Let’s just get this out of the way right now: anyone who reaches for white turkey meat over dark is someone to be feared. We’re talking “Red Flag” status. Needed to get that off my chest.
Blackburn is currently at PETA’s “Save Our Turkeys” protest somewhere in NYC, Sully drank over 100 Yuengling’s with his fellow tribe of Yinzers, Donny is probably just now finding out that Dayton played tonight, and Drew…well Drew is like 16, so he got the holiday off. But here’s the THIRD blog of the day – on a holiday no less – for your asses, so let’s get to it because I have to be at the bar in 20 minutes to continue my abusive relationship with Great Lakes Christmas Ale.
As resident pessimist, I was admittedly very down on our chances against Butler. My reasoning was simple: this team hasn’t given me a reason to personally be convinced they’ve flipped a switch from the slop we saw all last year. And boy was I happy to be wrong (for once). When was the last time we saw a Dayton team have this much fun playing with one another? The Elite 8 squad? You got guys doing cartwheels on the bench when we make a simple layup. Guys on the court getting HOT when they get a bad call or miss a shot. Sully and Blackburn already harped on this, but man did I miss having that much fun watching the Daytona Fliers play basketball.
Gonna enjoy laughing at VCU for about 20 hours until Butler kicks us in the teeth tomorrow night
— Kevin Tuleta (@KTuleta) November 21, 2018
Tonight the Fly Boyz came into the “arena” as 12.5 point dogs, which shouldn’t have surprised anyone (champions cover!). Virginia is every bit a top 5 team and we stuck with them the entire game, never getting more than 4-6 points down for the majority of it. Virginia never led by more than 9 points, which is a victory for this young ball club at this point in the season. We started the game with our foot firmly on the gas and shot out to a 7-0 lead, with Virginia never gaining the lead until the 6 minute mark. Unfortunately they would end the half going on a 7-2 run against Dayton in the last couple minutes of the half, which gave them a halftime lead of 27-22. Dayton shot 53% from the field to UVA’s 37%, but our 11 turnovers to their 5 is what led us to a deficit going into the locker room.
The second half had us trailing the entire time, cutting the deficit to 4 points on 4 separate occasions. The boys had that FIGHT in them, but just couldn’t get over the hump and take it home. De’Andre Hunter continues to be “dat dude” for UVA and finished the game with 23 points. Josh led our squad with 15 points on 6-8 shooting and had 5 boards; Obi had 13 points on 6-7 shooting, even getting his first 3 ball. More on Obi later. The scoreboard at the final buzzer was UVA 66, Dayton 59. Lots to be happy with after tonight. And how about them KenPom numbers?
And if you’re keeping score at home, that’s an 18-spot Ken Pom jump in two games after coming into Atlantis at 102. https://t.co/G6rFgausLq
— John Bedell (@JBedellWHIO) November 23, 2018
- This team is buying in to whatever Grant has been cooking up. Finally. As a wise member of the City of Dayton media once said, the “addition by subtraction” with the departures over the summer have done wonders to this squad.
- You know that moving screen at the end of the game that wasn’t called? Get over it.
- OBI TOPPIN IS A KILLER. There’s “hyping a kid up after a few games because you pray he’s good”, and then there’s this. The kid can flat out ball. I cannot wait to see what he does in conference play.
- JALEN CRUTCHER is a straight up junkyard pitbull. And I mean that in the most complimentary way possible. This kid continues to shine every night and he’s starting to really break out. Big things will come from this kid.
- Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. Free throws. You all know it, I’m not even going to write it.
- I continue to find myself confused by Jordan Davis. He’s streaky as hell and does a great disappearing act for long stretches of time. When he’s on, he’s on – but man do I hope he gets some more confidence out there (he will).
- I love the Sweater’s Grandson, Ryan Mikesell. I really do. But there were some points tonight where he was clearly too gassed to be out there and needed Obi instead, regardless of fouls. We’ll appreciate Chip all season long, I’m confident of that.
That’s all folks. Short and sweet. Get to bed early, as we have an 11:30am ET tip-off against Oklahoma. Thanks as always to Jablo for the media. WARE that red, and stay LOWD.