For the last month or so, just before pregame introductions, the Dayton Flyers have huddled around walk-on freshman guard Camron Greer. He dances in the middle of the huddle as the players throw arms around each other’s necks.
It’s a new dance that comes from Memphis, Tenn., Greer said. He doesn’t know its name. While sometimes he would like to do a different dance, he’s sticking to the script for now.
» PREVIEW: What you need to know about Dayton at UMass
“They asked me to get in there,” Greer said, “and try to hype the guys up before the game and get us going.”
It’s impossible to tell if Greer’s pregame enthusiasm has any effect on the bottom line from a wins-and-losses standpoint. However, the stats do show Dayton is a better team in the first half than in the second, so maybe Greer deserves a small percentage point of the credit for providing a pregame energy boost.
In nine Atlantic 10 games, the Flyers have outscored opponents 39.1-35.6 in the first half and been outscored 39.1-34.9 in the second half. They shoot 53.1 percent in the first half and 47.6 percent in the second. They have a small rebounding advantage before halftime (plus 0.9) and a disadvantage after the break (minus 1.4).
A deeper dive into Dayton’s stats paints a picture of this team’s strengths and weakness and why it faces a big challenge to move up from a tie for eighth in the standings to compete for one of the top four seeds in the conference tournament.
» RECRUITING: Cohill can’t wait to be a Flyer
After a week break from games, the Flyers (10-11, 4-5) return to action at 2 p.m. Saturday against Massachusetts (10-13, 3-7) at the Mullins Center in Amherst, Mass. Here are some stats to know about the Flyers heading into that game:
1. Plus-minus: This stat measures how many points Dayton has outscored its opponent by with a given player on the court or how many points it has been outscored by.
Six players have positive plus-minus numbers. Jordan Davis leads the way. When he’s on the court, Dayton has outscored opponents 974-942 (or plus 2.40 points per 40 minutes). On other other side is Kostas Antetokounmpo. Opponents have outscored Dayton 589-532 when he’s on the floor (minus 7.43 per 40 minutes).
» RELATED: Defense a problem for Dayton
2. Home vs. away: The Flyers have shot 51.2 percent from the field, 36 percent from 3-point range and 75.1 percent from the free-throw line in 12 games at UD Arena, where they are 8-4.
In nine games away from the arena, Dayton’s numbers look different. It has shot 44.2 percent from the field, 32.9 percent from 3-point range and 71 percent from the line. That translates to 8.8 fewer points per game. It’s a big reason the Flyers are 2-7 in road games or on a neutral court.
“Obviously, we’ve been able to win one (true road games),” Dayton coach Anthony Grant said, “and had some difficulties, and it’s been for a variety of reasons. The thing we have to do is continue to understand what’s causing it and continue to try to get better.”
» WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Four reasons for Dayton’s 11th straight win
3. Recent stretch: Dayton has lost three of its last four games in part because it has committed 20 more turnovers than its opponents in that span (53-33) and allowed opponents to shoot 41.3 percent from 3-point range (38 of 92).
Dayton at Massachusetts, 2 p.m., Spectrum Sports, FM 95.7, AM 1290 WHIO