"Don Donoher" (@5forFlying) from The Blackburn Review hit me up a few days ago asking to do a Q&A, so we traded questions and well...answers; and here we are! I strongly recommend going to their site, they've got not only unparalleled coverage of UD basketball for scouting purposes, but an excellent website design (right, GT_Jason?) and a hilarious section called the "Freshman Report" that chronicles all the dumb stuff you do as a college freshman. Follow them on twitter here, my answers to their questions over at their place.
FTRS: Who's the Flyers player that we should be watching out for tomorrow night?
Blackburn Review: This team goes as far as Dyshawn Pierre ("Kid Canada") takes them. He is having a wonderful sophomore campaign and playing a lot better than a lot of us thought. Pierre can shoot, pass, dribble, rebound, everything. He has been really fun to watch this year. Devin Oliver can get a double-double any game he wants, so I would key in on him. Vee Sanford (in his second year with Dayton from Georgetown) is also a scoring threat for the Flyers. Lastly, Jordan Sibert (transfer from Ohio State) will also give you all trouble. Word of advice, don't let the PPG full you on some of these players. The competition hasn't been the best so a few of the players have some bloated stats.
FTRS: How do Flyer fans feel about this game? Do they want to beat CBG really bad? I remember when Tech hired him the general sentiment on the Dayton boards was "good riddance."
BBR: I would think the majority of fans were not necessarily happy to see BG go, but were puzzled with the large extension he got from Dayton (and GT for that matter). He got UD their only NCAA Tournament win in like, a million years, and he was a good recruiter. However, a lot of fans felt like he a.) Didn't develop those players and b.) Didn't really have a good in-game approach. He was a good coach for Dayton and I enjoyed the wins he got this program. As for wanting this win, Dayton wants to win every game. If you polled who the fans loved more, they would probably say Oliver Purnell for sentimental reasons. I would say the fans want this game more to boast "We beat a BCS school!!!" rather than "We beat our old coach!!!"
FTRS: What would you say UD's offensive game plan is? Dayton's a fairly small team, and have already have 16 shots blocked this year against rather inferior competition. I also notice the Flyers are shooting a rather exuberant 44% from 3-land this year. Would you say that UD's offensive game plan against the bigger Tech team is going to involve a lot of 3PFG attempts, then?
BBR: If you look at the stats, Dayton shouldn't really have any close games. They have out-rebounded every team and had a better shooting percentage. The defense just either isn't showing up or Archie has some tricks up his sleeve. In an ideal world, [Coach] Archie [Miller] would want our big men (Matt Kavanaugh, Devon Scott, and Jalen Robinson) to get the majority of the points but he knows that might be a bad idea, as all 3 have struggled this year. He will run a small lineup at you, try to get some fast break points, and if that doesn't work, he will work the ball around for an open shot. It sounds like a cop-out and to be honest, I haven't paid too close attention to any offensive scheme.
And they are shooting pretty well from the 3-point land. Mainly because Khari Price (our point guard) is having a lot better shooting year than we thought. I wouldn't say this team lives and dies by the 3-pointer, but with no big man stepping up, it really has been the only way to get points. I'm not saying our big men are terrible, they just can come across as unathletic (Kavanaugh), lost (Scott), or disinterested (Robinson).
FTRS:The Flyers are performing well on defense, holding opponents to just under 65 points a game. What enables them to do that, and how will they apply it to GT?
BBR: Again, I wouldn't say this team has played GREAT defense. They have had two close games and one blowout. They got lucky to beat IPFW [Ed. Note: Indiana University - Purdue University Ft. Wayne] (yes, you read that correctly) and pulled away late with one of the St Frances' (seriously, does it matter which one?). I really like the team's perimeter defense. Clearly they aren't attack attack attack like VCU is, but they play good pressure to force up some shots late in the shot clock. This team knows they don't want to play in a 90-85 point range because if their shots aren't falling, they will get blown out of the gym. They (like every team except maybe Grinell) want to the opponent to milk the clock and if their 3 point falls in at the shot clock buzzer, that's tough luck.
Thanks again to the guys at BBR! Now it's your turn dear readers; ask Chas or I (or Joey, if he's not too busy murdering everything in sight in a senior design-induced rage) anything in the comments and we'll answer it!