Saturday, January 31, 2009

Why You Should Hate Saint Joseph's



The Hawk: I hate the Hawk. It's cool at first. "Ah, it never stops flapping. That's neat." Then by the midway part of the second half, you're ready to storm the court and stop that OCD asshole. Or try to put an inner tube around its arms, like the Rhode Island Ram tried to a couple of years ago...



OK, I have to admit it – the fact that the Hawk was still flapping coming to beat some Ram ass is pretty cool. But he's still annoying.

The Martellis: Phil Martelli's a good coach, and this dose of hatred may be purely out of jealousy. Yet his teams always seem to be good, and to me that's a good enough reason to hate him.

I titled this note "The Martellis" because, while I respect Phil, I remember that his son was a douche. I was in the second row of the student section for home St. Joe's game in 2003. Dayton won, 65-55, but all I can remember is Phil Martelli Jr. literally crawling out on the court to get a better view when the action was on the far side of the court. And usually he was right in front of me and way into it. Like Greg Kohls-slapping-asses into it. It annoys me to this day that I think I saw more of Phil Jr.'s ass than basketball that day. Phil Jr. is still in college basketball, too. He's an assistant coach at Niagara.

Success: Yes, this is pure jealousy. but in the 13 seasons SJU has had under Martelli, the Hawks have been to the postseason nine times. Five of those trips were to the NCAA Tournament and three of those advanced past the first round, including an Elite Eight run in 2003-04 with Jameer Nelson and Delonte West (who I just can't hate for some reason). Again, I mention that the last time UD won a NCAA Tournament game, I was in the third grade. Ugh.

Joe Lunardi: Fuck this guy. Seriously. I hope SJU gave him a bonus last year because he kept the Hawks in the bubble discussion long enough for them to get a spot with an upset of Xavier in last year's A-10 Tournament. I dislike him thoroughly. Why doesn't ESPN have to say "HEY HE WORKS FOR ST. JOES!" every time he mentions the Hawks. It's a total conflict of interests.

Be A Part Of The Hate


Do you hate Xavier? Of course you do. You read this Web site, after all. I'm looking for some reader submissions for the upcoming Why You Should Hate Xavier post.

E-mail why you hate Xavier to XavierHate@hotmail.com. If your submission doesn't suck, it'll be one of the many reasons you should gather up a good helping of hate on Feb. 11.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

U-G-L-Y

You ain't got no alibi, you ugly (clap, clap), you ugly.

It was ugly, but it was a win. Given that both teams were top-13 in the nation in scoring defense, you had to figure it was going to be a grind-it-out type of game.

I'm still not overly impressed with the Flyers, but I like the record, and I like that they keep finding ways to win. I guess we should start giving this team a little bit of credit.

Big game this weekend against St. Joe's. Let's grind out another ugly win Flyers.

Billiken Briefs

* As has been noted on the Blackburn Review this week, Saint Louis' particular brand of basketball since Majerus came to town is, at times, completely unwatchable. It is deathly boring and should be banned. That said, there are times our offense looks like it might have trouble scoring on the Holy Angels School seventh and eighth grade "B" team. If either team scores over 60 in regulation, I'll be shocked.

* While Rick Majerus' coaching strategy is not admirable due its penchant for destroying any chance for fun basketball to exist in the Atlantic 10, there is one moment that defines Rick Majerus to me. Please look at Steve Lavin's face through this fine moment...



* I don't know what things are like in Dayton, but down here in Louisville, the university is shut down for the third consecutive day and the roads are, outside main thoroughfares, a complete nightmare. In my neighborhood, trees and powerlines are all over the roads and the ice has made most of it irreparable until it gets above freezing, which isn't supposed to happen for a couple days yet. If the situation in Dayton is at all similar, the Flyers could find themselves in a much quieter building than they are accustomed to. I don't think there's much ice in Dayton though, so the streets are likely fine. There is a decided advantage for our guys when that building is packed so let's hope it looks that way tonight.

* The aforementioned downed lines have affected me personally. I'm posting this from a nearby coffee shop with internet access as a tree in front of my building has taken down the fiber-optic cable carrying my cable and internet service. So, since my nice, expansive cable package is currently useless, I will be spending the evening at BW-3 watching the Flyers and drinking whatever is the cheap beer of the month (please, oh please, don't be Miller Lite). I hate this ice storm for taking away my TV and making the roads impassable, but mostly I hate it because I am forced to be in this shop with all these irritating Highlands hipsters. This neighborhood is dumb.

Why You Should Hate Saint Louis

(Don't feed it after midnight)

WTF is a Billiken?: It kind of looks like a rejected puppet for a movie Gremlins. According to the SLU Web site, a Billiken is a good luck symbol that became a national craze in the early 1900s. Like when people wore onions on their belts I guess. Two St. Louis sportswriters thought SLU's football coach looked like a billiken, and that's where the name started. Lame.

Players To Hate: Seniors Kevin Lisch and Tommie Liddell are your top targets of rage and anger. They are both 1,000-point scorers and are basically the only two players the Flyers really need to worry about. The rest of the starting lineup is made up with two freshman and one sophomore. The trio combine to average 16.4 points, less than the 16.5 Lisch and Liddell average.

(Not pictured: UD's NCAA hopes bouncing away)

It's Always Close: Remember 2008? The Flyers played three overtime games and won all of them. Two were against the Billikens (the other was the double OT game vs. Akron). Days after Saint Louis scored a whopping 20 against George Washington, the Billikens took the Flyers to OT at the Savvis Center (or whatever the fuck it's called now). Then in the first round of the A-10 tournament, UD needed the five extra minutes to advance. Four of the last six times UD and SLU have played the game has gone into overtime.

(I still hate Trent Meacham)


Trent Meacham: Yes, you read that right. Noted turncoat Trent Meacham has ties to Saint Louis. He is engaged to SLU women's basketball player Theresa Lisch, sister of Kevin Lisch. I'm sure Trent will stay with her for a year before he realizes that she's not in Champaign and thus will transfer his love to a woman more close to his family.

NOTE: There will most likely be a live blog tonight. My fiancee and I were going to go to the game tonight, but the roads here in Columbus still suck, so we'll watch from home if ChannelSurfing.net comes through. The sad part is that this game was likely the last I can make it to. The lame-ass Columbus Alumni Chapter isn't doing a Xavier bus trip and every other home game in on a Sunday. I work on Sundays. Bah.

NEW NOTE (7:08 p.m.): No live blog. We're heading to the nearest BW3s to see if they'll turn one of the TVs to CSTV.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Oh What A Beautiful Morning!

It's Tuesday morning, the law school is snowed in and I am free of that nonsense, if only for a day. Things are looking up all around today. The Flyers are currently a VERY unexpected 18-2 and 4-1 in the Atlantic 10. Now, I understand the state of college basketball well enough to that even at 18-2 the Flyers are treading on very thin ice. The weak schedule means that a loss to a bad team would really sting our chances at the tournament.

But I don't want to focus on that. Sure, we're definitely not an exceptional basketball team. We've spent good chunks of this year looking much the same as we did last year during the months in which Chris Wright was hurt. But is there a doubt in anyone's mind that last year's team would have lost those games to Fordham, GW and Duquesne? Sure, we've escaped with some close wins... but they were still wins weren't they? Not a bad performance at all for a team with NO post presence.

This week is a big one for the Flyers. With Saint Louis (a mid-level A-10 team) and St. Joe's (one of the other teams trying to play the "Who's Second Behind Xavier" Game) both play on our home floor. For the Flyers to make the tournament, I really feel that one thing has to hold true for the rest of the year. We cannot lose ANY home games. The schedule is actually favorable in that regard in that both St. Joe's and Temple play at UD Arena this year. If we drop either home game this weekend, it may be early enough in conference play to make up for it... but it won't be easy.

That was pointless drivel that everyone already knew, so I promise I have a reason for this post. Last week I whined about the fact that I missed out on Korporate Kasual's Marian Blue shirts with the interlocking UD logo. Well weep no more.



And it even has the name and number of everyone's favorite 50's Flyer and color analyst, Bucky Bockhorn. At long last, I own a Marian Blue UD shirt. They also have a red one with blue lettering for Roosevelt Chapman that I'm thinking about picking up as well. It's only quarter to ten and today's been a good day.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

You Knew I Would Mention It




St. Bonaventure Second Half Live Blog

2:56 - I didn't get home until about midway through the first half. So after hitting up the Gatti's pizza buffet and watching Louisville take out Syracuse on their home floor, I elected to take a decided step backwards and watch my beloved alma mater play St. Bonaventure.

2:59 - They're recognizing the '73-'74 and '83-'84 tournament teams at halftime now. It's infuriating to pull for a program that is completely reliant on games from more than 20 years ago to sound like they matter.

3:01 - My only analysis from the first half is nothing new. To this point, nearly every time the Flyers do something outstanding on defense, it's followed by something equally bone-headed on the offensive side of the ball to prevent developing a lead. The oop dunk by Chris Wright near the end of the half was nice though.

3:09 - Marcus Johson with a breakaway tomahawk dunk. Great.

3:10 - Nicholson, SB's stud freshman, bones a dunk. Chris Wright slams it home at the other end. I love when stuff works out like I want it to.

3:12 - If I have to hear Bucky declare what a good team St. Bonnie's is one more time, I might lose it. While we're at it, Temple's football team and the Cincinnati Reds aren't nearly as bad as they appear on paper.

3:15 - Chris Wright and Marcus Johnson go for back to back dunks. Four dunks in the first few minutes of the second half. If these two guys can start to do what we thought they'd do from the beginning of the season, then we'll win some more games. A bunch more.

3:17 - I just messed my pants... because of dunkiness. Things are going well right now... and I am knocking on every piece of wood furniture I can find. Lowery taking a charge right before the timeout is the capper to this little run. ALL OF IT was generated by smothering, lightning-quick defense. I lost track of the steals count over the last few minutes.

3:20 - I hate to go negative while we're up 15 and playing well... but I hate you Luke Fabrizius. That is, I don't hate you; I hate the way you're used. He misses a three then comes down and commits a foul. That is NOT valuable use of playing time.

3:28 - Bucky has little quirks of pronunciation that drive me crazy. He says Saint Bona-VENTURE, whereas I would say Saint BONA-venture. I don't know how to do accent marks in this format.

3:35 - Chris Johnson continues to exude his beastliness. Three at a moment I really wanted some points.

3:37 - Chris Wright makes a free throw to complete a three-point play and expand the Flyer lead to 16. He has 17 points already. A shockwave from his awesomeness has apparently shut down I-70 eastbound by causing four separate accidents. Just out of curiosity... what's the weather like up there today?

3:41 - Another oop dunk. Marcus Johnson was WAY above the rim on that one. Other end, another foul... that's 10 on the Flyers with 8 minutes left.\

3:49 - London has just gotten back-to-back absurd floaters to go. He is nerve-racking. I love him when it works, I hate him when it doesn't.

3:50 - Lowery makes one while getting hacked and falling down. That makes three consecutive possessions where the Dayton point guards have done something ridiculous and it's worked. Rita? Is that you?

3:53 - Less than four minutes to go, 69-55 Flyer lead. Dayton working the clock as the Bonnie's hang around between 17 and 12 points down.

3:57 - I hate Atlantic 10 officiating. I'm more of a more Big-East-style, let-em-play mentality. I don't care how rough the game is, if you've called as many fouls as these guys have, you're too loose with the whistle.

3:58 - Two minute warning. Flyers lead 73-59. Marcus Johnson has 14 points, 12 of them are in the second half. The Johnsons have been awesome today. I've been watching basketball for four hours now and don't have the energy to make the obvious jokes.

4:01 - Back-to-back NBA range threes by SB's Matthews and its an 8-point game. I don't know who was guarding him on the second one, but he played about three feet off him. HORRIBLE DEFENDING.

4:05 - Just trying to make free throws now. With 38 seconds left, I'm almost beginning to feel comfortable. Dayton by 13.

4:06 - Matthews makes another three. He has 28 points today. Lowery makes two free throws. Flyers up 80-68.

4:08 - Matthews finally misses a three. And that's how it ends, final score 80-68.

4:09 - Flyers move to 18-2 on the season and 4-1 in the Atlantic 10. It's been real folks. Work schedules, weather and the Good Lord permitting, Uncreative Commuter will be back to the live blog on Thursday.

St. Weldaventure Open Thread

Because I have to work today (stupid deadlines), there will be no live blog. Instead, here is an open thread to freak out in during what will most likely be a close game (because all UD games are close ones).

Thursday, January 22, 2009

George Washington Live Blog

7:24 p.m. - Live, from my couch in Columbus, it's Thursday Night Basketball!

7:27 p.m. - Wow. If you can pull up the ChannelSurfing.net feed, please do so quickly. There's no video, just a WHIO-esque graphic with the team names and graphics. And some dance music in the background. Just dance!

7:29 p.m. - The video feed just flashed to the court, but just for a second. Odd.

7:30 p.m. - Video's back up and running. No black jerseys. Thank God. The anthem signer is "a little pitchy, dawg," according to the future Mrs. Uncreative Commuter.

7:34 p.m. - I think the video is straight from the scoreboard at the Charles E. Smith Atheltic Center. This should be fun. There is no audio other than your standard arena rock fare so far.

7:35 p.m. - UD wins the tip and we get audio. Hurrah.

7:37 p.m. - A reverse layup by Marcus Johnson starts the scoring. Diggs answers. Someone should make sure he doesn't score damn near 30 points like last year.

7:38 p.m. - Wow. Warren with a being-the-back pass to Wright, who throws it down. Very pretty.

7:41 p.m. - Media timeout at 15:28 left. GW 7-6. The GW cheerleaders are giving away Dominos Pizza. I'd tell them to keep it, but I'd do the same for Papa John's. Awful.

7:43 p.m. - Man-crush Chris Johnson gives UD the lead with a three.

7:45 p.m. - Kurt Huelsman gets fed the ball inside, and misses a shot inside. Bah.

7:48 p.m. - Both teams have been scoreless for the last two minutes. GW leads 10-9.

7:50 p.m. - Media timeout at 11:58. Same score, but Wynton Witherspoon (or Spoon as the annoying GW audio guy is calling him) is heading to the line following the TO.

7:52 p.m. - Spoon! misses one of two FTs. Stop me if you've heard this, but this game is ugly.

7:54 p.m. - Spoon! has eight points. UD trails 15-11.

7:55 p.m. - Searcy dunks, but about 10 seconds afterwards they wave it off and called an offensive foul on Marcus Johnson away from the ball.

7:56 p.m. - Ok, I'm about to mute the video feed and try to pull up 1290's feed. I can't hear Spoon! again. At this rate I'd eat soup with a fork just not to hear that word. GW leads 17-11. Timeout UD. Great start.

7:59 p.m. - Luke Fabrizius misses an open three. Again.

8:00 p.m. - Media timeout at 7:57. GW 17-13.

8:01 p.m. - Bucky, coming in choppy, says UD has four team fouls. GW has none. Wow.

8:02 p.m. - Looooooooooooong three by Lowery to beat the 1-3-1 trap. 17-16. Spoon! answers. 19-16.

8:03 p.m. - Huelsman gets the ball, gets doubleteamed, gives up the possession on a jump ball. He can feel free to sit down anytime.

8:05 p.m. - Huelsman with a hook shot. Nice. He's still struggling. 21-20 GW.

8:06 p.m. - Chris Johnson's layup off a GW turnover gives the Flyers the lead. Hobbs calls timeout for the Colonials.

8:08 p.m. - A foul on GW! It's a miracle! And then another!

8:10 p.m. - Under-four timeout. 23-21 UD.

8:12 p.m. - The audio and video are way off. The video is about five seconds or more ahead of the video. It's still better than listening to the GW audio feed.

8:14 p.m. - Huelsman scored another basket! The pace is picking up. Spoon! is killing them. 27-26 GW.

8:16 p.m. - GW run gives the Colonials a 29-26 lead with 1:23 to go. And another fucking UD turnover.

8:17 p.m. - A GW three. 32-26. It's a 9-0 GW lead and UD is a disaster on offense right now.

8:18 p.m. - GW can take the last shot with under 20 seconds left. ... The defense finally holds. At halftime, it's GW 32-26. Embarrassing.

8:30 p.m. - My Internet died during halftime. It seemed fitting after that awful first-half performance.

8:35 p.m. - The second half begins...it better go better than the first.

8:37 p.m. - Chris Wright misses a leaner. He's 2 for 7 from the field.

8:38 p.m. - UD is getting action inside, but the defense is just awful. Trading baskets.

8:39 p.m. - So UD has two losses this year, but neither are "bad losses." This would be a bad loss.

8:41 p.m. - Maybe the Flyers should have worn black. They're playing like it's a funeral. 37-30 GW.

8:42 p.m. - Media timeout at 15:32. GW 37-32.

8:44 p.m. - Lowery hits a three to cut the deficit to two.

8:46 p.m. - Dayton ties the game with a Chris Wright alley-oop dunk! Apparently a 14 on the Bud Light Dunk Meter. GW timeout with 14:08 to go.

8:49 p.m. - Things haven't gone great for the Flyers so far, but it could be worse. St. Louis is trailing Temple 43-16.

8:50 p.m. - UD leads after a Marcus Johnson long two. 39-37.

8:51 p.m. - Media timeout at 11:55. Tied 39-39.

8:55 p.m. - GW timeout after back to back Flyer baskets.

8:58 p.m. - And the lead is gone after a basket and free throw from Travis King. 44-44.

8:59 p.m. - King gives GW the lead with 9:04 to go. Chris Johnson is down for the Flyers. He's OK though.

9:01 p.m. - GW is starting to take control in the paint. The Colonials lead by four now thanks to a 9-1 run.

9:04 p.m. - Make that an 11-1 run. Timeout UD with 7:19 to go.

9:05 p.m. - Lowery breaks the press and makes a layup to stunt the momentum.

9:07 p.m. - Media timeout with I think 6:35 to go. 50-46 GW.

9:10 p.m. - Marcus Johnson with a big three. Dayton within one. And all the sudden the audio and video are almost on sync. How odd.

9:11 p.m. - Hollis makes a three for GW to extend the lead back to six. I have a bad feeling about this one.

9:12 p.m. - Dayton down four after a transition layup.

9:13 p.m. - Final media timout at 3:38. GW leads 55-51 and is heading to the line for the one-and-one.

9:15 p.m. - Hollis makes both the free throws. Colonials lead 57-51 and we're less than four minutes from a disasterous loss.

9:16 p.m. - Mancrush with a big three, but GW answers. 59-54 with under three left.

9:17 p.m. - Little misses two fucking free throws. Great. GW grabs the rebound after a scrum and calls timeout with 2:47 to go.

9:19 p.m. - GW runs the clock and gets bailed out with a UD foul. That's about as bad as it could have gone. King going to the line for the Colonials. ... He misses the first ... and makes the second. 60-54. 2:14 left.

9:21 p.m. - Marcus Johnson with a three with under two minutes left. Need defense! UD gets a stop. They have the ball back with 1:38 to go. 60-57.

9:22 p.m. - WRIGHT AND A FOUL! With 1:28 to go.

9:22 p.m. - And he makes it. 60-60.

9:23 p.m. - London Warren forces a turnover. UD ball with just over a minute left.

9:24 p.m. - Chris Johnson misses an three. GW timeout with 35 seconds to go. There's a 10 second differential between the game clock and shot clock.

9:26 p.m. - Wright goes for the pump fake. Hollis to the line. Wright loves to fall for that pump fake. ... Hollis misses the first. ... Makes the second. 21.9 to go. GW by 1. Delay after the made FT. I have no idea why.

9:29 p.m. - There was a technical foul (??) against GW? They had six players on the court? Marcus Johnson makes two free throws. UD ahead with 21.9 to go. it's 62-61 Flyers and UD keeps the ball on the technical. The audio is so choppy, I don't know feed. In fact, now the audio dead. And now back.

9:31 p.m. - Marcus going back to the line after drawing a foul on the inbound. One-and-one. He makes the first, misses the second. The Colonials have a chance to tie or win it, but UD holds.


(I totally understand the despair now)



UD finishes with a 9-1 run. Thanks Karl Hobbs! God, you're an awful coach. How do you let six players stand on the court during a free throw? Can't you count?!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Why You Should Hate George Washington



- Last season: In a second half collapse full of crappy moments, the loss at GW may have been the worst. Brian Roberts tied the game 54-54 with a 14-foot jumper with 35 seconds left, but Wynston Witherspoon made a wide-open three pointer with just under two seconds left to give the Colonials the win. This game was before I had my laptop, which is a PC. I only had my Mac Mini, so I could not watch on ChannelSurfing.net. I had to watch CSTV’s GameTracker, which just made the loss more disappointing.



- Rob Diggs: He’s the guy to stop tonight. He scored a career-high 29 points and nabbed 11 rebounds last season. He leads the Colonials with 12.7 points and 7.5 boards per game this year. Only he and Damian Hollis average double figures in points.

- Karl Hobbs scares me: Well, not him, but this picture of him from the firehobbs.blogspot.com site.



- The 2005 game: I’m glad I wasn’t even in the same time zone when it happened. You know what I hate more than the buzzer beater? The sight of Trent Meacham. A coworker of mine covered the OSU-Illinois game Tuesday night. I asked him to punch Meacham in the nuts. He declined.



- And I just thought I’d leave you with one more video. If that doesn’t start the hate, nothing will.

UPDATE: I am hoping to do another liveblog tonight. Check back at 7:30 p.m. for tipoff and join me.

Awful, Just Awful


First, a note. I know not everyone cares as much about the uniforms and colors and logos as much as I do. If you don't care, skip this post.

So, yeah, about those black jerseys...

I know why UD is bringing out all of these alternate jerseys - money. Times are tough, and the school can sell more merchandise if they break out new looks. I'm totally fine with this. Sports teams have done this throughout history. Hell, UD did a great job last year bringing back Marian blue and debuting a retro checkered jersey. Those were both very nice, and anyone who has ever read this blog knows how much I love the Marian blue and think it belongs in the school's permanent color scheme.

But they've gone too far now. The powers that be have simply outthought themselves. I can even imagine how the pitch meeting went. They were trying to think of something more they can do, someway to add another alternate look. Instead of looking back through history and maybe bringing back a different jersey from Flyer history, they decided looked back to 1990 sports fashion trends and say, "How about a black jersey? Why the fuck not?"

I hate black. It's an awful color for sport teams. It's uncreative and played out. The Mets should drop black, as should my beloved Cincinnati Reds should drop it. If you're ever at a Reds game and you walk past me, you'll know exactly who I am. I'm the only person at the game with an all red Reds hat with a white wishbone C with no black drop shadow like the current hat has. That's how much I disagree with the inclusion of black.

So obviously when I read Archdeacon's Obama column and the note about UD's black jerseys (talk about burying the lede) I was displeased. I was happy it would have Marian blue and would likely have trim (unlike the awful blank tops the team wears now), but I couldn't imagine a black UD jersey looking anything but stupid.

Then I saw the photos on the UD Pride board today and knew I was absolutely right. It. Makes. No. Sense.

But hey, let's not stop at black. Let's add more jerseys.


How about an orange jersey. Orange makes as much sense as black!


How about tennis ball green?


Purplish-pink?


Or how about we just fucking put Rudy's face on a white jersey and call it a day.

And you know what's the worst part? Frank Igoudala Lives! is probably right. These jerseys will become so popular that UD will keep them. I love the Flyers, but many of their fans are fucking idiots. Want proof? Here are just some of the comments on the UD Pride board about the black uniforms:
"The black uniforms are really slick."
Well you are really dumb.

"black is really just a base color for pretty much all sports teams. kind of like white or gray. yes, some teams use it as their primary, but a lot of teams just use it to make a cool alternate (like UD in this case). these unis sound sweet idk why you would call them pointless. lets just toss the old school blue out too. matter of fact, lets just wear plain t shirts with only read and blue. you know what? lets just kill fun all together. really dumb post man."
First, I declare shanangans on black being a base color for all sports teams. Is black a part of the Yankees color? How about the Browns? The Lakers? Red Wings? Second, the old school blue IS a UD color, moron. I don't want to kill the fun all together, but I'd like you to go play in traffic.

"Havent seen the black but I do like the alternate columbia blue and retro. Im still waiting to see a khacki home or road alternate."
First, it's khaki, and no.

"I'm excited to see these black uniforms. They can't look any worse than the light blue jerseys."
Don't breed.

"these look even better than i imagined!"
You must have been dropped on your head as a child.

We're not Oregon. Keep the red, royal blue and Marian blue and go with that. Don't give the university the wrong idea by buying any of this black crap. And while we're at it, stop buying stuff with the Dayton Flyers block script logo. This is why we look like a rec league team. NCAA Division III schools have better looks than UD.

Just Say No!


Uncreative Commuter is the flag-bearer on our little blog for all things uniform related, and rightfully so. His insights on color schemes are wonderful and his mockups are top notch. But since he hasn't brought this up, I felt that somebody needed to.

The Flyers have yet another uniform set they will be using this year. Don't believe me, surely you'll believe the venerable Tom Archdeacon:

Look Towards the Bottom


You want pictures? We got pictures



WOW..put me down in the "Not a fan" column. Black is not an approved Dayton color. Plus, black is so 10 years ago (along with teal..sorry Florida Marlins). It looks like a funeral.

The positives, I like the trim, red and marian blue..gotta love that marian blue. My greatest fear is that these get so popular that they become the always used uniforms..like the New York Mets and their ugly black uniforms.

By the way, this makes 5 different uniforms that the Flyers will use this year (Home, Away, Alternate Blues, Throwbacks & Black). The good news is that it only puts UD 17 uniforms behind Oregon.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dayton 78, Duquesne 69

Doug Harris wrote in the DDN today that "Lowery and his mates certainly put on an exquisite display of Dayton basketball at Duquesne on Saturday, shooting a season-high 58 percent from the field on their way to a 78-69 win . . ."

If shooting 58 percent from the field is Dayton basketball, we're not likely to see Dayton basketball again all year. If this team needs to shoot that well to win, then we're in trouble. For me, that's tempering any thoughts of this game serving as a turning point.

But, turning point or not, the fact remains: The Flyers just picked up a big road victory. In fact, looking back at previous years, it's the best road victory I can find since 2006, when the Flyers beat a St. Louis team that finished with a 10-6 conference mark. No matter how messed up our fan psyches are after a strange week, that has to count for something. 

Judging from the postgame quotes, it looks like Brian Gregory was most pleased with the effort. If anything, that's the Dayton basketball Doug Harris was talking about. Shooting will come and go, but if the effort level stays where it was Saturday, then this team will at least give itself a chance.

Some notes:
  • We've been waiting for you (and yelling at you), Luke Fabrizius, and you finally showed up. Career-high 11 points and 3-of-5 from three-point range. Hopefully, this is one aspect of the shooting performance that will be a turning point. This team needs a shooter to emerge. 
  • Remember when Aaron Jackson wasn't supposed to play much because of an injury? Yeah, he played more minutes than anybody in the game and scored 18 points. But beating the Dukes with Jackson is much more impressive than beating them without Jackson. 
  • The Flyers tied the single-season school record for dunks last night, prompting Marcus Johnson to say, "They don't call us the Dayton Flyers for nothing." Remember when Frank Iguodala was the only wing player on the team who could dunk? 
  • On the same subject, Chris Wright had this to say: "I think people should start calling us the `Fly-yahz' with a z. Maybe it will catch on." We can hope. 
  • Road game against GW is up next. The wheels have come off for the Colonials lately. They've lost six straight. If the Flyers can pick up a win there, they've got a home game against the Bonnies after that. It could be a nice little stretch. 

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Late Second Half Duquesne Live Blog

8:36 p.m. - I just turned on the feed from ChannelSurfing.net and I can see the picture but can't understand a word they're saying. UD has given up two baskets and committed two turnovers. It appears to be going really well...

8:38 p.m. - Actually, it's not going that poorly apparently. UD leads 59-55 at the under-eight media timeout.

8:39 p.m. - I thought I would be here in time for the start of the game, but a trip to the mall, Target and Panera for dinner went long. Oh well. I was keeping up with the score on my cell phone.

8:41 p.m. - UD has 22 turnovers. Bah. The audio from WHIO is ahead of the video, which is kind of disconcerting.

8:44 p.m. - I can hear the cheer from the UD fans in attendance as Marcus Johnson makes a jumper. UD by six.

8:45 p.m. - Fabrizius with a three! He must have tried to miss it. UD by nine. The London steals, misses a layup and the Awesome That Is Chris Johnson follows up with a dunk. UD by 11 and Duquesne calls timeout.

8:46 p.m. - This would be a big win, especially after the players only meeting this week.

8:48 p.m. - Final media timeout with 3:58 left. It's 68-57 UD with Duquesne going to the line.

8:49 p.m. - Luke Fabrizius has 11 points?! WTF

8:50 p.m. - UD struggles with the press after two made FTs. I think I've seen that before. ... Make that 22 turnovers for UD after a Flyer falls with the ball.

8:51 p.m. - UD timeout at 3:23. Marcus Johnson makes a tomahawk dunk after a steal, but Duquesne answers with a three. Gregory then calls a quick timeout. UD leads 70-61.

8:53 p.m. - Wright dunk and UD is actually looking good down the stretch. It's nice to see.

8:54 p.m. - 1:35 to go. UD by nine.

8:55 p.m. - Duquesne timeout with 1:14 to go. UD by seven, 74-67. The Dukes just made a shot and called timeout.

8:56 p.m. - Duquesne starts fouling. Chris Johnson going to the line for the one-and-one after DU's seventh foul.

8:57 p.m. - CJ makes both. 1:05 left. UD leads 76-67.

8:58 p.m. - Duquesne turnover. They foul Lowery. ... He misses the front end. Duquesne ball out of bounds. Under 50 seconds left.

8:59 p.m. - Duquesne layup. UD going back to the line. 22 seconds left. Marcus Johnson to the line.

9:00 p.m. - Marcus makes the first...and the second. 78-69.

9:01 p.m. - Warm up the bus, bitches. UD wins 78-69.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Post Fordham Open Thread

So this is kind of going to be an open thread, as real life (aka work) has been keeping me busy). Here are some topics to discuss:

- Do you like the Live Blogs? As Jersey said, I should have mentioned that I would be doing one for the Fordham game beforehand. Honestly, I wasn't sure I was going to until right before I fired up my laptop.
- Are these last two games bumps in the road? Or are they a sign that once again a UD basketball team is going to fall apart while the coaching staff fiddles.
- What do you expect to see Saturday at Duquesne?
- I'm not going to ask if this team should be in the NCAA Tournament right now. I've always found that kind of stupid. You don't have a good grasp on that until later in the season than now. So my question is: What will it take the rest of the way to make it to the Big Dance? We all know 8-8 in the A-10 won't do it.
- Is this season a failure if UD goes to the NIT again?
- What is up with Kurt Huelsman? Hell, you could ask the same about Chris Wright.
- Time to stop using a 12-man rotation? Who would you cut out? (Please say Fabrizius.)
- Wouldn't UD be better if they brought back the Marian blue? No?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fordham Live Blog

After a 90 minute drive home, I have cooked dinner and will do another live blog.

7:37 p.m. - Fordham leads 3-2. I assume Michael J. Fox is excited. Or he doesn't care.

7:38 p.m. - Charles Littles goes down, but he eventually walks off.

7:39 p.m. - Chris Johnson hits a three. He's starting because of illnesses hitting the Flyers. I still have a man-crush on CJ. I don't care who knows. After a Fordham three, Huelsman actually took a shot! He missed.

7:41 p.m. - Little his in the tunnel hobbling, and while a FU player is shooting a free throw, Lowery goes up the tunnel. He might be throwing up.

7:42 p.m. - Media timeout at 15:54. Fordham 9, UD 8. Actually, that's Alberto Estwick 9, UD 8.

7:45 p.m. - In case you're curious, I made a Greekish chicken dish tonight. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts cooked in a skillet with olive oil, garlic, chopped-up olives and tomatoes with some salt and pepper. Tasty.

7:46 p.m. - Estwick leaves the game after scoring Fordham's first 11 points. Hopefully UD can take advantage.

7:48 p.m. - Stop me if you've heard this before, but the Flyers aren't making any shots. Fordham leads 13-8.

7:50 p.m. - Luke Fabrizius misses a three. In other news, water is wet and the sky is blue.

7:51 p.m. - Media timeout at 11:44. Fordham 13-11.

7:52 p.m. - Dayton's 4 for 13 from the field. Ugh.

7:56 p.m. - Remember this time: Kurt Huelsman made a shot. And Fabrizius has two rebounds and a block.

7:58 p.m. - UD ties the game at 15-15, but it's still ugly.

8:00 p.m. - Media timeout at 7:53. Fordham 20, UD 17. That's simply embarrassing.

8:03 p.m. - Wright made two free throws! A UD player made free throws! FU 20, UD 19.

8:05 p.m. - Man vs. Food is on the Travel Channel and the challenge has to do with the Thurman Burger in Columbus. I've never had that, but I bet it has melted cheese on it. I hate melted cheese.

8:06 p.m. - 26-21 Fordham after yet another open three.

8:08 p.m. - Rob Lowery hits his second three of the night. UD down two.

8:10 p.m. - Lowery makes one of two free throws to cut the lead to one.

8:12 p.m. - Marcus Johnson makes a free throw to tie the game. It's his third FT miss of the half.

8:14 p.m. - Media timeout at 3:46. Tied at 27.

8:17 p.m. - UD leads 29-28 for the first time since it was 5-3 after a CJ FT. It does last long after a layup by Fordham.

8:18 p.m. - Luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuke misses a three. Stop chanting that when he plays.

8:19 p.m. - UD timeout after a Fordham three.

8:20 p.m. - Marcus Johnson dunks after the timeout. Then he ties the game with a layup after a steal. He's good. Could be a three-point play and another UD lead.

8:21 p.m. - FU timeout after Johnson makes the free throw with 1:24 left in the half. UD leads by one.

8:24 p.m. - UD leads 36-33 at halftime but the Flyers finish with a turnover. Fitting.

8:35 p.m. - I hear Sandstorm by Darude, so halftime's almost over...and, yes, I have this on my iPod. I have terrible taste.

8:41 p.m. - UD quickly loses the lead and then gets it back after a Chris Johnson basket.

8:43 p.m. - A steal and layup gives Fordham the lead. The longer the Flyers keep them around, the angrier I get. The flu ain't an excuse.

8:45 p.m. - Marcus Johnson makes a jumper. I wish he'd do that more often.

8:46 p.m. - Searcy with a dunk and a foul after a London Warren steal. Official timeout at 15:57. UD 44-39.

8:50 p.m. - This may only interest me, but the Flyers have different warm-ups on. In fact, they appear to be Marian blue...

8:53 p.m. - UD up nine after a Charles Little dunk. This is a little more like it, but I still don't feel better. Fordham answers with a three, then Little dunks again off a Perry miss. Little has a non-little vertical. ... I'm sorry. That wasn't funny.

8:55 p.m. - Fabrizius makes an open three and Fordham calls timeout with UD ahead 11. I think Fabrizius is Jimmy Binnie. He'll make only one three a game.

8:56 p.m. - Apparently the blue warmups are for Bucky Bockhorn. I love the Marian blue. There's nothing not awesome about it.

8:59 p.m. - UD's lead is down to six with just under 12 minutes left.

9:01 p.m. - I'm trying to catch up on Top Chef while watching the UD game. I've fallen behind. I think I'm just heartbroken about the lawsuit preventing season six of Project Runway. And no, I'm not kidding. I love PR. I bet Tim Gunn smells like sunshine.

9:04 p.m. - The lead is down to five after a Fordham three.

9:05 p.m. - Another Fordham three and it's down to two. Ugly. Sagging defenses are killing UD.

9:07 p.m. - 7:48 left. Fordham now leads by one. So UD is a fraud, fucking fraud or another damn fucking fraud?

9:09 p.m. - UD gets a break after Fordham's Estwick is called for an intentional foul as Lowery was going for a layup on a fast break. Lowery misses the first free throw, makes the second. UD trails 58-57.

9:13 p.m. - This team can't make free throws. I swore we were past that crap.

9:14 p.m. - Huelsman gives UD the lead after finishing a fast break with a layup. He still has no rebounds.

9:15 p.m. - Estwick retakes the lead for Fordham with a basket and a UD foul. Free throw good. UD trails 61-59.

9:16 p.m. - Dear god, they might lose to Fordham. At home.

9:18 p.m. - One Huelsman free throw makes it 61-60.

9:19 p.m. - Marcus Johnson gives the Flyers the lead with a layup.

9:20 p.m. - Final media timeout with 3:45 and Fordham heading to the line after a blocking foul call on Huelsman that looked like a charge.

9:21 p.m. - Moore at the foul line for Fordham. He misses the front end of a one-and-one.

9:22 p.m. - Lowery with a big three from the corner at the end of a sloppy offensive series. Timeout Fordham. UD leads by four.

9:24 p.m. - An awful rushed series by UD turns into a layup for Fordham. 65-63.

9:25 p.m. - Big block by Wright to save the lead. UD timeout with just more than a minute left.

9:27 p.m. - Wright going to the line after drawing a foul...He makes the first...and the second. UD up by four with 45 seconds left...Timeout Rams with 39 seconds left.

9:29 p.m. - Charles Little draws a charge. Big play. Timeout UD.

9:31 p.m. - Marcus Johnson fouled with 30 seconds to go...Makes the first...and the second.

9:32 p.m. - London Warren fouls a three-point shooter and I wonder why this team is fucking stupid.

9:34 p.m. - Thomas to the line with UD up by three and 19 seconds left.

9:36 p.m. - Fordham hits a three to cut the lead to one. Ugh.

9:37 p.m. - Dear god... Fordham going to the line to potentially take the lead.

9:38 p.m. - Fordham makes the first. It's tied. UD timeout. 10 seconds left. This would be the worst loss in a long, long time.

9:38 p.m. - He mades the second. UD trails by one.

9:39 p.m. - Lowery coast to coast to give the Flyers the lead! Then he makes a steal at halfcourt to preserve the win! UD 72, Fordham 71.

9:40 p.m. - It's a win, but nothing to be happy about...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

UMass Live Blog

For the safety of my iced-in home in Columbus, I will be posting my thoughts during the UD game this afternoon at UMass. Feel free to follow along and add your thoughts in the comments.

12:56 p.m. - ChannelSurfing.net lists the game, but it's not working!

1:02 p.m. - Well, the video isn't working, and I'm not paying $10 for the UMass feed. Thus, I am stuck with Larry and Bucky. They're introducing the starters now.

1:04 p.m. - There's a Winter Storm Warning north of I-70, according to Larry. I live north of I-70! That explains why my car doors are iced shut.

1:06 p.m. - I still don't know why this game is in Springfield, Mass. It's nice, according to Bucky.

1:07 p.m. - UD wins tip. UMass starts in man-to-man.

1:10 p.m. - Marcus Johnson made a three! UD made a three! UD 5-4 early.

1:11 p.m. - Lowery makes a three! Wait, now it's a two. Thanks for nothing, Larry.

1:13 p.m. - Gaffney is killing the Flyers, but UD hits another three. The Flyers seem to like these rims.

1:14 p.m. - First media timeout at 15:21 mark with UD leading 10-8.

1:15 p.m. - WHIO airs a radio promo for the Rush Limbaugh program, which momentarily turns my brain into mush. That's the last political comment I will make. I promise.

1:17 p.m. - Another three! But Searcy commits a foul. Basket counts.

1:19 p.m. - For some reason there's a random beeping noise on the radio broadcast that's annoying me. UMass has tied the game, which has also annoyed me. UD has no rebounds yet, either. That's annoying.

1:24 p.m. - 11:06 left, UD 17-15 at the second media timeout. UD is getting outrebounded 10-3. Goodie.

1:27 p.m. - Gaffney may be hurt. Back spasms? Good.

1:29 p.m. - I'm watching Scrubs on mute and there was just an ad for Paul Blart: Mall Cop. I'd love to have heard the pitch meeting for this. "Yeah, so how about we make a movie about a mall cop. He's got to be fat. Who's available? Oh, yeah, how about the fat guy for the King of Queens. He's probably got nothing to do."

1:30 p.m. - UD has six team fouls already. Great.

1:31 p.m. - Harris hits a three. UMass now leads 20-17.

1:32 p.m. - UMass now in the one-and-one at the official timeout. There's 7:51 left and it's 20-17 Minutemen.

1:34 p.m. - It's 15-5 UMass on the boards. Ugh. Isn't that what Huelsman was supposed to be good at? He can't score, but he supposedly could rebound and play defense?

1:36 p.m. - London "Larren" steals and dunks to give UD a lead. Larry tripped over his words.

1:37 p.m. - 26-20 UD after Paul Williams (!) hits a three. UMass timeout! UD has only missed one three all game.

1:41 p.m. - So I like the Showtime series Dexter, even though I don't have Showtime. I watched the first season replayed on CBS during the writers' strike and got hooked. I have the first two seasons in DVD. The reason I mention this is that the actor who plays Dexter, Michael C. Hall, just got married to the actress who plays his sister. That kind of creeps me out for some reason.

1:42 p.m. - Nine team fouls already on Dayton with 4:25 left in the half. That's getting old.

1:45 p.m. - Chris Johnson gets a 10 on the Bud Light Dunkmeter according to Larry. I'd love to see what that Dunkmeter looks like. But UMass hits a three to tie the game.

1:46 p.m. - Last media timeout of the half at the 2:52 mark. 31-31.

1:48 p.m. - I have the Michigan State-Kansas game on mute on my HDTV (awesome, by the way) and they had a graphic with the Tom Izzo Coaching Tree. They circled Brian Gregory, but I have no idea what they said.

1:49 p.m. - That's 10 team fouls for the Flyers. UMass is 6-for-7 at the line. Ugh.

1:50 p.m. - UMass leads 32-31 after one made free throw.

1:51 p.m. - Kurt Huelsman gets his second foul, which is probably for the best.

1:52 p.m. - Wright's tip ties the game 33-33. Then Wright commits an offensive foul after a UMass turnover. At least it's just Wright's first.

1:53 p.m. - Larry and Bucky are angry at a call that went against UD. UMass gets a basket and a foul instead of what was apparently a walk. Ricky Harris has 17 points for the Minutemen. UD takes 30-second timeout after a missed free throw. Fourty-seven seconds left in the half and UD down two.

1:55 p.m. - I spoke too soon with Wright. That's his second straight offensive foul.

1:56 p.m. - UMass leads 35-33 at halftime. Time to switch my laundry...

2:05 p.m. - With my laundry changed from the washer to the dryer (How I love having a washer and dryer in my apartment!), I return to the cancellation list on WHIO. According to my finacee, everything in Dayton is closed.

2:08 p.m. - This is going to be a huge second half for UD. Here's my take. There hasn't been that much buzz about the 14-1 start because of last year's A-10 collapse. With a win here, people will feel better about the solid start. With a loss, the 14-1 start will mean absolutely nothing.

2:15 p.m. - The second half has begun...

2:19 p.m. - Searcy shows some strength in the paint and scores. I wish Huelsman would do that... A steal and a dunk by Lowery gives UD the lead.

2:20 p.m. - Fabrizius in. I'll let you know when he makes a stupid three-pointer attempt.

2:21 p.m. - One minute is the answer when Fabrizius would take an ill-advised three. He missed, natch.

2:22 p.m. - Media timeout at 15:49. UMass 44-40.

2:23 p.m. - UMass has been to the foul line 14 times. Six for UD.

2:25 p.m. - Hey, I found the video of the broadcast!

2:26 p.m. - Luke Fabrizius is awful. I turned on the video just to see him commit a turnover and then take another stupid shot on offense. Good god. Sit his ass down, please. UMass has it's biggest lead, 49-42.

2:28 p.m. - Ugh. I shouldn't have started watching this. They look just awful. Not to mention that the audio and video are off sync.

2:30 p.m. - UD down nine. Timeout. Same shit as last year.

2:32 p.m. - I've decided to go with Larry and Bucky on the radio with the UMass video feed. We'll see if that's any better.

2:33 p.m. - Actually this is even more off sync. Ugh. And I looked back in time to watch London Warren lose the ball on offense and commit UD's seven foul of the half - and it's flagrant.

2:34 p.m. - That's it for the video for me. I haven't seen a thing I've liked since I turned it on. Just radio for me.

2:35 p.m. - UD can't hit anything on offense. Stop me if you've heard it before, but here's a Dayton A-10 road game where the Flyers have come out totally fucking awful after halftime.

2:36 p.m. - UMass now up 13 after a block and a dunk. Good times with 11:47 to go. It's totally a disaster at this point. UMass, who lost by 30 in its last game, leads 55-42.

2:39 p.m. - Kurt Huelsman has four fouls, FYI. Hopefully he'll pick up the fifth soon.

2:41 p.m. - Since the game's essentially over. I thought I'd mention that the actors on "How I Met Your Mother" have recently gotten a raise. I just got into that show, and it's really good. If you haven't seen it, you should watch it. It's too late to save "Pushing Daisies," but hopefully the same fate won't befall HIMYM.

2:42 p.m. - UMass is on a 15-0 run, if you're still paying attention. I'm only half listening. Minutemen lead 59-42. It's a 20-4 run over the past 7 1/2 minutes, according to Larry.

2:44 p.m. - This is where the Flyers are screwed this year. A-10 teams are smart enough to know that UD can't hit the broad side of a barn on offense. Pack the paint and make them his a shot. They can't. They'll continue to lose.

2:45 p.m. - UD scores! Wow!

2:48 p.m. - A Fabrizius foul (He does more than take bad shots!) brings the game to a merciful media timeout with 7:39 left. UMass 59-44.

2:49 p.m. - My favorite quote from 30 Rock last week: "“When she’s in a foul mood she can be horribly unpleasant. But, other times, she is asleep.” — Jack. I love 30 Rock.

2:51 p.m. - Larry does a promo for Flyer Spirit. I've been there. There's nothing good there. Everything's overpriced and ugly.

2:53 p.m. - Huelsman fouls out. No points, two rebounds. I don't need to make a snarky comment. That line speaks for itself.

2:55 p.m. - UD timeout after a Gaffney dunk. UMass leads by 15.

2:57 p.m. - Larry says it's not quite time to warm up the bus. Yes, in fact, it is. He does a promo for Tanks. I lived in Dayton for more than 20 years. East Dayton even! And I've never been to Tanks.

2:58 p.m. - Final media timeout at 3:34. UMass 63-51.

3:00 p.m. - For what it's worth, I like the Ravens and Panthers today.

3:01 p.m. - UD within nine. It's too late.

3:02 p.m. - UMass hits a three to make it a 12-point game again. If Luke Fabrizius is the guy who is looked up to get the Flyers back in games when they're down, this team is totally fucked.

3:05 p.m. - Here's a suggestion for UD fans. Stop talking about being ranked. Stop talking about bracketology. Until this kind of garbage stops happening in the A-10, just shut up. This looked/sounded exactly like last season. A .500 record in the A-10 won't do it.

3:07 p.m. - It's mercifully over. UMass wins 75-62. And the annual A-10 collapse begins...

UMass Preview

UMASS MINUTEMEN (5-8)

Head Coach: Derek Kellogg (first season)

Game Time: 1 p.m.

Location: Mass Mutual Center, Springfield, Mass.

Television: WHIO

All-Time Series: Tied 7-7

Last Meeting: The glorious unveiling of the blue uniforms last year was ruined when the Minutemen snapped UD's 13-game winning streak with an 82-71 victory at UD Arena. 

UMass' Best Win: 61-60 over Kansas. Not sure how this team loses by 17 to Green Bay (they have a college?) then beats Kansas.

Probable Starting Lineup

G Ricky Harris - Jr. - 6'2 175 - 19.2
G Chris Lowe - Sr. - 6'0 160 - 10.8
G Anthony Gurley - So. - 6'3 185 - 11.5
F Tony Gaffney - Sr. - 6'8 208 - 10.8
C Luke Bonner – Sr. – 7’1 245 – 6.2

What a Win Would Mean

The Flyers are off to their best start in 52 years, but the way things went in the non-conference season and then in conference play last year probably has a lot of people feeling uneasy. Winning here would make everyone feel a little better about that start. 

What a Loss Would Mean

Here we go again.

Breakdown

When I wrote "a lot of people" above, I was referring to myself. I've always considered myself a believer, but sub-consciously, I think I've tried to downplay this team's achievements, mostly because of how things went last year. 

Speaking to that, this is about as fitting a conference opener as the Flyers could have: 

1. It's a road game, and they've sucked on the road.

2. It's against UMass, the first team that exposed them last season. 

Of course, this UMass team isn't the same one. The Minutemen no longer have star Gary Forbes or coach Travis Ford. They averaged 81 points per game last season. This year, 68.9.

And yet, this team looks like one that can still do some damage. 

Ricky Harris was the A-10's most improved player last season, coming in right behind Forbes among the team's scoring leaders. His PPG have dropped from 18 down to 10 this year, but he's still a guy who can light it up.

Tony Gaffney and Chris Lowe, regular starters last year, are also back in the fold. They both average in double figures, with Gaffney averaging a double-double. In all, four players are in double figures, which is pretty solid balance. 

For a while, things were working great for the Minutemen. That win over Kansas was part of a four-game winning streak in December. But since then, UMass has dropped two straight by wide margins. Houston beat the Minutemen 80-54 on Dec. 30. In the most recent game, Vanderbilt beat them 78-48. 

That's a really bad loss, by the way, even though Vanderbilt's having a good year. Losing by 30 on your home court is rough. From what I can tell, the loss can be pinned largely on a bad shooting night. UMass hit on just 26 percent from the field.

It'll be interesting to see how they react. Today's game is in Springfield not Amherst, and it sounds like the Athletic Department has been trying to drum up a lot of interest. I guess they ended up with a marquee opponent, too, since the Flyers finished non-conference play with the best record in the A-10.

What the Flyers do from here on out will define their season. Today's the first step.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Can We Reach 40 Points?


YES WE CAN!

Ugly ugly

I'm watching the Miami game on my laptop, and it's 17-17 at halftime. I'm only mentioning this because I'm pretty sure my brain may turn into goo if the game gets any uglier, and this may have to serve as my final post.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Scouting the Enemy

So I went to a Xavier game on New Year's Eve. I'm not proud of it. In fact, I don't even know why I went. Probably because I was bored, I have no life, and it was a free ticket to go see a Division I college basketball game.



I figured by going it would be a good chance to scout out the Musketeers and see how good they really are this season. The problem is that they were playing Robert Morris, who held the lead for about 30 seconds in the entire game and are not good at all (7-7 record as of this post, with their best victory coming over Delaware according to the ratings at http://www.kenpom.com/).



Before we get to the Musketeers, how about a few little known facts about Robert Morris coming to you from his page at wikipedia.org:


  • Was a signer of the Declaration of Independence

  • He was the first to use the dollar sign ($) on official documents in the U.S.

  • There is both a Robert Morris University (the one we are talking about) and a Robert Morris College (near Chicago, and not affiliated with the University)

  • Despite roughly three minutes of searching, I couldn't find any notable alumni worth passing along to you

Okay, enough of that crap. Let's talk about Xavier for a bit.


As I said before, it is very difficult to get a read on a team when they are playing the likes of RMU. There was no passion from the Xavier players, and it was a rather boring game. But I did come away with some impressions, which I will list below.



  • Jason Love quietly amassed 15 points, which I later found out was a career high. If you had asked me after the game how many points he had, I would have guessed around 6.

  • I leaned over to my friend who gave me the tickets (and is a Xavier fan), and said "I honestly don't know if Kenny Frease is good or just tall." My friend agreed, although we both concluded he has a lot of room to grow.

  • Xavier went 20-of-27 from the free throw line, and yet I still felt that they were not a good free throw shooting team (and the season numbers back me up on this).

  • Brad Redford can shoot lights out from 3-point range, and is going to be one of those annoying players that comes off the bench and lights you up for the next 4 years.

  • The Cintas Center is really nice. I've been there before, but I really like that arena.

  • If you try to click the stats link on Xavier's athletic website, it takes you to the roster page. That annoys me greatly.

  • The halftime entertainment was the Red Panda. She caught all the bowls perfectly. I was both amazed and slightly aroused at the same time, LOL.

In conclusion, I think Xavier is a good team. In fact, I would say that they'll probably win the A-10, but only by default. This team is nowhere near the Xavier teams of 4-5 years ago starring David West, Lionel Chalmers, and Romain Sato. They don't have that go-to guy that can just light you up. They seem to be much more balanced from 1 through about 8-9 on the bench, which makes them dangerous because you can't take away just one option. Again, I'm judging them based on a game against Robert Morris (and a few games I've seen on TV living in the Cincy area), but I'd be shocked if this team gets past the Sweet 16. They are nowhere near a top 10 team, and I have doubts whether they are even top 20.


Still the best team in the A-10? Sure, until someone proves otherwise. A Final Four contender? Not a chance.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Road Trip Photos

Yesterday, my finacee and I continued our 2008-09 MAC World Tour when the Flyers traveled to Toledo. We made the trip to the Glass City just as we did when UD played Akron. I got a new fancy camera for Christmas, and I thought this would be a great opportunity to get back into taking photos, just as I did when I was a sportswriter in Wisconsin. I learned that I haven't changed much - for every 10 photos I take, maybe one doesn't suck. Here are some of the less-sucky ones:


The view from our seats. We really lucked into them. I called the UT ticket office Friday morning to buy tickets. I asked to be behind the UD bench, and the lady said those cost $36 (that's probably the first row there). I asked what was the next best, and she gave me seats in the corner of UT's student section, near the UD bench. It only cost $7, which was much better than $36. The problem was that Toledo students actually did show up, and that made a big mess. Students sat around us, but people had bought those seats. It was a big disaster, but at least we didn't have to move.

Chris Wright is introduced. He was probably called for a foul here. I can't really remember.


The opening tip, won by Toledo.


Early on, Kurt Huelsman was trying to establish himself inside. It didn't really last.

Somewhere in there is Brian Gregory...


Rocky the Rocket is a rejected Power Ranger. Know why he was rejected? Split pants.


It's no Red Panda (or Asian Bowl Lady, as Secaur calls her), but this halftime show was pretty good. These are the Russian Bar performers, and they were pretty good. This group actually gets more points than Red Panda because of the danger element. The worst thing Red Panda can do is break a bowl or two. The Russian Bar lady could break her neck. She lived, FYI.


Chris Wright comes off the court after his third foul. His constant foul trouble is starting to irritate me.

This photo saddens me. I knew the dunk was coming and it's still slightly burry. And you can't see his face that well. Taking action photos is hard.



A story that has kind of gone overlooked this season is the play of London Warren, who has been quietly impressive. No turnovers last night. Did you ever think you'd read "London Warren" and "no turnovers" in the same sentence before? I didn't. London's been solid.


When Luke Fabrizius came off the bench, a couple of older UD fans in front of us yelled out "Luuuuke!" I yelled back, "Stop doing that! You'll make him shoot more!" Naturally, he took the first two shots he could and missed the both badly.

Chris Johnson finished with five points and seven rebounds. He's still my man-crush.

Marcus Johnson was very good.

Finally, and this is my favorite moment of the night, the cheerleaders lead a chant of "T-O-L! E-D-O!" But these perky undergrads think they go to Tolode. Go Tolode! And this wasn't one of those situations where they did it once and realized their mistakes. They never noticed.

Overall, it was a fun trip. The camera's battery actually died in the final minute, but I had taken tons of photos over several hours on the drive to Toledo and before the game. I did a poor job of keeping track of the battery's power.

We actually made one last stop of the MAC World Tour after the game when we stopped for dinner near Bowling Green. Good times. And I have to ask why anyone would go to Toledo over Bowling Green. BGSU was 100 times nicer.

Ranked, or Not Ranked? You Be the Judge

The Flyers are 13-1 for the second straight season.

They have quality wins over Marquette and....(well, that might be the only quality win, unless you count Auburn...and I don't because Auburn lost at home to Mercer, and any team that loses to Mercer can't be that good).

UD's lone loss is to Creighton, who appears to be pretty good with wins over Dayton and St. Joe's, amongst others (and conveniently ignoring the loss to Arkansas Little Rock).

So when the polls come out Monday, do you feel the Flyers deserve to be in the top 25?

Leave your comments below.

It's Marcus Johnson's world...

...you just live in it.

More photos and fun tomorrow...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Why You Should Hate: Toledo

(About as bad as the Dayton Flyers script logo)

The Toledo Rockets are 2-10 and really shouldn’t beat UD Friday night. That being said, they’ll probably keep the game close because it’s:
A) On the road.
B) Just one of those games UD usually fouls up.
C) A game I will see in person.

The Rockets have only defeated one Division I team - UMass(?!). The other win came against D-II West Georgia in the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic - whatever the fuck that is.







(You suck, UMass. Even Wright State beat Toledo.)

But there are plenty of reasons to hate Toledo, which always makes games more interesting. Once again, I am here to give you reasons to boil up some good old hate.

- They’re the St. Bonaventure of the MAC: Not in that they quit in the middle of a season because of a welding scandal, but the Rockets have recently been involved in a different type of scandal.

For those who perhaps didn’t read about this last summer, a former University of Toledo player was charge with fixing games. Sammy Villegas has been accused of shaving points in games during the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons as part of a federal gambling probe. The last article I read about this was date in August. It made it seem like Villegas cooperated with the government and was to be sentenced in November. But I never found any updates. The charges reportedly carried a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine.

Villegas was also accused of paying a Toledo teammate to take part in the point-shaving scheme. Stay classy, Glass City. Oh, and who bets on Toledo men’s basketball?!

- The Toledo War: Everyone knows about the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry, but the competition between the two states dates back to a near bloodless conflict between the Buckeye state and what was then just the Michigan Territory. And it was over Toledo. How lame.

The two states were fighting over the Toledo Strip, from the Indiana border to Lake Erie. It was claimed by both states because there was some disagreement as to where the state line should be. Militias from both states were sent to Toledo but there was no real fighting. The only injury was suffered by a Michigan sheriff, who was stabbed in the leg by an Ohioan after members of Michigan militia stole two horses, two pigs and chickens. Ohio was eventually awarded Toledo and the rest of the strip and Michigan got the beautiful Upper Peninsula. That’s an even trade.

I've been to Toledo before. I wouldn't fight for it.

- They ruined their hockey tradition: I know hockey is just below women’s pro beach volleyball in fans’ psyches right now, but I love the sport. I have to, really, since my parents met after a Dayton Gems IHL game in the 1970s. Anyway, my favorite minor-league hockey area when I was little was the Toledo Sports Arena, home of the Toledo Storm of the ECHL. It’s really old and smells bad, but it was a great place to see a game. Now it’s empty. The Toledo Mud Hens baseball team bought the Storm, shut them and the Sports Arena down and established the Toledo Walleye. That’s a stupid-ass nickname. Their new arena may be nice, but it’ll never be the Sports Arena.
/end rant.


(Not pictured: Dignity)


- Rocky the Rocket: He may be the lamest mascot ever. WTF? Is he a rejected Power Ranger or what? Apparently sometimes he shows up as an inflatable rocket that looks like a penis and is only used at football games. Lame.

- Tyrone Kent: There’s not other real reason to garner up some hate for this Toledo senior other than he appears to be the only Rocket who could hurt UD Friday night. He has led Gene Cross’ team in points per game with 14.5. He led the MAC in scoring last season with 16.9 PPG. Kent also had a 37-point performance in a loss to Xavier in a game in which he scored 32 in the second half.