It’s St. Francis week for the Dayton men’s basketball team: home games against St. Francis University, of Loretto, Pa., at 7 tonight and St. Francis College, of Brooklyn, N.Y., at noon Saturday.
There are also universities of St. Francis in Fort Wayne, Ind., and Joliet, Ill. The Flyers only have to worry about the two St. Francis schools on the schedule, of course, and really they’re more concerned with themselves right now than the opponents.
Dayton escaped with an 81-80 victory over Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne in its season opener Saturday at UD Arena thanks to Jordan Sibert’s 3-pointer with one second left.
The thrill of the victory didn’t overshadow the shortcomings the Flyers displayed in the second half as they watched an 11-point lead disappear against a team that has had only two winning seasons since joining Division I in 2001.
“We’re far from being ready to play at a high level right now,” coach Archie Miller said Monday. “We have a lot of breakdowns. The different combinations of players that are in the game at certain times, to me, are really trying to see how they fit and not just doing their job. It’s a little disappointing through two weeks to watch the effort level. We have to get that corrected in a big way. It’ll be a big week for us to have four workouts, two games. We’ve got to work toward being a good team.”
Dayton didn’t play poorly in the first half in building a 44-35 lead, but the team looked lost at times in the second half.
The Mastodons outscored the Flyers 24-11 in fast-break points in the game. That’s one reason Miller questioned his team’s effort level on Monday.
“A lot of our games haven’t been perfect, but we’ve played pretty hard,” Miller said. “Right now, we’re not playing as hard as we need to. Defensively, in particular, on the ball, our perimeter defense isn’t anywhere close. The transition game, getting back on defense, all five guys being committed, understanding how important that is to winning, has been a challenge.
Practice has to get ratcheted back up. We have to get guys locked in on specific things they have to do to be successful.”
St. Francis (Pa.) at Dayton, 7 p.m., WHIO, 1290, 95.7