A 4-blog streak! Wow freakin’ wow! I never thought this thing would last this long! But you didn’t come here to read me gush about this streak that’s lasted a whole two weeks. Well, there isn’t much on my mind, or on my radar regarding weird news. But there are some things to talk about, so on to the things!
Word just came out that West Carrollton High School, as part of their partnership with the Dayton Dutch Lions, have begun demolition of their old press box, in preparation to install a new one by late spring, presumably in time for the beginning of the Dutch Lions’ PDL and W-League seasons. This is fantastic news for all parties involved. I never had the opportunity to visit the old WCHS press box, but I know our own Lee W. Mowen has on multiple occasions as both part of the Dutch Lions and for us at GCSN. What excites me, though, is that the Dayton Daily News article says that the company that will design the new press box has done so for Wayne, Northmont, and Centerville. I have been in the press boxes for Wayne and Northmont, and if the new WCHS box is anything like those two, it is going to be top notch. Great news all around.
Now, as the Oranje Legion correctly pointed out, if only they would add a separate section for a student section and/or supporters group…
The University of Dayton Flyers’ womens’ team defeated George Mason on the road last Thursday by a score of 84-73. They are now 17-4 on the season and 8-1 in the Atlantic 10. Before this game, they also received votes in both major top 25 polls. It’s easy to gush and be happy and excited over this, but let’s not forget that this is also a program that has made it to the big dance for their last 5 seasons. Barring a late-season collapse, that number will surely be 6. This team has become one where excellence is expected. The best thing about this whole thing though, is that attendance at these games has soared in the years that Jim Jabir has taken over this team. Even better, there is no indication, at least none that I can see, that Jim is going to leave this program. You have to think that tf this had happened to the mens’ program, there’s no doubt that he’d dart to a more high-profile school after his 3rd tournament.
Also worth noting is that he has actually coached in a power conference earlier in his career, when he coached for Providence in the Big East. When he couldn’t turn that program around, he came to Dayton after being an assistant at Colorado for a year. From there, his success at UD has been well documented. Perhaps one of the reasons why he hasn’t left for a higher-profile coaching position is that he doesn’t want that extra pressure. Hard to argue there. Why leave a perfectly good program, one that has had immeasurable success over his Dayton tenure, one that I think has still not yet reached its full potential, for the unknown? Plus, at the same time, this is not like in mens’ basketball where there are plenty of high-paying, high-profile head coaching jobs out there. The programs that can command that kind of power in womens’ college basketball are fewer and further in between, and those programs are very well off as far as head coaches go.
Another great benefit, another one that I feel has not reached its full potential, is local recruiting. The are TONS of great high school girls’ basketball players locally and regionally, and before the rise of the Flyers, you would hear of some great prospect going to UConn or some other big name program. Well, now there is a team right in their own backyard that has seen plenty of success on and off the court, can send players to the pros (even if it is overseas), and is a regular NCAA tournament participant. I feel that if that UD can just get to a couple Sweet 16s, then the program will explode even more that it already has. And for a college-basketball city as mad as Dayton is, that’s just fine.
Heartbreaker doesn’t even begin to describe the Flyers game last Friday at George Washington. To lose after having just gained the first lead of overtime is one thing. But to lose on a last second shot after having blocked another shot about a second earlier? Just brutal.
However, I feed that the Flyers were extremely fortunate to even force that game into overtime. Think about it. The Flyers were ice cold from long range (5 for 17), they were in extreme foul trouble, with Pollard fouling out with 3 minutes left in regulation, coupled with 4 players with at least 3 fouls, and our team constantly getting stuffed inside the paint, even if they all didn’t get registered as blocks. Without a doubt, Dayton kept that game alive at the free throw line, shooting 19 of 23.
One thing is confusing me though. I feel, personally, that George Washington thoroughly outplayed Dayton for lost of that game. Just that Dayton got lucky when they needed to be, and just let the wrong shot go up at the end of overtime. But looking at the team stats, I’m not seeing a world of difference between the two. GW just barely out-shot us on the day (45% to 41%), barely outshot us from 3-point range (31% to 29%), Dayton did better from the free throw line (87% to 64%), the rebounding margin was only barely in GW’s favor (32 to 29), and all the other stats are so close. Yet I subjectively feel that GW by and large should have one that game by a larger margin than they did. But the numbers don’t back that up. What am I missing?
That’s it for this edition. Any thoughts on my thoughts? Anything else you want me to talk about? Let me know in the comments below!