Monday, November 30, 2009

It's Been A While

Hey Guys! Remember me? I'm the person who probably checked in on this blog more than anyone else over the summer to see if new stuff was posted, only to leave disappointed.

So why didn't I post anything? Well, something about working 12-14 hours a day, 7 days a week over the summer just ruins your hopes of contributing to a college basketball blog.

Anyhow, I wanted to weigh in on the Flyers early season results thus far.

First off, let me start with my preseason thoughts which should have been posted about a month ago. This year's team has a chance to do something special. Ten of the top 11 scorers back, some experienced stars with some young up-and-comers. I've gone on record as saying "if the Flyers are ever going to make some noise on a national stage, this is the year it's going to happen."

Now, onto the season...

The Creighton win was interesting in that it was a double digit victory, yet I didn't feel good about the game after it was over. The Blue Jays were without a couple of their players, and yet still put up 80 points on the Flyers. I'm not going to argue with a 10 point win, but I was a little bit skeptical.

Then the Flyers went to Puerto Rico, and knocked off Georgia Tech in the first round. I was ecstatic. I was bouncing around the office that afternoon, ready to purchase my Sweet 16 tickets. I even found myself saying "even if they lose to Villanova, this is still a successful tournament." My reasoning was you get to play a top 5 team, and barring a complete blowout loss, it'll help the overall package in terms of record, quality opponents, etc.

So the Flyers to go on to lose to Villanova, but at least made it interesting at the end. While I'm never happy when they lose, I was pleased with the second half effort and the fact that the Flyers were able to compete with the big boys.

Then Kansas State happened. The loss to the Wildcats turned a great tournament for UD into a bad one. I'm sorry, but going 1-2 in Puerto Rico after beating the Yellow Jackets in round one wasn't acceptable. You had to go 2-1 in that tournament. Say what you want, but I was majorly disappointed with the loss and the effort in that game.

Additionally, the Flyers dropped out of the top 25 with two losses in Puerto Rico. Now that might not seem like a big deal at this point in the season, but to me, I think it's huge. How many wins will it take to climb back into the top 25? What about the national exposure that comes with being in the top 25? While some may call this petty, I think being able to see your team's name on ESPN's Bottom Line over and over again is big. It creates national exposure, you get your highlights on TV more often, and people talk about you when you are in the top 25. No one talks about the "Others Receiving Votes".

So now we get to Saturday, and the Flyers struggled mightily with a Towson ballclub at UD Arena. I realize that there are very rarely 20+ point blowouts in college basketball anymore, but there's no way that UD should have been dicking around with a team like Towson. These are the games that need to be controlled from beginning to end. Yes, kudos to the team for rallying back and getting the victory. But try putzing around with Xavier, LaSalle, or any team in the NCAA tournament, and you won't be able to put together a 24-5 run to get back in it.

Anyhow, looking at the schedule, UD should be able to reel off seven or eight wins in a row, with a game at George Mason being the only possible stumbling block. But with the A-10 doing it's best to lose big games early in the season (UD's lost twice, Xavier has lost to Marquette and Baylor, LaSalle has fallen by double digits in their big games), you don't want to start playing tight games with inferior teams.

I'm still sold on this team being in the NCAA's, and I still think they'll be in a top 25 team most of the season. But the play has been a lot sketchier in the early season than I had hoped, and my level of concern has risen despite the fact that we aren't out of November yet. And in the immortal words of Roy Flynn, the legendary Flyer TV administrator, that's NG (not good).


BRob come back said...

Kinda makes you want to take a long nap and wake up when the brackets are announced on that Sunday. Might lower my blood pressure because watching this team isn't helping it.

flyertusch said...

Couldn't have said it any better. I was ready to puke at the Towson game Saturday. We played with zero energy until about the 12 minute mark. Our D has been disgusting for the most part this year. I wxpected a lot better start from a team that returned 11 players from a year ago. We could easily be 1-4 right now. Wednesday is no gimme. We somehow suck at Millet Hall, despite the fact that 2000 fans will be there, half of which weill be old farts from UD.....

baskiceball said...

Ditto. The last two games have left me really nervous about the rest of the season; it could easily turn into a 20-10 season with no hopes of an NIT bid.

Adam said...

We could easily be 1-4, but one could argue we're just as close to being 5-0. I'm still very high on the potential of the season. At times it's been brutal to watch, but right now I've seen nothing that makes me worry it's anything more than early season inconsistency as guys adjust to new roles.

They aren't there yet, but I find it hard to believe this team won't get better as the year goes on. Getting through the OOC portion of the schedule with only one more loss would really set us up well for A10 play and to be in good shape for an at large.