Bowling Green did not make a huge impact in MAC basketball this year other than being yet another dangerous team with which to contend. They were the seventh-best team according to their MAC Tournament seed, did not feature a first team All-MAC player, and were eliminated in the first round to paltry Central Michigan. These are enervating facts which distort the excitement that BGSU basketball brought this year. Namely, dunks and alleyoops.
This began last year with the transfer of Torian Oglesby, a late-bloomer to the organized game from junior college. As he started getting more minutes, the production increased with it. By this past year, his senior season, he was not only a great bench player but set an NCAA record for most consecutive field goals made in Division I (26). This is mostly because he stayed close to the rim for his attempted shots. Usually, EXTREMELY close in the form of lay-ups, put-backs, dunks and alley-oops. And most of them are breathtaking.
When Oglesby broke the record after a 10-for-10 day at UT-San Antonio, I knew I had to see this guy in person again so I bought tickets and went to see him play against OHIO. Sadly he flubbed his first attempt at a put-back in the game, ending the streak. There was a noticeable handful of people who knew what had happened when the shot missed. Oh well. But we stayed and it turned out to be a wonderful game.
And on this went. I tuned into BG games, half to hope they'd win, and half to hope Oglesby would do this all yet again. In this Kent State game I got both; a win over the Flashes and perhaps my favorite alley-oop he received, courtesy of Dee Brown (fast-forward to 1:37 and you'll see what I mean):
When the season ended to that inexplicable CMU loss, their season was put on life support in the Collegeinsider.com Invitational Tournament with a game at Oakland. I didn't think they'd win it, nor did I care. But I had to get tickets. In my wildest of MACsketball dreams I had seen Oglesby play organized ball for the last time. Oakland was a little over an hour from my work, and despite the traffic and having never to Rochester Hills, I somehow made it there without getting lost and arrived in the arena just in time for tip-off.
Early in the first half, there it was. An alley-oop from Crawford to Oglesby. It was his only points of the game. I can watch this season end now. It was a bloodbath of a finish — an 86-69 Oakland victory — but the loss is always going to happen sometime, and it might as well be while I'm in the arena.
I realize that he likely isn't an NBA prospect, although professional ball somewhere in Europe or even a dunk tour may be in order for the man; he's talented as hell. These are not dunks that rank up in the Vince Carter or Blake Griffin echelon of acrobatics but this player went to my school so they were my highlights, doggone it. This is not unlike when a couple of baseball-playing boys who went to my high school made a play that made highlight reels on SportsCenter and MLB Network.
And that's kind of what the MAC is; they're "our" guys, even if at some point we're going to share them with the rest of the sports-watchin' world. Here you go, everybody. Here's Torian Oglesby. Hope you like him.
What's your favorite MAC highlight, either this year or previous?