The University of Dayton men’s basketball team did not place any players on one of the three Atlantic 10 preseason All-Conference teams here Tuesday at the annual media day at the Barclays Center, the NBA home of the Brooklyn Nets.
But that is no concern to third-year head coach Archie Miller, whose team was sixth in scoring in the 16-team league last season.
Miller said he could play a rotation as deep as nine to 11 players and still not have anyone average in double figures this season. After missing postseason play for the first time in six years last season, Miller will obviously take team achievements over personal numbers for a UD team pegged to finish seventh in the league this season by a panel of Atlantic 10 coaches and media members.
“We have depth at about every position,” said Miller, during an interview at the Barclays Center on Tuesday. “I have great respect for the other programs. Where we are picked is fine. We have some great opportunities at home,” including a date Jan. 22 with preseason favorite VCU and a Jan. 11 contest with Saint Louis, picked second.
La Salle was tabbed for third, UMass fourth and Saint Joseph’s fifth on Tuesday. “I don’t think there is much difference from a GW (10th) to a La Salle or from a Richmond (sixth) to Dayton. VCU and Saint Louis have as much solid info as you are going to get to get picked where they are,” Miller said.
Miller said he envisions games in which the Flyers have five players in double figures or outings in which nine players score. He just wants those combinations to add up to wins after going 17-14 overall and 7-9 in the conference last season.
Redshirt senior guard Vee Sanford is the leading returning scorer at 12.3 points per game while the Flyers will have to replace Kevin Dillard, who led the squad at 15.3 per outing last season.
Senior forward Devin Oliver averaged 8.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game last year and sophomore forward Dyshawn Pierre tallied 8.8 and 5.1 per contest.
But it is the newcomers who give Miller hope of a quick turnaround. Matt Kavanaugh (9.0 points per game in 2011-12) is back after a year-long suspension and a nifty freshman class includes guard Kyle Davis, Kendall Pollard and Scochie Smith. Plus Miller is high on Jordan Sibert, an eligible transfer from Ohio State.
The Flyers play their first exhibition game against Ryerson on Oct. 26 at home and face Findlay on Nov. 2 in another exhibition at home. UD begins the season at home Nov. 9 against IPFW.
UD has not made the NCAA tournament since 2009. Miller is 37-27 during his tenure with the Flyers.
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