At least 40% from three, score over 70 points and stay out of foul trouble. That was going to be UD’s recipe for success since the Flyers took the floor against Boston University back in December. From that point forward, the formula has been essentially infallible. Today’s game against Saint Bonaventure certainly challenged the premise (UD did manage to shoot 45% from three and score 75 on the afternoon), as Kendall Pollard was taken out of the game late in the first half with what appeared to be concussion-related issues.
With only five scholarship players at his disposal in the second half, Archie Miller had to employ Dyshawn Pierre at center and give more court time to Bobby Wehrli than is reasonably recommended. Scoochie Smith picked up his fourth foul with 8:31 to go in the contest and the Flyers up twelve. It felt like the most perilous twelve point lead in the history of college basketball.
Dayton battled on, as they have all season, not missing a beat and eventually forcing Saint Bonnie into submission, 75-61. Jordan Sibert was on his game again, actually taking the ball to the basket and getting to the foul line. He finished with a game-high 24 points and seven steals. I don’t really remember Dyshawn Pierre doing all that much, but the statline says 15 points and 13 rebounds. The Canadian is nothing if not ethereal.
The big issue going forward will be the health of Kendall Pollard. No one has meant more to this team since the dismissals than the sophomore forward, his availability will be essential down the back-end of the schedule.
Something tells me that a program that kept Matt Kavanaugh, Devon Scott and Jalen Robinson around (and offered scholarships to Detwon Rogers and Steve McElvene) will find a way to ensure Pollard plays on Thursday against St. Joe’s. Call it a hunch.
Dayton took care of business today against a pedestrian Bonaventure group, they now have to face down St. Joe’s, Duquesne and George Mason (currently a combined 10-24 in Atlantic Ten play) before facing Virginia Commonwealth on Saturday, February 28th.
Happy Valentines Day, you ‘mos!
(H/T to @BillsRickPat)