Don’t tell Dayton coach Archie Miller that St. Joseph’s is struggling. The Hawks have lost three in a row and five of seven and host Dayton on Wednesday at Hagan Arena.
Meanwhile Dayton is 14-5 overall, and leads the Atlantic-10 with a 4-1 record following Saturday’s 87-72 win over Xavier.
“You can tell they have a lot of young talent and they are a lot better than a year ago,” Miller said earlir this week on a conference call.
All that is correct. St. Joseph’s (12-8) has exceeded its 11-win total of last year, but hasn’t truly found its stride since a 74-58 win over Villanova on Dec. 17.
One interesting matchup should be at point guard, where St. Joseph’s Carl Jones has been playing on a sore ankle, but tied with Temple’s Ramone Moore for the A-10 scoring lead (17.2 ppg.).
Dayton’s Kevin Dillard is averaging 12.3 points and 5.8 assists for an extremely balanced Flyers club.
“If there is a player who is more valuable to his team than Kevin is to ours, I will argue that to death,” Miller said.
While the matchup at point guard will be a key, St. Joseph's needs to have a breakout game in the frontcourt in order to win.
A victory could turn the season around for the Hawks, although it won't be easy for a Dayton team that has won two in a row and six of seven.