The Dayton Flyers took the floor for the A10 opener with the sunlight peering through the newly added windows of the renovated arena and kicked the ever living piss out of the Richmond Spiders on Sunday afternoon. Dayton achieved what they needed to on this day, get to 1-0 in the conference and dominate an opponent who was inferior to them in almost ever aspect of the game of basketball. The Flyers took care of business and sent a message to the rest of the A10 which was “Have fun coming to the arena and have fun trying to guard Josh Cunningham.” Now did Dayton play lights out today? No, far from it actually. Outside of the big fellas really, everyone else was pretty pedestrian. Let us take a deeper look into the pink socking that took place.
Ryan Mikesell opened the festivities with a layup and then Josh Cunningham would go on to score Dayton’s next 11 to open a 13-6 advantage about 7 minutes into the game. Obviously, the lead never changed hands after this. Mikesell and Cunningham scored Dayton’s first 16 points and not until 7:56 to go in the half would a third Flyer get on the board when Trey Landers made a jumper. Dayton would open a 15 point lead with 5 minutes to go in the half. However, the Spiders would slice that lead down to 11 going into the locker room. Dayton didn’t really play well in the first half save for Cunningham. Dayton came out in a zone and played it the whole game but when you play a zone it is tougher to rebound and Dayton was out rebounded by the Spiders in the first half which was surprising because coming into the game that is where Dayton had a major advantage.
The 2nd half is where Dayton put their foot on the Spiders throats and kept stomping on em. Richmond scored the first basket of the half but Dayton immediately countered with a 10-0 run to go up 39-20. Richmond would counter and cut the lead back down to 12 with 11 minutes to go. Dayton then threw the knockout punch. A 23-2 run to go up 66-33 and the deed was done. The final score of 72-46 wasn’t nearly as close as it indicates. Dayton punted the last 4 minutes which allowed Richmond to get some more points on the board. Now, for the takes.
Josh Cunningham is (and should be) a front runner, out of the gate, for A10 Player of the Year.
Josh Cunningham opened up his final A-10 campaign with a monstrous performance. He finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds and it could have been more. There aren’t going to be many big men in the league who will be able to handle Josh by themselves in the post and none of those said big men reside in Richmond, Virginia. Mooney apparently thought they could because the Spiders didn’t seem interested in double teaming Josh down low, much to their downfall. Every opponent the Flyers play this year should have #0 highlighted, circled, and emphasized in their scouting reports. Dayton is going to go as their best player goes and if he continues to eat like he did today, and Dayton is successful in the conference, then there is 0 reason why Josh can’t be the Atlantic 10 player of the year. It goes without saying but, he was your WHIO player of the game.
The Starting back court had a rough day at the office.
Jalen Crutcher and Jordan Davis didn’t have performances that they will tell their grandchildren about. Crutcher looked like he had a bit of a late night last night as he finished with 8 points on 3-10 shooting, including 1-8 from beyond the arc. (Side note: Dayton still stinks at shooting 3’s, they were 3-20 on the day, that is 15% for you math fanatics at home.) Jalen did finish with 7 rebounds and 4 assists with only 1 turnover despite his tough shooting day. Jordan Davis didn’t score, not a jumper, not a layup, not a free throw, and sure as shit not a 3. However, it was good to see Dayton absolutely smoke somebody without Davis scoring, proves that it can happen, but I would much rather that it didn’t.
Cunningham, Obi, Landers, Mikesell, Crutcher is Dayton’s best lineup and needs to be the winning time lineup.
This is the lineup that was on the floor for the 23-2 run that blew this game wide open. I think this is the best lineup Dayton can put on the floor. It gives Dayton versatility on the defensive end and presents a bigger sized lineup that not many teams will be able to match up well with. This is the lineup I would like to see in a close game down the stretch unless Jordan Davis has a hot shooting night going then I think you can swap him and Mikesell with each other but for my money, I believe that this is the best lineup Dayton can put on the floor. It is apparent that Coach Grant isn’t going to be making changes to the starting lineup and that is fine, as long as this is lineup that finishing the game for you.
SOUND THE ALARMS, FRANKIE POLLICELLI IS IN THE SCOREBOOK!!!!!
And no it isn’t for a foul or a turnover, which was the only other times he has gotten into the scorebook, he actually scored, one of Dayton’s 3 three pointers no less! All jokes aside, that was good to see for him and hopefully it can build some shred of a confidence for him as we move forward. Walk-on Westerfield also got into stat sheet today as he made a layup in garbage time, anytime a walk-on gets a bucket, you know it is a good day.
A Few Final Thoughts:
-Richmond isn’t a very good basketball team, I mean, they are REALLY bad. The basement of the A-10 is going to be something to behold this season. I wouldn’t be shocked if Richmond doesn’t get above the bottom four at any point this season.
-Dayton held Richmond’s leading scorer Grant Golden to 4 points on 2-7 shooting but that isn’t the story for the Spiders because a Richmond player had one of the funniest box scores I have ever seen. Jacob Gilyard finished with half of his teams points, 24, he was 8-17 from the field, but he was 8-16 from 3!!! Just an outrageous stat line.
-Dayton honored the life and selflessness of Big Steve McElvene at halftime of today’s game. Steve’s family was in attendance and a touching video tribute was played talking about the story of Steve becoming an organ and tissue donor the day before he passed away. If you haven’t read the Archdeacon story on Dayton Daily News I highly recommend doing so. Steve was taken from us far too soon but seeing him be able to save the lives of others is pretty damn cool. Speaking of pretty damn cool, Dayton announced that the annual award for the best defensive player for the Flyers would now be named in Steve’s honor, a fitting tribute to the man who set the record for blocks in a season for the Flyers.
Okay that’s all for today. Dayton took care of business in their first home game and now go on the road to George Washington on Wednesday. While GW did win their first conference game against a struggling Joes team, UD should still be a rather comfortable favorite against the Colonials. Blackburn will have the recon for you this week if he is alive, if he isn’t I am sure Sully will have you covered.
Until then, you all know the rules, Ware Red and Be Lowd!