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1/19/2023 3:17 pm  #1

GW vs Dayton Game Thread

Big Saturday showdown with the Flyers.  It should be noted that we have had some very memorable moments against this school.  Away from home, Carl Elliott's steal and half court heave during the 2004-05 season.  At Smith Center, TJ Thompson drove coast to coast to win at the buzzer.  Wynton Witherspoon had a game winner late.  The Joe McDonald putback put away the Flyers.  Then there's the not-so-memorable.  6 players on the court under Hobbs.  Twice.  Each time against Dayton.

Am sensing we are a confident team right now.  Any chance of pulling off the upset on Saturday?  (As a side note, GW is now 2-0 games on nationally televised games on CBSSN, and 1-0 in a nationally televised game on USA.  This one will be on USA.  Going for 4-0 in nationally televised games...on the mainland of course.)

Last edited by Gwmayhem (1/19/2023 3:34 pm)


1/19/2023 4:02 pm  #2

Re: GW vs Dayton Game Thread

With a 53 KenPom (as of yesterday), this is a pretty heavy lift, although not impossible. As I suspect will be the case for all of the better teams we play, we can win if our three pointers are dropping. I just hope we stay competitive. No more 20+ point blowouts in A10 play, please.

On a related note, I was looking at KenPom yesterday and with a 188 ranking, we have had two quality wins this year, at home against UMass (162) and @Mason (119). We have also had two bad losses, at home against American (215) and UC San Diego (303; yikes! Let's please never play them again). I was surprised to find that the American loss was worse than @Radford (165), which is actually ranked higher than us and therefore not a bad loss (at least not yet).


1/20/2023 2:34 pm  #3

Re: GW vs Dayton Game Thread

Some good news for Dayton (and not so good news for GW) was that Malachi Smith, their very talented point guard, returned to action this past Tuesday in Dayton's win over Davidson.  He had missed close to two months.  Smith came off the bench to score 5 points, hand out 5 assists, and produced two steals in just 15 minutes. Sharavjants has played very well in his absence running the point.  On Tuesday, he had 7 assists and zero turnovers in 30 minutes.  Kobe Elvis was again a DNP on Tuesday but is reportedly very close to returning.  He averages over 10 points per game on the season. 

DaRon Holmes is coming off an evening where he scored just 4 points, largely due to being in foul trouble.  It will be a lot to ask for Dayton's highest rated recruit of alltime to produce consecutive subpar outings.  Doubling Holmes in the post will likely not work.  The Flyers are a motion heavy team, all adept at cutting without the ball.  When they are at full strength, I like their chances against anyone in the A10, despite their recent loss to VCU where they were up 4 with the ball and less than a minute left, only to somehow lose.  Could the A10 have 8 different A10 tourbnament champions over the past 8 seasons?  If dayton remains healthy, I'll answer yes to that question.

     Thread Starter

1/20/2023 10:08 pm  #4

Re: GW vs Dayton Game Thread

Dayton Flyers

Date/Time: Saturday January 21st @ 12:30 PM ET at the Charles E. Smith Center in Washington, DC.
Preseason Ranks: 24th (KenPom), 36th (Bart Torvik), 18th (Sports Illustrated)
2021-22 Record: 24-11, 14-4 (T-2nd in A10)
2022-23 Projected Record: 22-9, 14-4 (1st in A10)

Head-to-Head: 18-22, and Dayton has won the past six meetings. In last year's meeting in Foggy Bottom, GW fell 83-58. We later faced the Flyers on the road and fell in an even more lopsided 80-54 affair. To put things in perspective, Dayton has won 5 of the past 6 contests by double digits and 3 of the past 4 by over 20. The minimum goal for tomorrow is to keep the game within 10 points, although I realize on a team with little depth that may be a challenge. One of my critiques during the JC era was that the team largely lacked an identity, but particularly in the Dayton games I'm not even sure what the gameplan was in either contest. GW looked massively unprepared.

Name a statistic in either game, and chances are Dayton won that battle. It may not even be useful to mention what we did do well because it didn't really matter in the grand scheme of things.

In the GW home game, Dayton shot 59% from the field compared to 36% for GW. We were outrebounded by 12, but I'll excuse that a bit because we didn't exactly have anything to rebound as Dayton was making shot after shot. Dayton shot 50% from 3, making only one fewer than us despite GW taking 14 more. You can make the claim that we fell behind, and our shot selection was a product of trying to "catch up" but no, it was a product of us settling and not running anything offensively. The FT battle was a "win" I guess as we took 9 FTs as opposed to Dayton's 3, but it wasn't a major advantage and again with the Flyers making anything they didn't really need to get to the line. Dayton had 22 assists and had 11 steals. Turnovers were pretty much even as both teams coughed it up a fair amount.

In the road contest, it was more of the same incompetence. Dayton shot 62% compared to 38% for GW. Yes, you read that correctly. The Flyers shot nearly 60% from the field in the two games last year despite playing mostly underclassmen. We may have "ranked" better in defensive efficiency, but I will take this year's defense over last year's every day of the week. This year's inability is more due to roster limitation, while last year the team had no idea how to play zone defense. The number of times Dayton torched us by finding a hole in our zone was astounding. Dayton made four more threes on eight fewer attempts. GW had the slight edge again in FTs (13-8), but we didn't shoot well from the line and the difference was negligible. Dayton unsurprisingly outrebounded the team again by 12 and doubled GW up on assists (22-11). GW actually had the slight edge in turnovers (16 for Dayton, 13 for GW).

JB was the only GW player to finish in double figures in both games - he had 12 in game 1 and 10 in game 2. Ricky also had 10 off the bench in the road game.

At the very least, you would think the law of averages would suggest Dayton does not shoot as well tomorrow afternoon however offensively we will also need to not settle for threes due to the length of the Flyer players.

Offensive Efficiency: 112th (KenPom), 116th (Bart Torvik)
Defensive Efficiency: 20th (KenPom), 16th (Bart Torvik)
Pace: 337th (KenPom), 336th (Bart Torvik)
Offensive Shot Quality Rank: 101st
Defensive Shot Quality Rank: 81st
Rim & 3 Rate: 79% (118th)

Strengths (OOC Play):
Fouls Per Game (10th)
Scoring Defense (12th)
Three Point Percentage Defense (14th)
Field Goal Percentage Defense (T-15th)
Rebound Margin (18th)
Defensive Rebounds Per Game (28th)
Blocks Per Game (T-32nd)
Rebounds Per Game (44th)
Free Throw Attempts Per Game (T-98th)

Weaknesses (OOC Play):
Three Point Attempts Per Game (282nd)
Turnovers Per Game (T-285th)
Scoring Offense (297th)
Three Pointers Per Game (T-317th)
Turnovers Forced Per Game (T-317th)
Three Point Percentage (324th)
Turnover Margin (T-335th)
Steals Per Game (T-336th)
Bench Points Per Game (343rd)

Key Returning Players:
DaRon Holmes II (Sophomore; Goodyear, AZ) 12.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.3 apg, 2.3 bpg; 65% FG, 14% 3-PT, 59% FT)
     Last Season vs. GW (home): 12 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks; 6-8 FG in 29 minutes.

Toumani Camara (Junior; Brussels, Belgium) 10.9 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.6 apg; 51% FG, 34% 3-PT, 59% FT)
     Last Season vs. GW (home): 14 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks; 7-10 FG in 23 minutes.

Malachi Smith (Sophomore; Bronx, NY) 9.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 5.3 apg, 1.8 spg; 40% FG, 40% 3-PT, 78% FT)
     Last Season vs. GW (home): 13 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals; 6-12 FG, 1-3 3-PT in 33 minutes.

Kobe Elvis (Sophomore; Brampton, Canada) 8.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 2.4 apg; 44% FG, 36% 3-PT, 78% FT)
     Last Season vs. GW (home): 5 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists; 2-3 FG, 1-2 3-PT in 19 minutes.

Koby Brea (Sophomore; Washington Heights, NY) 8.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg; 44% FG, 42% 3-PT, 62% FT)
     Last Season vs. GW (home): 8 points, 3 rebounds; 3-8 FG, 2-5 3-PT in 21 minutes.

RJ Blakney (Sophomore; Baltimore, MD) 6.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1 apg; 45% FG, 35% 3-PT, 71% FT)
     Last Season vs. GW (home): 5 points; 2-3 FG, 1-2 3-PT in 13 minutes.

Mustapha Amzil (Sophomore; Helsinki, Finland) 5.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg; 40% FG, 30% 3-PT, 73% FT)
     Last Season vs. GW (home): 10 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists; 4-6 FG, 1-1 3-PT, 1-1 FT in 23 minutes.

Key Losses:
Elijah Weaver (Transferred to Chicago State; Albany, GA) 6.5 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 1.6 apg; 48% FG, 37% 3-PT, 83% FT)

Anthony Grant has it rolling in Dayton. The 2021-22 season marked the fourth consecutive season the Flyers finished with a winning record under his watch, both overall and in conference (he's been the coach there for 5 seasons total). You can throw out the 2020-21 season - every team around the country struggled to adjust to life with COVID. Finishing above .500 is a success so Dayton's 7th place finish in the league is irrelevant.

Despite all the winning, Dayton fans are unhappy. Grant has shown as both a recruiter and a coach that the Flyers have NCAA tournament potential on a yearly basis yet Dayton "technically" has no appearances in his tenure. The historic 2019-20 Flyer team led by Obi Toppin not only would have made the tournament, but would have probably been a #1 seed in the field but the tourney was scrapped due to COVID. Alas, we'll never know how far that squad would have advanced, and overall there may not be a coach in the country who was hurt more in the COVID-19 era than Grant. I had made the point in the past that it's a bit unfair that a coach is judged based on postseason success alone rather than their full body of work but a program like Dayton is an exception. The fact that Grant is an alum of the school can only buy him so much time. When you have the resources and support that the Flyer program has, it makes sense that postseason success is expected.

Maybe it's because of that Obi squad, but I've always thought of the Dayton squads under Grant to be more offensively inclined. That 2019-20 squad in particular had the third best offense nationally and notably had the best 2-point FG percentage in the country (the same category GW is fifth in this year). However, Dayton turning into a defense-first squad the past couple years isn't completely coming out of nowhere. After all, Grant did first enter the coaching ranks at VCU, and 5 of his 6 teams at Alabama were better on defense than offense.

The first thing that jumps out with this Dayton team is their size and length from the games I've seen. They have the makeup of a P6 squad with their collective wingspans. When you have that kind of length, it's easy to deflect passes, close out on shot attempts, and make it hard to score inside especially when they zone. It shouldn't be surprising that nearly all of Dayton's strengths come on defense. They don't foul, teams are unable to shoot high percentages against them from anywhere on the floor, they have good rim protection, and they rebound very well on both sides. I'm a bit surprised they aren't more aggressive in trying to turn teams over (that may have been a product of injuries during OOC) but to be fair they really don't need to.

It remains to be seen how much a lack of depth has played a role in some of Dayton's shortcomings on offense. Their top two returning scorers from last season were in their frontcourt so that may partially explain their affinity for taking shots closer to the rim, but injuries to some key backcourt pieces have also hurt their efficiency from behind the arc. As they continue to get healthy, I would expect an improvement offensively.

The aforementioned frontcourt returners are DaRon Holmes II and Toumani Camara. Holmes was a preseason all-A10 first-team selection and also earned a spot on the all-defensive team. His two-way impact can usually be felt on the floor. Last year, he ranked 27th nationally in blocks per game while finishing his shots at the second best rate in the country. This year he has taken another step forward as an offensive threat and rebounder. Holmes had the 10th most FT attempts during OOC play nationally, was 55th in rebounding (he was proficient on the boards last year, but has taken another step forward this year), and ranked 38th in scoring. He doesn't take many threes but is 3/9 on the year.

Camara, who came over from Georgia and was a preseason all-A10 second-team pick, is a prolific rebounder having lead the team in boards last season. During non-conference play he had the 25th most rebounds nationally. Yup, you read that correctly - Camara and Holmes were both in the top 60 in rebounding. It will be hard to win the rebounding battle tomorrow afternoon. Unlike Holmes, Camara did show the ability last year to knock down the three relatively well (34%, although that's down to 27% this season) but neither player is particularly great from the line. As I mentioned in the Mason game, it would have been nice to have a little bit of depth against a team that struggles to shoot FTs so we have more fouls available to give but there won't be that luxury tomorrow. Both Holmes and Camara are susceptible to turning the ball over, but unfortunately we don't have the personnel to be disruptive there.

Also returning in the frontcourt are Baltimore native RJ Blakney and Finland native Mustapha Amzil. Blakney is a do-it-all wing who often gets overlooked on a Dayton team full of impact players. He is a decent rebounder and shot 35% from 3 last year. Amzil took a step back with regards to his production last year (under 40% from the field, and 30% from 3) after he joined the team midseason his freshman year. Still, he's a more than capable scorer from all three levels and isn't the kind of guy you want to get going. He's re-found his form this year and is shooting 37% from 3 this year on a team that has otherwise largely struggled. If I remember correctly, Amzil was also responsible for scoring their game winner against Kansas last year. Zimife "Zimi" Nwokeji is their final returning piece in the frontcourt, although he doesn't figure to see much time playing behind the aforementioned four players. The Florida native is still a bit raw but possesses defensive upside as a 4-star recruit coming out of HS.

In the backcourt, Malachi Smith, Kobe Elvis, and Koby Brea return. Smith is another all-A10 selection (second team and defensive team) who made his return in Dayton's last game against Davidson after injuring his ankle in Dayton's MTE against BYU. Not only did he show impressive decision-making for a freshman (25th nationally in assists per game last season) he was a strong on-ball defender as well (75th in steals). Oh and he only shot 40% from three. I'm sure Dayton is thrilled that he is back in the fold. He may be a bit rusty in his first games back from injury, so that may help GW. Elvis, who also went down with a knee injury in that same BYU game, isn't the defender Smith is but is another capable ball handler who can make the 3 (36% last season although that's down to 26% this year). He has dressed the past couple games but has not seen minutes. Brea also returns as the designated three point specialist on the team (42% last year on a team leading 62 makes). He missed the early part of the year due to an upper body injury but has been healthy during conference play. Bringing a guy like Brea off the bench is a luxury most teams would love to have.

The final piece entering the fold this year is Mongolian Mike Sharavjamts, a long 6-8 guard who did an admirable job handling in the point in Smith's absence. He had some costly turnovers late in the VCU game, but I think he's otherwise done a solid job in his first year of CBB. Sharavjamts hasn't been the most efficient shooter (under 40% from the field, 30% from 3) but I'm sure those numbers will go up as he continues to grow with the program.

As mentioned in the head-to-head section, this figures to be a tough game for a number of reasons. Dayton's length will make it tough for us to get into the flow of the offense. We cannot be discouraged to take it inside otherwise we'll have a repeat performance from last year. Dayton is a bit down on the offensive end, but they have enough pieces that our limitations defensively will still make it tough to slow them down. Unlike against Mason, we can't really just double Holmes or Camara but we'll have to try hard to mix things up down low to make them have to adjust their shot. Holmes in particular may come out looking to be aggressive after a quiet performance against Davidson. The "swing factor" will be playing at home and the turnout of George's Army. I'm sure Dayton fans will show out as they always do, but the student section can make things more interesting after no fans were allowed at last year's home game against the Flyers.

Projected Score: Dayton 71, GW 65. 27% chance to win (Bart Torvik). ESPN gives us a 20.4% chance to move to 4-2 in conference.


1/21/2023 7:32 am  #5

Re: GW vs Dayton Game Thread

Line opened at GW +7 and now sits at GW +8.5

O/U 139


1/21/2023 9:04 am  #6

Re: GW vs Dayton Game Thread

Dayton just too good for even an improving GW team.   If anything, I would have considered a GW first half bet, but BetMGM did not have a halftime line for this game.  I will stay away.


1/21/2023 11:10 am  #7

Re: GW vs Dayton Game Thread

As much as I despise them, UD is the model A10 program and even our best squads needed magic like the Elliott steal and half court heave to even be in the conversation. This is exactly the kind of game where a rocking home crowd could tilt the difference, but our wine-and-cheese student body probably aint making it down for breakfast on this one. I wish people could have seen Smith Center in the 80s, even when we sucked, our crowds were big and ruthless.


1/21/2023 11:23 am  #8

Re: GW vs Dayton Game Thread

Mentzinger wrote:

As much as I despise them, UD is the model A10 program and even our best squads needed magic like the Elliott steal and half court heave to even be in the conversation. This is exactly the kind of game where a rocking home crowd could tilt the difference, but our wine-and-cheese student body probably aint making it down for breakfast on this one. I wish people could have seen Smith Center in the 80s, even when we sucked, our crowds were big and ruthless.

Never mind the "wine- and-cheese student body," what about a large percentage of the season ticket holders!  Where are they game in and game out?


1/21/2023 11:26 am  #9

Re: GW vs Dayton Game Thread

Mentzinger wrote:

As much as I despise them, UD is the model A10 program and even our best squads needed magic like the Elliott steal and half court heave to even be in the conversation. This is exactly the kind of game where a rocking home crowd could tilt the difference, but our wine-and-cheese student body probably aint making it down for breakfast on this one. I wish people could have seen Smith Center in the 80s, even when we sucked, our crowds were big and ruthless.

While I agree, there are some differences that would be hard for GW to overcome, namely Dayton basketball is the only game in town (other than the minor league baseball team).  People who didn't even go to Dayton go to games and wear their merch.  

I will say their alumni engagement is what we should be envious of.  Smith Center will have quite a few Dayton fans in attendance today to say the least.


1/21/2023 1:06 pm  #10

Re: GW vs Dayton Game Thread

GW carving up Dayton in the 1st half, 24-12
Bishop is one of the best playmaker/scorers in GW history



1/21/2023 1:06 pm  #11

Re: GW vs Dayton Game Thread

This defense 


1/21/2023 1:09 pm  #12

Re: GW vs Dayton Game Thread

Great start! Gotta limit the Dayton run we all know is coming…


1/21/2023 1:24 pm  #13

Re: GW vs Dayton Game Thread

CC A-10 Coach of the Year. Demeanor, gameplan, adjustments, plays to our strengths. Please extend him.
JBIV A-10 POY. Not even close. That baseline runner from behind the backboard was pure fucking magic.

Last edited by Mentzinger (1/21/2023 1:28 pm)


1/21/2023 1:26 pm  #14

Re: GW vs Dayton Game Thread

Best half of basketball of the year, the program is going ion the right direction. Exciting the way this team has gelled around CC.


1/21/2023 1:34 pm  #15

Re: GW vs Dayton Game Thread

First five minutes out of the half are critical for this team. Did they learn from previous let downs?  Let’s hope so.


1/21/2023 2:27 pm  #16

Re: GW vs Dayton Game Thread

Alum1 wrote:

First five minutes out of the half are critical for this team. Did they learn from previous let downs? Let’s hope so.

Weathered every challenge and kept the game plan for forcing Dayton out to the 3, where they have sucked, keeping the ball in JBIV's hands when they needed a bucket and in BA's hands down the stretch when they needed FTs. Such good coaching.


1/21/2023 2:29 pm  #17

Re: GW vs Dayton Game Thread

Mentzinger wrote:

CC A-10 Coach of the Year. Demeanor, gameplan, adjustments, plays to our strengths. Please extend him.
JBIV A-10 POY. Not even close. That baseline runner from behind the backboard was pure fucking magic.

This is spot on - amazing what CC has done with all of the same players as last year, plus Edwards (and without Bam and Brayon).  Just incredible.  And watching Bishop reach his potential playing under control like this is a joy.  Any chance he stays another year given the free Covid year?


1/21/2023 2:40 pm  #18

Re: GW vs Dayton Game Thread



1/21/2023 2:40 pm  #19

Re: GW vs Dayton Game Thread

What a great win!! Defense was outstanding  -  Things are def trending up   

POY for James Bishop   27 points 7 assists 


1/21/2023 2:42 pm  #20

Re: GW vs Dayton Game Thread

That was just fun to watch!!!  Team is going in the right direction, gotta love the ability to take multiple punches from Dayton in the second half and keep coming back.



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