The Sports Report

A Statistical Take on Sports and Politics

Dayton Basketball Game #8

Dayton Flyers (8-0) 54
Akron Zips (4-3 versus Division 1 opponents) 50
Saturday, December 4
James A. Rhodes Arena, Akron, OH

It was ugly, almost as ugly as the opener against Wofford, but the Flyers came away maintaining their perfect 8-0 record. A win at Akron has been very tough for anybody in the last five years, as I highlighted in my pre-game notes, and thus despite the score it is a very impressive first true road game of the season. There are so many things I could point about the bad stats on both sides of the court in this one, but most importantly I feel that there is a horrible trend occurring with the starting lineup that I must point out first.

In the last five games, the starting lineup has averaged 52.8 minutes in the first half. Due to foul trouble, typically by London Warren who has averaged only 7.6 minutes per first half in this stretch, the Flyers are hardly ever at full strength in the first 20 minutes of the game. I arrived at this game in Akron about 4 minutes into the first half, and I did not see Warren for the rest of the second half. I was texted friends to see what was going on, but it didn’t take me too long to just realize that he had obviously gotten two quick fouls and was on the bench for the rest of the half. If the Flyers do not improve these marks soon, it will definitely come back to hurt them soon.

Official Dayton recap: “DAYTON’S DEFENSE DELIVERS IN 54-50 WIN AT AKRON
Official Akron recap: “Men’s Basketball Gets Clipped By Flyers, 54-50”

Official ESPN recap: “Dayton 54, Akron 50”

Here is the official count of first-half minutes in the last five games:
Starting Forward Chris Wright – 12.8
Starting Forward Charles Little – 11.8
Starting Forward Marcus Johnson – 11.6
Starting Forward Kurt Huelsman – 9.2
Starting Forward London Warren – 7.4
Starter Totals = 52.8 (year-long pct average is 58.5%)
Chris Johnson – 8.8
Devin Searcy – 7.8
Rob Lowery – 7.6
Mickey Perry – 7.2
Luke Fabrizius – 6.0
Stephen Thomas – 5.4
Paul Williams – 4.4
Bench Totals = 47.2 (year-long pct average is 41.5%)

What we can see from these totals is the disturbing trend that as the season has progressed, the starting five has been getting into more foul trouble and has been playing much less in the first half. Next to the starter and bench totals for the past five games above, I also include the percent of play both categories have had through all nine games thus far this season. This graph shows how the starters are playing a significant amount of time in the second half compared to the first half, and whether or not this is an issue with Coach Brian Gregory’s handling of the rotation, it is obviously a problem for the team’s success.

In this game the Flyers totaled 5 assists on 17-50 shooting, an absolutely miserable performance following the two stellar offensive outputs against Marquette and Troy. They had only one three-pointer, and thus they had only 0.700 field goal points per shot attempt, their second-worst mark of the season only to the Auburn game in Chicago. Akron, on the other hand, maintained the lead for practically the entire game because of three first-half three pointers from surprising freshman Humpty Hitchens.

Pre-Game Notes:
Just so you know, in preparation for Saturday’s game at the University of Akron, here is my stat of the week:

The Zips are 52-5 against Division 1 opponents at comfortable James A. Rhodes Arena over the last five years under Head Coach Keith Dambrot. The five losses are 1) to Kent State in 04-05 by three, 2) to Nevada in 06-07 by two, 3) to Northern Illinois in 07-08 by ten, 4) to Virginia Commonwealth in 07-08 by five and 5) to Kent State in 07-08 by three. Except for that Northern Illinois loss, these are all very impressive teams and the scores were very close throughout. There is no doubt in my mind that the game between the Zips and the Flyers will be close for all 40 minutes.

They have finished each of these last five seasons under Dambrot ranked 70 or above in RIP. They have been one of the most consistent mid-majors during this time period, and if it weren’t for a last second shot by Miami (OH) in the MAC Championship in 06-07, they would have had a great run in the NCAA Tournament.

Fortunately for Dayton in 08-09, however, this is not the same team that it was two years ago. Led by two Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary teammates of LeBron James (just like current UD junior Marcus Johnson) the Zips were 25-7 that season but were snubbed by both the NCAA Tournament and the NIT. They no longer have Romeo Travis or Dru Joyce Jr., but this team is still very dangerous at home. I can’t wait for the big game Saturday night and I will be there for sure!

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December 4, 2008 - Posted by | College Basketball, Dayton Flyers | ,

2 Comments »

  1. […] only severe problem I have with his game currently, is his 6.01 fouls per 40 minutes. As I outlined in the Akron recap, he has had some serious issues staying out of foul trouble in the first half recently, and his […]

    Pingback by Dayton Basketball Game #9 « The Sports Report | December 13, 2008 | Reply

  2. Thanks for sharing this cool Dayton Basketball Game #8! Keep playing basketball and have fun!:)

    Comment by Coach Basketball | November 29, 2010 | Reply


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