Whenever faced with an intolerable situation – whether it’s a terminal marriage, an unrewarding job or an overwhelmingly disappointing season of mid-major college basketball – it’s natural, expected really, to ponder the future and envision a path of good fortune lying ahead. Whether or not this is a clinically recommended course of action is beside the point (it’s not), it’s simply a way for normal humans, people who don’t read this site, to deal with their life-draining situations.
With less than inspiring play from UD’s seniors, and a season in mid-tailspin, Dayton fans have already begun to look ahead to next fall. I’m not ashamed to say I did the same, here are my immediate thoughts:
No Kevin Dillard? Not a problem, as guard depth will not be a pressing issue for UD next season. Khari Price, and incoming freshmen Kyle Davis and Dayshon Smith will give the Flyers a wealth of options at the point-guard position. Ohio State transfer Jordan Sibert will eligible as well, giving Vee Sanford a partner at the shooting guard slot. Between Dyshawn Pierre, Kendall Pollard and Matt Derenbecker, Dayton has plenty of coverage at the 3.
What will be a problem is the lack of depth, experience and talent in the frontcourt. Josh Benson is gone and outside of Devin Oliver and Jalen Robinson, not much is there to pick up the slack. You’d have to assume that Devon Scott gets a chance to earn more minutes, as the Big Frog is clearly nothing more than a backup-backup at this point in his career (does Gavrilovic even bother coming back next year?).
Of course, the X factor is what accused diddler Matt Kavanaugh decides to do next season. Kav has tried everything in his power to catch on elsewhere, but the mix of his lack of talent and baggage has ensured his future as a basketball player is an untenable condition at this point (his future as a human being on Earth is solidified. Google will see to that). From what we’ve been told, Kavanaugh is eligible to apply for readmission in May. This doesn’t mean he (a) will seek readmission, although rumors saying otherwise persist, or (b) will even be reinstated if he does reapply. The situation is so murky the university obviously prefers to never hear Kav’s name again.
However, this does leave a gaping hole up front (insert Kav joke). Kid Yuma is understandably concerned about the play he received from his bigs this year and, outside of Robinson, there doesn’t seem to be many answers on the horizon. Can Archie play small-ball – interchanging Oliver and Pierre at the four for stretches of time? Does the depth at guard necessitate a more up-tempo approach on offense next year? I have no fucking clue, I’m just asking questions.
What I do know is that Rhode Island is next on the docket and that they are turrrrible. The Flyers are still in the running for a trip to the A16 conference tournament, so obviously there’s still plenty to play for. And yes, I am joking. Sort of.
I know nothing about Rhode Island other than the fact that they are coached by the Hurley brothers and Pauly D is from there. The Rams came into the season with dismal expectations and responded by living up to them.
URI comes into tonight’s game with a 6-16 overall record, just 1-8 in conference – which includes losses to Fordham, George Washington and Saint Bonaventure. The Rams are currently on a six game losing skid, their last win coming at Saint Louis back in mid-January.
Rhode Island’s offensive numbers are staggering. Dead last in the conference in shooting percentage, second to last in offensive efficiency, last in scoring offense and assists per game and second to last in rebounding. URI isn’t just one of the worst offensive teams in the league, they are one of the most horrible in the nation. With all due respect.
Meet and Greet
Xavier Munford arrived in Kingston with a reputation as a premier scorer out of the JUCO ranks and has delivered on that notoriety. A classic gunner, Munford comes into the game with a team-high seventeen points a game. Mike Powell had an excellent freshman year for URI and is charged with getting Munford the basketball. The sophomore point-guard has increased his scoring, around ten a game, and leads the club in assists.
Nikola Malesevic and Andre Malone lead the way up front for the Rams. Both senior forwards score ten points a game and are the team’s two best rebounders. Jordan Hare, recruited by UConn, Michigan State, Michigan and Louisville before ending up signing with Rhode Island, is the Rams center. He’s had an uneven year, but has plenty of potential.
Ryan Brooks and Mike Aaman are the Rams first guys of the bench. That’s all I got.
“A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.”
It’s on the road, forget it right? Wrong. URI is an offensive abortion each time is takes the floor. UD wins and inches ever closer to a 10-12 seed in the conference tournament. It’s military appreciation night, so expect a few PTSD-related casualties.
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.