Following his first season as a Bearcat after transferring from Gardner-Webb, senior guard Jacob Falko is looking to build off a successful inaugural year. Prior to his D1 career, Falko played two seasons of junior college (JUCO) ball at Cecil College in Maryland. Falko has grown tremendously with the BU program since his stays at Cecil and Gardner-Webb.

He commented on how he believes his role with the Binghamton men’s basketball team has developed.

“I kind of went into Gardner-Webb, and I ended up having a different role than what I thought I was going to have,” Falko said. “So some things just didn’t work out, and I ended up transferring. I found Binghamton, and I really loved the coaching staff here and everything they told me was true, so that was what led me to come here.”

Falko described how on his past team he was kept in the corner, leaving the playmaking to others on his squad. Here at Binghamton, Falko found the ball in his hands more, giving him a greater deal of confidence.

“Having coaches that have confidence in you to go and make plays and stuff, and letting you take risks sometimes, really helps,” Falko said. “It gives you confidence as a player and makes you want to go out there and not take some risky plays, but just try to … go make winning plays, I would say.”

With the confidence to show up and perform in crucial games, Falko found success down the stretch — averaging 12.9 points and 3.2 assists in 30.7 minutes per game. As a junior, he quickly made his way into the starting lineup, only coming off the bench for three games and starting in 24 of the 27 contests he played in. On the back of his performance, Falko became the first Bearcat in 12 years to earn first-team America East (AE) honors. Falko averaged 15.4 points per game in AE play, and achieved this mark on an efficient 49 percent shooting from the field. He also averaged 3.8 assists per game during conference matchups, the third highest in the AE.

Looking back on the success of last season, Falko pinpointed Binghamton’s quarterfinal upset against New Hampshire to be his favorite moment, a game in which Falko returned from injury early and contributed 21 points. BU would go on to lose to eventual AE champions Vermont, but Falko discussed how he’s only thinking about the positives from last year’s playoff run.

“Going on the road in a playoff game as a lower seed, and then we end up winning down there,” Falko said. “It was a crazy moment … I was banged up a little bit and I had a messed up ankle, so it was my first game back from my injury too. So to play well and close out that game there, I would say it is my top moment.”

Falko expressed how, coming into this season, he has continued to put in the work and improve his shooting and shot selection, in an effort to push toward bringing home the AE Player of the Year award. Falko’s main goals for the program, however, are to bring home the conference title and send Binghamton to the March Madness tournament. The main factor in this, as described by Falko, is sticking together as one unit.

“We have a really talented group of guys this year, but coach says it all the time, ‘talent can only get you so far,’ Falko said. “We’ve got to stick together, stick to the game plan we have been given and, if we play our game, we are going to be really successful.”