Over-reliance on 3-pointers holding back Flyers

Flyers have increased 3-point attempts in each of first four games

The Dayton Flyers landed back home in Dayton about the time the last game of the Charleston Classic was beginning Sunday night. That’s one of the benefits of being a program that can afford to take charter flights to every game.

Other teams — the Ohio Bobcats, for example — didn’t get out of South Carolina until Monday afternoon and had to deal with the same lines at airport security as everyone else.

Dayton needed a quick escape after a 75-67 loss to Old Dominion in the fifth-place game at TD Arena. Five full days at home before their next game at 7 p.m. Saturday against Akron at UD Arena will allow the coaches and players to process what went wrong in two of the three games in Charleston and to work on fixing those problems.

“We learned a lot about our team,” Dayton coach Anthony Grant said. “We’ve seen a lot to prepare us for what’s coming.”

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One of the issues throughout the tournament was an over-reliance on the 3-pointer. Dayton has increased its 3-point attempts in each of its four games: 4 of 16 (25 percent) vs. Ball State; 6 of 22 (27.3) vs. Hofstra; 10 of 29 (34.5) vs. Ohio; and 12 of 33 (36.4) vs. Old Dominion.

Darrell Davis made three 3-pointers in the last 50 seconds Sunday when the game had already been decided, cutting a 15-point deficit to eight, or the numbers would have looked worse.

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After the loss, Grant said that’s not what he wants from his offense.

“When you look at our team, when you look at the youth we have, we’re relying on some freshmen, some guys who are relatively inexperienced to generate offense for us,” Grant said. “Coming into the season, we knew we would have a tough time manufacturing offense unless we could get some continuity and get some ball movement and player movement. Tonight was indicative of that. Old Dominion is a really good defensive team. They took away some options for us in the meat of the game. We settled for long-range shots. Some of them were late in the clock, and we had to. Some of them were early in possessions where we were trying to go for home-run plays when we needed to maybe milk it a little bit and get a higher-quality shot.”

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All nine players who have seen action in the first four games have shot at least two 3-pointers. Freshman Jordan Davis has made 4 of 7 3-pointers (57.1 percent). Darrell Davis ranks tied for 12th in the nation in 3-pointers made (15 of 29, 51.7 percent).

“Darrell’s had a great start to his senior year,” Grant said. “Obviously, anytime you want to recoganize seniors, you want to do it through a victory, and he’s played his heart out. I know the guys wanted to try to get that victory for him. We weren’t able to do it. Certainly, you can’t fault the effort in terms of the energy he plays with. He’s probably averaged 36 to 37 minutes per game over the three games in four days. He’s got a workload. He’s got a motor. It’s been impressive.”


Akron at Dayton, 7 p.m., Fox Sports Ohio, FM 95.7, AM 1290 WHIO

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