Yesterday the St. Joseph Hawks flew their asses into the Decibel Dungeon already down three players for the season to injury, and had to take another two starters out because of illnesses (James Demery and Chris Clover). While this would normally be a problem for most teams, anyone with half a brain knows to never count a Phil Martelli squad out of anything. And thought the Fliers took home a 77-70 win and avoided another landmine, the game stayed neck-in-neck for a majority of it.
Let’s begin with the elephant in the room and get it over with:
First time we've seen Josh Cunningham with a ball since November. pic.twitter.com/0cNPaR1sSZ
— David Jablonski (@DavidPJablonski) February 7, 2017
I’m officially waving the white flag on Archie and his mind games. You win, sir. I’m an idiot for even reading or listening to the reports anymore and should know by now how much he owns the Dayton media (minus Jablo, who always stays woke). Earlier this year we got the “Kendall has a deep bruise and will be back in a couple weeks” one day to “Yeah, Kendall is out at least a month” the next. Then he comes back two weeks later. Or a few weeks ago with Cooke, “Charles will definitely be out for quite some time” before coming back two games later. And now, after we convinced ourselves that Josh would be gone until next year, our boy is on the bench in full gear and will “possibly” get some PT on Friday. I’m getting myself WAY too excited to see him and Kendall in a game together for the first time, but it’s fucking February and I got nothing else to do.
Now to the game. The first half was scripted exactly how 99% of our first halves go: start out slow as dick and play right down to the competition’s pace of play. I’m convinced the only way I’ll never have to write that is the day Blackburn “accidentally” forgets to pay the bills here. I’m also convinced I saw two of the most improbable sports moments of my lifetime occur in the past 48 hours. One being the Atlanta Falcons pooping their pants in front of the entire planet Sunday night, and two coming from DURRELL himself:
You don't see behind-the-back passes often from UD players. Darrell to Kendall. pic.twitter.com/NnLgRVioPL
— David Jablonski (@DavidPJablonski) February 8, 2017
I had to rewind and watch that at least a dozen times. Who is this dude? This was was Baby D’s third straight game with three 3-point buckets. He wasn’t a complete slouch on defense either, keeping his feet moving and actually contributing to some good pressure on our end. The DURRELL Watch continues – apparently he’s reading our Tweets again. Despite Kendall and Cooke draining 4 shots and getting 10 points a piece, we went into the locker room tied at 32 thanks to a last minute trey from Lamarr Kimble. This guy – along with Charlie Brown and a few others out with injuries – are almost certainly going to be a big problem for the next few seasons.
The second half was a lot of back and forth up until the last few minutes. We’d go up a bunch then the Hawks would go on a 5 or 7-0 run and get right back within striking distance. I forgot how much I hate that damn mascot of theirs that flaps its wings THE ENTIRE GAME. In the end, the lack of bodies and pure fatigue did Martelli’s boys in early. Not even halfway into the second half he called a timeout because they were absolutely gassed. That said, Charlie Brown, Kimble, and Markell Lodge were “dem dudes” for St. Joe’s tonight. Brown finished with four 3’s, 5 boards and 17 points. Kimble contributed the first double-double of his career with 25 points and 10 assists. As for Lodge – if one of those two jams he threw down doesn’t make the Top 10, I’ll be shocked.A few other takeaways before we let you get back to reading all the political Tweets/Facebook posts in your feeds:
- Schoochie was an assist machine (8). Anyone who watched knows his performance spoke way louder than his assist count + 13 points. While this is easily the most cliche phrase used in basketball, the dude absolutely makes the other 4 guys out there 10x better when he plays. Just straight up dragged his beach balls all over the place.
- KP led the squad with 19 points and had three 3-point plays. Guy played his ass off and looks better every game. Hot Take: some of his fouls are pure laziness. “Oh it’s just him attacking the ball screen!”… no, it’s him not taking ONE more step to get his body on the guy and flailing his arm out instead.
- The X-Man continues to blossom right in front of our eyes. Cutting up zones, drawing fouls, making shots. It’s always darkest (when Crosby is out there) before dawn (when X checks in).
- Speaking of X-Man, the announcers informed us tonight that his name comes from a bottle of perfume his mother saw at Macy’s. Knew it.
- As someone who has knocked the free-throw performances in the past, I gotta tip my cap to 15 of 18 (83.3%).
- Phil Martelli is so well-respected that a local Dayton school invited him to come speak to their classes before the game. I have no other info as to how/why, but do know that Archie’s daughter was one of the students in the crowd. Weird.
- We are now 18-5 and 9-2 in the A10. One more win gets our seniors the tie for most wins ever as a class. UD sits 1/2 game ahead of VCU and has a BIG game this Friday against URI, who took down UMass this week.
Speaking of which – if you live in Chicago and don’t go to Glascott’s for a Friday night Dayton game in FEBRUARY, you’re an absolute bore of a human. Place is packed to the brim this time of year. Just ask your boy and favorite podcast host Donnie about it. Come drink a hundred buckets and enjoy one of the last games there this season.