RecapU. Dayton BasketballFoolin’ Around Against Fordham

Dayton takes down Fordham in a sluggish game
Matt Rhein4 months ago48 min

When you have a talent gap like we saw between the Flyers and Fordham tonight, you typically don’t have to get out of second gear to win. Dayton allowed Fordham to score 17 points in the first half and built a 19 point lead at the half. From there, UD coasted for the remaining 20 minutes to win their 11th victory in a row. The Rams actually outscored the Flyers 39 to 34 in the second half, but it mattered not and Dayton moves to 20-2 on the season.

Trey Landers led the Flyers with 18 points and 6 rebounds, while Obi also chipped in a ho-hum 18 points and 6 rebounds as well. We are perhaps all spoiled in that 18 and 6 is nothing to write home about, yet we live in blessed times and here we are. Perhaps most importantly, Obi only logged 29 minutes tonight. This is the lowest total No Stoppin’ logged since UD’s hellacking of UMass. With a week off until the Flyers take the court, some R&R will do everyone in the LOWD kingdom good.

After two back to back Atlantic 10 Player of the Week honors, Jalen Crutcher finally came back to earth and missed his all of the six shots he took in the first half. Even without Clutcher hitting shots, the Flyers built out a comfortable lead largely thanks to the continued great play of Trey Landers. Trey shot 6 for 8 on field goal attempts, earning an ultra efficient 1.89 points per possession. Dayton has always been able to rely on Trey for solid defense and rebounding, but becoming in his senior season Landers has turned into a potent offensive player.

I have been tracking players in the Atlantic 10 who were in the conference last season and their change in usage rate and true shooting percentage this season. Trey has the second highest improvement in true shooting in the A10, improving that metric by 15.1% this year. Before tonight, Trey was shooting 40% from behind the 3-point line and 60.3% for all field goals. His shooting from deep is a huge improvement, doubling his 20% 3-point percentage from last year. He is also attempting 2.1 threes a game, the highest amount of his career. It isn’t a stretch to say Trey Landers is the third offensive option for the Flyers this season.

On the back on Landers, Dayton went into the break with a 19-point lead and continued to keep Fordham at bay in the first five minutes of the second half. With under 15 minutes left, the Rams did something very un-Fordham like and showed some life. Fordham went on a 9-0 run on three consecutive threes to cut the lead to 13. While in hindsight there was no way Fordham had the talent to claw back into the game, surely Flyer fans mind’s went back to Wednesday when Duquesne also was able to make up ground on a 20-point Dayton lead.

It is worth noting that while Fordham roughly took a similar amount of attempts from deep that they normally do, they made a lot more of these shots than they typically do. While it seemed the defensive effort for the Flyers wasn’t 100% tonight, there was also a bit of bad luck as well. Fordham shot 43.5% from the perimeter tonight, well above their 32.8% mark for the season. Some nights teams just hit their shots from deep. Fordham being Fordham shot out of their skin from deep, but still could only shot an overall 42.3% from the field and never truly threatened to steal the game.

While the second half was closer than expected, the only questions remaining were if Dayton could cover the 24 point betting line and would the walk-ons play. We soon found out those answers would be no and yes, respectively. Like a cat toying with a mouse, Dayton put forth minimal effort while Fordham tried it’s best and cut the final deficit to 14. We got some sweet walk-on action (with Dwayne Cohill as well…), with Christian Wilson hitting a three! When the clock hit zero, Dayton gets a double digit win without leaving second gear and get a week off before it’s on to SLU and the cup.

With the game being in little doubt, #LOWD Twitter played body language doctors with Dwayne Cohill tonight. The only playing time the sophomore guard got was in the walk-on mop up duty, which admittedly struck me as strange. Dwayne had been averaging 13.1 minutes a game up to this point of the season, so it certainly seemed like Anthony Grant was sending a message. There were a few on twitter reading into Cohill’s body language on the bench and concluding it was a rainy day in Dwayne-land. No one likes to be glued to the bench, especially when you have been contributing up to that point in the season. We should resist jumping to any conclusions when dealing with college aged players though. This has been an unprecedented season for Dayton to this point, no need to look for fissures where there aren’t any.

Friends, rest up, say goodbye to your loved ones, and start preparations for the Cup. The mouth breathers from Saint Louis will surely be upset letting the cup slip from their grasp in the last seconds of overtime. We will all need to be sound of mind and body to defend the sacred lands of Edwin C. Moses Boulevard from the invasions of blue clad, bagel slicing masses. Wear red, be lowd.

Matt Rhein

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