Dayton tops A-10 preseason poll for fourth time

Holmes, Smith and Camara earn preseason all-conference honors

The Dayton Flyers, who return five starters and seven of their top eight scorers from a team that finished 24-11, will enter the 2022-23 season as the preseason favorite in the Atlantic 10 Conference.

The official preseason poll was released Thursday morning during A-10 Media Day at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., site of the conference tournament in March.

Dayton, which last won the A-10 with an 18-0 mark in 2020, received 22 out of 29 first-place votes. The other seven went to Saint Louis, which was picked to finish second. The 15 conference coaches and select media members voted in the poll.

Following Dayton and Saint Louis in the poll were: Virginia Commonwealth; A-10 newcomer Loyola; George Mason; defending regular-season champion Davidson; defending A-10 tournament champion Richmond; UMass; Rhode Island, now led by former UD coach Archie Miller; last year’s preseason favorite St. Bonaventure; Fordham; George Washington; Saint Joseph’s; La Salle; and Duquesne.

Dayton sophomore forward DaRon Holmes II, an A-10 second-team selection in March and the league’s rookie of the year, made the A-10 first team. Sophomore guard Malachi Smith, a member of the all-rookie team last season, made the second team. Redshirt junior forward Toumani Camara also made the second team.

Smith and Holmes were both named to the preseason all-defensive team. Holmes, Smith and Camara were Dayton’s three leading scorers, averaging 33.0 points between them, and shared Dayton’s team MVP award last season.

This is the fourth time Dayton has topped the poll in 28 seasons in the A-10. It was also favored in the 2016-17, 2015-16 and 2009-10 seasons.

This is also the first time the Flyers have been picked to finish first in coach Anthony Grant’s six seasons. Starting with the 2017-18 season, his teams have been picked fifth, sixth, third, third and fifth. Those teams finished ninth, third, first, seventh and tied for second.

Dayton opens the season Nov. 7 against Lindenwood University and will play the first of 18 A-10 games on Dec. 28 against Duquesne at UD Arena.

About the Author