The game of basketball was invented in December of 1891 – almost 125 years ago to the day. Dr. James Naismith, a Canadian who walked barefoot from Toronto to take a job as physical education teacher at a Massachusetts school, needed a way to keep his students active indoors during the long New England winters. Which brings up two quick questions – what kind of game would he have invented if he taught in Chicago during the winters today, and did he also have to teach Sex Ed back then? Regardless, Big J nailed a couple peach baskets to the walls and the game was invented.
My point: in all 125 years since, there hasn’t been a team who took less advantage of an opponent’s free throw + three-point slop than La Salle did tonight.
The Gem City Cagers ended 2016 with a victorious 66-55 effort in a game that could have been blown wide open if UD knew how to shoot free throws or three balls. A ton of noise will be made about Dayton’s defense keeping La Salle – who came into tonight averaging 80+ per game – to 55 points. But anyone with two eyes will chalk that up to La Salle’s overall lack of interest/motivation over our defense. Seriously, I can’t remember the last time I saw a team combine for that much effortless basketball on the offensive end.But it’s tough to throw stones with some of the numbers we put up tonight. Dayton went 3-22 from behind the arch and 15-31 from the charity stripe. You’re reading that correct – those are stats from a Division I men’s college team, not a high school freshman girl’s squad. Had the Explorers gone on a solid run or two, the game could have been very different indeed. Couldn’t help but go to the scene in Coach Carter after their first win:
Worm: “Yo, sir, yell out my stats”
Carter: “Worm, you had 5 and 4”
Worm: “No, sir, I had 12 points and 8 assists”
Carter: “No, sir, you had 5 turnovers and 4 missed free throws”
And then he initiated 6am practices and made the players MAKE fifty free-throws before they could leave each day. Arch I know you read this, so I’m just floating this. It’s the first A10 game of the year so my glass will stay half-full, but it goes without say that we ain’t going anywhere until that starts to go up.
Side note: from 35,000 feet this evening:
Co-pilot said he found the best game in the A-10 tonight, put it on the system for me. pic.twitter.com/VMkqP3xjxf
— Blackburn Review©®™ (@BlackburnReview) December 31, 2016
DURRELL and Cooke switched places on the injured reserve tonight, with Charles back from the wrist injury that sidelined him last game and Baby D out with a strained hamstring. Cooke dropped all 13 of his points in the first half and left the second with three minutes to go after taking a spill on the ol’ tailbone. My thoughts can be summed up with the Tweet below.
Honestly think Charles can be a bit of a drama queen. You notice not one member of the Dayton bench looked surprised or concerned?
— Ben H (@heigely_weigley) December 31, 2016
Don’t matter if it’s a cracked skull or a paper cut, we know how Archie addresses injuries after games:
— Laurel Pfahler (@LaurelPfahler) December 31, 2016
In typical Dayton style we started at a snail’s pace and trailed for the first 12 minutes of the game before taking off on a 19-3 run. This kept the Flyers ahead by double-digits for most of the remainder of the game, getting up as high as 14 and as low as 8. Kendall took the lead with 20 points followed by Kyle’s 12 points and 5 assists. Scoochie’s 11 points and 5 assists put him on a sacred list as only one of six players in Dayton’s history in the 1,000 pt/400 assist club (credit: Jablo). Mikesell, who celebrated his birthday yesterday, apparently had a little too much cake after scoring 3 points and grabbing zero rebounds. On the other bench, Pookie Powell led La Salle with 23 points and B.J. Johnson chipped in 14.
My three favorite takeaways from the game: One, Jordan Price didn’t score a single field goal until halfway through the second quarter. That’s unheard of from a kid who came in averaging 18.5 points. Two, Crosby actually chipped in five points (one from behind the arc) and didn’t look completely lost. And three, the X-Man continues to get a golf clap as he’s improved every game this season. Not necessarily on the stat sheet (like tonight), but we’re in the midst of his “coming out” party.
All in all we got a conference win in the Sweater Center. God Bless everyone who has gone to these piss-poor home games all season. We start off 2017 next week against Bonnie. Hope you all have a safe & LOWD New Year.
P.S. Yes, this is my most pessimistic take yet. You can’t hurt me.