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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is going to be a stream-of-consciousness narration in 2 parts about the SLU Billikens of 2021.

Emotional Side: This season has been a gigantic letdown that will end in the NCAA's version of the loser's bracket to bubble up again for a tournament that literally does not matter and does nothing for the team or University. Travis Ford had a very talented team coming back with multiple All-League players and found a way to not win with them. Now Goodwin and French are leaving with 1 tourney in 4 years. Covid killed this team, as the team that came back from the insanely long 34 day pause was a mid-pack at best A10 team after playing a pretty solid non-conference slate with good wins over LSU and NC State and a defendable loss to Minnesota before the Gophers imploded.

Logical Side: SLU has some good talent coming back and will add Francis Okoro to replace Hasahn French next year. The development time will be good for Yuri Collins, Fred Thatch (missed a lot of time the previous year), Gibson Jimerson (injury redshirt for previous year), Terrence Hargrove Jr., and Demarius Jacobs (who was banged up this year as well). Travis Ford helped SLU perform an exorcism of the Jim Crews Reign of Error and made the Billikens respectable again, even if this season that started with high expectations ends up in Texas for the NIT. Plus, if the Billikens do win the NIT, we get to say "We're #69 (nice)" and hope the experiences of this year lead to a successful future.

Thanks for reading, and good luck to any A-10 team remaining. It's been a year, that's for damn sure.
 

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Wonder if Ford ever feels snake bitten. At UMass he had 2 teams, 2007 and 2008 that should have made the big dance but one year Goldwire was unconscious from the 3 pt line and the other year the entire team had the flue and need to just win, but sent to OT against the his current team. One player in particular would play come off and vomit in a bucket then go back out. Now this year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wonder if Ford ever feels snake bitten. At UMass he had 2 teams, 2007 and 2008 that should have made the big dance but one year Goldwire was unconscious from the 3 pt line and the other year the entire team had the flue and need to just win, but sent to OT against the his current team. One player in particular would play come off and vomit in a bucket then go back out. Now this year.
I did not know that story.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Bumping this since much of my reaction is the same.

2022 Emotional Side -- Well, here we go again with Travis Ford coming up short. The team grew up a lot and a couple players stepped into different and/or expanded roles. Fred Thatch had a good year, as did Yuri Collins, Gibson Jimerson, and 2nd half of the year Francis Okoro. There are people that say this is the "floor" of where SLU is going; if it is, OK. What bothers me the most is the excuses made for Travis Ford's inability to get SLU relevant. Writing off years 1 and 2 (cleaning up the Jim Crews dumpster fire), SLU has gone NCAA, cancelled postseason, NIT, NIT possible. Is that good enough? Absolutely not...in a perfect world scenario where 2020 is played it's 3 straight NIT berths after the run in 2019. I wanted Ford fired after last year's NIT, so this one isn't quite as bad of a feeling.

2022 Logical Side -- Travis Ford couldn't replace Javonte Perkins...but who can? That was a huge hit to a guy that could have been the Player of the Year. In terms of eligibility losses, SLU only will lose Marten Linssen and DeAndre Jones while the rest of the rotation comes back (including 4th year sophomore Gibson Jimerson, which I find fun to say). This team was better than the 14-7 team last year in a lot of areas, not the least of which is going from dead last in FTs to a much higher ranking. The defense struggled at times this year, but both offense and defense were above national averages and Yuri Collins is one of the nation's top returning PGs (no matter what the Bob Cousy award people think). Recruits for next year include Sincere Parker (top JuCo scorer...this worked out well the last time for Travis Ford) and two developmental players in Kellen Thames and Nick Kramer (both local STL kids).
 
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