A nightmare season has unfolded for former Dayton Flyers coach Archie Miller in his second season at Indiana, which has lost seven games in a row.
It’s a similar story at Ohio State, which has seen a promising season take a wrong turn with six losses in seven games under second-year coach Chris Holtmann. LaVall Jordan also has struggled in his second season at Butler. His team has lost three games in a row and seven of its last 10.
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Dayton Flyers coach Anthony Grant’s second team had its own issues in November and December, losing five times in a six-game stretch, but it stands at 14-7 and 6-2 in the Atlantic 10 Conference with 10 games to play. The record looks good — especially compared to last season’s 14-17 mark — but this is a team that has feasted on the bottom half of the conference, meaning it still has a lot to prove. It will get that chance in the next six games.
Here’s a rundown of a stretch that could make or break the Flyers:
Duquesne (15-6, 6-2) at Dayton, 2 p.m. Saturday: The Dukes share third place with the Flyers after rallying from a 19-point halftime deficit to beat Rhode Island 75-72 in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. Duquesne also has a second-year coach in Keith Dambrot, and he has the team on track for its best season in about a decade.
Dayton at Saint Louis (14-7, 5-3), 9 p.m., Wednesday: The Billikens suffered the most surprising loss of the season so far in A-10 play Wednesday, losing 84-81 at home to Richmond (8-13, 2-6). Saint Louis, the A-10 preseason favorite, has lost three games in a row after a 5-0 start in conference play.
Dayton at Rhode Island (11-9, 4-4), 4 p.m., Feb. 9: The defending regular-season champions have lost back-to-back road games at Massachusetts and Duquesne.
Virginia Commonwealth (14-6, 5-2) at Dayton, 4 p.m., Feb. 16: The Flyers lost 76-71 at VCU on Jan. 16 when Marcus Evans hit a tie-breaking 3-pointer in the final minute.
Dayton at Davidson (15-5, 6-1), 6 p.m., Feb. 19: The Wildcats have to be the favorite in the regular-season race because they have already beaten four of the other five teams in the top six in the standings. They also have a favorable schedule in the weeks ahead. Aside from this game, their toughest games are on the road at St. Bonaventure (8-12, 4-3) and Rhode Island.
Saint Louis at Dayton, 4 p.m., Feb. 23: The Billikens have lost four straight games at UD Arena.
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