Dayton Flyers (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS, 0-1 O/U) vs. Hofstra Pride (2-0 SU)
Charleston Classic, TD Arena, Charleston, S.C. 7:30pmET
Line: Dayton -2.5
Dayton edged Ball State, 78-77 at home to open their season last Friday. The Flyers return just one starter from a 24-8 team (15-3 A10). Hofstra defeated Army (77-74) and Kennesaw State (75-57) to open their season. The Pride returns three starters from a 15-17 team (7-11 CAA).
Flyers looking for chemistry
New Dayton coach Anthony Grant had a great stint at VCU but struggled at Alabama. He takes over for Archie Miller, who left for the Indiana job. Grant last coached with Billy Donovan at Oklahoma City and comes to a school where he starred at in the early eighties. His team has some talent but lost a lot. Last season, they averaged 75.9 points per game and return just 30.3. Darrell Davis (5.5ppg) is the lone returning starter and he poured in 16 points in the opener against Ball State. Redshirt junior Josh Cunningham (6.3ppg) is a bonafide scorer, who has been hampered by injuries. In the opener, Cunningham scored 22 points to lead the Flyers on 8-of-11 shooting, who pulling down seven rebounds in 33 minutes. He also scored the game-winner on a lob from Xeryius Williams with one second left.
The Flyers struggled defensively against Ball State, allowing 46.3 percent shooting and 9-27 from 3-point range. At the point, is 6-2 junior John Crosby, who averaged 2.8 points in 13.3 minutes as a backup last season. He had a strong game against Ball State with 13 points, six rebounds and four assists with two turnovers in 28 minutes.
Will Hofstra compete for a CAA title this season?
Hofstra won 44 games from 2014-16, but fell off last season with a 15-17 record due to losing most of their key players. Junior Justin Wright-Foreman (18.1ppg, 49.3% FG) is back to lead the Pride. He scored 16 points on 5-of-13 shooting in 33 minutes in their last game against Kennesaw State, The Pride shot 48.3 percent from the field and outrebounded the Fighting Owls, 41-33. They also turned the ball over 15 times and committed 19 fouls. Defensively, Hofstra played very well, holding Kennesaw State to just 29.7 percent shooting and 2-of-15 from beyond the arc.
Sophomore Eli Pemberton (12.8ppg) came off the bench, scoring 12 points with two assists. Junior Desure Buie ran the point, scoring three points, dishing out four assists and turning the ball over three times in 20 minutes. Buie tore his ACL in the eighth game last season and was only averaging 15 minutes per game. It might take him some time to get acclimated to the speed of the game. Senior center Rokas Gustys (6-9, 260) is back after averaging 9.2 points and 12.1 rebounds. He scored 14 points and pulled down 13 boards in his last game but did have four tunovers.
- 5-1 ATS last 6 non-conference games.
Dayton is going to go through some growing pains this season under a new coach with a lot of new personnel. Hofstra should be an improved team with more experience. Wright-Foreman and Gustys are quality mid-major players who should allow this team to compete and cover.