BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — It may only be July and we still have several months until the college basketball season begins, but right now might be some of the most valuable time for teams.
At Bowling Green State University, both the men's and women’s teams are building that foundation for another stellar season.
The women made a splash in the Mid-American Conference winning the MAC regular-season title.
They fell just short of winning the MAC tournament but Falcon fans have to be so excited for the potential this season.
Senior captain Madisen Parker taking advantage of that extra year of eligibility. That’s huge leadership and experience to have back.
Plus, they’ll have another returning starter in senior Kadie Hempfling. She can get it done in the paint and beyond the arch. A very dangerous player anywhere on the floor.
The BG women will be a heavy favorite heading into the season. They know that and are ready for it.
"This team last year, what was cool, they changed the expectations of the program," said head coach Robyn Fralick. "Expectations are what we do every day, so that hasn't changed whether there's a target or whatever that looks like. The expectations have been elevated for what they expect out of themselves and we're going to have that continue."
"I think the excitement's there because so much work went into last year," said returning senior Madisen Parker. "We're excited that hard work paid off and we had the opportunity now to build on that because the last couple of years we've been building off losing records. Last year was a lot better than a lot of people expected."
"Yeah, we will have a huge target on our back," said senior Kadie Hempfling. "Everyone's going to give us their best, but that's what we did last year. We gave everyone our best, so that's what we expect. We expect every game to be good night in and night out."
As for the men's team, they had an up and down year. Moments of greatness paired with struggles. The key this season will be finding consistency.
The Falcons return a good core of Daeqwon Plowden, Trey Diggs and Caleb Fields, but a big hole to fill will be the school's all-time leading scorer in Justin Turner.
But they were also very active in the transfer portal adding in five new players.
These summer training camps are where the groundwork is laid out, it’s where those transfers find their fit, and this team will start to gel together.
"Summer camps are very important at this stage," said head coach Michael Huger. "We get a chance to work on a lot of different things, new schemes. But the biggest thing, when you have a lot of new players, you want to be able to put in your defensive schemes already, a little bit of offense, and that's what we've been working on so far and it's been going well."
"Summer camp is where our team starts to really build," said returning senior Daeqwon Plowden. "We got some new pieces coming in and I feel like this is our time where we start to build our chemistry. The summertime is vital for our progress."