Archie and the Flyers at VCU. David Jablonski/Staff
The 2015-16 college basketball season is just around the corner. In honor of the Flyers winning 53 games the last two seasons (and because I couldn’t come up with 2,015 reasons), I’m counting down 53 reasons (in no particular order) to look forward to the season.
Follow the blog between now and the season opener against Southeast Missouri State on Nov. 13. I will have four to five updates per week.
I’ll post links on Twitter (@DavidPJablonski) and on my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/DavidPatrickJablonski.
No. 44: Competition will make UD better
I talked to Archie Miller on Thursday when the A-10 schedule came out. I asked him about Maurice Clarett speaking to the team Wednesday and about practice getting underway next month (Dayton starts on Friday Oct. 2). Miller also made an interesting point about how this team will be different from last year’s team.
The Flyers played a seven-man rotation most of the season last winter because they had only seven players. Even at the start of last season, they had only 10. When they lost Devon Scott, Jalen Robinson and then Ryan Bass, no one had to worry about earning playing time.
Now UD has six returning players and six newcomers. They'll also have sophomore forward Josh Cunningham available in practice, but not in games. He's sitting out after transferring from Bradley.
“You have real competition every day to push each other and earn minutes,” Miller said. “This could be the type of team that plays as many as 10 or 11. It could be a team that plays as few as eight or nine depending on what we’re looking to do with our rotation. We’ve got to get to work. The pursuit of being one of the best teams in our conference is our goal. We don’t want to avoid that. We want to work hard toward that every day.”
Miller has proven you can win with a 10-12 man rotation, which is what they used two seasons ago in their run to the Elite Eight, and with the 7-man crew that somehow got to the brink of the Sweet 16 last season.
It will be interesting to see who of the freshmen earn playing time first. Miller has had high praise for each of them so far.