Preview: Dukes vs. Dayton

The Dukes go for their tenth consecutive victory today at the Consol Energy Center. Their opponent is perennial conference power Dayton. Dayton has had some trouble this season but they remain one of the most talented teams in the Atlantic 10. The Dukes have played well since the return of Junior guard Eric Evans and this will be the team’s toughest test of his return since the game against Temple. What further complicates matters is that the game will be held at Consol in hopes to make more money. The issue is that Dayton fans travel well and will be visible today. A storm could be brewing for the Dukes, but there has been no sight of an albatross yet.

When the Dukes Have the Ball

Statistc Duquesne Rk Dayton Rk
Points Per Possession 1.097 51 0.971 94
Effective Field Goal % 54.1% 25 45.6% 50
Turnover % 18.9% 86 18.7% 269
Offensive Rebound % 33.5% 141 27.8% 19
FT Attempts/ FG Attempts 47.1% 22 38.5% 187
Three Point FG % 38.0% 45 31.1% 48
Two Point FG % 52.4% 34 45.0% 73
Free Throw % 65.4% 272
Block % 10.7% 266 8.1% 213
Steal % 7.4% 22 7.4% 307
3P Attempts/ FG Attempts 37.0% 72 36.4% 281
Assists per Made FG 68.3% 4 58.2% 279

Duquesne scores an efficient 1.097 PPP as compared to a less impressive 0.971 PPP given up by Dayton. This does not tell the whole story though. Dayton does certain things on defense which should provide some discomfort for the Dukes. The two best areas for the Flyers on defense are rebounding and defending the perimeter. Dayton ranks 19th nationally in defensive rebounding allowing its opponents only 27.8 percent of their second chances. This compares to Duquesne which only ranks 141st in the country in that respect. Since Dayton is so good at cleaning up the defensive glass the Dukes will have to be more efficient in its shot selection. This is another area of concern considering Dayton only allows a 31.1 percent three point shooting percentage, which is a large part of Duquesne’s game in which they have knocked down 38 percent of its attempts. The Dukes can take solace though because Dayton’s opponents have been able to get an assist on over 58 percent of their attempts. This should mean the passing lanes should be open which should allow good shot opportunities. If the Dukes cash in on those opportunities they should be successful on the offensive end.

When the Flyers Have the Ball

Statistc Dayton Rk Duquesne Rk
Points Per Possession 1.055 95 0.912 36
Effective Field Goal % 46.0% 281 46.0% 60
Turnover % 18.0% 46 28.1% 1
Offensive Rebound % 36.6% 42 38.5% 329
FT Attempts/ FG Attempts 36.2% 209 34.8% 115
Three Point FG % 33.6% 196 31.1% 47
Two Point FG % 43.6% 304 45.7% 100
Free Throw % 68.1% 196
Block % 8.9% 153 15.1% 14
Steal % 6.2% 1 13.9% 5
3P Attempts/ FG Attempts 35.9% 96 35.4% 249
Assists per Made FG 66.4% 7 54.0% 175

Duquesne has one of the better defenses in the nation but there is one particular area in which it is deficient. That area is defensive rebounding in which the Dukes rank 329th nationally. Unfortunately for Duquesne, Dayton is one of the best teams on the offensive glass ranking 42nd. That could be a serious problem for the undersized Dukes. Also, the area in which Duquesne is best, forcing turnovers, the Flyers take good care of the ball. Also, like the Dukes Dayton is good at making the extra pass as demonstrated by its rank of 7th in assist rate. Nonetheless, Dayton is a poor shooting team, especially inside the arc where it has made only 43.6 percent of its tries. This is likely because its two most prolific shooters, Chris Wright and Josh Parker are not good marksmen. This team is best when Juwan Staten, the freshman point guard out of the prestigious Oak Hill Academy, is running the show where he can use his court vision to find open shots for others. Staten’s name is first on the national assist rate leader board. If the Flyers depend on Wright to dominate the ball and drive from the wing it will likely not end well for Dayton considering the best defense on that is to foul him since he is only 59 percent from the charity stripe.

Final Thoughts

Dayton possesses the kind of team, with good size and quality rebounding, that can give Duquesne fits but it comes down to whether the Flyers are mentally tough enough to not fall into the tempo trap they have recently not been able to avoid against the Dukes. If Staten is the main option on offense the Flyers can use their height and control the boards, if not there could be trouble. What will also be telling is whether Gregory will play his big men more who should have favorable matchups with the Dukes. I don’t trust Gregory to recognize this advantage and expect him to allow Wright to take his bad shots which will cost him the game. Increased use of Staten and getting big men Josh Benson and Devin Searcy involved more is imperative for the Flyers. The line on this game is 7.5 which is a bit high, due likely to the Dukes continual toasting of the spread. I have a bad feeling about this affair. The Dukes are due for a loss and I wouldn’t be shocked if it turns out to be today.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: