St. Mary’s Observations
No player grades for this game due to family obligations for Thanksgiving and because I was still too disappointed to watch it on Sunday. Just some points from the game:
- Scoochie Smith and Charles Cooke were the only things Dayton had going on offense, combining for 35 of UD’s 57 points. Cooke went 11–13 from the line, making me feel much better about UD in a late game situation; he’s the man to give it too. Scooch had a bunch of sick finishes in the lane and the steal and breakaway to get the crowd going crazy as the comeback continued.
- Holy cow was that crowd incredible at the end. I’ve never seen a crowd force someone to totally airball a free throw before. St. Mary’s was totally shook. That was special and is why I love UD arena, this community, and this team so much.
- If you don’t include rebounding the team defense was actually very pleasant to watch. Holding this St. Mary’s team to below 1 point per possession is a huge accomplishment considering the amount of easy putbacks we gave up.
- Archie went to a 3–2 zone at the end of the first half when UD made a small run to get back into the game. I really like that as a change of pace and I think we should use it every game. In that same vein, I’d like to see us press more often. This team is quick and smart on defense. I’m worried about foul problems, but if there is a time late in a half where nobody is in serious foul trouble it’d be fun to see us give it a go.
- Dayton only had 5 assists in the entire game, with Scoochie Smith tallying three. This is the biggest limitation of the offense: nobody can create shots for others besides Scoochie. Even Charles Coooke, who had a monster game from the line and led the end game comeback, had zero assists on the night. They really miss being able to go to Kendall Pollard to create his own shot. Get well soon brother.
- Combine this with poor shooting nights from Ryan Mikesell (2–9 from the floor), Sam Miller (2–7), Xeyrius Williams (0–4) and John Crosby (0–3) and that’s how you end up with less than 60 points. You’ll notice these are all the sophomores, and that these guys have separated themselves into two tiers, with Miller and Mikesell a clear step above the other two. Crosby and Williams are both going to play this weekend because of the short turnaround between games. Apparently we’re also going to see Trey Landers, so maybe he can show us something.
- Yeah so rebounding: St. Mary’s rebounded over a third of their misses, which is putrid. UD now sits a tidy 300th (PAUSE TO THROWUP) in the nation in defensive rebounding. X is just too small, and Sam is not a traditional go get it big man, but they have to be better. Getting Kendall back will help, but some of this is just effort and being in good position. Even the all 6'6" team rebounded better than this team so far.
- Everybody is bagging on X for not passing to Scoochie and I mean yeah but really he should’ve just called timeout. It was more of a deer in the headlights situation than anything and I’m sure he won’t make the same mistake twice. Hopefully he’s able to redeem himself.
Overall I’m actually pretty encouraged by the result. SMC is the best team we’ll play all year save maybe Rhode Island or VCU and we basically battled them to an even draw without Kendall Pollard. Now it’s onto the Wooden Legacy Classic and first up is Nebraska. Preview will be up tomorrow. GO FLYERS!