Redshirt freshman guard Kobe Elvis (No. 24), transfer from DePaul, scored 13 points and dished out six assists in Monday night’s 34-point exhibition win over the Yellow Jackets. Photos courtesy of Keegan Gupta, Flyer News.
Peter Burtnett | Sports Editor
The Dayton Flyers men’s basketball team got contributions from all over the court during Monday night’s 94-60 exhibition win over Cedarville, but the play of transfers Toumani Camara and Kobe Elvis stood out.
Camara, sophomore from Georgia, finished with 20 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two blocks, and finished with a plus/minus of +24 and shot 8-14 from the field. Elvis, redshirt freshman from DePaul, shot a perfect 5-5 from the field and 3-3 from three to finish with 13 points, and dished out six assists.
Flyers head coach Anthony Grant said he will have to evaluate the film and “not necessarily on what the stats say,” but credited Camara and Elvis with good leadership.
“I think he’s [Camara] provided good leadership. He’s an everyday guy in terms of his ability to come in every day with the right mental approach to practice, the right mental approach to trying to get better every day.”
On Elvis: “I’m gonna evaluate, not necessarily on what the stats say but in terms of things that we’re talking about and we’re evaluating. But I thought Kobe did a good job today. We asked him to be the leader for us at the point guard spot, I thought he did a good job of controlling the game and getting us in what we needed to get into. From a defensive standpoint, he did a good job of being able to apply pressure.”
Throughout Monday’s game, the Flyers provided pressure on defense, holding the Yellow Jackets to 26-68 shooting from the field.
The experience of Camara and Elvis showed in Monday’s game.
“I mean, it’s something I really want to grow in my game is being a leader,” Camara said. “So I think it was one of the big things to improve on, and the guys have been really helping me out by really listening and even correct me if I’m messing up. So I think that’s the biggest takeaway from my learning experience personally.”
“Kobe is another guy I think that with the experience he got last year at DePaul comes in with an understanding a little bit in terms of what college basketball is all about,” Grant said. “Even though our freshmen that played last year didn’t get the full experience, but (Elvis) did get some game experience, so I think that’s always helpful.”
In the exhibition game itself, the Flyers had little trouble against the Yellow Jackets.
By the under-12 media timeout with 9:41 left in the first half, the Flyers had already built up a 23-10 lead, led by five points each from redshirt junior Elijah Weaver and redshirt freshman Mustapha Amzil.
The highlight of the first half was a lob from Elvis to Camara for a reverse dunk, and the Belgian forward completed the and-1 play with a free throw.
Toumani Camara (No. 2) throws down a backwards dunk off a lob from Kobe Elvis.
At halftime, the lead had ballooned to 48-26 and was punctuated by a transition dunk from stand-out freshman forward DaRon Holmes II. With 11 points and four rebounds, Camara was beginning to take over, and Amzil and Elvis had 10 points each and seven combined rebounds. As a team, the Flyers were shooting 59.4 percent from the field.
“I think we got a lot of good shooters on the team,” said Amzil, who finished with 13 points on 4-7 shooting with seven assists and four assists. “And we’ll be working on that, and also I feel like it can be like that the whole season.”
In the second half, the Flyers coasted the rest of the way to a 34-point victory in front of UD Arena, which was at least two-thirds full.
When asked about how it felt, Amzil said “that’s a hard question because it just felt great.”
“I don’t know how I felt, it was just amazing. I was looking around me and never seen that many people in the arena before. It just gets me hyped and no matter what game is in the arena, it’s full. Makes me feel great to play.”
“I was really excited,” Camara said. “I came here three years ago, actually, on a visit and they were actually finishing the building, the arena. So I didn’t get to see a game or anything, but just to be able to actually finally be in here, it feels good. It’s a great feeling. People here (are) amazing. (I’m) so excited to keep playing for everybody.”
Next, the Flyers will open the regular season at home against Illinois-Chicago Nov. 9 at 7 p.m.