Another game, another dollar. The Flyers NCAA Tournament hopes are on life support. Some might even say they are officially DOA. Andy Glockner aside, Dayton is on the outside looking in. I think it has gotten to the point where Glockner purposely puts Dayton into his field just to see the reaction. As he pointed out yesterday on The Twitter, “(Dayton) Literally the only fanbase that consistently rips me for putting their team *in* the bracket. High comedy.” So yeah, we have that going for us, which is nice.
Another thing we have going for us is another meeting with the Duquesne Dukes. As always, we looked to Steve DiMiceli over at the Duquesne Sports Blog to help us preview the game. Actually, we aren’t going to lie, everyone here at the BR and everyone over at the DSR have mailed it in. Saturday’s loss took too much energy and pain for us to even take this interview seriously. But power through we must. Hop on over to the DSR and check out the interview I did over there. It’s bad, just giving you a fair warning.
Don Donoher: Both the Flyers and the Dukes still have a very SLIGHT chance of getting a first round bye for the Atlantic 14 Tournament…at least I would assume one would win one of the million tie breakers. Do you think there is any way that this might happen? Sub question, how do you see the seeding shaking out?
Steve DiMiceli: I actually looked at the middle 7 in the conference this season before this weekend’s games in a blog entry. With LaSalle beating UMass on the road, I think there is a good chance that the 4th bye goes to a 9-7 team.That would mean going 3-1 for both the Flyers and the Dukes plus having the right teams tie. It’s a long shot at 3-1, but if either team should win out, it’s a lock. That being said I don’t think either team wins out. I think both teams should hope for home court advantage.
I think the seeding will be:
- Temple – Speaks for itself
- St Louis – Undoubtedly the upper crust of the league this year.
- Xavier – Dayton win seals it for me.
- St Bona – Easiest schedule left in the conference, IMO. Should be 10-6
- St Joe’s – Like this team and they have favorable tie breaks
- Dayton – May lose to the Dukes, but have an easier path the rest of the way. I expect 9-7,
- LaSalle – I hate this team.
- UMass – Big win against X goes largely unrewarded. I expect a 9-7 finish and they just don’t have the tiebreakers.
- Duquesne – I expect 8-8 and an unlucky to finish outside of the home court advantage.
- Some mash up of GW, Richmond and Charlotte
DD: It’s been 20-some days since the first game of the season (won by the Dukes of course) and the Dukes are 2-2 in that span. What have you seen in those games that have impressed you and what have you seen that again have drawn some concerns?
SD: How few shots TJ McConnell takes has been a head scratcher for a lot of Duquesne fans. Over the last couple of games he is shooting quite a bit more. The problem is that it’s coincided with a bit of a slump. If his numbers are down because he’s gambling on some tougher shots, ok. If he’s wearing down that would be bad. BJ Monteiro is back to the form we were seeing before he was accidentally stabbed in the hand with a bottle. Our FT shooting has gone down the toilet and we’ve gotten what I would consider two solid halves of defense since last we spoke. A big concern since the last game has been Sean Johnson and Jerry Jones getting strep throat. Both have been a little worn down and less effective since contracting it.
On your end I’ve been pretty impressed with what Chris Johnson has been doing. He could be a real difference maker Wednesday.
DD: Do you think BJ Monteiro can garner a first team A14? I don’t think he can quite make it but you never know. He is playing lights out the last two games, averaging 25 ppg. I take it that he is the key for the Dukes in this game, once again?
SD: If BJ keeps his form over the final 4 games, I think he’ll find his way onto the second or third team. He’d have to average 30 a game to make the first. Now that he is healthy, I would say he is the most important player because he is one of a few Dukes who can create his own shot off the dribble. His finishing around the hoop still needs to be more consistent but it seems like he’s finding some life behind the 3 point arc. Defensively, it’s a mixed bag for him, but the effort was there in the Fordham game.
DD: As a graduate of Miami University, I have a soft spot in my heart for Ben Roethlisberger. He actually lived by my cousins in Findlay and played football with them, so I knew of him before college. Every time I met him either in class (he was one of my lab partners) or in passing, he was nice to me. Granted I didn’t know him when he was famous and I didn’t have tits for him to treat me like shit. What are your thoughts on him?
SD: I’m a year older than Ben and every woman I know has a story or has a friend with a story about being creeped on by him. He has a well earned reputation for being sleazy, but I’m not sure when that ceased to be an expectation for sports stars. Now they’re supposed to be these great family men and role models. When I grew up, I was taught by my father that the guys I love on the field or court were shitheads not to be emulated off of it. I don’t fault him for being a womanizer like some do but there’s a difference between being a rapist and a slut. If he’s participated in the former than he’s a scumbag and I would never root for him again. If he didn’t, the dude has still made some epically terrible decisions since getting drafted. Consensual or not, barricading yourself in a bathroom with a girl isn’t the way he needs to conduct his business. Not wearing a motorcycle helmet is stupid. Personally, I think he had an issue with maturity and kept acting like a frat guy who thought he was indestructible when he got out of school. Hopefully, he learned his lesson and I’m to the point now where I enjoy what he does on the field and could care less what he does off of it.
DD: There are rumors that the Pacers and Kings are looking to move elsewhere. I find that hilarious as the NBA will protect the Pacers. However, one of the rumors is that the Pacers would move to Pittsburgh. Do you think that the city would support an NBA team?
SD: I can count the number of serious NBA fans I’ve met in this town on one hand. If we were to take an NBA team we’d be far and away the smallest market with 4 major sports franchises. However, it’s a great sports market and if Mario Lemiuex or Ron Burkel owned the team coming in, they could be very profitable even drawing 12-13K per game. If they can compete, the city will support them. Personally, I hate the NBA and I would never go.
DD: It’s going to be that time of year and I know the Dukes aren’t having a season like in past years, but a run in the A14/NIT could turn some heads. Any sexy rumors of Ron Everhart possibly leaving for BCS pastures?
SD: Everhart has still never coached an NCAA tournament team. I doubt an NIT bid will get him a promotion. I appreciate everything that Ron has done at Duquesne. His first 3 years were nothing short of a miracle, the last three including this one seem to have stalled out. I know we finished 4th last year, but after the start we had in conference play, missing the NCAA sanctioned post season and top 100 RPI was pretty embarrassing. Bottom line, I’m not sure what Ron has added to his resume that an NIT appearance should make it more impressive than it was in 2009. Honestly, to take a team that you coach to the NIT to one more NIT in the following three years is not something that will drive ’em crazy in Baton Rogue or Ft Collins or Chestnut Hill. It’s the sort of thing that would get you fired in some places. Honestly, he might be an NIT appearance next season away from being the next lifer like Phil Martelli. I don’t care how bad the program you took over was, if you’re a BCS caliber coach it does not take you 8 years to make an NCAA tournament from the A-10.
However, I don’t think it’s out of the question that Ron makes some kind of lateral move to school willing to give him more years in the offseason. His future isn’t secure at Duquesne and rightly so, the administration wants to see more out of him before giving him another extension.
DD: I am stealing one of your questions, deal with it. If Temple/Charlotte bolt for the CUSA/MWC (or possibly the Big East), what would you want the A14 to do?
SD: I’d actually love to see the league go on the offensive and get to 16 teams regardless of who leaves. My favorite would be Butler of course followed by George Mason and Old Dominion. If we’re going to have conference head quarters in Virginia Beach, we might as well have a school from Hampton Roads. I think Siena deserves consideration as well. They have a huge untapped ceiling as a program. They play in huge arena and draw 7000 fans a game against teams like St Peter’s and Marist. Could you imagine what they would draw when Xavier, Saint Louis, Dayton, or Richmond come to town? I think with the right investment from their athletic department, they could take their program to another level. Cleveland State is another I would consider.
I’d hate to lose Temple and they may only play football in the new league. It becomes very difficult to argue that the A-10 isn’t a mid major conference without them. On the other hand, I would pack Charlotte’s bags for them. They never really fit in or adapted to the league. I expected more from them than we got. Honestly, I think we could do a lot better with any one of the 5 schools I mentioned above.
DD: Finish us out strong. I want a prediction on the game, prediction on best picture at the Oscars, and predictions on who will be in the Final Four.
SD: I’ll go Duquesne by 7. I haven’t seen it yet but War Horse for the best picture. Just seems like the bullshit they like to win. Final Four: Cuse – OSU – Duke – Kansas.
Tom Blackburn is a proud U. o' D. alum. He loses faith in humanity one day at a time, but not in you, you seem like you are all kinds of alright. Charter member of the T-Man fanclub.