Thursday, December 18, 2008

Know Your Enemy

I had the chance to exchange some questions University of Dayton blogger Tom over at the Blackburn Review. We got the chance to discuss hair bands, defense and if a fashion show could break out in the middle of a basketball game. You can find my answers to his questions here

I'll have my normal preview of the Flyers later on.

Discarding stats, who is the guy that makes the Flyers go?
Chris Wright is the obvious choice, but I would say Marcus Johnson dictates how UD plays. If he is on, the Flyers seem to play well. If he is off, UD has a hard time finding a second scorer to compliment Wright. This has become a disconcerting trend with Dayton this year, finding someone to score on the nights in which Wright is struggling. The team has yet to find that consistent scorer.

Statistically, the Flyers' defense has been outstanding this year. What's the story behind it? UNCG will shoot a Duke-esque amount of three pointers. Will that change the kind of defense that Dayton normally plays?
Gregory finally has the type of players that can effectively implement the type of defensive scheme he wants to employ. The team is very athletic and deep--two necessary facets for running Dayton's defensive system. I don't think UNCG style will change the way Dayton comes out on the defensive end. UD has played against up-tempo teams and half-court oriented offenses and played the same type of pressure defense all year. The one area, ironically enough, is their 3 point defense. Their brand of defense usually leads to some over pursuits, which often leads to open looks on the perimeter.

I read somewhere that Dayton would be wearing a light-blue and red uniform against the Spartans. If UNCG wears it's all gold uniforms, will anybody be able to watch this game for more than a couple of minutes at a time before having to turn away? Would Dayton consider dimming the lights?
Yeah, it could look like an XFL game out there. UD has had considerably bad luck in the light-blues, going 0-2 in them last year. Personally, I want to spearhead the movement to switch back to the old uniforms. UD's current color scheme and logo are unoriginal and generic looking. I'm hopeful that there will be some support for reverting back to the Marian blue unis as fans get used to them.

Recently UNCG announced that it's moving all of its home games from tiny Fleming Gym to the Greensboro Coliseum which is less than a mile up the road from campus. The Flyers seem to always play in front of a full house and even the NCAA "play-in" game in Dayton looks full every year. Got any advice for us to start drawing in more people?
Here's the thing, when you upgrade to a bigger facility it has to be about more than basketball. You have to bring in some novelty acts to get people to come at first. If I was consulting UNCG, I would say have crappy hair bands from the 80s play concerts right after the game. You would be amazed at how many people will still come out to see Great White play their hit.

What do the Flyers need to do to prevent any thoughts of an upset?
With Dayton, it all begins and ends with defense. Their offense is mediocre at best. I would think forcing Greensboro into 20+ turnovers would almost guarantee a win for UD. I will say this, UD has a tendency to play a little sloppy in games right before Christmas break. I don't know if it's the fact that there are less fans in the arena, or if they would rather be somewhere else, but the Flyers have a history of underachievement in these type of games. In other words, it wouldn't shock me if this one was closer than Vegas thinks.