The Dayton Flyers are feeling much better about their starting center position after freshman forward Jalen Robinson had a solid game versus Findlay (D-II) in an exhibition on Saturday afternoon. If you do not remember last week, the Flyers starting center Matt Kavanaugh was suspended from the school for a year for violating the university’s code of conduct.
In Dayton’s first exhibition game, Robinson posted a double-double, which is what you want to see from a freshman before the regular season begins. To be exact, Robinson shot eight of 10 from the field, had 19 points, along with scooping up 10 rebounds. Head coach Archie Miller said “He’s come a long, long way since August. He’s very talented — very gifted offensively.” Robinson is a big guy at 6’9”, 243 lbs, and was a pretty good forward coming out of high school. He chose Dayton over schools such as DePaul, Iowa, and Wisconsin, which are all schools from major conferences.
Just maybe, the Flyers have found a diamond in the rough in Robinson. There will be some growing pains with the freshman as he still has to develop his defensive skills, but it’s good that he has already started the development of his offensive skills. You might just see a tag team tandem of Robinson with senior Josh Benson, who is 6’9” himself. The Flyers used this combination in their exhibition game versus Findlay, and it worked.
Benson scored 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds, so the tandem combined for 30 points and 17 rebounds, which should help compensate for the loss of Kavanaugh. However, as Miller said, “you roll with the punches and watch kids be resilient and respond.” Dayton will have to do this a lot; but if they can manage, they will sneak up on many teams in the Atlantic 10 this season.
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