THE DAYTON FLYERS ARE NOT TO BE TRIFLED WITH LADIES AND GENTS!
The much anticipated match up between your University of Dayton Flyers and the Rams of Rhode Island was over before it began. A 17-0 run to light the arena on fire began the shellacking, and before Rhode Island even blinked, Dayton reminded everyone just who the fuck they are: the #6 team in the country. Remember when I said that this was the year that Dayton needed to lay waste to the Atlantic 10 and to embrace being the evil empire? Well, coach Anthony Grant gave the “You may fire when ready” order and the Death Star laser beamed Rhode Island right out of the building. Dayton came out and looked like they did in Maui. Sharp defensively, crashed the glass, and as has become the custom, absolutely lethal on offense. The most frustrating thing outside of the officiating on this night was the fact that the red car STILL hasn’t won the race at the under 12 minute timeout, it is an injustice that I plan to keep fighting that I can I promise you. Let’s take a dive into the latest Gem City beatdown.
As I mentioned before the Flyers came out and busted right through the opening gate, a 10-0 run less than 3 minutes into the contest forced URI coach David Cox to burn his first timeout. For his efforts Dayton held URI scoreless through the under 16 TV timeout, leading 12-0 at that juncture. Another 5 straight for Dayton gave them the final 17-0 run to open the contest that brought the LOWD to heights that haven’t been reached since, dare I say, the Boise State first four game. URI finally got on the board with a stick back at the 14 minute mark but the damage had already been done. A hole like that against a squad like Dayton on their home floor will put you out to pasture. URI did their damndest to try to scratch and claw back into it, and to their credit, their effort did not dwindle. They played hard and eventually got the lead down to 9. That lasted about 25 seconds. After one of the seven (!) technical fouls called on the night, Crutcher made both free throws, and then Obi buried a three directly in front of the URI bench for a quick 5 point swing to put Dayton back on top by 14. The lead would never be under double digits the rest of the contest. The Flyers headed into the break up 14 and looked to bury Rhody in the second half.
Fatts Russell, who struggled mightily but somehow still finished with 19, opened the second frame with a quick 4 points to scratch the lead down to 10, and that was the final time that the Rams would be in cover town. a 12-2 run in a 5 minute span by the Flyers put the contest out of reach and the crowd was subjected to the three officials blowing their whistles for the next half hour. A game that one bettor called a “bomb” and put 10k on URI +11 ended with the Flyers covering the spread. That is why Vegas is Vegas everyone.
Dayton put on its best defensive performance since Maui. Holding the Rams to 28.8/20/68 shooting splits on the night and out rebounding URI 43-40. This is the kind of defensive intensity that the Flyers are going to have to play with come March, and they brought it against an opponent that many pundits thought would hang with them. You can only play who is in front of you, but dominating the second best team in the conference sends a message not just to the league, but to the rest of the country.
Obi bullied his little brother tonight. As the youngest of 2 older brothers, I felt for young Jacob. Obi told Jablo after the SLU game that if he caught Jacob in the lane, it was “gonna be SportsCenter” Well, Obi made good on his promise. A fast break left handed windmill dunk provided the highlight of the evening. Chants of “Obi’s better” rang through the dungeon (This is just me, but just chanting “Obi’s brother” would have been more effective, but I digress.) Obi ended the night with 22 pts, 10 rebounds on 7-9 shooting. Just another night for the Wooden award front runner. Jacob struggled tonight, but you can see the potential there, and Rhode Island fans should be very excited for the years to come with the young Toppin brother. I think he still is going to fill out and will be a problem for Dayton in the next coming years, but his big brother knocked him around like big brothers are known to do on this night and Obi showed absolutely no mercy.
Jalen Crutcher: 2nd best player in the Atlantic 10
So, everyone’s favorite College Basketball maniac Jon Rothstein essentially tweeted that Fatts Russell was better than Jalen Crutcher. As a betting man, I am willing to put some cheddar down that Jalen caught wind of this tweet and didn’t take too kindly to it. He took it to Fatts and the rest of the Rams tonight posting an efficient scoring line of 21 points on 5-7 shooting, 2-3 from 3 and 9-9 from the stripe. Russell got his points, finishing with 19 but took 18 shots to get there. I have been screaming it from mountain tops this season, but Jalen Crutcher is the best PG in the A10 and the second best player in the conference behind his running mate Obi. I thank my lucky stars every day that Anthony Grant found this guy and you all should to.
Cohill returned with a vengeance
Big ups to Dwayne Cohill. Nailed to the bench in the last two contest, many people began to wonder about the future of young Dwayne. I think he was in the doghouse with Grant for reasons we will probably never know. He got an opportunity to get back on the floor tonight and responded with his best performance of the season. Seven points on 3-3 shooting and playing that hounding junkyard dog defense he has become known for. Good to see that just because he got glued to the pine he didn’t sulk, or pout. Instead, he kicked up the hard work, getting shots up after the SLU game on Saturday. Grant has kind of got a knack for pissing his players off and getting the best of them, it worked for Dwayne and hopefully this version of him is here to stay because we are going to need him down the stretch of the season.
Drewby recap game update:
6-0: Average margin of victory, 17 points. ROLLIN’
Okay one last thing before I let ya go, pregame the taps for Bud Light, Yuengling and Miller Lite were not working properly. The Natty Taps (which feature a fire tap by the way) were the only option. A fine option, don’t take this as me going at Natty because I love it as much as the rest, but man if UD wants to push it, you can’t charge it the same price as the others. Its gotta be at least a dollar cheaper. It’s just a thought, the people will come. If anyone who makes those kind of decisions is reading this, you know I am right.
The evil empire keeps it rolling into Amherst on Saturday, then it is a trip to everyone’s cafeteria. Wear Red, Be Lowd, Stay Hydrated.