Roberto De La Rosa-Finch
Dayton has figured out how to win without senior Josh Cunningham: irritate on defense and run out in transition.
Redshirt freshman Obi Toppin had a game-high 19 points and led Dayton (2-0) to a 76-46 win over Coppin State (0-2) Saturday evening.
Cunningham was out for the second straight game with a wrist injury.
Redshirt junior Ryan Mikesell posted a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
“That’s what we pride ourselves in,” Mikesell said in response to the type of fast-paced, lob-tossing offense Dayton is running. “We want to make the extra pass; we talked about that before the game … It’s fun playing with guys you really care about.”
Coppin State committed 21 turnovers — with a handful coming from traveling calls and passes flying out of bounds — and shot 13 percent from beyond the arc.
Dayton turned those turnovers and missed threes into points. The Flyers implemented the full-court press 12 times and beat Coppin State in transition — recording 21 fastbreak points.
Coach Anthony Grant said in a post-game press conference getting out in transition is a part of their offensive identity.
“We want to try to attack as much as possible and play with what I call ‘pace and space’,” Grant said.
Coppin State redshirt sophomore Dejuan Clayton scored a team-high 13 points and grabbed three boards. The Eagles did not have a great shootaround, and the uneasiness showed throughout the game.
Coppin State seemed as if they could not handle the basketball properly — forcing several double-dribble and palming calls.
Coppin State continued to take the first available long shot, pull-up near defenders and refuse to attack the mismatches on Dayton switches. The Flyers simply outplayed Coppin State in every facet.
Coppin State didn’t hit double-digits until nine minutes into the first half.
Cunningham is still listed as day-to-day, but Grant said he’s making progress.
Coppin State has lost two games by 20+ points this season.
Dayton had three players score in double figures (sophomore Jordan Davis had 13 points (5-9 FG) and six rebounds), and the team put up 14 assists.
Freshman forward Frankie Policelli was ushered by Grant and has agreed to redshirt this season.
Dayton will host Purdue Fort Wayne Friday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m.
Coppin State travels to Annapolis, Maryland to face Navy on Nov. 14.
Photos courtesy of Griffin Quinn.