Since Uncreative doesn't want to blog angry, and since Broadcasting Fool probably considers himself a jinx after the Charlotte debacle, I'll go ahead and give this a shot. I promise precious few insights and many announcer criticisms. See you for tipoff.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
6:55 - My TV says ESPN Classic has American Gladiators at 7. I assume that was before they bumped the game from ESPN 2. Though if the pessimists are right, I might prefer American Gladiators at some point this evening.
6:58 - I'll take this opportunity to say I have no feel for this game, much like I have no feel for any Brian Gregory team, ever. I wouldn't be shocked to see a win. The Flyers seem to get up for big games and if they shoot the ball well, they'll be in it. I also wouldn't be shocked to see a 20-point loss.
7:00 - The game has, in fact, pre-empted American Gladiators. The Arena appears to be rocking. We could use a good start to keep it that way.
7:01 - Bob Wichusen and Adrian Branch are your announcers. I was hoping for the Hometown Coach.
7:03 - My feed is jumpy. This is on TV. This is not supposed to happen. Is WHIO involved somehow?
7:04 - Well that's a start. London to the basket for the bucket and the foul. Eight seconds into the game. Free throw good.
7:06 - Nice little defense possession and a follow by Marcus Johnson. The first 56 seconds of this game have been awesome.
7:07 - Xavier's second trip ends in a shot clock violation. I don't know if the defense is that stifling or if the Muskies are sluggish, but I like it.
7:08 - This is the first game I've watched on TV, rather than the tiny, blurry internet broadcast. As a result, I can finally tell London Warren and Rob Lowery apart in regular game action.
7:10 - Two fouls on C.J. Anderson. Could be big. On the ensuing trip, Lowery drills a three. It's 8-1. This is the start we needed.
7:12 - Short jumper by Raymond fo Xavier's first field goal. It took four minutes.
7:16 - "They call Kurt Huelsman 'The Professional.'" I would like to know who calls him that, and how on earth they came up with it.
7:20 - Interesting stat: With 12:43 left, Xavier has had just six field-goal attempts.
7:21 - Nice steal by Paul Williams, and an awesome finish plus the foul from Marcus Johnson. He misses the free throw but the Flyers still lead by seven.
7:27 - Three-point play by Raymond and we've suddenly got a two-point game. This could be a crucial stretch. Xavier has taken a punch. Can the Flyers respond? Follow slam by Wright is a pretty good start.
7:28 - Lowery down with an injury. Holding his knee, and clearly in pain. Not good.
7:31 - Lowery is being helped off. Hopefully he's alright. For now, paging Stephen Thomas.
7:32 - Hey Stephen Thomas! A little floater on his first possession. Nicely done. Thank you for not transferring yet.
7:33 - Mickey Perry with a step back three? Why not? That's a 6-0 run since Xavier cut it to two.
7:41 - Palming called on Thomas. There are few things I hate more in college basketball than the random palming call. It's like refs carry a pager, and when it goes off, they have to call palming, just so everybody remembers that they can call it. Anyway, Raymond just hit a three, and it's down to a one-point lead. If the Flyers aren't forcing turnovers and are trying to go basket-for-basket, they're not going to win this game.
7:43 - Well maybe I spoke too soon. Perry matches Raymond's three with one of his own.
7:45 - As Brad Redford hits a three and starts on the path toward hateability, the surprisingly insightful Adrian Branch discusses Dayton's small margin of error. Xavier shoots well, the Flyers don't. They have to make that up somewhere.
7:47 - I have not officially expressed my love for Chris Johnson like some others, but I would like to go ahead and do that.
7:50 - Sean Miller was screaming at his team during the media timeout. When he screamed, it looked like he spit out a tooth.
7:56 - Mental lapse by Xavier leads to a Stephen Thomas steal and free throw. He's got five points, Perry has five and Searcy has six. Big contributions from those guys.
7:57 - Well, that was about as good a half as you could expect. Branch is right in saying that the Flyers' defensive rebounding has had a big impact. Limiting Xavier to one shot is pretty crucial. Also, the Flyers have done good job of not letting the Musketeers take control. I don't know how they've done it, because they never do it, but this is actually Dayton's kind of game. See you after halftime.
8:14 - Thirteen seconds into the half, Warren picks up a cheap third foul. Paging Stephen Thomas again.
8:16 - Shaky start to the half. I didn't think the Flyers needed much in the way of adjustments. Just needed to play the way they'd been playing. So far, not so good, but UD still in the lead.
8:19 - Chris Wright with a three, and all of a sudden the lead is seven and the crowd is in it.
8:21 - Xavier is all about quick answers tonight. Two dunks from the Muskies, the second after a bad miscommunication by the Flyers. Gregory takes a timeout.
8:28 - Chris Wright drills another three. WOW. Eight point lead and a timeout from Xavier. I like that Chris Wright wants to take over this game.
8:32 - So that depth that sometimes masquerades as a wealth of mediocrity? Not so much tonight. Paul Willias with a three for the 11-point lead, largest of the night.
8:39 - Xavier isn't going to go away, but the Flyers have had a lot of answers tonight. They've got a 10-point cushion. they just need a few more answers.
8:42 - Incredible dunk follow by Chris Johnson, but they waive off the basket because he went "over the back." Awful call. he didn't go over the back. Dante Jackson just got in the way.
8:44 - And now the refs are going to the monitor to check for a shot clock reset when the ball clearly, clearly hit the rim. Bang-up job, fellas.
8:45 - Or we're going back to the foul by Chris Johnson and giving Jackson a 1-and-1. Yeah, let's just pretend that last possession by Xavier didn't happen.
8:48 - So that ended up being a four-point swing. I really hope that doesn't have a huge impact on the game. This has been a good one, and pretty well-officiated.
8:51 - Big drive and finish by Marcus Johnson gets the lead back to nine. With that and an ealier bucket by Warren, that's a good response to the rough stretch. Then Anderson misses two free throws. Big.
8:52 - MJ with a huge three. He's the natural choice for go-to guy and he's delivering tonight.
8:53 - Two more missed free throws by Xavier, a runner by Wright and suddenly the Flyers have their largest lead. Timeout X. Still five minutes left. Thhis game isn't over, but Dayton is firmly in control.
8:54 - I'm excited.
8:55 - It seems like there should be less than 4:45 on the clock, and I kind of wish there was. Still feeling good, but still a lot of time. Two free throws by Wright and the lead is 14.
8:59 - Redford hits a three, then MJ jacks one up early in the shot clock and misses it. Heading to the final media timeout, the Flyers lead by 11. If they play solid defense, and don't jack up any more threes they'll be in good shape.
9:03 - Pull it out and run down the shot clock? Nah, Wright will just drive, hit a shot and get fouled. Fine. Either way. No on the free throw, but the lead is 13.
9:07 - Steal by Warren and he saves possession by calling a timeout. Flyers by 13 with 58 seconds left. This one is almost in the bag. Again, I'm excited.
9:10 - That's it. Gigantic win, maybe the biggest of the last several years. Well done, Flyers. Feel free to start believing again. More later.