Nate filled in admirably for me earlier today, but I’ll take it from here. Without research, because that’s beside the point here, this is the second-most interesting regular-season game UD has played in the past 35 years. I remember a 2003 showdown between David West and Keith Waleskowski being hugely significant since I believe both teams were in the top-20, but that’s about it outside of this one.
First, some thoughts about VCU. This current class, the recent program (Shaka through Wade), and this current team are all worth celebrating. Great teams led by a great coach helping to carry an otherwise mediocre conference. Lewis, Williams, Alie-Cox, and Tillman are going to ruin a lot of someone’s brackets. I’m rooting for them. These UD-VCU games have elevated both teams and they will be sorely missed after this.
Tonight, I was unable to watch the game live. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology and my stubbornness I didn’t know a thing about the game until I got home tonight and flipped it on from the DVR. For fun – at least I hope it was – I chronicled my thoughts throughout the game for posterity. What I wrote is below. I did no editing but i did insert some photos…although mainly different iterations of the same thing. I hope you enjoy it.
Before that, though, a quick note about this class. In the next week I will write a long tribute to the winningest class in UD history and likely the winningest class in my lifetime. Thank you Scoochie. Thank you Kendall. Thank you Kyle. You individually and what you represent have transformed UD from a team with occasionally great players into a great program with great players. That’s not on Archie – that’s on you. It’s been a joy to watch.
I hope you get a kick out of what follows. Let’s start from the end:
Well, I couldn’t watch the game live, but I was able to both record the game and avoid seeing the score until I did. That’s very rare. Let’s see how I reacted to game as it progressed, “live.”
All moments are based on the game clock. I started watching the game at 11 p.m.
The beginning of this game is brought to you by Psychopathy brewed by (in part) fellow Flyer Brady Duncan. Delicious beer.
First 3: Kyle Davis decided that he was going to break through the noise and play basketball at the beginning of a very emotional game. Of course it was him. I wouldn’t have picked anyone else. An awkward floater off the glass, several rebounds, a tie-up for a UD possession jump ball (let them jump!), and an assist to Cooke for a fast break layup. Yeah, we’re gonna miss him.
17:30: Tillman is going to be a problem all goddamn game. I love Archie switching Pollard and Cunningham on him, though. That wasn’t an option last time in Richmond.
16:00: Scoochie getting an and-1 early isn’t a great sign for VCU. That’s a very important play for the Flyers.
15:00: Honestly, I’m wondering whether Scoochie can play 40 tonight.
14:45: Inadvertent whistle on a clear and-1? Oh, so you were waiting for the shot to go in and screwed up. Nicely done A10 ref. Nicely done.
14:00: If I were Will Wade I would be terrified to go with the white shirt gold tie combo. Relatedly, I sweat a LOT.
13:30: Apparently Scoochie can’t play all 40. Shit.
13:15: 39:45 still in play!
13:00: Darrell Davis turning into a 3-and-D guy is one of the best developments of the season for the Flyers. The absurd baseline call he took has no bearing on this point.
12:00: Cunningham and Pollard in the same lineup is a fun thing to watch. If Cunningham were fully healthy…damn.
11:00: Dayton already in the bonus. Great opportunity to build a lead without doing much. Take advantage.
4:00: Well, we missed some free throws, a Mikesell 3, some great finishes by Scooch, and more weird foul calls against both teams. Fun! The good news is that I had my midnight snack because it’s 12:05 now.
3:55: Dayton looks likely to hit 40 with one made 3. That’s gonna work.
3:32: 2 made 3s. Kyle Davis. My man.
3:14: Sam Miller moving screen. Two thoughts: 1) he does set some awkward screens and that needs to be corrected; 2) for the love of god, not every screen set by Miller or Mikesell is a moving screen.
2:35: Jonathan Williams is an absolute joy to watch. I’m going to miss this VCU team.
2:03: Charles Cooke being a bad free throw shooter is just strange.
1:30: Leaning toward switching the beer up at the half.
44.1: Scoochie Smith is playing like this is his last game at UD Arena. This guy is all-time.
44.1: The announcer just called Spring Break “Mid-Semester Break.” Come on.
Half: If you told me that the Flyers would hang 45 on VCU at the half, I would have taken that every single time. The 7 point lead is fine, but it should have been bigger. Just play that half again, boys.
I heard the Red Panda was there. She’s great. I will have a hard time finding a better half the Flyers have played offensively. Second half, they’ll need to do a little better keeping VCU off the glass. I’ll have to do a better job of finding a new beer.
Today’s potential A10 clinching second half is brought to you by Toddles the Axe Man (ok, it’s Todd) by Surly. Let’s end this so I can go to bed. It’s 12:15 on March 2 right now.
20:00: Jon Rothstein basically said that if URI wins out (or nearly so) that they’ll make the tournament. I effing hope so! They should probably make it right now but yeah, winning 3 games against plus competition…that’ll help. I normally agree with Rothstein but not here. They’re hardly a lock, but if they win the next 4 games it’s not close. I think if they win the next 2 they should make it. Just one man’s opinion.
20:00: Ok…here we go.
20:00: Just kidding. Good that ND is winning 48-42 in a game Nate is attending. Especially since he wrote such a good preview of this game.
20:00: Will Wade looked like a much better guy to mike up than he turned out to be. Next time mike up a fan.
19:15: VCU doing a great job of getting Mo involved. He’s been a worthy opponent.
18:10: Scoochie > you.
17:58: Pollard with the creative finish. This is how it happens, Rams. I’ll start adding margin with the next entry. Dayton 52-43 now.
16:22: OK, Cunningham is clearly not healthy. Fine. He can still play a solid anchor on D and get some garbage layups/rebounds on offense. Let’s not pretend like “Cunningham” is coming back this season, though. Dayton +10.
15:24: Pollard picked up his 4th foul. Welp…there’s three left and Cunningham gets to prove my last point wrong. I’m officially nervous. Dayton +10
14:36: Charles Cooke showed up today. 20 pts already. Flyers +13.
13:32: There is a zero percent chance that if he were healthy Archie would allow Mikesell to guard Mo while Cunningham is on the court. And yet Cunningham still gave up the tip-in.
13:15: Cunningham and-1! Yes. Being tall with decent hands helps! Flyers +11.
12:55: If Scooch hit that 3 this Arena would have exploded. Still Flyers +11.
12:23: I’m going on record – pressing UD is stupid.
12:07: Yeah…Darrell Davis for wide open 3. Stupid. UD +14
11:42: Mo just had a great block but flexed at the UD bench…down 12. Mo, you’re better than that.
10:56: Toddles has been tasty. Flyers +10.
10:15: VCU with the rare “should-have-been-travel” and “foul-on-the-rebound” combination. Nicely done.
9:35: We have apparently reached the point of the season where Archie is finished pretending. No more Crosby while Scooch is still on the roster. Next year is going to be rough. In the meantime…UD +8.
9:12: Pollard should come back in around the 6 minute mark in my opinion. We’ll see what Archie does. Cunningham has been good.
8:35: Mo remains a problem. Cunningham was strong-ish on that D. Be better. Flyers +7.
8:15: Come on Toddles…calm those nerves. UD +7.
8:02: Quick note: Williams, Miller, Crosby…worthless so far. UD +6.
7:24: Kyle Davis with the stolen rebound and coast-to-coast fast break layup. Goddamn. UD +8. I’m going to miss the best Flyer ever with a White Sox tattoo.
6:46: Lewis didn’t need to commit that ridiculous non-existent foul to get me to notice that he hasn’t done a goddamn thing today. Flyers +6
6:10: This has been the Scooch and Cooke show in set offense. Get production from elsewhere.
5:58: Or keep hitting 3s Scooch. Ok. UD +9
5:35: You can’t give up an offensive rebound putback and-1 on a free throw. Come the fuck on. I know Tillman has springs, but…stop. UD +7.
4:55: Tillman to Mo high-low great play call. UD + 5.
4:20: Lewis goes to the rack. UD +3.
3:55: I would love to say there’s another formula here but it’s going to have to be Scooch beating everyone on offense and some great rebounding on defense to salt this one away. UD +3.
3:55: Toddles has been good, but Psychopathy was better. Switching.
3:53: UD’s seniors have 57/71 UD’s points. Senior night doesn’t mean that nobody else can score.
3:50: WHAT A SHOT BY CUNNINGHAM! UD +5.
3:10: Guys, rebound the goddamn ball. That turned a great defensive possession into a three point play for VCU. UD +2.
2:12: Heart attack…
2:02: Pollard shooting free throws. Oh. Good.
2:02: Shit! UD +3
1:45: Uh…where the hell was a whistle either on a travel or a foul there on Scoochie? Awful officiating. He either walked or was bumped into it. Come on! UD +3
1:17: Showing on a screen isn’t a foul! Bullshit. Ball don’t lie Lewis. UD +2.
48.5: Going to die.
.22: Kyle Davis is the absolute best – what a play on that steal!
Wait….what? Oh no. Shot clock off.
Davis gets the rebound! Hit them both…please. I have some expensive scotch to try.
That friendly roll on senior night is a good first step.
Board by KP!!!! UD +4
This could be UD’s first outright A10 title ever…which is amazing in and of itself. UD +5
Scooch will get to make a couple of foul shots with 3.2 to go. No more VCU! Ram kill! This senior class will go down in UD lore and deservedly so. What a game and what a rivalry. Congratulations to VCU’s damn near equal senior class, which will ruin brackets nationwide. My second favorite team is officially VCU from now on. Relatedly…
Thanks for reading.