Second-year guard has been on a roll during team’s four-game winning streak
A number of stats tell the story of what makes the Dayton Flyers successful.
• They’re 10-1 when leading at halftime and 12-1 when leading with five minutes remaining in the game.
• They’re 8-1 when they shoot better than 50 percent from the field and also 8-1 when they shoot better than 30 percent from 3-point range.
• They’re 4-0 on Tuesdays and 4-0 when they shoot worse than 60 percent from the free-throw line, though neither of those numbers say much important.
• Another key number for Dayton is related to Kobe Elvis. When the second-year guard, a transfer from DePaul, scores 10 points or more, Dayton is 7-1 with the lone loss coming against Austin Peay in that three-game stretch that may as well have taken place decades ago. That’s how far Dayton has come since losing to UMass Lowell, Lipscomb and Austin Peay in an eight-day stretch in November.
“He’s comfortable,” Dayton coach Anthony Grant said Tuesday. “He’s confident in terms of what he brings. The energy he’s playing with is a big factor in that. Defensively his assignment tonight was (Dominick) Welch, who’s a terrific scorer, a terrific offensive weapon for their team. He’s done a really good job of locking into and accepting the challenge of guarding one of the best players each night at his position. I think he’s been really consistent. The difference he makes when he plays w
ith that type of energy and that type of competitive fire is huge on our team. That word consistency is is what we’ve got to look for because I think he’s more than capable of doing that on a consistent basis for us.”
Elvis, a 6-foot-2 guard, averages 7.5 points and shoots 43.8 percent (21 of 48) from 3-point range. He has averaged 9.8 points in five Atlantic 10 Conference games.
This is the best three-game for Elvis in his career, and he’s not only scoring but shooting a high percentage. He has made 7 of 15 2-pointers and 10 of 14 3-pointers in the last three games.
“Definitely confidence is one thing,” Elvis said Thursday before practice at the Cronin Center, “but also the hours I’ve put into the game, and my work ethic has changed a little bit. I think me, Koby (Brea), Mali (Smith), Toumani (Camara) and a couple of the other guys are always here shooting. A lot of the guys like to play one on one. We stay and put in a lot of extra hours.”
Elvis said he sometimes puts up a couple hundred extra shots a night.
“It really translates into your game because you’re confident in it,” he said, “and it feels really good coming off your hands.”
Dayton (12-6, 4-1) takes a four-game winning streak into a game against George Mason (7-7, 0-1) at 7 p.m. Saturday at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Va.
“We’re definitely clicking,” Elvis said. “That comes with comfortability and being around each other so often. We’re finally just gelling the we could have early on.”