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Published: Saturday, July 20, 2019 @ 8:20 AM
DAYTON — Red Scare coach Damon Goodwin got a chance to scout Mid-American Unity, the team’s second-round opponent, on Friday.
» PHOTOS: Red Scare in action in first round
On paper, the Dayton alumni team will be the favorite in the noon game Saturday in The Basketball Tournament at Capital University in Bexley. It’s the No. 3 seed in the Columbus Regional.
The team of Mid-American Conference alums is the No. 7 seed, but it already beat the No. 2 seed, Kohl Blooded, a group of former Wisconsin Badgers, 80-71 in the first game Friday.
“They ran a lot of stuff,” Goodwin said. “You can tell they’ve been practicing a little bit.”
Dayton beat The Region 108-82 in the first round Friday. Devin Oliver scored 27 points. Vee Sanford added 20. Each of the seven players on the team scored in front of a sold-out crowd at The Capital Center.
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“We’re going to meet at 10:45 (Saturday),” Goodwin said. “I’m not sure how much we’re going to be able to prepare. The big thing is to get these guys some fluids in them and get them off their feet. They’ll be ready. I think they’re pumped up about the crowd. Hopefully, we’ll have a big Dayton contingent tomorrow. I would expect that. I would hope so. That will certainly help.”
The MAC team includes two of LeBron James’ former teammates at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary: Romeo Travis and Dru Joyce. Travis scored 1,491 points in four seasons at Akron. Joyce also played at Akron during the same period (2003-07) and scored 1,047 points. Joyce led the team with 20 points in the first round.
The current Akron coach, John Groce, was in the stands Friday for the game. He coached one of Mid-American Unity’s players in college: D.J. Cooper, a four-year starter for the Ohio Bobcats from 2009-13. Cooper is the only player in NCAA history to top 2,000 points, 900 assists, 600 rebounds and 300 steals.
If Dayton wins Saturday, it will play at noon Sunday in the Columbus Regional final. The opponent will be Carmen’s Crew, the team of former Ohio State Buckeyes featuring Aaron Craft, or Big X, which has three former Buckeyes.
Carmen’s Crew beat Illinois BC 88-71 in the first round. Big X beat the West Virginia Wildcats 83-76.
The regional champion will advance to the quarterfinals in Chicago. The final three rounds take place Aug. 1-6.