Bowling Green 6-foot-6, 215-pound fifth-year senior Daeqwon Plowden had 19 points in his last game as a Falcon, taking his career total to 1,618 to become the eighth player in program history to eclipse 1,600 career points.
There were at least four NBA scouts in attendance at that final game, which was a 96-56 loss to Mid-American Conference champion Toledo in front of 6,712 fans at Savage Arena.
Some were primarily there to see Toledo 6-4 sophomore goaltender Ryan Rollins, but Plowden likely caught their eye.
Despite the outburst, Plowden stood out with 19 points, three rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal.
In Plowden’s senior year, he averaged 15.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, shot 41% from the floor, 36% from beyond the arc, and made 79% of his free throws.
Plowden said he didn’t know if he would get the chance to play at the next level, coach somewhere or be involved in the game in some form.
Either way, he said he deeply enjoyed his five years at Bowling Green, on and off the court.
“If anything, I’d say I’ve grown more as a person. There’s probably more basketball in my future,” Plowden said.
Growth as a person – that’s exactly what a coach envisions.
“He’s a better person, it shows. He’s definitely a better person than a basketball player, so that tells you what kind of person he is,” head coach Michael Huger said. “The kid has a heart of gold.”
A pre-exercise science major and a recipient of the Larry L. Miles Memorial Scholarship thanks to Mark and Michelle Remeis’ donation to the Circle of Champions, Huger is confident in Plowden’s future.
“Especially for us, he will be missed, but he is onto bigger things now – his professional career and we wish him all the best and what he has done for Bowling Green basketball and helped us to put us on the map,” Huger said.
Plowden graduated in 2017 from Mastery Charter High School in Philadelphia, where he ranked in the top 100 for his position in that class, according to ESPN.com
ESPN.com ranked him as the 20th-best player in Pennsylvania, and he became a two-time all-state selection and the first player to score over 1,000 points at Mastery Charter North.
He averaged 15.7 points as a junior and 16 points as a senior, leading MC North to a 24-7 record and a trip to the 2015 Class 2A Pennsylvania State Championship game. -16, where he recorded 24 points and 11 rebounds.
When he visited BG as a skinny 195 pound boy, he loved it so much it became a second home.
It took a few years and 20 pounds more for Plowden to become “the player we’ve seen this season, putting BG on the map”, as Huger put it.
“He played a big part in that and stuck with it. He stayed every summer, two summer sessions, and never came back to Philadelphia,” Huger said.
“He worked on his game, got bigger and stronger. Every year he has improved his game, improved his score and everything he has done for BG basketball.
“He’s in the record books in a lot of categories and he’ll be there for a long, long time,” Huger added.
Plowden said he can look back and know BGSU was the right move, even though the team finished 13-19 in their senior season.
“These are just good things. I can’t complain about the career I’ve had and the teams we’ve had and the friendships I’ve made. No complaints,” Plowden said.
Plowden said he grew up on and off the pitch.
“You get out what you put in, pretty much,” he said of basketball. “Working a lot with your team, individually, you see the progress that I’ve had, that BG has had, as a whole and that comes from hard work. That’s my biggest takeaway.
Off the court, Plowden will miss relationships and fun things.
“I think all of this is priceless. You can’t put a price tag on all of this,” he said. guy I played with.”
Now Huger, who just completed his seventh season as head coach of his alma mater, must prepare for next season with a team without Plowden.
There are bigger issues to deal with than just being without your star player, he said.
“The most important thing for us is that we have to start playing Bowling Green basketball again and we have to play both sides,” Huger said.
“I don’t think we defended like we are capable of defending with the talent we had gathered. We just didn’t do the necessary defensively,” Huger continued.
“Of course we can score. We led the league for most of the year in scoring and finished second after (the Toledo game). Toledo finished first and we finished second as scorers,” he said. “So it’s definitely not the scoreline for us, it’s the defense that we need to improve and that’s what we’re going to work on.”
Of course, over the past two years, Huger and Plowden haven’t experienced normality either, much like every other NCAA basketball team going through the pandemic. Huger said it would be nice to get it back too.
“It’s been a tough season and COVID has affected a lot of things in so many ways – the way you can bond as a team over the summer and the things we would normally do to get our guys together and bring them together on one page we might not do because of COVID,” Huger said.
“But hopefully we can get back to some normality and be able to feel that team camaraderie that we felt for so many years and that was washed away in a short time.”