Dayton season preview: Scouting UD’s first four opponents

Flyers open season Nov. 7 against new D-I program

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 18th story.

The early-season opponents of the Dayton Flyers now have some information to base their scouting reports on in the weeks ahead.

Dayton played a public exhibition game Saturday and released a box score — which it did not do after the Red & Blue Game on Oct. 15, presumably to keep future opponents in the dark — though the game was not broadcast anywhere, so any film study will be based on the few highlight clips posted online.

Dayton fans who now know a little bit more about the 2022-23 Flyers after their 80-42 victory against Capital University at UD Arena may be curious what’s going on with the four opponents UD will play before heading to the Battle 4 Atlantis in the last week of November.

Here’s what I could find:

Explore» PHOTOS: Dayton vs. Capital

Lindenwood University (7 p.m., Nov. 7, at UD Arena): Dayton’s first opponent did not play a public exhibition game. It had two preseason scrimmages, according to a list kept by Jeff Goodman, of Oct. 15 vs. Western Illinois; and Oct. 26 vs. Indian Hills Junior College.

Lindenwood competed at the NAIA level through the 2010-11 school year and had been at the NCAA Division II level through last season. It is now making the transition to Division I and will compete in the Ohio Valley Conference but is ineligible for the NCAA tournament.

Lindenwood finished 12-17 last season. It last enjoyed a winning season in 2017-18 (16-13).

In an interview earlier this month with the Bossman Show on, fourth-year coach Kyle Gerdeman said one of the early challenges of making the move to Division I was figuring out the scholarship situation.

“Early on, it was a little bit of a work in progress because we had some guys on partial scholarships, and a lot of those guys had to transfer to full scholarships,” Gerdeman said. “The one thing we were doing at the D-II level is we were trying to find full-scholarship guys — guys talented enough, good enough (to earn full scholarship). We didn’t have too many guys in that situation, but we had to work through a handful of guys to find out what direction we were going to go early on.”

Southern Methodist (7 p.m., Nov. 11, at UD Arena): Dayton’s second opponent, SMU, beat a NAIA program, Paul Quinn College, 80-66 in an exhibition game Saturday. The Mustangs trailed 35-34 at halftime and owned a three-point lead with 10 minutes to play but put the game away in the final minutes.

Zhuric Phelps, a 6-foot-3 sophomore guard, had 27 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and five steals. Phelps averaged 3.8 points in 32 games last season. He scored 13 points in 16 minutes in a 77-69 victory against Dayton in Dallas.

SMU also started two other returners: Zach Nutall, the lone returning starter from last season; and Jalen Smith, who averaged 11 minutes last season. Two newcomers joined the three returners in the starting lineup: Louisville transfer Samuel Williamson; and Troy transfer Efie Odigie.

Alabama transfer Keon Ambrose-Hylton, who was recruited by Dayton out of high school, had four points in 16 minutes. Iowa State transfer Xavier Foster, a 7-0 center, played two minutes.

SMU opens the season at home Nov. 7 against Texas A&M-Commerce before traveling to Dayton later in the week.

UNLV (11 p.m, Nov. 15, at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nev.): The Runnin’ Rebels also do not play a preseason exhibition game. They played two preseason scrimmages, according to Goodman: Oct. 21 vs. Cal State Northridge and Oct. 29 vs. Southern Utah.

UNLV opens the season with two home games before playing Dayton. It faces Southern on Monday and Incarnate Word on Nov. 12.

One of UNLV’s top additions, West Virginia transfer Isaiah Cottrell, has been sidelined in the preseason with a foot injury, according to a report Sunday in the Las Vegas Sun. The 6-10 forward averaged 4.2 points in 32 games last season.

The Las Vegas Sun projects UNLV’s starting lineup to be: returning guard Keshon Gilbert; Colorado transfer Eli Parquet; guard Elijah Harkless, who averaged 10 points at Oklahoma last season; forward Luis Rodriguez, who averaged 6.6 points at Mississippi last season; and center David Muoka, who averaged 13 minutes last season for UNLV.

Robert Morris (1 p.m., Nov. 19, at UD Arena): The Colonials beat Division II Alliance University 88-59 in an exhibition game Saturday. Junior guard Josh Corbin, who played the last three seasons at Winthrop, led Robert Morris with 27 points. Khalil Spear, who was the team’s leading scorer last season with 14.7 points per game, added 16.

Robert Morris opens the season Monday at Ohio State and then plays two lower-division opponents, D-III Pitt-Greensburg and D-II West Virginia Wesleyan, before traveling to Dayton.


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

Part 4:’s math likes the Flyers

Part 5: Three new walk-ons join roster

Part 6: Grant, Martin don’t look forward to coaching against each other

Part 7: Ranking difficult of non-conference opponents

Part 8: Free-throw percentage a stat to watch for Flyers

Part 9: UD roster again full of international talent

Part 10: Ranking quality of exempt tournaments

Part 11: How Grant’s first six teams compare

Part 12: The rising star of DaRon Holmes II

Part 13: How rare is returning five starters?

Part 14: Is NCAA tournament expansion coming?

Part 15: A short history of UD injuries

Part 16: A closer look at recruiting

Part 17: Dayton’s deep connection to New York

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