It was rarely pretty but the Flyers escaped with a two point victory over the Aggies de Texas A&M. A Devon Scott tip-in off a Scoochie Smith miss was the difference, the Flyers claim their second win of the season and face the winner of Charleston/UConn in the second round.
The game was a lot like Puerto Rico itself: sloppy, confusing and subtly erotic. The Flyers rarely looked like a winning side yet came away with what could be a decent notch in the belt come March. UD shot an anemic 2-of-17 (11.8%) from behind the arc and were thoroughly dominated on the boards (A&M out-rebounded UD 46-24). The Aggies, however, couldn’t get out of their own way, turning the ball over at an alarming rate in the first half — which kept Archie’s Boyz within shouting distance throughout the first twenty minutes.
Neither team played well, but that’s what we have come to expect from these early-season tournaments (and with college basketball in general). The positives were glaringly apparent — Dayton got the win, and hopefully sets themselves up with a semi-final matchup against UConn, and the play of Kyle Davis. During the game I brilliantly remarked that KD plays with just the right amount of “don’t give a fuck” to stand out in these types of contests. Everyone else seems to be flustered, trying to find their feet, and Davis manages to play with a sense of confidence that belies his actual ability.
The ball may be half-flat, the gym may smell of cow dung, there may be cock-fights in the stands, but nothing seems to phase Kyle Davis. The kid grew up in an area where grown men bet on high-school basketball and bum fights, and I think his demeanor reflects that. He simply takes on all comers, regardless of the name on the front of the jersey, puts his head down and pushes ahead. Davis finished with ten points, four steals and added intensity during key phases of the game, particularly in the first-half against the Aggies.
Dyshawn Pierre added some crucial offense for the Flyers as well, scoring a team-high fourteen points (which included a huge three-pointer right after the under-8 TV timeout).
The Flyers will struggle on the boards all season, we knew this coming in. The key to a successful season will hinge on the team’s point-guard play and ability to force turnovers. Jordan Sibert will snap out of his early funk soon and the points will come. Trust me, dear reader, trust me.
On a more vital note, I think it’s essential that the BR takes a stand in the impending Beret Man v. UD Santa controversy: