Thursday, November 16, 2017

I’ll Be Quirky: Dayton

If you are old, like me, you remember reading Erma Bombeck several times a week.

The Flying Dutchmen will look to remain one of the 136 unbeaten teams in the country tonight, when they begin play in the Charleston Classic by facing Dayton. Here’s a look back at Monday’s win over Kennesaw State and a look ahead to the Flyers and the rest of the potential field in the Charleston Classic.

Rokas Gustys (14 points, 13 rebounds) produced a double-double in just 24 minutes as the Dutchmen never trailed in beating Kennesaw State by the palindromic score of 75-57. Justin Wright-Foreman (16 points) led the Dutchmen in scoring for the program-record 14th straight game while Eli Pemberton (12 points) reached double digits in his season debut. Joel Angus (nine points, seven rebounds) and Matija Radovic (eight points, seven rebounds) each flirted with double-doubles.

3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. Kennesaw State 11/13)
3: Rokas Gustys
2: Justin Wright-Foreman
1: Eli Pemberton

Justin Wright-Foreman 5
Rokas Gustys 2
Desure Buie 2
Eli Pemberton 1
Joel Angus 1

"The goal going into Charleston was to be 2-0 and we are. So we feel real good about that."--Joe Mihalich

The Dutchmen improved to 2-0 for the 27th time in program history. This is the seventh time a Joe Mihalich-coached team has opened 2-0 (1999-2000, 2000-01, 2003-04, 2005-06, 2007-08, 2015-16).

The Dutchmen won a game in which they didn’t trail for the first time since last Dec. 13, when they routed SUNY-Stony Brook 96-58 at the Arena.

The Dutchmen are looking to improve to 3-0 for the second time in the last three seasons and the 18th time in program history. Joe Mihalich-coached teams have opened 3-0 three times (1999-2000, 2003-04, 2015-16).

This is the second game of the season for Dayton, which earned a 78-77 win over Ball State on Friday night. At today, Hofstra is ranked 121st while Dayton is ranked 106th. Per the wise guys, for entertainment purposes only, Dayton is a 2 1/2-point favorite. This is the first game this season in which Hofstra has been on the boards for casual and degenerate gamblers alike.'s Vinny Simone and I put aside our vast differences and did our best to educate Dayton fans about Hofstra hoops, past and present, in this Q&A with the Dayton blog Blackburn Review.

Per Dayton beat writer David Jablonski, the Flyers return the fourth-fewest minutes of any Division I team.

Dayton’s head coach is ex-VCU head coach Anthony Grant, who went 4-1 against the Dutchmen while helming the Rams from 2006 through 2009.

Hofstra and Dayton have no mutual foes, though Dayton is scheduled to play fellow Charleston Classic participant Auburn on Nov. 29. The winner of tonight’s game is scheduled to face Clemson or Ohio tomorrow at 7 PM, with the loser facing the loser of Clemson-Ohio at 9:30 PM.

This will be the second all-time meeting between Hofstra and Dayton. The Flyers beat the Dutchmen, 77-54, in the Dayton Invitational on Dec. 29, 1981. Remarkably, I was not in attendance.

Hofstra is 35-103 all-time against current Atlantic 10 schools. The Dutchmen last beat an A-10 foe on Nov. 28, 2015, when they knocked off host St. Bonaventure 89-83. The A-10 includes former Hofstra conference foes George Mason (CAA), LaSalle (ECC) and VCU (CAA).

Tonight’s game will air live on ESPNU. Hofstra will carry live audio and offer live stats here.

Hofstra is 21-22 in preseason tournament play in the CAA era. The Dutchmen participated in the Gulf Coast Showcase last season, when they beat Bradley (92-90) and South Dakota (65-57) while falling to Vermont (87-73) in Florida before beating Division III Medaille 89-56 at Hofstra (don’t ask).

The Dutchmen are playing in the Charleston Classic — which is hosted by CAA rival College of Charleston — for the second time. Hofstra opened the 2008-09 season by falling to Clemson 98-69 before beating Western Michigan 71-68 in overtime and edging East Tennessee State 76-75. This year, the Dutchmen will play on Thursday, Friday and Sunday.

There are tangible connections between Hofstra and all seven of its possible Charleston Classic opponents.
DAYTON: The Dutchmen are 0-1 all-time Dayton, which is coached by former VCU head coach Anthony Grant. Also, I am Twitter friends with Dayton grad @juliaflyer.
CLEMSON: The Dutchmen are 0-3 all-time against Clemson, whom they faced in the Charleston Classic in 2008.
OHIO: The Dutchmen are 0-2 all-time against Ohio, whom they last opposed during the 1986-87 season.
AUBURN: The Dutchmen have never faced Auburn, but Auburn grad @LonelyTailgater is an awesome Twitter follow even though he is a bad influence on me there.
INDIANA STATE: The Dutchmen faced Indiana State in the Paradise Jam in the 2015-16 season, when they provided a sign of things to come by blowing a seven-point lead in the final 1:50 of a 67-66 loss. Also I am Twitter friends with Indiana State beat writer and fellow ‘80s junkie @TribStarTodd.
OLD DOMINION: The Dutchmen are 9-15 all-time against Old Dominion, whom they used to play in the CAA before the Monarchs exited for Conference USA and the allure of Division I-A football following the 2012-13 season. Also, I am Twitter friends with ODU grads @VABeachRep, @devyanks90 as well as ODU professor @white__knuckles.
TEMPLE: The Dutchmen are 6-11 all-time against Temple, which was a member of the East Coast Conference until it left for the A-10 following the 1981-82 season.

You still have I-AA football bias! (Dayton plays in the non-scholarship Pioneer League, did you know you could do that, I had no idea)
Jerry Blevins bias! (The Mets left-hander and the most accomplished J.B. to attend games at Citi Field this year pitched for Dayton for two seasons)
Birthplace of aviation bias! (The Wright brothers are from Dayton, which is also the home of Wright State, which has also played Hofstra before)
Erma Bombeck bias! (The late great funny newspaper columnist is a Dayton grad)

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