The first rule about the secret scrimmages is you don’t talk about the secret scrimmages — not until after they happen at least.
NCAA rules prohibited Dayton from publicizing its men’s basketball scrimmage against Purdue on Sunday at the University of Indianapolis. It couldn’t sell tickets. Neither side released a box score or a press release about what happened.
However, at UD’s Cronin Center on Thursday, two days before his team plays its only public exhibition game against Saginaw Valley State at UD Arena, Dayton coach Archie Miller spoke about the scrimmage for the first time.
“The big thing is we got freshmen in there, and they’re not ready,” Miller said. “That was just an awesome eye-opening experience not only for our coaches, but also our players. That’s why you do that. I was pleased with some guys and their effort level. I think some guys are really in a good position in terms of where they’re at. Do we have a good chance to be a good team? Yes. We also have a chance to get rung up here early if we don’t get things cleaned up.”
Purdue, which ranks 23rd in the Associated Press preseason poll, beat Dayton 84-74, according to reports. The Boilermakers feature a 7-foot senior center, A.J. Hammons, and 7-2 sophomore center Isaac Haas.
Hammons did not play, according to the Indianapolis Star, but 6-9 freshman forward Caleb Swanigan, the ninth-ranked recruit in the nation, did play after being cleared by the NCAA two days before the game.
Dayton did not handle Purdue’s size well, Miller said.
“That’s sort of why that matchup was created,” Miller said. “We wanted to see where we’re at, and we’re behind. Hopefully, this experience will speed things up.”
It was the first opportunity for Dayton’s freshmen — guard John Crosby and forwards Sam Miller, Xeyrius Williams and Ryan Mikesell plus redshirt freshman center Steve McElvene — to get a look at Division I competition outside of UD.
“The big takeaway is our lack of physicalness,” Miller said. “Our youth at times on the floor is something we haven’t experienced in a good bit of time. We just had Darrell (Davis) out there last year with all those veterans. It’s a new team. It’s definitely a new process.”
Notes: Junior forward Kendall Pollard has a shoulder bruise, and Miller is not sure if he’ll play Saturday. If he does, his minutes will be limited. … Bobby Wehrli has hip and groin injuries, and his status for Saturday is also uncertain. He practiced Wednesday and Thursday but was limited to no-contact drills. … Miller had nothing to say about Dyshawn Pierre’s status. Asked if there has been talk of redshirting Pierre if he returns Dec. 20 after his suspension, Miller said, “Everything has been discussed.”
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