This game couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. With the Flyers reeling, they could have very easily have lost their last four games, a trip to Saint Louis may just be what the doctor ordered. The Arch-Baron Cup, the Harewood Horse Trophy – these are the type of things men yearn for.  

If Archie can’t get his troops up for this one, I’m not sure where we go from here.

Overview

The Palindrome Game, Dayton’s 73-37 whomping of Saint Louis back in late January, will go down in Arch-Baron Cup lore. Obviously a beating of that magnitude is going to result in some bad feelings from the losing side, which makes this particular ABC meeting noteworthy. Will Jim Crews rely on some malevolent tactics to get even with Archie Miller? God I hope so. The Arch-Baron cup needs to ratchet up the violence a bit, get on that Crosstown Shootout level. 

The Billikens, as you probably know, have been just dreadful this season. SLU has just two top 100 RPI wins this season, Davidson and George Washington the unsuspecting victims. Outside of those two victories, Crews’ squad has been shredded apart, piece by piece. The Bills are currently 5-9 in the conference, which may be an indication that the Atlantic Ten just isn’t that sold this season (I’m on record saying Saint Louis couldn’t win a league in the nation outside of the SWAC and MEAC – and here they are with five wins in the A10). 

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Say what you will about Jim Crews, some Priders would sooner give Hillary Clinton a savage rogering than shake Crew’s hand, but I like what he has done with this season’s Billiken team. After it became clear that Saint Louis had absolutely no chance of salvaging their season, he turned to some of his freshmen and gave them the opportunity to gain some crucial experience as the year draws to an end. To be fair, SLU is a relatively young team across the board, but Crews has drastically altered his starting lineup from the beginning of the season, particularly in the backcourt.  

Although the lineups may have changed, SLU’s identity as a basketball team remains the same, they are shitty. The Billikens are minor threats from the perimeter, currently shooting 31.6% from three. They are anemic on the glass and they turn the ball over on nearly 20% of their possessions. The one thing Saint Louis has going for them, if anything, is the ability to get to the charity-stripe and convert. Approximately one quarter of their points have come from the foul-line this season. 

We spoke about the season seemingly slipping away from the Flyers this week on the podcast. Although it’s certainly not time to hit the panic button, a loss to the Billikens should cause alarms to go off. Losing ownership of the Arch-Baron Cup, after a week in which UD lost back-to-back games for the first time in two years, would shock the system.

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SLU’s backcourt has been completely revamped. After starting the season with Miles Reynolds and Mike Crawford as the starting guard, Crews turned the keys over to newcomers Aaron Hines and Jermaine Bishop. Hines, a JUCO transfer, barely got off the bench for the Bills before the A10 schedule began. He is not the type of player that immediately jumps out at you; he’s not even an average shooter and hardly makes an impact on either side of the floor.  

Bishop is a different story. Like Hines he barely left the pine before the A10 slate began. Crews threw him out on the floor once the conference slate commenced and he has been nothing short of a revelation for SLU since. He can score in a variety of ways and means, shooting nearly 90% from the line. Bishop is a keeper, Crews might want to throw Hines back in. 

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Mike Crawford moved from the two to three, giving the Billikens another adept ball-handler on the floor. Crawford is the team’s most consistent long-range threat, one of those players that are not of much use if they aren’t knocking down shots (we call this the Fabrizius Threshold). Ash Yacoubou and Reggie Agbeko round out the Saint Louis frontcourt. Yacoubou has a well-rounded game, capable of taking his defender outside. He is also one of the worst free-throw shooters in the league which gives his opponent the leeway to guard him aggressively. Agbeko is a prototypical garbage man who hovers around the rim on both sides of the floor.  

The SLU bench is captained by Davell Roby, Miles Reynolds and Milik Yarbrough. Roby is an inconsistent scorer who hasn’t made much of a jump in his sophomore season. Reynolds lost his starting gig but is still a player capable of putting the ball in the basket when called upon. Yarbrough has seen his minutes cut drastically as the season has progressed. That’s not good.

Nate’s Numbers

Taking a look back at the prior St. Louis game, the Billikens had about as poor an effort as one could have. 39% from two, 13% from 3 and 4 of 11 from the charity stripe. Now, SLU is by all accounts terrible in almost every offensive metric you can think of. About the only thing they do reasonably well is get to the free-throw line and they weren’t able to do that in the last game against UD. 

It’s apparent, both statistically and if you watch UD, their main weaknesses are turnovers on offense and teams that can shoot the three on defense. Now any road game seems to come with peril and the confidence in the Flyers is at a season low. However SLU is the SLUmp buster this team needs. They’re well below average in a lot of categories, including their ability to turn you over 19.8% (269th) and make threes (or for that matter any FG) shooting 31.6% (297th). If the Flyers can’t win this one, they would appear to have serious problems without Pollard.

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Prediction

I refuse to believe Dayton can lose this game, outright refuse. Flyers take care of business, get back in the winner’s circle and keep the Arch-Baron Cup in the Gem City. Dyshawn Pierre takes home the Harewood Horse trophy, scoing a game-high 19 points while pulling down 10 rebounds.

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LeeAce
Guest

Get it done tonight is all I can say!! The moment Sam Miller gets that deer in the headlights look snatch his big ass out of there for a while. We can’t afford no mistakes against a team this winnable

J.D. Collins
Guest

Hey assholes look for more freedom of movement calls. That’ll mean 30 fouls in the 1st half. Plenty of Bobby Wehrli, and if Jay Bilas is watching this A10 tilt at home muttering under his breath, “not sure what the coaches are upset about all of these are fouls.”

Jimmie binnie
Guest

I heard you were at the last game.

TBolt
Guest

Which is more important to folks at UDPride? Winning tonight’s game or voting for Achie in the bogus Coaches Challenge? It’s the ultimate dilemma judging by the number times people bump the thread only to report that he is “still 9th” and “this is important to Archie and Morgan”. Do these folks not realize they get perks from said charities? UDPride really devalues the UD degree.

Guest
Guest

Pollard out again, what a surprise.

Rudy
Guest

At this point; I would be surprised if we see him at all until the VCU game.

5th Floor of Founders
Guest
5th Floor of Founders

You will not see Pollard until our first NIT game. Book it!!!!

TBolt
Guest

Did Detwon bust a nut in Pollard last year and give him a whole new type of AIDS that effects the knee?

The World According to Me
Guest
The World According to Me

So I watched the video–where does Tony stand on this game?

Also–a first-hand observation on Crews, who I despise (though not as much as Tman). I was at the SLU/VCU game in Richmond and fairly early in the second half, Crews just stopped coaching. Totally stopped. Sat on the bench, wrote some notes (grocery items to pick up on his way home from the airport, perhaps), and was oblivious to the world around him.

tman
Guest

May I say that I too LOVE what he has done with this season’s Billiken team.
Lets bring him back so he can do it all again next season!
(TB you might be the only person on the planet that likes what screwball has done)

I get it.
He fucked the team up so bad that he was forced to play younger players that he has yet to fuck up.
Give him time

CanABitchGetaDonut
Guest
Maybe I am missing something but does UD ever play zone defense? Seems it would make more sense having Chief not exert too much effort on the defensive side and just let him sit down low, also help in not picking up too many damn cheap fouls. Same goes with Sam MIller too, as it seems we get beat on the pick and roll far too much with no help defense. I am just getting far too tired of seeing Bobby f*cking Wherli getting actual minutes. I was stuck sitting in front of Bobby fans during the Bonnies game and… Read more »
ReddFoxx
Guest

Can’t Pierre help out in the middle? He’s a big guy.

Anonymous
Guest

Exactly. I thought DP played the 5 last year at times but I could be wrong

tman
Guest

I hear this one all the time.
One of the real strength of this team is its ability to defend.
I think if I’m not wrong they are number one in the conference.
Plus
Some of the best Flyer offense is generated from the defense.

Why would you want to give that up?

CanABitchGetaDonut
Guest
I get that our defense is tough and honestly if Pollard was playing I wouldn’t have an issue. Pollard and Steve are the only two on the team that can do much down low and be effective on offense. I just want Steve, in Pollard’s absence, to at least have the chance of staying out there, My frustration lies in having to see Bobby out there on the court at all. I want to see Steve get more than 18 mins of playing time in a game, especially when he was as dominant as in the Bonnies game. I’d rather… Read more »
Dick Fitzwell
Guest

Jeezus that was embarrassing.

Dick Fitzwell
Guest

So embarrassing I can’t think of anyone I’d like to screw.

Ctime
Guest

I really want to know what Pollard did to get suspended this long!

That was the worst UD game I have ever seen.

Joe Kiss
Guest

I’m still trying to process whatever you call what happened on the court tonight. Questions I’d love to hear some thoughts on in the BR recap.

Why can’t anyone shoot over the last 4-5 games? Inside and outside?
Is Cooke injured? He looks like he’s limping, and obviously can’t score.
Has big steves fouling reached the point of a clinical compulsion?
is the team tired or “figured out” by a10 coaches?

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