The Dayton Flyers took their 9th loss of the season in the form of a full-on shellacking from Phil Martelli’s Hawks. Let’s just call it what it is first.
We mentioned on the last few podcasts that during season’s like this, the hardest part is not sounding like a broken record, and avoiding redundancies. I will have a very difficult time doing that in this recap. As we originally feared, the Flyers carried absolutely no momentum into this game from the VCU win last Friday, and returned to the state that we are most familiar.
Let me start by reading off two first half box scores:
16-34 (47%) FG, 5-13 (39%), team’s leading scorer with 20
15-30 (50%) FG, 6-13 (46%), team’s leading scorer with 15
The first line is from the first half box score against VCU, the second is the first half box score from the St. Joe’s game. The difference, of course, is that UD went 7-for-22 from long distance against Joes and 12-for-18 against VCU. That is quite literally the only difference in the two halves we witnessed on Friday, and on Wednesday. At the half on Friday while everyone was rubbing their dicks on each other, I kindly, and quietly, reminded everyone that UD’s defense was still garbage, from top to bottom. When you live and die by the three (like this team seems insistent on doing) you will be in the casket more times than standing over it. This team isn’t the Golden State Warriors of college basketball. Steph Curry is not walking through that door.
If I need to nitpick for the sake of your entertainment to establish more wrongdoings in the first half, I would say that the Flyers were settling for much tougher looks against the Hawks. Early in the game, Martelli deployed the ode-to-grade-school defense of 2-1-2 zone. If you remember from your early days in the gym, the 2-1-2 is most effective at limiting good looks from the outside, and not so good at counteracting quick passes inside, and out. When your grade school coach watched that tall lanky fucker from the other side of town hit 9 consecutive 3-pointers in warmups, that was the defense you went with. (If your grade school coach was really into mindfucks, he used the Box-and-1, I digress) If you have watched one Dayton game this season…you realize where I am going with this.
The first half gave every other team in the Atlantic 10 tape on how to defend the Flyers just in case an intern misplaced the film from the other games UD has played. It’s as simple as “make them beat you with the 3.” On the other side of the ball? I’m starting to believe there’s no hope. Like Tillman last Friday, James Demery got the ball and scored just about whenever he felt the urge to do so. It can’t be said enough that this was the same defensive performance we saw on Friday (79pts vs. 81pts) just without the 100-pt scoring effort.
We could talk about the second half but I mean, why? UD went into the second down 12, and within 5 minutes the Joes lead was 20. UD never seriously threatened at any point in the second, and a walk-on played far more minutes than any walk-on should be playing in a road conference game. I think it’s fair to say this is Grant’s way of sending a message to the team. Not sure how many more times that message needs to be sent before its heard.
Let’s just get to the takes and shift to the game Saturday, the odds I’m going to be writing this same damn article again Saturday night are very high.
Crosby didn’t make the trip because he was sick. “Sick” is officially the new bone bruise. Feels like every non-starter on this team has been sick at one point this season. Darn teens passing around their germs in the ghetto, shameful.
Matej, my god.
Jalen Crutcher is that dude anyways. I mentioned this in the last recap, but it sure looks like UD found it’s next point guard for the long haul. Crutch finished with a season high 23 points on 7-for-10 shooting from 3. This dude really will shoot it from fucking anywhere. Two of the 3 long balls he missed were just about from the parking lot. Had it not been for the hot shooting of Jalen, does Dayton lose by 30? Do more walk-ons play? Do more players get sick before Saturday? These are the questions.
UD lost and Trey Landers scored 0 points, this is becoming less of a coincidence as the season goes on. The Flyers just have to have scoring from the sophomore guard, there isn’t enough options elsewhere.
X-man was 1-for-8 and his season is officially on life support. I don’t know if it’s Grant, his system, or a game between the ears, but Xeyrius just has not been a consistent part of the offense since returning from injury. Thoughts and prayers.
Lastly, the word around town from people who should know is that Jordan Pierce has all but announced his intentions to transfer when the school year is over. Some of the descriptors I have heard regrading Pierce (FROM OTHERS!) are as follows: lazy, self-involved, bad attitude, a real turd. The last one is my personal favorite. There’s nothing like asking someone what they know about UD and a grown man describing a college student as “a real turd.” No one likes to report on the dirt at practice, but it sounds like there are plenty of reasons Pierce is in the old doghouse, his stay should be over by mid-April or so.
So the Flyers lose, again. The drought at Hagan Arena now stands at 18 years and counting. UD has returned to the all-too-familiar ranks of .500 at 9-9 and a date with the conference front running Rhode Island Rams awaits on Saturday at 1pm ET. I certainly cannot be the only one who believes it could get ugly. Our only hope these days is that the Flyers coming out shooting hot and ride the wave. At the very least, I know I can count on you to show up and be LOWD.