Sunday, December 9, 2007

On A Roll....

Alright, so I'm a little late in posting my comments from the High Point game. Combine that with the fact that UD just beat Louisville (again), and there's a lot that I have to say and no real order in which to say it. So here are some random thoughts about the last week of Flyer Hoops...

-I never want to downplay a big victory for the Flyers, but you do have to realize that Louisville was without Juan Palacios and David Padgett in yesterday's upset victory. That being said, when March rolls around, no one is going to remember that fact. What people (and by people, I mean NCAA committee) will see is that UD went on the road and upset what will be a very strong Louisville team. No matter how you slice it, it's a quality win.

-Chris Wright has the best dunk I've ever seen at the college level in the game against High Point. The best way I can describe it is that it was a one-handed, rebound/putback all-in-the-same-motion with authority. Even still, that doesn't do it justice. I was positively giddy for the rest of the night after seeing that one from courtside.

-Huelsman is coming along nicely. I was impressed with his play at the beginning and end of the High Point game, and he had a solid game against Louisville. I like his potential, given that he's just a sophomore.

-I agree with earlier statements on this board that Chris Wright doesn't have too many plays designed for him. Most of his points seem to come off rebounds or when he decides to just blow by his man to the basket. That being said, I also agree with my good friend Jon when he says that with Roberts on the team, it's not really needed to design plays for Wright. Let him get his points while Roberts stars on the team, and Wright will be ready to take over next year when B-Rob is gone.

-Charles Little plays good defense...or at the very least, he did against Arizona Reid of High Point (the Big South Preseason Conference Player of the Year).

-Jimmy Binnie is probably the most underrated player on the team. He does all the little things that go unnoticed for a guy who averages just 5.7 points per game. He'll step out and hit a big three when needed, he'll play inside when Huelsman needs a rest, and he is strong on the defensive end (at least from what I've seen).

-After all these years, Joe DeMayo still is a horrible referee.

-And finally, while most people might not care, I also want to give a little love to the UD women's team. Like the men, they are on a nice little win streak of their own. Eight straight victories for the Lady Flyers, including victories over UC and Indiana. With six seniors on the roster, this is certainly a team that could win 20+ games and go the NCAA tournament. How nice would it be for both the men and women to go dancing this year?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Freedom Hall

They built it, UD owns it.

Monday, December 3, 2007

I'll take it, too

The last time I saw the Flyers in person, they lost on a buzzer-beater at Rhode Island, blowing a game that they could have had -- should have had -- well in hand.

They were back in my neck of the woods Saturday, and good lord, I thought they were about to do it again.

I was at the Holy Cross game, along with not very many other people, some of them calling themselves "Sader Nation," which is short for Crusader Nation because Holy Cross is the Crusaders, and this is their (small) nation.

But anyway.

There the Flyers were, playing fairly well, well enough to win, but finding themselves on the cusp of losing.

But they didn't.

That is good news.

It is a sign that the Flyers are different this year, that they have something now that's been missing before, that in the same situation I saw them in last year, they changed the script?

I don't know, and I don't care.

Like Broadcasting Fool said in his earlier post, it was a win, and it doesn't have to have any more meaning than that.

It was a good thing, and good things have happened this season on a number of occasions when bad things used to happen.

A few more observations:

  • The two early fouls on Chris Wright were both ticky-tack, which is unfortunate because I really wanted to see him in all his greatness. In the end, there was greatness -- just not very much of it. His one and only field goal was a ridiculous one. I can't imagine the gametracker figures adequately representing it. He got the ball in the corner, drove, took off no more than halfway between the three-point line and the paint, and absolutely pounded the ball into the rim. I jumped and yelled and the members of Sader Nation could say nothing. They'd never seen anything like it. So yes, Chris Wright is good.
  • To win with Brian Roberts and Wright having bad games is a positive sign.
  • This team is better with Roberts at the 2 and London Warren at the point, even though Warren is occasionally out of control.
  • Jimmy Binnie stepped up at every possible moment. It was hard to tell exactly what happened when Holy Cross fumbled away their last possession, but I'm pretty sure Binnie was in the middle of it.
  • Holy Cross' big man, Tim Clifford, was very good, and gave Kurt Huelsman more than he could handle. When Huelsman was in foul trouble, Charles Little ended up guarding him and I was amazed that he didn't score more during those stretches.
  • The Flyers made several big runs at times when the game was about to slip the other way. I think this is a team that can thrive on momentum. They just need to do more to create it.
  • It struck me -- as it has struck me throughout the BG era -- that this team really lacks an identity. They are not a fast-paced team, they are not a slow-down team. They are not an outside team, not an inside team. The only thing that comes close to defining them is defense, but their lapses keep that from being a true character trait. This, I think, is a problem. They need an identity. Whether they win or lose, it sometimes seems like an accident, or a case of talented players (Brian Roberts, mostly) pushing them over the top. They never impose their will. They don't really have a will. I would like to see that, and hopefully some tough sledding these last few games has helped this team forge an identity.
  • It appears that Mark Jones is now in a graduate assistant position, or some similar job. I did not know this, but was happy to see it. I always liked Mark Jones.
  • Holy Cross has some ugly cheerleaders.
  • There was a fairly large contingent of Flyer fans in attendance, but they didn't cheer very much.
  • Worcester is pronounced wusster, like he's a wuss. Ter.
  • The old guy I was sitting next to (a Holy Cross fan) got a cheeseburger at the concession stand, came back, took the cheeseburger out of its wrapper, held it in front of him, pinched his glasses against his brow, closed his eyes and stayed motionless for a solid three minutes. Eventually he ate the cheeseburger.
  • I found another seat.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

2 Point Win Over Holy Cross....I'll Take It

Maybe I'm softening.

Maybe I have lowered my expectations.

Maybe I'm not as passionate as I used to be.

You see, in years past, I would have been outraged by a 2 point win over a team like Holy Cross. I would have expressed great concern that only one player got into double figures. I probably would have ranted about how Chris Wright only attempted one field goal.

But this year, I don't care about any of that. All I care about is the Flyers putting another tally in the win column. This goes back to my post after the ETSU game, but more and more, I'm just happy to see the team I'm supporting get a victory.

I think alot of this goes back to the changing landscape of college basketball, and for that matter, college football. College hoops used to be Duke, UK, UCLA, UNC, and a few others. College football used to be Notre Dame, Florida State, Nebraska, and Alabama. Now, you have the likes of Davidson taking both Duke and UNC to the wire in basketball. WVU and Missouri were in position to play for the national title in football (until a mere hours ago, when both decided to gag all over themselves on the same day).

So again, I reiterate my main point. A win is a win. Whether it's a 2 point win over Holy Cross, a 4 point win over ETSU, or a 10 point win over Xavier (wishful thinking?), as long as the Flyers are winning, I'm going to be happy.

As an aside, I'm going to be watching the Flyers live on Wednesday night. I'll try to give a full report by Thursday or Friday as to what I saw in person.

Stay tuned...