Dayton Flyers women’s team picked to finish second in A-10

Dayton’s Erin Whalen scored a team-high 15 points in the Flyers’ win over George Washington at UD Arena on Feb. 19, 2020. Erik Schelkun/CONTRIBUTED
Dayton’s Erin Whalen scored a team-high 15 points in the Flyers’ win over George Washington at UD Arena on Feb. 19, 2020. Erik Schelkun/CONTRIBUTED

UD opens the season on the road in two weeks

Many college basketball teams around the country don’t know who they’re playing Nov. 25, the first day teams can play, or soon after. The Dayton Flyers men’s team falls into that category after withdrawing from the Crossover Classic last week.

Like the men’s team, the Dayton women’s team has not released an official non-conference schedule, but coach Shauna Green confirmed Monday her team will play its season opener at Morehead State (Ky.) on Nov. 25 and its home opener Dec. 6 against Central Michigan. Last season, Dayton beat Morehead State 58-41 in Dayton and lost 81-80 in overtime at Central Michigan.

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The rest of the schedule should be released soon. The coronavirus pandemic has thrown off the whole scheduling process for everyone.

“It’s all done,” Green said. “We’re just trying to get a couple of contracts back.”

Dayton doesn’t yet know its Atlantic 10 Conference schedule, but it knows it will play 18 games instead of 16. The Flyers, who won the A-10 regular season and tournament championships last season, were picked to finish second behind Virginia Commonwealth in the preseason poll on Monday.

VCU received 10 of 14 first-place votes. Dayton received two.

“I expected VCU would be picked to win it,” Green said. “They pretty much return their whole team and have a lot of seniors. I do think the league is getting better every year. It’s an older league now. It’s going to be really tough like every year. Every night nothing is a gimme. You’ve got to be ready to go.”

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Saint Louis was picked to finish third and received one first-place vote. Davidson, Duquesne, which received the other first-place vote, and Fordham tied for fourth. Massachusetts, Richmond, George Washington, La Salle, Rhode Island, St. Bonaventure, Saint Joseph’s and George Mason rounded out the poll.

Three Flyers received preseason honors. Redshirt senior guard/forward Erin Whalen, who averaged 12.2 points last season, was named to the all-conference first team. Redshirt senior guard Araion Bradshaw (5.7 points per game) was named to the third team and the all-defensive team. Junior forward Kyla Whitehead (7.2) was also named to the third team.

Last year, Dayton finished 25-8 and 15-1 in the A-10. The Flyers started practice Oct. 14.

“We’re continuing to be a work in progress,” Green said. “We’re really old and really young. Our veterans are doing a great job of leading and really trying to instill in our new kids the expectations and standards. We’re focusing on trying to be consistent. I like where we’re going. We’re continuing to get better. But we’re two weeks out from games, and we’ve still got a lot of stuff to put in.”

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