Roberto De La Rosa-Finch
Dayton men’s basketball will host Coppin State Saturday evening at UD Arena.
The game can be live-streamed on ESPN+ and heard on WHIO radio.
Dayton (1-0) defeated North Florida, 78-70, in their home-opener Wednesday. Coppin State lost their season-opener Tuesday at Wisconsin, 63-85.
Here are your three things — or three-pointers — for the game:
To North Florida’s demise, Obiwan — sorry — Obi Toppin made his living in the paint during Dayton’s season-opener and posted four dunks.
The redshirt freshmen, who got the start because senior Josh Cunningham was out with an injured wrist, scored 12 of his 18 points in the paint Wednesday.
Cunningham, last-season’s leading scorer and rebounder, is listed as day-to-day.
If the senior can’t play, Toppin will have to recreate his double-double ability and continue to jump out the gym. Toppin’s vertical and speed adheres well to the new transition game Dayton has implemented.
Although Cunningham is a double-double machine, Toppin soars above him in the air and flies by him on the court. The Flyers hope that Cunningham will be ready for Saturday night so that they can have two explosive big-men at their disposal.
Coppin State could have their hands full attempting to guard two forwards above 6-foot-8 that can post-up near the basket and grab double-digit boards.
Get yours hands off me!
Wisconsin had 26 free-throw attempts in their win against Coppin State. The Eagles committed 26 fouls and only drew 14.
That -12 differential gives opponents far too many opportunities to obtain and maintain a lead. Coppin State’s 14 turnovers did not help the matter either.
These two points of concern are where the Flyers attacked the Ospreys. Dayton forced 10 North Florida turnovers and made 21-27 FT.
If Coppin State coughs up the ball like they did against Wisconsin, it’ll fall right into Dayton’s gameplan to get out in transition — the Flyers had 20 fastbreak points against North Florida.
Nonetheless, the Eagles made 11 threes Wednesday which means Dayton could be tested in closing out on the perimeter two games in a row.
Dayton led by 20 over North Florida with 9:50 left in the second half. That lead diminished to eight after the final buzzer sounded. A stagnant late offense and fatigue were the primary factors that made the 78-70 score appear closer than it was.
The ball often stuck throughout the Flyers’ 14-17 season with assist numbers frequently in the single digits.
Dayton shared the ball well for a majority of the game Wednesday — racking up 18 assists — but fell into the one-on-one spell late in the second half; Dayton did not record a field goal in the final 8:24 of the game.
Exhaustion set in, and the offense took an even greater tole. Toppin was helped off the court with 11:51 left in the second half due to a leg cramp. He would return to the floor after some water and four pickles, but sophomore guard Jalen Crutcher suffered the same fate with 15 seconds left.
Fatigue can come early in the season (with players getting re-acclimated to playing 30+ minutes), but the stagnant late offense may prove to be detrimental if Coppin State can drain some second half threes.
Make sure to follow @FlyerNewsSports for live coverage of the game. Recaps will be posted on Twitter, so check your feed after the final buzzer for quotes, stats and takeaways from Dayton players and coaches.