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Building The Perfect Beast
Building The Perfect Beast
Published by Swampy Meadows
Building The Perfect Beast

BEVERLY HILLS (MI) – In 1984, Don Henley released his second solo album after the breakup of The Eagles (or “a 14-year vacation” as they termed it when they eventually reunited). It was entitled Building the Perfect Beast and the title track includes these lyrics:

And now the day is come
Soon he will be released
Glory hallelujah!
We're building the Perfect Beast

Building the perfect college basketball schedule is most assuredly “a beast” as UD AD Neil Sullivan will readily attest, but he has become a master at it. The key elements are timing and scheduling for the actual makeup of the current team. With a young squad (like last years) you don’t want to book too many road games and especially not with tougher opponents. When you have everybody back (as is the case this season) you can strive to build a bulletproof resume by scheduling better teams and traveling to do so.

Let’s take a look at this years docket:

Exhibition game: You knew that Damon Goodwin was gonna give his old college roommate a good game and a chance for his players to shake off the cobwebs.

Home opener: What better way to start the festivities than with a squad that is new to D-1 and ranked #351 in KenPom. UD was favored by 28.5 and won by 27–further evidence as to why you should never gamble on college sports.

First test: Play a good opponent (#108 in KenPom), but do it at home. SMU had UD’s number the last two years, so why not give the fellas a chance for a little revenge while you’re at it.

First road game: UNLV (#117) in Sin City with an 11:00 pm EDT tipoff was a test for the Flyer Faithful back East and even more so for AG’s injury depleted squad. No Mali; no Toumani in the 2nd half; a hobbled Deuce; Mike in foul trouble and a rusty Brea and Amaefule. No excuses. Next.

Recovery game: Bobby Morris (#308) at home provides a winnable game to remove the bad taste of the UNLV collapse. And it gets the team ready for their annual ESPN tournament appearance.

Battle 4 Atlantis: Wisconsin (#40) followed by a possible rematch with defending NCAA Champion Kansas (#10) and then either Butler (#114), BYU (#57), Tennessee (#7) or USC (#55). What’s not to like?

Recovery games 2 and 3: Western Michigan (#268) and Southeastern Louisiana (#323) are decent opponents to prepare the Flyers for their biggest road tilt of the campaign.

Road game #2: Playing at former A-10 foe VA Tech (#20) after UD beat them last year at the Arena will be an uphill battle.

Recovery game 4: UNC Asheville (#172) fits nicely between a tough roadie and UD’s fourth neutral site contest.

Neutral court challenge: There are no beaches in Wyoming (#82) but this tilt will be no day in the sand on the shores of Lake Michigan, even if the Cowboys are without their star player, Graham Ike.

Recovery game 5: Alcorn State (#292) should get the Flyers in the holiday spirit and prepare the Sons of Anthony Grant for the arduous conference slate that awaits.

Atlantic 10: Neil has zero control over this 18-game section of the schedule, but thankfully a tour of outdated gyms in Philadelphia is not part of the proceedings. As always, home and homes with Davidson (#110), VCU (#88) and SLU (#37) will be tough, as well as the pair of games with the new kid on the block, Loyola (#70).

Hopefully, the Red and Chapel Blue’s schedule will end the same way that Building the Perfect Beast does:

Just look how far-look how far we've come

That’s it “From the Swamp.”
You can email me at: swampy@udpride.com
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