No way to sugarcoat it, what occurred in the Galen Center yesterday was an affront to the game of basketball. For Southern Cal, it was just another lethargic offensive showing. The Trojans lack any semblance of offensive consistency and will struggle mightily to win more than a handful of games in PAC 12 play. Dayton simply could not find enough offensive consistency to earn what should have been an undemanding victory over SC. A twenty-foot attempt by Kevin Dillard came up short and the Trojans took home a 63-61 victory.
The Flyers perimeter woes reared their ugly heads again, as Dayton shot just 2-of-14 from beyond the arc, shooting 34% from the floor overall.
The individual letdowns were rather glaring:
- Josh Benson finished with two rebounds in thirty-two minutes of play – that’s just not getting it done. Benson seems content on showing us his auxiliary skills, never mind all that rebounding and playing defense. Although he is certainly not a back to the basket player, Benson’s play needs to resemble that of a 6’10” center, not a 6’6” swingman.
- Kevin Dillard was inept from the field, scoring all but two of his points from the charity stripe. The Flyers need their lead dog to set the pace, especially on the road. KD’s inability to get on track indicates doom for Kid Yuma, Inc. Fortunately, Dillard’s good days will exponentially outweigh his bad.
- Vee Sanford showed flashes of brilliance against Murray State, but failed to find his stroke against USC, finishing with a quiet nine points. When Dillard is off his game, Sanford has to step up.
- SC needs to implement some of its younger football cheerleaders onto the bball squad — not impressed.
On a positive note, the Flyers did enough to hang around throughout the second half, erasing a ten-point lead and sending the game to overtime on a Devin Oliver buzzer-beater. Oliver was once again UD’s most persistent participant, finishing with his fourth double-double on the season, 11 points and 12 rebounds. Oliver’s efforts are rarely flashy, but he picks his spots just about as well as anyone I’ve seen in a UD uniform. Additionally, Dyshawn Pierre contributed a solid thirty minutes of play. He exhibited the ability to get to the hole early in the first half and hit a clutch three-pointer to tie the game up in overtime. Flyer freshmen get graded on a sliding scale, and I think it’s safe to say that Pierre and Jalen Robinson have passed their tests (Devin Scott gets an incomplete??).
It’s difficult to put the season thus far in proper perspective due to the fact that there are still plenty of unknowns; we have no way of foretelling how the seasons of UD’s prior opponents will play out. What we do know is this – after UAB this upcoming weekend, the Flyers open up A-10 play with back-to-back games against VCU and Butler, and a 0-2 start in conference play is not out of the question. At this point, it’s probably to be expected.