RecapU. Dayton BasketballThe Son of LOWD Weighs In

UD super fan, John R Jr, writes a guest column to lay it out in the open
Sully8 months ago87 min

Regardless of your opinion on the NIT, the Dayton Flyers season has now mercifully come to an end. It has worn me down, taken all my feelings, and my dignity, and pushed me out the door for a walk of shame without pants to get back to my life when I wasn’t writing/recording/editing things for this site every couple of days. At this juncture with no more meaningful Dayton basketball to watch until November, we extended the olive branch once again to all our readers that want their voices to be heard, and our good pal, John R Jr, has answered the bell to give his recap of the season that’s now etched in the history books. Enjoy.

So what was this season? Was it a success? A moderate success? A failure? Yes. All of it. That is the problem with this season. It has proven everyone right, and proven everybody wrong simultaneously.

Now, of course, the definition of success is the sliding scale with this team and our fan base. The real goal is the NCAA tournament, everyone knows that. Did we make it? No. Did anyone expect us to make it before the season began? No. Well, maybe that random 12-hour period where we were on the bubble before losing to URI (editor’s note: I’m still convinced that was just ESPN trying to make UD-URI relevant that one Friday night, I’ll go to my grave believing the fix was in). A nice short time span where good things seemed possible. Alas, it was not to be. Granted, I still don’t understand how the hell it happened. Well, the bubble was bad, not “Trey Landers 3-pt shooting bad” but pretty darn bad.

But that’s all to say that UD’s bubble was burst for good when they lost to the Rhode Island team they firmly dismantled a few short weeks before in Kingston. It stands out as probably my favorite road game of the year (not for quality of win by any means, I’m not delusional) because this was the game I got good and drunk, and overserved, and yelled in the middle of a restaurant about a travel call. There are plenty of things we can blame on the loss when we welcomed them into the Madhouse on the Miami, but first and foremost I believe the team came in cocky thinking they’d ram the Rams again. Secondly, I thought the coaching staff just didn’t have the team ready that evening, and of course we can blame Blackburn and Sully for fueling Fatts Russell by shitting on him for the majority of a podcast episode. (I blame the 3rd.)

In my humble opinion, the lack of caring and the preparation from the coaching staff on any given night were the biggest issues. I say the staff because the assistants have a job too. We all know by now timeout usage (or lack thereof) is not one Grant’s strengths. I’m not a coach of any kind (unless NBA2K counts) and I know this. Why aren’t the assistants reminding him about this issue? It is not like being a student reminding teacher to collect homework, its reminding the teacher about the promised extra credit.

What I find harder to pin on the staff is the collective team being not ready to play games on a given night. I know some of you will say “Keep being a cheerleader” whatever. When I say ready to play games I mean the energy. I mean for the love of red and blue, you all are getting an NBA level entrance. How does that not fire you up? I’m an old fat man and that opening hypes me up to the point where I want to start running the stairs shirtless.

Quick aside – We need to make a decision on who holds up flashlights in the pre-game. It either needs to be everyone, or the Red Scare only.  If the whole arena would do that it would be cool. But no, Hank in 214, your random flashlight just looks sad right now. I mean if you’re looking for your antacid you dropped, then go ahead.

Sorry, as I was saying, I don’t understand why these players come out with no energy. Now we’ve had some games where we did come out seemingly ready to play. The majority of those were not home games. I just cannot figure out why this team refuses or is incapable of playing well at home. Or consistently. This team’s only real consistency is their inconsistency.  At least last year’s (14-17) team you knew was not going to be good, they didn’t hide that. This year’s team? You could be watching an NCAA caliber team, you could be watching an NIT team, you could be watching a CBI game, the possibilities were endless. We were never really sure what team we were getting. I think that is the biggest problem of the season. Everyone is right, everyone is wrong. I think that is why we have had so much hostility this season on the Twitter machine.

This year was a success compared to last year. But that was last year. Let’s be honest last year (and next year) means nothing in basketball. What matters is THIS year. So was this year a success? I honestly don’t know. What were you honestly expecting? Did you begin to expect more when you found out how bad the conference was as a whole? Personally, the NIT was never the GOAL, it was simply a good consolation for improvement. Was it what I expected? Yes. Minus the tease of the Bahamas, I never really thought we would make it to the NCAA. So did we succeed at my expectations? Sure. Did we succeed at my goals? No. My goal, as a fan, is always to make the NCAA tournament or Maisie Williams sliding into my DMs. Neither happened. So was that a failure? Yeah. I guess.

Because the season is now officially over as of the time of this writing, I salute those who will not be back next year. Cunningham you will be missed. (My money is on A’ja beating you in one on one though). Frankie, I’ve got the feeling your farewell is coming. Your shooting form was perfect and your mother’s tweets will be missed. Give her a hug for us Flyer Fans. My man, JD? No idea. I hope you’re still around, that’s all I have right now is hope.

Next year’s crew? I’m excited to see, just like everyone else is who is reading this article. Maybe I’ll be allowed to do another post (editor’s note: John R Jr is welcome to post on the BBR whenever he damn well pleases and you’ll like it). Next year is big dance or bust people.

Until then WEAR RED and STAY LOWD.

 

Sully

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

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Kid Flyer
Guest

I was shocked at their extra effort last night playing in Boulder at 11:00 p.m.. They played hard and could have won but could never create any separation. Toppin was at hyper strength and JD played like his life was on the line.

No idea what the thinking was keeping Toppin on the bench for so long in the second half. More mystery mental coaching moves, short bench fatigue, and missed bunnies with the game hanging in the balance that were the difference.

Hoping Obi is back for one more and Angie, yes indeed, will be missed.

The Legend of Bill Crotchy
Guest
The Legend of Bill Crotchy

To say DITTO would be too easy. So lets elaborate. 1) other than one generational player this teams talent is MAC level. 2) The chosen alumnus head coach doesnt remind many folks of John Wooden,Dean Smith or even mentor Billy Donovan. 3) The above mentioned davis and frankie would be better served at coastal Carolina and ithaca respectively for free college experiences. 4) If the hype of the incoming transfers isnt legit the program is trending down from an NIT first round exist not up 5) Going from “maybe wright ” to ” yes crutcher ” in point guards is… Read more »

Angry John
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Angry John

Outstanding article Ghost !

isaacnewtonqb
Guest

I will not miss this team. Not this year’s team. Sure, there were things to like at times, but this team routinely failed to do basketball thingies that your average high school team does decently, or the coach gets shit-canned and you see him in bars around town from then on. Like, oh well, I don’t know, maybe boxing out? You know boxing out. You see it at every level of play, except for any D1 game played by the Flyers this year. The Flyers were so pathetic at doing this fundamental, that I expected opposing teams to just toss… Read more »

UD21
Guest
UD21

This article is the definition of rambling. Terrible.

The Legend of Tim Pullman
Guest
The Legend of Tim Pullman

To show how bad in reality this 2018-19 NIT first round loss group actually was. If my 3rd grade math is correct the flyers went 1-8 against teams that made the real tournament. Begs the question if a squad of Wright, Naz. , Xerious, Kostas, Swobda, Pierce and Crosby would have actually faired better than what we ended up left behind on campus. When the short term future of the program depends on unseen transfers who didn’t fit in at their first choices ..or a dude who left bellermine so he could go off against Edison and Clark State …its… Read more »

T-Bone
Guest
T-Bone

I really believe if they let the band play ‘Neck’ we would have won more home games and been in the NCAA tournament. The arena would be rocking and bobbing their heads.

Krazdiego
Guest
Krazdiego

One more final ouch on the NIT Loss: Norfolk State upset Alabama. If we would have won, we would be playing at the Sweater Center against Norfolk State this Monday. Sigh.

In other tournament news Davidson lost their NIT first round game while VCU and St. Louis got beat badly in the Dance. Yep – the A10 is worse than we think.

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