Scoochie Smith lamented the missed opportunity. He didn’t play in the final minutes and kiddingly blamed the coaching staff.
“They didn’t want to see me get a Westbrook,” Smith said.
“What’s a Westbrook?” a reporter asked.
“A triple-double!” Smith said.
No player in Dayton Flyers history has recorded double-digit points, rebounds and assists in one game as the Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook does almost nightly.
Dayton’s senior point guard had 10 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in a 92-56 victory Friday over Virginia Military Institute at UD Arena. Dayton closed its non-conference schedule with a 9-3 mark, and Smith will head home to the Bronx in New York City for the Christmas break thinking about falling short of that bit of history while celebrating hitting a major milestone.
Smith hit the 1,000-point mark with a free throw in the first half. He became the 46th player in school history to hit that mark, and he passed Sean Finn (1,003 points, 2000-04) in the second half to move into 45th place with 1,007 points.
Smith scored a season-low six points on 1-of-12 shooting Wednesday in a 68-63 victory over Vanderbilt. He made 3 of 8 shots from the field in this game and was glad to reach the miestone in the first half.
“That’s the hardest basket to get, whether you think about it or not,” Smith said. “No. 22 from VMI (QJ Peterson) congratulated me during the game. He said he’s on his way to 2,000. He said when he got his 1,000th point it was a relief. I wasn’t thinking about it too much. I was thinking about making shots. But it was a relief to get that out of the way.”
Smith fell one assist short of another milestone. He has 399 career assists. Ten players in UD history have 400 or more . Only five have 1,000 points and 400 assists. Smith will be in good company when he joins that exclusive club.
“I think the one thing about Scoochie is he has never been given enough credit for the type of player he is because things haven’t been as flashy,” Dayton coach Archie Miller said. “There’s a lot of guards in our league who score a ton of points, but none of them have played in the amount of games, the amount of minutes or won the amount of games in the NCAA Tournament as he has.
“He will go down as a guy who helped change the face of our program, but he’s got some big moments ahead of him here. He’s got a conference season where we’re going to put a lot on his shoulders.”
Smith’s memorable night coincided with one of the great shooting performances in team history. Dayton made 15 of 27 3-pointers (55.6 percent). It tied the school record for most 3-pointers in a game. It also made 15 against Wright State on Jan. 9, 1997, and against Fordham on Jan. 23, 2013.
Eight players made 3-pointers. Darrell Davis, Ryan Mikesell, Kyle Davis, Sam Miller, John Crosby and Xeyrius Williams made at least two.
Dayton improved its season percentage to 37.5 (99 of 264). The Flyers had not shot better than 40 percent from 3-point range in their last six games, so Miller was surprised to see them tie a school record.
“I think we’re a better 3-point shooting team than we’ve shown, but I think the ball movement is helping our percentage,” Miller said. “We’re not going to make 15 every night. But a lot of guys have the capability of making a couple.”