By David Jablonski
It’s probably a bad idea to make any sweeping pronouncements after an intra-squad scrimmage that featured shifting rosters, two players who won’t play this season and a couple of walk-ons.
However, all in all, I liked what I saw from the Flyers in the Red & Blue Game on Saturday (photo gallery here). Or maybe I just liked that I was seeing basketball again after seven months of baseball and football.
A few observations:
* Some players switched teams after the first half, so complete stats weren’t kept. Of the stats we do know, the one that stands out is point guard Scoochie Smith shot 3-of-3 from 3-point range. He shot 27 percent from 3-point range last season (17-of-62). If he improves those numbers and gets close to what Khari Price did (39 percent), that will be a big plus for Dayton
* Charles Cooke looked like one of the best players on the court. It’s too bad the James Madison transfer can’t play this year because one more body could ease concerns about Dayton’s depth, especially if they run into any sort of injury trouble. But Cooke will have three seasons at UD after this one.
* Juniors Dyshawn Pierre and Jalen Robinson both looked healthy. I didn’t see any hesitation on their part, despite their injuries in the fall. Archie Miller said they have a lot of work to do to catch up in conditioning.
“Sitting out six weeks and coming out and competing in practice and battling in practice is pretty tough,” Robinson said. “For the most part, I’ve done a good job. My teammates encourage me. I just have to fight through it every single day.”
* Sophomore forward Kendall Pollard showed aggressiveness and a scoring mentality. The Flyers didn’t need him to score much last season. He averaged 2.2 points per game. They’ll need more from him this season.
“I feel like I’ve improved my body and conditioning a lot,” Pollard said. “I lost a few pounds and gained better muscle. I just need to be more confident in my jump shot.”
*Archie Miller had strong comments about junior forward Devon Scott after the game. There’s going to be a lot of pressure on him and Robinson in the post because UD lost Matt Kavanaugh and Steve McElvene won’t play this year because he’s a partial qualifier. So far, Miller likes what he’s seen from Scott.
“Devon’s had a great fall,” Miller said. “He’s been the most consistent of any player on our team really from start to finish. I think right now he’s a lot more mature. He understands the game. He’s really stepping up right now with his voice. We’re really happy about that. He has a real command when he says something. He’s developed into a real leader.”