If you picked a game to miss or had other shit going on Saturday night, this would be the game to tune out. The price of playing in Maui involves opening your doors and being hospitable to the dregs of the college basketball world, and Charleston Southern would play that role this time around. It wasn’t pretty, I wouldn’t recommend watching such a contest to the outside world, but your Dayton Flyers got the win, because bidness is bidness.
The hometown Flyers opened the contest scorching hot – immediately jumping out to a 14-0 advantage behind a few slick buckets from Rodney “That Dude” Chatman and a little dubious cherry pickin from The Golden Boy Obadiah. The buzz in the arena when that big fella is barreling towards the hoop for a highlight dunk is very real, and Obi is nothing if not a showman for such things. There were two handed jams, “get out of my way” jams, windmills jams, just so many jams, you guys. We have not seen a man orchestrate this many hoop stuffings in my lifetime as a UD fan. I say to you again: enjoy #1 before he’s done wearing red and white in March. Obi has been as good as advertised through two games and he shan’t be returning next season.
In true Dayton fashion (as to not make things TOO easy) Gem City would proceed to give up the next 10 points to lowly CSU and allow the Bucs to be right back in the game. The first half saw a healthy dose of UD sharing the ball and the same healthy dose of offensive turnovers. To keep a level head on our boy Obi, he was responsible for four of the nine first-half UD turnovers, and Chip Mikesell accounted for three himself. If you need yet another reminder of how poor teams like CSU really are: Dayton went into the half up 13 after shooting 3-for-11 from downtown, racking up the aforementioned 9 turnovers, and being beaten (yet again!) on the offensive glass.
It was easy to love the balanced scoring attack that would lead to all five starters scoring in double digits, but the sloppy play against lesser foes is certainly an early cause for concern. Nevertheless, CSU is bad, and these things aren’t terribly pressing issues until Dayton plays someone with a pulse. CSU’s offensive gameplan was essentially to just play with two guys (Fleming and Shuler) while the rest of the roster stood around and watched. The Bucs took 61 shots total on the night – 36 came from Fleming/Shuler. A true commitment to hogging the rock must be respected.
There’s really no reason in the world for me to recap the second half. UD kept turning the ball over, the defense tightened up a bit without being stellar, and throngs of sweaters were headed for the exits at the U8 timeout. Two people named Sean Loughran and Jared Becker snuck their way onto the box score as well. There’s another game Tuesday, you probably forgot about most of this game before you read this article. Let’s digress to the takes and move on with our lives, shall we?
At this juncture I have no idea what Chase Johnson gives this team.
He looked a few steps slow, rather too unathletic for my liking and the points he did have were easy lay-ins on entry passes. Not sounding any alarms yet since were two games in, I just found myself asking what this fella is going to contribute to the squad this year. I have yet to come up with a concrete answer. Here’s hopin’.
The defense has to get better.
That’s it. If you watched the game, this is common knowledge. The defense just hasn’t been good enough.
Rodney Chatman can ball
You can’t help but be encouraged by the tandem of Crutcher and Chatman, both stellar guards in their own right and clearly feeding off the strengths of one another in the early season. Chatman has been most useful sparking the fast break, and even though five turnovers showed up in the box score, it was a mild side effect to a night where he dropped 14 points and 8 assists. Only two games in he’s solidified himself as a nightly starter – what this means for Dwayne Cohill’s role on the team is TBD.
Jhery can stop shooting jumpers now
I feel pretty confident despite the small sample size saying Matos is Dayton’s own version of Ben Simmons: play lock-down on the opponent’s best wing, keep the ball moving, attack the hoop, and let someone else handle the outside shots. Many men have come and gone through this program without even a semblance of an outside shot and gone on to productive career’s, Jhery will likely be the next. No big deal – know yourself, I always say.
This is the Trey Landers Dayton needs in the supporting cast.
As we mentioned last week after ISU, – you know what you’re getting from Ryan Mikesell. He’s good for 10-16 every night with a couple rebounds and assists sprinkled in, that’s the routine. What is still unknown is how much support Mr. Landers is going to provide in the supporting cast. CSU allowed the senior with a fantastic opportunity to get a little flow started, and that’s precisely what he did – dropping 10 points on 5-for-7 shooting to go with 4 boards. Anytime your whole starting lineup is in double digits its hard to complain, solid night for the hometown kid.
So that’s it knuckleheads. The defense is still concerning, UD is turning the ball over a little too much, but overall these are the bumps and bruises that need worked out before Maui and the sole reason why three games need played beforehand. I didn’t go to this game expecting to be inspired, and I didn’t leave feeling like any of UD’s issues aren’t immediately fixable. Plenty of good, and plenty of bad, that’s November basketball. There’s a lot of dudes that need to gel into this rotation, but in the end Dayton did what they needed to do and opened up the score in the second half so some walk-ons could log minutes. That’s what it’s all about against the Charleston Southern’s of the world.
Quick turnaround this week with Nebraska-Omaha coming to The Decibel Dungeon for the Flyers last tune up before Maui on Tuesday night. The good guys got to 2-0 and that’s what matters. This win, like many that come after it, will be forgotten shortly in the grand scheme of the season.
Wear red, stay #LOWD