Caleb Fields vs. Akron 2021

BGSU-'s Caleb Fields guards Akron's Garvin Clarke in BGSU's 69-57 loss at the Stroh Center on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. 

The regular season is over, and we have moved on to the MAC Tournament. BGSU’s Men’s Basketball team is no stranger to being in Cleveland, but coming out on top is a different story. The last time the Falcons played in the MAC tournament, they made it to the final game before losing to Buffalo.

The Falcons are not the same team they were back then, but they have faced several challenges this season ahead of their matchup against Akron.

Here are the three biggest things they can do to ensure victory in Rocket Mortgage Field House against the Akron Zips.

Lock down defense

The Zips are a really good shooting team, and it starts with Loren Chirstian Jackson who was named to the All-Mac First Team and was the MAC Player of the Year last season. In the two games that these two teams played this year, not only did the road team win each time, but the team that was more accurate shooting won. Yes, it is fair to assume who shoots better will win the game, but the Falcons need to ensure defense is their number one priority in this tournament, as the team has been allowing many games to go over 70 points. If the Falcons can hold Akron to scoring under 70, I’d mark that a win in my book.

Give Turner and Plowden help

The main expectation and question going into this year was who was going to replace Dylan Frye on this year's team as the third scoring option behind now three-time All-MAC First Team player Justin Turner and All-MAC Third Team player Daeqwon Plowden. The scoring has come from everything from Kaden Matheney to Trey Diggs, the MAC’s Sixth Man of the Year. Turner can’t score every point of the tournament nor should he have to. And as such, Plowden is physical in the paint, but what happens if fouls pile up. A third player is a must to win against Akron who I would imagine will make someone other than Plowden and Turner beat them. The question simply becomes, who will it be? My guess personally is Caleb Fields.

Play with Patience

The last two months have been unkind to the Falcons. Since the new year, the Falcons are 8-8 including a stretch where the team lost six straight. The team did end the year on a 4-1 record over their last five games with all wins being on the road, but the must for the Falcons is having a short memory, and not dwelling on all the mistakes this year. No team is perfect and this Falcons team is no exception. The best thing for this team to do is take their time, and set the tempo themselves rather than letting Akron run up and down the court. A well rested BG is a dangerous team, and if it’s all about the Falcons pace, watch out for Kaden Matheny and Trey Diggs to rain threes where they have been dangerous over the last couple games.

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