Some of the readers may recall the St. Bonaventure recap from the Arena a year ago. That night, Sully reached out to Twitter asking someone who was going to be at the game to write the recap, I volunteered my services and gave you, in this humble writers opinion, the best game recap from a season ago. Fast forward to Tuesday of this past week and Sully asked me if I would like to contribute to the site this season. My first assignment was to write about the game that doesn’t count in the standings, lucky me.
Basketball was played in the newly (half completed) renovated arena tonight. Even though the game didn’t count in the standings, we did learn some things. The Gem City Cagers hosted the scrappy, DIV 3 Capital Crusaders coached by Dayton Hall of Famer Damon Goodwin. Those gone from last years squad are DURRELL, John Crosby, X-man Williams, and Svoboda. The Flyers are filling those spots with Obi Toppin, Jhery Matos, and Frankie Policelli (all three of these players are an upgrade if we are going off this game alone). Instead of recapping the game play for play (there is nowhere to watch the film, and I am going off memory for most of this recap) I am going to touch on the 9 rotation players that we are going to be seeing for the majority of the season. (As always, shout out to Jablo for the photos)
The big fella had a modest evening, finishing with 11 points and 11 rebounds on 5 of 7 shooting. He is going to be our leader on the floor this year no question. He looks healthy after spending some (?) of the summer in a walking boot. The first play of the game went to him on the inside which was good to see, he immediately had the ball stripped from him by a guard, which was less than ideal to see. Josh didn’t impact the game as much as he could have tonight, but a solid debut to his final season donning the Dayton uniform.
CHIP IS BACK!!!! Ryan returned to the floor after missing his junior season due to multiple hip surgeries and looked like he was happy to be back on the floor. He made the first three he took, he also notched an and-1 and had a quick 5 points to open the ball game. I think having him back in the fold is going to pay dividends and I really think he is going to step up as one of the few leaders this team has left.
Trey was tied for the top scorer on the team with 15 points. He had a very typical Trey kind of game. To go with the 15 points he also had 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and a steal. I think Trey has the opportunity to make a MASSIVE leap this season, I also think he is going to separate himself as the teams vocal leader on the defensive end (which the Flyers are going to desperately need as the defense left a lot to be desired on this night). Trey also dunked all over some poor kid who thought it would be a good idea to jump with him.
Disclaimer: You will not find a bigger Jalen Crutcher stan in #DaytonTwitter than myself. He had a freshman season that was on par with Scoochie Smith (I realize he had more playing time but still) and I think he is going to make the same kind of leap that Scoochie did in his first season as the starting PG of this team. Jalen finished with 11 points and 6 assists on 4-10 shooting (0-4 from 3). He had an injury scare in the 2nd half where he left the floor to be evaluated but he re-entered the game which should ease any concerns the Sweaters had.
The 2nd year man was relatively quiet tonight, finishing with just 9 points on 3-7 shooting (1-3 from the great beyond) but of note, he had 6 assists on the evening. I don’t quite know what to make of Jordan Davis. He had his moments last year where he looked like a bona fide steal of a player, and he had his moments where he disappeared from the game quickly. The key for Davis this year is to become more consistent. We are going to need steady shooting from him if the Flyers want this season to go anywhere.
Dwayne Cohill made his much-anticipated debut for the Flyers tonight AND……it could have gone better. He finished with 3 points on the night on 1-3 shooting. He also had an injury scare in the 1st half, going for a euro step and his leg locked up. Looked pretty bad from where I was sitting but he stood right up and stepped to the line, however you could see him favoring that leg for the rest of the night. I’m not worried about Cohill and I still think he has a legitimate chance to win A10 rookie of the year with how much playing time he is going to get this season.
Obi is gonna be PROBLEM. The first time he checked into the game I leaned over to my dad and said “He looks like a man among boys out there”. The dude is freakishly athletic and has a smooth touch to his game. He caught a lob for a jam (as pictured) and knocked down a couple jumpers. He was one of the six Flyers in double figures, with 10. Obi has a chance to be a breakout player for the Flyers, if he can share the floor with NBA players, I like his chances against the likes of the A10.
What a debut from the JUCO transer from Santo Dimingo, D.R.!!! He was tied for the team lead in scoring with 15 points on 6-7 shooting, 3-4 from 3, to go along with 3 assists and 2 rebounds. I really liked what I saw from Matos tonight, he is the exact kind of guard Dayton needs to bolster the 2nd unit on the floor. If he can produce off the bench like this consistently, it could go a long way this season.
Okay, hand up, didn’t know this guy was on our team before tonight. BUT! I liked what I saw from him. He was quiet in the stat sheet but he brought energy on the defensive end off the bench which is something this team is going to need. I am interested to see what else he can bring to the table.
The Flyers did some good things on this night. The ball movement on offense was there, a balanced scoring attack, and an emphasis to get big Josh the ball down low were some of the strong points on this night. It wasn’t all good however, this team is going to have to figure some things out defensively and fast. Capital got pretty much whatever shot they wanted tonight, and kept it close through halftime. If this team wants to achieve this season, it is going to have to be on the defensive side of the ball. All in all, a successful exhibition game. The real opening night is only 5 days away, hopefully, we can open the season with an emphatic win and send a message that these young Flyers, are for real this year.