Tom Blackburn at Blackburn Review kindly provided us with some details on the Dayton team, which I have posted below. If you visit Blackburn Review, please follow their rules and be and be a good representative of the University of Alabama.
Dayton, coming off its third consecutive NCAA tournament appearance, returns
four starters from a squad that won 25 games a season ago. The Flyers slumped
into the Big Dance last year, losing five of their last nine games before bowing
out in the first round of the tournament to eventual Final Four participant
Syracuse. With plenty of depth, talent and experience returning to campus, this
season has been the most anticipated campaign in the program’s modern history.
The offseason was marred by the untimely death of rising sophomore center Steve
McElvene. Big Steve was a legit 6’10” and had sincere NBA potential. His absence
has resulted in an undersized roster, something Archie Miller has gotten used to
since arriving in the Gem City. Impact transfer Josh Cunningham, a former Top
150 recruit, will provide UD with some ability around the basket. Cunningham,
who spent his freshman season at Bradley, is a double-double threat each time he
takes the floor.
Offensively, UD is led by senior wing Charles Cooke. Cooke is the team’s most
consistent perimeter player, he opened up the season with 31 points against
Austin Peay. Senior point guard Scoochie Smith captains the ship, the player
most likely to have the ball in his hands when the game is on the line. Senior
shooting guard Kyle Davis is the Flyers’ best defensive player, a somewhat
limited player on the offensive side of the floor.
Kendall Pollard, one of Dayton’s key contributors, will likely be out against
the Tide. The senior forward has been battling injuries for the past year,
sophomore Ryan Mikesell probably gets the starting nod at the four spot. The UD
bench is led by Darrell Davis, a streaky shooter capable of knocking down threes
and Sam Miller – a 6’9” sophomore who can stretch the floor and grab boards when
he is feeling inclined.
Dayton is expected to earn their fourth straight tournament berth this March,
anything less would be a failure. Archie Miller has just begun his sixth season
as the head coach of UD, expect to see his name attached to whatever Power 5
jobs open this spring.
I'm optimistic that we won't completely embarrass ourselves like we did last year, but I will be surprised if we manage to pull out a win.