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Recon: Omaha

The Flyers are mentally Maui bound, but, wait, there’s one more game to play. I really hope this isn’t one of those “look-ahead” games. I’m being silly, right?

Charleston Southern signed up for forty minutes and Dayton made sure the Buccaneers got their money’s worth. A 90-61 UD victory sent CSU home with a deflated sense of self worth and an inflated wallet — a truly Marxian nightmare. Your Flyers rolled out to an early 14-0 lead, and inexplicably let Charleston score ten unanswered points before UD slowly added to their lead, going into halftime up 46-33. Anthony Grant’s squad put the foot on the gas during the second frame, sending the local folks home, satisfied with a twenty-nine point victory.

Dayton’s core four led the way: Toppin (21 pts/11 reb), Mikesell (14 pts), Crutcher (12 pts/7 ast) and Chatman (12 pts/8 ast) paced the Flyers to the win. As we have stated previously, Obi is fantastic but he alone won’t be enough if Dayton is fortunate enough to meet up with the Michigan States and Kansases (Kansasi?) of the college basketball world. The offensive output from Dayton’s top dogs, and the team collectively, has been a very encouraging sign. The biggest takeaway from Saturday night’s game were the 27 points the Flyers scored in transition. A common criticism of Anthony Grant’s tenure in the Gem City has been UD’s reluctance to consistently push the ball and score easy buckets on the break. With new found depth, and more than capable guards, it seems AG is finally prepared to let his dudes off the leash

Of course we must, must!, address the elephant in the room — UD’s half-court defense. As you can see from the impressive data chart I screenshotted from a pay-site, you’re welcome, Dayton’s half-court defense currently ranks in essentially the bottom fifth of the nation. Contextually speaking, this is very, very bad when the two opponents you have faced so far are Indiana State and Charleston Southern. But we digress.

The two biggest offenders, according to the numbers, are Ryan Mikesell and Jalen Crutcher. They rank in the bottom 96th percentile of the nation, both allowing 1.29 points per possession in the half-court. Bloody abysmal. Chatman and Cohill haven’t been that much better. Not to tell you something that you already know, but the Flyers will need to be consistently efficient on offense to meet expectations. If this was the corporate world, we’d be putting Dayton on a performance improvement plan, with every intention of firing them in sixty days.

The first three games of the season were always a mere precursor to the Maui tournament that begins next Monday. While the excitement of the annual national television appearance of, hopefully, both UD Santa™ and Red Beret Man™ appear wondrously in our dreams, the Omaha Mavericks (not an arena football team, I checked) make a house call to the Dungeon on Tuesday night. Coming off an impressive 21-11 season, the Mavs are off to slow start, two wins, two losses. To further compound matters, Omaha is playing in this year’s Cayman Islands Classic. You’re thinking, how is that a problem? A nice visit to the Caymans in late November, who wouldn’t like that? Well, what Omaha actually signed up for is the The Mainland Tournament at Omaha (Presented by the Cayman Islands Classic).

“Guys, we are playing in the Cayman Islands Classic this season!”
*cheers from the team*
“But it’s the mainland version. So we are playing a game at Colorado State and the two other games will be played here in Omaha, on our home-court.”
*shotgun cocks*

That fella up above is Matt “Private” Pile. He is the team’s lone returning frontcourt player, a double-double machine (12.3 ppg/9.8 reb). A cursory glance at Matt Pile’s profile indicates that he is a student first, athlete second. He is on every gotdamn academic honor roll you can imagine, majoring in something called medicinal chemistry. You won’t see him behind the desk at Enterprise when you complain about the soiled diaper you found in the cupholder of your Chevy Cruze. Pile is a horrendous foul-shooter, converting just 45% of his attempts from the charity stripe. How ’bout less book learnin’ and more free-throw churnin,’ nerd.

Guard JT Gibson (15.8 ppg/42% 3fg) is the Maverick’s bucket-getter. The lone senior on the roster is a Second Team All-Summit selection, the Mav’s best offensive and defensive player. He is going to enjoy UD’s defensive effort. Another player to remember is sophomore guard Ayo Akinwole. After a somewhat quiet freshman campaign, Akinwole (12.3 ppg/6.8 reb) has stepped up and become the team’s second-leading scorer and rebounder. (Sidenote: I know this is a classic look-ahead game. All the players have already packed up their Maui Jim sunglasses in their promotional Bad Boy Mowers duffle bags. While I think Omaha is good enough to stay with UD for a while, the cream will rise to the top. Fret not.)

The Omaha Mavericks continue the parade of teams that Dayton should really be beating comfortably Tuesday night, and yet Omaha could continue a discouraging trend we have seen from the Flyer’s opponents so far. While the Mavericks are by no means “good,” with their two wins coming against a non-D1 team and Bethune Cookman, they have done well in one area the Flyers have not. Coming into Tuesday’s game, Omaha have shot an above-average 36.2% from behind the three-point line. In their first two games, Dayton’s opponents shot 40% and 43.6% from deep, putting the Flyers defensive three point percentage at 41.9% so far in the very small sample of two games.

There is some good news though. While Omaha has shot it relatively well from the three point line, they do not take many of them. Heading into tomorrow night, 32.2% of their field goal attempts have come from deep, which is a mere 269th in the country (the three-point shot has really become the big ticket item in college basketball). The Mavericks make a decent chunk of their three’s, but they seem reluctant to take them. The better news is that there is not much else Omaha does well. They don’t get to the line much, represented by an anemic free-throw attempt rate of  23.3%. The Mavericks don’t grab many offensive rebounds, currently sporting an offensive rebound rate of just24.8%. Omaha has attempted a ridiculous amount of mid-range jump shots, which has accounted for 41% of their field-goal attempts this season — an average 0.85 points per possession. It seems Omaha has thumbed their nose at all of the generally accepted insights that modern basketball analytics has provided us.

22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Velvet

    December 3, 2019 at 1:08 PM

    Will Peyton Manning be there?

  2. Bobbie

    December 3, 2019 at 1:08 PM

    Maybe a Jordy sighting?? Unless he plays a lot this year and is decent, this team is going to the NIT. Book it. We defend poorly and don’t board too well. We need a post presence. Without him are we really that much better than last year? Lost Cunningham, got Chapman. So far Ibi and Chase have been marginal. Matos May actually be a real bust despite all those who got woodies over his 8 hoops last year, morons.

    • Tom Blackburn

      December 3, 2019 at 1:10 PM

      Jordy is the new Detwon Rogers. Until he plays I’m assuming he doesn’t exist.

  3. Velvet

    November 18, 2019 at 9:02 PM

    Will Peyton Manning be there?

  4. Bobbie

    November 18, 2019 at 10:02 PM

    Maybe a Jordy sighting?? Unless he plays a lot this year and is decent, this team is going to the NIT. Book it. We defend poorly and don’t board too well. We need a post presence. Without him are we really that much better than last year? Lost Cunningham, got Chapman. So far Ibi and Chase have been marginal. Matos May actually be a real bust despite all those who got woodies over his 8 hoops last year, morons.

    • Tom Blackburn

      November 19, 2019 at 9:49 AM

      Jordy is the new Detwon Rogers. Until he plays I’m assuming he doesn’t exist.

  5. BW

    December 3, 2019 at 1:08 PM

    More min for Landers until someone else can get a rebound, less min for Chase. Obi needs to remember D is for defense and Damn sloppy turnovers and not just dunks with technical foul rim bounces. I really hope Jordy can get min in before Maui & that Ibi can get over the hump. He seems almost wonderful & so close.

  6. Sully

    December 3, 2019 at 1:08 PM

    I am really disappointed at the entirety of our editorial staff for failing to include “Wanjung Tut” in this recon. We’re slipping.

  7. tman

    December 3, 2019 at 1:08 PM

    What the hell?
    People already giving up on Chase?

    The reality is Landers is a monster against nobody states but is and will be a defensive liability once the Flyers start playing people.
    Big people.
    That’s not something this team can afford.

    One of the positives this years team has is size.
    So lets sit one of our bigs (Chase).
    Lets redshirt the other.
    The third one is down with an injury.
    Play Johnson till he drops.

    AG continues to say he hasn’t seen everyone play or combinations of players, practice, yadda yadda yadda.
    Hey boss, we only have ONE newcomer.
    You should have seen enough to understand who should start/ combinations.
    Yet you roll out a different lineup for your second game?

    Archie (yes im going there) played the hell out of younger players.
    Come conference time they were ready to contribute.

    tman

    • Sully

      December 3, 2019 at 1:10 PM

      tman you gotta figure out where your rationality went so you can find it again. I have no earthly idea how “I dont know what Chase Johnson gives this team” is an example of people “giving up on him” calm down with your bizarre soliloquies.

  8. Kyle Darrell Jordan Davis

    December 3, 2019 at 1:08 PM

    UD Santa is getting married in Maui next week.

  9. BW

    November 19, 2019 at 9:19 AM

    More min for Landers until someone else can get a rebound, less min for Chase. Obi needs to remember D is for defense and Damn sloppy turnovers and not just dunks with technical foul rim bounces. I really hope Jordy can get min in before Maui & that Ibi can get over the hump. He seems almost wonderful & so close.

  10. Sully

    November 19, 2019 at 9:21 AM

    I am really disappointed at the entirety of our editorial staff for failing to include “Wanjung Tut” in this recon. We’re slipping.

  11. tman

    November 19, 2019 at 9:58 AM

    What the hell?
    People already giving up on Chase?

    The reality is Landers is a monster against nobody states but is and will be a defensive liability once the Flyers start playing people.
    Big people.
    That’s not something this team can afford.

    One of the positives this years team has is size.
    So lets sit one of our bigs (Chase).
    Lets redshirt the other.
    The third one is down with an injury.
    Play Johnson till he drops.

    AG continues to say he hasn’t seen everyone play or combinations of players, practice, yadda yadda yadda.
    Hey boss, we only have ONE newcomer.
    You should have seen enough to understand who should start/ combinations.
    Yet you roll out a different lineup for your second game?

    Archie (yes im going there) played the hell out of younger players.
    Come conference time they were ready to contribute.

    tman

    • Sully

      November 19, 2019 at 7:06 PM

      tman you gotta figure out where your rationality went so you can find it again. I have no earthly idea how “I dont know what Chase Johnson gives this team” is an example of people “giving up on him” calm down with your bizarre soliloquies.

  12. Kyle Darrell Jordan Davis

    November 19, 2019 at 11:05 AM

    UD Santa is getting married in Maui next week.

  13. Ghost of Monty Scott

    December 3, 2019 at 1:10 PM

    If this was the corporate world, we’d be putting Dayton on a performance improvement plan, with every intention of firing them in sixty days.

    Content like this is what keeps me coming back to BBR year after year, but you missed the phony “we really want you to hit this plan. It’s achievable. We’re rooting for you.”

    Dayton should be a tournament team. Dayton has the schedule to be a tournament team. I’m not sure our inability to defend the 3 and high pick and rolls will allow us to be a tournament team.

  14. Ghost of Monty Scott

    November 19, 2019 at 8:21 PM

    If this was the corporate world, we’d be putting Dayton on a performance improvement plan, with every intention of firing them in sixty days.

    Content like this is what keeps me coming back to BBR year after year, but you missed the phony “we really want you to hit this plan. It’s achievable. We’re rooting for you.”

    Dayton should be a tournament team. Dayton has the schedule to be a tournament team. I’m not sure our inability to defend the 3 and high pick and rolls will allow us to be a tournament team.

  15. tman

    December 3, 2019 at 1:10 PM

    Sully,I have no idea what you are talking about.
    (I dont know what Chase Johnson gives this team)

    My comments are not related to this nor do I even see them here.
    Perhaps that is why you are confused.
    tman

  16. tman

    November 20, 2019 at 2:27 PM

    Sully,I have no idea what you are talking about.
    (I dont know what Chase Johnson gives this team)

    My comments are not related to this nor do I even see them here.
    Perhaps that is why you are confused.
    tman

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