Sometimes you need to pull the plug. Saturday’s debacle at VCU might as well be forever known as the “Terri Schiavo Game.” The Flyers barely had a pulse going into Richmond, and the Rams delivered a resounding “do not resuscitate” order effective immediately. Mike Rhoades was intent on having someone, anyone, other than Jalen Crutcher getting buckets for UD. Without going into minute details, let’s just say it was very effective. Crutcher was swarmed all afternoon, and Sleepy Watson did not step up to the challenge — the former Michigan Man shot just 2-of-10 from the field, ending the game with a measly five points.
UD shot 21% in the first half, missed all eight of their three-point attempts, and went into the half down 33-13. It was all over but the shouting at that point. On a positive note, if there was one, Zimi Nwokeji played an active role and Jordy Chimichanga had one of his best performances in recent memory. Folks, LUKE FRAZIER even played six minutes of D1 basketball — missing his only shot of the day and clanging two foul shots off the rim. The future is very bright for that young man.
At this point, Dayton is just running out the clock on their season. Jalen Crutcher will go back and forth as far as his interest in games goes. Sleepy will continue to shoot threes with impunity, and Mo Sissoko will continue to makes us wonder. If you aren’t laughing at this point, you are doing something wrong. Can it get worse? Well, Dayton has to take on what would appear to be the most complete team in the Atlantic Ten, Saint Louis. Will Dayton break 60?
The first thing to know about Saint Louis is that the Billikens haven’t played in over a month. So while SLU hasn’t been spending its time getting beat by the likes of Fordham and La Salle, they’ve been completely off everyone’s radar. While the Bills are clearly the most talented team in the league, there’s no telling how the long layoff will affect them over the next couple of weeks.
This was the year my man Travis Ford was waiting for. All five starters, and the top eight scorers, returned from a team that won 23 games last season. Incidentally SLU was the clear conference favorite coming into this year. The Bills have lived up to expectations so far, with wins over NC State and LSU highlighting their non-conference resume. SLU’s lone defeat came at the hands of Minnesota, a 90-82 loss that saw SLU shoot 13% from the three-point line.
We have all been around the block a time or two, so you know what to expect from Travis Ford’s club: elite rebounding on both ends of the floor, a steady attack in the paint and rock solid defense. SLU has added a few wrinkles this season, however — the Billikens have sped up the pace of their offense and, while not a major ingredient in their offensive stew, have become an effective three-point shooting team. To put some statistical perspective on the Bills, they are currently grabbing an offensive rebound on almost 40% of their possessions and come into tonight’s game with a 56.8% effective field-goal percentage, one of the best marks in the nation.
Hasahn French (8.8 ppg/7.3 rpg) is finally a senior, a 6’7″ forward that transforms into a bull for forty minutes. Javonte Perkins (17.8 ppg), another name that should be very familiar to UD fans, has upped his game. The 6’6″ senior is leading the team in scoring, shooting 55% from three. Perkins is an absolute nightmare matchup for the opposition. Of course, Ford still has Jordan Goodwin to rely on. Goodwin (16.9 ppg/11.1 rpg/4.0 apg) is the league’s best overall player, an absolute freak of a athlete that can do everything on the court. Goodwin may be a tad streaky from the perimeter, but he is the one guy on Saint Louis that can get a bucket when necessary. Standing at just six feet three inches, Goodwin is the best rebounding guard in the country. SLU’s trio is about as good as it gets in the Atlantic Ten, we wish them well the rest of the way.
Matt’s statement is as follows: “There are no numbers, no analytical examination, that can explain or justify the pain last weekend’s loss to VCU caused the entire fanbase. As such, I don’t believe any context is necessary to break down the upcoming Arch Baron Cup. While I will continue to provide snazzy graphs and statistical forecasts, it would be a foolhardy mission indeed to draw conclusions where none are needed.
May God have mercy on our souls.”
This has all the makings of what Jewish people might call a “shanda.” The one overwhelmingly positive factor in UD’s favor is the fact that Saint Louis hasn’t played a game since December 23rd. Depending on your mental makeup, you can either be in the “well rested” or “not tested” camp, up to you.
According to the NCAAB odds, Dayton is listed as 9.5-point underdogs against Saint Louis. Opening point spread was listed as 8.5 but has moved to the current 9.5. I’m not sure UD breaks 60 in this one and with SLU’s offense in a different gear this season, it’s hard to see the Flyers coming away with a win in this one. But you never know when it’s the Cup!
Give the points and thank me later. Billikens 77, Flyers 64. #LOWD
As always, check out the history of the Arch Baron Cup if you are so inclined.