The Dayton Flyers will wear a black No. 5 on their jerseys Friday in an exhibition game against Findlay and all season in honor of late center Steve McElvene. The No. 5 is right above their hearts.
McElevene, 20, died May 12 of an enlarged heart. UD is expected to honor him at the season opener in some way, perhaps by presenting his Atlantic 10 championship ring to his family in a pregame ceremony.
The Flyers will play their lone public exhibition game in front of a sellout crowd. It’s the first exhibition sellout in UD history. Senior forward Kendall Pollard will not play because of a thigh bruise, coach Archie Miller told WHIO’s Larry Hansgen before the game.
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Everyone else is expected to play.
“We play it like a real game,” Miller said Tuesday. “We want to make sure we’re using everything we have. We built toward this time to give us a chance to win to learn how to play with different groupings of players and to execute our system on both sides of the ball. That’s what it comes down to. Your effort has to be improving. Your system has to be improving. You’ve got to get great productivity from everybody in the game. The big thing we’re trying to do is convince everybody that however many guys are on our bench, that’s how many are needed to get their job done, and when your opportunity is out there to play, we expect no drop off.”
Miller said he has seen improvement in the offseason from a number of players.
“We’re going to need to be a team that plays nine, 10, 11 guys and have the opportunity to really wear you down over the course of a season and guys stepping up in big games,” Miller said. “Each and every night, it’s a different person who helps you win. That’s our goal with this group, to really have one of our deeper teams.”
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