On Saturday, hours before the Bowling Green Falcons battled against their archrival, Toledo, the athletic department released a statement saying Dylan Frye would be leaving the team for personal reasons. This came as a shock for the fans and for the media covering the game as well. Frye was at the media availability on Thursday, where everything seemed to be fine, until the announcement was made before the game against on Saturday.
So now that we have had a few days to digest the shocking news of Frye’s departure as well as the fact that the team was still able to complete the sweep over Toledo, how much is this really going to affect the Falcons going forward and how much of it can they fix going down the stretch of MAC play?
Frye was averaging 14 points per game before he left the team, along with averaging four assists at the point guard position. That scoring will certainly be missed, and will have to be made up somehow.
The good news is there are a multitude of ways that can be done. The most obvious is to run the offense through Justin Turner, the Falcons leading scorer at 19 points per game, even more. While his scoring more than likely will go up, the Falcons have to have other players step up. Otherwise, the team will become one dimensional and too reliant on Turner to score. Whether that’s Daeqwon Plowden, who is already scoring 13 points per game, or Matiss Kuclackoviskis who is averaging just four points per game, but had 12 against Toledo, doesn’t matter. The Falcons just need to find a way to replace the scoring and ability to run the floor that Frye possessed.
Running the floor will be replaced by Davin Ziegler, the freshman that started in place of Frye on Saturday. He had eight points in the victory over Toledo, but failed to record an assist in his 14 minutes on the floor. It was clear that the team at least in the first game without Frye wanted to hand the point guard duties to a more experienced player in senior Michael Laster, who played 23 minutes off the bench for the Falcons and notched three assists. All the while, Justin Turner will have the ball in his hands a lot more in the set offense too.
At the moment, it seems that it will be a replacement-by-committee system to replace Frye. As for the scoring, at face value it seems that this will be the most daunting thing to replace for the Falcons. Frye is the all-time leader in 3-pointers made at Bowling Green and is averaging 14 points a game. But a deeper dive into how Frye has been playing this season and his statistics and you might see a different story.
He averaged the second-most minutes of any player on the roster, took the most shots of any other player on the team, shot an abysmal 37% from the field as well as 31% from beyond the arc. Those aren’t the numbers that you would expect from such a highly-touted long-distance shooter.
So who knows what the effect of taking him out of the lineup will do to this Bowling Green offense? It could really go either way, as the Falcons could start to lack the scoring that was seeing them barely inch over the finish line in a majority of their MAC contests, or we could see players that get more minutes as a result of the departure, get more shots and shoot them with more efficiency than Frye.
If players like Trey Diggs, who is shooting 37% from three, despite having taken 50 less threes than Frye, can shoot with that same efficiency when they get more shots, the Falcons will be fine.
To put it simply, it will just be a matter of whether or not the Falcons can shoot efficiently without Frye on the floor. If they can do that, not only are all of their goals still very reachable, they might have even got more attainable.