For the first time in just over four years, the Gem City Cagers are once against part of the nation’s Top 25. In previous season, an early season ranking has been the kiss of death for the Flyers. The good news is that there aren’t too many landmines up ahead as UD will be expected to handle the rest of their non-conference schedule, save Ole Miss, with ease.
After passing a test in Maui, the Flyers merely need to hold serve until A10 play begins. I’m not telling you anything you don’t know. First up, Delaware State.
The Hornets come into the Sweater Centre™ with a 2-5 record. DSU has taken savage beatings from Georgia Tech, Clemson and George Washington. Their two wins came against Cairn University and Baptist Bible College. It’s clear Delaware State will play anyone, anywhere — even if means taking on a school that offers a major in Etch-a-Sketch maintenance. D-State returns three starters from a team that went 15-18 last season, finishing eighth in the MEAC. The Hornets were picked seventh in this year’s preseason conference poll.
Delaware State self-identifies as a “historically black college.” The only two things I know about HBCUs are that, (1) people rarely graduate from them and they treat their marching bands like sheiks treat blonde women. For some reason it always makes me uneasy when HBCU football teams play a high-level opponent and the announcer is all, “Hey folks, stick around at halftime, you’re not gonna wanna miss the Florida A&M Rattlin’ Rattler band — you’ve never seen anything like it!!” Then 90,000 white people have to pretend to be impressed by horrible woodwind music and pelvic gyrations. It seems so patronizing. You shouldn’t watch a marching band for any reason, I don’t even care if your kid is the first trombone.
Black college marching bands have turned into fraternities, they are constantly getting suspended for sticking things up each other’s asses. Why band members would haze each other is beyond me. Obviously, I’m not a HBCU expert, so let my man Chilly Willy Lopez break it down for you:
Delaware State employs a very slow offensive tempo, averaging just 63 possessions per game (341th in the nation). The Hornets are one of the lowest scoring programs in D1, scoring 63 points a game and to date have only connected on 30% of their three-point attempts. Outside of working the shot clock, DState isn’t even mediocre in a single offensive category. Their defensive numbers are just as nauseating, this team is dreadful. Maybe skip this game.
Meet and Greet
The Hornets took a big hit when Tahj Tate decided to declare for the NBA after his sophomore year. After scoring 16.7 points as a freshman, Tate was suspended indefinitely last December — and went undrafted in this year’s NBA Draft. His whereabouts are unknown but likely comical.
6’10” center Kendall Gray is the team’s leading scorer (11.3 ppg) and is an elite shot-blocker (2.3 bpg). Tyshawn Bell, a 6’7″ junior, is scoring 10.7 points per game, hitting 88% of his free-throw attempts. Joining Bell and Gray in the Hornet frontcourt is 6’5″ senior forward Casey Walker (9.4 ppg/6.6 rpg), the team’s leading rebounder. Walker is the Hornets’ best perimeter shooter.
The backcourt tandem of AJ Thomas (5.2 ppg/3.4 apg) and Kendal Williams (8.3 ppg/2.4 apg) will receive most of the time at the guard spots. Sophomore guard Nick Doyle (3.2 ppg) is one of three (!) white guys on the Hornets roster, you’ll notice when he comes into the game.
I think the Big Frog will get a chance to stretch his legs, UD wins 71-47.
And just for the fuck of it: