I was talking with my fellow BR boyz this week and we all came to the conclusion that we are quickly running out of things to talk about when expounding on the Flyers. John Crosby should’ve stayed away, the freshmen are getting invaluable playing time, DURRELL is playing with commendable fuck-it energy, etc. These are going to be the themes we continually reference week in and week out.
What we do know is this — Dayton has three very winnable games before they take their medicine against Saint Mary’s in two weeks. Tennessee Tech, Penn and Georgia State. The hope, the goal, is that this Flyer team learns the pillars of college basketball: sportsmanship, hydration and proper shower etiquette. The UD Flyer Nation twitter account has managed to focus on the positive so far this season, and I think it’s time we all take good look at ourselves and follow suit.
The Golden Eagles are 7-2 on the season, without a single boastful in which to perform chest puffery. Tennessee Tech did take down New Mexico, which, by the way, the fuck happened to New Mexico? Weren’t Tony Snell, Darington Hobson, Drew Gordon et. al., there like three years ago? Christ. You think our house is on fire? Anyway, TTech (or T² as the kids call it) is putting up serious numbers offensively. Steve “My Gout Causes Me” Payne has a team with a lot of experience and, dare I say it, chutzpah.
Tech is scoring 84.7 points per game, shooting a solid 49.7% from the floor, 37.6% from three. The Eagles believe in a socialist system when it comes to possession of the basketball. TTU is currently averaging a remarkable 19.4 assists per contest, good for eighth best in the nation. Tennessee Tech is a solid rebounding team as well, ripping down around 40 boards per contest (I think I’m starting to talk myself into Tennessee Tech in this game…). The Golden Eagles return four starters from last year’s team and were picked fifth…in the Ohio Valley East. Draw your own conclusions.
Aleksa Jugovic is not a war criminal but rather Tennessee Tech’s leading scorer. Jugovic (14.3 ppg/3.4 apg/49% 3fg) can probably score in a number of ways, but is just downright comfortable launching from three. He’ll put up 7-10 threes against Dayton and get to the line around 4-6 times. In other words, Aleksa is gonna get his. Joining Jugovic in the backcourt is senior point-guard Kajon Mack. Mack (12.6 ppg/4.3 apg/41% 3fg) is a transfer from Tulane and has been injured during every season of his college career. You can’t count on anyone these days.
The starting frontcourt is comprised of seniors Mason Ramsey, Curtis Phillips and junior Courtney Alexander. Ramsey (10.1 ppg/4.7 rpg) walked onto the squad last season and is already the Golden Eagles’ best option around the basket (again, draw your own conclusions). Phillips (13.6 ppg/4.2 rpg/2.1 spg) is a solid all-around player, like most college players he’s probably too in love with the three-point shot for his own good. Alexander (8.1 ppg/10.3 rpg) is the team’s best on-the-ball defender who knows what he can do and can do what he knows.
The Tennessee Tech bench goes about five deep, but I’m not breaking them down for you. It’s Tennessee Tech, guys, what do you want from me?
Interesting tidbit, the Tennessee Tech basketball program has “adopted five core values of which is each player is expected to strive for each day.” Humility, Passion, Unity, Servanthood and Thankfulness. That’s a nice list but it honestly pales in comparison to Dayton’s Triangle. For the record, the Triangle is all that remains from the Brian Gregory era.
- Quick update on the Atlantic Ten: still not good. Rhode Island is currently the only team with a pulse, the rest of the league is downright shameful.
- Ball State beat Notre Dame last night, that’s gotta count for something, right? Right? Fuck this season.
- Proof that Dayton fans are the best in the nation — there are just 90 tickets remaining for this Saturday’s game against Penn. God bless you people.
- Those of you yearning for a eight-team college football playoff, be hopeful. The LSU/Alabama title game in 2012 was the impetus for the College Football Playoff. If Georgia and Alabama play for the title in a few weeks, you can be sure Jim Delaney and Co. will immediately start working towards expanding the field.
Obviously this is a good matchup for the good guys. Although Tennessee Tech does come into the game with some sparkling offensive numbers, those were basically earned against a team of John Crosby’s. The triumvirate of DURRELL, Crutcher and Cunningham continue to pace the Flyers. Like a beaten dog, Dayton will take out their wrath on an unsuspecting foe. Flyers 79, Golden Eagles 66. Back to .500, back to NORMAL.
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.