It’s time. Time to Ware Red and Be Lowd™.
After experiencing consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament, the expectations for the UD basketball program have reached relatively unprecedented heights. From the dark, funereal Jim O’Brien years, to the “light at the end of the tunnel” Oliver Purnell era and culminating in the “I’m not fired, I quit” Brian Gregory tenure — the Gem City Cagers, under the tutelage of Archie Miller, have finally broken the surface.
Gone are the years when an 8-8 conference record would be met with a shrug. No longer will road losses to Duquesne or Saint Louis be expected or tolerated. We have replaced those aloof feelings with expressions of detachment when it comes to sexual assault allegations — a huge advancement, in my humble opinion. In short, Dayton has become a player, a basketball program with all the requisite platitudes.
So what’s the next step? Well, there really is no next step.
Outside of battling for conference championships and NCAA Tournament berths, we have, as a fan base, all we need. The only thing we ever asked for, and I assume I speak for most of us, was some winning consistency out of this basketball program. For the first time in a long time, we have it.
The presumption this season is to once again hear our names announced on Selection Sunday. Nothing less will suffice, let’s get LOWD.
After a disappointing season which saw the Redhawks finish 13-18, a fifth-place finish in the Ohio Valley West, SE Missouri decided to part ways with head coach Dickey Nutt. Ricky Ray, who failed so mercilessly at Mississippi State, has stepped in to take over the program.
While SE Missouri State may not have much in common with Dayton on the court, their off the court troubles should make a Flyer fan smile. Two of the Redhawks’ JUCO transfers have already left school — one for academic issues and the other due to…homesickness. In addition, assistant coach Jamie Rosser was recently terminated from the program “due to violation of university policies and procedures.”
Junior guard Jamaal Calvin is being held out of the team’s first four games for an undisclosed reason. Starting forwards Trey Kellum and Ladarius Coleman are suspended for the team’s first two games for, you guessed it, a “violation of departmental policies and procedures.” UD and SE Missouri State would be fierce competitors in college basketball’s version of the Fulmer Cup (what would be the equivalent — the Harrick Cup? The Calipari Cup?).
SE Missouri returns just two starters from last season and will enter the season with a completely untested frontcourt. Five of SEMO’s six newcomers are forwards 6’7″ or taller. Ray employs an up-tempo offense that should average in the seventies this season. The Redhawks are either connecting from three or they’re getting their ass beat, there’s really no inbetween. I’m sure next to no research went into scheduling Southeast Missouri, but on paper they seem like exactly the type of team UD should be opening against.
The Redhawks won their only exhibition game last weekend, a 93-64 victory over Division II Missouri S&T. SE Missouri trailed at halftime before a surely inspiring Rick Ray speech catapulted the team to a convincing win.
The Redhawks are led by junior guard (1) Antonius Cleveland. Cleveland is an All-Ohio Valley 1st Team preseason selection who has some size and ability from the perimeter. The teams’ second-leading scorer last season, Cleveland might have to jack up 20 shots against the Flyers tomorrow night. Playing alongside Cleveland is (2) Isiah Jones, a 6’4″ fifth-year senior who started every game for the Redhawks last year. (3) Marcus Wallace will round out SE Missouri’s three-guard attack
(4) Tony Anderson is from Columbus, and at six-nine, the tallest player on the SEMO roster. A freshman, he will get decent minutes with two members of the starting frontcourt suspended. (5) Robby Dosier is the lone white guy (aka “the shooter”) on the team, he has probably spent the past four days stifling his opinions on what is going on at Missouri right now.
(6) J.T. Jones, (7) Joel Angus and (8) Jaylin Stewart are three underclassmen that will serve some time against the Flyers tomorrow night. Coach Ray has no idea what to expect from these three, so I certainly won’t add my uninformed opinion here.
The Redhawks are undersized and missing three major contibutors, hopefully the check has already cleared.
Not enough numbers yet, guys.
Let’s use this space to pass along an Archie quote that David Jablonski, the hardest working man in the Gem City, passed along in his column last night:
[su_testimonial name=”Archie Miller, Head Coach of the Daytona Fliers” photo=”http://www.blackburnreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Atlantic10MediaDayBasketball-0a7e8.jpg” url=”http://daytonflyers.blog.daytondailynews.com/2015/11/11/archie-miller-hints-at-dyshawn-pierre-return/”]“His status is the same,” Miller said. “We haven’t really discussed options in terms of if he’ll return or when he’ll return. Currently, he’s serving his suspension. If Dyshawn chooses to return, which we think will happen, we’ll evaluate his status when he gets back. It’s not fair to make any judgements on his availability or what he’ll be able to do when he returns, etc., until he does return. We’re going to do everything in our power to make sure we handle Dyshawn sort of with kid gloves in terms of the basketball opportunity. We’ll never force (a decision) upon any young guy just to help the team when they have a career at stake and they have a lot of ball left in them. We’ll do what’s best for Dyshawn, and he knows that. Our team, as it is right now, has really handled everything with great maturity. I like how we’ve been able to continue to progress and build and make the least amount of excuses as you can make.”[/su_testimonial]
This Pierre saga is the media gift that keeps on giving. Archie indicating that he believes Pierre will return does add a bit of arousal to the situation, but you can’t convince me this isn’t the company line Pierre and his legal team will be feeding from now until December 22nd. Again, I will believe Pierre is coming back when I see him take the court against Miami.
It’s simple enough to predict pain, which there will no doubt be for the Redhawks after they take this L, but it is more cogent with copious amounts of bloodshed. You always want to see the Flyers come out and dominate all phases of the game against an undermanned team like SEMO, and I think a pink-socking is on the horizon. UD takes out SE Missouri State, 85-62. Charles Cooke leads all scorers with 17 and the freshman account for at least 15 points.