Dayton once felt like a pretty familiar team. For three consecutive seasons, the Flyers were a home-and-home partner with the Dukes in the conference. This season marks the second on a row where it’s just been the one game.
The Flyers come into this game as hot as anyone, riding a five game winning streak into CONSOL. They’ve been quite up and down this year, going 13-3 out of conference and then dropping five in a row early in A10 play. While beating St. Bonaventure at home is never an easy task, the other four teams didn’t offer much resistance. The George Washington win came in the midst of their injuries, and the other three schools aren’t much to sneeze at this year.
Dayton is in a position where they have to beat everyone left on their schedule to have a shot at some glory. Yet, as Dayton fans would probably be too happy to tell you, these are exactly the kinds of games that the Flyers lose. How can the Dukes do it?
1. Ground the Flyers’ front court.
While forward Dean Olivier is one of this team’s best players, the frontcourt as a whole isn’t playing all that well. They have some height, but most players are struggling to give decent minutes, especially the trio of Kavanaugh, Scott, and Robinson. Especially in the rebound department.
2. Watch the perimeter.
The Flyers shoot the three ball pretty well – best in the conference right now. They have some quick guards, and the Dukes have struggled in this area. They can’t on Saturday afternoon.
3. Don’t be dumb.
That sounds awfully simplistic. It is. The Dukes need to play the whole game like they know how to and not have a weird reaction to a poor stretch or a strong couple of Dayton possessions. They need to strive for a complete game. I know how trite that is, but if you watch the Dukes, you know what I mean.
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Am I counting on a win? Probably not. Do I think they can win? Yes. The Dukes have stolen games from Dayton before, and Dayton has dropped games like this before. One way or another, something is assured – there will be a basketball game at 2 PM on Saturday.