Dayton vs. George Mason: What to know about today’s game

caption arrowCaption
Anthony Grant interview: Jan. 20, 2022

Flyers beat Patriots twice by same score last season

Who: Dayton (12-6, 4-1) at George Mason (7-7, 1-1).

Where: EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Va.

When: 7 p.m. Saturday.

TV/Radio: MASN, ESPN+/95.7 and 1290 WHIO.

Series: Dayton leads 10-3. The Flyers have won three straight games after the Patriots, including two last season. Both games were at UD Arena. Dayton won 74-65 on Jan. 2 and won by the same score Feb. 5. Dayton won 62-55 in its last visit to Fairfax in 2020.

Last game: Dayton beat St. Bonaventure 68-50 on Tuesday at UD Arena. George Mason lost 77-76 at George Washington on Monday.

Coaches: Anthony Grant is 90-47 in five season at Dayton. Kim English is 7-7 in his first season at George Mason. English, who spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach to Rick Barnes at Tennessee, was hired in March after George Mason fired Dave Paulsen, who was 95-91 in six seasons.

caption arrowCaption
Malachi Smith interview: Jan. 20, 2022

Probable Dayton starters

Name, Ht., Class, Pos., Points per game

DaRon Holmes II, 6-10, Fr., F, 11.6

Toumani Camara, 6-8, So., F, 10.3

Malachi Smith, 6-0, Fr., G, 10.0

Kobe Elvis, 6-2, Fr., G, 7.5

R.J. Blakney, 6-6, R-Fr., G, 6.3

Probable George Mason starters

D’Shawn Schwartz. 6-7, Sr., F, 15.5

Devon Cooper. 6-4, Sr., G, 13.3

Davonte Gaines, 6-7, Jr., F, 8.3

Xavier Johnson, 6-1, Jr., G, 6.3

Malik Henry, 6-8, So., F, 2.5

About Dayton: KenPom.com gives Dayton a 55 percent chance of winning this game and predicts a 66-64 score. ... Holmes ranks fifth in the country and first among freshmen in dunks (43). Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis leads the country with 50. ... George Mason and Dayton have two common opponents entering this game. The Patriots lost 76-67 to Kansas on Jan. 1, and Dayton beat Kansas 74-73 on Nov. 26. Dayton beat George Washington 83-58. ... Dayton ranks 100th in the country in bench minutes, according to KenPom.com. Reserves are playing 35.4 percent of the total minutes. That’s the highest number in Grant’s five seasons. The number was 32.1 percent last season, 25.9 percent in 2019-20, 21.5 percent in 2018-19 and 24.4 percent in 2017-18.

Explore» MORE ON FLYERS: Brea says 'unseen hours' in gym are paying off

About George Mason: The team’s leading scorer, 6-9 junior forward Josh Oduro (17.0), did not play against Fordham because of a knee issue. ... Schwartz is a transfer from Colorado who made a last-second 3-pointer in overtime to beat Dayton 78-76 in overtime on Dec. 21, 2019, in Colorado. That was Dayton’s second and last loss in its 29-2 season. Schwartz scored 27 points against George Washington. ... George Mason ranks 66th in the nation in 3-point field-goal percentage (35.9) and 28th in 2-point percentage (55.4). ... George Mason has two victories against schools from Power 5 conferences. It beat Maryland 71-66 on Nov. 17 and Georgia 80-67 on Dec. 18.

Looking ahead: Dayton plays Fordham (9-7, 2-2) at 7 p.m. Tuesday at UD Arena.

caption arrowCaption
Kobe Elvis interview: Jan. 20, 2022

About the Author