In first half, Day­ton dis­plays of­fen­sive pre­ci­sion

Dayton Daily News - - SPORTS - By Doug Har­ris Staff Writer

DAY­TON — The Uni­ver­sity of Day­ton bas­ket­ball team hasn’t run its of­fense with the pre­ci­sion of a sur­geon too of­ten this sea­son. Ac­tu­ally, the Flyers usu­ally have been about as pre­cise as a kid try­ing to color in­side the lines with crayons.

But they put to­gether per­haps their best of­fen­sive half of the sea­son in a 73-58 win over Winthrop on Mon­day, mov­ing the ball crisply while rolling to a 39-27 lead in the open­ing 20 min­utes. They had as­sists on 12 of their 17 bas­kets and shot 46 per­cent from the field.

“I thought we shared the ball well. I thought even some of the shots we missed were pretty high­qual­ity looks,” UD coach Brian Gre­gory said.

The hum­ming of­fense also helped the Flyers dom­i­nate the boards since de­fend­ers were of­ten out of po­si­tion to ex­e­cute box-outs. UD had a 46-28 re­bound­ing edge, grab­bing 22 on the of­fen­sive end.

“If we can move the ball like that and play with the ef­fort we played with to get 22 of­fen­sive re­bounds, we’re go­ing to keep get­ting bet­ter,” Gre­gory said.

Di­rect­ing the show was Juwan Staten, who had nine points and nine as­sists.

“We knew this team was a scrappy team. We knew had to move the ball, drive and make sec­ond drives,” Staten said. “If we keep press­ing the is­sue and mov­ing the ball, we get open shots at the end.”

Staten had a 10-point, 10-as­sist dou­ble-dou­ble ear­lier this sea­son, UD’s first in seven years. He was a bit ag­gra­vated he didn’t re­peat the feat.

“Ten and 10 sounds a whole lot bet­ter, and I missed a free throw at the end,” he said. “But I’m happy we got the win and are con­tin­u­ing to get bet­ter ev­ery night.

STATEN NAMED: Staten was one of just five fresh­men among 66 play­ers nom­i­nated Mon­day for the Bob Cousy Award, which goes to the nation’s top point guard.

Staten went into the Winthrop game av­er­ag­ing 6.9 as­sists, which is the eighth-best mark na­tion­ally. He leads all fresh­men in that cat­e­gory. Duke’s Kyrie Irv­ing is sec­ond at 5.1.Gre­gory is ex­cited about Staten’s progress.

“You can see it ev­ery day -— he keeps get­ting a lit­tle bet­ter. He’s get­ting more com­fort­able with what we do, he’s get­ting com­fort­able with the guys around him and he’s gain­ing con­fi­dence in that un­der­stand­ing,” Gre­gory said.

“He’s a com­pletely dif­fer­ent player than he was six weeks ago when we started. He’s got a high ceil­ing.”

NOSE FOR THE BALL: Seven of Chris John­son’s eight re­bounds were of­fen­sive. He has av­er­aged 18.3 points and 8.5 re­bounds in his last four games.

“CJ has a nose for the ball on the of­fen­sive end,” Gre­gory said. “We give him the free­dom to go in any time he wants, and he’s start­ing to get a re­ally good feel for the other guys on the court. … He knows where those shots are be­ing taken from, which gives him an ad­van­tage on the of­fen­sive glass.”

ETC: Josh Parker and John­son hooked up on a dandy fast­break in the first half. Parker grabbed a de­fen­sive re­bound, roared down­court and flipped a back­wards pass to a trail­ing John­son for a lay-up.

• Luke Fabriz­ius is just 3-for-18 on 3-point­ers since re­turn­ing from a sprained an­kle Dec. 1, but he made his first at­tempt against Winthrop and fin­ished with seven points and three re­bounds in 10 min­utes.

Staff photo by Tee­sha McClam

Day­ton’s Josh Parker looks for an open team­mate as Winthrop’s Charles Corbin de­fends dur­ing the Flyers’ win Mon­day at UD Arena.

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