I want to preface this article with one thing that was already mentioned by Blackburn in the recap: Fordham lost to this very team twenty-nine days ago by 37 fucking points. Listen, man, that’s a lot of points. I need you all to appreciate how bad that is before we talk about today’s game. You good? OK, onto the game at hand.
Today was your standard ass-whooping the Flyers dish out 2-3 times a year in the non-conference. The interview with Kendall Pollard from noted-fan-favorite David Jablonski about the game pretty much sums up everything that needs discussed on this cold Gem City Saturday afternoon…
The Cagers started as well as any game they’ve played this season. The first media timeout saw the Flyers force four ETSU turnovers and run out to an 11-5 lead. When the Buccaneers of Johnson City, TN (wagon wheel) tied the game at 13, the veteran Flyers decided they had just about enough of the nonsense, and never looked back from that point forward. Defense was the name of the game for the hometown boys today and, over the rest of the first half (15 minutes), the Flyers surrendered just twelve more points to ETSU. The good guys went into the break with a 12-point advantage and the second half treated the sweaters to much of the same.
The second half started with a dunk from Desonta Bradford and the next 12 minutes saw just 10 ETSU points, it was all over but the crying. By the time there were 8 minutes left, UD held a 61-38 lead, which was clearly enough to half-ass their way through the last two media breaks of the ballgame. After forty minutes it was a rather convincing win in front of the loyal red sweaters (great crowd noise today, for what it’s worth).There’s not really a lot of breakdown to offer before we get into the takeaways of the game, UD was stronger, faster, and straight-up a better team than ETSU, and it was very clearly on showcase today. As we mentioned in the recon of the game, ETSU’s strengths are: keeping opponents off the offensive boards, getting to the line and shooting efficiently. They did none of those things today. UD outrebounded the Bucs on the offensive AND defensive glass, the Bucs got to the line 19 times (season avg. 27), and they shot just 20-of-55 (36%) from the floor. Conclusion? After I received a savage roasting from Morgan Miller on twitter, Archie has finally started to read the BBR recons, and recognized exactly what needed to be done to thoroughly control the game against the boys from Eastern Tennessee.
Let’s get to the takeaways, starting with the most obvious:
1. UD’s defense stepped up to showcase against a lesser team.
1a. It’s because of Kyle Davis.
We need to figure out a way to get Kyle Davis good and pissed off before every game. He was back to getting steals, leading fast breaks, giving the stink eye, and holding the opposing teams 19 ppg scorer to ONE BUCKET the entire day. Go have yourself a night at Tim’s, young man, walls are on me. Tom Archdeacon at DDN just completed a piece on the mural of tattoo’s that is KD. You can read it here.
2. Charles Cooke will be the best player on the floor most nights from here on out.
The best part about Chuck’s game this year has been his ability to get to the rack time and time again when the Flyers need a bucket. It’s almost as though he looks around the court, realizes everyone else wearing a different color jersey is beneath him, and then acts accordingly. Last year at this time Cooke was averaging about 2 for 5 from downtown per game, holding a 15 ppg average. This year? He’s holding roughly the same average 3pt shooting frequency, but bringing in 19 ppg, finishing today with 24. This simply speaks to his ability to drive effectively, and initiate contact doing so. If Chuck will continue to put up these numbers, Dayton will have a chance in every game they play.3. X and Sam are giving the Flyers quality minutes, which is vital to their success this year.
Sam and X combined for 29 minutes, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks and 13 points. Dayton has enough talent to keep the gears moving with this kind of production off the bench. Speaking of…
4. Kendall Pollard is back.
That man. You hate to harp on this over and over, but the Flyers are a different team with KP in the lineup. He’s big, he’s hard to move, and he gets buckets. KP was on full display today, logging a season-high 31 minutes, pulling down 12 boards and finishing with 12 points. The success of the Flyers this season will rely heavily on KP’s production moving forward, if for no other reason than we already know Chuck is going to get his, and KP/Scooch must be the supporting cast. KP already said it in the interview: he’s hype for the United Center on Saturday. He’s showing up hungry with a large spoon in hand.
5. There is no explanation for the production of Durrell.
14 minutes, 2 rebounds, 1 turnover, 0 shots. Idk, man, I just don’t know what to say here. Prayers for Durrell. His season total is 5/9 games played (57 minutes), 17 points, 1 assist, 12 rebounds, 6 turnovers and 7 fouls. It’s getting harder by the game to justify minutes for Durrell, that’s just the reality now. I don’t know, guys.
6. Trey Landers stays glued to the bench
Our boys get a full week off before traveling to the Windy City to take on Northwestern next Saturday night at 7pm ET at the United Center. It will undoubtedly be the biggest non-con game left on the schedule, and myself and Mr. Vines (along with thousands of other UD alumni in the Chicagoland area) will be ready to greet them. The LOWD comes to Chicago in seven days, come join us.
As always, I left room for your takes below….