Well now, yesterday was a real hoot and a half, wasn’t it? Today is January 7th, in the year of our Lord 2018, and your Dayton Fliers have yet to win back-to-back games all season. UMass came into Dayton Arena with two scholarship players (Holloway and Anderson) ruled out by way of suspension, but managed to walk out with a 62-60 victory after being down as many as 11 points in the first half. Did I mention UMass played seven total players yesterday? Seven! Let’s get into it.
First we’ll get the obvious out of the way: there’s no excuse for yesterday. We’ve written the same blog after every game this year because the team has given us a carbon copy performance all season long. I won’t do that to you guys today – we all know how the defense, rotations, plays, and just about everything stinks right now. My hopes weren’t too high going into this season – the same as anyone else with a brain – but I didn’t expect it to be this hard to watch. It’s not the “losing” part – it’s HOW we’re losing. Does anyone out there want to win, outside of Davis, Crutch, and DURRELL? Are we ever going to see a little consistency or, I don’t know, a game plan just one time?
Pipkins led the UMass squad with 25 points. Crutcher and Josh led the charge for us offensively, scoring 14 and 12. X-Man chipped in 5 points after not scoring at all in the previous two games. A bit of a problematic statistic, no?
We’re in some dark times right now, my friends. It’s only 15 games into a new regime, meaning we’re lightyears away from the whole thing going up in flames, but there shouldn’t be a single person who’s content with anything on this team right now. Got Grant out here saying the boys need their heads checked. Again, since we’ve seen zero improvement or change this season, I shot out the following Tweet to see what other people had to say:
Dayton dawgs – need questions you wish Coach Grant could answer. Or just questions you’ve been screaming at your Tv the past few games. For the recap. Go!
— Kevin Tuleta (@KTuleta) January 6, 2018
Per usual, Dayton Twitter never disappoints.
When do we put in a BG esque backdoor lob to Kostas to at least make the postgame “highlights” look cool?
— Rich Hinman (@RichHinman) January 6, 2018
Why is there no substitution pattern in January
— NateR (@tribebrowns) January 7, 2018
When does next year start?
— Peter (@pistolpete744) January 6, 2018
How many 3 pt attempts are too many?
— Peerless Poff (@BTTMGBand) January 6, 2018
Why haven't we redshirted Jordan Pierce? If we aren't going to play him at all why not?
— Jay Vegas (@JVegas01) January 6, 2018
Was the last play drawn up to go to Josh in the post and just not executed? Or was the goal to always get to DURRELL? pic.twitter.com/3xuxy69IFr
— Eric Lopez (@ericplopez) January 6, 2018
Thank you, Eric, for leading us into the most DREADFUL play we’ve seen in a long time (or since Mississippi State). Jablo spoke to Grant after the game and had this to say about it:
“The first option was to try to go inside to Josh,” Grant said. “I have to go back and look at it to see if that option was available to us. The second option was for Darrell to go up top in the middle of the floor and have an opportunity to get a shot or drive to the rim. We didn’t run the action at the pace we needed to. I wanted the shot to happen a little quicker.”
Dayton’s final possession. pic.twitter.com/dGz8ojd29X
— David Jablonski (@DavidPJablonski) January 6, 2018
Read his full story here. As always, thanks to Jablo for providing the visual content. All around great questions up there, none of which have a real answer yet. I’ll leave you with the short list of things I’m looking forward to in the new few games. Baby steps are all we can ask for at this point.
- Trey. He’s been improving every game. It’s exciting to imagine what this kid could look like after continuing to put more games under his belt.
- Rotation. Please God give us a rotation that we can at least pretend to understand.
- Effort. I can’t believe I have to ask that from this team, playing in front of a very LOWD arena.
- J Davis and Crutcher. These two are looking to be the real deal, gotta keep seeing the same improvement game after game.
- Give the ball to Josh down low. One time for me. And speaking of Josh, I want to go on record saying that if he somehow ends up being a grad transfer to IU, I’ll kill myself. (Relax, there hasn’t even been a whisper of this, it’s just what I think of when anyone asks “what’s the worst that could happen after this year?”)
Sully, Donny and I will be doing a little three-man weave on the podcast tonight. That is, if we can find Sully – I think he’s still at the Dayton bar here in Chicago screaming at the TV from yesterday. On the bright side, with Blackburn’s first true love Georgia Bulldogs playing in the Nat’l Championship tomorrow night, his Twitter should be real quiet and boring.
Let’s hear what else is baffling y’all down in the comments, or on Twitter @KTuleta.
Stay blessed, stay LOWD. It’s always darkest before dawn (though I’m afraid we ain’t even at the darkest point yet).