Dayton Flyers at their best when they’re sharing the ball

Dayton's Kyle Davis makes a pass against Duquesne on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017, at UD Arena.
Caption
Dayton's Kyle Davis makes a pass against Duquesne on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017, at UD Arena.

Credit: David Jablonski - Staff Writer

Credit: David Jablonski - Staff Writer

Assist total will be number to watch Tuesday and in coming weeks

Convincing players to share the ball is a fight and a struggle every season, Dayton Flyers coach Archie Miller said Monday.

“Guys want to score the ball,” he said.

The coaches have to convince the players they have a better chance to score if everyone is unselfish and willing to make the extra pass. Dayton recorded 30 assists Saturday in a 90-53 victory over Duquesne at UD Arena. It tied for the third-highest total in a game in school history the most in a game since 1989.

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There have been 26 games in college basketball this season in which a team has recorded 30 or more assists.

That assist number, especially as it related to how many field goals the Flyers make, will be a number to watch Tuesday when Dayton plays St. Joseph's at 8 p.m. at UD Arena and in the games to follow.

“Especially with our team, being an older team, guys coming down the home stretch, we’ve really got to force the action with the pass,” Miller said. “When we’re at our best, with our best teams, guys have really shared the ball all over the place. That’s sort of been our trademark. I think every team is different. You’ve got to force the pass. You’ve got to show them on film. You work on it in practice. I think the other day, we saw the benefit of doing it early in the game, really sharing it early and making the game easy for a teammate. An easy shot gets them going, and then it became contagious.”

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Dayton ranks 35th in the country in assists/field goals made. Last year it ranked 55th. Two seasons ago, it ranked 29th. That was a major jump from the Elite Eight season when it ranked 159th.

Dayton ranks third in A-10 games with 16.4 assists per game.

“Passing the ball is quite frankly something that can come and go,” Miller said. “You’ve got different guys with different agendas all the time. I think as we come down the home stretch, we’re really forcing the team concept, the unselfishness. Saturday is a good example of what can happen when you are unselfish.”

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Everyone scores for UD in 90-53 win on Feb. 4, 2017,.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Scoochie Smith leads the Flyers with 4.0 assists per game. Kyle Davis averages 3.0. Charles Cooke averages 2.9.

“Everyone on our team has the ability,” Miller said. “Kyle’s done a tremendous job all season long of hitting the open man and really not worrying about anything other than doing his job. You look at his assist-to-turnover ratio. That’s a guy really trying to make the easy play. Scoochie, as a point guard, has really shown with his assists totals he can make guys better. I think Charles the last three or four games he has been as good as he’s been at making guys better. We’re going to really harp on Ryan (Mikesell) to make us go a little bit more through his dribble-pass game. He had some really good kicks the other day.”

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