Dayton season preview: KenPom.com’s math likes the Flyers

Dayton earns its highest ever preseason ranking from Ken Pomeroy’s website

EDITOR’S NOTE: David Jablonski is counting down to the Dayton men’s basketball season opener on Nov. 7 with 25 pieces (one every day until Nov. 7) previewing the 2022-23 season. This is the fourth story.

Of all the preseason predictions in college basketball, none gets more attention than the Associated Press top-25 poll. That’s partly because of the history and tradition of the poll. The AP has ranked college basketball teams since the 1948-49 season.

The first AP poll of the 2022-23 season comes out at noon Monday — I’ve got Dayton at No. 20 in my poll — but another ranking that in many ways is more important than the AP poll came out Sunday: the preseason Ken Pomeroy ratings.

KenPom.com uses a mathematical formula to rank every Division I team. This season, there are 363 teams in Division I. That’s 10 more than just three years ago and 36 more than in the 2001-02 season, the first season of the Pomeroy ratings.

Where does Dayton rank among all those teams three weeks before the start of the 2022-23 season?

Higher than ever before at this point.

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Dayton is No. 24. It’s the highest-ranked Atlantic 10 Conference team and the highest-ranked team from Ohio. No. 39 Saint Louis, No. 59 Loyola Chicago, No. 94 Virginia Commonwealth and No. 95 Richmond also ranked in the top 100 out of the A-10, while No. 32 Ohio State was the second-ranked Ohio team.

What does this mean? That’s harder to say. The preseason Pomeroy ratings don’t always provide an accurate prediction of where a team will be at the end of the season, at least when it comes to the Flyers. Here’s a breakdown of where they’ve ranked at the start of the season compared to the end of the season over the last 11 years.

2010-11: 54 to 97.

2011-12: 81 to 69.

2012-13: 107 to 67.

2013-14: 70 to 42.

2014-15: 50 to 42.

2015-16: 64 to 59.

2016-17: 37 to 39.

2017-18: 103 to 172.

2018-19: 99 to 62.

2019-20: 55 to 4.

2020-21: 54 to 87.

2021-22: 84 to 55.

KenPom.com also predicts Dayton will finish 23-6 against the current known opponents on its schedule. It can’t make predictions for the two other non-conference games in the Battle 4 Atlantis because those opponents won’t be determined until the tournament gets underway.

Dayton is favored in all but two games on its schedule: at Virginia Tech on Dec. 7; and at Saint Louis on March 3. It has a 99.6% chance of beating Lindenwood in its season opener Nov. 7.

Pomeroy projects Dayton to finish 14-4 in the A-10 with Saint Louis finishing second at 13-5.

KenPom.com wasn’t far off on its prediction for Dayton last season. It predicted a 20-9 finish in non-conference, and it finished 22-9. It predicted a 12-6 finish in the A-10, and Dayton finished 14-4.

All this means little to Dayton coach Anthony Grant, who had this to say at A-10 Media Day on Thursday after his team was voted the preseason favorite in the conference.

“I’m really indifferent about the preseason stuff,” Grant said. “It really has no meaning whatsoever. I think our team, anytime you’re dealing with young people, it’s fluid, right? They understand at the end of the day, it’s about the work that we put in. It’s certainly a blessing to be considered one of the best teams in this league, which is full of a lot of really talented players and really good coaches. So we appreciate that. But at the end of the day, I think we all know (the poll) doesn’t have a lot of meaning.”


DAYTON SEASON PREVIEW

Part 1: Fans dreaming big as always

Part 2: A-10 changes tournament format for first time in years

Part 3: A familiar face returns to A-10

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