Ok, none of us had time to write a recap this weekend, so it didn’t get done. You got at least these two sentences of admittance, so that’s that.
Let’s clear the air and just get right to the takes in an effort to be concise:
Dayton is not in the at-large conversation. They’re just not.
They MAY find themselves there again MUCH later in the season after a winning streak OR doing the unthinkable and winning at Auburn, but that’s about it. As we know, the Atlantic 10 conference is quite unkind to teams jockeying for at-large bids, and with how many really terrible teams are in the A10 this year, it will be nearly impossible to avoid losing some bed shitters. Fear not, loyal reader of the BBR, this rebuilding process by Grant was never going to be easy.
The trends of Anthony Grant showed up again vs Mississippi State.
Grant again surrendered another run of 7 or more points without calling a timeout, a theme of last season. Grant again, got outgunned when it mattered most: in the last 4 minutes. And then I would be remiss if I did not mention the absolutely ridicuous decision to redshirt Frankie Policelli, which is now just a memory after he checked into the game against the Bulldogs (were not going to talk about the airball, shooters shoot).
Even if I am to believe that young Frankie wasn’t ready for minutes on this Dayton team…they only have 8 fucking players, man! I don’t think its asking a lot to expect the head coach of the Dayton basketball program to take a step back and realize another warm body on the bench who can eat a few minutes isn’t going to hurt you. Again, this does not matter now, but I said it anyways.
Losing Jhery Matos stings but won’t bruise.
The reality with Matos was that he showed to be a defensive specialist still figuring out his offensive game. While his loss won’t hurt much in the box score, it will greatly impact the lineups the Flyers can use, and frankly, if UD suffers one more long-term injury…they’re really screwed. Policelli is going to need to learn on the fly since he will be called on immediately – which promises to be an adventure. If anyone else hits the floor during the entirety of this season, hold onto your butts. Bobby Wehrli is not walking through that door! Get well soon Jhery, we barely knew ye.
The Flyers have lost two very winnable games.
In all three losses this year Dayton’s story has been stretches of offensive futility. Right now, that’s who they are. Seven games into the campaign, Dayton is a tough defensive team that can disappear offensively and can’t shoot the three worth a damn. UD has taken 20 or more long balls in 4 of their 7 contests and have yet to make more than seven. That’s not great! (while Virginia was technically also a “winnable” game, I pause to say they “should have” won, so I left it out)
I said I’d wait until after this game to give my opinion of this team. This is what I’ve got:
The Flyers will not lose games because of a lack of talent on the court.
Do with that what you will.
— Charles James (@Charles_James1) December 1, 2018
What also sucks? The free throw shooting.
This will draw the disgust of all Flyers fans throughout the year. 80-for-124, 64%. That’s crap. The end.
The A10 is ripe for the picking
Each week the A10 takes more inexcusable losses to bad teams, and remains wide open for any team that gets on a roll. While Dayton has lost some frustrating games to some good teams, they are still in a prime position to rattle off wins and get back to the top of the A10. Richmond, GMU, GW, LaSalle and Bonaventure are all so bad their mothers stopped going to games. Fordham prolonged the arrival of the inevitable stench that’s coming by front loading their schedule with really bad teams, their day will come as well. So like I said, Dayton will have plenty of chances to collect wins down the road, they will also lose to one of these teams this season that I just listed. You didn’t come here for the fluff!
On the positive front, Dayton just got some hard-nosed experience against 3 teams who are tournament-caliber (as far as we know right now) and one of the best teams in the country (Virginia). They could’ve just as easily gone through this stretch and ended up 3-1, but alas, here we are, and a sour taste is what they have to learn from. Josh is still going to give UD double figures even on his worst nights (like vs MSU when he went 4-for-12) and Jalen Crutcher has proven that he’s ready to run the show and get important buckets when Dayton needs them. That will be enough to win some games in the A10 before we even talk about anyone else. Again, most of what happens this season will depend on the health of the rest of the roster, can’t say that enough.
With Josh and Obi both on the floor (healthy) you have to like how UD matches up against the rest of the conference. The Flyers won’t run into any teams who can out-duel them down low once January comes around, that’s comforting. For now, the rest of the non-con is completely winnable with the exception of Auburn (who again will be the class of the SEC), so saying these boys should head into the new year at 9-4 isn’t that much of a stretch.
The biggest takeaway from the MSU loss, for me at least, is what can happen to Dayton when they’re not getting production from Trey Landers. I mentioned his lunch pale in the earlier games because every team needs the dirty work to be done to keep the lights on: Trey is our man for that. Give Obi the highlight dunks, someone needs to hit the floor to get that loose ball.
Three losses in a row leaves me feeling empty, but luckily Dayton welcomes in Detroit tonight so they can get some confidence back while beating the pants off a lesser foe.
Wear red and be LOWD, it should be a proper shellacking.