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Hello Friends, your boi is back and better than ever. I know you’ve missed me, I’ve gotten all the twitter DMs you’ve sent begging asking me to blog more often. This season took its toll on me…between the Horde’s constant negativity and defending Saint Coach Grant’s honor, I couldn’t muster the energy after most games. And if I’m being honest, I spent the back half of the A10 schedule working on me. That’s right, your boi isn’t above some introspection. I was getting too emotionally involved with the fight against the Horde and had a hard time staying unbiased in my reviews. Don’t worry, unlike some of my fellow prideful Flyer Faithful, I am in a good place after the season and ready for a fair and balanced look back.
I also wanted to wait to recap the season to see how the NCAA tournament unfolded. A LOT of people forget that UD played your 2019 National Champion Virginia Cavaliers in the Bahamas. In fact, the Flyers played them pretty damn tough most of the game. The Horde may think Saint Coach Grant stinks, but he certainly gave Tony Bennett, Kyle Guy, Tall Sisqo and Ty Jerome all they could handle in Atlantis.
Onto the recap…
Dayton Flyers Men’s Basketball
Record: 21-12 (13-5, 3rd)
I can already hear the Horde crying in their Spaghetti-O’s about this grade. Did the team improve vs. last season? Yes. Did they take a GIANT leap offensively? Yes. Did they finish #2 in FG% and #3 in 2pt FG% nationally? Yes. Did they win 20 games? Yes. Did they play in the postseason? Yes. So take your poop colored glasses off and actually enjoy the forward momentum Coach Grant had this year. That’s the grade and I’m sticking with it.
The Blackburn Review
Like our beloved Flyers, the blog had some ups and downs throughout the season. The Recon and Road Trippin’ were usually spot on while the Recaps were similar to Trey Landers’ 3pt%. The podcast tends to deliver sometimes more often than not. Overall, good but not great season for the boys. But that’s not to say there weren’t highlights…
Do the names Wilt Chamberlain, Wes Unseld, Fred Lynn, Fernando Valenzuela and Ichiro Suzuki mean anything to you? Those great men all won the Rookie of the Year and MVP (or Cy Young in Fernando’s case) in the same season. Well you can add this guy to that list:
That’s right, my dear colleague Drewby takes home the coveted Ombudsman ROY and MVP awards. Not only did Drew’s prose rise above the rest of the schmucks contributors, but attended the most UD games…I know, novel concept for a blog that covers ONE team. On top of all that, Drew is the only contributor that I can say, without a doubt, is not a member of the Horde.
Since this is a basketball blog, I decided to name a starting five of the guys whose contributions don’t make me sick best contributors:
What’s that? There’s another member of the gang I left out? In the words of Blackburn’s favorite college football analyst:
I didn’t forget about podcast participant and traffic beater Don Donoher. He takes home the LVP trophy this year. While I respect Donoher’s commitment to not watching college basketball, it’s a slap-in-the-face to all of us who play, coach and watch it religiously when he talks about it at all. But you do you, fam.
I can’t finish the year-in-review without a few more awards. It was a long season, made even longer by those of us with UD Pride having to engage in constant social media battle with the Horde. Twitter user @b2s3p made the great suggestion of an All-Horde First Team and that really got me thinking. As a result I compiled an All-Pride Team and MVP as well as an All-Horde Team…and one extra award for someone very close to my heart.
*don’t let the UD Arena pics in 4/5ths of their Twitter headers fool you, they are all 100% Horde
Half of the Teen Terrors at Flyer Faithful, Grant’s hatred of Coach Grant is kind of ironic since he was named after him.
Classic LOWDer – quiet after wins, LOWD after losses. Obviously roots against UD and doesn’t support the team AT ALL.
On the third day Blackburn rose (from bed) to unite the Horde.
Zone or Man defense? Don’t ask Adam, he doesn’t know.
He tried to see the light several times this season, but it’s blood in, blood out with the Horde and he’s still walking.
Now that you know what the hardworking, prideful Flyers fans were up against all year I present you with…
Kept the Horde in check all year by pointing out what Archie did in Year 2.
Best inside info this side of Jablo and John Bedell, Tom countered the Horde with analytics and facts.
Like myself, Andy can get a little fired up. But that’s because, also like me, he plays, coaches and watches a lot of basketball. Maybe next season don’t challenge anyone to fights on the Flight Deck.
Coach did a great job of policing the Horde when their tweets got too disrespectful.
If I had a dollar for every time Matt owned the Horde and VCU fans with pictures of his fiancé I’d be a wealthy man.
Friends, let me tell you how hard it was to pick an MVP out of this group. I probably would have published this a week earlier if I didn’t have so many sleepless nights agonizing over the decision. In the end, I couldn’t pick just one. That’s right, there’s a split decision…
These 2 teamed up against the Horde all season, and as a result they are going to share the MVP award. Your 2018-2019 Pride Co-MVPs Andy Tracy and Matt Maimona!
The only award left to give is the 2019 BBR Ombudsman Friendship Award. This award goes to the person that tries in vain to unite the Pride and the Horde. He’s also a great friend to me. Everyone give it up for John R. Junior!!
That’s it for me for the 2018-2019 season. I’ll be watching Obi’s draft stock like a hawk while patrolling social media for the Horde. See you next year, friends.