Maui Basketball Tournament preview!

#52 R.P.I.  Dayton vs. #1o3 R.P.I. Virginia Tech: 

Virginia Tech men’s basketball is still undefeated!

The Hokies just dropped current #3 (and former #1 in all the land) Michigan State right on their Mateen Cleaves head! WoWoW! If you saw that one come please raise both hands! As in… me three on me neither here; as this sure looked like a rugged frontcourt match-up to the bad to me. Accordingly, our beloved hurrying Hokies now advance into the winner’s bracket over and down in Hawaii— of all the delightful O&M things! Up next the still perfected in their own right at 4 up and nil down Dayton Flyers of Atlantic-10 fame. Nonetheless, you wanna know who is gonna win round no.2. So read on, to find… out!

Dayton Head Coach: Anthony Duvale Grant: age=53, 231–139 overall, 38–29 at Dayton. Has a rep’ for: offensive and scoring and free-flowing play. (and for not looking his, age!)

After graduating from Miami Senior High School, Baller Grant became an All-City first-team selection and Player-of-the-Year. He played at the University of Dayton from 1983 to 1987 while guiding them to the Elite-8 of the NCAA Tournament before bowing out to eventual national champion Georgetown. As a sophomore, Grant averaged 10.7 points a game and 6.5 rebounds a game and the Flyers again made it to the NCAA Tournament. As a junior, the 6′5″ Grant moved from power forward to small forward and averaged 7.1 points a game and 4.8 rebounds a contest while the team advanced to the National Invitation Tournament. As a senior, Grant was named a team captain, was awarded team MVP, and won the Sharpenter Memorial Rebounding Award after leading the squad in scoring and rebounding, averaging 13.0 and 6.0 respectively. In his 105 appearances, Grant averaged 11.6 points and 6.7 rebounds. In 1987, Grant spent a year playing for the Miami Tropics of the United States Basketball League.

After bouncing around a bit as an assistant coach from Miami High School(s) up through the: Stetson, Florida, and Marshall Jr.Whistle ranks, Grant finally got his big-whistle big-break. As Coach Grant went 76–25 on three straight conference championships at V.C.U. Then he posted a pretty decent 117–85 mark at Alabama before taking the reins two seasons ago over in Dayton, Oh. This after having been fired by Alabama. Grant also coached a season (2015) with the N.b.a.’s OK.City Thunder. Grant -per se- only has one Conference Coach of the Year award to his credit (2007 @V.C.U.). Although he has made the post-season eight outta eleven times so far.

Poppa Grant and his wife Christina have four children.

Dayton at a glance:

  • 1st in FG shooting O!!!
  • 1st in Assisting O!!!
  • 2nd in fewest Turnovers!!
  • 2nd in fewest fouls!!
  • 6th in Scoring O!
  • 345th in 3-point D!!!

Returning Starters=3

Dayton Strengths:

  • O, more O and even mo’ O. As these high-Flyers live to put the biscuit in the basket!
  • (helluva a quality passing/ball-handling team, VERY T.E.A.M. oriented on O)
  • Pretty fair number of red-shirt ballers run ball here— as this is a physically mature looking club on tape.
  • Obi ‘wan’ Toppin… the Mandalorian of mid-majors please report to Robbin’s Nest dancefloor! As this kid is legit, this kid is swaggy, and this kid is fo’ real. Obi is a 6′9″, 222 lb. r-Sophomoric year baller who is very likely your A-10 baller of the year come March 2020 A.D. 24 ppg on 10 rpg with an absurd shooting-line of 70%, 70%, and 42% (floor, FTA’s, 3-point land) virtually gar-ron-damn-tees to say so! Now mix in 2.3 apg, with a swipe and nearly two swats and what more could you ask for? Obi is the truth, and he’s prolly <1-and-done after declaring for the N.b.a. Draft last year only to renag after working-out for six different teams. Seems a very strong for his size baller on film, he will freak-dunk on you and his behind the back-warm-up dunk is a 50-point dunk contest winner! Seriously fun kid to watch and he has very credible 3-point range to boot. Lindy’s only listed Obi as their Top N.b.a. A-10 prospect and this kid who sprouted a whopping 5″ upwards in his final high school season is quite possibly a 1st-rounder. And I wanna mention again I was very impressed by Obi’s physicality/strength in Maui game no.1 (that all being said, he netted a staggering 52% from beyond the arc last season, so 42% right now is an off-year thus… far).

    Skywalker 1o1
  • Ryan Mikesell 6′7″, 217 lb., grad’ year baller; props here. Who drops you a second-best 14 ppg with 4 rpg on 57% overall and an okay enough 31% long. The book here says that this kid is giving you all he’s gots and playing Mister Scott ball on two surgically repaired hips! Yikes and may St.Wolfgang bless; twice. As a couple of seasons ago Ry’ lead Dayton in blocks and you have to be wondering what he’d be doing right now if his hip’s only had mo’, hops?
  • 6′1″, 179 lb., r-Jr., Rodney Chatman is your starting Pt.Guard. Who gets you 13 ppg, while dropping you 5.3 dimes on 44% long. Chatman is also your alpha perimeter defender with nearly 2 swipes per contest and 51% from the floor never hurt anybody. As this Chattanooga transfer One has started every season no matter where he has D-1 been. Rod’ is a rarified finisher with either hand (orthodox shooter Naturally); although he has a history of orbital breaks (St.Helen bless).

Dayton Weaknesses:

  • NOT many 3’s are taken or made here. This team plays and shoots more in the key or off the mid-range elbow.
  • D forces very few steals.
  • And this is a below-average defensive rebounding club.
  • 6′9″, 249 lb., true-C, Moulaye Sissoko being out for the year prolly ain’t helpin’ 1ι (one iota) here.
  • A couple of preview mag’s hinted that it may take a minute or three for this much roster transferring in flux to gel. As there are five returnees with previous starting experience (somewhere) and four others who are used to substantial rotational P.T. and there is only one basketball to go, around.

Flyers Bench: (depth=4 to 5)

Jalen Crutcher is a 6′1″, 175 lb., a third-year part-time starter who basically gives Dayton three fulltime One’s or a very savvy triune set of passers/handlers when then want a small-ball or 3-G or 4-Wing offensive look. Crutcher gets you 11 ppg on the team pacing 6.8 apg; although he is the only rotational baller who lacks frequent flyer range (20% deep).

6′5″, 2o3 lb., r-Jr. season Ibi Watson is your caddy or utility Swiss Army Pocket knife substitute backcourt baller and Michigan transfer. Watson only nets you 7.3 ppg on 53% overall and 40% deep and that’s some pretty sharp-shooting when coming in cold.

6′11″, 269 lb., third-year true-BIG-man, and NEB.Cornhusker transfer by way of Montreal, Canada just made his clearinghouse debut. So did his near 6 ppg and 5 rpg and his 44% shooting with a block. As a pretty dang sizey Dayton team just got even, sizier.

6′9″, 219 lb., r-Soph. Chase Johnson is your token People’s Republick of the 3o4 (Huntington Prep.) baller and gets included here just, because. Though also because 4.3 ppg with 3.7 rpg on an extremely efficacious pine-squad frontcourt 68% shooting does not suck. Although his FLA.Gator transfer health has sucked (Godspeed) as more was scholastically expected in collegiate terms from poor Chase.

R.A.T.T.: winning this Maui round semi-final is all about... what(s)???

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Illationconclusion(s) and OPT digits:

Number of Dayton’s who could fly @Tech=3 maybe 4.

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is…

Mike Young >>> Frank Beamer??? Landers Nolley II >>> MV1???

Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame is calling for a December ask back.

The annualized year-to-date vitals say that… V.Tech is actually up +3% in shooting percentage margin (all of which is thanks to superior D); however V.Tech us up an astounding +22% in 3-point percentage margin (more so thanks to D, tho’ the O was pretty decent too); with V.Tech up a nominal +1 in rebounding margin.

The most recent 5-game metrics say that… we are Dayton’s 5th game.

Dayton is up 3% at the charity stripe for the year.
(and +1 on R&R in the last week… and that could factor in)

8 pm kick-off!

The Flyers appear to wanna go inside early and often in order to open up the outer-floor for later on.

Accordingly, and on such a short 22-hour turn… the start could very well equal the finish here. And Dayton has a history of pouring it on right outta the opening-tip gate. Because Dayton has gotten their season off to a flying start, winning their debuting games by an average of 19.7 points per game. So, you had better mind the early-store, to begin with, and stay within striking distance or the early-story offensive outburst type of storyline could be what’s in store for you in the end.


As Eye can’t say I thought we’d be here, I was working up Georgia notes accordingly… silly me…

That being said and with the temporal limitations of having to move on to the hooVa preview A.S.A.P… from what I can quickie see…

VeeTee just splashed a stellar 48% of their Hawaiian Punch 3’s in round no.1. Whereas Dayton netted a decent enough 37% of their 3’s. So, clearly this would appear to be a shooters gym in favor of the Fighting Gobblers who really do need to gobble things up from downtown to have a credible shot to advance to the Maui championship round Tuesday night.

And seeing how there are two teams here with a 10-o combined record, someone’s ‘o’ has got to go.


Methinks the shaper shooting team and/or the team who gets off quickest will be the VicTor here. Although one could argue that Dayton may have the best individual baller on the court (Obi). And if they do not, they could very well still field 4 of the Top-6 ballers in this one.

As Nolley is gonna have to outduel Obi and that seems a tall ask to me. Still yet, our defense is noticeably better than Dayton’s and if our 3-point netting holds any Pacific Ocean water we do have a fair to middling chance.

As this one is all about pacing/tempo and size. We won’t run-n-gun well with the vastly superior verticality of Dayton.

Even if it would remain to be seen if Dayton could out-think and out-defend and out-shoot
us in a throttled down half-court set?

(55% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=66, Dayton=72