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Dayton Flyers vs. UMass Minutemen basketball preview: Snow Storm Juno has no effect on this A-10 clash

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Cady Lalanne looks to take advantage of a size mismatch against the Flyers.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Dayton Flyers may not be ranked anymore but they are still a very dangerous team. The Massachusetts Minutemen are just 3-3 in conference play and are in desperate need of a win at home. If the snows got you trapped inside don't worry you can still catch all the action. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU and WatchESPN at 7PM on Thursday. Before the game though let's take a look at Dayton and see how these two teams matchup up.

Record: 16-3 (6-1)

Dayton has played a fairly soft conference schedule with St. Bonaventure and Davidson being the only two teams at or above sixth place. They beat the Bonnies 78-61 on the road and continued their trashing of A-10 opponents until January 20th when they travel to Davidson and were spanked 77-60 by the Wildcats. The Flyers were ranked 22nd in the country at the time. The Minutemen lost a close one at home to the Wildcats also. The Flyers would keep the losing streak from going to two when they eked out a win against Richmond at home by three. Their only other two losses are to UConn and Arkansas.

Players to watch:

Jordan Sibert is Dayton's leading scorer at 15.7 points per game. The 6-4 senior guard is a talented scorer and can score from both the inside and out. His field goal percentage is a little down from last season but is still a respectable 42.8 percent. From behind the arc he is a 34 percent shooter but his a volume guy putting up almost seven threes a game. Sibert also leads them in minutes played with 32.8 per contest and is quite the thief with 1.2 steals. Don't be surprised to see him go for 20 against the Minutemen.

Dyshawn Pierre is the Flyer's big man at just 6-6. He leads the team in rebounding with 7.1 after Devon Scott went down after the ninth game of the season. Despite his size he has a nose for the ball and can rebound with the best of them. He is the second leading scorer with 12.7 points and is just shy of 50 percent from the field at 48.4.

Matchup:

Despite having no one over the height of 6-6 that's healthy on the roster Dayton has played excellently this season. Archie Miller has done one heck of a coaching job and continues to defy conventional basketball thinking that having tall players is essential. They have played against skilled big man already so I don't see why they shouldn't be ready for Cady Lalanne and Maxie Esho. Passing out of the post against double teams is not Lalanne's forte.

While UMass does average 2.4 more points per game as a team and outrebounds Dayton by 3.8, I don't think that those advantages will hold up. The Minutemen may be able to out rebound Dayton but UMass has had trouble converting on their second chance opportunities. One key to the offenses is Dayton gets more baskets off assists as they rank 73rd in the country while UMass is just 129th.

If Pierre can have a good inside outside game offensively he should have a big game. The Minutemen have had trouble guarding the athletic 6-6 players as they don't have anyone that's good defensively that is that size. Derrick Gordon should matchup with Sibert as much as possible but that might not be enough. Unless the press for UMass is firing on all cylinders I just don't see them pulling out the win. Dayton is gonna crush UMass' hopes even more with a 75-64 win.