It seems unnecessary to break down Saint Louis considering how Dayton fans obsessively track the Billiken program. The series hasn’t felt like much of a rivalry the past few years, with the Flyers winning an unprecedented seven straight Arch-Baron Cups. Anthony Grant, who at best has received an “incomplete” grade so far this season, can gain some esteem by continuing Dayton’s historic run against SLU. The Arch-Baron Cup is the measuring stick for all Dayton coaches, no one denies this. There is no question the Flyers will be ready tomorrow, Grant’s responsibility will be to try to keep his players mentally focused. UD has a significant amount of newcomers to the ABC — Jordan Davis, Jalen Crutcher, Josh Cunningham, the Russian guy — Grant must keep their emotions at a steady level if the Flyers want to continue the streak.
Not going to beat around the bush, Saint Louis is a goddamn mess right now. The program is in a free fall and Travis Ford is just trying to keep his head above water. SLU brought in NINE players who were not on the active roster last season into the 2017-18 campaign. A slew of experienced transfers and one of the highest-ranked recruits in conference history were certain to change the direction of the program this year.
Adonys Henriquez, Ty Graves and Jermaine Bishop — three players who were expected to be significant contributors this season — were all suspended due to an ongoing sexual assault investigation. A fourth player was apparently expelled from SLU, although his name has not been made public at this time (rumors were it was Jordan Goodwin).
Here’s the Cliffnotes version of the events:
Rosenblum said the four basketball players and three women, two of whom are SLU students, had agreed to a consensual sexual act sometime before Sept. 24.
“They knew about it before, discussed it before, engaged consensually and realized there were pictures being taken and left and had buyer’s remorse,” Rosenblum said. When asked if the women knew they were being photographed, he said, “I don’t know how they could not know pictures were being taken. It wasn’t a huge space. Nobody was hiding anything.”
Here’s the thing: trouble is always gonna lurk around the corner when there are multiple dicks flying around. On the one hand, these boys were smart, it’s probably best for all college males to videotape their sexual encounters. On the other, you have to worry about “buyer’s remorse.” In sum, never have sex in college, it’s just not worth it. Sex robots are coming, wait for it. (Also, do you think cops have to flip a coin to see who gets to watch and “analyze” these sex tapes/pictures?)
Anyway, SLU is 10-11 on the season, 3-5 in Atlantic Ten play. The Bills are an abysmal three-point shooting team, connecting on just 29.7% of their attempts on the season. This would be a decent game for Grant to throw out some zone, so don’t expect him to. Saint Louis does one thing at an elite level and that’s getting to the foul line. Ford’s squad is ninth in the nation as far as getting to the stripe is concerned, which implies SLU is smart enough to realize its’ limitations shooting the ball and instead pounds it inside/goes to the hoop. That’s good coaching IMO.
The aforementioned Jordan Goodwin (11.5 ppg/7.6 rpg/4.2 apg) has been solid all year-long. Although his perimeter shooting is a work in progress, it’s clear the freshman has the capability to be a major problem for the rest of the league. He’s fourth in the A10 in steals and racked up the program’s first triple-double in history against Duquesne earlier this season. That’s good work. Javon Bess and Davell Roby round out SLU’s three-guard attack. Bess (13.1 ppg/6.7 rpg) transferred in from Michigan State to get shots up and have group sex. Although Goodwin is the team’s resident jacker, Bess will fire at will too. Unfortunately Bess isn’t a capable shooter, but I’d like to see him and Trey Landers box ten rounds. Roby (11.6 ppg/2.5 rpg) is now a senior, a steady player left over from the Crews regime. He can guard multiple positions and is a decent enough shooter from the perimeter.
Junior D.J. Foreman and freshman (we prefer first-year) Hasahn French are Ford’s starting frontcourt. Foreman (7.2 ppg/3.2 rpg), a transfer from Rutgers, has played out of his mind the past few weeks. A big bodied son of a bitch who doesn’t mind mixing it up down low, Foreman leads the A10 in field-goal percentage and has averaged 14.2 points per contest over his last six games. When SLU goes small, Foreman is the man in the middle. I thought you should know that. French (8.0 ppg/6.7 rpg/1.9 bpg) has been impressive in his rookie campaign. He’s a physical rebounder and can play with his back to the basket. It’s a lost art, guys.
With all the orgies on campus resulting in a shorter bench, Ford has essentially stripped his list of reserves down to two players: Aaron Hines and Jalen Johnson. Hines (6.2 ppg) was SLU’s version of Bobby Wehrli — a walk-on that got pressed into duty. Although I will go out on a limb and say Hines is a slightly better ballplayer than the WehrliBird, I’m not sure he will live on it the hearts of Billiken fans the way Bobby Basketball lives on in the cockles of Flyer Nation. Johnson (8.4 ppg/4.0 rpg) is a 6’7″ forward who started 18 of the Bill’s 21 games. Not sure if this is fuck-tape related or not. Needless to say, JJ plays starter minutes and has a nice, well-rounded game.
- Maybe Louisville had it all figured out after all. After what seems like an endless stream of sexual assault incidents over the past few years, maybe the best thing a school can do is hire prostitutes for its players (before the sex robot takeover, obviously). You could even have a group of women on scholarship at each university whose sole purpose is to sexually satisfy “student-athletes.” It’s just a thought. Weed is becoming legal everywhere. You don’t think prostitution is next?
- I think I did the requisite research to state this affirmatively: DURRELL Davis could become the first UD player to never lose an Arch-Baron Cup should the Flyers sweep the Billikens this season. I’m not sure where this would catapult him on the list of Flyer Greats, but surely his record will assure he will be remembered long after he departs the Gem City. We are all pulling for you, DD.
- Lots of speculation surrounding the scholarship situation for next season. As we know, Sammy Smith’s departure and Durrell’s graduation opens up at least two spots for the incoming class next season. Jordan Pierce, who almost certainly won’t be back next season, brings the total count to three. That leaves us with questions as to whether anyone else would jump ship or get Criped in the spring. Would John Crosby get the hell out of Dodge for his senior season considering there will be an even bigger logjam at the guard spot next season? Seems unlikely. Will Matej Svoboda be asked to leave (considering he is an Archie recruit makes this somewhat feasible)? Josh Cunningham will graduate this spring and could conceivably test the grad-transfer waters if he was so inclined. He will definitely have suitors. So, you see, the real fun begins after the season ends.
The odds state that the Flyers are bound to lose an ABC at some point, probably in the near future. Certainly if Ford had a full-strength team the streak would’ve come to an end this weekend. The Chaifetz Center has been sold-out for this game since the summer, with tickets going for around $1800 on StubHub. Dayton has won an unprecedented seven straight. SLU is reeling form off-court issues and looking to put some shine on their disappointing season. It would seem that everything is trending in SLU’s favor.
However, I don’t think Durrell lets UD lose this one. Before the season Davis was on record saying that if it were up to him the Flyers would win two, and only two!, games this year — the Arch-Baron Cups. I put my trust in Dayton’s lone senior. Flyers win, 66-62. The CUP remains in the City of Gems.
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.