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Previewing Dayton...

George Mason Basketball: Previewing Dayton...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Previewing Dayton...

So it's come to this: Mason's chance to add a marquee win to their resume before conference play kicks into full gear. The Flyers are without a doubt going to be the most talented and well-rounded squad the Patriots have faced to date. They are deep and much like the Patriots squad they aren't depending on one guy every night. Someone to keep an eye on is Chris Wright, who is a 6'8" forward and is wildly athletic, creating problems on both ends of the floor. To understand more of what I mean, watch this youtube:

Dayton's bread and butter is their defense and rebounding, while they struggle with three-point shooting. In their win over Auburn they went 0-for-24 from behind the arch. Wow. Could this be an advantage for the Patriots? We have seen lesser talented squads creep back into games because of three-point shooting. The Flyers play an up tempo style at times and things could get ugly for the Patriots if they try to match that tempo running up and down the court. I don't think Mason can go toe-to-toe with Dayton if it's an up tempo game, the Flyers are much more athletic.

For further analysis of the Flyers, I had a little Q&A session with a Dayton blogger from The Blackburn Review.

1. Most of us have seen what Chris Wright can do, who else should Mason fans keep a close eye on from this deep Dayton squad?

"Honestly, I am not going to blow smoke up your ass (unless you pay me). The U of D is not sporting the most potent offensive arsenal in the country right now. Chris Johnson and Marcus Johnson are the two most likely candidates to take over if Wright is having an off night on the offensive end. Wright is not scoring in the fashion that most Flyer fans anticipated he would this season. Outside of dunks and getting to the stripe, Wright's scoring ability seems to be rather limited in this early stage of his career. He really needs to develop a more effective outside game to take his game to the next level. Dayton currently thrives on defense and rebounding. They currently are second in the nation in defensive field goal percentage, holding opponents to 33.5% shooting from the floor. The Flyers, although very athletic, are not a flashy group. They definetely bring a blue-collar whiskey-drinkin' common-law-wife-beatin' work ethic to each game. They are more likely to open up for Menudo than impress you with their perimeter shooting."

2. What kind of coach is Brian Gregory?

"He is warm and cuddly. Standing at just 4'9", Gregory will not physically intimidate anyone. However, he has a mean streak and is capable of just about anything. BG is a fierce competitor who has brought Dayton's recruiting success to a new level. An unsubstantiated report from last year stated that Gregory defecated down the chimney of an opposing coach who was allegedly employing shady recruiting tactics to steal local talent. This charge was never proven as the DNA results were inconclusive."

3. What would you say is the Flyers biggest strength this season?

"Again, their defense and rebounding. Dayton seems content to blindly throw the ball against the backboard, grab the rebound, miss an easy lay-up, get another offensive board and eventually place it within the inviting confines of the rim. This team thinks of offense as a necessary evil and believes that the three point line is made of the remains of serial killers. Dayton's previosly non-sensical substitution patterns are finally paying off this year, as Gregory can continually sub in fresh bodies to physically impose their will on defense. The ride back to Fairfax will smell of Ben-Gay and unrelenting fear."

4. In Dayton's win over Auburn earlier this season they went 0-for-24 from the three-point line, would it suffice to say their biggest weakness is outside shooting?

"That would be an understatement. To put that number in perspective, you could probably pull a half-drunk 60 year-old Filipino fisherman out of the crowd to shoot half-court shots at halftime Tuesday night, and I would almost guarantee that he would hit one within 24 tries. The sheer embarrassment of that performance, albeit a win, is unmatched. Even looking at it now, I can help but die a little inside. Flyers fans want to pretend that game never happened, but I say we should never forget the horrors of that brisk night in Chicago. Time heals all wounds, but until another school goes 0-25 from the arc, we will have to wear a scarlet T, for turrrrrrrible, on our letter jackets."

5. What would the Patriots have to do to win this game?

"Limit turnovers and hit their open looks. Dayton will do their part to score in low numbers, Mason must retaliate by having a decent night on offense. UD has a tendency to over-pursue on defense which results in open looks from the outside. If Mason can control the pace of the game and not turn the ball over in bunches, the Patriots have a good chance at coming out of UD Arena with a shiny W."

6. What's your prediction for this game?

"My prediction is a close victory, between 5-8 points, for the boys in red and blue. Dayton will pull away in the last ten minutes of the game, miss enough foul shots down the stretch to keep Mason within striking distance, and eventually will make a play or two to keep it out of reach for good. Dayton will outrebound Mason by at least 10 boards and force between 15-20 turnovers. A child will be conceived in one of the men's bathrooms after the game."



Blogger C Hirsch said...

Not expecting a win here as we don't have Will Thomas to dominate Wright like he did last year.

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is the old guy who runs around the Patriot Center with the t-shirt gun and also throws the t-shirts out after every 3-pointer? Talk about awkward. Let a mascot do that stuff.

4:25 PM  
Blogger Vallance said...

i hope we go with a 3 forward line up.

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Dre can step up his game a bit for this one. If he can finally get back into his zone then we have a chance to pull this one out.

6:30 PM  
Blogger C Hirsch said...

Tough loss, frustrating to watch us implode at the end.

That would have been a good resume win should we need it later in the year.

The Dayton guy was pretty much right, maybe even about a child being conceived in the bathroom after the game.

9:20 PM  
Blogger's good for you. said...

Very frustrating. Was there some reason we didn't have an inside game at all tonight? I hate it when offense becomes one-dimensional. Great game by Dre (and surprising) wasted.

Now, we are going to need that ESPN bracketbuster win since we didn't get this key non-conference game tonight.

10:49 PM  
Blogger Matt Scanlon said...

Wow that dude was spot on.

12:25 AM  

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