Well that was fun, wasn’t it?
In a long college basketball season, you are inevitably going to have celebrations and disappointments, both of which last only a short while. Today is the former. On a chilly, gloomy evening in Olean, NY (I’m guessing) fans of the Flyer were treated to their first glimpses of the newest version of the “True Team.” This wasn’t our first good effort, or our first complete 40-minute effort, it was Dayton’s very first “team effort” of the season where everyone contributed.
You know how Mikesell can be dangerous when he utilizes the quick first step to the bucket? He was. You know how Xeryius Williams can knock down threes and then run down the court and use his lanky-ass arms to block a shot or steal a rebound? He did that all night. You know how KP sometimes brings a big ol’ spoon to work and God have mercy on anyone in his way? Yes, he did that. You know how Kyle Davis can show up to a basketball game and give absolutely zero fucks who he is playing? Ya, we saw that too.
I think you’re getting the point. All of the things we have only seen glimpses of this season all came together at the perfect time last night at the Reilly Center, and what we got was a full team effort from the Gem City Cagers. It was a nice little cherry on top that this effort conveniently came on a night in which the Flyers were missing their best player (Charles Cooke) on the road.
The first half saw the typical sloppy start from Flyers, the nice part was that Bona followed suit and both teams combined for five turnovers in the first three minutes of the game. Kendall started eating from the jump, and contributed the Flyers first 7 points until the X-man hit a trey ball about six minutes in. The next eight or so minutes were typical Flyers: trading buckets, giving up a small Bonnies run, then a TO by Archie after a KD turnover that led to an Adams layup on the other end. Bona was forcing the Flyers into TERRIBLE looks early in the game, and you started to get the feeling that we were going to see the type of offense we expected without Cooke.
That was not the case.
Over the next 26 minutes of gameplay, the Flyers scored 74 points.
Over the next 26 minutes of gameplay, the Flyers scored 74 points.
I have no earthly idea what was said in that timeout, but over the last six minutes of the half the Flyers starting making it goddamn rain. Open looks were easy to come by from the perimeter due to uh, “lackluster” defense, and the Cagers made the Bonnies pay. Everyone not named Darrell started hitting threes, and the Archibald-led Flyers went into the half up 4, scoring 17 points in the final 4:30.
Trey Landers also got in the game for 14 seconds. Did you see it? He’s Dayton’s-own Waldo.
The second half treated us to much of the same. Easy layups, great ball movement and open perimeter shots continued to fall upon the Flyers and they controlled the pace of the game for almost the entire second frame. The Bonnies were able to cut the lead down to six about halfway through (solely because of their ability to draw fouls) but Dayton went on another 14-4 run and that was all she wrote on the evening. You can read more thorough recaps,but I know why you came here, you want the takes:
We got pretty much exactly the Bona team we expected, and they aren’t all that good right now.
Adams and Mobley are monsters, they’re legit D-1 guards who can score on anyone at any time, the problem is, of course, there is no one around them.
Denzel Gregg and whoever the hell else the Bonnies threw at Pollard had no idea what to do with him. Hell, Bona’s bigs were getting schooled by X and Mikesell. It was very clear early on that Mark Schmidt’s strategy was to double KP every time he got the ball on the block, but it only worked for so long. There just isn’t much you can do with high-skill guys like KP when you rely on two dudes to carry the load for you at guard every single night.
Speaking of KP…
If Kendall would’ve been able to stay on the floor, he could’ve scored 40.
As I mentioned above, KP just couldn’t keep himself out of foul trouble. (I’m not going to get into the officiating, they’re A10 refs, just deal) He was absolutely dominant while he was on the floor, and every time he got the ball down low, you knew exactly where it was going. He finished the game with 21 points on 6-8 shooting, including 3-3 from downtown. (He also had 0 rebounds which was outwardly the most impressive part of this stat line)
Kyle Davis could give a fuck who the Bonnies guards are.
Remember earlier this year when I said we needed to get the pissed off version of KD? Feels like we got him against Bona. Dude was talking trash, throwing elbows and showing the kind of disrespect you usually see on a blacktop court in South Side Chicago. Mobley and Adams did finish with 43 total, but roughly 10-15 of those points came when the game was salted away. The on-ball defense of the guards was led by KD, and it’s pretty safe to say this an extremely stout defensive team when KD brings his edge to the floor.
THE THREE BALL
At the end of the first half the Flyers were 7-12 from downtown, and 4-18 from everywhere else. That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen in a halftime box score. I will keep mentioning that Bona’s defense was just flat out bad, and the Flyers finished the game shooting 14-23 from the Land of Plenty. That will win you most ballgames honestly.
X-man just seems to be getting better and better with each game. He finished the day with 14 points, 8 boards and 4 assists. That is damn fine work off the bench in 26 minutes. He’s finally starting to use that length to his advantage, and when teams have to start coming out and guarding him from outside, his game can only get better. His best play of the night is below:
— Atlantic 10 MBB (@A10MBB) January 4, 2017
DURRELL and John
Durrell was on the floor for 31 minutes, and while he did play solid defense, his offense just plain stinks man. 0-5 from the field, 0-3 from downtown. That sucks. I don’t know what his deal is, I just wish the dude would score a bucket. He had a promising drive to the lane in the first half and threw up a quick floater…it was then sent into the third row.
John Crosby got 20 minutes tonight, mainly due to the absence of Cooke, and he still looks as lost as ever. I honestly have a hard time keeping count of the number of times he drives down the lane at 100mph, just to stop and have no fucking clue what to do with the ball. He consistently exists about 1 play behind the rest of the people on the floor.
Scoochie was Scoochie, nothing to see there. He started slow on the scoring sheet, only to turn it on and get 14 in the second.
Dayton vs Rhody. Friday in the house of LOWD. ESPN2. Hoo boy. Let's get weird.
— Adam (@adamg1224) January 4, 2017
All in all dudes this was a flat-out great win to get without our best player. The stage is now set. Friday night Rhodey comes to the Arena, and you bet your ass it’s going to be LOWD.