The Sports Report

A Statistical Take on Sports and Politics

Dayton Basketball Game #3

Dayton Flyers (3-0) 78
BethuneCookman Wildcats (0-2 vs. Division 1 opponents) 38
Sunday, November 23
UD Arena, Dayton, OH

On Sunday afternoon, Flyers fans witnessed another improving performance by the Dayton men’s basketball team over at UD Arena. After a 3-point win over Wofford started the season, the Flyers have been improving with every minute on the court, and this one was just pure domination. In the school’s biggest victory in seven years, the Flyers defeated a team that could arguably be among the worst in Division 1 by 40 points. Bethune-Cookman returned only four letter men from their 11-21 season last year, and this game showed without a doubt how superior the Flyers are to this team from the MEAC.

In game two against Delaware State, Coach Brian Gregory received tremendous team defensive performances from London Warren, Rob Lowery and Mickey Perry as the team coasted to a 20-point victory. In this one, however, it was a stellar all-around performance that put the Wildcats out early, and everything started with Marcus Johnson. The junior guard/forward out of Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s High School scored seven of the first nine Flyers points in the game, and boosted his season efficiency averages during the rest of the game, finishing with a 16 point, 6 rebound, 26 minute performance. The defense, on the other hand, held Bethune-Cookman to 12-50 from the field, forced at least 20 turnovers for the third straight game, and was tremendous in the paint. For the third game in a row as well, the Flyers opponent shot either equal to or worse percentage-wise from two-point field goals than three-point field goals (opponents are shooting 31.3% from twos and 35.1% from threes).

Official Dayton recap: “JOHNSON & JOHNSON LEAD UD TO BIGGEST WIN IN SEVEN YEARS, 78-38
Official Bethune-Cookman Recap: “Dayton Remains Unbeaten With 78-38 Win Over B-CU Sunday in Oho”

Official ESPN recap: “Dayton 78, Bethune-Cookman 38”

Last game, I pointed out big men Luke Fabrizius, and Devin Searcy among several others responsible for deflating the Flyers field goal percentages late in the game. In this one, however, Fabrizius and Searcy combined for 7-11 from the field for 17 points and 6 rebounds in 33 minutes off the bench, proving that the offense can have a very solid performance any given day. Fabrizius finally started to hit his jumper, an impressive sign for the freshman out of Arlington Heights, Illinois.

My favorite bench player Rob Lowery fell back down to earth in this game, as he posted another 1-6 shooting night with 4 assists, 4 turnovers, 2 rebounds and only 1 steal in 19 minutes of play. Lowery is now 5-22 from the field this season as the backup to starting point guard junior London Warren, who finished with 5 assists, 3 steals and only one missed field goal in 14 minutes. The game was over pretty early, as the Flyers started the blowout with a 19-4 run in the first nine minutes, but it was not good to see Lowery continue to struggle from the field. He may be very active at all times on the offensive end, but since Warren has been so much more efficient in his shooting decisions (3-7 from the field now), he may be actually be a safer choice as the starter. I love the style Lowery plays on the basketball court, but it will be interesting to see how his shooting woes are handled by the coaching stuff.

The Flyers put up another impressive rebounding performance, grabbing 43.3% of their own offensive rebounding opportunities while holding to BCU to a 29.7% mark. The last two games have not been against very difficult opponents, but it brings about some optimism to the entire program after the very disappointing first game against Wofford. This win was also the beginning of the Chicago Invitational Challenge, which will include games against Marquette and Auburn this weekend in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Who knows what the Flyers chances will be in those two games, but my guess is that those big name schools will do a little better on the boards.

Freshman Chris Johnson has 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 assists in the last two games, incorporating only 26 minutes off the bench. The two Johnsons were the story in this one, but the freshman stands two inches taller, and is much more prone to attack the basket on offense and come up with the big play on defense. Although Paul Williams was supposed to be the big catch in this year’s recruiting class, CJ looks to be developing into a true stud. These past two games have been absolutely amazing, and it will be interesting to see how he builds on that in his first few pressure-packed games this weekend.

Coming up soon on my blog will be a look at the Atlantic-10 men’s basketball schedule. Just from my intuition, it would seem that with a 14-team league and an 18-game conference schedule that there would have to be some discrepancies in the scheduling process. Did Dayton get a fair deal based on their past sucess over the last few years? Will the home/road breakdown against possibly stronger competition hurt them, or some other team? I will look at all of this coming up within the next two weeks as it could play a very important role in what team (more likely than not, alongside Xavier) will make the NIT or NCAA Tournament next March.

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

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November 24, 2008 - Posted by | College Basketball, Dayton Flyers | ,

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