GAME NOTES: The Dayton Flyers welcome the Manhattan Jaspers to UD Arena on Saturday afternoon for a non-league tussle.
The Jaspers are coming off a 67-56 triumph over Hofstra on Wednesday in their home opener. After starting the season with lopsided road losses to Louisville and Harvard, the Jaspers find themselves back on the road for seven of their next eight outings. They won 10 road games last season.
Dayton has been idle since Sunday's 73-63 win over Auburn at the Charleston Classic, where the Flyers went 2-1. They also beat Boston College in the event while the loss came against eventual champion Colorado last Thursday. The Flyers are kicking off a three-game homestand with this afternoon's matchup.
Dayton has won both prior meetings in the head-to-head series, although this marks the first time these teams have played each other since 1957.
After sitting out Manhattan's first two games with an injury, senior guard George Beamon poured in a game-high 29 points against Hofstra. Beamon, the reigning Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference scoring champion, shot 10-of-15 from the floor and grabbed seven rebounds en route to his 49th straight double-digit scoring performance. Junior Rhamel Brown, the league's reigning Defensive Player of the Year, shot a perfect 7-of-7 from the floor and finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and four blocks. Through three starts, Brown ranks third in the league in rebounding (9.3) and field goal percentage (.652) to go along with an average of 12.0 ppg. Point guard Michael Alvarado is averaging 11.3 ppg and has shot an impressive 57.1 percent from beyond the arc in his last two outings.
Dayton enters this tilt playing well along the perimeter and on the interior, as the Flyers have outrebounded all four opponents thus far. Guards Kevin Dillard (14.0 ppg) and Georgetown transfer Vee Sanford (11.5 ppg) have led the way on the offensive end. Dillard, a preseason All-Atlantic 10 selection, is the only Dayton player to have scored in double figures in all four games. He sank 12-of-14 free throws against Auburn and finished with a team-high 20 points. Freshmen Dyshawn Pierre (9.8 ppg) and Jalen Robinson (9.3 ppg) have impressed in the early going. Against BC, Pierre led all scorers with 23 points on 8-of-8 shooting, including a perfect 5-of-5 from 3-point range. Devin Oliver averaged 8.7 boards at the Charleston Classic, which included a career-best 12 against Colorado.
Manhattan is almost an entirely different team with Beamon back on the floor. Look for the Jaspers to keep this one tight, although UD Arena is not an easy venue for a visiting team to pull off a win.