Thursday, February 25, 2010

Look Ahead To La Salle

Coach Jabir’s charges return to the court Saturday afternoon for their regular-season finale at La Salle. The Flyers really shouldn’t have much of a problem against the Explorers, who bring a measly 7-21 record and a 2-11 mark in the Atlantic-10. Seniors Morgan Robertson and Jamie Walsh led LU. Robertson, a 6-0 forward, is the team’s leading scorer with an average of 10.1 points per game. Walsh, a guard, averages 9.9 points per game. If UD can slow these two players down, the Flyers will cruise to an easy victory. The Explorers are the worst team in the A-10 in scoring average.

The Flyers will also likely dominate the battle on the glass. UD ranks second to only Xavier in rebounding offense with 42.8 boards per game. Conversely La Salle is dead last with 29.1 per game. Again, Walsh leads the Explorers’ rebounding efforts with 5.4 per game. UD's leading rebounder, Casey Nance (right), could have a big game.

Despite the obvious mismatch, don’t expect Dayton to sleepwalk through the game. UD still needs to beat La Salle to clinch the No. 2 seed for the upcoming Atlantic 10 Tournament, which will be held March 5-8 in Upper Marlboro, Md. If the A-10 standings stay the way they are heading into this weekend, the Flyers would next play March 6 against the winner of the 7/10 first-round matchup. Right now that would be St. Bonaventure (20-8, 8-5) vs. UMass (10-17, 4-8).

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A New Era

Yes, you've read the banner correctly. For the rest of the 2009-10 college basketball season, Peanut Butter and A Blanket has become the Jim Jabir Jambaroo. Just because the men's basketball Flyers have essentially given up doesn't mean UD fans should ignore the talented women's team that calls UD Arena home.

In case you haven't paid much attention to Jabir's squad, here's a quick synopsis. The Flyers, led by standouts Justine Raterman, Kendel Ross and Kristen Daugherty, look like a lock for the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance. UD has wins over three major power conference schools: Michigan State, Georgetown and Purdue. UD boasts a 23-6 record with a 11-3 mark in the Atlantic 10. This squad is the third consecutive group to post at least 20 wins - a program record.

They defeated Rhode Island 75-56 last night on Senior Night, one game after Ross - the team's lone senior - became the 19th UD women's basketball player to join the 1,000-point club. Ross scored eight points and the Rams (9-19, 2-12) posed little threat. UD led by 20 in the first half, built a 38-21 halftime lead and cruised to victory. Raterman led the Flyers with 14 points, with Patrice Lalor (12) and Elle Queen (10) posting double-figure scoring efforts. Casey Nance, daughter of former NBA All-Star and 1984 Slam Dunk Contest champion Larry Nance, pulled down 10 rebounds.

The Flyers are currently tied for second in the A-10 with Temple and trail only Xavier. The Musketeers, who have already clinched the regular season conference title, are No. 5 in the nation and have handed UD two of its three conference losses, including a 80-79 overtime defeat on Feb. 17. FYI, if UD and Temple end the regular season with the same conference record, the Flyers would get the No. 2 seed thanks to their win over the Owl on Feb. 20.

Jabir's crew finishes the regular season Saturday at 1 p.m. at La Salle. I'll hopefully have a look ahead to the game against the Explorers before then.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

BAH!!!

I wrote this after UD lost in the NIT quarterfinals at Ohio State (after leading at halftime) two seasons ago. I thought about it again this afternoon as UD lost at Duquesne.

• It's fitting that UD's season ended tonight at Ohio State, a place where "nice guy" John Cooper was fired. Cooper had a nice overall record and got OSU to a few good bowls, but he couldn't beat Michigan and the Buckeyes usually struggled in the postseason.

To me, Brian Gregory is John Cooper. Gregory is a nice guy with a nice overall record at UD. But the man cannot coach/motivate. He can't get it done against Xavier, and I just got home from watching his Flyers once again play well in the first half only to come out in the second flat and uninspired. I'm just sick of it honestly. It's a broken record.

Turns out, I'm still fucking sick of it. I'm sick of late-game dumbassery. I'm sick of this team, which cannot shoot threes consistently for ANYTHING, falling in love with the long-range shots. I'm sick of inconsistent point guards, mind-numbing substitution patterns and dry spells that last five minutes a game. I'm sick of watching Brian Gregory get his head handed to him by mediocre-at-best A-10 coaches. The Flyers are a fucking terrible 21-34 in A-10 road games. Twenty-one-and fucking-34. Holy shit, that's awful. They've won a whopping two road conference games this season at powerhouses Fordham and Saint Bonaventure. Oh, and the Rams and Bonnies were without their best players...and STILL LED UD IN THE SECOND HALF!! Do you have ANY hope at all this team can win at Temple or Richmond?

This was the end of the season this afternoon, folks. Don't fucking reward mediocrity by going to any NIT games. I don't care who comes to UD Arena to play in the first round. Don't send the message that this is acceptable in any way. You think Gonzaga, Butler or even fucking Xavier would be OK with a season like this? I'm a native Daytonian who has followed UD basketball since I was a child, and I can't think of a more disappointing season than this one.

Holy crap.