February 15, 2013
Scouting the Dayton Flyers (Rd. II)
Record: 13-11 Overall (10-4 Home), (3-7 Conference)
Key Wins: Boston College, Auburn, Alabama, Miami, Murray State
Key Losses: at Xavier, Saint Louis (by 29), Butler, LaSalle, VCU
#1 Kevin Dillard - 6'0 senior PG: Leading scorer and assist man averages 15 points per game, and is shooting 40% from deep this year. Xavier did a good job on him for most of last game, but Dillard has big shot making abilities.
#43 Vee Sanford - 6'3 junior SG: All around scorer is second on team at 12.5 points per game and really hurt Xavier the first time around with his offensive aggression.
#5 Devin Oliver - 6'7 junior SF: Slasher averages 9.4 points and team high 8.4 rebounds per game.
#21 Dyshawn Pierre - 6'6 freshman PF: Inside-outside forward averages 8 points and 5 rebounds, capable three-point shooter at 45%.
#2 Josh Benson - 6'9 senior C: Third leading scorer at 10 points, and also averages 4.5 rebounds. Xavier really held Benson in check the first time these teams met.
#12 Jalen Robinson - 6'9 freshman PF/C: Big man with skill averages 6 points and 5 rebounds off of bench.
#15 Matt Derenbecker - 6'7 sophomore SF: Transfer sniper averages just 4.7 points but shoots 45% from deep.
Xavier Defensive Keys
• Find shooters: In the first meeting between these two teams Dayton stayed in the game by knocking down three-pointers. The Flyers hit eight long balls, including four from Dillard and three from Derenbecker. The three-point shot is called the great equalizer for a reason in college basketball. Xavier can't let a one trick pony like Derenbecker get any shots off, and while Dillard is going to shoot no matter what, Xavier needs to force him into difficult and contested shots late in the shot clock.
• Get back in transition: The other way that Dayton really hurt Xavier last game was with their quick strike offense off of a defensive rebound, or sometimes even a made basket. Dillard really looked to push the ball in transition, or throw it all the way down court, as Dayton got several easy baskets early in the shot clock, which is exactly what Dayton coach Archie Miller's ideal style of play is. In particular, Oliver and Sanford are the two players that XU needs to make sure they find in the up-tempo game, as these two love to run the wing and are very good attacking the rim in space.
• No paint for Sanford: The Flyers most efficient scorer at the Cintas Center was transfer junior guard Vee Sanford, who scored 16 points on 8/13 shooting. Sanford's primary goal is to attack the rim and shoot a pull-up or get all the way to the basket and draw contact. It will be imperative in this game that whoever is guarding Sanford will keep the wing from getting into the paint, where he becomes as dangerous of a scorer as there in college basketball. Sanford hasn't proven to be a great passer at this point, so don't be surprised if XU gives a little extra help towards Sanford's direction.
Xavier Offensive Keys
• Return of Mr. Robinson: In the first meeting with Xavier the Musketeers were probably saved from being upset because of the play of forward Jeff Robinson. The senior was aggressive, which isn't always a given, from start to finish as he scored 12 points to keep the Flyers defense honest from doubling Semaj Christon and Travis Taylor. If Xavier can get another good game out of Robinson then they will hold a huge advantage heading down the stretch in this one.
• Two is better than one: The Dayton seven man rotation only has one true guard in Kevin Dillard, while Xavier has two guards who can really put pressure on the defense with their abilities to get places off of the dribble. Dillard can't guard Semaj Christon (13 points in first meeting) and Dee Davis (14 points in first meeting) at the same time; so whoever has the matchup needs to look to be very aggressive in creating offense and drawing help to set up a teammate.
• Attack Benson: The Flyers are a completely different team when senior big man Josh Benson is playing well; in the first meeting Xavier was able to neutralize Benson in part by attacking him on the offensive end and forcing him into foul trouble. Travis Taylor (11 points in first meeting) was efficient for Xavier, while Justin Martin (8 points) and Isaiah Philmore (8 points on 4/4 before leaving with injury) also gave help in the painted area. If Xavier can draw fouls on Benson then coach Miller will be forced to insert his freshmen big guys, a big advantage for Xavier in a game of this magnitude.
Overall: We all know how difficult it is for Xavier to win at UD Arena, especially in seasons where Xavier has already defeated the Flyers in Cincinnati. This isn't even a must-win for a struggling Dayton team, it's basically their version of the NCAA tournament. Conversely, Xavier needs to earn good road wins, and of course conference wins, to enhance their post-season resume and continue to improve. The Musketeers will have to handle their emotions against the crowd, and be prepared to execute for forty minutes. This game will more than likely come down to the last few possessions, with both teams having about an equal shot at getting the win.
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