|Sophomore guard Bones Hyland|
VCU fans should note that Dayton is better than they were on Jan 23, when the Rams humbled the Flyers at the Siegel Center: 66-to-43. Yes, that one was rather easy. It surprised me then to see an Anthony Grant-coached team look so lackluster.
On Feb. 9, Dayton was much tougher on their home court, UD Arena. VCU won: 76-to-67. Since then the Flyers have only continued to improve. Now they carry themselves like a confident team. Ask Rhody.
Dayton isn't short on talent either. And, Grant can still coach. So I hope the running Rams shoot well and steal the ball 25 times.
The Atlantic 10 tournament's third quarterfinal game will be played at the Siegel Center on Friday, March 5. It is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. Dayton (14-8, 9-7 A-10. NET No. 86 at this writing) will face VCU (17-6, 10-4 A-10. NET No. 36 at this writing).
Of course, these two teams know each other well enough that they both think they've seen something to do with particular match-ups they hope to exploit. Trends? Dayton has won three of its last four games. VCU has lost two of its last three (injuries played a role in those losses).
However, in addition to playing on its home court, VCU has another advantage that could be the difference -- Bones Hyland is the best player on either team (he might be the best player in the A-10). But that's when he's 100 percent.
Since Bones has been hobbled by an injury that kept him on
the bench for the last two regular season games, how much he is ready to go isn't known at this desk. As a friend who played for VCU a long time ago said the other day: "Ankle injuries can be fickle."
According to the university's athletic dept.: Bones (ankle/foot) is still considered to be day-to-day, but he has been practicing. And the good news is, Vince Williams (ankle) is expected to play in tomorrow's tilt. So, we'll see.
TV: NBC Sports Network, Radio: 910 AM.
Photo: From VCU.