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DaRon Holmes elevates his game in A-10 Tourney

The Atlantic 10 Freshman of the Year scored 28 points while feeling under the weather

Dayton v George Mason
DaRon Holmes scored 28 points in the Flyers’ quarterfinal win.
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Dayton has a good history of A10 Freshman of the Year. DaRon Holmes was the second Flyer to win the award, joining Obi Toppin.

Holmes’ advanced metrics are just outstanding. He ranks 10th in effective field goal percentage and in the top 40 of three other KenPom categories, one being block percentage.

Despite not feeling his best, Holmes netted 28 points on 12-of-15 shooting in Dayton’s 75-72 win over UMass Friday.

“You can call it the flu game,” he said.

The freshman from Arizona went crazy was at his best down the stretch as he helped the Flyers erase a 10-point deficit. He is starting to show shades of what Toppin did so many times in the 2019-20 season.

“We feel like Deuce is a heck of a player, regardless of the points,” head coach Anthony Grant said. “The opportunities were there tonight with the way we had an advantage. And Deuce was able to take advantage of the situation as it presented itself.”

The 28 points were a career high. It also happened to be Dayton’s biggest game of the year. The Flyers are sitting squarely on the bubble, so they needed this win to help improve their resume for the NCAA Tournament.

Dayton will look to make it back to the A-10 finals for the first time since 2016 while Holmes looks to step up and have another big game. The Flyers beat Richmond just a week and a half ago by two at the Robins Center.

“We recently played Richmond, so that will be a level up,” Grant said, “Our staff does a good job of making sure that our guys will be as prepared as possible.”

Semifinal Matchup

Dayton vs. Richmond

Time: 3:30 p.m. ET

Location: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

TV: CBS Sports Network

DraftKings Line: Dayton -2.5, O/U 130