Monday, April 09, 2007

More on Orr

Official Press Release
Press Conference Quotes
What They Are Saying (quotes from analysts and other coaches)
Orr Will Take Over Falcons' Program (from the Toledo Blade)
Ready Orr Not (blog from Blade writer Maureen Fulton)
Orr Joins Falcon Family (from the Toledo Blade)
Orr Has Wheels in Motion for Falcon Men (from the Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune)

(After this post, I promise I'll lay off college basketball for a while. You know, since the season is over now.)

The more I read about Coach Orr, the more excited I become about having him on board as head coach of the BGSU Falcons men's basketball program. Instead of the season just coming to an end, I wish a new one was getting ready to begin so I can see what the Falcons will have to offer under their new leadership. Alas, we have those pesky baseball and football seasons to get through first, and that's fine. The Falcons have a couple of scholarships left to fill, and with definite needs for those spots, I'll be anxious to see how Coach Orr fills them in his first opportunity to put his own fingerprints on the program.

In terms of personality, Coach Orr seems to be a 180° reversal from Coach Dakich. Whereas Coach Dakich was known to have a fiery temperament, Coach Orr is reputed to be very calm. As much as I like Coach Dakich, maybe that's what this program needs right now. My one minor reservation is that I hope he doesn't scare or drive players away with his religion. Now, stay with me for a minute--I have no idea if that does or does not come into play in his interaction with his team, or to what degree if so. I've never heard of it being an issue in his case. The only reason it even comes to mind is because it's one reason why Brandon Pardon, my favorite Falcon player of all time, transferred from Ed Schilling's Wright State program to Bowling Green. If it weren't for that one incident, the possibility probably wouldn't even occur to me. And on the flip side, for any players who are pushed away by that sort of thing, I'm sure there are just as many who would be drawn to it. Who knows if the Pollitz twins would be Falcons right now instead of RedHawks if Coach Orr had been in charge when they were in high school?

On the court, Coach Orr's teams are known for defense and rebounding. I like that. I think he'll find that he's walking into a group of kids who already have the hard-nosed, tough-playing mindset necessary to play that kind of basketball. There are also some guys who either are or have the potential to be good rebounders, something that was lacking sometimes last year. Hopefully, as someone who played in the NBA as a big man, Coach Orr can help the Falcons develop a good offensive post game that can complement the perimeter-oriented offense we've been used to. There are some big guys on the roster already that will hopefully flourish under his guidance (Otis Polk, I'm looking at you). I can't wait to see the guys play this coming November. I'm stoked already.

I think what excites me the most, though, is what I've heard of Coach Orr's character. One reason I was such a huge fan of Coach Dakich is because there was never any doubt that he was running a clean program. The term "student-athlete" actually meant something under his watch, and I have absolutely no reason to believe that Coach Orr won't bring the same level of integrity to the program. During the coaching search, I was very apprehensive that the Falcons would bring in a coach that would not uphold those standards. I've been critical of new athletic director Greg Christopher on a couple of points, but I have to commend him on what looks, at this very early point, like an outstanding hire.

Make no mistake, I was and remain a huge fan of Coach Dakich. I'll miss his humor and candor, and I'll be a fan of his wherever he ends up (yes, even if it's Marshall). If a change had to be made, though, I've definitely come to feel that Louis Orr was the right man for the job. I'll be even more excited than usual to get into Anderson Arena to check out the Falcons this fall.

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