I am going to forego my usual picture and put something special up for this game…
What To Expect:
-Dayton is less of a “push the tempo” type of team. They play like what URI saw with St. Bonaventure over the weekend (that only about 1,000 of us saw). They average 1.77 shots per minute per game. They take a combined 71 shots per game (2’s and 3’s). For comparison’s sake, URI also takes a combined 71 shots. Dayton is a good shooting team. They manage about 0.80 points per shot taken (they are averaging 71 ppg but 14 ppg come from FT’s). Comparatively speaking, URI only about 2/3 of a point per shot taken. Dayton shoots 46% from the field and 38% from 3-point range. Dayton doesn’t get many more second-chance opportunities than URI does; Dayton is just simply more efficient and finds/takes better shots.
-Dayton is not a team who features 3-point shooting as part of their offensive scheme. Only about 23% of Dayton’s shots are 3’s. For comparison’s sake, 27% of URI’s shots are 3’s. Dayton only has one player who has over 100 3-point attempts, and he only has 110. Second on URI (Andre Malone) has 102 attempts.
-A key to the game is going to be free throws. Both teams take approximately 20 FT’s per game but Dayton is shooting a collective 70% from the line where URI is shooting 68%. The difference being the disbursement of the shots. Dayton is averaging 40 FT attempts per eligible player on the roster versus URI averaging 36 attempts per eligible player. While that seems small, that’s over 12 players on each roster. What this signifies is that URI’s FT’s mostly come from a small number of players. Two-thirds of URI’s FT’s are taken my Munford, Malesevic, and Powell. If one of those guys has an off-night at the line, it can really hurt the team. URI is not going to change their offensive game plan because someone is cold from the line. If Powell’s game is to try and slash to the basket and draw contact, he’s not going to stop driving because he’s cold from the FT line so that would mean URI leaving points on the floor.
Defensive Strategies Against Top 3 Players:
-Kevin Dillard (#1): 6’0” 170lbs. G. Even though Dillard had himself a regrettable final minute of the Temple game, he’s still a force out on the court. He puts up 15ppg and 5apg. He shoots 40% from everywhere on the court (even from 3). He also shoots a very good 87% from the FT line. He is the only real threat from beyond the arc as 30% of his shots are from 3 and he shoots 40% from that range. What he does struggle with is pressure defense. He made critical mistakes against Temple when the defender was right up in his face all the way up the court (dribbled off his own foot, tripped over himself and traveled). In that Temple game he had 5 turnovers. URI just needs to get Powell or Munford in his face all game and irritate him. This will increase the likelihood of him making his share of mistakes.
-Vee Sanford (#43): 6’3” 180lbs. G. Personally, I don’t know why Dayton doesn’t make this guy the focal point of their offense. He’s a very, very good SG. Shoots 45% from the field (34% from 3) and 83% from the line. He actually has made 1 more FG than Dillard on 25 fewer shot attempts. The difference being the 3-point shots. Dillard has taken many more than Sanford and made more of them. The best way to limit the impact this guy has on the game is to make him shoot 3’s. He’s proven that not only does he prefer to take it to the basket or settle for mid-range jumpers, but he’s one of the better players on Dayton at those shots.
-Josh Benson (#2): 6’9” 223lbs. F. Here we go. A perfect player to utilize the “hack-a-Shaq” philosophy. He is second on the team in FT attempts and he only shoots 58% from the line. God bless big men and their lack of free throw shooting ability. It just doesn’t make sense to me. Being a big man, 90% of your game is in the low post and going up to the basket. That means you’re going to get fouled. A lot. How can big men be so bad at shooting free throws? Anyway, he also shoots 55% from the field so that means URI really needs to emphasize using most of their fouls on this guy and don’t let him get any comfortable shot off.