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The Obi Show for North Florida

Gem City’s Golden Boy plops in an abundance of jams to lead the Flyers past their final non-conference foe

We close out 2019 with a newfound perspective on the Dayton Flyers and their chances of success in the near future, but mercifully, one more non-con slaughtering would need to be recapped before we can close out the year and set our sights on the impending demolition of the Atlantic 10. The North Florida Ospreys came to town, begging for another dose of medicine in as many years, and the hometown Flyers fully gave it to em, let’s get to the action and get you out here. This game was so damn big, even the governor was there!! Woah Nelly!

The first few minutes of the contest can be described as “fast paced”. We didn’t get the first media timeout until 13:43 to go in the half, with Jalen Crutcher converting an impressive and-1 to pace the early scoring effort from Gem City. UD came out wisely deploying a man-up defensive scheme, but given the respect they had to pay to the Osprey’s three point shooting, it would lead to a few easy buckets slashing to the hoop from UNF guards blowing past Obi Toppin, who still struggles from time to time jumping out and guarding the perimeter. Most puzzling is why UD seemingly switches on every screen whilst playing defense, creating the mismatches I’m alluding to. I’m just a guy with a keyboard and publishing capabilities asking questions.

Luckily the slow start would be negated out of the TO by a great inbounds play call to Trey Landers, then a Landers steal immediately, followed by a UNF charge to give UD the ball back – which then lead to a one-handed Obi lay-in to cap off probably the fastest seven points you would ever see in a basketball game. The well-timed 12-0 run gave UD the lead at 20-14 that they would never relinquish the rest of the evening.

The rest of the first half would provide the home crowd with offense that was sparked by full-court pressure from UD on defense, more questionable ball-handling/ball-security from UNF, and a whole lot of effort from Trey Landers. The UNF match-up zone defense was easy to counteract with the Flyers quick passing attack, and it would lead to a handful of easy slashing buckets to the rim, as well as a plethora of open looks from outside. A 12-0 Dayton run over a three-minute span would extend the UD lead to 18 with 90 seconds to go in the half and there would officially be blood in the water. The halftime exclamation point would be provided by dear old #1 on a big man jam to bring the sweaters to their feet. Something worth watching moving forward into conference play is why Obi Toppin has to draw more contact than your average player to actually have a foul called. It’s been an ongoing “thing” now, and I have no answers.

In any case, Dayton committed a few too many turnovers for my liking in the first, but not a lot to hate here. Obi had 11, Trey had 11, 55% from the floor, 9 steals on defense, outrebounded UNF 20-11. All cool and neat stuff. Good guys took a 14 point lead to the locker room.

It’s pronounced “Chimichanga” please.

The first four minutes of the second period were highlighted by three straight dunks within about 90 seconds of one another to extend the UD lead to 19. UD continued to use their inside-out passing to create space, and it manifested itself into two big Obi-Oops (Is this a phrase? I’m making this a phrase) and then a Rodney Chatman steal which led to a STRONG finish by fan favorite glue man, Chip Mikesell. It was at this juncture while watching that I knew this game would never be in jeopardy the rest of the way. The speed and tenacity of the Flyers D was just a little too much for UNF to handle, paired with the obvious depth the Flyers posses to hurt you in endless ways offensively.

Tears will be wept all across the Miami Valley on Chip Mikesell’s senior night. I’m getting emotional thinking about it. In six years, hundreds of children in the Dayton area will descend upon Kindergarten’s with the name “Ryan”…it’s the least we can do.

I typed most of this recap while the game was going on, and I was typing out “the last 10 minutes were rather uneventful because Dayton led by 20” and then THIS happened…

What needs to be typed instead was that the second half was all about Dayton’s boy, Obi Toppin. Anthony Grant gave him a stern talking-to on the bench in the second half to wake his ass up, and the sophomore lottery pick responded in a huge way. UNF went with the dubious strategy of playing man-up on Obi and what proceeded was a barrage of dunks never before seen in Dayton, OH. Once UD was able to penetrate the lane, everyone in the building knew where the ball was going next, and Obi has never met a jam he didn’t thoroughly enjoy. I implore you, I beg you, to please appreciate our Obi, and what he can do to make a Monday night tilt vs. North Florida watchable and downright entertaining. These types of players don’t surface often in our small corner of the college basketball world, and there should, I say SHOULD, be plenty more of these performances against the majority of the A10 conference. If you are a betting man and live in a legal state it may be time to check out some sportsbook offers and place a bet on Obi Toppin to be an All-American this season

The Flyers would drain the rest of the clock, give the fans a few more highlights, and close the book on a non-conference season that was far more exciting than frustrating. UD left two golden opportunities on the table in OT games, but overall, you have to be happy with the resume Dayton was able to put together in the first 13 games. Obi and Ibi capped off the non-con with back-to-back 30 point performances, Crutcher is back healthy after a minor scare, Landers and Mikesell are rounding out the lineup to perfection, and Rodney Chatman is bringing a tenacious defensive game on every outing.

We’ll have an A10 summary, our Hickory BBQ Hot Takes from the Non-Con that was, a podcast and a stats article from Matt this week before previewing the LaSalle game on Thursday. A10 season is upon us people, let’s go get after that ass!

 

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. The Legend of Nerve Giddys

    December 31, 2019 at 8:21 AM

    Trying to figure out who Obi Toppin reminds me of??….starting from the 1960s and moving forward to last nights DUNK-A-THON CLINIC. The one current NBA stud that most comes to mind is???……ANTHONY DAVIS (without the Eye-Brow). Anyone else have a comparison am missing??

  2. CMurder

    December 31, 2019 at 9:11 AM

    Seems to me that coaching really comes down to three things: recruiting, developing talent, and in-game coaching. Grant is not great at the in-game coaching part, and at this point in his career that is not going to change. He will continue to frustrate us, especially near the end of close games. But, it feels like so far he is doing really well in the other two facets, and that is enough for success at a place like UD.

    • Blackburn Review©®™

      December 31, 2019 at 11:23 AM

      Yes, yes and yes. We said when Grant was hired that he’s not going to win you close games but he can certainly outrecruit the rest of the A10. There’s going to be a weird wrinkle in his Dayton career — with Obi and post Obi. The biggest difference this year is Grant has some depth and there’s some newfound intensity on defense.

    • Poff

      January 1, 2020 at 4:08 AM

      “2 out of 3 aint bad” Meatloaf

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