The second Arch-Baron Cup of the season is upon us and it couldn’t come at a better time. Coming off a momentum building win on the road against Davidson, the Flyers are hopefully peaking at the right time. Looking at the league standings, the tilt with SLU is of the utmost importance for your Flyers. A Dayton loss would result in a drop to fifth place in the league, OUT OF THE FRIDAY FOUR.
Dayton escaped their most treacherous four-game stretch with a 2-2 record, not quite the 4-0 we were hoping for but good enough for the Flyers to keep pace with the head of the class. SLU, on the other hand, has been in an absolute free-for-all the past month, losing five of their last eight and basically shitting all over a 5-0 start to league play. Nevertheless, it’s late February and both programs are essentially in the same spot, trying to string enough wins together, build a little momentum, and go into the Barclays Center looking to cut down the nets. Will either team win the Atlantic Ten tournament? No, probably not.
The best part about replaying the same school during a season is that you folks already know the score. We all know what the Billikens are going to bring to the table tomorrow afternoon. Saint Louis is horrendous offensively, which says plenty about their thirteen point win over UD. The Bills are now the WORST free-throw shooting team in the nation (Sully would foul Saint Louis every time they touched the ball). You want some more depressing stats? SLU is shooting 46.9% on two-point field goals, 289th in the nation, and 30.4% from three, 328th in the country. Again, I’ll remind you that this team beat Dayton by thirteen points.
This isn’t to say that the Billikens are dog shit and have no talent, they clearly do. Jordan Goodwin is a solid all-around player, Hasahn French is a bull around the hoop and Tramaine Isabell has become a legitimate scoring option for Travis Ford’s squad. Obviously we can’t sleep on recent Harewood Horse trophy recipient DJ Foreman, the 6’8″ senior racked up a 18/9 effort against Dayton the first time around. While SLU lacks offensive firepower, they make up for it defensively. As the first game between the two programs showcased, Saint Louis is a very solid offensive rebounding team. The Bills have a 35.2% offensive rebounding rate, good for 17th best in college basketball. Rebounding was the deciding factor in the first matchup, an area I’m confident Anthony Grant will be stressing this time around.
Whatever, we know you toss the record books into the fire when its Arch-Baron Cup time. Here’s your boy’s take — Dayton is going to win this game fairly easily. There’s no way SLU grabs NINETEEN offensive boards in the Sweater Centre, no gotdamn way. Furthermore I think the Flyers are finally figuring out a way to play effectively with both Toppin and Cunningham on the floor. Cunningham’s performance against Davidson provided Flyer Nation with a deep sigh of relief. Even though JC only got off six shots from the floor, he connected on all of them and didn’t look guardable against the Wildcats. Clearly SLU will provide a tougher defensive front, hopefully Cunningham continues ascending. Obi is Obi, nothing really to add to that. Flyers 73, Billikens 63.
The Cup returns to its rightful place, sitting proudly in the lobby of the Donoher Center.
Lastly, why is Robert Kraft, multi-billionaire, getting the poison out at a place that caters to truckers and serial killers? Fuck, Bobby.
Tom Blackburn is a proud U. o' D. alum. He loses faith in humanity one day at a time, but not in you, you seem like you are all kinds of alright. Charter member of the T-Man fanclub.