The Young Dayton Flyers

You have to give the young Flyers team and coach a lot of credit.  They came to the tournament in Florida with a 1-3 record with three straight losses to teams with rankings of > 200.  Meanwhile, the other seven teams in the Orlando tournament had a combined 27-3 record.

However, the young Flyers have not given-up on themselves.  The blew out the University of Miami by 16.  More importantly, they upset the 4th ranked Kansas Jayhawks in the second game of the tournament.

This doesn’t mean the young team from Dayton will be a championship team this season, but they now realize that playing the game with passion and tenacity enables them to play with the best.

 

November 18, 2021

After attending two Dayton Flyer basketball home games, all I can say is…..  Ugh! It’s f*cking ugly and not going to get better anytime soon.  The best we can hope for is that the young boys grow-up quickly and have a better second half of the season.  The more likely situation is a team full of recent high school players will get some real experience this year, and by next season show why they were considered the 22nd ranked recruiting class in Division 1 basketball.

It’s clear that the UD fans that didn’t get to see their 29-2 juggernaut team play in the big tourney in 2020 were hoping for a great season (buying up all 13,000 season tickets).  I don’t imagine that anyone expected the worst performance in nearly 20 years.   It was pretty telling when UD Arena started emptying out fans with 8 minutes to go in the game against Lipscomb.

At this point, the team has no defensive game, no transition game, and no offensive scheme.  They are best at making second-rate basketball programs at UMass-Lowell and Lipscomb look like March Madness contenders.  In all seriousness, I’ve never seen a team of supposed athletic basketball players get beaten off the dribble so often on defense.   They are a very young team with tall players, but they play with a discipline and physicality like they’re still in high school.  For example, the two tallest players that offer the greatest threat on offense (Toumani Camara, and DaRon Holmes) clearly have no ability to defend against a large opponent operating in the lane.  The one bright spot is Malachi Smith (Scoochie’s brother) who appears to be a decent ball handler and penetrator.  They are still trying to find out the players that will fill the necessary roles:  Which player will become the defensive shut-down specialist?  Which player will be the go-to-guy for the 3-pointer?  Which player can slash thru the lane or pull-up for the 15-foot jumper?

You can’t place all the blame on coach Anthony Grant.   However, if you’re rotating in 10 to 11 players, you need to be playing more aggressive basketball including full-court pressure.  In addition, the offensive scheme that he is using is not working for the player personnel that he has on his team.  Perhaps the problem is coach Grant barking orders while sitting on his bar stool during games, similar to how the corpulent Bob Huggins does for his West Virginia team.

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