U. Dayton BasketballChasing Immortality

When the Flyers come calling for the Billikens in St. Louis tonight, the 57th meeting between the rivals, history will once again be on the line. If you follow college basketball, even from a distance, you are well aware that Ryan Archibald Miller has won six consecutive Arch-Baron Cups, an unprecedented run that has justly caught the nation’s attention. Archie Miller has a golden opportunity to rewrite the record book, as a win tonight would be his seventh straight victory over Dayton’s most hated adversary. Saint Louis is very bad, folks, ripe for the picking.

However, every silver cloud has a dark lining. When you break the mold, set the standard, reach heights never though possible, suitors with bags of cash come calling. It’s the unavoidable nature of the beast.

The coaching carousel has begun to spin and it’s only mid-February, the next two months are going to be entertaining for Dayton fans (I can’t fucking wait). Rumors, plane tracking, message boards filled with dime-store psychology – this is what it’s all about.

As events unfold over the coming weeks, you’ll notice that most fans will break down into three distinct camps:(1) The Flat-Earthers: these are the people who believe no coach would ever dare leave Dayton unless Kentucky, Duke, the Globetrotters or the Lakers came calling. These are somewhat rational people who simply put the UD program on too high of a pedestal. They fail to realize that what is built will eventually crumble. The Flat-Earthers concede Archie’s destiny lies in greener pastures, they just have an unrealistic, and somewhat unexamined, viewpoint on where those meadows are located. 

The Flat-Earthers are convinced that whomever coaches Dayton has no aspirations beyond being a mid-major coach stuck playing Fordham, Duquesne and La Salle for the rest of their life. Flat-Earthers will be the ones with all the inside info, think Swampy during the BG departure, reassuring everyone that everything is fine while they secretly picture the world burning around them.  These folks were branded during the Jim O’Brien era and they’re not going back to that, man!(2) The Scorned Girlfriends: the absolute worst part of any fan base. You’ll recognize their juvenile objections immediately:

• “Why would Archie leave for a job ‘worse’ than UD?”
• “Why leave for a place with such high expectations, all those people care about is winning!” (my personal favorite, it completely ignores that ALL high-level jobs come with increased standards).
• “Coach Miller is already making a lot of money at Dayton, he could literally name his price here, how could he leave for a slightly higher salary?”
• “It’s a football school.” (“Football schools” apparently don’t pay seven-figure salaries for basketball coaches)

These people are highly emotional and will turn on Miller as soon as he announces his departure (“I hope Archie never wins a game at State Tech University College”). Scorned Girlfriends are concerned that a breakup is a direct reflection on their self-worth, not realizing it’s just standard operating procedure. Coaches come, coaches go. It’s always, ALWAYS, just business. 

The Girlfriends have been burned before and they are not sure if they can go through another breakup again. (There is some slight overlap here with the Flat-Earthers — “If Dayton is good enough for me, why isn’t it good enough for Archie?”) They will never accept Archie leaving.(3) The Anti-Social Nihilists: simply accept that whatever will be will be. The Nihilists stipulate that Dayton is a mid-major program, an attractive stepping stone to higher-profile jobs.  What the Nihilists want more than anything is immediate closure, to rip the Band-Aid off and move on. They are the death-row inmate sitting in the electric chair — “Are you gonna flip the switch or am I gonna have to do it for ya?”

It’s not that the Nihilists don’t care about Archie leaving, they have the same concerns any normal UD fan or alum has, it’s just that they’ve seen this show before and the Nihilists have no interest in suspending disbelief. Archie, who is so stoic he probably couldn’t commit to telling his wife whether he would say yes during their marriage vows, has (and will remain) tight-lipped about the process. The Nihilists appreciate this approach, they realize it’s all in the game. Just get on with it already, pull the trigger.The best news, or worst depending on your mental state, is that we are just getting started. With NC State looking like a lock to open up, speculation surrounding Ohio State and a fog of uneasiness rollling out of Bloomington, Indiana, we will likely see Archie’s name passed around like a little boy in the Sandusky house (this joke became relevant again!). Throw in the possibility of some unforeseen job opening up and we will have ourselves quite the intriguing offseason.

Anyway, Backing the Pack, an NC State website, has a fairly insightful take on the Archie Miller situation from their point of view. It’s always nice to get a perspective from the other side, or just perspective period.

Believe nothing, believe everything. The real season is upon us.

What we know for sure is that this is the last Arch-Baron Cup for Scoochie Smith, Kendall Pollard, Kyle Davis and Charles Cooke. Will it be Archie’s final time facing off against SLU, will tonight be his defining moment? Some, not going to name names (Henry), have speculated that a seventh consecutive Cup would mean Archie has nothing left to accomplish in the Gem City, his legacy etched in stone. So many plotlines going into tonight’s game, the anticipation is killing you. I hope it’ll last.

Tom Blackburn

Tom Blackburn is a proud U. o' D. alum. He loses faith in humanity one day at a time, but not in you, you seem like you are all kinds of alright. Charter member of the T-Man fanclub.


  • T-Rex

    February 14, 2017 at 11:42 AM

    If NCSU, OSU & IU jobs all open up, Archie is as good as gone. There aren’t enough other “names” to fill those jobs.
    Let’s speculate on who replaces Archie.
    Kevin Kuwik: Best chance to retain the recruits?
    Matt McCall: Hot mid-major name who, if successful, will leave in 5-7 years.
    Anthony Grant: UD grad, impressive coaching pedigree, should be the only choice, right?


    • The Kman

      February 14, 2017 at 11:50 AM

      Shaka Smart gets fired from Texas to recapture Havic in A10. He has UD connection and mainly wants to piss of Twitter Tory for all her DMs.


    • Tom Blackburn

      February 14, 2017 at 12:19 PM

      Agreed, if those three open up he’s gone. I can’t even imagine why he’d stay — what jobs would he be waiting to open up?

      I hope it’s not Kuwik, he creeps me out.


      • DeezNuts

        February 15, 2017 at 11:49 AM

        and Archie doesn’t?


    • Kid Flyer

      February 15, 2017 at 8:51 AM

      Anthony Grant is the only right choice to keep this thing trending upward without skipping a beat and no real emotional collapse. I will miss the Morgan sideshow and narrative though. If Grant is the guy, that is where the real loss will be felt.


  • The Kman

    February 14, 2017 at 11:56 AM

    I’m an Ivan Drago. “He if leaves, he leaves”. My main concern is keeping the promising recruiting class. Losing Henton when BG left was the only downside to BG leaving. He leaves, UD gets another young coach. It’s a proven road map to a big job now. We want to avoid UD being the place old recycled fired coaches go to get one more shot.


  • Deli Jan

    February 14, 2017 at 11:58 AM

    Any new Dayton Big East rumors? Could this help us retain Archie?


    • jed

      February 14, 2017 at 2:11 PM

      and now we have a fourth group, the fantasy islanders, those that dream big dreams and hope Ricardo and Tattoo will come calling to stave off Archie’s eminent Grayton departure with promises of a future in the big east. Even this my friends, will not be enough to secure the coach’s future, as I’m sure Archie is sick of low quality tatted and cheesey ass hillrat tail his speedboat attracts at Eastwood lake.


  • GIL

    February 14, 2017 at 12:15 PM

    I don’t think there is a chance in hell he leaves for NCSU.. maybe I’m just a flat-earther tho.. I do think IU will be all over him since he’s the polar opposite of that dude kissing, bible preaching creep that is Crean… We better have a plan to keep this incoming class and Kostas.. We will be back to the BG days if this class gets dismantled


    • udflyerfan07

      February 14, 2017 at 5:22 PM

      I’m kind of in this camp. I don’t think he takes the NC State job. IU and OSU…whole nother ball game there and he leaves for one of those.


  • 3 Founders

    February 14, 2017 at 12:45 PM

    Can we add a 4th group of fans: the overly optimistic? Those that know Archie is inevitably gone, but hope that the stars align and he stays another year? Maybe NCSU, IU, OSU all decide to keep their guys another year. Or only 1 opens up and they are dumb enough to go with someone else (wouldn’t coaches at SMU/UC/Xavier/Butler consider an ACC or B1G gig?)


  • T-Bolt

    February 14, 2017 at 12:59 PM

    What school will exceed the 3 million he is making at UD?


    • Humbert

      February 14, 2017 at 1:16 PM

      All of them.


  • Angry John

    February 14, 2017 at 1:28 PM

    Blackburn left out a fourth group: “The Gregorians”. This group is already doing chants on UDPride for the return of their savior, Brian Gregory.


  • Angry John

    February 14, 2017 at 1:35 PM

    I would say I am 3/4 Flat Earther and 1/4 Anti-Social Nihilist. I understand Archie’s ties to NC State, but that place is fucked up. From news leaks on this to Deborah Yow as AD. Archie could land better jobs than that. I would fear opennings at OSU, Indiana and Louisville. We would probably lose him then. Can the good doctors in Dayton come up with anymore money from the well ?


  • Angry John

    February 14, 2017 at 1:42 PM

    Archie’s replacement:
    1. Kevin Kuwick
    2. Anthony Grant
    3. Shaka Smart
    4. Mike McCall
    5. Pat Kelsey
    6. Ron Hunter: I kind of like this pick
    7. Jeff Boals
    8. Travis Steele: X assistant with a hot wife.
    9. Keith Dambrot
    No to Brian Gregory or Bruise Flynt.


    • Ted Kissell

      February 14, 2017 at 3:50 PM

      Here is my very short list for our next coach.
      1. Brian Donoher
      2. Jim Crews- hiring Jim would take the Arch Baron Cup to places never thought possible. This hire would be like hooking up with your hated rivals ex wife or husband.


    • udflyerfan07

      February 14, 2017 at 5:29 PM

      No to Grant too.


    • GIL

      February 15, 2017 at 2:47 PM

      Shaka and Kuwick really the only two i trust to keep the train rolling


  • Legend of Jack Buttler

    February 14, 2017 at 2:01 PM

    How bout me??


    • Angry John

      February 14, 2017 at 2:56 PM

      No Dan “Hippy” Hipsher either.


  • Colorado Flyer

    February 14, 2017 at 2:47 PM

    Just really don’t like our chances if/when NC State, IU, and OSU open up. What other job could he really want? Although I think the wife would prefer somewhere with warm weather, not sure he could say no to all three of those. I do believe there is some legitimacy in Archie staying if he knew the Big East was serious about considering Dayton. Hell the defending national champs are in the conference with a good TV deal. I think Archie likes Dayton enough to where he would stay if he KNEW they would be included in BE expansion. Don’t think anyone knows that however. Oh well, we’ve got 4 seniors and are starting to get healthy. Losing all four of them and with big jobs opening, the stars align to where this is most likely his last year. Let’s enjoy the ride and see if we can make it to the second weekend of the dance.


    • Slippy

      February 14, 2017 at 9:30 PM

      He stays and gives it one or two more years. There were opportunities before, there will be again.


  • k.lew

    February 15, 2017 at 9:03 AM

    Currently Living in Indianapolis – IU Fans have brought up Archie for YEARS now as a better coach than Crean. I keep hearing, “We need a guy like Archie Miller.” They also pay $4 Mil – hard to beat that with a state and school obsessed with basketball. It will be a sad day if/when we lose Archie.


  • tman

    February 15, 2017 at 9:25 AM

    We lost Archie when the administration failed to get us into the Big East . Though Kissell failed to return any of our money and is now enjoying his millions in retirement out west. The next UD coach is clear to me . Keith Dambrot. I love that Nigga…


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