Your Daytona Fliers take the court against the Hawks of Saint Joseph’s on Thursday night with their eyes set on twenty wins. The Arch Baron Cup winners, currently a half-game out of first place in the A10, are also in hot pursuit of their tenth conference victory.
The key to the rest of the season is a two-pronged attack:
Stay Healthy and Stay Hydrated. This graphic should be posted all over UD Arena, particularly in the team’s locker room, post haste. Honestly, when you really think about, the most essential members of the team from this point on are UD’s managers and trainers. If the season goes to pot it is squarely on their backs.
Charting second-chance points and loose ball rebounds is important, but not as vital as tracking electrolyte intake. Regulating each player’s body fluid balance will be the difference between the NCAA Tournament and the NIT, simple as that. When Kendall Pollard sweats his potassium and sodium levels will drop, causing delays in muscle to brain communication. This, it goes without saying, is a major cause for concern. I have no issue losing on a last-second heave, it happens from time to time, part of the game, but there’s no excuse for suffering a defeat due to a student manager being nonchalant at the hydration station (which is what I call a group of at least two or more water bottles within ten feet of each other).
With the season on the line, our focus has to shift primarily towards the sidelines. That’s where the real action is going to be. Pay minimal attention to what Scoochie Smith is doing on the break, ignore Bobby Wehrli’s attempt to take away backdoor cuts, those are just limp carrots in the aqua stew. The entire Decibel Dungeon has to come to its feet during timeouts and get behind the student managers. If each cooling administrator can hand out at least three cups of liquid replenishment during breaks in play, the Flyers will have an excellent chance to win the league.
St. Joseph’s is 11-13, 5-7 in league play. I recall watching Gonzaga beat the Hawks by FIFTY earlier this year (this was followed by a TWENTY EIGHT point drubbing against Villanova a few weeks later) and it was clear it was going to be a long and arduous year for Phil Martelli’s crew. The reigning Atlantic Ten champions were expected to slide a bit this season, as Langston Galloway, Halil Kanacevic and Ronald Roberts graduated last year — but a loss to Fordham? Fordham?
SJU’s biggest issue coming into this year was on the offensive side of the floor, how were they going to score enough points to win games consistently? The short answer is they haven’t. The Hawks average around sixty-one points per game and are arguably the worst shooting team in the league. Like seemingly all Martelli’s teams, this year’s Hawks are short on depth and pace. The good news is they are young, and everyone likes ’em young.
Best all-around player in the A10? Best all-around player in the A10. (Not going to argue if you think it’s Treveon Graham)[/column] [column size=”col-3″]
Never really developed into anything other than a solid point guard, and that’s okay.[/column] [column size=”col-3″]
In Martelli’s doghouse last season, having a nice bounce back year.
[/column] [column size=”col-3″]
The gem of SJU’s freshmen class, will be a solid two-way player for the Hawks.[/column] [/row] [row] [column size=”col-3″]
Ze German is a big boy, not particularly skilled.[/column] [column size=”col-3″]
Wilson’s backup, aggressive with the ball in his hands.[/column] [column size=”col-3″]
Transfer from West Virginia, going through an up and down season.[/column] [column size=”col-3″]
100% chance his black teammates call him by his last name. 101%.[/column] [/row] [title type=”fancy-h3″ color=””]Numbers Game[/title]
Dayton is 1-0 against teams coming off a loss to Fordham, so you have to like their odds. UD wins a sloppy one, 66-58.[/fullwidth_section]