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The Home Opener
The Home Opener
Published by Swampy Meadows
11-10-2019
The Home Opener

DAYTON (OH) ó Greetings from the newly refurbished UD Arena and welcome to the home opener of the Dayton Flyers 2019-2020 menís basketball season! Tonight the Red and Blue will face off vs. the Indiana State Sycamores aka Larry Bird University. Iím your host Swampy Meadows and I was in this building 50 years ago when it first opened vs. Bowling Green and am excited to see all of the improvements that have been made over the last 3 years to the Dayton Decibel Dungeon.

Speaking of Larry Bird, if you have never had a chance to see him play, here is an oral history of the night he scored 60 points vs. the Atlanta Hawks to break the Celticsí scoring record set by Kevin McHale only 9 days earlier:
https://www.boston.com/sports/boston...-60-point-game

Fortunately for the Flyers, as Rick Pitino once famously snarked: ďLarry Bird wonít be walking thru that doorĒ for ISU this evening.

Lots of buzz in the building with the rededication of the Arena. Commissioner Bernadette McGlade is here as is former AD Tim Wabler. Ran into Ken May and Jack Keehan on the elevator. They are two of the remaining members of the 1969-70 Flyers squad who christened the court 50 years ago who were introduced during the pre-game festivities.

The building itself is absolutely beautiful. What struck me upon entering from the west was the new windows that have been added to open it up and give the building an airy feeling. Letís face it, the Arena was built on a very tight budget and when it first opened had a bit of a quonset hut-like appearance to it. No more.

Having Coach Donoher kick off the intro hype video was absolute genius. The lighting and floor graphics were freakiní incredible--we are talkiní NBA quality floor stuff. The new white playing surface makes everything appear so much brighter in person and probably at home too, I would imagine.

Now onto the game. Obi --who else?-- opens the scoring on a baby hook. Two minutes later he dunks a follow up of a Mikesell miss. Lotsa nerves in the early going. Having Obi launch threes is probably not a good long term strategy for offensive flow. Itís 8-4 ISU at the under 16 media TO. Obi with a monster jam and Crutch with an unmolested layup and we are tied at 8. Ibi gets beat on a drive but erases the shot attempt which leads to a Flyer layup. Itís great that AG has the troops to sub liberally. Chase with a block that goes off of ISU. UD has 6 PF with 12 to go in the half. Make that 7 with 11:30 remaining. 30 seconds later the Sycs commit their sixth.

Ibi hits the first of what will surely be many threes in his career and UD is up 4. Rodney does likewise a short time later. Obi with the dime to Ryan for the hoop and the harm. The rarely called double dribble gives the rock back to the Flyers and results in an Obi flush. Chatman drills a triple and the lead is 8. Sloppy play cuts that margin in half. Lots of Flyer replays on the scoreboard during timeouts. Some ill advised threes equal empty possessions. Flyers up to 10 PF and the lead is cut to a single point. The Sycamores airball a shot with :08 to go--letís see what AG comes up with as this was a frustration point last season. The play was still the same: Jalen dribbling as the clock wound down but this time he hits a junior sky hook for a 38-33 bulge.

Red Panda. What can you say? She continues to amaze. She didnít drop a bowl, even if the guy assisting her did!

Dayton shot 52% from the field, but only 21% from three in the first half. Need to cut down on the fouls, make their FTs and take better three point attempts. Obi leads all scorers with 13 and had 6 boards. Everyone not named Jordy Tshimanga or Moulaye Sissoko got some run in the first twenty minutes.

Ibi starts the second stanza in place of Chase and promptly drills a triple. Ryan missed two FTs in the first half and only makes 1-2 here. Somehow Crutch and Ibi both miss point blank attempts. Mikesell doesnít and get fouled in the process. Dayton back up by 8 with 16 to go. Chatman for three forces ISU to talk things over down 11. The Sycs are shooting a sizzling 16% from three.

Crutcher to his roommate #1 for a hoop and foul. Some ugly play by both squads. UD is already in the bonus with 12 :45 remaining and Obi makes a pair. Dwayne takes 3 baby steps on a layup but the zebras donít call it. He then bricks a triple and it is 55-47 at the under 12 media break. The Faithful are one missed ISU FT from free chicken. Meanwhile the lead has shrunk to five. Interesting lineup: Chip, Chase, Ibi, Jalen and Jhery. Jordan Barnes drains a three and the lead is likewise, prompting AG to reinsert Obi--who scores on a breakaway slam jam. Tyreke Key is not the Sycamore player you want at the line when free chicken is up for grabs...but he finally misses one!

Love the instant replay on the Toppin tip dunk. Trey for trey makes it a six point lead. Obi hits his first from the land of plenty but then goaltended on the other end and it is 75-71 UD with 3 and change to play. The Sycs with a token full court press but Crutch breaks it and feeds #1 for the stuff. Obi gets hammered and makes 1-2 for a 5 point margin.

Jordan Barnes is a pain in the butt. 79-76 with 64 seconds left. Obi gets whacked and cans them both and UD is up 5 with a mere 41 ticks on the timer. Tyreke Key for 3 and now it is down to a two pointer with 23 seconds to go--gotta make the inevitable FTs!

Itíll be Rodney Chatman at the line and splits a pair. ISU quickly scores and fouls with :14 left. Jalen Crutcher hits them both and AG takes a TO up 3. Do you foul and if so when and who?

AG says no to that strategy and the Sycs miss two attempts to tie it up. Trey hits 2 FTs and the final is 86-81.
Obi is the POG with 29 points and 12 rebounds.

I seem to recall the BGSU game 50 years ago was not this close!

Post game:

Jalen said that they have no set alley-oop plays for Obi and no eye contact prior to throwing it up--he just waits until Toppin has position on his man and tosses it, knowing that Obi will go get it. I asked Jalen if AG told them not to foul on the last possession when ISU trailed by three with the ball. He said no, Coach just told them to just play good D and make the Sycamores hit a three, as opposed to sending ISU to the line. Thankfully it all worked out in the end.

Thatís it ďFrom the Swamp.Ē
You can email me at: swampy3130@udpride.com
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  #1  
By 66flyer on 11-10-2019, 10:28 AM
I'm convinced that roomates, Jalen and Obi have a "mind meld". Love watching them play so in synch. Who needs actual signals?
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  #2  
By Swampy Meadows on 11-10-2019, 10:55 AM
Jalen talked about that post game. Heíll be thinking about what he wants for lunch and have a place in mind and Obi will say ďHey letís go to....Ē which is exactly what Jalen had in mind. He said after freshman year he told AG ďObi and I have got to be roommatesĒ as both of the other Frosh (the two Jordanís) were really quiet and he and Obi were definitely not.
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  #3  
By ud69 on 11-10-2019, 06:30 PM
I seem to recall the BGSU game 50 years ago was not this close!

Then your memory may be a bit faulty-
12/6/69 - Dayton over Bowling Green 72-70
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  #4  
By jack72 on 11-12-2019, 02:29 PM
Yep, I too was at the game, and it was similar to the ISU game, we were highly favored and led most of the game, but just eeked out the win.

Remember the old tartan floor. I now look at that beautiful bright wood floor, and superior lighting, and think we have come a long way baby.
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