Former Dayton walk-on Joey Gruden, who founded the team in 2019 with former teammate Jeremiah Bonsu, will coach the Red Scare for the third straight year.
“This is big time for us,” Gruden said.
Former Flyers Trey Landers, Ryan Mikesell and Darrell Davis have committed to play for the Red Scare. Landers and Mikesell have played the last two years. Davis has played the last three years.
“My teammates and I have always felt the love from the Dayton fan base wherever we’ve played in TBT, but the opportunity to play in UD Arena again is going to be really special for us,” said Mikesell in a press release. “TBT is a tremendous platform for us to relive great memories while creating new ones. I know that the Flyer Faithful will come out in full force to cheer us on just like when we were in school, and we’re hopeful that we’ll finally be able to hoist a TBT trophy in front of them.”
Gruden hopes the chance to play on their old home court will entice former Flyers who might be on the fence about playing.
“Surely we’ll get a couple guys who will want to play this year who haven’t done it in the past,” Gruden said. “Being at home is huge. We’d have the home-court advantage the whole way.”
The other regional sites are: Cincinnati; Syracuse, N.Y.; Charleston, W.Va.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Omaha, Neb.; and Wichita, Kan. An eighth site will be announced in the coming weeks.
The winner of the Omaha Regional will play the winner of the Wichita Regional on July 28, while the remaining six quarterfinalists will play in Dayton.
Teams can register for the tournament from April 1-June 15. The 64-team field and bracket will be announced in late June.
Gruden said he will start working on the roster in January. Convincing Mikesell, Landers and Davis to play was the easy part. They just want to play basketball, he said.
“When I told them the other day that we’re coming to arena, they were even more excited,” Gruden said.
Gruden appeared in 23 games from 2014-18 and enjoyed his most memorable moment on the court as a senior in 2018 when he made his only career 3-point field-goal attempt, a 3-pointer, in a 106-79 victory against Virginia Commonwealth. The atmosphere and the fans are what Gruden loved most about the arena.
“You’re so familiar with everything” said Gruden, who’s now coaching the Flyght Academy Prep basketball team in Dayton. “The locker rooms, the long tunnel down onto the court, it just brings back so many good memories.”
Highlights: Red Scare beats BC Vahakni in first round of TBT