After opening up the season with an invigorating Sock Hop victory over Ball State, the Flyers return to the gymnasium, ready to take on the VCU Rams on Friday night. Whereas this would’ve been one of the premier league games any other season, this year’s matchup is more pillow fight than bunker buster. That’s alright, that’s the kind of season it has been.

11-6 overall, 3-1 in the league (the one conference loss was in overtime to Saint Joseph’s), the Rams are right where they were expected to be. As Sully covered masterfully in this week’s podcast, there are some similarities between the two programs this season: new coaches, big men who aren’t getting the rock enough, a lack of consistent point-guard play and continual defensive letdowns. Picked to finish fourth in the A10, VCU has two starters back from last year’s NCAA tournament team — which was the school’s seventh straight trip to the Dance. Very impressive indeed. As this is the least experienced Ram roster I can remember, it will be a major accomplishment if they can get back to the tournament this season.

Mike Rhoades was an interesting choice to lead the Rams after the departure of Will Wade. While it is true Rhoades was an assistant at VCU for five years, he short tenure at Rice was nothing if not unspectacular. After compiling a 47-52 record in Houston, Virginia Commonwealth came calling and Rhodes was more than ready to pack his bags. The Rhoades hire, which took place a mere 24 hours after Wade’s exit, while uninspiring, makes a lot of sense. He has recruited the state of Virginia extensively since breaking into coaching and he certainly knows which areas of Richmond to avoid at night (all of them).

Whereas the Anthony Grant hire was both yawn-inducing and safe, the Rhoades coronation almost made too much sense not to do. Although he looks like he is nearing retirement age, Rhoades is inexplicably just 45 years old and claims VCU is his dream job. On paper, that’s much better than hiring a retread no one wanted that will cash seven-figure paychecks until the school has to painfully force him out. Point, VCU.

Justin Tillman, the man who as a child enjoyed going to the hair salon with his mother too much, has been a major issue for your Dayton Flyers over the years. A double-double machine as soon as his head rises off the pillow, Tillman (17.7 ppg/9.5 rpg) has tortured this fanbase as much as any player I can recall in recent history (remember when he pulled down like 30 boards against UD in 2016?). Tillman is the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, shooting a stellar 42% from behind the arc. The senior has improved each season and looks to put his foot in our ass at least two more times before hanging it up. Godspeed.

Sophomore wings De’Riante Jenkins and Issac Vann join Tillman in the VCU starting lineup. Vann was a standout during his freshman season at Maine and decided to take his talents to Richmond where he will bask in the loving glow of the Ram Nation. Jenkins was a major recruiting coup for VCU and continues to impress during his second collegiate season.

The VCU backcourt is triggered by senior Jonathan Williams (10.6 ppg/6.1 apg) and sophomore Malik Crowfield. Williams has one of those weird, stocky-ass bodies where the thighs appear to be as thick as his calves and ankles. Maybe it’s due to the fact that his head is way to big for his body? I can’t figure it out. Anyway, he’s built like a Puerto-Rican woman and is one of the league’s better playmakers and distributors of the ball. Rhoades has a good one running the show. Crowfield (8.2 ppg/40% 3fg)

Rhodes’ bench goes about six deep, which is way too many to break down here. Khris Lane, Mike’l Simms and Sean Mobley are the main cogs off the pine. Lane (7.9 ppg/3.8 rpg) is a grad-transfer from Longwood, a solid perimeter shooter. Simms’ family went in a weird direction to urbanize the name Michael and Mobley (3.5 ppg/3.2 rpg) is a freshman with oodles of potential, oodles.

  • Here’s an interesting tidbit: Jimmy Martelli, son of Phil, is the Rams’ current Director of Operations. Martelli, as you might know, was last seen on some now infamous videos while an assistant at Rutgers under Mike Rice. Martelli was shown grabbing and shoving players, throwing balls at motherfuckers’ heads and calling one kid a “fucking faggot.” Martelli, like Rice, quickly resigned after the video surfaced. Glad to see he landed on his feet.
  • A note from the VCU administration:

    On first reference, it is acceptable to use VCU or Virginia Commonwealth University. Please do not use “Virginia Commonwealth” or “Va. Commonwealth” when referring to VCU.

  • Here’s VCU Tori baring a little midriff, pretty good!
  • Not much of anything was made of Jordan Pierce being held out for disciplinary reasons for the Richmond game. What a great year for the freshman from New Jersey.

The Flyers haven’t won back-to-back games all year so why would tomorrow be any different? That being said, I think it will be a close one. Here’s my take: if Josh Cunningham can rack up 30+ minutes, Dayton wins. If the big man gets in foul trouble at any point of the game, I can’t see UD winning this one. So, this isn’t so much a prediction as it is a proposition. For whatever that’s worth. Tillman will get his double-double, the home team will turn the ball over at least ten times, neither squad will shoot very well from three, yada yada yada. Go Flyers, Stay LOWD (and NORMAL).

Tom Blackburn

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.


  • Capital of the Confederacy

    January 11, 2018 at 7:16 PM

    Who is the marginally fit girl in the Miami shirt?


  • Fifth Floor of Founders

    January 11, 2018 at 8:43 PM

    She used to be the guy at the top of the page before his/her trans surgery.


  • Seamus

    January 11, 2018 at 9:38 PM

    maybe a Puerto Rican woman that had children with Charles Manson.


  • The Legend of Al Bird-key

    January 11, 2018 at 10:10 PM

    Looking closer…..that seems like the same gal who didn’t have change for a $50….before Midnight


  • Angry John

    January 11, 2018 at 10:55 PM

    The Flyers need a recruit that is a tough rebounder that can box out and put big men on the floor. That is why they need John Watkins Jr to sign a Letter of Intent.


  • Kid Flyer

    January 12, 2018 at 6:37 AM

    Didn’t CoC beat us by 30 on Gregory’s watch in the NIT one year? I usually check my facts before voicing but throwing this out with some frivolous humor attached throwing caution to the wind.

    Does slow white center with finesse game, no hops, great hair and long range outside shot still exist in college basketball? I hope he rebounds as well (no pun intended) and makes the most of his second chance in Charleston. Maybe Mahtay…. Swobodah! can join him in Charleston as well (if Grant hits the four star recruiting jackpot in first full campaign) since they will forever be associated (for those who saw the cop car rant video).


  • Kid Flyer

    January 12, 2018 at 6:49 AM

    P.S. That is VCU Tori fresh and in her prime probably 2.5 years ago. 8 then now 6. Miami half shirt is not showing up at UD Arena tonight with pants on fire. Better to memorialize the image above in your mind and give her props for stepping into this arena with knowledge and sass when she did.

    P.S.S. Great to see Blackburn submitting content that is less and less frequent these days. Your shit is always great. Feel for your Georgia pain. Brutal heart ripped out loss.


  • Kid Flyer

    January 12, 2018 at 7:28 AM

    P.S.S. The only Flyer with the sack to attempt to check Tillman is Landers but he is like a foot shorter. Rodman v. Fife Dawg. Durrell maybe too but he will get lost in the double team help. Who is going to guard him? I remember the 30 rebound game! Pollard was on that team attempting to at least throw some freakish long arms and grandma’s ass at him but to no avail. Kostas and Josh will get steamrolled by him especially in that weak ass zone. X is in a daze this year and will not notice he has the ball and is blowing past him until he is snapping the rim straight down after a two hand uncontested dunk

    Maybe triple team Tillman with Landers, Jordan Davis and Kostas front back and above and make them beat us with wide open threes?.


  • Drake

    January 12, 2018 at 1:49 PM

    Appears Tori lost a few lbs….I’d throw a nice little horse-fucking on her.


  • Mount McKinnely

    January 12, 2018 at 10:42 PM

    Wow TB you really called this one! Don’t quit your day job.


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