RecapU. Dayton BasketballSomething is Brewing in Dayton

Dayton runs VCU out of The Arena with a 22-0 second half run for the ages
Sully1 week ago714 min

Did you happen to log onto ESPN this morning? Well, if you didn’t, here’s what you would’ve seen if you did…

If you watched Inside College Basketball last night, you would’ve seen a two-minute segment on Dayton’s triumph, and Gary Parrish proclaiming that UD has a bona fide National Player of the Year candidate in Obi Toppin, and a bona fide *checks again* Coach of the Year candidate in Anthony Grant. If you watched SVP’s SportsCenter last night, you would’ve seen a 90-second segment on the Flyers being top 15 in every possible ranking imaginable. It’s hard to go anywhere in the college basketball world right now without seeing something about the Dayton Flyers. Something special is indeed brewing in the Gem City, and last night, VCU found out the hard way.

The above is the current scorecard for your Dayton Flyers, and right now it looks pretty damn good. We’re currently immersed in a decade where Dayton is a top 15 team on paper, and on the court, and sports the #2 most efficient offense in all the land, a chest hair behind Gonzaga, the most formidable basketball power in the west. However, I feel the insatiable need to keep reminding people what comes with this newfound success. When you stare down the A10 standings at DUQ, URI, Richmond, VCU, Bonaventure and SLU, all of those teams are currently sitting on the wrong side of the bubble, which, in turn, means that each team needs to beat Dayton to capitalize on a resume-boosting opportunity. For example, if VCU wasn’t a pile of trash and was somehow able to win last night in Dayton, it would have single-handedly pushed them back into the tournament field. As it stands? Richmond is full of sad boys today who are coming to terms with watching the Dayton Flyers ascend towards the throne of the A10 in convincing fashion. Pray for them and their well being.

We had to go to the monitor to determine this was a foul…

Credit where it’s due to VCU for the performance they gave in the first half of the contest on Tuesday night. They dictated the tempo of the game, capitalized on easy buckets, and forced just enough on-ball pressure to make the Flyers uncomfortable on offense. Early on in the contest, the refs did their best to derail the game, and Mike Rhoades took that opportunity to slow things down and bitch about every call at every turn. I can’t fault Rhoades for this strategy, uglying the game up was his only hope at coming out on top, and (for the most part) it worked in the first 20 minutes of the game. In the first 15 minutes I felt Dayton showed only glimpses of their effectiveness, without any consistency, and that’s what VCU does best: they’re one of the most prolific programs in the country at making you play their game. I found myself thinking at halftime that VCU looked like the better team in that period, which should be a true testament to just how good Dayton really can be when they’re firing on all cylinders. UD turned the ball over 9 times, had no rebounding advantage, Obi, Trey, Ibi and Rodney were all playing with two fouls each and Dayton STILL took a 5-point lead into the break despite only 12 made baskets from the floor. That is exactly how good they are, point blank.

You want to watch that again? Yeah me too…let’s watch it again

What about another angle? Sure, let’s do that. (shoutout Griffin Quinn from Flyer News for this one) 

I articulated all this build-up so that we could get to the part you came for: the back-breaking, demoralizing, embarrassing 22-0 run that Dayton put on VCU for six full minutes in the second half. In true Mike Rhoades fashion, Dayton deserves no credit, no sir, VCU just didn’t play their game or whatever…

Frankly, I find these types of quotes unprofessional from a head ball coach. VCU was forced into bad shots that were largely contested (like the one below), became disorganized on defense when Dayton pushed the pace of the game more towards their liking, and UD capitalized when they smelled blood in the water. When you miss 12 shots in a row over a six minute stretch to turn a game from tied to 63-41, maybe just admit you got your ass kicked by a bully like a big boy. The wheels fell off because Dayton preyed on a lesser foe and finally got back to playing their game offensively.

Personally, I preferred young Grant’s take on the carnage over Mr. Rhoades:

But again, it’s easier to say your guys were “undisciplined” than to admit you got smacked in the mouth. Pride gets the best of all of us sometimes. Maybe highlight that your team went 0-for-10 from three in the second half? Or that your best guard (Evans) was taken out of his game to the tune of 11 points from the field on 12 shots. Nahhh, the wheels just fell off for a few minutes guys!

Perhaps you could call Marcus Santos-Silva undisciplined here for falling asleep. Shout out to Jenkins for going up to challenge Obi before making a business decision to get the fuck out of the way so Dayton, OH could enjoy another highlight in a game that was full of them.

After the run, with about nine minutes remaining, UD sufficiently took their foot off the gas to predicate the score ending up a lot closer than the second half really was. Dayton probably could’ve won this game by 30, but instead chose a rather dubious strategy of bleeding out the clock at every given opportunity allowing VCU to win the margin 24-16 the rest of the way home. With the Arch Baron Cup looming on Friday, I suppose I can get behind this strategy. Then entirety of the viewing population knew this one was all over but the cryin’. Obi 1 finished with a game high 24, Crutch chipped in an impressive 20-point performance, and Trey kept on stirring that drink for 16 more as the Dayton Flyers left no doubt as to who is the best team in the A10 before another important tilt in St Louis this weekend. I got a couple more things to say before we put this win to bed, let’s drive a nail in the coffin of this post much like Obi did in the final 30 seconds last night:

And sorry, this angle from Jon Asher was just too cool not to post. I remember walking on this walkway when I was a student and my hands are sweating just typing about it. The bridge was far more rickety in my days at UD…

Rodney Chatman is very much in a slump 

So far through 4 games in A10 play, The Masked Man is 1-for-9 from 3, 8-for-26 from the floor with 7 boards, 9 assists and 8 turnovers. In addition, it seems like a nightly trend that Rodney is overly aggressive on defense, and that aggressiveness turning into fouls. All players are afforded the right to be in a slump, but AG is also afforded the right to reallocate those minutes in the interim, especially with a roster this deep.

The HAVOC defense is still just a moniker for fouling a lot 

After the outright debacle that unfolded in the first 10 minutes, things started to settle down for the zebras, but the idea of HAVOC is still built on the premise of fouling so often that the refs can’t call everything. VCU finished with a pretty standard 11 fouls in the first, and nine in the second. Credit the Flyers for getting Bones Hyland in early foul trouble, limiting the contributions from VCU’s most effective player last night. That dude is going to be a thorn in our ass for years to come if he decides to stick around in Richmond.

Anthony Grant has shown no qualms with shortening the rotation

Chimichanga logged five rather ineffective minutes outside of a good offensive rebounding tip to the perimeter. Dwayne was on the floor for nine minutes where he was given specific duties to be aggressive and guard Marcus Evans that manifested in three fouls, but you can afford such brazen physicality when there’s a few other bodies on the bench (he also had the block of the night, below). We didn’t hear from Jhery at all, I tend to believe this will become a trend in the bigger games this season.

Chip Mikesell scored the first bucket of the game and then didn’t score again

This is not as much a “hot take” as a factual statement that I didn’t even realize until I was writing this article. The fact that Chip only logged one bucket and didn’t outwardly hold back the team is another indicator that he does all the little things right for this lineup.

UD will continue to go as far as Obi and Crutch can take them this year 

Which is pretty reassuring considering they’re both stone cold ballers that have developed an undeniable chemistry three years in the making. Trey has seemingly solidified himself as the third scorer on a nightly basis as well, and its a wonder I got this far in the article without mentioning Ibi, who finished with 13 points in 24 minutes. This team has weapons, guys.

So that’s a wrap knuckleheads. A little over 48 hours from the publishing of this article, the Flyers will be on the floor in Chaifetz Arena to do battle for the newest installment of the Arch Baron Cup. Being the studious blogger that I am, I will be in attendance to wear Red, and of course, be LOWD. Enjoy the tears from the VCU fans in the mean time, the return trip to the Siegel Center is 34 days away, with lots of A10 basketball in between.

See you Friday.

 

Sully

The LOWD ambassador of Chicago, Sully has spent his life tirelessly watching UD hoops. Welcomer of all takes, hot and cold.

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