As someone remarked on Twitter – it’s red sweater season. It’s finally, mercifully, time to get LOWD. UD fans seem eager to put the offseason turmoil behind them, as just over 12,000 sweaters turned out to watch the Flyers defeat Saginaw Valley State, 96-69.
We aren’t going to get into a breakdown of a preseason game, so let’s let DaytonFlyers.com do it for us:
Dayton led 48-34 at the break and took momentum into the locker room after Ryan Mikesell made a corner 3-pointer off an assist from Scoochie Smith as the last seconds in the first half expired. The 14 point margin at halftime was as close as Saginaw Valley State would be for the remainder of the game.
Ten players put themselves in the scoring column for the Flyers in the game, including six newcomers to the rotation in 2015-16. Freshmen McElvene, Mikesell, Sam Miller, Xeyrius Williams and John Crosby, as well as junior Charles Cooke, who sat out last season after transferring from James Madison, all scored for Dayton.
McElvene was the leading scorer for Dayton with 15 points and also hauled in seven rebounds. Charles Cooke (13), Scoochie Smith (13), Kendall Pollard (10), Sam Miller (10) and Ryan Mikesell (10) each joined McElvene in double figures for the Flyers. Mikesell and Darrell Davis also chipped in a team-high five assists.
For the game, UD shot 51.5% (35-68) from the floor and outrebounded Saginaw Valley State 44-28. The Flyers will open up regular season play next Friday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. against Southeast Missouri State at UD Arena.DaytonFlyers.com
Smith, Pollard, DURRELL and Kyle Davis are known quantities, we already know what to expect from them this season. All four returnees looked solid this afternoon, no concerns whatsoever going forward. Clearly, the intrigue still lies with Dayton’s six newcomers.
A quick analysis:
I’m not saying Charles Cooke is going to make us forget about Dyshawn Pierre, but it seems like his ability will at least bridge the gap left from the Canadian’s absence. He seems very comfortable with the ball in his hands and just looks like he belongs. His reputation as a scorer coming into this season is well deserved, he will find a way to put the ball in the basket.
Was surprised at Big Steve’s athleticism. He moves with relative ease and was an absolute force against the undersized Saginaw frontcourt. Although it’s difficult to project future performance based on an exhibition against a D2 team (especially in light of his supposed depantsing against Purdue earlier in the week), it’s clear that the big man will be a presence in the paint and on the boards. He has a long way to go defensively, but the potential to be an offensive factor is clear. Not sure he has much in the way of a post-up game, but he is active around the rim and will provide some easy putbacks.
Xeyrius Williams has the athletic ability to contribute, it just appears that he is clueless as to what he should be doing on the court. His mind seems to be moving quicker than his feet, I’m not confident he will be much of a factor this season from what I saw today. His body isn’t quite ready to bang down low, he needs to add some mass to his frame.
Crosby has command of the basketball when it was in his hand, seems to have the capacity to take guys off the dribble. He made a few nice plays in transition this afternoon. He seems more than capable of spelling Scoochie 7-10 minutes a night.
Sam Miller is in a word, aggressive. He was continually looking for his shot and used his body well on the defensive end. My concern is that his confidence may belie his capacity at times this season.
Ryan Mikesell is a more skilled Bobby Wehrli – which is to say this, Mikesell does the same things that Wehrli does more effectively. I fear our favorite walk-on has slipped to third on the white guy depth chart.
[su_icon_text color=”#033f70″ icon=”icon: life-bouy” icon_color=”#db1612″ icon_size=”35″]It was suggested that Mikesell’s nickname should be “Chip” in homage to the Ohio-based potato chip brand. I like it, but we need a ruling.[/su_icon_text]
Overall, it’s clearly a team that will have its success predicated on speed and efficiency. While it remains to be seen how the thirty second shot-clock will affect teams like Davidson, it won’t be an issue for Gem City. Dayton will race up the court and get plenty of shots up this season. The key, in the main, will be its depth and readiness of the newcomers – specifically Charles Cooke, his progression will be essential for the Flyers this season (as Pierre, in my opinion, is unlikely to return to the program this year).
Lastly, shoutout to whomever was calling the game for the webstream (I assume undergrads). They were actually well prepared and were solid contributions to the broadcast. The season starts in earnest on Friday night, WARE RED BE LOWD.