There, I said it. I know that makes everyone happy now, since I apparently got taken to task for not being discouraged after the Xavier loss. But I stand by what I said then. A loss to Xavier in Cincinnati is disappointing, but certainly not discouraging. We all know that UD never wins down there, and while yes, I would have liked to see the Flyers play better, I think we all knew that Dayton didn't have a chance in hell of winning that game with two of their top players injured.
And why did I feel so confident that Dayton wasn't going to win at the Cintas Center? Because quite honestly, Xavier is the better team. Even if Dayton was fully healthy, Xavier still is the better team. I know everyone might think that is blasphemy, but facts are facts. Xavier has had a better record for the past few years, they have a deeper bench, and they played a tougher non-conference schedule and did quite well in it. Xavier has developed into an elite program, who no longer has to rebuild, but simply reloads. And I hate them for it, but right now, it's the truth.
So again, because of all the facts mentioned above, I wasn't totally discouraged after the loss to the Musketeers. But now I am...
I am now because for the second straight game, the Flyers played like crap.
I am now because losing to Richmond is not as excusable as losing to the likes of UMass or Xavier.
I am now because if you can't even muster a solid effort against the Spiders, how can you realistically expect to win future games against Xavier, St. Joe's, and at Rhode Island?
I am now because the possibility of getting a 1-4 seed in the A-10 tournament is slipping considerably.
I am now because a 20-win season seems questionable, when just a few days ago it seemed a sure thing.
Maybe we underestimated the importance of Chris Wright and Charles Little. Maybe the Flyers aren't as strong as we once thought (keep in mind, their biggest wins came against U of L and Pitt teams depleted with injuries). Maybe the A-10 has seen so much of Brian Roberts that they can gameplan for him better than a non-conference opponent.
I know the team is still 14-4, which is quite impressive. To be honest, had I said at the beginning of the season that UD would be 14-4 right now, every single one of us would have taken it in a heartbeat. But after the way the season started, we wanted more. Hell, we expected more.
So now the Flyers set about the task of beating SLU again, this time in the cozy confines of UD Arena. I can't think of a time when a game on January 30th would mean so much. A win puts everything back on the right track, and the Flyers can still boast a strong 15-4 record. It rebuilds the team's confidence, showing that they can still beat a decent team without Wright and Little. And maybe most importantly, it shuts up the Chicken Little fans like many of us here who think the sky is falling after a 3-game skid.
However, a loss means a four game losing streak, with a chance for that streak to go to five with a tough game at Rhode Island looming over the weekend. A loss means slipping to 2-4 in conference, and virtually no shot at a top 4 seed in the A-10 tourney. A loss mean a 14-5 record, with tough games still looming (see above). And a loss means that every Flyer fan will be on suicide watch til the team wins again.
Go Flyers! An entire fan base needs you to pull this one out.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Posted by Owen Serey at 3:49 PM