The future of the Dayton Flyers’ 2017 recruiting class was up in the air Sunday, a day after coach Archie Miller was hired by the Indiana Hoosiers.
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The player who may be the top recruit in the class, Champlin Park (Minn.) point guard McKinley Wright, had an all-around bad day Saturday. He learned Miller was leaving hours before losing 60-54 to Apple Valley in the 4A state championship game. Apple Valley ended Champlin Park’s undefeated season and state title dreams for the second time in three seasons.
“Everything going on just feels like a nightmare,” Wright wrote on Twitter.
Wright didn’t respond to a request for comment as to whether he still wants to go to Dayton. The four other players in the class are keeping their options open.
Nahziah Carter, a 6-6 forward from Rochester, N.Y., said he didn’t know yet what he would do. Jordan Davis, a 6-4 guard from Irmo, S.C., said, “I’m not sure yet. I will probably wait and see who they will hire.”
Jordan Pierce, a 7-o center from Scotch Plains, N.J., said, “Right now it’s still early for any decision. At this exact moment I am still a Dayton Flyer.”
Matej Svoboda, a 6-7 forward from the Czech Republic who was expected to sign in April, also said he doesn’t know what he will do.
“I’m in touch with some people,” he wrote in an email, “so I can say I’m waiting to see what’s gonna to happen.”
High praise: Kentucky Wildcats coach John Calipari goes way back with the Miller family. He’s from the same area of western Pennsylvania as the Millers and wrote the foreword for a book written about Archie’s dad John last year.
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Calipari raved about Archie Miller in Indianapolis earlier this month when Kentucky and the Dayton Flyers both played in the NCAA tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. On Saturday, after the Indiana Hoosiers hired Miller, Calipari praised the decision as he spoke a press conference a day before playing North Carolina in the Elite Eight.
“If I were hiring a coach, I would hire Archie,” said Calipari in Memphis, Tenn. “I say that because, one, we all grew up with his father. His father coached all of us. All of us that came through there. And he’s a basketball coach. That’s what he does. He’s a basketball guy. Not afraid. He’s got a fight in him, and he’s got a will, and the kids love playing for him.
“I think he’ll do a great job there. I mean, it’s not an easy job. None of these jobs are easy, but that’s not an easy job, either, and you have to walk in there wanting that challenge, kind of like wanting Kentucky. If you don’t want this — all that goes along with it — don’t come here, and it’s the same with Indiana. You’ve got to want that, and he did, obviously, or he wouldn’t have taken that job.”