Exhibition gives Dayton Flyers chance to look at different rotations

Ten of Dayton’s 11 players will be available vs. Cedarville

The Dayton Flyers will play an exhibition game at 5 p.m. Saturday against Cedarville University at UD Arena with 10 of their 11 scholarship players available. At least, that was the case as of 1 p.m. Friday, coach Anthony Grant said.

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Center Jordy Tshimanaga, a transfer from Nebraska who sat out last season, continues to work his way back from a knee injury and will not play.

“He has not returned to practice, but he’s making progress,” Grant said. “We feel he’s moving in the right direction. I wouldn’t put a timetable on it as of yet. Obviously, that’s going to be up to our trainers and our medical staff and how Jordy continues to progress, but I think he’s excited about the steps he’s made.”

Even with Tshimanga sidelined, Dayton fans will get their first look at four new players: transfers Ibi Watson, Rodney Chatman and Chase Johnson and the team's only freshman, Moulaye Sissoko.

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Cedarville, a NCAA Division II school located 27 miles east of Dayton, has already played two exhibition games against Division I opponents. It lost 85-65 at Valparaiso last Saturday and 95-52 to Ohio State on Wednesday in Columbus.

Quinton Green, a sophomore guard from Columbus, led the Yellow Jackets in scoring in both games with 16 and 23 points, respectively.

Grant said picking an opponent for the exhibition game is the last part of the scheduling process. Dayton played Ohio Dominican and Capital University in Grant’s first two seasons.

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“I don’t know a whole lot about their team,” Grant said of Cedarville. “This time of year we’re more worried about us than any opponent. This is one of those games that don’t count on the schedule, but we get a chance to see some guys in front of a crowd for the first time and get a chance to look at some different combinations. I look at this more as a chance to learn more about our team and get better before we head into next week when it starts for real.”

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Dayton plays Indiana State in its regular-season opener Nov. 9. That will be the second time it has faced a Division I opponent. It played Cincinnati in a closed-door scrimmage on Oct. 26. The teams agreed to not release a score or any other information about the game.

“You’re not getting anything out of me,” first-year Cincinnati coach John Brannen told reporters.

Grant said a bit more than that when asked what his team did well in the scrimmage.

“We competed,” Grant said. “It’s practice. We got a chance to see, just how hopefully we will (Saturday), a lot of different combinations out there on the floor and just some different things we’ve been working on to see what kind of habits we’ve built up to this point. We’ve been going at it among each other for three or four weeks now. They were excited to play someone else and get a different look, and as coaches, it was good for us to see what kind of progress we’ve made toward the habits we feel we need to build as we head into the season.”

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