The Sports Report

A Statistical Take on Sports and Politics

Dayton Basketball Game #2

Dayton Flyers (2-0) 62
Delaware State Hornets
(0-2 vs. Division 1 opponents) 42
Wednesday, November 19
UD Arena, Dayton, OH

The Dayton Flyers continued their young season with a much more impressive win over the Delaware State Hornets on Wednesday night. This win was an impressive all-around showcase for the entire team, much unlike the way the Flyers started the season against Wofford on Sunday. Coming into the game, I looked to the Flyers to improve their team rebounding statistics after being out-performed 35-29 by the smaller Wofford Terries, as well as improving their overall efficiency on offense after a very sloppy start to the season. They did both of these things in resounding fashion, as a 36-12 run spanning nearly 20 minutes helped the Flyers break free and hold on for good.

After game one against Wofford, I felt that there would be no way this team could beat anyone in Division 1 by 15 points or more. Their rebounding was sub-par, their offense didn’t click at all, and if it were not for 16 unforced turnovers, they very easily could have lost their season opener in shocking fashion. Against 2005-2007 MEAC regular season champions Delaware State, however, the Dayton Flyers proved that they are very much worthy of their third place finish in a preseason Atlantic-10 poll. They looked incredibly athletic and capable of turning it on full-speed on both sides of the ball in this one, and their entire offense was built on their steady on-ball defense led by the superb play of point guards London Warren and Rob Lowery.

Official Dayton recap: “BRIAN GREGORY REWARDED WITH 100TH CAREER WIN
Official Delaware State recap: “DAYTON FLYS PAST HORNETS, 62-42″

Official ESPN recap: “Dayton 62, Delaware St. 42”

In the first half of this game, the Flyers out-rebounded the Hornets by the total of 25 to 12. On potential rebounds coming off of Dayton missed shots, the Flyers out-rebounded the Hornets 13 to 11, while on Hornet missed shots, they out-rebounded them 12 to 1. Coming into the game, I looked to see how Huelsman, Wright, Little and company would follow up their mediocre performance against Wofford in their match-up against Delaware State senior Arturo Dubois. Dubois, who sat out his entire junior year after transferring from Manhattan, sat out their recent loss to Lehigh after oral surgery, but returned to the action in this one with a solid 9 point, 8 rebound performance. Despite his presence, the Flyers put up some phenomenal statistics in the first half, and as you can see in the information below this paragraph, it was a tremendous improvement in comparison to the Wofford game:

Offensive Rebounding Rate:
18.5% vs. Wofford, 54.2% first half vs. Delaware St.

Defensive Rebounding Rate:
69.0% vs. Wofford, 92.3% first half vs. Delaware St.

Steal to Opposing Turnover Rate:
27.3% vs. Wofford, 58.3% first half vs. Delaware St.

Field Goal Attempt Differential Per 40 Minutes:
0 vs Wofford (each team shot the ball 46 times overall), 24 first half vs Delaware St. (Dayton out-shot Delaware St. 32 to 20 in the first twenty minutes)

Point Differential Per 40 Minutes:
3 vs. Wofford, 14 first half vs. Delaware St. (Dayton led 28-21 at the break)

Although the Flyers only had a seven point advantage going into halftime against Delaware State, they had all the numbers pointing towards a more lopsided second half. In the end, that is exactly what we saw, as the Flyers out-scored Delaware State 10-2 in the first ten minutes of the second half and never looked back from there. Chris Wright led the way again in this one, as his 18 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals in 24 minutes helped to pave the way for the Flyers. In the first half, when the rest of the offense couldn’t find the rim, he managed to stick it in there just about every single time. He finished with 12 points on 5-8 shooting in the first half alone, while the rest of the Flyers team went 5-24 from the field in that first half. In the second half, things got out of hand and he wasn’t needed quite as much as the Flyers coasted and helped Coach Brian Gregory win his 100th game in his career.

One of the most phenomenal statistics in this game, was the fact that the Flyers had 21 more field goal attempts than the Hornets. I was astounded in game one when Wofford committed all those non-steal turnovers, but in this game the relentless offensive rebounding by the Flyers easily enabled them to hold on late in the game. They built their lead all the way up to 59-31 with just a few minutes left, before a crazy fury at the end somewhat deflated their very impressive shooting percentages. One particular grouping of the players who finished the game for the Flyers, freshmen Luke Fabrizius and Paul Williams, sophomores Stephen Thomas and Devin Searcy, and junior Mickey perry, finished a combined 4-20 from the field. Another impressive thing to note, is that London Warren, Rob Lowery and Mickey Perry combined for 9 steals from the backcourt, and on several occasions their outstanding perimeter defense led to easy fast break points for Wright and others.

In game one, I noted the particularly impressive play of junior transfer Rob Lowery from Cecil College in Maryland. On the season, he now has 14 points, 8 assists, 4 rebounds, and 5 steals in 35 minutes played. Although he does have 2 turnovers, and has shot only 4-16 from the field during that time span, he has done so much per minute outside of scoring that I think it is time to have him start over fellow junior London Warren. ESPN, in the Blue Ribbon preview of the Flyers this season, mentioned that they thought Warren might eventually be benched in favor of either Lowery or Perry so they could maximize his impact on the court. Warren is not a particularly well-rounded offensive player, and although his shooting efficiency has been much better (3-6) than Lowery’s thus far this season, I believe the assists, turnovers, personal fouls and steals speak for themselves. I got excited every time Lowery came on the court against Delaware State, and I can’t wait to see how he does the rest of the season.

The next game for the Dayton Flyers will be this coming Sunday, November 23 at 2:00 PM at UD Arena against Bethune-Cookman. This should be another relatively easy game against a lower-level mid-major but I am still looking to the Flyers to improve their efficient field goal percentage, and their tenacity in the first half. I did not see any urgency in the faces and mindset of these players in the first 11 minutes of this game, when they stumbled off to a 10-10 start. After that however, the offense lit it up with all the rebounding, and the steals from Lowery and Warren helped out tremendously. I have failed to mention freshman Chris Johnson, but his 8 point, 5 rebound performance in 13 minutes off the bench was phenomenal, and he showed the first few signs of why he should be a star on this team for many years to come. The Flyers still will need to have a better team offensive effort in the coming week in practice if they want to seriously contend in the Chicago Invitational Challenge against Auburn and Marquette.

Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball efficiency statistics can be viewed at this link here.

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November 20, 2008 - Posted by | College Basketball, Dayton Flyers | ,

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