#48 Dayton Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Dayton Flyers

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #48
Conference Rank: #4 Atlantic 10

Dayton Team Page#48 Dayton Men's Basketball 2013-2014 PreviewBuy Dayton Basketball Tickets

It would be easy to look past Dayton in the tough Atlantic 10. The Flyers finished last year with just 17 wins and a losing record in conference play. To make matters worse, they have to move on without their leading scorer. But the roster is full of talented seniors and promising sophomores. In 2012-2013, the Flyers committed way too many turnovers and made too many mistakes in general. Coach Archie Miller did rely quite heavily on a handful of freshmen and those freshmen are now experienced sophomores.

2012-13 Record: 17-14, 7-9
2012-13 Postseason: None
Coach: Archie Miller
Coach Record: 37-28 at Dayton, 37-28 overall

Who’s Out:
Kevin Dillard was one of the best point guards in the A-10 and he finished up his senior season averaging 15.3 points and 4.5 assists. Dillard was often asked to do a majority of the scoring on top of his ball handling duties and he did it very well. With emerging scorers on the wing ready to step up, the new point guard will not be asked to do nearly as much as Dillard. The other lost starter is 6-9 center Josh Benson. Benson was a very consistent and efficient interior scorer. While not the toughest rebounder around, he did lead the squad in blocks and that is a skill that Dayton will miss. Matt Derenbecker, who was part of the regular rotation, and Brian Vonderhaar are the only other departures.

Who’s In:
Coach Miller has brought in another talented group of freshmen, but this time the Flyers do not need them to do quite as much. That may not stop Scoochie Smith from making a huge impact anyway. The 6-2 point guard spurned many offers to go to Dayton and he could be a starter from day one. Even if he is not starting, the Flyers will use him as a secondary ballhandler and a backup. Fellow point guard Kyle Davis will find himself down the depth chart a little ways for now. Kendall Pollard will provide some quality depth on the wing. As will Ohio State transfer Jordan Sibert. The 6-4 junior played in over 11 minutes per contest when the Buckeyes went to the Final Four in 2012. The prep star has yet to live up to his potential, yet some new surroundings could be the change he needs.

Who to Watch:
With Smith, Davis, Pollard and Sibert joining Khari Price, Vee Sanford and Dyshawn Pierre on the perimeter, Coach Miller should have plenty of depth to work with. And that depth will allow Dayton to play tougher defense and run the offense a little faster. Price’s experience gives him an early leg up over Smith at the point, although that may not be enough for Price to stay in the starting lineup. Price is a good ball handler and knows how to run the offense, but Smith is the better all-around player. Sanford should emerge as the team’s top scorer after averaging 12.3 points. With a little more accuracy on his shooting, Sanford will have no trouble leading the Flyers. He will have some competition from Pierre. The 6-6 sophomore knocked down 46.2 percent of his attempts from long range and can use his size to attack the basket. Pierre is poised for a breakout sophomore season and the Flyers need him and Sanford to boost the team’s mere 5.9 three-point field-goals per game of a season ago.

Final Projection:
Like the backcourt, the frontcourt will have more depth and experience despite the loss of a major contributor. Devin Oliver is the experienced senior of the group. At 6-7 and 225 pounds he is not the biggest or most intimidating forward, but he makes up for it with his athleticism. Oliver is a beast on the glass and a solid interior scorer who can also step outside and knock down the mid-range jumper with ease. Jalen Robinson earned plenty of playing time as a freshman and is ready to take the next step. He is a big time scoring threat in the paint and a solid rebounder. Devon Scott, another sophomore, will backup Oliver, while Matt Kavanaugh will compete for minutes with Robinson at the five spot. Kavanaugh, a 6-10, 250 pound senior, missed the 2012-2013 campaign while suspended. As a result, the Flyers were lacking experienced depth in 2012-2013, which forced Robinson and Scott into the mix. The experienced they gained is a huge plus for Dayton and having Kavanaugh’s toughness back certainly does not hurt either. With the depth this team boasts at just about every spot on the floor, Coach Miller is going to have more options. Expect Dayton to continue to be efficient offensively, while using their athleticism and new found depth to get up and down the floor more often. The A-10 is going to be strong again and fourth place could be enough to keep Dayton in the NCAA Tournament picture.

Projected Postseason Tournament:  NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Khari Price, Sophomore, Guard, 2.8 points per game
Vee Sanford, Senior, Guard, 12.3 points per game
Dyshawn Pierre, Sophomore, Forward, 8.8 points per game
Dean Oliver, Senior, Forward, 8.9 points per game
Jalen Robinson, Sophomore, Forward, 6.1 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.8 (64th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.7 (175, 9)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.5 (17, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.4 (207, 9)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.9 (199, 12)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 38.4 (20, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.7 (97, 6)
Rebound Margin: 3.8 (63, 5)
Assists Per Game: 14.0 (97, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.5 (263, 12)


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