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1/27/2024 10:42 pm  #1

GW vs Dayton Game

Back on the road, for the toughest game in the league, at Dayton

At 14-6, GW looks to get back into the W column and pull off the huge upset 

Dayton, #15 in the NET is on a lot of 3 and 4 lines on March Madness early brackets, huge test for our young squad.

Does GW win to improve to 15-6?  Expected line?  

Last edited by The Dude (1/29/2024 11:53 pm)


1/28/2024 6:42 pm  #2

Re: GW vs Dayton Game

Dayton Flyers

Date: Tuesday January 30th, 2024
Time: 7:00 PM ET
Venue: UD Arena
Analytic Ranks: 25th (KenPom), 37th (EvanMiya), 20th (Haslametrics)
NET Ranking: 16th
2022-23 Record: 22-12, 12-6 (T-2nd in A10)
2023-24 Projected Record: 25-5, 15-3 (1st in A10)

Head-to-Head: 19-22. Last year's 76-69 win by GW in Foggy Bottom snapped a six game losing streak in the series. GW led wire-to-wire and raced out to a 14 point halftime lead. Max in particular played a large role in the strong start, as he scored 13 of his 15 points for the game in the first 20 minutes. Edwards began the game with a dunk in transition, and then proceeded to hit two threes on assists from BA (that's what I'm talking about when I say get him going within the flow of a halfcourt offense - it feels everything he's scored lately has been been him creating his own shot).

Later in the half, Max cut to the basket and dunked the ball on a beautiful feed from JB. (On a side note, I wonder whether JB is trying fewer of those passes in an attempt to cut down on turnovers). Max then finished off the half with a beautiful three from the top of the key on a good find from BA off an in bounds pass. To put it simply, we need Max to be a major part of the offense in order to have success. We even saw in the UMass game that he was keying the team offense until he found himself in foul trouble and CC had to sit him.

The strong first half performance from Max gave way to JB and BA to do their thing in the second half, as Bishop scored 18 points after halftime and BA had 13 himself. In the final 2:37 of the game, GW made a whopping 19 FTs out of a possible 20 attempts. The over/under for the game was 138.5, and those taking the under were celebrating with only 107 points scored between the two teams with three minutes to go. After the final buzzer sounded, the total was 145 points. I'm sure a certain crowd of people in Vegas went crazy. I can't remember a game where so many points were scored (38) in a three minute span.

Offensive Efficiency: 20th (KenPom), 34th (EvanMiya), 18th (Haslametrics)
Defensive Efficiency: 62nd (KenPom), 62nd (EvanMiya), 35th (Haslametrics)
Pace: 351st (KenPom), 356th (EvanMiya), 351st (Haslametrics)
Roster Rank: 71st (EvanMiya)
Offensive Shot Quality Rank: 32nd
Defensive Shot Quality Rank: 72nd
Rim & 3 Rate: 88% (29th)

Strengths (2023-24 Season):
Opponent Free Throws Attempted Per Game - 12.8 FTA (4th)
Opponent Free Throws Made Per Game - 9.1 FTM (4th)
Personal Fouls Per Game - 13.5 PF/G (7th)
3-PT Field Goal Percentage - 39.4% (10th)
Opponent Defensive Rebounds Per Game - 21.9 DRPG (T-20th)
Opponent Points Per Game - 64.1 PPG (22nd)
3-PT Field Goals Made Per Game - 9.6 3PM (24th)
Opponent Blocks Per Game - 2.5 BPG (27th)
Opponent Field Goal Percentage - 40.5% (44th)
Field Goal Percentage - 47% (67th)
Opponent Steals Per Game - 5.7 SPG (T-69th)
Blocks Per Game - 4.3 BPG (T-74th)
3-PT Field Goals Attempted Per Game - 24.4 3PA (T-82nd)
Opponent Field Goals Made Per Game - 24.1 FGM (T-87th)
Assists Per Game - 14.9 APG (93rd)
Free Throw Percentage - 73.5% (99th)
Opponent 3-PT Field Goal Percentage - 31.7% (99th)
Opponent Rebounds Per Game - 33.5 RPG (T-106th)
Opponent Assists Per Game - 12 APG (T-112th) (let's at least try to match this)

Weaknesses (2023-24 Season):
Opponent Personal Fouls Per Game - 16.4 PF/G (250th)
Rebounds Per Game - 34.2 RPG (270th)
Field Goals Made Per Game - 24.8 FGM (280th)
Steals Per Game - 5.6 SPG (T-295th)
Offensive Rebounds Per Game - 8.7 ORPG (T-304th)
Opponent Offensive Rebounds Per Game - 11.6 ORPG (317th)
Opponent Turnovers Per Game - 10.3 TO/G (328th)
Field Goals Attempted Per Game - 52.7 FGA (359th)

Key Returning Players:
DaRon Holmes II (Junior; Goodyear, AZ) - 18.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.9 bpg; 59% FG, 32% 3-PT, 67% FT per 34.2 mpg
      Last Season @ GW: 14 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block; 5-15 FG, 4-4 FT in 31 minutes.

Kobe Elvis (Junior; Brampton, Canada) - 8.5 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.9 apg; 38% FG, 33% 3-PT, 75% FT per 29.5 mpg
      Last Season @ GW: 8 points, 1 rebound, 2 steals; 3-5 FG, 2-3 3-PT in 13 minutes.

Malachi Smith (Junior; Bronx, NY) - 7.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 5.6 apg, 1.2 spg; 40% FG, 38% 3-PT, 70% FT per 29.7 mpg** (out for season - torn lateral meniscus in right knee)
      Last Season @ GW: 12 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists; 3-6 FG, 1-2 3-PT, 5-5 FT in 21 minutes.

Koby Brea (Junior; Washington Heights, NY) - 6.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.7 apg; 36% FG, 37% 3-PT, 100% FT (he only took 7 FTs last year) per 26.5 mpg
      Last Season @ GW: 5 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks; 2-9 FG, 1-6 3-PT in 26 minutes.

Key Losses:
Toumani Camara (Went Pro; Brussels, Belgium) - 13.9 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.2 spg; 55% FG, 36% 3-PT, 67% FT per 30 mpg
Mustapha Amzil (Transferred to New Mexico; Helsinki, Finland) - 9.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.7 apg; 44% FG, 37% 3-PT, 80% FT per 29.6 mpg
RJ Blakney (Transferred to Old Dominion; Baltimore, MD) - 6.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.2 apg; 44% FG, 24% 3-PT, 72% FT per 23.7 mpg
Mike Sharavjamts (Transferred to San Francisco; Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia) - 5.6 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 2.6 apg; 39% FG, 32% 3-PT, 68% FT per 23.1 mpg

Key Transfers:
Enoch Cheeks (Junior transfer from Robert Morris; Providence, RI) - 15.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.8 spg, 1.3 bpg; 45% FG, 36% 3-PT, 79% FT per 33.4 mpg
Javon Bennett (Sophomore transfer from Merrimack; Orlando, FL) - 9.6 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 3.4 apg, 2.9 spg; 36% FG, 28% 3-PT, 73% FT per 29.4 mpg
Isaac Jack (Sophomore transfer from Buffalo; Port Alberni, Canada) - 5.6 ppg, 4.2 rpg; 66% FG, 60% FT per 16.4 mpg
Nate Santos (Junior transfer from Pittsburgh; Geneva, IL) - 1.6 ppg, 1.2 rpg; 29% FG, 16% 3-PT, 64% FT per 7.3 mpg

At Dayton, winning isn't just a goal. It's an expectation. Following four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances under Archie Miller, there was no sense of "rebuild" once proud alum Anthony Grant took over. Just take look at where Dayton has been picked in the preseason poll since Grant has been coach:

2023-24 1st
2022-23 1st
2021-22 5th
2020-21 3rd
2019-20 3rd
2018-19 6th
2017-18 5th

That's the kind of consistency that most fanbases would love to have. Having to participate in the first round of the A10 tournament is foreign to UD alums and anyone associated with the program. You have to go back 11 years to find the last time Dayton played on the opening day of the tourney. Back in 2013, the A10 had 16 teams (Butler, Charlotte, Temple, and Xavier were members), and only 12 could qualify for the conference tournament. Dayton barely got in as the #12 seed (GW was just above at #11). St. Bonaventure, Rhode Island, Fordham, and Duquesne all failed to qualify. Both GW and Dayton fell in the first round that year (to UMass and Butler respectively).

While Dayton has without a doubt won most preseasons, things have gone less well when the season has actually been played out. The Flyers have made three NIT tournaments under Grant, but again that's a far cry from the four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances that Miller had at the helm. There's without a doubt been bad luck - notably the 2019-20 season where the Flyers coasted to an 18-0 record in the A10, were #3 in the final AP Poll, and were headed towards a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Unfortunately, COVID took that away and Grant has been unable to lead the Flyers there in the two seasons since.

A lot was riding on last season in particular. The Flyers began the year 24th in the preseason AP Poll and had the best roster of any team in the league on paper. Unfortunately, injuries derailed what looked to be a promising season. There's never question as to whether Dayton will challenge themselves OOC, but like much of the top dogs in the league last year, Dayton was unable to close the deal on their chances. In their MTE, Dayton went 0-3, including a 1 point loss to Wisconsin where neither team was able to make a shot in the final 2.5 minutes of the game, a 12 point loss to NC State, and a 4 point loss in overtime to one of the weakest BYU teams in recent memory (the Cougars finished one spot below GW on offense per KenPom which is generally a strength of theirs). Dayton had one final shot at redemption in a true road game against Virginia Tech, but got blown out by 28 and the Hokies did not even qualify for the tournament in a weak ACC.

Now as mentioned things have definitely been working against Grant - outside of just COVID taking away one of Dayton's all-time great teams, the Flyers have dealt with injuries to key players. Last year, both Kobe Elvis and Malachi Smith were sidelined practically half the year.

Elvis sat for 12 games midway through the year due to a right knee injury, and just when it seemed like he was getting back on track he missed all of Dayton's conference tournament games with an injury to his other knee. Smith on the other hand has dealt with ankle injuries throughout his career, and had reconstruction surgery done on both of his ankles last offseason. Dayton was hoping to have him 100% this year only for him to go down with a season-ending injury seven minutes into the season against SIUE. When Dayton went 0-3 in their MTE including multiple close losses last year, they played without sharpshooter Koby Brea, who missed a handful of games due to illness.

With Dayton's backcourt in shambles, Grant was forced to play Mongolian sensation Mike Sharavjamts extended minutes at the point. While Sharavjamts showed flashes here and there, he was still entering his first year playing CBB and failed to score in double figures a single time after Dayton's OOC game against Southeastern Louisiana in early December. The only other guard on the roster was RJ Blakney, who was more of an off-guard defense-first player than a guy who can lead an offense.

What looked to be a promising season ended in disappointment, as the Flyers fell to VCU in the conference championship. That loss marked the 20th straight year that they failed to win the A10 tournament, which sometimes gets lost with how well they perform during the regular season.

Grant knew that he couldn't afford to hope once again that Dayton remain healthy coming into this year, especially since it's well-known that DaRon Holmes II is likely to go pro at the end of the year. As a result, Grant scoured the transfer portal and landed multiple guys who were very proficient passers at their previous stops in Javon Bennett (Merrimack) and Enoch Cheeks (Robert Morris).

The returns have been great, as Dayton went 10-2 while playing the 35th toughest schedule in the country OOC. The Flyers have notably knocked off LSU, St. John's, and Cincinnati from the high-major ranks and also lost a close one at Northwestern earlier in the year. Their only defeat all year where they looked pedestrian was against Houston, but to be honest most teams look like that against the top defense in the country.

What Dayton lacked last year was consistent shot making, which allowed teams to clog the paint a bit more and make things tough for Holmes and Camara. Camara did stretch the floor a bit at times and made 36% of his three point attempts, but Holmes rarely ventured outside, taking 19 threes all year. That didn't stop him from posting 18.4 ppg (58th nationally) and 8.1 rpg (87th nationally). If I'm being honest, he should have won player of the year last year itself. The only reason Ace Baldwin won was because VCU won the league. While Baldwin was the leader for the Rams, he was wildly inconsistent night to night whereas Holmes was a lot more steady - he had just four games scoring single digit points while Baldwin had nine, including two games where Ace went 0-10 and 0-9 from the field (@URI, @GW).

Holmes was pretty much just a three point shot away from being a first round NBA draft pick coming into the year and he's added that to his repertoire this season. He's shooting nearly 40% from 3 and has attempted over 50 on the year, making him that much more unguardable. Holmes is also averaging a career best 2.5 apg as a passer. Defensively, he's averaged 2 blocks per game over his career. Richmond became just the third team this year to hold him to under 10 points (Grambling State and LSU were the others, although he wasn't really needed against GSU). I honestly don't think GW has an answer against him. He may drill several threes if we keep Stretch out there, but he'll also bully pretty much anyone else in the paint that we can throw at him.

Last year, GW had great success double-teaming Holmes as Dayton didn't have the shooting to burn them from deep (although he still finished with a double double - 14 points & 10 rebounds). That's not the case this year. Elvis is back to shooting threes closer to his career average (37% this year) and is second in assists (3.5 apg), while Brea is shooting an outrageous 48% from distance - that's #1 in the country and he takes over 80% of his shots from there. GW and facing teams that can shoot the three well is not a great formula (they are last in conference play in 3-PT% defense at nearly 40%), so hopefully CC finds remotely any solution to try out before Tuesday. Elvis had 8 points in last year's matchup but found himself in foul trouble, while Brea uncharacteristically shot just 2-9 from the field for 5 points. I can't imagine the latter in particular happens again Tuesday.

Throw in Pittsburgh transfer Nate Santos (a guy that had a GW offer out of HS) who has simply become a different player since arriving in Ohio (42% from 3 after two seasons shooting below 40% from the field at Pitt) and you've got a starting lineup that can pretty much score from anywhere at a high clip. Santos is also a proficient rebounder (6.7 rpg).

While Bennett and Cheeks are only shooting 30% from distance on the year, they are more than capable of knocking down the open shot.

Bennett is second on the team in made threes with 30 and is 9/16 from distance in Dayton's last three games. He was second in the nation last year in steals per game at Merrimack (2.9 spg), and despite his short stature (5'10") he adds a certain edge to an offense-first team. Bennett leads the Flyers in both assists and steals on the year. He's done an admirable job taking Smith's place in the rotation.

Cheeks, a former GW target and third-team all-Horizon League selection last year, did dang near everything at Robert Morris - he was second in scoring, third in rebounding, second in assists, first in steals, and second in blocks while shooting 36% from 3. He reminds me a bit of what I thought Terry Nolan could be when he was at GW, but of course that never came to fruition.

When Holmes needs a breather, Buffalo transfer Isaac Jack will enter the fold (although Dayton has certainly played the two together for stretches). The Canadian only began playing basketball a couple years ago but has already become a more than capable backup. He's 30/39 from the field on limited attempts (77%) and averaged 6 ppg/4 rpg in his freshman year with the Bulls.

Any remaining minutes up front will go to Zimi Nwokeji and true freshman Petras Padegimas. Nwokeji has played more of a limited role the past three years at Dayton following a sizable year 1 role where he averaged nearly 6 ppg. As an opportunistic scorer, he is certainly efficient (63% from the field). Padegimas, a native of Lithuania, returned to the court against Richmond after missing a few games due to illness. The former UCF signee averaged 19.5 ppg and 8 rpg at DME Academy in Florida. He's another guy who has shot the ball well in limited time, although he did pick up three fouls in five minutes against Richmond the other night.

If GW can somehow cover the predicted spread that will in itself be a success. Literally nothing about this situation seems favorable for GW. Dayton lost to GW last year so they will be motivated, are coming off their first loss in a long time, and are playing at home. GW meanwhile is coming in losers of three in a row and are not playing well on either side of the ball right now. There's something to be said for an underdog playing hard, but since Carl Elliott's magical shot back in 2005, GW has lost nine of their last ten games at UD Arena by 10+ points. Dayton can get whatever they want offensively, and defensively they keep teams off the FT line + hold teams to pretty low shooting percentages from the field. I just hope to see more passing offensively from the team and communication on rotations defensively.

Projected Score: Dayton 83, GW 66. 7% chance to win (KenPom). ESPN gives us a 4.2% chance to move to 4-4 in conference.


1/30/2024 10:25 am  #3

Re: GW vs Dayton Game

I've been enjoying The Floor, a game show hosted by Rob Lowe (and if you had Rob Lowe as an eventual  game show host back when he was making sex tapes as a younger man, you're a lot smarter than I am), which I believe is on tonight opposite the second half of tonight's game.  If Dayton finds it's ceiling this evening, I may very well be drawn to The Floor.

As DMVPiranha captured, about every conceivable angle favors the Flyers tonight.  The only things that are potentially working to GW's favor are: 1) GW has zero expectations and therefore, can play with nothing to lose, and 2) GW is sick of the losing streak and commits itself to playing well against great competition.  Neither of these address the fact that Dayton is simply a better team right now.

Most of GW's strengths are somewhat negated in this matchup.  Dayton does not foul much so GW can't count on consistently getting to the round.  Dayton is far more susceptible to allowing offensive rebounds than defensive rebounds but GW is much more sound at defensive rebounding.  Dayton takes and makes a lot of three pointers; no real need to address how GW has been at defending the 3.  Dayton doesn't force a lot of turnovers but teams possessing this trait do not seem to stop GW from committing several silly TO's per game anyway.

As good a season as Dayton has had, it's incredible to see them plow along without Malachi Smith who when 100% healthy, which really hasn't happened since his freshman year, is arguably the most pure point guard in the conference.  I would call it a break that he's not playing but this team wins with or without him regardless.

Is it possible that Isaac Jack who transferred from the University of Buffalo where Maceo Jack played and his mom remains as coach, is not related to Maceo?  It does seem too coincidental but I can not find evidence.  Isaac was raised in the British Colombia area, further raising the possibility that Buffalo once had a pair of Jacks (three including mom) who were somehow not related.

Finally, we all know that Piranha's previews (and postmortems) are the best thing on this site.  I do find myself agreeing with so many of his points but finally, I have a point that (tongue-in-cheek) greatly differs with something he wrote.  Specifically, he wrote regarding last year's GW-Dayton game:

The over/under for the game was 138.5, and those taking the under were celebrating with only 107 points scored between the two teams with three minutes to go. After the final buzzer sounded, the total was 145 points. I'm sure a certain crowd of people in Vegas went crazy.

To which my response is that even in Vegas, you would be hard pressed to find even a tiny group of people that would ever have interest in the over/under of a GW game.  Talk about degenerate gamblers!!


1/30/2024 7:02 pm  #4

Re: GW vs Dayton Game

i feel like a loss by 5 and a loss by 30 are equally likely tonight


1/30/2024 7:06 pm  #5

Re: GW vs Dayton Game

I took GW and the 13.5 points


1/30/2024 7:15 pm  #6

Re: GW vs Dayton Game

Offense still stinky at first media timeout.  We need more Hutchingson and less Edwards.

Last edited by Long Suffering Fan (1/30/2024 7:16 pm)


1/30/2024 7:15 pm  #7

Re: GW vs Dayton Game

Dayton on pace for 8 points


1/30/2024 7:16 pm  #8

Re: GW vs Dayton Game

At this point maybe so.


1/30/2024 7:17 pm  #9

Re: GW vs Dayton Game

Hugh wrote:

i feel like a loss by 5 and a loss by 30 are equally likely tonight

Or a win. We may tire/fold,though
Seem motivated, but jacking up bad 3s not a good whole game strategy.
If we do,let's look to Garrett first,last shot nothwithstanding


1/30/2024 7:19 pm  #10

Re: GW vs Dayton Game

Can't hit a layup and throw the ball away. Ugh!


1/30/2024 7:23 pm  #11

Re: GW vs Dayton Game

Edwards and Bishop off to a combined 0-7.


1/30/2024 7:23 pm  #12

Re: GW vs Dayton Game

Announcers on to our weakness


1/30/2024 7:24 pm  #13

Re: GW vs Dayton Game

announcers;  Everyone on GW just standing around on offense".   Coach???


1/30/2024 7:25 pm  #14

Re: GW vs Dayton Game

Dayton players are too strong for us this year--look at the way Santos muscled Edwards out of the way for the lay up. Dayton doing a good job of denying Bishop the ball and our offense is stagnating.

I haven't rewatched film from OOC but to me Max' mechanics look different--not squared to basket.


1/30/2024 7:25 pm  #15

Re: GW vs Dayton Game

Dayton can be taken.
But not this way.


1/30/2024 7:26 pm  #16

Re: GW vs Dayton Game

Announcers have it right. Pretty sick offense.


1/30/2024 7:28 pm  #17

Re: GW vs Dayton Game

Time to yank some players.


1/30/2024 7:29 pm  #18

Re: GW vs Dayton Game

Jun keeping us in.


1/30/2024 7:29 pm  #19

Re: GW vs Dayton Game

A Benny spotting.


1/30/2024 7:32 pm  #20

Re: GW vs Dayton Game

Pretty soon that 7 point deficit will be a 20 point deficit if GW keeps chucking up 3s early in the shot clock, per announcer.  Coach???


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