RecapU. Dayton BasketballThe Galactic Rise of Obi One

UD relies on the big hogs to devour the Broncos and improve to 6-5
Sully2 years ago1613 min

Over the course of a season like this one (a rebuilding year) there are 3 distinct categories that games fall into when analyzing said season:

1. Games that matter – You know these kinds, they’re fairly obvious. They’re the type of games where I see friends at the bar who couldn’t tell me the Flyers record, but they’re happy to be there anyways for a good time. Flyers fans are well versed on important games and know distinctly what they look like from afar, the LOWD factor is great in those contests.
2. Trap Games – @LaSalle, @Umass, @VCU, sometimes Penn at home, or ETSU, or Chattanooga. It doesn’t matter how good or bad UD is, they will lose a few of these bed-shitters throughout the course of the season. It was written in the cement on the UD Arena walls.
3. “Just fucking win” games – Tonight (and probably more than half of the remaining games this year) fall distinctly into this last category. In the grand scheme of the season, these wins are meaningless, but losses will stick with you in the same way viewing a dead body does – you forget for long periods of time, but any singular moment in everyday life could bring you back to the carnage.

I spent most of the first half wondering how a team like Western Michigan could hang with the big brother Wolverines (a national title contender) less than a week before this contest. While I was doing that pondering, Jalen Crutcher started 4-4 from deep for 12 points, and UD as a whole dashed out to a 34-19 lead, on the back of an incredible 13-for-17 shooting from the field. He would bring his wheelbarrow along the rest of the way, balls in tow, and facilitate the offense to the tune of 10 assists with only 1 turnover.

While there is a lot to like in a game like this, Jalen Crutcher has sky-rocketed to the ranks of being truly reliable, night-in and night-out at this point. Even people that were bullish on the sophomore could not have predicted development like this. He looks more comfortable every night, and matching up against lesser PG’s in the A10 will only continue to highlight his strengths.

Not everything was so rosy tonight through my glasses however. With about 4 minutes to go in the first half, and the Flyers enjoying a commanding 16-point cushion, Grant went with the questionable decision to bring in Frankie Policelli for the ensuing stretch of 2:30. You might see it as a coach giving minutes to a player down the bench who needs them. What I see is another failed attempt by Grant to put foot in ass and absolutely bury the opposing team when given the chance. That lanky white fucker for Western was absolutely inept all night and instead of taking a 20-point lead to the half, you give your two most dominant players breathers and go to the break up 12. If we are to continue to defend Grant’s rebuilding, he needs to be called out for stretches like this, there’s absolutely no need for it. There’s a time and place for Frankie to get his minutes and develop, that ain’t it. Think about the minutes he could’ve gotten in the end if we were trading buckets on a 20-point cushion instead of 8. I know it didn’t matter tonight, I’m just saying, guys.

The best way to summarize this contest any further is to give you the fresh, stinky highlights from twitter:

Tonight, there were many baptisms. Obi continued to slam all the jams thrown in the general vicinity of the hoop, and Josh got just about any look he wanted in the paint. I can’t emphasize this enough, Western’s interior was just terrible. The Flyers went into the second up 13, and ended the game the same way. While Western would threaten a few times with some hot shooting by Flowers and Davis for WMU, they were never able to get over the hump of 6-8 points, and the Flyers were able to affectively lay them to rest because of the aforementioned lanky white fucker and a group of other bozos.

There was more stuff in the second half, like Grant giving up 9-0 runs before calling a timeout, but I already gave you your nugget. These games are filler, you guys, we’re moving on to the takes and then doing this all over again on Saturday. If you ever think you want to write about sports, write a compelling story about Dayton-Presbyterian and then figure out how you feel from there.

Let’s state the obvious right away, Obi Toppin is having arguably the best start ever to a career for a Flyers big man. He finished the night with an absolutely ridiculous stat line of 11-for-11 from the field, and gives the Flyers the kind of athleticism in the post they have been missing for more than a decade. After last evening’s contest, he currently sits SIXTH in the entire country with a FG% of 73.6. Aside from the obvious ability to cram tons of jams, his ability to gather the ball and work for position off the ball continues to shine against lesser foes, and there will be many of those in the current Atlantic 10 conference. The top of the scouting report for every team that plays Dayton here on out should include the big bold letters of “DEFEND THE LOB.”

Josh got that free throw shit figured out fam! …for now. 

Remember kids, when the old lady is happy, everyone is happy. Josh Cunningham was back to being the Toyota Highlander of the Dayton offense: a model of efficiency and reliability that is truly admirable. He finished 2 points shy of giving Flyer fans their first 30-point performance since Chris Wright scored 30 on Western Carolina in December 2010. He was able to score with ease, get to the line and dominate the boards. Every time WMU would cut the lead down in the second, the Flyers went straight to their big hogs to get another bucket. His 28 came on 10-for-13 shooting, EIGHT-for-EIGHT from the line, and eight rebounds. Yeoman’s work.

Keep it 100 at the line, big fella, the BBR thanks ya.

It’s time to get more creative with Jordan Davis’ minutes. This is just a nice way of saying its getting harder and harder to justify the time he’s getting on the floor. When you look at JD’s season as a whole, to the naked eye he resembles a role player in regards to production. The problem of course is that he’s getting 30 minutes a night in the starting lineup. JD has now had 5 games scoring in double figures, those games were UNF, Coppin, PFW, Oklahoma and Detroit Mercy. In the other 6 games, he’s averaging 5 points on 10-for-36 shooting and 4-for-20 behind the arc. The roster is thin, but the lack of production from the fifth starting spot while Obi sits on the bench to start the game is going to continue to chap the collective asses of the fanbase.

This team is going to be entertaining every single night. 

With the at-large hopes a distant memory, this an understated quality for a team like Dayton to have. It’s good to know on a night when every person in the building expects the Flyers to win, they can still put on an extra sticky jam show for the masses. One man that will not be flashy is Trey Landers, who brought his lunch pail to The Arena last night to log an almost silent 11 points, 6 boards and 3 assists. Ho hum. I think it’s time to upgrade Trey to “glue guy”.

How the fuck did Dwayne Cohill foul out? 

I knew I was paying marginal attention to the game and began writing this recap during the second half, but how the hell do you foul out in 16 minutes? SHEESH Dwayne, clean your face up.

The most encouraging part of this win, in my eyes at least, is that UD is making bad teams look even worse by exploiting their weaknesses. This is going to bode well for them come January because there is not a single team in the Atlantic 10 currently that I can definitively say is better than Gem City. The gripe over the years of Flyer fandom is that we play to the competition, and let bad teams sneak up on us, that sure doesn’t seem to be the case with this group.

Just at first glance, UD is head and shoulders better than Richmond, LaSalle, Bonaventure, Fordham, Duquesne, UMass, George Mason AND George Washington. As in, unquestionably a better team. Take my word for it. The perceived enjoyment of this season will almost surely be directly related to how many ass-kickings the Flyers can hand out to that group come A10 play. From what I see now, they’re certainly well-equipped to do so.

Presbyterian gave Butler a tough game last night, even virgins attend a strip club every once in a while, and they will trot their weary bones into our hallowed ground on Saturday afternoon for the Christmas weekend matinee. Bring the family, wear red, be LOWD, go home happy.


The LOWD ambassador of Chicago, Sully has spent his life tirelessly watching UD hoops. Welcomer of all takes, hot and cold.