Come on in and take a seat, ladies and gents. Got a beer? Crack that shit open. A cigarette? Light her up. Black ‘n Mild? Pass it to Blackburn. Let’s take some time this evening to reset a few expectations for what’s to come.
Tonight marked the Fliers first home loss in over a year, and the first home loss by 10+ since January 2014. Since this is my first post-game blog of the season, I’m going to throw my two-cents on a few things overall. Yes, tonight should have bothered you. The Flyers came out tonight looking scared shitless, which I honestly can’t remember ever seeing. Losing in the Sweater Centre is a rare sight indeed. And it probably won’t be the last time we see it this season, hate to break it to you. We said it on the podcast and I’ll say it again here: don’t be one of the buffoons who tries to convince themselves it’s going to be “business as usual” for UD this season. Far from it. There will be plenty of surprises, both good and bad. The sooner you accept the fact that none of us have a damn clue WHAT to expect (yet), the better off you’ll be. Now enough of the sissy talk, on to the first half.
X-Man sat out again tonight with “back spasms” but Trey returned after sustaining a couple bumps and bruises in Charlotte. The first four minutes were a clown show that put us down 11-2 real quick. For the third straight season, we have ourselves a team that lives and dies by getting into ten-point holes before our second beers are ordered. Kostas apparently contracted a case of the yips en route to the arena and was awarded two fouls within thirty seconds of tip-off. Not ideal when his twenty-foot wingspan is one of the lone defensive weapons this team has. We traded blows with the Tigers until a miraculous 13-0 run got us back within breathing distance with 10:30 left in the half. DURRELL chipped in with 10 points in the first quarter of the game, but went cold the rest of the half. Baby D’s untimely disappearing act was the beginning of an early end for Dayton. Auburn went on another 11-2 run to head into the locker room up 35-24.
The Dayton student section had a nice chant tonight…
— Matt Allaire (@AllaireMatt) November 30, 2017
Never in my years as a Flyers fan have I seen such putrid shooting from behind the arch. And I’m not just referring to the stat line (2-of-14 in the first half) – I’m talking the straight up CLUNKS these fellas were launching out there. Right now there isn’t much of a noticeable game plan on either end of the floor. It would be lazy to say “it’s a new, young team” if it was February, but fortunately it’s still a valid excuse when you’re six games into the season. Hell, I’m going to take full advantage of that and blame the TEN (10, or 9+1) turnovers in the first half on that too. Fight me.
If it’s any consolation, this Auburn win will likely be vacated in a couple years.
— T-Rex (@InnerCityTRex) November 30, 2017
The worst half of the season thus far was short lived, as the second half stunk to the high heavens. Auburn played Cunningham to perfection and shut him down the entire game. I’m not posting that second half block out of respect for him and his family. Though he still made some noise in the rebounds column, our only chance against half-decent teams right now is when he AND Baby D are firing on all cylinders. It also doesn’t help when Auburn nails 10-25 from downtown and pops in 19 of 24 free throws. I’ll keep our final stats in those areas to myself. The final bell rang with a score of Auburn 73, Dayton 60. Baby D led the team tonight with 18, while Mustapha Heron led Auburn with 21. Both Heron and Chuma Okeke are as good as advertised, and I don’t even want to imagine what it could have looked like if their two suspended (and tallest) players were out there. Needless to say, I’ll be shocked if Auburn finishes 9th in the SEC as predicted in the preseason poll.
Here is what Bruce Pearl said to the Dayton student section after they chanted for him to zip his zipper.
“I wish you would’ve told me earlier, I’m on national TV”
Yes, that’s my laughing at the end. pic.twitter.com/lgyHET0q95
— Matt Allaire (@AllaireMatt) November 30, 2017
There was no shortage of questions tonight. Did we need to sit Crosby the entire second half, regardless of how confident Crutcher has been? Is Pierce getting red shirted? What are realistic expectations for Svoboda? Do any of our players actually know what a foul is? Is there a chance we see Trey fist fight someone this year, for curiosity’s sake? Will anyone rise up and give us another offensive option? Will BDubs move into that building on the corner of Stewart and Brown that has (was?) vacant and become a BDubs/Arby’s jumbo joint? Who knows. Not worth losing sleep over just yet. Difference is, the last several years we could blame a bad game on one, maybe two isolated issues. One night our free throws would be off. Another night we could see Cooke/Sibert/Pierre have a bad game, which caused a domino effect. This year, right now? Everything is pretty awful. Only place to go is up.
Stay LOWD, and we’ll see you in Mississippi Sunday night.
(As always, thanks to David Jablonski (@DavidPJablonski) for the pictures, and Allaire for the GIFs + Tweets)
Anthony Grant Post Game Press Conference – Auburn https://t.co/t8i8uHiap1
— Flyer Faithful (@Flyer_Faithful) November 30, 2017