Welcome back, loyal reader of the BBR. I don’t have a clever story or good lead-in today because the Patriots won another Super Bowl last night and I’m cranky. The only silver lining to this giant cereal bowl of shit we have been handed by the NFL is that it’s over now and the focus shifts solely to college hoops for the next 2 months. We have a few items to discuss today, the least of which is the pink-socking that took place on Saturday in The Arena.So listen, I’m not going to give you a full rundown of that game. What you saw was one of the worst teams in the conference playing one of the best. By the second media TO, UD was up 18-6, and the Dukes would get no closer the rest of the night. The lead was 19 at half, 25 with 14 minutes to go, and 30 by the midway point of the second. The finished product was a 37-point win against a trash basketball team that thankfully we will not have to see again. Being that DUQ is currently sitting at 213 in the RPI, this win obviously did nothing for the Flyers. The goal of the weekend was to “not lose” and that’s exactly what UD did. There really isn’t much to take away from a drubbing of this magnitude, but here’s a few observations:
1. DUURRELLL WATCH
It seems at this juncture like our boy Durrell is improving and gaining confidence with each game. We said this a few weeks ago here on the blog, but Durrell’s game HAS to be the quick stop and pop. He is at his best and most productive (on the offensive end) when he is coming off screens and stretching the defense out to cover a quick shot. Durrell finished with 13, which was sadly his highest point total since the season opener. SPIN ZONE: seeing his second highest point total come at a crucial point in the season is encouraging. Keep grinding Durrell, we see you.
2. Cooke’s shooting
I’m not going to sit here and act like I’m worried about old Chuck, he’s just missing A LOT of open looks lately and it’s becoming a cause for concern. Against DUQ, no, it doesn’t matter even a little bit, but it will very soon. The purpose of this bullet point is to basically say: “we need our best scorer to act like our best scorer”. Here’s what the game log looks like since Cooke came back from injury…
3. Everyone’s favorite talking point
I was really only excited to write this article for this specific bullet point. Turnover-machine John Crosby has heard us lowd and clear, and I’ll tell you what, guys, he’s fucking had it!
O ya, how could I forget? Joey got in the game, got a wide open look from 3 and airballed the shit out of it. Stank face from Scoochie followed….
— James Rider (@JamesRRider) February 6, 2017
Alright let’s move right along to the news of the day. While you were out watching Tom Brady cement himself as the greatest football player who ever lived, UD used that opportunity to sneak under the radar and ink a new recruit, from Europe no less.
Matej Svoboda had a good seat Saturday for game vs. Duquesne. At lower right, you can see him behind bench. pic.twitter.com/Fq3V6L6kCW
— David Jablonski (@DavidPJablonski) February 5, 2017
Here’s what we know about him, which is to say, we don’t really know that much right now. There’s no highlight videos to speak of, no lengthy reviews of his skills, this is a head-scratcher. What we do know is that UD sent Tom Ostrom overseas around November to scout this dude, and three months later they offered him. We also know that if Matej does ultimately end up in red and blue, he will be a 21-year-old freshman on opening night and Bucky will need to come up with a nickname ASAP. If Bucky wasn’t considering retirement before, he sure as hell will be with a lineup next season that features Kostas Antetokounmpo and Matej Svoboda.
Next on the agenda: we have another recruit who’s doing some dumb shit in his high school games. Jordan Pierce, the 6-10 forward that UD snatched up in September, got caught in a brawl on Saturday with a UK commit. Pierce is #13 in white, he’ll appear at the 2-second mark trying to grab a board. What I can see from this video is that Pierce basically instigated the fight with a cheap, lazy foul on the dude in yellow, and then tried to throw his teammate aside who was attempting to hold him back from receiving the hands. I would say Jordan will most likely be receiving a call from Archie this week that won’t be too enjoyable. Not a good look for the young man, just don’t make a habit of it.
Lastly, let’s talk the road ahead. The flyers are currently ranked #31 in KenPom, and as of today, have started to receive votes again for the top 25. Just about all bracketology predictions have them between 7-10, so there is clearly some work to be done to try and avoid this seed line. With 8 games left, the Flyers have 5 landmines, and 3 tough match-ups.
Tied for best ever under Archie at #31 and 2nd beat since 2002 kenpom inception. Best #25 in 2010.
— Tom Eggemeier (@TomEggemeier) February 6, 2017
JOES at HOME, at SLU, Bonnies and Mason at HOME, GW on the road.
These are your “take care of business” games. If the Flyers are going to win the conference and improve their seed line, these all need to be W’s, doesn’t matter how. The respective RPI’s of those listed are as follows: 138, 243, 98, 126, 140. All trash, no reward. The definition of empty wins.
At Rhodey, at Davidson, SENIOR NIGHT with VCU
These games will increase in enormity as the weeks draw on, but it’s a fair bet to say that UD and VCU will most likely be playing for the conference on March 1st in Dayton, Ohio. If UD is able to pick up two wins this week, it will go a LONG way to making sure that happens, especially since it will further push URI out of the way. The one positive in this situation is that VCU will play at URI and at UD within 5 days of each other. That’s good news.
So finally, what is the range for UD’s seeding? Opinions differ on this one, but here’s how I see it:
Best case: UD wins the conference at 15-3 and wins the A10 tournament in Pittsburgh. 5 seed.
Worst case: UD slips up a few more times than they should, finish 13-5, lose a disaster before Saturday in Pittsburgh, and barely sneak into the tournament with an 11. (I don’t think there’s any world in which UD misses the tournament this season, so we’re clear)
So with that said, we’re probably looking at something between 6 and 10, which, of course, would not be ideal. The theme of the next few weeks will be getting as far away from the 8-9 game as possible. I would also put my money on UD being nowhere close to home this year. Just have a hunch.
So much to talk about, so all takes are welcome below. Blackburn will be back tomorrow to give you the recon on St Joes, and Mr. Vines will be recapping the action this week. Stay LOWD fools, we’re in the home stretch now.