Blackburn Review has always taken pride in being a haven for the fans, by the fans. And as such we felt it best to clear our heads and let the dust settle before writing the recap. Before I begin, I would like to inquire as to whether the gentleman below reads the blog. If you do kind sir, we would like to be in touch with you. Your acts of great heroism cannot go unnoticed. (thanks to noted friend of the blog Matt Allaire for the gifs)
Two days later, there is not much to say about this game that has not been said. This has been the exact Flyer blueprint for their 3 losses this season: get down early, stay down the whole first half, chip away in the 2nd, play pressure defense to get it close, close the gap, and lose the game. If you were naïve enough to get excited for this game late in the second half, I do feel sorry for you. When you go into the half down 23, you’re not going to win ballgames. I will try to get through this quickly to minimize the pain:
The Flyers went down 11-0 before half of the Dayton crowd made their way in from the bars. The first bucket would come at 15:36 in the first and then, over the next 14 minutes and 20 seconds, the only FGs Dayton made from the field were two 3-pointers by Sam Miller. If you’re following along, that means Sam Miller was UD’s leading scorer for almost the entire first half. I can assure you, we will not be winning basketball games this season if this occurs in the future.
You don’t take a shellacking of this nature without giving credit where it’s due. The Cats on-ball defense in the first half was effective, their switches were smooth, and they forced UD to take a lot of contested looks, including 100 or so drives to the lane that were met with 4 black jerseys almost every time. They were very successful at baiting Cooke and Scooch into the lane, and then collapsing on them immediately to force a bad play.
There were no bright spots for UD in the first half. Not one. The offense looked lazy, uninspired and frankly bland. At one point midway thru I really wondered whether or not we were running plays. Here’s some highlights:
The second half (much like St Mary’s) was a complete 180 from the effort given in the first. I can only assume the boys got fired up after a thorough ass-chewing from Ryan “call me Archie” Miller. For the first eight minutes of the half there was some back and forth I missed because I was talking to Jabs and frankly knew we would be losing on this night, and by the second media timeout the Flyers had “cut” the Cats lead to 17. The Cats got it back up to 22 with about 10 minutes left, and for whatever reason that was the exact point UD decided to take their head out of their ass.
I feel the need to highlight that over the last 10 minutes of the game, the Flyers outscored the Cats 31-12. It’s really hard to walk away from a basketball game like this feeling like you lost to a lesser team, but this kind of speaks for itself. Any delusions that we lost to a solid tournament-bound ball club should be put to rest now, that is not the case. The Flyers simply came out flat, stayed flat, and didn’t leave themselves enough time to right the ship. The furious comeback was highlighted by this ridiculous play from Scoochie, which was basically a play that resembled if the Maurice Clarett NC takeaway and the Reggie Miller 6pt sequence had a baby…
In the end, you pretty much knew the final result when you went to relieve yourself in the mostly wide open United Center at halftime. Flyers 64, Cats 67. There will be no signature wins in the non-conference for the 2016-17 Dayton Flyers. Vanderbilt is trash, VMI is even worse trash, our best win will probably end up being Alabama or New Mexico (Christ).
HOWEVER, the ass-whooping wasn’t enough to keep the Queen Bee from delivering some piping hot takes on Twitter. This tweet has since been deleted (stick to your guns, Morgan). If you haven’t checked out her rant from the game, get on over there now and then come back.
While I tend to agree with Morgan regarding the refs, (the officiating was arguably the worst we have seen this season) I find it slightly misguided to bitch about refereeing when your team shoots 4-28 from the field in a half of basketball. If Bucky Bockhorn was officiating the first half, we still would’ve been down by double digits. There’s no reason to rehash the performance of the refs, they were terrible, we were terrible, I digress.
To put it mildly, Ryan Mikesell saw his worst evening in a Flyers uniform. He picked up two fouls before the first media timeout and missed most of the rest of the first twenty minutes. In the second half he hit two threes (his only points) before committing another foul and headed back to the bench. He made contributions, they were minimal.
I’m wholly convinced Kyle Davis and Kendall were just too star struck over playing in the United Center to realize the first half was going on. That’s all I can think of. Kyle was non-existent in the first, but his talent as an on-ball defender was the gas in the engine of the comeback. Before the last inbound play of the game I watched KD interact with MacIntosh about the play. MacIntosh gave some half-assed signal to his boy like he was going to go deep and I said to myself “KD knows he’s just going to fake long and then cut back to the baseline.” He did exactly that, and KD was right on his ass, inches away from giving the Flyers the ball with the potential to tie the game. Obviously it was not to be, but KD’s defensive prowess should always be highlighted. If we could only get him away from taking off-nights offensively.
Scooch and Cooke were terrible in the first like everyone else, and then lead the way in the second to spark the comeback, not much to takeaway here. Scooch lead the way with 18, Chuck with 12.
Sam and X were fine, not great, but fine. I’m still trying to figure out why X deserves “credit” for this…
…let me know.
DURRELL continues his streak of offensive apathy. His on-ball defense was solid and he forced good pressure at the top of half-court sets, but no amount of defense could ever justify his minutes given what he has produced on the other end of the floor. UD already has a defensive-minded specialist, and while his last name is Davis, his first name isn’t Darrell.
Trey Landers stays glued to the bench.
In closing, I would like to shout out to the unbelievable turnout we saw here in Chicago for the alumni pregame, as well as the game itself. Frankly I get most disappointed in these efforts because the fans were just so great, and the team gave them so few reasons to be engaged, or LOWD for that matter. Myself and Mr. Vines were thoroughly blown away by how many red-clad Flyers we saw on a downright terrible evening of weather in Chicago. Here’s hoping a trip back to the cozy confines of The Arena is the medicine the doctor ordered to get ready for La Salle.
Blackburn and Donny are going to be coming at you with a good bloke from Vanderbilt on the podcast to preview the game on Wednesday, I’ll be back for the breakdown that evening. I know there will be takes, so I left room for them down below. Stay proud, stay LOWD.