Dayton top-ranked Ohio team in Blue Ribbon preseason top 25

Flyers finished 24-11 last season, Anthony Grant’s fifth season as head coach with the program

The Dayton Flyers, a popular preseason top-25 pick for many national college basketball writers, earned a spot in the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook top 25.

The magazine, which was emailed to digital subscribers on Saturday, ranked Dayton 23rd. It’s the only Ohio team and the only Atlantic 10 Conference team in the ranking.

“The Flyers look like they’ll have their best bunch since (Obi) Toppin became a household name,” the Dayton preview reads.

Dayton has not been ranked in the top 25 since the end of the 2019-20 season. It won 20 straight games that season, finishing 29-2 and climbing to No. 3. The pandemic ended its postseason dreams.

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“That team that went 29-2 was really, really close,” associate head coach Ricardo Greer told Blue Ribbon. “They knew how good they were, even though they weren’t getting much buzz. Every game they went out there, they were like, ‘Were going to show the country and show the world how good we really are.’ At the end of the year, we were 29-2. The one thing that sticks out to me is how close they were. I think this team is really the same way. They’re really close. They like being around each other. They hold each other accountable.”

Dayton returns all five starters and seven of its top-eight scorers. It opens the season Nov. 7 against Lindenwood.

Dayton topped Blue Ribbon’s A-10 prediction and was followed by Saint Louis, Virginia Commonwealth, Davidson, Loyola Chicago, Richmond, George Mason, St. Bonaventure, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Fordham, Saint Joseph’, George Washington, Duquesne and La Salle.

Dayton sophomore forward DaRon Holmes II made Blue Ribbon’s A-10 all-conference team and was the pick to win the player of the year award.

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