Hoping the road trip will change luck, Dayton faces Miami
Dayton Flyers coach Anthony Grant will return to his hometown of Florida for Thanksgiving. But he is not there for the feast.
And while Flyers (1-3) will be in Kissimmee, near Orlando and Disney World, they’re not there for the attractions.
Dayton will have her hands full on Thursday in a noon game against the Miami Hurricanes (3-1) on the neutral site floor at the ESPN Events Invitational, as the Flyers attempt to respond to a tough start to the season. They were mired in a three-game losing streak, falling to Massachusetts-Lowell, Lipscomb and Austin B – and those three losses came at home.
“This team is full of potential,” said Grant, who is a Miami native. “But potential can be a dirty word because it means you didn’t do it.
“At some point, you have to change from just a bunch of guys who have the potential to be guys who understand what it takes to win college basketball.”
Dayton’s statistical leader is striker Toumani Kamara 6-8, a transfer that played his first two years in Georgia. He is the only Dayton player to score in double digits (11.0 points per game) and also leads the team in the rebound (7.3).
Goalkeeper Elijah Weaver, who is in his second season at Dayton after playing for two years at Southern Cal, is the team’s second-best scorer (9.3).
The rest of the pilots are in their first or second year of college basketball.
Meanwhile, the Hurricanes got off to a good start, although the schedule was poor for what they’ll see in the ACC.
Last week, Keynes needed a last-second layup by Isaiah Wong to defeat Florida Atlantic, 68-66, then responded by dealing with Florida AM, 86-59. Their only loss was six points against Central Florida.
Against FAMU on Sunday, Miami guard Charlie Moore scored a season-high 20 points.
“I love that Charlie took control of our team so early,” Miami coach Jim Laranaga said. “He really is a quarterback for us.”
Miami is an ocean-based team where Cameron McGuistey leads the Canes in scoring (19.0) and rebounding (6.3). Wong is second in scoring (16.0). Moore averages 11.3 points and leads Miami in assists (3.0) and steals (1.8).
Reserve striker Anthony Walker leads Miami’s top scorer with 10.3 points, while averaging 21.5 minutes.
Only Wong, who shoots 53.2 percent, tops 47 percent of Miami’s top four scorer. As a team, Miami only pays 28.8 percent with three throws while its opponents make 32.5 percent. Miami was also weak on the boards.
However, Miami thrived by hitting the spoiled streak and converting on 74.2 percent. On average, Canes make eight more free throws than their opponents per game…and their average margin is 8.2 points.
Hurricanes were more experienced than Dayton. Of the six best Miami players to have played this season, all are in their at least their third year of college basketball, and two — McGusty and Moore — are in their sixth year.
–Field Media Level