U. Dayton BasketballBy The Balls of Scoochie

Much like George Mason, the recap for Davidson is never filled with much hatred or trash talking, mainly because this was only the sixth meeting between the teams, and only the third since 1973. Needless to say, UD and Davidson fans find it hard to give a shit about one another, their addition being a result of league expansion three seasons ago. On paper the shoe fits when these teams meet, with the only glaring difference in the institutions being that Davidson is just fine with being a rich white kid school and nothing more. You have to respect that level of self-acceptance.

Blackburn often talks about the “boredom theory” in regards to these February games, and for me, it goes something like this:

“I hate that we have to care about this game tonight.”

“Alright, let’s just not lose and get out of here, I don’t want to get too invested.”

“Ok, I’m starting to get nervous, we really can’t lose this game.”

“Goddamnit, we’re gonna lose.”

“No, I think we’re going to win.”

“SCOOCHIE PULLED HIS BALLS OUT AGAIN, WE CAN NEVER BE BEATEN!!!!”So the story goes this time of year. I spend the entire game day telling myself I don’t need to care about the game, then 10 seconds into the second half I sweated through my entire shirt and the whole bar is wondering why a couple of red-clad bozos are screaming at a television by themselves in a corner. (This is only kind of a joke because this happened to me on Friday)

If you have even a scrap of basketball knowledge in your brain, or have watched a single minute of Davidson hoops this season, you know there is only one game plan to beat the Wildcats: you stop (read: slow down) Gibbs and Aldridge, and let the other warm bodies on the floor beat you. UD didn’t exactly follow the plan early on. The first half saw the Cats execute their game to perfection, and UD was smoked time and time again from high entry passes to the nearest cutter. Give credit where it is due, Gibbs/Aldridge are absolute ballers. At the half, Gibbs had plopped in 9 (all from 3) and Aldridge added 17.

Luckily, the expected porous defense of Davidson was leaky enough to give up 46 to your hometown Flyers, mainly due to UD getting the free throw line just about every other time down the court, or so it seemed. Dayton would finish the game with 45 free throw attempts, easily a season-high. At the break it felt like UD should’ve been down 10, but Gibbs wasn’t red hot, the Flyers were fairly consistent from the line, and the supporting cast of Cagers were contributing from every angle, with eight of the good guys getting on the score sheet.

The second half can effectively be broken up into two pieces that separated themselves at the 7:30 mark, with Davidson up 11 at 71-60. The Flyers offense was downright anemic in the first 12 minutes, and was only able to muster 14 points. Gibbs got himself going, and it looked as though it was not to be for our boys. Then the seniors took over. I know you came for the Scoochie Balls talk, but the game does not get to overtime if not for the heroics on both ends of the floor by Kendall Pollard. In the last 7:30, he tallied 7 points and 5 boards to go along with 2 steals, and that was just on offense. On defense, I imagine the conversation from Master Archibald went like this:

“Don’t let Aldridge touch the goddamn ball”

The pep talk resulted in just 2 points for the Davidson big man in the closing minutes of the second frame, a jumper that he sunk to take a short lead with just under a minute to play. To put it mildly, KP was absolutely phenomenal. There’s just no other word for it. UD desperately needed someone to step up on the defensive side, and two-five was ripe for the challenge. All the credit in the world is due to Kendall for his effort on Friday. He finished with 18pts, 12 boards and 4 steals. His single best game of the season by a wide margin.

With Scoochie on the bench in foul trouble, John Crosby did enough to fill in competently, and the seniors took it the rest of the way. They would erase an eleven point deficit in the final 7 minutes, and set the stage for a wild overtime. Just about every time you said to yourself “this has to go in,” it would, and we found ourselves tied at 74 after forty minutes.

I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to write about OT, but let’s start here: when the game is on the line at any point during the remainder of the season, the entire city of Dayton and every living, breathing Flyer fan on this earth knows who gets the ball. Scoochie Smith is without a doubt the most clutch player to don a Flyers uniform in my lifetime. We have watched him go from scrawny freshman backup, to full-blown, real-deal college basketball assassin. Scoochie scored the first ELEVEN FUCKING POINTS for the Flyers, and was the only person in a UD uniform to make a field-goal during the free basketball period.

This was what I had to say about Scoochie while his heroics were taking place…

[su_video url=”http://www.blackburnreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMG_8364.mp4″ poster=”http://www.blackburnreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/A60D6513.jpg” height=”600″]

I think that says it all. After Scoochie dragged his giant sack across the floor at Belk Arena during those final five, the Cats had no choice but to put their tail between their legs and head home. They had heard tales eulogizing the balls of Scoochie, but seeing is believing. As we head into March, prayers on top of blessings that we have this man on our team. He might just be able to do this again in a few weeks when we need another game pulled out of our ass. Never leave Scoochie, you beautiful bastard.

Alright dudes, because I took an extra day to write this one, I’ll make the takes short, here’s what I have:

X-man is only the “X-factor” because it’s convenient on paper. His contributions will be necessary moving forward and he has really turned into a solid big man down low.

Kyle Davis continues to be fantastic off the bench. Shades of Vee Sanford. That guy did some cool stuff for us coming off the bench, didn’t he?

John Crosby and DURRELL did just enough to keep the engine running while Scoochie had to sit. That’s really all we can ask. No one is asking John to put up 12 every night, although it will always be welcome when he does.

Cunningham is still a step slow but he looks like he should be a solid piece for us in March. This is good news.

So the stage is set, my friends of the Flyer. With the VCU loss to URI on Saturday, Wednesday will be for all the marbles in the Atlantic 10 conference (probably). UD will clinch their first outright conference championship in program history (which only technically goes back to 1995 when we joined the A10 and were an independent squad before that time, traversing the Midwest plains looking for checks). If you aren’t LOWD by now, we don’t need you anyways. Come ready on Wednesday.


The LOWD ambassador of Chicago, Sully has spent his life tirelessly watching UD hoops. Welcomer of all takes, hot and cold.


  • D Duke

    February 26, 2017 at 4:50 PM

    Great to see Bull Conner alive and breaking down poor A10 officiating


  • MJ 45

    February 26, 2017 at 9:20 PM

    “Scoochie Smith is without a doubt the most clutch player to don a Flyers uniform in my lifetime”

    I hate this Skip Bayless-ificiation of sports analysis. I’m not sure how everyone defines clutch, but I would say Scoochie had a poop game and redeemed himself in the extra period. The fact that he can’t be more consistent throughout games is frustrating – if Gibbs hits that last second shot at the end of regulation, Scoochie would have had a forgettable bad game.

    And even with that being said, give me Brian Roberts if your definition of clutch is “the ability to create and make your own shot in the last few minutes of a game”. home vs Rhode Island after Wright broke his ankle, winning that game at Millett, automatic from the FT line. Better offensive player than Scoochie


    • Sully

      February 27, 2017 at 9:12 AM

      1. B-Rob was a better offensive player than Scoochie.
      2. You’re definitively looking for things to be cranky about.
      3. When the game is on the line (in February/March when it matters) give me Scoochie.


    • GIL

      February 27, 2017 at 3:17 PM

      “the ability to make or create your own shot” has nothing to do with being clutch. It is all about making winning plays when the game is on the line.


  • Brother Tim

    February 27, 2017 at 7:23 AM

    Was at the game. For a compare and contrast of how good UD has it just look at the Belk “Arena”. It holds 5k and it feels even smaller. A slightly bigger high school gym with better aesthetics. If you are being generous the place was 2/3 full. Their student section was almost non-existent and their fans looked like God’s waiting room. UD fans made up almost half the gym and at times were as lowd as the Davidson fans. Speaking of lowd, we had one lowd sign in the crowd. And we also had some UD fans with some signs about lizard people and alien abductions. Representing UD well…this is why we can’t have nice things.

    Davidson is out in the sticks. When we finally arrived there it felt like I had driven to Virginia. I don’t know how they recruit players to Davidson. Out in the middle of nowhere, lily white rich kids student base and crappy gym. Oh and you have UNC, Duke, NCSt and Wake Forest in the state(not to mention SC just an hr away).

    The game itself had the feel of a destined loss almost from the get go. Everything Davidson threw at the basket went in and it seemed like Dayton was tripping all over their untied shoes. When they went down by 13 it seemed like that was it. All Davidson had to do was take the air out of the ball and it was over. Pollard decided that wasn’t going to happen. He was everywhere on defense during their comeback, diving at balls, stripping balls. And the Scoochie, who hadn’t done anything of note in regulation took over in overtime. You get the sense that KD, KP and Scooch don’t want the ride to end and they’ll do anything to make sure it doesn’t. Cooke seems ambivalent.

    Oh, and to everyone bitching about the lack of recaps and game previews, in the immortal words of George Bailey: this one horse town needs this penny ante crappy website if for no other reason so they don’t have to go crawling to udpride.


    • Sully

      February 27, 2017 at 9:14 AM

      Great stuff all around. In-person recaps are always welcome from our Flyer fans.


    • Brother Tim

      February 27, 2017 at 11:24 AM

      One other data point on Davidson fans: when overtime BEGAN they headed for the exits. Maybe they were just clairvoyant and knew what was about to happen or they really aren’t that heavily invested in Davidson BBall. Or they needed to head home quickly so they could take their meds regimen on time. Your team is in an overtime game, in a game they had no business being competitive in yet you give up on them at the start of overtime?

      No complaints, though, exiting the parking lot was about as easy as exiting the local Publix parking lot. Actually, I think the parking lot at Publix is a tad larger than the one at the Belk Arena.


  • Legend of Tim Pullman

    February 27, 2017 at 9:09 AM

    Was “PEYTON” Aldridge conceived during haftime of the Tennessee vs Auburn football game……or was it the 3rd quarter of Tennessee vs Bama??


  • Dr. Funk

    February 27, 2017 at 11:24 AM

    How is this recap missing a GIF of Sam Millers celebration to Scoochies 3’s?


    • Sully

      February 27, 2017 at 12:20 PM

      Were trying to move past the Sam Miller era, wounds are still fresh.


      • Dr. Funk

        February 27, 2017 at 1:11 PM

        But that’s his highlight of the year and easily the most joy he’s brought to the court this season. Don’t rob him of that!


  • Sea World Escapee

    February 27, 2017 at 11:26 AM

    The parallels between Kyle Davis and D-Mo keep growing.

    Low-tier freshman? Check.
    Reliable 3-pt shooter by senior year? Check.
    Ballsy/crazy game-winners (Ole Miss & VCU, from memory)? Check.
    Team’s emotional “leader”? Check.


  • jed

    February 27, 2017 at 12:33 PM

    let us hope that the flyers do not break into the top 25, as that would definitely lead to a bed shitting against VCU.


  • Halfway2sweaterdom

    February 27, 2017 at 12:35 PM

    Dayton wasn’t independent before joining the A10. How could you forget the Midwestern Collegiate Conference? Or the two glory years in the Great Midwest? Never mind, those are better forgotten.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.