We are past the point of trying to even understand what is going on. The Dayton Flyers, an #11 seed, sixth-place finishers in the Atlantic Ten, are 40 minutes away from the Final Four. No rational person could possibly wrap their head around it.
It would be easier to explain the aurora borealis to a blind person than concocting logical reasoning for the Flyers’ run. Just sit back, enjoy what these kids have done the past two weeks and most importantly, remember. Remember what this experience was like. Although we are very confident in the program going forward, let’s not lose sight of how rare this accomplishment has been. It’s about as close to once in a lifetime as you can get.
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A brief response on the game itself:
- Dayton dictated the pace from the outset. It was clear that the Flyers had the edge pushing the ball, and that’s exactly what they did — Stanford had absolutely no answer for UD’s speed and athleticism.
- The play of the freshmen was encouraging, Kendall Pollard especially. The freshman forward was nearly flawless, scoring 12 key points in just fourteen minutes of play. Scoochie Smith looked comfortable with the ball in his hands, and didn’t flounder under pressure from the Cardinal. Smith finally looked like a D1 point-guard, not an AAU star. Kyle Davis chipped in a three-pointer that fueled an 8-0 run by UD late in the first half.
- UD’s depth was essential to the victory. When pressed by foul-trouble in the first half, primarily caused by the length of Nastic in the middle, the Flyers were able to throw Kav, Jalen Robinson, Devon Scott, and even the Big Frog in the rotation. Stanford didn’t get anything from its bench, the Cardinal reserves were outscored by their UD counterparts 34-2. Ballgame.
Dayton faces its toughest test by far, the Florida Gators, on Saturday night. For a chance at the FINAL FOUR.