Anthony Grant and the Dayton Flyers have been flying high since the Orlando tourney where they surprisingly knocked off Miami, Kansas, and Belmont. They kept the wheels churning at home the next two games, before dropping a road game at SMU this past week.
That tough loss set up Sunday perfectly. Virginia Tech came into town, and the Flyers did not disappoint, beating the Hokies in sound fashion, 62-57.
This victory for Dayton assured a few things:
- Their defense is very legit and can win them games on their own.
- They are back to playing good basketball like they did in Orlando.
- They are still fighting the narrative of their at-large hopes being gashed.
Now, Dayton has a week off before they travel to Oxford, Mississippi to take on Ole Miss and the Fighting Eli Mannings.
A couple of things you need to know about this game on the road next Saturday evening at Ole Miss:
- Dayton is 7-0 all time against Ole Miss. SEVEN AND ZERO.
- Ole Miss just got thumped by Western Kentucky at home this week.
- This is a must win game if you believe in any at-large hopes for Dayton.
Sounds like Dayton has a great shot to win against the Rebels, right? Well, be that as it may, there is still one hump that Anthony Grant and the Flyers have to get over.
Winning on the road in non-conference.
If you know anything about Grant’s past coaching stop at Alabama, he has had some trouble on the road in non-conference games. At Alabama, his teams went 2-11 on the road in the non-con, one of those losses being to the Dayton Flyers when his Alabama team was ranked #16 in the country!
Pair those losses with his tenure at UD (0-4), and you have a 2-15 non-con road record at Bama and Dayton. To his credit, he has a 6-4 non-con road record when he was head coach at VCU.
Now, this is not to bash Grant by any means. It’s just to outline one thing that he has struggled with since he has gotten to UD. To also be fair, he has had limited opportunities, including not being able to get a non-con road game from 2019-2021, spanning 2 seasons.
Next Saturday’s game at Ole Miss will be a great opportunity for Coach Grant to get that first non-con true road win. Even better, it is against a Power 5 opponent, something that teams in the A10 crave to get wins over. To dissect this game even further, Ole Miss is #173 in the NET and #91 on KenPom. This would be a Quad 3 game as of right now. Dayton absolutely needs this win if they believe they have any at-large chances left. They need this game not because it’s a good win, but because it is to avoid a bad loss.
So to review the storylines for this game:
-Ole Miss has never beaten Dayton
-Anthony Grant has not won a non-con road game in Dayton
-Dayton needs the win to avoid another bad loss
Sounds like something’s gotta give.