Crosby, McElvene playing big roles off bench for Dayton Flyers

The Flyers outscored the Explorers 24-7 with Crosby on the floor. That translates to a 61.82-point advantage over 40 minutes. It was the best plus-minus ratio of any Dayton player.

Crosby had five points, three rebounds and two assists and was “very instrumental” in Dayton winning the game, coach Archie Miller said Monday. Crosby will continue to be one of the key reserves when the No. 24 Flyers (18-3, 8-1) return to action at 6 p.m. Saturday at George Mason.

“As a guard, one of the things he’s been charged to do and he’s wired to do is attack,” Miller said. “That’s a good thing and a bad thing. In college, you have to pick and choose your spots especially as a freshman point guard. You’re coming in for shorter stints, and you don’t get the leash that a veteran gets. I think he’s getting better making decisions, driving to pass, making guys better. When you attack the rim, do it when you have numbers, not when the whole defense is starting at you.”

McElvene’s role: Center Steve McElvene, another player coming off the bench for Dayton, also had a limited role Saturday. He had three rebounds and a block in 16 minutes. He impacts the game beyond the stat sheet, however, by affecting any shot near the rim.

McElvene hasn’t started the last six games. While his minutes have fallen and Miller would like to have him play at least 20 minutes per game, he has stayed out of foul trouble.

“He’s been able to come in and give us a curveball,” Miller said. “He’s a difference maker. Our defense changes when he’s in the game. It’s very difficult to score in front of the rim when he’s in the game. His defensive rebounding and offensive rebounding percentages are as good as anyone in the country.”

Strong at line: McElvene doesn’t often show off his touch around the basket, scoring most of his points on dunks and put-backs, but he has proven to be one of the team’s best free-throw shooters. He has made 20 of 27 foul shots (74.1 percent).

Among players who have taken at least 20 free throws, McElvene ranks fourth behind Dyshawn Pierre (33 of 39, 84.6), Sam Miller (20 of 24, 83.3) and Darrell Davis (15 of 20, 75.o).

“In high school, I wasn’t the best free-throw shooter,” McElvene said. “Coming here, last year, I had a lot of time to work on it. That’s one of the big things that’s improved in my game.”

Another sellout: UD announced Tuesday the Feb. 20 game against St. Bonaventure is sold out. That will be the fourth sellout of the season, unless the next home game Tuesday against Duquesne sells out.

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