There is a line in the criminally underrated movie Vanilla Sky that goes “Consequences, David. It’s the little things. The little things. There’s nothing bigger.” I think about this line a few times a year. I think back to eleven years ago when I emailed some random dude (shockingly not asking A/S/L) when I heard he was starting a Dayton basketball blog. At that time, I was 26 years old and single. I still lived in Dayton and went to every UD home game. I honestly loved the idea of writing for a blog. Fast forward eleven years and I am 37 years old with a kid. After his bath time and story time and cleaning up his mess, I am too exhausted to even watch a Dayton game. We all make fun of me leaving early when I actually go to the games and rightfully so. I am officially a casual fan.
Sadly, these excuses can only last so long. Blackie, Sully, KT, and Drew carry this blog and I just tag along for the ride. I have become the site’s punching bag/mascot. And I am OK with that. Unfortunately, the rest of the crew is not. Showing up once every 2 months for a podcast doesn’t cut it and my contract says I have to do at least one recap a year. So here I am. Sitting in my bed while my son hopefully takes a nap so he is not a nightmare tonight for Christmas Eve mass. Writing a recap of a game that SPOILER ALERT I watched 10 minutes of and that was while wrapping gifts. So here goes nothing!
Dayton did not lose to Grambling. For a split moment there in the 2nd half when Grambling cut the lead to 10 points, I started sweating thinking that this recap might need to be good. Thankfully, Dayton woke up and covered the spread. Champions cover. I think it’s safe to say that while Obi Toppin is getting all the accolades and press this year, it is Ibi Watson that has helped carry the load. Making his first start of the year, Ibi poured in 30 points and helped us forget Obi’s lackluster stats. It also helped us forget Crutcher not playing because of concussion protocol. It did NOT help us forget the Dirt Road saga (more on that in the upcoming podcasts). With Crutcher and Dirt Road out, this deep team suddenly felt thin. I don’t think CAG wants Jordy Tshminga playing 22 minutes but he held his own last night. Rodney Chatman also had a great game and it’s comforting to know that he can put points on the board.
But of course, Dayton was never going to lose this game. Nor will they lose the next game against North Florida before conference play starts. Dayton did what they needed to do and put a beat down on a shitty opponent because they are going to need to do that a lot this season. Watson and Toppin are both going to have to each take turns scoring 20 points a game for this team to crush inferior teams and to stay in that top 25 all year. This team goes as far as those two players will take them.
There was a lot of talk about Grant having the team play some 1-3-1 zone last night. It didn’t matter because again, Grambling sucks, but it did show that it is probably not a good idea. As our good friend Adam said on Twitter, there is a good reason why only one team plays zone. Dayton is going to be so much better than every team they play this year, there is no need to fuck around and play zone and let some team get hot from the outside. Grambling shot 2-19 from beyond the arc so the zone worked for a hot minute but you have the athletes to go against any team. That and the zone will also give up offensive rebounds, which again was a problem last night as well as against Colorado. Just man up and beat them down.
This half assed recap is so on brand for me it’s laughable. Then again, Grambling was laughable. And if you are reading this on Christmas Eve in between asking Neil Sullivan to complain about the refs to the NCAA President or DMing current players asking them when they’ll be back from an undisclosed illness, then you need to get out more. We appreciate your readership but man, there are better things out there. Take this next week to celebrate the holiday season (PC!!!) and get ready for the conference play. That doesn’t mean don’t WARE RED and BE LOWD, you should always do that. Just go have some picklebacks, yell some pro-Trump stuff at dinner tomorrow, and pass out naked under the tree. We got a long way to go and there is no need to stress the small stuff.
Have a Merry Christmas everyone. My Venmo and/or PayPal is open if you want to send any last minute gifts. GO FLYERS!