It’s hard to come up with anything that hasn’t already been said on Twitter tonight. We believed UD would win a close one against UGA and they absolutely demolished them. UD was favored by four at tip-off going into the second game with Va Tech on Tuesday evening, and the Flyers treated them like Fordham on a February afternoon.
In the two games our Gem City Cagers have played in Maui, they have trailed for a total of 37 seconds. It’s worth mentioning, right off the top, that’s it’s not as important WHO Dayton just beat over the past thirty-six hours. Va Tech and UGA are young, unproven teams, and no one has the slightest idea how their seasons will play out, tournament or not. Rather, it’s important to step back and consider just how Dayton beat them…two absolute shellackings, wire-to-wire, like the other team wasn’t worthy to share the floor UD was on. It’s easy to be high on UD heading into a Maui championship match-up with Kansas Wednesday afternoon, but the fact of the matter is that you just watched the two best performances by a Dayton team in the Anthony Grant era. The eyes of the college basketball world were on our Flyers and they delivered….again.
The game got off to an uneasy start for UD, due to Va Tech wisely doing everything in their power to deny the ball to Obadiah. This led to a little confusion, and a lot to be desired in the name of offensive execution, and unforced turnovers ensued. Dwayne Cohill specifically took a few minutes to settle into the game, committing two dumb turnovers before scoring a quick bucket and adding a slick entry pass that led to two more to get back on track. He’s simply at his best on the defensive end, there is no doubt about that, but offensively Dwyane can affect the opposition by attacking the rim, and he did a lot of it in this one. Crutcher got the juices flowin’ with a few early long balls, foreshadowing what was to come in the first half for ol’ U of D. The Flyers finished 8-for-14 from downtown at the end of the first 20 minutes.
Neither team missing much. pic.twitter.com/IWeAuR4Zzt
— David Jablonski (@DavidPJablonski) November 27, 2019
We told you on this here blog earlier Tuesday that Va Tech was going to come into the game shooting the lights out, and that’s exactly what they did. Nevertheless, UD was up to the task each and every time. The first half featured two runs of ten points each for Gem City, as well as seven unanswered points going into the locker room. The Flyers offense was a true showcase of their weapons, coming at you from all angles, resulting in nine different players scoring in the first half including THIS. FUCKING. DUNK!
That’s how you finish a half pic.twitter.com/S8RsFcWbRO
— Three Man Weave (@3MW_CBB) November 27, 2019
The entire starting lineup scored multiple buckets, Obi was 3-for-5 from downtown, including a well-deserved heat check when he was REALLY feeling it, and Dayton went into the break up big. You got the feeling the good guys’ defense was going to wear down Va Tech on account of the number of contested shots they were actually making, and that’s precisely what happened in the second frame.
The offense could honestly do no wrong in the first half, which led me to believe the shooting was unsustainable in the second frame, and it was. 8-for-14 from 3 in the first would turn into 3-for-10 in the second, and UD came out 2-for-8 from the field which led to more than a few white hairs in the audience clutching their pearls. Gem City got away (momentarily) from the in-and-out game they thrive on, and jacking lazy threes was the result. Around the thirteen minute mark, the Flyers were able to re-establish their slashing game to the rim, and easy buckets were the result. Obi and Mikesell chipped in back-to-back lay-ins around the twelve minute mark when VT cut the lead to 14, and as they say, the rout was on.
Shame on anyone who thought any team other than Dayton was getting the Maui bump this year.
— Mark Titus (@clubtrillion) November 27, 2019
Over the past two seasons we’ve seen countless games slip away from the Flyers, and many a lead be squandered, but that has simply not been the case in Maui. Similarly to the door-slamming that was extended to UGA in the closing minutes on Monday, UD went from the seven-minute mark to the one-minute mark with a +11 in the scoring department on VT until Grant mercifully brought the walk-ons in. They stepped on the throat, and made sure the Turkey bled out before walking away.
Dayton ended this game in a savage manner.
— Blackburn Review©®™ (@BlackburnReview) November 27, 2019
73.6% eFG for the game. 77.4% from 2pt.
Safe to say they’ll stay No. 1 in the country in both categories again tonight.
— Steven Wright (@Steven_Wright_) November 27, 2019
Usually this is the part of the recap where I add in some observations, or Hickory BBQ Hot Takes, but it feels ill-fitting with a Kansas date on the horizon before the evening on Wednesday. We can recap everything when this roller coaster ride of three days is through.
Obi has been as good as advertised, he’s no longer just a secret in Dayton, OH. Ryan Mikesell continues to do every little thing correctly with his game, drawing an ABSURD eight fouls on the night. Trey Landers stays heavy on the gas pedal while he’s on the floor, and when he’s not — Jhery and Dwayne fill in admirably. Jalen had an incredibly nice stat line of six points and nine assists, distributing to anyone and everyone, and if I ever catch you saying a bad word about Rodney Chatman out in the street – you’re gonna catch both these hands. That dude is a stone cold baller.
Basically what I’m saying is that there’s a damn good basketball team in Dayton, OH this season, and they’ll be ranked when the plane touches down in Ohio regardless of the result against Kansas in the Maui final.
See you there. Wear red, be #LOWD