Pink sockings, as a rule, are unpleasant, needless and painful. This couldn’t be further from the truth tonight, as your Flyers rolled to a convincing and easy victory over the visiting Massachusetts Minutemen.
Dayton was damn near flawless offensively against UMass, shooting 57% from the floor, 44% from behind the arc and 78% from the line. When UD shoots the ball that well, they are tough to beat. When the Flyers shoot that well in the Sweater Centre, go ahead and put the women and children to bed early. The game never felt close, Dayton came out hot from three, and Archie Miller and Co. cruised to a comforting thirty point throttling of their Atlantic Ten foes, 93-63. The win propels Dayton to a 12-2 overall record, 2-0 in conference play.
Rumors circulated this afternoon that Kendall Pollard wouldn’t play and those reports were confirmed as KP spent the entire game on the bench in a walking boot. Pollard was rocking a black sweater (and chain) with what appeared to be Sebastian Bach’s jeans from the “Eighteen to Life” era. Pollard reportedly sprained his right Achilles tendon in practice on Tuesday and was sitting out as a precaution. Let’s hope Pollard has fun later tonight, but not “questionable consent” fun.
John Crosby had his most encouraging performance of the season, the freshman from Baltimore played well enough to basically give Scoochie Smith the night off. Crosby scored eleven points, dished out a game-high five assists and connected on 2-of-3 from three-point land. Crosby played with confidence, continues to show the ability to get to the hoop and hopefully gains enough trust from Archie to garner 10-15 minutes per game. Scoochie logged just twenty-one minutes tonight, the least amount of court time he’s seen since the season opener against Southeast Missouri.
Big Steve played extremely well in the first half, routinely posting up down low and hitting a little hook in the land multiple times during the game’s first twenty minutes. Like Scooch, the big man was able to rest his bones due to the margin in the game and, shockingly, foul trouble. It was clear that UD wanted to get McElvene going early, as Chief repeatedly received entry passes on the block in the first half.
Dyshawn Pierre got some extended court time as the team’s lone senior continues to play his way into game shape. Pierre seemed like his old self against UMass, knocking down some shots, getting buckets around the rim and grabbing rebounds. DP finished with eleven points, eight boards and four assists, exactly the type of production we are expecting from him.
Charles Cooke simply continues to pace this team offensively, the junior wing hit perimeter jumpers, converted all his foul shots and was the most efficient player on the floor. Cooke has already entered the pantheon of vital free agent pickups for Archie Miller, joining Jordan Sibert and Vee Sanford as a player that earned his keep from the moment he stepped on the floor. Sure, there’s a Derenbecker and a Detwon Rogers in there to keep Arch honest, but overall his eye for filling UD’s weaknesses with players on the open market has paid immense dividends for the program.
As a whole, there’s not much you can complain about a thirty-point league win. The Flyers looked great, no matter the opponent, and seem firmly entrenched as the league’s prohibitive favorite – George Washington helping to affirm that title with a crushing loss to Saint Louis. Rhode Island, VCU, Davidson (I’m not quitting on them yet) and maybe St. Joe’s appear to be a step or two above the rest of the league. As always, UD must avoid losses to the chaff of the league.
Speaking of chaff, UD now turns their attention to a Saturday road trip to La Salle. The bad news is that the Flyers have historically performed less than optimally in Tom Gola Arena. The good news is that Dr. John’s squad is aggressively awful this season. I’m starting to believe that Dayton may actually remain ranked this Monday.