NCAA March Madness Preview – Dayton Flyers

Dayton Flyers

Atlantic 10 (24-7, 15-3)

by Jacob Young

Archie Miller has now led the Flyers to four straight NCAA tournament appearances and looks to get them to the second weekend for the first time since 2014. Dayton has a rather uninspired non-conference résumé with their best wins coming against middle of the pack SEC teams Alabama and Vanderbilt. Their three losses outside of the A-10 came by a combined nine points to Saint Mary’s, Nebraska and Northwestern. The Flyers were able to take care of business in conference play with a 15-3 record.

Big Wins: 12/21 Vanderbilt (68-63), 2/10 at Rhode Island (75-74), 3/1 VCU (79-72)

Bad Losses: 11/24 vs Nebraska (78-80), 12/17 vs Northwestern (64-67), 1/11 at Massachusetts (55-67)

Coach: Archie Miller

Why They Can Surprise:

Experience is key to have during March and Dayton has one of the oldest teams in the tournament. There are no freshmen in the rotation and half of the players that see the floor are upperclassmen. The four seniors on this team were there for the Elite Eight run three years ago and look to find similar success this year. Dayton’s biggest strength statistically is their defense. The Flyers allow just 66.3 points per game and opponents shoot a measly 41.2 percent from the field against them. Depth is also an advantage Dayton has with ten players averaging double-digit minutes per game and no one getting more than 32 minutes per contest.

Why They Can Disappoint:

Frankly, Dayton hasn’t quite proven they can beat anybody this season with a few decent wins among the relatively easy schedule. The A-10 had a down year, preventing Dayton from collecting many quality wins and they failed to add a strong victory during non-conference play. Even with their experience and depth, Dayton is hard to put much trust in with their lack of impressive wins this season. Looking at Dayton’s numbers, nothing jumps out as a major weakness except they aren’t very good on the offensive glass.

Probable Starters:

Scoochie Smith, Senior, Guard, 13.5 ppg, 4.5 apg, 1.5 spg Darrell Davis, Junior, Guard, 5.7 ppg, 1.3 apg Charles Cooke, Senior, Guard, 16.1 ppg, 2.9 apg, 5.1 rpg, 1.0 bpg Kendall Pollard, Senior, Forward, 14.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.5 spg Xeyrius Williams, Sophomore, Forward, 8.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg

Key Role Players:

Kyle Davis, Senior, Guard, 8.1 ppg, 2.7 apg, 1.7 spg Ryan Mikesell, Sophomore, Forward, 5.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg Josh Cunningham, Sophomore, Forward, 6.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg

John Crosby, Sophomore, Guard, 2.9 ppg, 1.3 apg Sam Miller, Sophomore, Forward, 4.6 ppg, 2.3 rpg

By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 76.8 (99th in nation, 2nd in conference)

Scoring Defense: 66.3 (47, 3)

Field-Goal Percentage: 47.2 (42, 1)

Field-Goal Defense: 41.2 (48, 2)

Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.0 (115, 4)

Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 38.5 (40, 1)

Free-Throw Percentage: 69.1 (210, 9)

Rebound Margin: 0.4 (183, 7)

Assists Per Game: 15.8 (49, 3)

Turnovers Per Game: 12.1 (81, 4)

Recent Postseason Appearances:

2016 NCAA Round of 64 loss to Syracuse

2015 NCAA Opening Round win over Boise State

2015 NCAA Round of 64 win over Providence

2015 NCAA Round of 32 loss to Oklahoma

2014 NCAA Round of 64 win over Ohio State

2014 NCAA Round of 32 win over Syracuse

2014 NCAA Regional Semifinal win over Stanford

2014 NCAA Regional Final loss to Florida

2012 NIT First Round loss to Iowa

2011 NIT First Round loss to College of Charleston

2010 NIT First Round win over Illinois State

2010 NIT Second Round win over Cincinnati

2010 NIT Quarterfinal win over Illinois

2010 NIT Semifinal win over Mississippi

2010 NIT Final win over North Carolina

2009 NCAA Round of 64 win over West Virginia

2009 NCAA Round of 32 loss to Kansas

2008 NIT First Round win over Cleveland State

2008 NIT Second Round win over Illinois State

2008 NIT Quarterfinal loss to Ohio State

2004 NCAA Round of 64 loss to DePaul

*all team stats through 3/5

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