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Recon: Arkansas State

There’s a scene at the end of Cast Away where Tom Hanks’ character, Chuck Nolan, is standing alone in some remote part of Texas. He’s positioned at a four-way intersection, roads pointing in every direction.

The scene is meant to elicit both a positive and negative reaction from the viewer. After spending four years on a deserted island in the South Pacific, Nolan has literally reached the crossroads of his life. On one hand, Chuck, freed from the island under miraculous circumstances, has been given a second chance at life.  All things are possible, anything could happen.

However, as with all precarious situations, Chuck’s predicament raises more questions than answers. For instance:

  • How does Chuck let the fact that his dentist now lives in the house he paid for and is fucking his wife roll off his back?
  • Speaking of Chuck’s house, his wife keeps sole possession of it and gives him a beat up Jeep Cherokee as a parting gift. How does he not go immediately into “stab-everything-within-reach” mode once she hands him the keys and basically tells him to hit the road?
  • Since Chuck was legally declared dead, we can assume his life insurance policy was paid out. Where the fuck is that money? It more than likely went to his wife. That bitch. Probably spent it all on Disney cruises and Zumba DVDs.
  • Chuck is essentially homeless and penniless. This will become an urgent problem for Mr. Nolan. Not saying he is going to have to give oral pleasure for twenties, but a lack of funds will assuredly cut into his newly found care-free lifestyle.
  • Chuck has just spent four years on a desolate island. Surely he walks around with the knowledge that he must have contracted a lethal monkey virus of some sort.
  • Lastly, Chuck’s interaction with the women in the truck hints that he is on the lookout for new love. Yet, has Chuck even considered that no respectful woman would be interested in a man who spent fours years by himself on an island? There’s no way he hasn’t endured some serious psychological damage during the interim. His mental illness will probably rear its’ ugly head at the worst possible moment. My guess? Chuck tries to rape a woman in a Macy’s dressing room while his new wife returns a blouse that is too small for her rotund body.

Chuck’s path is a lot like Dayton’s — at a crossroads with the unknown lying on the horizon. We once again have no way of knowing what lies ahead. Will Dayton disappoint, will they surprise? It all depends on your expectations. But seriously, how did that guy not commit suicide after a few weeks on the island?

Adam touched on some of the major issues facing the Flyers this season. Can Kevin Dillard step up and become a more consistent offensive player? Will the transfers, Vee Sanford and Matt Derenbecker, provide enough support to make us forget about Chris Johnson? How about the freshmen bigs, Devin Scott and Jalen Robinson, are they going to provide Josh Benson enough help down low?

These are the questions that will be answer over the course of the season. Hopefully, the answer to most of these questions is yes. Our first authentic glimpse comes against the Red Wolves of Arkansas State tomorrow afternoon at UD Arena. Get Flyered™ up?


The Red Wolves are begrudgingly led by former LSU coach John Brady. After an unbalanced tenure in Baton Rouge, which included a Final Four appearance (back when America got caught up in the Big Baby hysteria of 2006), Brady decided to go underground, toiling in utter obscurity among the residents of Jonesboro, Arkansas. Since taking over the reins at ASU four years ago, Brady has compiled an underwhelming 61-66 record over that period.

I wonder, does someone with Brady’s resume even have to go through a protracted interview process at a place like Arkansas State? Or, does he just pick up the phone and go, “Hey, it’s JB. I’m gonna take the job. You know my reputation. I’ll need a parking space, a blonde assistant and a place just off campus I can do weird stuff in. I’ll get there when I get there. Thanks, bye.” That’s the beauty of college coaching, although it’s hard to climb the ladder, it seems like once you reach the top you can manage to fall of it, break your spine in several places and still collect a paycheck with six figures.

After finishing a disappointing 14-20 last season (which did include a win over A-10 champion St. Bonaventure in Olean), Arkansas State has reason to be optimistic. With four starters returning, including five of its six leading scorers from last season, ASU was picked to finish second in the Sun Belt’s Western Division. A quick, athletic roster with limited size, the Red Wolves’ will feature a three-guard lineup for most of the game.

treyfinnMeet and Greet

Trey Finn, a 6’2” guard, leads the ASU attack. After suffering a knee injury at the end of his sophomore season, Finn returned with vigor – averaging 11.6 points and 5.3 assists per game. An effective perimeter shooter, Finn shot 46% from behind the arc during the 2011-12 season and was named a preseason first-team Sun Belt selection.

Finn’s running mate is shooting guard Marcus Hooten. Hooten, last season’s leading scorer at just over twelve points a game, struggled with a hairline fracture in his wrist for most of last season but is fully healed and ready to take names. Hooten was a third-team preseason selection and is the Red Wolves’ most talented offensive player. Rounding out ASU’s backcourt is Ed Townsel (9.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.0 apg), a quick defensive stopper with a decent outside stroke (37% from three last season).

Leading the frontcourt is second-team Sun Belt selection Brandon Peterson. He is Arkansas State’s most reliable offensive inside player, scoring nine points a game last season to go along with eight rebounds per contest. My limited research tells me that Brady is excited about the prospects of Kendrick Washington, a 6’7’/255 transfer from the University of Houston. Washington scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds a game before leaving the Cougars in his formidable dust.

Cameron Golden is a 6’1” freshman who was Tennessee’s large-school Mr. Basketball runner-up. Golden started both of the Red Wolves’ exhibition games and will likely garner significant minutes against Dayton. Rakeem Dickerson, a 6’1” sophomore, will spell Townsel at the point. Kelvin Downs is a freshman forward who will play plenty against the Flyers.


Dayton’s record in regards to home-openers is probably pretty impressive. That’s due to the fact that they open up against tomato cans. UD shows some rust, but comes away with a 71-59 victory over the Red Wolves.



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