#27 Dayton Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Dayton Flyers

2014-2015 Overall Rank: #27
Conference Rank: #2 Atlantic 10

Dayton Team Page#27 Dayton Men's Basketball 2014-2015 PreviewBuy Dayton Basketball Tickets

Obviously Dayton was playing their best basketball in March. The Flyers upset Ohio State, Syracuse and Stanford in route to the Elite Eight. However, it is worth noting that the Flyers went 10-6 in Atlantic 10 play and finished tied for fifth in the conference. But it is also worth noting that five of those conference losses came within the first six conference games and Dayton was not just hot in March, but lost just a single game in February. Coach Archie Miller ran an 11 man rotation last season and it worked out amazingly well. Seven of those players are back and this team should be deep enough again to keep everybody fresh.

2013-14 Record: 26-11, 10-6
2013-14 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Archie Miller
Coach Record: 63-38 at Dayton, 63-38 overall

Who’s Out:
Devin Oliver, Khari Price, Vee Sanford and Matt Kavanaugh were regulars in the rotation. Oliver started all 37 games for the Flyers and led the team in rebounding and assists, while ranking second in scoring. The 6-7 forward could do it all and no single player is going to replace his 11.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists. Price also started every game for the Flyers and 5-11 guard averaged 6.2 points and 1.8 assists per contest. Sanford rarely cracked the starting five, but was one of five players to average over 20 minutes per game. His outside shot was inconsistent during his senior season, but Sanford still managed to average 9.6 points per game. Kanavaugh was one of the big men in the regular rotation, but his numbers dropped to 5.7 points and 3.5 rebounds during his senior campaign. Little used Alex Gavrilovic is the only other departure.

Who’s In:
If this team is going to get back to an 11 man rotation, all four newcomers will have to be a part of it. Senior transfer Ryan Bass is eligible immediately after spending three years at Oakland. The 5-9 guard averaged 9.6 points and 2.7 assists last season with the Golden Grizzles. Darrell Davis, a 6-4 guard from Detroit, is a great pickup for Dayton. He can handle the ball and score in bunches by attacking the basket. Detwon Rogers spent some time at the College of Southern Idaho and proved to be a solid scorer and rebounder. At 6-6, he is undersized for a power forward, but he is a big guy who should be able to play small forward and power forward. Center Steve McElvene joins Davis in the small group of incoming freshmen. McElvene is a true post player, but will need some time to develop.

Who to Watch:
Even if none of the newcomers work out, which is extremely unlikely, Dayton has seven returning players who can lead the way. The starting five will likely consist of Scoochie Smith, Jordan Sibert, Dyshawn Pierre, Devon Scott and Jalen Robinson. With Price gone, Smith will take over the point guard duties. He is a lanky point guard who uses that ability to his advantage on the defensive end. Smith was playing important minutes in March and should be ready to take over despite his relative lack of experience and awful shooting a year ago. Sibert found his home with the Flyers last year after transferring in from Ohio State. Sibert led the team with 12.2 points per game and knocked down an impressive 42.6 percent of his 195 three-point attempts. He may sound like a shooter, which he is, but Sibert is also a good athlete who can get to the basket. Dyshawn Pierre is another double figure scorer who can shoot. But his toughness while attacking the basket is what makes him such a special player. Pierre will also use his 6-6 frame to help out on the glass. Devon Scott and Jalen Robinson could provide some help on the glass too. Those two must step into bigger roles this year, but both have plenty of potential.

Final Projection:
Kendall Pollard will play a key role in the frontcourt too. His hustle and defense could even earn him a starting role after averaging just 8.5 minutes per game last season. He did score a dozen points against Stanford in the Sweet Sixteen win. Kyle Davis played even fewer minutes than Pollard, but the sophomore guard is at least good for ten minutes of great defense every game. If the frontcourt can fill in for the losses, this team should be just as good as last year. That may not result in another Elite Eight appearance, but it will result in an NCAA Tournament appearance and a team that can compete for an A-10 title.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament

Projected Starting Five:
Scoochie Smith, Sophomore, Guard, 3.6 points per game
Jordan Sibert, Senior, Guard, 12.2 points per game
Dyshawn Pierre, Junior, Forward, 11.2 points per game
Devon Scott, Junior, Forward, 3.4 points per game
Jalen Robinson, Junior, Forward, 4.3 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.2 (131st in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.0 (91, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.3 (63, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.5 (170, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.6 (126, 5)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.7 (51, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.1 (234, 7)
Rebound Margin: 3.5 (59, 1)
Assists Per Game: 13.1 (136, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.9 (136, 5)


See All Top 144 Basketball Previews