Ten business days came, and ten business days went, and no final decision in the title IX investigation into the SLU Men’s Basketball program was handed down after all appeals were filed. The team, the school, the players, and the victims all in limbo. Along with the season and the immediate future of the program.
This purgatory seemed to seep into the play on Saturday night. There was next to zero energy in the gym. It was a slow, painfully slow game that saw no real excitement at either end of the floor. One dunk, no real breakaways, nothing of note. Just a forgettable game on a forgettable night before the Superbowl.
To the Billikens’ credit they did what they were supposed to do. They dominated from tip to buzzer and dropped Fordham 73-50.
Fordham was simply physically overmatched. It looked like every Fordham player was guarding their older brother. Taller, thicker, stronger, and far more confident that victory was all but assured when the opening tip went up. This physical advantage covered up for the familiar SLU flaws of turnover after turnover. 8 in the first half alone and 15 for the game.
Hasahn French was especially dominating. Whenever he received the ball in the low post he was able to score over either shoulder whenever he wanted. He finished with 11 points, 11 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 2 assists for his 4th double-double of the season and his 6th double digit rebound game of the 17'-18' campaign.
The Billikens put up some good numbers and stuffed the stat sheet. Bess led 4 Players in double figure points with 17, and was tied with French with a team high 11 rebounds for a double-double of his own.
But this game felt like one of those mid-season drama episodes that are just written to move the plot along. No real drama, no real developments. Just a, “well, that happened.”
The Billikens pulled to 6-5 in the A-10 and 13-11 overall, surpassing the 12 wins in all of last season. Javon Bess talked about how he and his teammates have really learned their roles and are now in stride, and that their focus is to continue getting better. This was a sentiment seconded by his head coach.
Coach Ford added that he was “Proud of the attitude and focus.” He stated that he has emphasized to his team that “every game presents a new opportunity...and a new challenge.”
That challenge and opportunity will next be available to SLU on this coming Wednesday when they head to St. Bonaventure. The Bonnie boys are one spot ahead of SLU in the A-10 standings and according to Coach Ford have two of the best players in the conference.
What will happen off the court between then and now is anyone’s guess. The status quo on the SLU campus has been wait and see. And as for now, that’s where every fan, on-looker, and opponent is as well.