Posted: 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013
By Matt Daley
Meet Richaun Holmes, the greatest single-season shot blocker in Bowling Green Falcons history.
Holmes quietly joined BGSU's basketball team for the 2012-2013 season after transferring from Moraine Valley Community College. At MVCC, Holmes was a team captain and helped lead his team to a 27-9 record, which included a 14-2 mark in league play. In his only season there, he averaged 19.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and 5.2 blocks per game. His block total set an MVCC single-season record, and he was ultimately named the Skyway Conference Player of the Year.
During his first season at Bowling Green, Holmes served primarily in a reserve role. He played in 31 games but started only two and averaged 18.8 minutes per game. Despite the lack of extended minutes, Holmes piled up blocks by the dozen and enough rebounds to rank in among the top 20 in the Mid-American Conference.
The 6-8 forward was a game-changer for the Falcons at times during his rookie season. He had at least one block in all 15 games from Nov. 20 through Jan. 26. In all, only six of his 32 games concluded with zero blocks. He had at least three blocks in 14 games and posted at least four blocks in seven games. His season high was six against North Dakota. Need evidence of how all this helped BGSU?
When Holmes blocked at least two shots in a game, the Falcons went 11-11. When he didn't, they were 2-8.
When the season ended, Holmes had 73 blocks in just 602 minutes. That's one block for every 8:15 of game action. His total shattered the previous single-season record at BGSU by 14 blocks and moved him to within ten blocks of the career top-ten list at Bowling Green. In fact, he's already just 86 blocks shy of the career blocks school record. He also ranked third in the MAC and 36th nationally in blocked shots.
But don't pigeon-hole Holmes as just a shot-blocker, because he's not. Holmes is also excellent on the boards. He gathered in 5 rebounds per game, which ranked second at BGSU and among the top 20 in the MAC. Holmes is also good at generating quality shots in the paint. He averaged 6.5 points per game and did so while shooting 63.3% from the floor. That shooting percentage is the fourth-best single-season total in BGSU history.
Holmes is also clutch, as he saved his best for perhaps one of the most important games of the season. On the road against heavy-favorite Akron, Holmes matched his season high with 28 minutes. He scored a season-best 15 points during that time and shot 5-for-6 from the floor, as well as 5-for-5 from the free throw line. He also posted four blocks and eight rebounds.
As he enters his junior year of eligibility and second season with the Falcons, Holmes will undoubtedly play a larger role. Gone are three starters from last year's Bowling Green team, including forward A'uston Calhoun, and Holmes is projected to assume Calhoun's place in the starting lineup.
One of the bright spots in a 13-19 campaign for BGSU last year was the team's defense. In a larger role, Holmes will need to maintain his defensive intensity while being efficient and not getting into foul trouble. It's a tough balance, but he is certainly capable. More importantly, he'll need to continue to grow on the offensive side of the ball. Calhoun was the Falcons' top scorer last year, and Holmes will bear some of the weight in replacing those points. His inside presence will certainly be needed to aid what was often a stagnant offense last season.
Richaun Holmes will be one of the key components if the Falcons are to surprise the pundits and finish in the top half of the MAC East this season.
Want to know more about Holmes? Watch the embedded video, which was recorded last February. It's a very information personal interview, and it also includes BGSU head coach Louis Orr's thoughts about Holmes.