2016 NCAA Tournament: Dayton beat writer breaks down what Syracuse fans should watch for

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Related Stories Syracuse basketball opponent preview: What to know about No. 7 seed DaytonSyracuse basketball roundtable: Dayton rematch, what SU needs to do to win and Trevor Cooney’s legacyFormer SU Provost Eric Spina: ‘I have a new love and that’s Dayton’Dougherty: 1 of Syracuse’s defining characteristics will no longer be enough Published on March 16, 2016 at 10:54 am Contact Paul: [email protected] | @pschweds The D.O.: Is there a player on Dayton capable of getting into the high post and beating the 2-3 zone from there?D.J.: “They would probably look to Dyshawn Pierre for that role to play inside. He can shoot the 3, he’s got some really good post moves. They have a 6-foot-11 redshirt freshman center Steve McElvene but he’s more of a shot-blocking threat and play defense, if he can stay out of foul trouble, which has been a huge issue for him all season. But as far as offense, he’s only good if he’s right under the basket dropping it in or slamming it in, rarely can make a move to set up a hook shot, certainly not going to shoot a jumper. He’s very raw talent. He could be really good by the time he’s a senior and I think he’s been better than a lot of people hoped but the foul troubles are a big threat. … But Pierre can do a lot and to break it down, he could be the guy.”The D.O.: What makes Charles Cooke so effective?D.J.: “He can go inside and out. He’s great at driving to the basket. He can shoot the 3, he’s around 40 percent, although has had trouble recently. For most of the season 3-point shooting was his biggest improvement because he wasn’t a great 3-point shooter in his two years at James Madison. He really had a lot of pressure on his shoulders at the beginning of the year because he was kind of looked to as a replacement for Jordan Sibert, UD’s best player and a senior a year ago. Cooke is another transfer like Sibert and for most of the season, Cooke was even better than Sibert was. Sibert hit a lot of big shots in his career so it’s hard to replace that and then Sibert hit a rainbow 3 against Syracuse in the final minute of that second-round game a couple years ago. I’m sure Syracuse fans remember that.”The D.O.: What else should Syracuse fans know about Dayton?D.J.: “I think the general consensus among UD fans is they’re happy to play close to home. St. Louis was the closest location to the Flyers and the fans really travel well. They had a great crowd in Buffalo a few years ago. Obviously at UD Arena, they played in the First Four last year at home, and then down the street in Columbus the next two games. Really they’ve lucked out the last three years playing close to home. That’s great for a fan base that really travels well so that could be an advantage for UD on Friday. It’s sort of a home game and we’ll see how many fans Syracuse brings.” Comments No. 10 seed Syracuse (19-13, 9-9 Atlantic Coast) will face No. 7 seed Dayton (25-7, 14-4 Atlantic 10) in the Round of 64 in the NCAA Tournament on Friday at 12:15 p.m. in St. Louis. The last time these teams played was in the 2014 NCAA Tournament when the Flyers upset the Orange.To learn more about Dayton, The Daily Orange spoke with Dayton Daily News beat writer David Jablonski.The Daily Orange: What’s the quick scouting report on the Flyers for Syracuse fans to know?David Jablonski: “They had a very good performance on their nonconference schedule. Beat Iowa down at the AdvoCare Invitational in Orlando, beat Monmouth the next day and then got creamed by Xavier, their old rival in the championship game of that tournament. That’s always something for all the players, they always want to see how they do in that holiday tournament because it’s such a good opportunity to play good RPI teams. Beat Vanderbilt on the road, which looked like a better win than it turned out to be. … Down the stretch lost three out of four at one point, got it back together a little bit at the end of the season — beat VCU in their home finale to clinch a share of the A-10 regular season title and then lost in the semis to St. Joseph’s. So they’re going in on a little bit of a downer but all in all, this was one of the best regular seasons they’ve had in a long time.”MORE COVERAGE:AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOpponent preview: What to know about DaytonFormer SU provost Eric Spina: ‘I have a new love and that’s Dayton’Roundtable: Syracuse-Dayton and Trevor Cooney’s legacy Daily Orange File Photo The D.O.: Who are some of the players to watch out for?D.J.: “Two seniors, one who plays a key role, Dyshawn Pierre, he didn’t play in the first 11 games. He was suspended for last semester because of a sexual assault allegation. There were no charges filed, but the university suspended him anyway. He sued the university. It was a whole messy situation where they wondered whether he was going to come back. He’s the only guy they’re going to lose off this team. They’re going to return everybody else next year. He’s their top senior but their best player is Charles Cooke, a transfer from James Madison, who made all-A-10 first team. Consistent scorer for most of the season, slumped a little bit at the end of the season but he can take it inside, can shoot the 3. He’s their top offensive threat. Then they have three juniors who have won five Tournament games in the last two years: Scoochie Smith, Kendall Pollard and Kyle Davis. Really the heart of the team those three guys on pace to be the winningest class in UD history.”last_img

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