UD tried desperately to get out of playing this game.
They offered compensation to avoid playing, they pleaded to switch opponents, they offered to name a student residence building after the president of Coppin State. All to no avail. Coppin State was the proverbial fat guy in the middle seat of UDs season, and there was just no getting out of the utter inconvenience of playing CSU this time around.
To backtrack (in case you don’t know what I’m referring to) UD did not purposely put this past Saturday’s game on the schedule. They were stuck with it, kicking and screaming, from the powers that be in the Bahamas tournament. This has become a standard practice by in-season tournaments and the NCAA to simply say “We know this team sucks, but you’re playing them anyways.” I don’t know how good Chaminade-Julienne is this season, but I’m fairly certain their starting 5 could’ve played a more competitive game than the one we saw.
It probably should be said Dayton didn’t have a choice in playing Coppin State. It’s a mainland game in the Battle 4 Atlantis. In short, it’s the cost of playing in that loaded field.
— David Jablonski (@DavidPJablonski) November 11, 2018
If you recall, a bunch of jamokes around UD last year justified our 6-6 start by saying dumb shit like “Our out of conference strength of schedule is #3 in the nation!” While this was true (in an outdated system that isn’t an accurate benchmark of anything) it was only true last season because UD was able to play a whole crop of average teams, while avoiding games like Coppin State. This year? They were not so lucky, and the perceived strength of UD’s schedule this season will suffer accordingly.
If you came to the blog today looking for a game recap of the goings-on against Coppin State on Saturday, you’re not going to find it. This article is simply being written because I am contractually obligated by the BBR to post an article after games, and people sometimes complain when we don’t. There is nothing positive, negative or otherwise that you can take away from the Flyers latest triumph for the simple fact that Coppin State is one of the worst teams that’s come into the Arena in the last decade. If you’re absolutely demanding some form of analysis, that’s what Jablo is for. After attentively watching the first half, and with the score at 41-18, I resigned myself to watching the second half of the game, because I refused to read into anything that was going on from that point forward. I won’t belabor the point any longer than just to say this game should have never been played, and not all mid-major teams are created equal. The check will clear, Coppin State was fed well, shown good midwestern hospitality and sent on their way. May we quickly forget a first half where CSU almost matched their points (18) with their turnovers (14).
So, what now? Frankly we’re going to be left wondering how good this team is for another 9 days, as of this writing. Watching a 30-point win against a glorified rec league team doesn’t give you much to go off of because (as we have talked about before) it’s hard to draw conclusions about this UD team while playing this caliber of opponent. Unfortunately, that will not change this coming Friday, as UD welcomes a Fort Wayne team that just let Ohio State score 107 (!) points en route to a 46-point thrashing at Value City Arena in Columbus. From UD’s perspective, PFW should be used as another tune-up for the newer guys and HOPEFULLY serve as the first meaningful game action for Josh Cunningham, who predictably sat out against Coppin State, still nursing his wrist injury.
In the interest of moving on, we should have a little more clarity this week on a couple of relevant things:
1. This evening (Monday 11/12) Detroit-Mercy travels to Butler to take on the Bulldogs in Indianapolis
2. Butler hosts an average-to-maybe-decent Ole Miss team on Friday
At the very least we should know more about what type of team Butler is going to be this year, and how UD will matchup against them next Wednesday in Atlantis. (as well as what Detroit will give us in a few weeks)
Oh ya, quick news for those who haven’t heard it yet: in the post game press conference, Anthony Grant made it official that Frankie Policelli will be redshirting this season, and most likely be kept on the bench for an emergency scenario of someone going down with injury. This prompted our tweet of the week from momma bear:
#MAG MS.ANGIE SAYS; WOW WHO KNEW; I'M IN A FULL PANIC ATTACK MODE PRESENTLY AND SHOCKED YALLZ: PRAYERS PLEZ* MOM OF TRIPLETS BUCKETS FRANKIE POLICELLI #DAYTONFLYERS FRESHMAN #2 IS DA BABY #POLICELLIPROUDPRIDE https://t.co/kOaBUDho5J
— Angie policelli (@Angiepolicelli2) November 11, 2018
Website announcement: next season “Ms. Angie says” will be a weekly segment of the recaps. #PolicelliProudPride
For now, sit tight, be patient, and try not to make any sweeping statements about the newest version of Dayton basketball for a few more days. These past two games and the one upcoming aren’t going to tell us much about the season that lies ahead, but next week surely will.
Until then, wear red, and stay LOWD.