Well that was a certified hoot and a half. When I woke up yesterday I said a quick prayer to the man upstairs, pleading to not let Dayton start in a 10-2 hole like I feel we have the last 10 straight games. Lo and behold, my prayer was ignored and the Flyers put forth one of the most horrendous home games these eyes have ever seen. We’ve now lost 3 of our last 4 and two straight at home. It’s been a long couple weeks here without much to sugarcoat, so let’s get into it.
DURRELL was a scratch yesterday, home in Detroit with a death in the family. Yet Sweater Nation found ourselves somewhat hopeful before tip after this #Jablomb dropped:
Kendall Pollard is game-time decision. He practiced yesterday. Went through shoot around this morning. @DaytonMBB
— David Jablonski (@DavidPJablonski) February 27, 2016
Big Steve got the start alongside Cooke, Pierre, KD, and Scoochie. Just when I thought it was impossible to play any worse than the first halves we saw against Bonnie and SLU, we were down 11-0 before anyone finished their first beer. KP checked in during the second minute, but it was Pierre who scored the 5 points we tallied in the first 8 minutes of the game. At the first media timeout with just under 12 minutes remaining in the half, the Rams had shot 5-8 from the floor with UD going 2-11. Gentle Jesus indeed.
For me the most frustrating part of the half was right before that timeout. Big Steve was literally doing an Irish Jig underneath the hoop without a single Rams player around for miles, so we did what Dayton does best: ignore the easy layup and dish it out to KD to whiff from behind the arch. I have yet to wrap my head around this team’s refusal to take advantage of Steve’s size and ability to bang it in down low, ESPECIALLY with some of the open looks he’s had lately. I suppose it’s his inability to stay in the game longer than 2 minutes at a time, as he was called for his second foul (illegal screen) at the 8:21 mark and sat back down on the pine pony.
KD provided what may have been the only highlight worth showing from the half:
Everyone remember Andre Berry, the large mammal on Hurley’s bench who was averaging 1.7 PPG going into yesterday? What if I told you he would finish the half with 9 points, when he had only scored a total of 19 points ALL SEASON LONG? Jared Terrell hit a dagger 3 at the buzzer and the Fliers went into the locker room down 38-25. Rhode Island nailed 5 of 8 3-point shots and 15 of 26 from the field. Kendall Pollard, back in action after sitting out the last four games, went 2-for-6 with 4 points. I would have paid a lot of money to have been a fly on the wall in that locker room.
Archie was so mad today he caught on fire https://t.co/A8bQO3nbje
— paco (@AllaireMatt) February 28, 2016
Speaking of stats, here’s another fun one: Dayton never led one time in this game. The closest we got was 7 points in the final few minutes. Big Boy Berry kept going after halftime and finished the game with 15 points. How we let him not just shoot the ball 7 times, but make every single one of them, is inexcusable.
There will still be that stat that Dayton is 11-0 when Kendall Pollard, Dyshawn Pierre, and Darrell Davis all play. #Sarcasm
— Matthew Schwade (@FlyerHoops) February 27, 2016
The last 4 or 5 minutes of the game were as intense as they were angering. Where the hell was this energy the rest of the game? The arena finally woke up and got LOWD, and at one point Dayton went on a 9-0 run over a minute and a half. There we were, down 7 with 3 minutes left, when Four McGlynn drained a 3-ball and pretty much sealed the deal. KP would end up at the line twice within the final minutes of the game, going 1-for-4. At long last we were finally able to turn the TV’s off/leave the arena with a final score of 75-66. Pierre led the squad with 17; Big Steve finished with two. Miller played two minutes and tallied zero points.
Two weeks ago we were a “dark horse Final Four team” and talking about a 3 or 4 seed. Last week we were ranked 15th in the country. I refuse to acknowledge the Twitter talk about locker room issues (yet), but I will say it certainly makes more sense than “they just forgot how to play basketball”. Quick 48 hour break and we’re back at it Tuesday night in what will absolutely be a telling road contest vs. Richmond. In the meantime, REMAIN LOWD, y’all – ain’t shit else we can do.
Mr. Vines/Brown Street Pimp OUT.