wide receiver for the Falcon football team this fall. Joplin was a three-sport athlete, including basketball, at Southview High School.
''He may not know everything, but does he know enough to help you?,'' coach Orr said. ''He's definitely a good enough athlete. He's a big strong young man.
''He still has a lot to learn. If he can pick things up, we'll see, he has got a chance (to play).''
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