Whipping Capes

Whipping Capes

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It’s a good day when Dyshawn Pierre’s name is rarely mentioned and the Flyers win by a wide margin, regardless of the competition. UD batted the Terriers around for thirty minutes and then proceeded with the kill shot, stretching a three-point lead into a twenty point victory over the last eleven and a half minutes of the game. Dayton scored 36 points in the paint and the bench, led by Vee Sanford, chipped in twenty-five. Khari Price continues to impress, scoring in double digits for the third straight game.

Individually, no one really stood out above the rest, it was a socialist’s wet dream. If I had to give a game ball out, which admittedly would be weird and unexpected, it would go to Devin Oliver. The senior forward scored nine points, grabbed six rebounds and dished five assists in just 24 minutes of action. I’d hope he’d appreciate the gesture, as security pummeled me to the point of involuntary bowel failure.

It took three games into the season, against less than stellar opponents, but Dayton is finally appearing to brush some of the rust off. I will say this much for Archie, I think he has made good shot selection a priority. Specifically, the Flyers have drastically cut down on their three-point attempts under Archie’s leadership.

2011-12:  22.73  attempts per game

2012-13: 15.29  attempts per game

2013-14: 9.67 attempts per game

Some of this can certainly be attributed to personnel. Outside of Khari Price and Dyshawn Pierre, the Flyers current lineup doesn’t feature consistent perimeter shooters (you can make a case for Sibert, but I’m not sure we know enough about his tendencies at this point). Last year’s team featured reliable chuckers like Kevin Dillard and Matt Derenbecker. Archie’s first year saw long-range enthusiasts Chris Johnson, Josh Parker, Luke Fabrizius and Paul Williams hoist a combined 575 three-point attempts.

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UD fired up just eight three-pointers against St. Francis today, connecting on half of them. They were all good looks and within the flow of the offense. At it currently stands, Dayton’s three-point buckets are accounting for just 18% of their offense. Read that sentence again without tearing up.  The Flyers are averaging just over a point per possession at this juncture of the season, which is pretty solid considering the pace of play Archie’s system requires.

Now, we’d certainly expect these numbers to taper off in opposite directions as the competition begins to stiffen like a young boy wrestling with his chums.  It will be interesting to see if UD reverts back to lazy shots from the perimeter against teams with size and speed like Georgia Tech and Gonzaga. Personally, I’d like UD to continue down their current offensive path — everyone playing within themselves, working for a decent look. There is no doubt this team is going to suffer some losses over the next month and half,  a positive takeaway would be a consistent offensive approach going into conference play. If Dayton can get production, in any sense of the word, out of their frontcourt, they have a chance to be very competitive night in and night out.

Although it has been tough sledding for the most part, the Flyers finally leave the comfy confines of UD Arena with an unblemished record and a healthy roster. Dayton heads into Atlanta to face Brian Gregory’s Yellow Jackets on Wednesday night, a game that has been circled in our collective minds since late summer. Archie’s boys are certainly going to need more inspired play over the next two weeks — likely needing to come out of the four-game stretch with at least two wins (although it won’t boost the resume much if one of those wins is against Chaminade, UD’s probable opponent during the second round of the Maui Invitational). The esteemed (ahem) Jon Rothstein has labeled your Flyers, “intriguing.” So, we got that going for us.

But enough jibber-jabber, can we please get the Flyers back into some warm-up capes??

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SFNYBox

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Tom Blackburn is a proud U. o’ D. alum. He loses faith in humanity one day at a time, but not in you, you seem like you are all kinds of alright. Charter member of the T-Man fanclub.

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