This senior class will be remembered for an Elite 8 run, UD’s first in 30 years. They will be remembered for getting to the tournament after two classmates were booted off the team. They will be remembered for one of the most electric games ever in The Arena against Boise State, and beating a talented Providence team a few days after. They will be remembered for back-to-back regular season conference titles. They will be remembered for persevering after the death of a teammate. They will be remembered for a poor showing against Syracuse in the first round of the tournament, and they undoubtedly will be remembered for how they went out, losing 3 in a row to close out an historic four years. They will be remembered for all of it.

For every Ryan Arcidiacono (who ended his career on a perfect play call that lead to a 3-pointer to win the national championship) there are 10 Charles Cookes, who end their careers inconsolable in a quiet locker room. Sports are rarely ever fair and just, the fairy tale endings only come calling for a select few, and your Dayton Flyers were among the unlucky. The triumph that led to cutting down the nets in the old barn on March 1st would be the last, and the run of the winningest class in Dayton basketball history is over.

We will surely remember all the great moments these four guys have given us, but in the end, we will remember their flaws in March just as much as their consecutive conference titles. When the team was under their leadership, they couldn’t get the job done on the biggest stage. This is not an article that is meant to overshadow all the great things these guys have done, or take a shot at them, it’s just the way it is. When you have the spotlight, it tends to shine brightest after your failures, this case is no different.

With all of that said, the only reason these words needed to be put on a page is because this senior class truly elevated the Dayton program from where it was the day they got on campus. That’s what made last Friday night so frustrating, with great expectation often comes great disappointment. That’s how the dice roll.

Of course, this loss was more difficult to stomach because of the boys who played their last game in a Dayton jersey, but moreover, it was difficult because this class was one of the first in a VERY long time who fully realized the weight they carried in Dayton, OH. Winning as freshman on such a grand scale, I personally believe that’s all it took for them to step back and realize “Hey, when we win, this whole damn city is behind us.” They took this to heart, and fully embraced it. We just saw four years of these guys understanding that it has never been “Dayton won tonight” but always “Our boys won tonight.” Whether you call Dayton home, or post-graduation has taken you elsewhere around the country, we turn on the Flyers to see OUR boys, and no one understood this concept quite like the senior class that now must say their goodbyes to the program. When the arms went up to get The Arena LOWDer, or when Kyle Davis stood on the media table, that’s what was happening: a collective, “We’re in this together,” and we were, we will always be, that’s what makes Dayton such a special place to play college basketball.

But naturally, over the course of the season, we caught a little shit here and there for finally coming around and being fired up about the prospect of our program/season. You can chalk that up to a portion of this fan base that is utterly uncomfortable with the fact that we now have real shit to be happy about. When the blog was started in 2008, the program was in FAR different position than it is on this day in 2017. Besides the inevitable 10-point first half deficit, the days of doom and gloom are behind us, the future of the program is brighter than ever, and we have those four seniors to thank. You saw the jubilation that came from Rhode Island this year, a team that punched its first ticket since 1999, but did you notice how excited you were for Dayton to punch theirs? You weren’t. You expected it. That’s what Scoochie, Kyle, Kendall and Chuck did for us. They forced you to expect great things from Dayton Basketball.

In an effort to be concise, that’s what I wanted to say before recapping the game. These boys will truly be missed. They elevated our expectations, and they didn’t get the ending they deserved. That’s life, onto the action…

As many predicted when the bracket came out, UD-Wichita was pound-for-pound probably the best game of the first round, a case for Northwestern-Vandy could also be made. (wtf was that kid thinking with that foul at the end?) The game was a slugfest from the get go. The tone of the first half was smothering defense, fouls and UD forcing turnovers. The Flyers stuck to their game plan, and forced a plethora of terrible looks from the Shockers, most from long range. However, Wichita’s terrible shooting in the first half never translated into a Flyers lead greater than 5. A miracle three-pointer somehow found its way into the hoop for Rashard Kelly at the buzzer, and while a two-point lead was super neat, you felt like an opportunity was missed to put some cushion on their ass. 29-27 Flyers when we went to the locker room.

My personal takeaway from the first half: “this is fine”. If we learned anything about these two teams, it’s that they were extremely evenly matched, and from my seat in the upper deck, it was abundantly clear WSU had not seen a Dayton-caliber team in quite some time. Their offense looked sloppy and unorganized, and frankly that didn’t change much in the second. Defense was not the problem for the Flyers on this night.

Years from now when I look back on this game it will remind me that sometimes it just isn’t your night, I’m referring of course to Charles Cooke. You can place any amount of blame on him that you see fit, but sometimes, it just isn’t your night. God bless him, Chuck did everything he could (short of stabbing someone) to get the ball in the hoop, and it was just not to be. As I have mentioned above, sports are not fair. Cooke’s 6-point, 1-for-10 shooting effort was the main cause of offensive woes for the night. Even 25 points from the low-hanging Scoochie wasn’t enough to wash away that amount of stink. The Flyers offense in the second half was hardly a surprise. In multiple games this year we saw the same sort of ineffectiveness, but often, we were playing someone terrible and found a way to win anyways. Wichita is not terrible. Here’s the stat line for people not named Scoochie or Kendall:

5-for-30, 20 total points, 3-for-12 from downtown. Fuck, that’s so awful.

Five guys would come off the bench for the Flyers, they would score 5 points. DURRELL didn’t even attempt a trey. Sad!

I do truly believe the beginning of the end was sparked by the mind-blowing move by Archie to come out of the under-8 timeout with a lineup including Crosby, Sam AND Mikesell. The reasoning behind this was of course to give the starters a breather, I’m just not trying to hear that shit, I guess. The true fall was a mere 5 minutes away, when Wichita gathered a 7-point lead with 3 minutes remaining. Given how baskets were at a premium the entire evening, this was the moment I truly knew it was over. The knife in your heart was supplied by Birdman-turned-basketball-player Connor Frankamp, who scored his first fucking points of the night on a 3 ball when the Flyers absolutely couldn’t afford it in the last two minutes. If you would like to remember one more positive before we turn the chapter on these seniors, Kyle Davis did an unbelievable job of shutting down the 47-year-old Frankamp, he was a non-factor the entire night.

After that long ball, a few piddly foul shots were all that stood between UD and the end of an otherwise great season. All I could do from my perch in section 221 was take in the carnage with a few fellow Flyers who I will give a special shout out to for refusing to curse. “Dangummit” type of people, which was refreshing for the people around us I must assume, since I do a fair amount of cursing during games. I know this comes as shocking to many.

So that’s it, dudes. An off-night from Cooke, and a 40-minute lack of offensive mojo was the undoing of your 2016-17 Dayton Flyers. If this year has made me appreciate anything, it is the sheer magnitude of how special the Elite 8 run really was for a program like Dayton, and how unbelievably difficult it is to get to that stage of March. This year, of course, it had a lot to do with our matchup, but that’s March. From getting in the dance, to the seeding, to the matchup, right up to the actual game, it is a total fucking crapshoot. If 2014 saw luck on our side, we paid for it in 2017.

Lastly, I get to say my piece, because (you guessed it!) I have the keyboard. I want to thank everyone who read this blog and enjoyed my commentary throughout the year of Flyers hoops. I met some awesome folks simply from writing for this site this season, and I hope that trend continues next year and beyond. We do this for fun, and you make it fun. Keep wareing RED, keep being LOWD. I’ll have more John Crosby hot takes for you come October. (We know John reads the blog)

It is a great time to be a Flyer, and it has been made that way by Kyle, Scoochie, Chuck and Kendall. Thank you, boys, you will truly be missed.

See you in October, you beautiful bastards.

Sully

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The nightmare is over!
It started on May 12th. I hope it ended with WSU.
We will find out shortly.

This was a season of what could have been.
Archie put together a Dayton dream team.
He couldn't have done a better job.
Yet, he's out after the first round (again).

One of, if not the best club in many years was unable to win a single game as juniors or seniors.
That doesn't take away from what these guys were able to accomplish in their four years.
Or does it?

This is not the greatest class in the history of UD basketball.
This program has had too many great moments by too many great players.
You have to win as juniors and seniors in order to brag about your class.
This class is 0 for 2.

I'm not sure why Archie is still here but I'm terribly thankful for it.
The inability of the administration to land a spot in the Big East continues to keep us mid-major.
Thankfully the administration has a new reason to rob the faithful.
The lure of the big east has been replaced with the promise to renovate the Arena.
Cover your asses boys.
UD is at it again.

This program needs a league that will allow them to keep a coach.
That will fill the Hill with cash.
That will allow them to get four and five star recruits.
Forget fucking with the first four.
Forget 100 million dollars to add 32 seats and a couple of private bathrooms.
Find us a fucking home were this program can thrive.
Where we will never again consider a one and done a successful season....

tman

Fifth Floor of Founders

A f'ing men! Most intelligent post on this site in 3 years. Got an stock tips - I'm buying.

UD had a chance to get in the Big East and the administration fucked it up. They thought they could make demands and the BE never called back. Now that Curran and Wabler are gone, you might find someone willing to talk.

Fifth Floor of Founders

This is a textbook case of fake news

I heard something similar - they didn't get invited back to the second conference call because Curran was a dick

I heard it was because Curran was pushing for a few BE games a year to be played in China, similar to how the NFL plays a few games in London every year. The BE wasn't having it.

Darnell Hoskins

Great recap and good comments, particularly from tman. I was wondering where this site's conscious had been most of the season. That post was well timed and well said.

Definitely share the mixed emotions so many have expressed. I loved this class. Scooch and KD will go down as two of my favorite players Flyers ever. This class (well most of it anyway) contributed to an Elite Run, delivered one of the most fun seasons for me as a fan in 2015, back-to-back regular season titles and 4 straight tourney bids. Confident the patrons of this website know all too well the danger in taking that kind of run for granted, especially with this program. Moreover, as Sully stated so well, they seemed to embrace the larger connection to the fan base and community. That said, I can't help but being left with the feeling of wanting more. Will a 4-year run ending with back-to-back 1st round losses be this program's high point? Are mid / low tier seeds the best we can hope for? 5 years ago all I wanted was some measure of consistency and one deep postseason run. Now, I want more. I expect more. Will we ever see it? Who knows. Probably not. Regardless, kudos to this class for building those expectations. So, Scooch, KD, KP and Charles...thank you for everything you did for this program and giving us so many great memories!

I'd also like to say thank you to the guys that maintain and contribute to this site. As someone who is getting older than I care to admit and who invests WAY too much emotion into this program, I've been coming to the Blackburn Review for many a year now for insight, comedy and, during the BG era in particular, therapy. Have to imagine you've only acquired more commitment and responsibility over the years, so thanks for taking your time to keep it alive.

On to next year...holding my breath that we are not on BBR reading about a coaching search in early April.

We do it for the people. Thanks man.

Thanks for the kind words, dude, appreciated.

What is this shit? The Dayton edition of the Vagina Monologues?? Grow a set of fucking nuts.

Never change.

Legend of Matthew Pooper

Last Friday watched Kong Skull Island where King Kong carried a whole village on his back fighting off monsters and humans trying to bring him down. All because the only thing he cared about was sacrificing himself to protect the natives and save the hot girl The following Friday I got the same feeling watching Scoochie and his UD teammates in Indy???

Props to the thinly veiled racist post.

Legend of Alex Gorilla-vic

The one major question that needs answered heading into the 2017-18 season........Is X Williams from Springfield, Dayton or Huber Heights???

Huber Heights. Wayne High School

Alford to Indiana, Archie to UCLA.

If I recall correctly Steve's mom attended 3 games this year and UD lost all 3. That pretty much debunks the UDPride ghost of Steve theory. You would think his ghost would have blocked every single shot in front of his mom and UD would've won the games like 72-0.

Steve's Mom was at the season-opener against Austin Peay in which Cooke absolutely went off. I thought we were gonna see that from Cooke a lot more this season but sadly he never really had a game he completely took over again.

Ok correction to 1-3 in games she attended. Do you think then maybe it was Steve's ghost taking over Cooke's body during the Austin Peay game or just the fact that is was vs. shitty buy game competition?

I can't tell if I laughed at this for too long or just the right amount of time.

Great job Sully ! Still cracking up about 47 year old Frankamp. The oldest looking dude to ever play college basketball was Granville Waiters of Ohio State back in my era. Dude was completely bald on top. At least Frankamp has feathers for hair.

How quickly you forget Brian Cardinal.

Good recap of season and the last game. Always enjoy checking this site every other day during the season for good recons and game analyses, but most importantly, always good for some laughs and obscure tidbits.

Could you guys do a 2017-18 Season Preview in a few months? Maybe give an Intro to what feels like 10 new players for next year?

After the tournament I planned on writing a "heres what we know so far"...sadly, it won't be much. LOT of question marks for next year, most I can remember in the last decade.

Legend of Sean Scratchins

Starting to wonder why Archie isn't going anywhere......while coaches BELOW him on the John Wooden Coaching Scale keep getting Power-5 jobs???

Legend of Paul F. Hawkings

Hate to say....the greatest Senior Class in UD history..........was Class of 84..... and it only had one member..... (See #22 in your old program)

Legend of Maurice Baynina

Tman's post is DEAD RIGHT

He aint wrong!

Bucky's Fluffer

Charles Cooke's most valuable assist came when he acted like he was sleeping while Pierre raped that chick.

Oh man. To quote Blackburn, I can't tell if I laughed at this for too long or just the right amount of time.

I enjoyed this blog all season, it's byfar the best UD bball blog around.

Like others, I have some mixed emotions about all of this. I am super thankful for Archie Miller and the Senior Class who brought our Flyers to the next level. The past four years have been the best four of my life with UD bball, but I don't feel quite right about all of this.

Two years in a row the Flyers have had ample opportunities to improve their seeding. Two straight years they fizzle out in March with less than inspiring play. To start, for those of you that say conference tournaments don't matter, FOH. Who do we think we are? We play in a mid-major league. Two years in a row we could've gotten off that 7 line by playing well at the end of the regular season and in the conference tournament. That shit matters. Seeding gets you better matchups. Matchups get you to the next weekend of the tournament. Getting to the next weekend earns you respect. And that's why teams like Xavier are called for the new big east and we aren't. Oh and look what they're doing this week? Getting ready to play another game.

Our guys didn't step up when it mattered most (outside of beating VCU at the arena the last two years). I can't sit here and praise this class for letting us down in the most important month twice when they were the leaders. I posted something on this website a few months back suggesting Charles Cooke was bad for this team. I truly believe it. Whether it was his attitude, his playing style, or the Scoochie incident, he didn't flow with this team. He's a talented basketball player. However, I think he is to blame for this March B.S.

We're at a better level than ever before. However, I don't think that gives us the right to be satisfied. You should want more. I do. For the thousands of you that were able to travel to Brooklyn, STL, D.C., Pittsburgh, and Indy to see them shit the bed over the past two years, you should want more. This is the month when you make a name. This is the month where you solidify a case to join a better conference, build a new arena, keep a guy like Archie. Dayton fell short two years in a row when it mattered most with these seniors. Unforuntately, that's the last impression I have. I will always be rooting for the Flyers and hope this program is ready to take big leaps in the near future. Dayton cares too much about basketball to be stuck playing a shitty conference schedule in an old arena. I want to keep getting better and I hope you feel the same.

Dead on man, thats really all I wanted to say: if you want to talk about how great this class was, you MUST talk about how shitty they were in March the last two years when the team was theirs. This program has left us wanting more, and that's no necessarily a bad thing...yet.

I agree that it totally stinks this Senior class fizzled down the stretch in March. And I can't figure out the Cooke dynamic- we won 2 games without him and our offense was really clicking in those contests; it seemed like the team relied upon him to go 1-1 too often, not really Cooke's fault, but maybe the offensive flow will improve without him.

But the bottom line is: this Senior class was the 1st class to EVER take UD to the NCAA tournament every year (4 years in a row) and, for that alone, they should be given mass props & thanks from all of us Flyers fans. By doing that, they raised the bar, gained UD national relevance, and set the stage for attracting better recruits, which Archie and staff have seemed to cash in on this year (Kostas, Wright, Svoboda, etc.). It's pretty much accepted by now that the committee f'ed Wichita & UD by seeding Wichita at 10. That's just how it goes sometimes. And last March, Pollard was a shell of himself and we ran into a hot Syracuse team that went to the Final 4. Those things happen in the crap-shoot tournament. But you gotta get there first, and these Seniors achieved that each year.

Next year's team is wildly intriguing to me because of all the unknowns and incoming players' potential. Add them to some guys who are sure to improve (Crosby, Landers) and who knows where we end up?

Legend of Layton Molton

Stop ....if you think for one moment this team is gonna be better in 2017-18 please take a deep breath and realize that Scoochie will be living closer to the Eifel Tower in France and than he will be to UD Arena.
I'd rather have "BING Crosby" as our next point guard than the one we are left with now.

Who is saying we'll be better next year, man?